Clean Start

Last week, as I was writing about the Zayed Future Energy Prize, I came across an article about Martha Wyrsch. Martha is President of the Americas for Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, this year's winner of the Zayed prize. I made a note of her background and her career path--it followed the same pattern as two others I'd heard of in the last few months: that of Cynthia Warner, President and Chairman of renewable fuel company Sapphire Energy, and Phil Murtaugh, newly appointed CEO of electric vehicle manufacturer CODA Automotive.

What Martha, Cynthia and Phil share is an appetite for very specific take on career risk that wasn't available to executives with their resumés even ten years ago. All three of them come from old school--dirty--industries--Martha from Duke and then Spectra Energy, Cynthia from BP and Phil from GM and Chrysler.

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Simply Brilliant

The price of a barrel of light, sweet crude is up almost 15% in the past week, flirting with $100 for the past two days. Even though Libya supplies less than 3% of the world's oil, the violent turn to the demonstrations there has amplified the sense brought on by events in Tunisia and Egypt that the entire Middle East is prepared to agitate for change--at any price. There have even been whispers that Saudi Arabia could go. Unthinkable a few short weeks ago.

The price spike, the unease, anxiety, rumors--all sharply spotlight a challenge the world sidesteps in calmer times: how to address global dependence on a finite resource that is controlled by a small number of countries--dependence that is becoming increasingly complex as growth continues apace in India, China, Brazil and other emerging economies? And, digging deeper, how to address it in an environmentally sound manner?

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Vital Energy

There's nothing I love more than a maverick. By that measure, Boone Pickens has my heart.

Trained geologist, Texas oilman, vintage corporate raider, 21st century billionaire investor and philanthropist, at 82 years old he's going strong. And for the last two and a half years he's been a visible, dynamic force focused on a topic of vital importance to the United States: energy independence.

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