What a difference a year makes. SERC colleague Arne Jacobson and I traveled to Washington, D.C. in January to speak to our lawmakers, discuss ongoing work at the Center, and offer our support and guidance on climate change legislation. For the last few years, there has been general pessimism in the Congress that anything would be accomplished with regard to climate change. This time, Arne and I found energy and optimism. We met with staffers for Senators Feinstein and Boxer, including the chief consul of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Senate Committee that will be taking up climate change legislation. We were also fortunate to meet with Congressman Mike Thompson and his staff. Everyone was encouraged that times have changed and real movement toward effective legislation is fi nally happening. Whether it will be Senator Feinstein’s incremental bill or Senator Boxer’s more radical one, we wish the Congress luck in finally tackling our most pressing global issue.
Back at home, as Richard Engel reports, work is kicking into high gear on the hydrogen fueling station we are designing and building on the HSU campus. Thanks to Matthew Marshall, we have a beautiful conceptual picture of the station which graces our cover. Richard also reports on our work for the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE). We’re helping develop high school and middle school student energy audit curricula and correlate them with state standards (part of ASE’s “Green School’s” program). Richard (he’s a busy man) has also become the advisor for ASE’s Green Campus program here at HSU. Jim Zoellick (SERC’s “Dr. Safety”) reports on a trip he and I made recently to Hartford CT to do hydrogen awareness and safety training for CT Transit and UTC Power. CT Transit will soon operate the first hydrogen fuel cell bus in New England. We trained bus mechanics and emergency first responders. Finally, we mention the work SERC is doing to help the Environmental Resources Engineering capstone design class in their Yurok energy resources study.
One of the most heartening developments is the possibility of collaborating with the Schatz Tree Farm. As Ranjit Deshmukh reports, we’ve had a series of meetings with Tree Farm leaders to explore working together to develop energy generation from woody biomass through gasification technology. Mr. Schatz would be proud to see the two organizations he founded finding common ground in their research work.
This issue of the SERC newsletter marks a milestone–our first year of publication. We are also working to refurbish our web site and should have a new site up in a couple of months. We’d welcome your feedback on all of our outreach efforts.