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May 7, 2013

Host: Ted Simons

Focus on Sustainability: Phoenix Cool Roofs

  |   Video
  • The city of Phoenix has started a project to paint 70,000 square feet of rooftops white to cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next year, an army of volunteers will paint rooftops at community centers, fire stations and housing communities as part of a $100,000 service grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Cynthia Aguilar, of the Phoenix Manager's Office, will talk about the Cool Roofs project.
  • Cynthia Aguilar - Phoenix Manager's Office
  • Colin Tretreault, Mayor's Office Advisor
Category: Sustainability   |   Keywords: sustainability, phoenix, cool, roofs,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: In tonight's focus on sustainability, we look at the city of Phoenix Cool Roof Project. It's a program designed to cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. For more, we welcome Cynthia Aguilar of the Phoenix managers office, and Colin Tretreault, of the sustainability advisor for the mayor's office. Colin, I almost got that name right. I came so close.

Colin Tretreault: It's OK, ever since first grade.

Ted Simons: I bet. Let's talk about the cool roof project. What exactly is this?

Cynthia Aguilar: It's a brand-new volunteer initiative in the city of Phoenix that's going to engage over 300 volunteers and essentially coating over 70,000 square feet of city rooftops between now and January of 2014.

Ted Simons: These are city buildings?

Cynthia Aguilar: They are.

Ted Simons: How do you decide which buildings to coat?

Cynthia Aguilar: There are several criteria. Safety for volunteers, condition of the roof, where we will really get the most money for the bang if you will.

Ted Simons: We're looking at folks right now, they're basically putting white paint on the top of roofs, it makes sense. It reflects the sun.

Colin Tretreault: Absolutely. It makes great sense. It's a business decision, it's a smart decision from a sustainability perspective and for the environment as well.

Ted Simons: Community centers, fire stations, all sorts of city buildings involved?

Colin Tretreault: Absolutely. We're looking at a wide array of buildings.

Ted Simons: How much energy saved do you think?

Colin Tretreault: It will depend on the facility, but you can look on 10-15%. Upward to 20% just by the reflective coating.

Ted Simons: I keep hearing greenhouse gas emissions are at play as well. How do you cut down by painting a rooftop white?

Colin Tretreault: The sun comes down, what that does is the white roof reflects the heat up off the roof. By doing such it reduces the load and need for the air conditioners to run on a regular basis. You don't run your air conditioner as much, you don't use as much electricity, don't produce as many greenhouse gas emissions.

Ted Simons: Who is going to do all the work?

Cynthia Aguilar: Hundreds of volunteers. The city of Phoenix is partnering with hands on greater Phoenix and we're currently recruiting, we have a project this weekend coming up and we'll be doing several more throughout the year.

Ted Simons: City workers are going to be involved a little bit?

Cynthia Aguilar: Yes. There are several city departments, the planning and development department, public works. So it is really a team effort.

Ted Simons: What kind of costs? A roof, just give us a general cost of painting a roof white.

Cynthia Aguilar: We did a 5,000 square foot senior center, and I'd say their approximate cost was about $700 in material.

Ted Simons: In material and occasional folks from the city helping out.

Cynthia Aguilar: Correct.

Ted Simons: How -- Give us a timetable. When did it start, how long does it go on?

Colin Tretreault: The city of Phoenix has been a leader in sustainability for many years. In until now we've painted over 500,000 square feet of our city facilities white. And we're looking forward in the next year to do another 700,000 square feet, paint white, reduce energy and be a smart environmental steward as well.

Ted Simons: When you paint white, we touched on this earlier, it not only coats the roof and reflects the sun, but it keeps the nice cool air from escaping.

Colin Tretreault: That's right. So it helps the building portfolio, but it also helps us address something called the urban heat island effect, which is particularly impactful in relevant to the Phoenix area.

Ted Simons: Indeed. A grant from bloomberg philanthropies, talk to us about this.

Cynthia Aguilar: Last year the city of Phoenix was awarded a grant from the cities of service, which is a nonprofit coalition to essentially launch volunteer initiatives throughout the country.

Ted Simons: More grants likely down the pike or how is this going to work?

Cynthia Aguilar: Yes. It's the impact volunteering fund, and later this summer they'll be announcing a new round of grants.

Ted Simons: Was this based on any other cities doing this, or did you look at other communities, municipalities and say, we can do this?

Colin Tretreault: Great question. Certainly there are other fantastic cities doing fantastic sustainability work. But this is an imperative of I think the city manager and Mayor Stanton in order to view sustainability as a great opportunity to push our city forward from an innovation and economic perspective as well.

Ted Simons: So were there other models out there? It seemed there would be.

