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ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Day 1

Yesterday was a day full of a lot of notes, great speakers and VIPs. We heard from Steven Chu, Secretary of the Department of Energy; Arun Majumdar, Director of ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency -Energy); Lee Scott, former CEO of Walmart; Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx; and Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft.

When I look at my notes from yesterday, most of what I jotted down was during Fred Smith’s talk. He talked a lot about a consortia that he’s involved in with other leaders of large companies, like Southwest and Royal Caribbean, that look at the problem of our dependence on imported oil, especially within their own companies. Two of the suggestions he had that would help America progress in their energy independence is the development of natural gas as a fuel source for heavy-duty vehicles and that light duty vehicles would be better served by electrification and the improvement of the internal combustion engine. Lots of talk, actually, on the benefits of improving the IC engine.

Another note I jotted down was during Lee Scott’s talk that was when he said he wasn’t an environmentalist, he was a business person. He said the only way to make sustainability sustainable is if there is a business benefit. Otherwise, it just won’t be adopted.

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