Winter 2015

Jeff Kightlinger: Metropolitan Water District’s Three-Pronged Water Management Approach

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Jeff Kightlinger

Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, oversees the the nation’s largest water wholesaler in a period of severe drought. VerdeXchange News presents an edited version of Kightlinger’s speech “Water is Serious Business,” given to Town Hall Los Angeles on September 22 and reprinted courtesy of Town Hall Los Angeles. He covers MWD’s responsibilities, as well as its strategy in light of the state’s high temperatures and lack of precipitation. Kightlinger touches on California’s water bond and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan—both issues of vital concern to customers and constituents.

High-Speed Rail Isn’t About the Train—It’s About CA’s Future

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At the High Speed Rail Conference on December 2 in Downtown Los Angeles, California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales provided a progress report on the state’s bullet-train project. VerdeXchange News presents an edited transcript of Morales’ remarks, followed by a question-and-answer session. Here, he discusses stages of project implementation and the challenges facing the authority—which mirror difficulties overcome by major California infrastructure achievements of the past. Morales also delves into the potential for economic development that high-speed rail provides, noting the project’s ability to decrease unemployment and support local businesses.

New York & CA Incent Climate-Change Innovation Differently

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On October 6, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance at the New York State Office of the Governor, and Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, spoke with Dr. JR DeShazo of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs at the GloSho 2014 opening plenary titled, “Fireside Chat: Two Clean Economy Titans.” While Nichols has background in government policy and environmental advocacy, Kauffman brings decades of experience in clean technology and innovation in the private sector to the conversation. VerdeXchange News presents edited excerpts from the panel, including answers to audience questions. The conversation focuses on the public sector’s catalyzing role for innovation in both the California and New York clean-technology private sector.

Minter: SoCalGas Champions Innovative P2G Technologies

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George Minter

As California seeks to meet greenhouse-gas emissions reduction goals set out by AB32, utilities are grappling with the intermittence of renewable resources like solar and wind. George Minter, Senior Director of Policy and Environment at the Southern California Gas Company, works on SoCalGas’s electrolysis commercialization and expansion program, which aims to address this challenge. In the following interview with VerdeXchange News, Minter discusses power-to-gas—how it works, precedents for its use in the European Union, and its potential as a solution to excess power on the grid. Minter also discusses natural gas’ impact on transportation, the “hydrogen highway,” and efforts to decarbonize the pipeline—lowering the carbon content of California’s natural gas supply.

Lennar and SunStreet Energy Commit to Offering Solar Systems in Their New Homes

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David Kaiserman

Lennar Corporation is the second-largest homebuilder in the US. As President of Lennar Ventures and CEO of SunStreet Energy Group, David Kaiserman is pioneering a new model for residential developers: including solar systems as standard features on new homes. Kaiserman spoke with VerdeXchange News in the midst of SunStreet’s market-by-market deployment about the intersection of homebuilding and alternative energy, explaining SunStreet’s innovative approach and its potential impact on the solar industry if adopted more widely.

Jon Slangerup: Port of Long Beach’s Capital Investments & Clean-Technology Innovations

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Appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Long Beach in June, Jon Slangerup joins POLB with 34 years of corporate leadership experience—including expertise in aviation, logistics, and clean technology. In agreeing to head a seaport that moves $180 billion worth of trade annually, Slangerup faces logistical and technological hurdles that the port must overcome. In this interview with VerdeXchange News, he discusses current infrastructure challenges and improvements at the Port of Long Beach, efforts to green operations, and POLB’s relationship with the Port of Los Angeles. He also remarks on POLB’s economic health and awareness of growing global seaport competition.

USGS Dr. Lucy Jones Advises City of Los Angeles on Resiliency and ‘The Big One’

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In order to improve Los Angeles’ earthquake preparedness, Mayor Eric Garcetti has brought in the US Geological Survey’s world-renowned Dr. Lucy Jones as his Science Advisor for Seismic Safety to create a resiliency report. Jones spoke with VerdeXchange News to describe the document’s scope and purpose. The interview was conducted in anticipation of its release in December. (Link to final report here: (https://www.socalgrantmakers.org/sites/default/files/files/news/Earthqua...) Jones explained the particular risks facing the city during a natural disaster, from water to housing stock, with a focus on the economic repercussions of “The Big One.”

CPUC’s Peterman on California Commission’s Evolving Energy & Electric Vehicle Regulations

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Appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission by Governor Jerry Brown in 2012 after serving on the California Energy Commission, Carla Peterman is an authority on energy policy in the state—which has long been a pioneering leader in developing sustainable energy practices and policy. She recently sat down with VerdeXchange News to talk about electric vehicle regulation and energy storage, among other topics. Peterman provides an optimistic perspective on both of these areas, taking into account market responses to CPUC regulations and initiatives that have already been adopted.

Governors Schwarzenegger & Brown Affirm CA’s Bipartisan History of Curbing GHG Emissions

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At the symposium “Global Climate Negotiations: Lessons from California” held in Sacramento, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current Governor Jerry Brown discussed the state’s landmark environmental policy, particularly efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions in light of climate change. VerdeXchange News includes their edited addresses below, along with a related comment from former Mayor of Long Beach Bob Foster. The program was hosted by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, California Air Resources Board, Cal EPA, and R20 Regions of Climate Action.

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