Cynthia Aguilar: This is being modeled after the city of New York, hence Mayor Bloomberg's involvement to try to promote this. This year Phoenix and Pittsburgh are launching this for the first time.

Ted Simons: I would imagine the sun -- The sun reflecting off roofs in Phoenix will make a bigger difference than Pittsburgh and New York. Thanks for joining us.

Sequestration Impact on Arizona

  |   Video
  • It’s been a couple of months since the across-the-board federal budget cuts known as "sequestration" started. Barry Broome, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, says the cuts could be worse for Arizona than the housing bubble. Broome will talk about the impacts of the sequester.
  • Barry Broome - President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: sequester, impact, economy,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: It's been a couple of months since across the board federal budget cuts began. How much has the Sequester impacted Arizona, and what can the state expect if budget cuts continue? Joining us now is Barry Broome, president and CEO of the greater Phoenix economic council. Barry, always a pleasure. Good to have you here. What have we seen, what are the early impacts so far of Sequestration?
Barry Broome: Probably the most obvious impacts of sequestration are what's happening to the high-tech supply chain in the greater Phoenix region. Which is where most of our research engineering talent is sitting once you get beyond Intel, Raytheon, Honeywell, and Boeing. One-fourth of those companies are already starting to contract about 50% of the companies are stagnant. So the big concern that we have on these defense cuts and these cuts on sequestration is, what is being cut that won't come back?

Ted Simons: Again, you mentioned the big one, Intel and Honeywell and Raytheon and such, it's those smaller businesses that are so hard to recreate. Correct?

Barry Broome: Right. The good news for all of us in Arizona, I think Raytheon and Boeing and Honeywell have thought through in a very complicated way what is going to happen with these defense cuts, their investment grade global companies, they plan for market changes, five-seven years in advance. But there are over 114 companies in the valley that have over 30,000 jobs alone that are sitting with 100-200 employees, many of them research engineers, high-level technicians that don't have the wherewithal or ability to plan for these cuts. They respond to servicing and providing value-added services to the defense industry. When those supply chains get fractured and damaged, you can't really recreate them because it takes years and years for these small teams of companies to work together to provide services that are necessary to the big prime contractors to the defense industry.

Ted Simons: Did you see some of this happening even before sequestration began because of the threat of these cuts?

Barry Broome: Well, obviously the interesting thing about the supply in the greater Phoenix market, we found two or three things very interesting. One, it was very high end talent supply chain. So our original thought was, well, if the major prime contractors are providing subwork to another company, that must be work that is inferior on the technical level. Who would they trust with the technical expertise of their products? We found a lot of these companies in the valley are providing the technical expertise to the Apache helicopter, or the predator in California. We also found that the small companies were very tied to California and Texas economies. Even though they were in the valley, the idea that they were downwind so to speak from Boeing and Honeywell, weren't necessarily true. So having all these defense contractors getting prepared for this, the minute the policy was enacted, which I think is almost two years ago, has started to have that effect, but as these cuts come down, these small compelling companies are going to be irreparably damaged by these cuts and you won't be able to put these companies back together. When the country needs them during national defense or when we want to shift towards a more technology or export industry play.

Ted Simons: I've heard it described as not so much a cliff regarding sequestration, but a more rolling effect. Does that make sense to you?

Barry Broome: It does. That's actually a worse case scenario for a market. So if you take a market like ours, and you took semi conductor, for instance, a lot of people know or forget that Motorola drove the entire technology position of this market from the early 1940s clear up into the 1990s. That company for all intent and purposes is gone. The jobs were absorbed by construction retail and growth jobs. What was lost was, you know, high-end, intellectually property driven, high-end engineering and research engineering jobs. We can track the personal income loss in the valley back to the wind-down of Motorola. It's an effect that's very hard for people to see, but it's a very deep symptom that sometime stays in the economy today. The valley to this day is still suffering economically from the loss of Motorola. So these slow cuts tend to be hard for the eye to see top line performance things like revenue to government and things like that, can be replaced with a volume of jobs. What can't be replaced is knowledge and competency. So these sequestration cuts, they're indiscriminate, they will cut the good with the bad, these are heavy cuts that are consistent over a 10 year period and really creates what I call slow death to the innovation capabilities of the defense industries in the United States.

Ted Simons: And how dependent is Arizona on defense? Are we more so other regions, which would mean we would get hit more so than other areas?

