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Silicon Valley Monday Event (with our PHEV); NYT's Tom Friedman on Energy Independence
Oct 16, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
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We posted the announcement of the Silicon Valley CEO group in August­news-archive.html; now comes its first public event. We've been invited to demonstrate our car and give rides to attendees. Following that is an Op-Ed by Tom Friedman giving the important news that polls show energy independence as the leading national security issue for voters.

Silicon Valley Leaders Seek To Reduce U.S. Dependence On Oil

U.S. Senator Feinstein, CEOs, Policymakers and Academics Gather at CEO Summit for Alternative Energy

SAN JOSE, Calif. - On Monday, Oct. 16, 2006, more than 200 CEOs, academics, policymakers, community and business leaders will convene at Novellus Systems in San Jose to discuss ways to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil - turning ideas into action.

Hosted by Novellus and in partnership with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), the CEO summit is a result of the overwhelming positive response to an Open Letter authored by Novellus' President and IAGS Trustee Sass Somekh. The letter highlights the threats to the stability of the business environment, as well as national security, and calls upon Congress to embark immediately upon an effort to dramatically reduce the nation's dependence on imported oil by adopting new policies, including researching and supporting various forms of alternative energy. More than 30 of Silicon Valley's top CEOs have signed the Open Letter, which is available for viewing and endorsement at

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a member of the Senate Appropriations and the Energy and Natural Resources committees, will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural session of this initiative. A well-known advocate of alternative energy, Feinstein will be sharing her innovative proposals for legislation that she is preparing for the next congressional session.

The United States consumes one-quarter of the world's oil supply, while holding a mere 2 percent of the reserves. Sixty percent of oil consumed in the country is imported. Such a high dependence on imports threatens the stability of the macroeconomic business environment as well as national security. The problem is likely to worsen with increasing global demand for oil from fast growing countries across the world.

"In the 1970s America was faced with a less threatening oil situation than what we are now experiencing," Somekh said. "As one of the most powerful regions in the world, both economically and technologically, Silicon Valley must participate and help find solutions to a problem that carries economic ramifications as well as national security issues.

"As individuals, corporations and as a community
- in addition to what we can accomplish through public policy - Silicon Valley can offer innovative ways to enhance alternative energy," said SVLG CEO Carl Guardino. "In Silicon Valley, we know that green is gold, and through clean-and green-tech, we can lead our nation and world on the road to energy independence."

The CEO Summit on Alternative Energy will be held at Novellus Systems' campus at 410 Plumeria Drive in San Jose, on Oct. 16, 2006, from 10:15am to 1:45pm. The lunch event sponsored by Novellus Systems and in partnership with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, is by invitation only.

Scheduled panelists who will speak on the issue include

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren: Congressman Mike Honda; California Undersecretary for Energy Affairs Joe Desmond; Former National Security Advisor Robert "Bud" McFarlane; Chairperson of Set America Free Coalition Anne Korin; Palm President and CEO Ed Colligan; Novellus President Sass Somekh; Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino; Novellus CEO Rick Hill.

The event will conclude with the signing of a pledge by several business and government leaders committing to take both short and long term actions in their organizations to reduce oil consumption and encourage development of alternative fuels.

About Novellus Novellus Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: NVLS) is a leading provider of advanced process equipment for the global semiconductor industry. The company's products deliver value to customers by providing innovative technology backed by trusted productivity. An S&P 500 company, Novellus is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. with subsidiary offices across the globe. For more information please visit

About The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Founded by David Packard, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group consists of more than 200 of the Valley's most respected private sector employers, who collectively provide one of every four jobs in the Valley.

The Energy Mandate
New York Times October 13, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN­2006/­10/­13/­opinion/­13friedman.html

James Carville, the legendary Clinton campaign adviser who coined the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid," knows a gut issue when he sees one. So when Mr. Carville contacted me the other day to tell me about the newest gut issue his polling was turning up for candidates in the 2006 elections, I was all ears.

"Energy independence," he said. "It's now the No. 1 national security issue. ... It's become kind of a joke with us, because no matter how we ask the question, that's what comes up."

So, for instance, the Democracy Corps, a Democratic strategy group spearheaded by Mr. Carville and the former Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg, asked the following question in an Aug. 27 survey of likely voters: "Which of the following would you say should be the two most important national security priorities for the administration and Congress over the next few years?"

Coming in No. 1, with 42 percent, was "reducing dependence on foreign oil." Coming in a distant second at 26 percent was "combating terrorism." Coming in third at 25 percent was "the war in Iraq," and tied at 21 percent were "securing our ports, nuclear plants and chemical factories" and "addressing dangerous countries like Iran and North Korea." "Strengthening America's military" drew 12 percent. Mr. Carville also noted that because their polls are of "likely voters," they have a slight Republican bias - i.e., they aren't just polling a bunch of liberal greens.

"When we lay out different plans for how to deal with Iraq, any plan that also includes energy independence tops any other plan that doesn't," said Mr. Greenberg, who added that people are not expressing this view because they are worried about price, but because they are starting to understand that our oil dependence is fueling a host of really bad national security problems. "There is frustration that leaders have not taken it up," he added. "There is a sense that the public is ahead of the leaders, and there is actually a sense of relief when anyone talks about [energy independence] with any seriousness."

Mr. Greenberg said he started noticing this during this year's re-election campaign by Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania. When his Republican challenger, Lynn Swann, first jumped into the race, public polls showed the two candidates in a dead heat. Governor Rendell eventually pulled far ahead in the polls, though, and among the key issues that helped to separate him, said Mr. Greenberg, was the governor's stressing of alternative energy, and his "PennSecurity Fuels Initiative" to lessen dependence on foreign oil and grow the state's clean energy market.

What this means for Democratic Party candidates, argues Mr. Carville, is that it's no longer enough to have "energy security" as part of a 12-step plan for American renewal. No, it needs to become a defining issue of what Democrats are all about.

It should "not be part of an expanding litany, but rather a contracting narrative," explained Mr. Carville. "It can't just be that we are for a woman's right to choose, and education and energy independence. This is the thing we need to get done above and beyond everything else." People should associate "energy security" with Democrats the way they associate "tax cuts" with Republicans, he argued. "This is not something to add to the stew - this is the stock."

The best way for a party that is often viewed as weak on national security to overcome that deficit is to be for energy independence, he noted. Indeed, nothing would be more potent for Democrats now than to capture energy security and all the issues that surround it - from improving our trade deficit by not importing more oil to improving the climate to improving U.S. competitiveness by making us leaders in alternative fuels.

So does this mean the public would accept a gasoline or B.T.U. tax? No, said Mr. Greenberg. The public wants government to impose much higher auto mileage standards on Detroit and much more stringent energy codes on buildings and appliances. People want a tough regulatory response, la California.

Remember, Mr. Carville and Mr. Greenberg are professional campaign advisers. They get paid to get people elected - not to offer feel-good nostrums. So when they tell you that their polling and focus groups around the country show that "reducing dependence on foreign oil" is voters' top national security priority, you know that this issue has finally arrived. The party that captures it most credibly will be rewarded.

Hello? Anybody listening?

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