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Congress Needs To Think Like A VC

When it comes to alternative energy, Congress should follow the lead of the folks on Sand Hill Road, says Illinois Congressman Bill Foster. “Congress has to look at it like a venture capitalist,” says Foster, “We have to pick winners and losers, there’s no escaping it.”

Foster, a former physicist turned Democratic politician, was one of the dozens of Congressman who attended an evening reception hosted by TechNet, a technology policy group that counts Google, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, and other leading technology companies among its members.

TechNet needs politicians like Foster who believe the government should foster investment in new alternative energy solutions and clean tech products. The group came to the Democratic National Convention to alert politicians to the alternative energy solutions out there and urge them to support their development through tax credits that reward R&D and consumers who opt for clean tech solutions.

Foster was not the only politician who agrees with parts of TechNet's agenda. Also at the party was Michael Skelly, a Texas Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives, who founded renewable energy firm Horizon Wind Energy. Skelly believes that the government should set agressive time tables for fueling the country with alternative energy sources. "I understand the promise of renewables," says Skelly.

Both entreprenuers said they are Democrats, in part, because the party has expressed strong support for government's role in developing alternative energy sources. Their sentiments echo a recent poll by TechNet finding that technology employees support Barack Obama and the Democrats by a factor of four to one.

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