Barry Broome: That becomes the question. So this is -- These are classic mistakes if you will, that people make. Because our defense assets are so wonderful, and so capable, we feel like they're safe. But at the same time, when you're making cuts of this magnitude, you're going to go where the larger markets are. If you're cutting a budget, if you're a state government, that was one of the conversations we have with our state government about cuts in education and health care, their response was, that's where the money is at. And right now we're the fifth biggest defense market in the United States of America. So when these cuts come down, we're going to be impacted even though we have tremendous confidence and capabilities, we have to guard against that. To give you the number that probably we need to pay the most attention to, Arizona's 75% of Arizona's research and development position as a state about 5.2 billion dollars on annual research and development activity comes out of the defense sector for or five companies predominantly. So if you cut those companies' capabilities, if you just cut it by 20%, it would be the equivalent of wiping out our entire higher education community from an innovation standpoint.

Ted Simons: Yet let's get to philosophy here, because we'll have people who call in, write in, who say these are government created jobs and they are built on borrowed money, and it's not the free market at its most pristine and at its best and most effective. They see government jobs here, they say this is not the kind of stable work Arizona should be looking for. How do you respond to that?

Barry Broome: First off, the defense industry built the entire export position in Arizona. Motorola came here as a manufacturing company to supply defense contractors. Licensed the chip out of bell labs and built what we know as Motorola. Most of our software development and electronics capability here in the valley that made us such a great economic powerhouse all comes out of defense. The internet, most medical development technologies, most imaging technologies, most computer and electronics technologies are all byproduct of defense industries. So even when the defense industries curtail a little bit, their ability to commercialize, or civilianize those technologies has led to most of the great things going on in the U.S. economy. So you have the center of national defense on the line, you have Arizona's number one export industry on the line, you have 75% of our R and D position, and you have the industry that created all the other compelling industries here. So there's a lot on the line, and we need to be on the balls of our feet and fighting for these jobs. I want to thank Senator John McCain for leading the effort in Arizona, Mayor Stanton has done a great job with the city of Phoenix. We can't be complacent just because it's a long fight.

Ted Simons: You've been quoted as saying this could be worse for Arizona than the housing crisis was. You're still standing by that?

Barry Broome: It will be worse than the housing crisis. Here's why -- In two years, the housing crisis was a temporary suffering. So in two years what's going to happen to home values, they're going to be stable and pretty much back to the high point. We're going to replace to 50,00 construction jobs that we lost. The fees and the economic that are -- Income that were spun into our governments are going to be recollected. The housing markets are already coming back year to year, in some cases 35%. We've never recovered from an export industry position from the loss of Motorola, which is now going on 12 or 13 years. And R and D positions are so difficult to recreate, that if we lose our R and D position in this industry, it will make the long-term economic well-being of Arizona will be far more damaged by that than the real estate crisis of the last five years.

Ted Simons: All right. Barry, good to have you here. Thanks for joining us.

Barry Broome: Thank you.

Solar Impulse

  |   Video
  • Saturday just after midnight, history was made at Sky Harbor Airport. That’s when the solar-powered plane “Solar Impulse” landed on the first stop of its trip across the country. The plane can fly at 40-miles-per-hour day or night. Pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg talk about the revolutionary aircraft.
  • Bertrand Piccard - Pilot
  • André Borschberg - Pilot
Category: Sustainability   |   Keywords: solar energy, solar flight, air travel,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Sky Harbor made history this past Saturday when just after midnight a solar-powered plane landed on the first stop of a trip across the country. Here to talk about the solar powered aircraft are its pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. Good to have you both here. Thanks for joining us.

André Borschberg/Bertrand Piccard: It's a pleasure.

Ted Simons: OK. The solar-powered impulse. What are we talking about here?

Bertrand Piccard: We're talking of an airplane which has the wingspan of a jumbo jet 747 and the weight after small car. And this allows this plane to be so energy efficient that it can fly day and night on solar power with absolutely no fuel.

Ted Simons: And so obviously solar-powered, how was the solar integrated into the plane?

André Borschberg: We have solar cells which are -- Make the surface of the wing and the horizontal stabilizer. They provide the lift and the energy. What's interesting, you can fly during the day, you can climb to 30,000 feet, you can still at the same time fill up the batteries up, so the more you fly more energy you get in the airplane.

Ted Simons: Day and night, that means you can store enough to where when nighttime comes you're still in the air.
Bertrand Piccard: Exactly. This is really important for people to understand that, now with these technologies and renewable sources of energy, we can achieve things that are absolutely incredible. Things that people didn't think possible, in the air. So of course on the ground we can use them also.

Ted Simons: Sure. Sure. OK. You mentioned the weight of an average car. How fast does it go?

Bertrand Piccard: We cannot go as fast as the F51 last week --

Ted Simons: Sure, sure.

Bertrand Piccard: We're flying about 45 to 50 miles per hour.

Ted Simons: And when you're going the 45 to 50 miles an hour, I'm guessing it's a solar plane, doesn't make much noise, does it?

André Borschberg: You don't have to go down to refuel, so you can continue however long you want. It doesn't make any noise, that's true. Sometimes you can hear the airplanes before you can see them.

