I had the pleasure to interview the president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) for my next book project (“Renewable Energy – Following the Money”) recently. Dennis McGinn (pictured here, second from left) is a retired rear admiral from the US Navy, and an incredibly articulate spokesperson for our industry. Though I found our talk quite interesting and multi-dimensional, I’ll summarize it in a few high-level bullet points:
• Yes, renewable energy flies in the teeth of the most powerful industry on the planet – forces that have done a good job in developing control over the legislative process.
• Thus it’s completely unrealistic to expect to be handed a level playing field; the clean energy people have to fight hard to create that environment.
• But that is exactly what is happening, as the case for renewables becomes stronger and more apparent to an increasing number of voters.
• Dennis is optimistic that clean energy will be able to replace a large part of our fossil fuel consumption in a reasonable period of time, based on the sheer strength of the market forces that are building each day.
I complimented him on his temperament. “Don’t you ever get angry?” I asked. “You take on some real evil, and some real first-rate stupidity every day. You’re dealing with senators who are trying to stop renewables, even at the expense of the Navy’s capacity to defend our country, and you seem totally cool.” He laughed kindly, but this guy’s demeanor really does impress me. Here’s a video of McGinn in action; see if you agree.