Friday, March 20

"A Green Gold Rush"

There's a green gold rush on Capitol Hill.

With Congress plowing toward legislation on energy and climate, lobbyists and their clients are swarming House and Senate offices. They are booking up conference rooms, shaking hands and submitting proposals for financial help and policy changes.

There are hundreds of hired guns now working on the energy issues. They represent a swath of diverse and sometimes conflicting interests, from small companies turning algae into oil to traditional utilities and big corporations, including Google, United Parcel Service and Safeway.

"What's happening in energy and carbon, what's being contemplated is nothing short of transformational," said Steve McBee, CEO of McBee Strategic Consulting, a lobbying firm with 31 clients interested in energy. Bills planned on energy and climate in Congress, he said, represent "an attempt to fundamentally shift the market."

"There's enough momentum and political will," McBee said, adding that Congress and President Obama "have a fighting chance of getting it done."


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