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Joining E2 is the most effective way to stay informed about cutting-edge environmental issues, leverage your professional network, and use your skills to influence important environmental policy issues.

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Business Voice for the Environment

E2 Members Advance Policy

E2 relies exclusively on our volunteers to develop and deliver our message that good environmental policies create economic opportunities. This month we feature interviews with eight volunteers who have helped to advance policies in Massachusetts, Texas, California and in Congress.

Dayna Bochco (California)

Dayna Bochco is a 25-year veteran TV producer and is President of Steven Bochco Productions. Together with Steven Bochco, the company has won 10 Emmy Awards, including six for "Hill Street Blues" and three for "L.A. Law." Dayna joined the NRDC Los Angeles Leadership Council a year ago and was looking for more ways to get involved. NRDC’s Director of Development for Southern California, Nancy Golden, introduced Dayna to E2 and she hasn’t slowed down since.

During the AB 32 global warming campaign in 2006, Dayna met with every local official she could. Last March, she was part of the E2 delegation to Sacramento and decided to focus on the bill to help clean up California’s ports, SB 974 (Lowenthal). She organized meetings with the Los Angeles media companies to get them involved in global warming issues and, most recently, she worked on helping to stop a toll road from being built through San Onofre State Park (see Put to the Road Test). Dayna arranged a meeting with a Goldman Sachs official who is responsible for their financial involvement in the project. "The Goldman Sachs official didn’t want to meet with us, but after the meeting, she called NRDC and said they were willing to discuss alternatives."

Global warming tops the list of environmental issues for Dayna. She is determined to get the studios to take some positive action. When we asked Dayna what she likes best about E2 she stated: "It is a smart organization. The trip to Sacramento was an eye opener. E2 knows exactly what they want to do. I wanted to be more active in day-to-day issues. E2 always has something going on."

John Harper (Massachusetts)

John is Founder and Principal of Birch Tree Capital, LLC, an independent consulting firm that assists clients in financing clean power projects with a focus on wind, solar, and biomass projects. John has 20 years’ background in project financing both domestically and at the international level. Last month, he began focusing on raising funding for projects developed by Ze-gen, a developer and integrator of waste gasification technology converting construction and demolition wood waste into near zero-emissions synthetic gas and electricity.

He had worked for several years on clean energy with E2 New England Chapter Leader Daniel Goldman, who suggested John check out E2. John joined E2 in September 2003. He saw E2’s successes advancing a legislative agenda in California, and decided he wanted to support and adapt E2’s activities to try to achieve similar results in Massachusetts.

Since then, John has been a regular participant at E2 events in the greater Boston area. In recent months, he has volunteered to join E2 delegations to Beacon Hill, including meetings on May 30 to encourage long-term upward adjustment of Massachusetts’s renewable portfolio standard, early-April and mid-May meetings to discuss the state’s energy policy, and a March 14 visit to discuss clean energy financing. "E2 has given me a way to lend my voice to a group of business professionals lobbying at the state level, and figuring out how to make changes in a state that can then be a model for the nation."

John lends a credible voice to arguments in favor of renewable energy as beneficial to the economy and Massachusetts’s energy profile. He is able to speak from experience about why money will or won’t flow into projects, what makes some projects more financeable than others, and what role state policy can have in fostering the flow of investment capital. "What I bring to the table as someone from the financing community is a reality check. Many states want to add more renewable power generation. Helping the policymakers understand and address the constraints to mobilizing capital to finance new projects is a key goal."

John values the team spirit E2 New England’s chapter leaders have built over the years in lobbying on Beacon Hill. "I appreciate the opportunity to work with people who share the feeling that they can make a difference and are willing to participate in the process to try to make that difference. E2 provides a great platform for mobilizing a broader audience to effect positive change in the energy sector."

Pamela Lesh (Oregon)

Pamela is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Strategic Planning at Portland General Electric (PGE), Oregon’s largest utility handling not only distribution of electricity, but generation and transmission as well. She is responsible for the company’s retail pricing, regulated pricing, as well was all other aspects of being an economically regulated entity that must go through an approval process. Pamela learned of E2 through Ralph Cavanagh, Senior Attorney in NRDC’s Air & Energy Program, with whom she was in frequent contact regarding public and business outreach to influence Oregon regulations and policies. Ralph told her E2’s platform was unique in emphasizing the win-win effects that strong environmental policies could have for both business and the environment. In February 2006, Pamela attended an event organized by E2 Member Sally Desipio on "A New Energy Future for America." After further meetings and conversations with Sally, Pamela joined E2 in September 2006.

Pamela participated in E2’s 2007 annual trip to Washington, DC, lending her talents and expertise to a very diverse and effective delegation. Of the trip, she says: "The people I met I won’t forget. It was among the most interesting groups of people I’ve ever worked with in my life. They were all incredibly thoughtful, bright and articulate, and being able to coordinate and work together with them as a team was such a rich experience. I gained a lot of in-depth knowledge on some issues that I cared about, but perhaps would not have otherwise dug into had I not been preparing for the trip. The grounding on these issues will serve me and my company well."

