UT to host green technology hearing of U.S.-China commission

July 12, 2010 | Events, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

The U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission will host a hearing focused on alternative energy commercialization this week at The University of Toledo.

The commission holds one hearing each year outside Washington, D.C., and selected The University of Toledo because of its experts in alternative energy and links to industry.

“The Challenge of China’s Green Technology Policy and Ohio’s Response” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, in the Dana Conference Center on Health Science Campus.

“The commission chose The University of Toledo for the hearing because of the University’s innovative leadership in developing alternative and clean energy technology,” said Carolyn Bartholomew, vice chair of the commission, who will serve as co-chair of the Toledo hearing. “Ohio is also a major hub for solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing. Many members of Congress expect that developing sector to become a major source of new jobs.”

The U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission is an independent federal agency that was established in 2000 to advise Congress on policy with China. The commission’s hearings, independent research and travel to China and Asia are compiled into an annual report that makes recommendations for policy and legislation.

The Toledo hearings will consist of three panel discussions: China’s green technology policy and development, Ohio’s response to the challenges from China, and clean technology companies adding jobs and growth.

“The University of Toledo is an international player in the solar arena with an increasing amount of communications and partnerships with green technology leaders worldwide,” said Dr. William McMillen, interim Main Campus provost, executive vice president for academic affairs, and vice president for government relations. “The University is a natural fit for this discussion as we have received prominent national attention and enjoy a growing reputation for our alternative energy endeavors, but we also are charged with preparing our students for future careers and need to remain active in the expansion of those opportunities.”

The University has sent a number of delegations to China and has several strong partnerships there, McMillen added, noting that in June a University employee was part of a 17-member delegation to China to encourage companies there to invest in Ohio.

The public is invited to attend the Toledo hearings, which will be co-chaired by Bartholomew and Commissioner Peter Brookes. Those who wish to share an opinion during the public comment period, which will be from 3:15 to 4 p.m., should register in the morning. Comments are limited to five minutes.

The schedule for the day will be:

• 9 a.m. — Introductory remarks by McMillen.

• 9:15 a.m. — Co-chairs’ remarks from Bartholomew and Brookes.

• 9:30 a.m. — Panel I: China’s Green Technology Policy and Development with Ethan Zindler, head of North American research, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Washington, D.C.; Julian L. Wong, senior policy analyst, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Washington, D.C.; and Devon Swezey, project director, the Breakthrough Institute, Oakland, Calif.

• 11:15 a.m. — Panel II: Ohio’s Response to the Challenges From China with Megan Reichert-Kral, director, the UT Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator; David McCall, District One director, United Steelworkers Union, Columbus; and Ty Haines, vice president for manufacturing services, WIRE-Net, Cleveland.

12:45 p.m. — Lunch break.

1:45 p.m. — Panel III: Clean Technology Companies Adding Jobs and Growth with Kathy Weiss, vice president for government affairs, First Solar, Perrysburg; Greg Noethlich, chief operating officer, Elyria Foundry, Cleveland; Ross Bushman, president, Cast-Fab Technologies, Cincinnati; and Pat Valente, executive director, Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, Cleveland.

3:15 p.m. — Panel IV: Public Comment Period.

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