Guests and Topics for February 8, 2012

Lone Star state!

We’ve rolled our 30 Million Jobs tour into Austin, Texas — a hotspot of innovation and creativity in the middle of the American heartland.  All week we’re going to focus on solving America’s energy problems.  We are kicking off today with a discussion of how the fossil fuels industry has teamed up with D.C. politicians to make sure the prices of oil, gas, and coal stay dirt cheap.

Joining us is Brian Merchant of TreeHugger.com, whose article Unearthing the True Cost of Fossil Fuels (you should check out if you haven’t yet!) was published yesterday.  In his article, Brian points out how the energy industry has rigged the market to favor dirty energy— while hobbling innovation in clean energy and dumping the costs industry should be paying onto the taxpayer.  As we explain:

Industry gets tax breaks, subsidies, military support in volatile regions, the right to use our air and water like a sewer, and assurance that the government will clean up its environmental messes. Politicians get campaign contributions, a steady flow of dirty energy, and a talking point to brandish about how they kept gas affordable.

But the American public just gets screwed.

Also joining us from New York is a top climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  On the Megapanel today, we’ve got Jonathan Capehart (down here in Texas with us!) Imogen Lloyd Webber and Rob Cox in New York.  We’ll talk about Santorum’s trifecta yesterday, what it means for Romney and Newt’s campaigns.

Operation Free: Employing returning vets!

Later in the show, we have a proposal:  what if we employed our returning vets to solve our energy independence issues?  That’s exactly what Operation Free is trying to accomplish. We’ll talk to someone who is doing just that: Liz Perez, Navy veteran and founder of GC Green, a General Contracting firm providing Veteran-based workforce and construction solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Finally, we’ll talk about innovation in entertainment and tech with two people who know it best — Alan Berg, the filmmaker behind Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW and Hugh Forrest, the director of the SXSW Interactive Festival.  SXSW is an incredible event for innovators in the tech, music and entertainment industries — you can learn more about the 2012 conference here, and check out the trailer for Outside Industry while you’re at it!

As always, join us on Twitter @DylanRatigan and on Facebook here. See you at 4PM ET (that’s 3PM Texas time! Yee haw!)