FORTUNE -- Along with the rest of the country, more big companies are concerned about sustainable energy. The problem is that corporations interested in taking those concerns to policymakers in Washington are frustrated, given the political gridlock they have encountered there.
An audience member from Microsoft (MSFT) asked a panel at Fortune's "Brainstorm Green" conference if it would be more effective for concerned companies such as Microsoft to pursue green energy as they see fit and sidestep Washington altogether.
No, says Cathy Zoi who has worked for the White House and is now a partner at Silver Lake Kraftwerk Fund. "Do what you're going to do, but please do not abandon Washington," she told the audience. "This is important for Microsoft and Google, because you guys are thinking about reliable, affordable electricity, and Washington needs to know that you care about it."
The fossil-fuel industry is a well-oiled machine in this way, she says, and government representatives hear from those companies all the time. Leaders from green-geared companies need to throw their voices in the fray, she says. More
Forget about the tech bubble. The clean tech industry has been inflating for years, thanks to generous government financing. But that's about to change.
FORTUNE -- As federal stimulus spending dries up, the clean tech industry faces a "funding cliff" at the end of this year that could jeopardize one of the few economic sectors that is producing job growth, according to a report issued by the Brookings Institution.
Such is the MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Jul 14, 2011 8:30 AM ET
China will grow on a scale the world has never seen before. Can that growth be green?
The environmental consequences of China's economic growth are both well-known and horrifying: more cars, more coal and more toxic crud fouling its streams and rivers. Less appreciated are the reasons for hope.
"This is a critical year, really a transformational moment," says Li Lu, the chairman of Himalaya Capital Management and a leading candidate to MOREScott Woolley - Apr 7, 2011 10:46 AM ET
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