Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | May 27, 2009

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says Duke Energy CEO gives stern warning to U.S. that China is investing in clean energy at twice the rate of Americans.

Jim Rogers is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy. Duke Energy is the third largest consumer of coal in the U.S. and emits around 100 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Rogers has more than 20 years of experience as a chief executive officer in the electric utility industry. He was named president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy following the merger of Duke Energy and Cinergy in April 2006. Before the merger, Rogers served as Cinergy’s chairman and chief executive officer for more than 11 years. Prior to the formation of Cinergy, he joined PSI Energy in 1988 as the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.  So when Rogers speaks on an energy topic, people should simply shut up and listen.

Rogers recently testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 20, 2009.  Mr. Rogers offered some rather astonishing facts on China’s national directives on  renewable energy that should make every red blooded American sit up and take notice. 

  • China plans to invest $221 billion over the next two years to build a clean energy economy — everything from wind and solar development to high-speed rail. That’s almost double the current US investment of $112 in everything from wind to solar to advanced batteries.  That is, China is investing twice the amount of money in clean energy than the U.S.
  •  China now has renewable energy, energy efficiency, and fuel economy standards that are all more aggressive than our own. President Obama’s recent mandate  to raise fuel efficiency standards for U.S. automobiles to an average of 35.5 mpg by 2016 is commendable, but the U.S. is really playing catch-up if you consider that China’s 2008 standard was already at 36 mpg.  These policies together are going to reduce China’s GHG emissions by 488 million tons of CO2 by 2030. 
  • China’s Renewable Energy Law, which came into force in 2005, has set the world’s most aggressive renewable energy target. By 2020, 15 percent of all energy is to come from wind, biomass, solar and hydropower energy, compared to its current 7 percent.
  • China projects that it will have 137 gigawatts of renewable power generation by then, plus vehicle fuels with at least 15 percent renewable energy content.  See China’s Renewable Energy Law and note that the U.S. has yet to establish a national renewable energy standard. 
  • Although China is building coal-fired power plants a lot faster than the U.S., the New York Times reports that roughly 60% of its new plants use advanced technology that makes them more energy efficient and less polluting. China has also started to require power companies to retire one old polluting plant for every new efficient one they build. 
  • This year, China is expected to become the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer. Until the late 1990’s, the U.S. dominated the global solar energy market. Now Japan, China and Germany are the leaders. These other countries have policies that have created better markets for clean technologies, so the business opportunities have moved overseas.  
  • According to recent research by Lazard, of the world’s top 10 solar, 10 wind, and 10 advanced battery manufacturing companies, only five of the 30 are American companies.

As Mr. Rogers noted, it is time to stop arguing in Congress over environmental issues and instead move forward in a united manner on a national clean energy policy that sets attainable energy goals and standards.  President Obama’s recent raising of motor vehicle mileage standards was a good start.  But, we must do more.

My friends is the time to forcefully act before America loses further ground to the other developed nations of the world. Let us take note of China’s actions and raise the alarm to action rather that sit and squabble among ourselves over petty interests that may defeat our national interests over time.

Too many corporations and individuals are worried solely about their own wealth.  Their eyes and minds are focused only on the short-term and they are causing the majority of Americans to lose their desire to focus on development of clean, renewable energy.  We cannot allow that to happen; there is simply too much at stake.  We must develop new sources of clean, non-polluting energy for our great country.

This concern is much greater than simply being “green” or environmentally correct.  In my mind, the next great wave of super-wealth in the world is going to be from the development and sale of clean energy.  Indeed, the countries that develop clean renewable energy technologies and control them will become the next economic powerhouses. 

Imagine what the economy in America would be like if we had income from energy sales like those of the Middle East, Canada and Russia.  In short, clean, renewable energy will be the next great source of jobs, investment, and monetary return.  

May God bless our great country, and help us to move forward on this important issue for America.



  1. Wow, coming from the CEO of Duke Energy this message carries some weight. Has Mitch McConnell seen these remarks from Jim Rogers?

  2. I cannot vouch for Senator McConnell, but I heard them loud and clear.

    My particular response to hearing Mr. Rogers’ comments is, “Hello Frankfort and Washington, we have a problem that must be addressed and cannot be ignored by our state and federal government!”

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