Pamela also signed her name to an E2 alert asking our members and friends in Oregon to sign a letter supporting three companion bills that would permit Oregon to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. While energy issues are her main passion, Pamela is also interested in water and oceans. She is helping to promote E2 and NRDC’s next event in Portland, "Preserving What Makes Oregon Special," on September 21.

"The quality of the work and information we get from E2 and NRDC staff is wonderful. I really believe in E2’s message and I think it’s one that needs to be heard more broadly."

Fa and Roger Liddell (New York)

Fa Liddell, having spent a challenging 17-year career at Citibank in Corporate Banking and Executive Training, has a long-standing interest in the interplay of business and the environment. She is particularly passionate about bringing strategic economic solutions to the pressing environmental challenges we face today. Specific areas of focus are climate change, healthy oceans, and health impacts of industrial chemical pollution. She describes herself as a "serial environmentalist," supporting several of the major advocacy groups.

Fa attended her first E2 meeting in the fall of 2006 to learn about Wal-Mart’s environmental initiatives and she has followed E2’s programs since then. She was particularly intrigued by an E2 meeting featuring NRDC’s David Goldstein on Energy Efficiency, an interest that she shares with her husband. After an E2 event in May, Peter Lehner, NRDC’s Executive Director, suggested the couple attend the NRDC/E2 trip to Costa Rica  to promote energy efficiency and carbon neutrality. This idea of a "hands-on" volunteer role appeals greatly to them.

Fa attended the E2 trip to Albany organized by E2 New York chapter leader Wendy Neu. The group promoted energy efficiency measures and incentives to reduce gasoline consumption, with political and policy guidance provided by NRDC’s Rick Schraeder. Congestion pricing is on the fall agenda.

Like Fa, Roger has had a life-long interest in the environment. Rather than join the newly established EPA, in 1973 he decided to work on environmental issues through the financial community as an energy analyst and money manager. For the last twenty years, he has been a Managing Director at the investment firm of Ingalls & Snyder, LLC.

Throughout his career he has advocated requiring energy prices - particularly electric rates - to reflect fully internalized marginal costs. At long last, he is seeing progress in getting utilities to value efficiency investments as much as additional capacity, a development with profound implications.

Roger’s experience was valuable during and after the trip to Costa Rica as he was able to analyze the situation and recommend solutions. "NRDC is where the action is on energy efficiency. Its staff is best-in-class and I enjoy being able to contribute."

Both Fa and Roger believe the business community needs to be better represented in environmental policies and that E2 is the best vehicle for making progress. "People want to be part of an exciting organization. E2 has tremendous intellectual horsepower. As members we participate in discussions, play a role in advocacy and have input to NRDC not possible in other environmental organizations."

David Rosenstein (California)

David is the President of Intex Solutions - headquartered in Montebello, Calif. - a national company providing commercial carpet, stone and textile care, as well as emergency water damage remediation services. David had long been a supporter of NRDC when he learned it would be opening its LEED Platinum-certified Santa Monica office in November 2003. He called the Santa Monica office administrator to offer - and ultimately get agreement to - his company’s cleaning and care services at no charge. "I wanted to donate my services to NRDC, I wanted the building to look good and, of course, it was a good way to get the word out about Intex."

David learned of E2 through Southern California Chapter Tim Sexton, whose children attend the same school as David’s, and from talks with Nancy Golden, NRDC’s Southern California Development Director. After attending a couple of EcoSalons and hearing E2’s pitch, he decided "it was a no-brainer" to join, which he did in the spring of 2004. "It was clear that E2 was providing what can still be, unfortunately, a really unique voice from the business community on environmental legislation. I looked at the things E2 had accomplished, I could see it was an organization that was active in making a difference, and that it was not just people sitting around talking."

Over the past year, David has been very active himself helping E2 on its Southern California advocacy efforts. In the summer of 2006, David was among a handful of E2 Southern California members who organized letters of support from Southern California businesses, placed phone calls into key legislative and executive offices, and attended district office meetings to help make the business case in favor of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. This year, he has participated in writing letters and attending meetings to build support for SB 974, the Clean Ports Investment Act by Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

What David appreciates most about E2 are the results it achieves. "Our activities have, for the most part, been really effective. That is the most important thing. In some cases, our message has given legislators ’cover’ to push environmental policies that they have been wanting to do, but perhaps would not have pursued because of a perceived lack of business support."

Joel Serface (Texas)

Joel Serface is a sixth generation Texan who recently returned to the state after an exodus to Massachusetts and California. His goal in returning to Texas is to help accelerate its path towards renewable energy. His personal motto is, "If Texas can become a successful renewable energy state, then there is hope for the planet." Joel returned to Texas to become the Director of the Clean Energy Incubator, the first in the nation set up by NREL and the University of Texas at Austin. The goals of the incubator are to provide the necessary support for new cleantech start-ups, develop the appropriate policies to support adoption of renewable energy, and build the community and infrastructure to sustain the growth of clean energy in Texas.

