E.N. Thompson Forum Presents ‘Staying Ahead While Going Green’ Thursday, Oct. 14, at UNK

Dr. John Anderson
American Democracy Project coordinator, 308.865.8171

UNK- “Staying Ahead While Going Green” is the subject of an E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues presentation Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Christine Todd Whitman, president of the Whitman Strategy Group (WSG) consulting firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues, will be presenting via simulcast in Room 101 of the UNK Communications Center. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is the 15th Annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities, sponsored by the Nebraska Humanities Council.

Whitman’s firm offers a comprehensive set of solutions to problems facing businesses, organizations and governments; they have been at the forefront of helping leading companies find innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

Also, Whitman is co-chair of the Republican Leadership Council, which she founded with U.S. Sen. John Danforth. The RLC’s mission is to support fiscally conservative, socially tolerant candidates and to reclaim the word Republican. She is also the author of “It’s My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America,” which was a New York Times bestseller.

Whitman served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from January 2001 until June 2003. Before that appointment, she was the 50th governor of the New Jersey, serving as its first woman governor from 1994 until 2001.

As governor of New Jersey, Whitman received bipartisan praise for her commitment to preserve land as permanent green space. She was also recognized for instituting the most comprehensive beach monitoring system in the nation. As EPA administrator, she promoted environmental improvements such as watershed-based water protection policies. She championed regulations requiring non-road diesel engines to reduce sulfur emissions and established the first federal program to promote the redevelopment and reuse of previously contaminated industrial sites. Whitman is president of The Whitman Strategy Group, a consulting firm specializing in energy and environmental issues that offers a comprehensive set of solutions to problems facing businesses, organizations and governments, and which has been at the forefront of helping leading companies find solutions to environmental challenges.

“I’m very concerned about that (energy policy),” she said. “We need to elect people who are going to be serious about reaching the kind of compromises that will get us good policy. We’re looking at a 28 percent increase in electricity demand by 2035. Now that may sound like a long way away, but that’s tomorrow for utilities because of the kind of decisions they have to make on capital investment. We’ve got to get serious about what our mix of energy is going to look like. And we’ve got to do it now.”

Part of the challenge, the former Environmental Protection Agency head indicated, is that the hard left and the hard right have to “get away from talking about the climate change issue. That’s the political hot-button,” Whitman concluded. “If you talk about clean energy and green energy, you’ll get to the benefits that we’re looking for on the climate side.”

The lecture is presented jointly by the Nebraska Humanities Council, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues, Union Pacific and the University of Nebraska with support from the Cooper Foundation.