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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.

Join Now E2 is a partner of NRDC
Business Voice for the Environment
photo Rick DeGolia
Chairman of the Board
Peninsula Clean Energy
Rick’s interest in environmental issues was piqued when he took a class in environmental law at Harvard Law School. The class, taught by David Roe, Senior Attorney at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), exposed Rick to how the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) changed its rate structure to support investments in energy efficiency. Historically, utility regulators set electric and gas rates based solely on projected sales volume, which discourages utilities from promoting conservation. California was the first state to “decouple” utility sales and revenues, which dramatically changed the way utility companies approached energy. Negawatts (reduced use of electricity as a source of supply) became a valuable resource rather than something to avoid. When Rick was introduced to E2, he saw that what he learned about in class was being put into practice by E2. “It was brilliant the way the business issue was recognized and integrated with policies that benefit both the environment and business. E2 was created as an organization of business people that could focus on taking that analysis and build business support for smart environmental policy."

Rick liked that E2 focused on a critical issue – how to build environmental consciousness that delivers this message: a healthy environment is best for business. He found E2 members to be extremely active, involved in the community and intellectually engaged. He enjoyed the quality of events that provided highly informative information to anyone who is conservation-minded while respecting the busy schedules of E2 members. Rick joined E2 in 2001 and has been an active member ever since.

In addition to volunteering to be an E2 media speaker and policy advocate, Rick has been a delegate in the 2008 Washington, DC, 2008 Sacramento and 2007 Sacramento advocacy trips. Rick was called upon to provide his expertise on water management issues in California. When the California Water Board considered testimony on water policy and global warming on August 24, 2007, Rick provided testimony emphasizing both the high energy use associated with the state’s water systems and the cost effectiveness of better water management. Rick has read thousands of pages of consultant reports commissioned by the CA Energy Commission and PUC to investigate how to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (about three percent of the total reduction needed by 2020) through better water management. He and fellow E2 member Laura Shenkar (see profile below) researched and wrote a paper that estimates the impact of basic conservation with existing approaches and technologies in addressing the requirements of California’s climate change legislation, AB 32. (See “Reducing Greenhouse Gases through Improved Water Policies.”) When Ronnie Cohen, Senior Policy Analyst with NRDC’s Western Water Project, was working on California Assembly Bill 2175, the water conservation bill co-authored by Assembly Members Mike Feuer and John Laird, Rick provided feedback and analysis. AB 2175 has been passed to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Rick’s participation in E2’s advocacy efforts has changed his attitude towards the political process. He notes that, “The experience has provided a focus for me to think about and discuss the critical environmental issues of the day. E2 provides an avenue for me to engage in our political process. I haven’t been involved in politics since 1972, when I was a student at Berkeley. But having a chance to meet with state and federal legislators introduced me to the political process and inspired me to get involved.”

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