NW Business Leaders Urge Stronger Clean Energy Policies

"There’s tremendous passion available in the Northwest, and capital as well, that can be deployed. What we’re looking for is some certainty in the policy arena that allows us and our customers to know where to invest our time and energy and resources, so that we can move the needle on energy efficiency and climate change."

According to Allen, 70 percent of the energy produced in the United States is used in buildings – and half of it is wasted through inefficient systems or construction. He says the knowledge already exists to improve those numbers, which could also improve the economy.

"This buys us a lot of time – for technology to catch up, for longer-term solutions to be vetted and put in place. It creates great opportunities for working folks to get out and make a difference, and earn a living."

Governors Gregoire and Kulongoski will attend the forum, along with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, both U.S. Senators from Washington, and U. S. Department of Energy officials.

The forum will include a tour of McKinstry’s new Innovation Center. It is being built to house small companies and start-ups in clean energy fields to prompt collaboration. The Center officially opens next year.