IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

"America's House Divided": Intelligence Squared Debates Ask: Can Clean Energy Drive America's Economic Recovery?

Bill Ritter, Former Governor of Colorado and Kassia Yanosek, Founding Principal of Tana Energy Capital vs. Acclaimed Authors and Climate Experts Robert Bryce and Steven Hayward
/ Source: GlobeNewswire

Bill Ritter, Former Governor of Colorado and Kassia Yanosek, Founding Principal of Tana Energy Capital vs. Acclaimed Authors and Climate Experts Robert Bryce and Steven Hayward

Debate to Broadcast on NPR Stations Nationwide and Telecast on Bloomberg TV Globally Beginning March 14 at 9PM EST

NEW YORK, March 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Can clean energy transform America's lagging economy?

In the latest round in America's premier debate series, Intelligence Squared Debates (IQ2US), Bill Ritter, the former governor of Colorado, who established the state as a leader in renewable energy joins Kassia Yanosek, co-founder of the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance support the motion while Robert Bryce, author of "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future" and Steven Hayward, author of "Almanac of Environmental Trends" oppose it.

This latest intellectual matchup was IQ2US's third in its themed season, "America's House Divided." The debate was moderated by ABC News Nightline's John Donvan.

Key excerpts from the debate include:


"If I were the king, if I were the energy czar, I'd say let's go nuclear in a big way because of the obvious benefits. And I think that the people who are, in my view -- if you are anti-carbon dioxide and anti-nuclear, you're pro-blackout."


 "But with the collapse of meaningful climate legislation here and abroad, and the arrival of the great recession, suddenly the argument for clean energy has been shifted…clean energy will make us richer, it is the path to prosperity itself. Happy days are here again. It's the new domain of free lunch economics, I call it three lumens. Now, the basic problem with so-called clean energy is that nearly every form of it is more expensive than the fossil fuel energy it seeks to displace."


"You can't make small of 2,600 jobs in a state like Colorado, it's five million people.  And a variety of other parts of the wind manufacturing have it in Pennsylvania, you have it, I think, in Ohio, you have it in Iowa.  Where there is wind manufacturing, you cannot do those jobs in Canada, or China, and it's part of the reason that's just located there.  But even as it relates to solar.  I wonder if there's a debate in China tonight, where they're saying, 'you know, SunTech moved to Arizona, and they're making things in Arizona, and so, this is a bad thing for us to do in China, to invest in an innovation economy.' They're not doing that."


 "We need to develop the energy economy the way we did the I.T. And we're starting to do that. Clean tech really is where information technology was 30 years ago and where biotech was 20 years ago. So we're at the beginning of a very long and prosperous future for this sector…we need a portfolio of energy choice. Dependence on fossil fuels doesn't help economic recovery."

Before the debate, the IQ2US audience voted with the following:

  • 46 % of audience agreeing with the resolution
  • 21 % of audience against the resolution
  • 33 % undecided

After carefully considering the points, Robert Bryce and Steven Hayward won the debate -- the team that moves the most votes at the end of the evening is determined the winner.

  • 43 % of audience agreeing with the resolution
  • 47 % of audience against the resolution
  • 10 % undecided

For the first time, Intelligence Squared Debates streamed their debate live on Facebook, and there were two organized viewing parties in Washington, DC and San Francisco.

To learn more about the debate and review a detailed breakdown of how the audience voted pre- and post-debate, please visit our Facebook page at:

The showdown at NYU's Skirball Center in New York City (566 LaGuardia Place) put the leading public intellectuals in the limelight in front of a live sold-out audience of 800for nearly two hours of heated debate.


  • To view transcripts and videos, download audio or video clips or learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. please visit:
  • Bloomberg TV will air the debate on March 14, 15 and 16 at 9:00pm EST with additional repeats ongoing throughout the weekend. To find Bloomberg TV in your area, please visit:
  • NPR will air the debate on stations nationwide and provide podcast availability to download (need exact language from NPR). Please check with your local NPR stations for additional details or visit:
  • Dana Wolfe is the executive producer of Intelligence Squared Debates.
  • 2011 marks Intelligence Squared Debates fifth series and is themed, "America's House Divided." IQ2US' first debate of the spring season featured health care reform. Upcoming debates this season will focus on: America's global reach and immigration. IQ2US' 2010 fall season highlighted issues including: the treatment of captured terrorists, whether Islam is a religion of peace, big government, the war in Afghanistan and airport profiling.


Rethink your point of view with Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US), Oxford-style debates live from New York City. Based on the highly successful debate program based in London, Intelligence Squared, Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented 47 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From global warming and the financial crisis, to Afghanistan/Pakistan and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared brings together the world's leading authorities on the day's most important issues.

Since its inception in 2006, the goals have been to provide a new forum for intelligent discussion, grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis; to transcend the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological; and to encourage recognition that the opposing side has intellectually respectable views.

The Rosenkranz Foundation initiated the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series and continues to provide major support.

CONTACT: Press Contact: Robert Pini 212.918.2048 / 917.674.6575