One year ago, gasoline prices were soaring toward four dollars a gallon and fuel-efficient hybrid cars were flying off the lots. Toyota dealers couldn’t keep a two-day stock of Prius hybrids on hand.
Today, with oil down and the economy bust, they have an 80-day stock, and hybrid sales have fallen off a cliff steeper than general car sales.
So, the question: Can green technology really save our broken economy? The Obama administration is betting big it will. We’ll ask two players with a big stake in the answer.
This hour, On Point: A gut-check on the green economy.
You can join the conversation. Is green tech our golden ticket out of this economic bust? Does saving the economy and environment at once sound too good to be true? Or just right?
From New York, we’re joined by Adam Aston, energy and environment editor at BusinessWeek magazine.
Also joining us from New York is Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. He’s one of the foremost champions of harnessing market forces for environmental ends. In Philadelphia last month, he sat on a green jobs panel with Vice President Joe Biden. He is co-author of the New York Times bestseller “Earth: The Sequel – The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming,” which was adapted as a Discovery Channel special. Watch the trailer here.
And from Menlo Park, California, is John Doerr, partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He has backed some of America’s biggest technology success stories, including Google, Amazon, Intuit, and Sun. And he is now a member of President Obama’s new Economic Recovery Advisory Board, chaired by former Fed Chairman Paul Volker.
Watch John Doerr’s speech on green technology at the 2007 TED conference.
Last October, The New York Times Magazine ran a cover story on Doerr and his partners at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and the prospects for green technology start-ups.