Two years ago, I tweeted that I was waiting for the day that our environmental heroes are honored during the little shout-out portion of the State of the Union. Well, if the list of Mrs. Obama's guests released by the White House before Tuesday's State of the Union are any indicator, that day may be today. Of the 21 named guests, 5 are directly involved in the clean energy industry. And while the guests may not consider themselves heroes — more than anything they will help President Obama tell a story and highlight some of the major themes of the speech — they are the closest we've come to having environmental heroes recognized in a State of the Union in a long time. Those 5 named guests are:
Alicia Boler-Davis, plant manager, General Motors Orion Assembly Detroit. Responsible for overseeing the production of the first new small car program from General Motors to be manufactured in the United States.
Jackie Bray, process operator at the Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub King's Mountain, N.C. A single mother who got laid off and then attended community college to qualify for her present job.
Mayor Julian Castro, San Antonio, Texas. Mayor Castro (has) announced that CPS Energy, a municipally owned utility, has entered negotiations to bring at least 800 jobs and $100 million in capital investment to San Antonio. This is expected to be one of the nation's largest solar projects resulting in 400 megawatts of zero-emissions solar energy.
Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, founder, president and CEO of Quality Electrodynamics Cleveland, Ohio. Fujita is creating high tech, advanced manufacturing jobs in the healthcare and energy sectors in the United States.
Bryan Ritterby, lab technician, Holland, Mich. A lab technician for Energetx Composites conducting material tests in the company's laboratory verifying materials to be used in wind turbine blades, as well as working on blade validation tests for all of the community scale wind blades Energetx is manufacturing.
On twitter? Use the #ecoSOTU hashtag to follow and participate in the energy and environment discussion about the State of the Union.