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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Technology Note

Air Date: Week of

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Living on Earths Jennifer Chu reports on out-of-state business developers who are promising cheap and abundant energy to California companies if they move to their states.


CHU: In the past, out-of-state business developers had a hard sell trying to entice Silicon Valley companies to relocate. Tax breaks weren't always enough, and even Fairfax, Virginia's offer of free parking and no marauding SUVs couldn't convince the dot-coms to move out of sunny California. But now, several state commerce departments have started using California's energy crunch to attract business. Tennessee is one state advertising cheap and abundant power. It recently distributed flashlights to 1,000 California businesses with the message, "The next time the lights go out, use this to find your way to Tennessee." Utah mailed off several hundred packages of batteries with the question, "Are you in the dark about where to grow your business?" Even Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is getting in on the power play. A billboard sponsored by his snowy state welcomes commuters to San Jose with the words, "Whiteouts occasional, blackouts never." State officials say they'll follow up their pitches with letters and phone calls, and wine and dine company CEOs while whispering sweet kilowatts in their ears. With more than 30 days of rolling blackouts expected in California this summer, many other states will be keeping their lights on for companies in the dark. That's this week's business note. I'm Jennifer Chu.

CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.

(Music up and under: Drowning, Not Waving, "Willow Tree")



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