Ted Simons: Can it go through clouds?

André Borschberg: No, this is the first airplane we build, it's fully experimental, it's designed to demonstrate we can fly day and night. It flies so well we accepted the invitation to do the first international flights in Brussels and now the first coast-to-coast flight in the country.

Ted Simons: We're seeing you take off from Mountain View, California. This is the trip that took you to Phoenix. This has to be a hoot, really has to be something up there to flying this plane.

Bertrand Piccard: Especially when you have people taking pictures from the helicopters. Well, you have to really imagine that it's very strange for pilot to fly an airplane like this, because it has a lot of inertia, it's sensitive to turbulence, but at the same time it's a unique airplane, there are no other airplanes like this in the world. So when you're sitting in it it's a privilege. You feel you represent not only the team who has built it, but you represent also the thousands of people who have signed up on our home page in order to have their name carried in the cockpit with us across America. And they're all people who speak out for renewable energies, clean technologies, so it's our responsibility to carry their names across the country.

Ted Simons: You mentioned turbulence and I ask you about turbulence as well, how much tush dense can it take right now?

André Borschberg: For pilots we cannot moderate turbulence but we try to avoid it. We take off early in the morning, land between 12 and 1 o’ clock in the morning, because of the wind. But also because of the traffic. We need a full runway for operations, and due to that, the airports accept us late at night.

Ted Simons: Here we're seeing you landing at Sky Harbor. I can't believe that the city didn't turn itself upside down with thoughts a UFO landing. But that is so impressive, and again, when you're talking solar, and you're talking you're up there long enough, you can stay up there as long as you darn well please, huh?

Bertrand Piccard: Yes. The plane could fly nonstop from San Francisco to New York. But the pilot is less sustainable than the airplane so we have to land, change the pilot, that's why he does some legs I do others, and it gives the opportunity for people to see the plane. If we were flying nonstop nobody would see it.

Ted Simons: The first stop after transcontinental flight, Mountain View to Phoenix, where do you go next?

Bertrand Piccard: Dallas Fort Worth.

Ted Simons: When are you leaving?

Bertrand Piccard: As soon as the weather in Texas is good. Here it's not a problem. We have to take care of the weather on route.

Ted Simons: Regarding be the experimental nature of the plane and where it goes from here, obviously weather is a factor right now for this kind of plane. How long before weather doesn't become that much of a factor?

André Borschberg: We realize we are like 1915 when people were trying to cross the United States, cross the ocean. We hope to be able to do it in two years with the second airplane under construction, and in two years we'll attempt to fly around the world. So we are very early. It took 25 years between the Wright brothers' first flight until Charles Lindbergh could cross the Atlantic, another 25 years to have passengers across the same ocean.

Ted Simons: With that in mind, why are you doing this? Why is this important?

Bertrand Piccard: Because we believe that for the challenges of our world today, we need pioneering spirits. We need innovation. We need creative ways of thinking. Out of the box, maybe even out of the grid. And we want to inspire people in schools, in Universities, political worlds, also for the public, and demonstrate that all the technology, clean technologies exist already now to make a big difference in everyday life. And this creates jobs, it makes profit, and at the same time it protects the environment. So it's a big win-win. And if we show it in a spectacular way with the solar airplane, people are passionate, and they listen and they follow the message.

Ted Simons: Same question to you as well, when someone says this is all great, but why? How do you respond?

André Borschberg: Interestingly, the partners with whom we work, about companies, do not come aviation. They come from different fields, chemical industry, semi conductors, these companies are interested in products which help us to reduce our energy consumption. Keep the same quality of life, but using less energy. What you have on this aircraft can be used on the ground. You can have solar cells on your home, the batteries in your car,the insulation in your refrigerators, that's the motivation of these partnerships.

Bertrand Piccard: You see the 16 landing lights on the plane, all together it's used as 150 Watts. It's like light bulbs of a bedroom. And if we were using these technologies everywhere in the world, we could already divide by two our energy consumption today, and produce half of the needs with renewable sources. And this is a demonstration of this.

Ted Simons: Is that message getting across? Are people listening and taking -- Is there still a lot of naysayers, critics questioning what you're doing?

Bertrand Piccard: Some people are a little bit old fashioned in their way of thinking, but not in Arizona. In Arizona we have a wonderful meeting with madam governor, with Ken Bennett --

Ted Simons: secretary of state, yes.

Bertrand Piccard: And they all expressed their interest in energy efficiency, solar energy, so here we feel at home, I tell you.

André Borschberg: For the people who believe that this is important, that this industry has real potential, they should sign up on our website and show that we are not the only one.

Ted Simons: All right. Very good. Good information, gentlemen. Safe travels. Good to have you here. Thanks for joining us.