June 10, 2010
Bill Gates, Jeffrey Immelt of GE, and John Doerr of Silicon Valley based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, are part of the business group, American Energy Innovation Council , urging the government to increase its spending on energy research and development. Chaired by former DuPont CEO Charles Holliday, the Council also includes the current or former heads of Lockheed Martin, Xerox, and Cummins.
Today, the group released a report that includes the recommendation to increase American economic competitiveness by diversifying energy sources and tripling spending to $16 Billion. The group recognizes that “America’s current energy system is deficient in many ways that cause harm to our economy, our national security, and our environment.” Click on the link to view the entire report.
The group reports that the government spends $5 Billion on energy R&D annually, while $30 Billion is spent on health care research, $67 Billion on international affairs, $80 Billion on military R&D, $386 Billion on health, $722 Billion on defense, and yes, $5 Billion on energy R&D.
John Doerr said “When our company shifted our attention to clean energy, we found the innovation cupboard was close to bare.” Commenting on a price for carbon, Bill Gates explained “What you need is a strategy that identifies those blocks—whether it is science, economics, or regulation—and breaks through them.”
In the wake of the Gulf disaster, the voices of these icons should be resonating. Now is the time to find out “whose ass to kick.”