Joel is a founding member of E2, having first discovered the organization via the Internet in 2001 when E2 was less than a year old. "I was in New York City on September 11 and knew immediately I needed to commit myself to solving our energy problems. I joined E2 because it was a community of like-minded business leaders who could put a business face on environmental advocacy."

As a volunteer, Joel has written letters, held the first meeting at his office with California Treasurer Phil Angelides crafting what would become the California "Greenwave Initiative," helped with research on California biofuels, and recently was a delegate to Washington, DC. He advocated plug-in hybrids early on with NRDC researchers to make sure it was on their radar screens. Recently, he worked with NRDC to demonstrate the potential benefit of energy efficiency policies. "If Texas matched the efficiency of California energy usage, we would use nine percent less energy in 2020 than we do today. We don’t need any new coal plants. We need to do better on energy efficiency and replacing existing capacity with renewables."

He is enthusiastic about the potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency. "Austin Energy has lower rates than the rest of Texas because of investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The rest of Texas was hurt by an over-dependency on natural gas, which experienced higher prices putting Texas on par with California energy prices." Texas has 5,000 megawatts of wind in production with 15,000 MW more planned. This is equivalent to the minimum electricity base load. Joel’s goal is to get the state to wake up to the potential of solar because "Wind has been a developmental success in Texas, but has not attracted new manufacturing companies or jobs. Solar could be different. With 700,000 acres of soar, we could match the peak load of the state. We already have a silicon processing industry, semi industry, and the best solar potential in the nation. All we have to do is bring our policy makers up to speed to get them on board with solar."

Tricia Stone (California)

Tricia Stone started Stone Communications, a firm focused on high-stakes presentations, 15 years ago and one of her early customers was Bob Epstein of Sybase Inc. She already knew and admired the work of NRDC and a few years ago ran into Bob at a James Taylor benefit for NRDC. She joined E2 in 2002 because she felt the organization was a great way to bring together a group of individuals that have a lot to contribute but never had a good way to organize. "I love the efficiency of E2 - a relatively few people getting a lot done."

In preparing for our second annual trip to Washington, DC, in 2004, E2 approached Tricia to ask if she would donate her services to develop our first presentation on the economic opportunities of clean tech. She clarified the messages, designed the graphics and consulted on the best way to deliver the presentation. "I could make a significant difference in a short time on a presentation that would be seen and heard by many people. It felt really good because I was able to make an impact without even being there!"

When E2 Co-founder Nicole Lederer approached Tricia about developing a presentation for the 2007 Washington trip she readily agreed. Climate change is her biggest environmental concern and interest. She wanted to help demonstrate the economic opportunities that would result from addressing the issue.

Tricia likes the quality of the conversations and the education available from E2 events. "The balance between education and action is great. You feel empowered." The environment is a priority for her and donating her time to help advance solutions is the biggest benefit of being an E2 member.

Bill Unger (California)

Bill first met E2 Co-founder Bob Epstein through his work in venture capital, and had long known about NRDC. After attending several E2 events, Bill was so impressed with what Bob and Co-founder Nicole Lederer were championing that he joined in May 2002 and immediately asked what he could do to help. The following February, he and his wife hosted an E2 EcoSalon about public health at their home in Atherton.

Bill has continued to be one of E2’s most active volunteers. He has participated on four of E2’s five annual delegation trips to Washington, DC, every year becoming more of an expert on what questions to ask and how to gauge the readiness of legislators and their staff to act on the solutions E2 and NRDC promote to important environmental challenges. In conjunction with the past three trips to DC, Bill has also spearheaded E2’s efforts to get signatures on letters from the investment and venture capital communities. In 2005 and 2007, these letters focused on supporting global warming legislation and carbon emissions caps, and in 2006 the investment letter promoted sensible oil savings policy.

In the spring of 2006, Bill agreed to be one of the E2 Advisory Board’s inaugural members. At the E2 Advisory Board Fall 2006 meeting, Bill and fellow board members Jeff Lawrence and Roger Ullman presented an "E2 Five-Year Strategy," posing key strategic questions meant to produce a framework to inform the activities of the board’s five other working groups.

Bill looks forward to contributing to E2 as much as he can in the future. A Partner Emeritus of Mayfield Fund, Bill currently focuses his efforts on funding and working with early-stage technology companies; advising and supporting a number of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations including CARE USA; and spending time with his teenage son.

"With my commitments to other philanthropic and non-governmental organizations consuming much of my time, being able to trust E2’s leaders, Bob and Nicole, to advise me on current issues of interest to me, and let me know how I can be useful in the efforts of E2 to impact legislation, makes my involvement feel spot on and truly useful. My interactions with the government have been some of the most meaningful experiences I have had. I like E2’s model because it fits with the VC model - entrepreneurs getting what they need to get things done without too much structure. It is a privilege to work with E2 and NRDC."

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