A Great Award, Thoughts on Governments and Energy

Last Tuesday Senator Barbara Boxer came by the Santa Clara campus and presented Sun with her “Conservation Champion Award”. This was an exciting day for us - we always appreciate recognition for the hard work we’ve been doing. We know we’ve got a long way to go, but its great to get some pats on the back along the way!

Jonathan and I were both fulfilling commitments outside of CA that day, but Greg Papadapolous and Subodh Bapat represented Sun and our eco team with flying colors. SenBoxer-GregP.jpg

One of the reasons that I think this visit was important is that it was another step in the dialogue between business and government on energy. I think everyone’s pretty much accepted at this point that neither the government nor business can address our energy and climate challenges alone, and in fact we need both to be on their best game.

I’m spending lots of time in DC these days, and interacting regularly with our public policy folks around the world. There’s lots of useful discussion going on, but there’s some huge entrenched interests with big money involved as well. Businesses have the benefit that a good fraction can do more or less the right thing, and pull along the laggards. There’s only one federal government, however, and we need it to hit at least a triple, if not a home run. State-level initiatives help by giving us some testing ground, but if we want to meet these challenges with the best economic outcome, it has to start at the federal level.

So, as a result, we really appreciated the Senator coming by, sharing her thoughts and listening to what we’re up to and what we’re concerned about. Government needs to be careful not to listen too carefully to industry on this one, but having thoughtful legislators who are clearly intent on learning and listening come by and spend time can never be a bad thing.

Thanks for the award and your visit, Senator Boxer!

And, importantly, thanks to everyone at Sun that makes an award like this possible!