The Inland Empire is a vastly arid region, and according to Granillo, water and energy conservation are priorities because the population will increase by two million people.
Riverside, CA (PRWEB) May 09, 2013
Paul Granillo, stated that IEEP "is continuing their mission to develop the political and financial capital to support and enhance the economic vitality and quality of life for the region." IEEP was created by a small group of business magnates in the cities of Riverside and San Bernardino. They were companies like Yeager Construction and others who saw a need for a regional approach to reach out to federal and state governments in order to deal with many of the expanding population issues.
“These two cities are separated by only 12 miles, so there definitely was a need for cooperation,” Granillo said.
Granillo has been president of the IEEP for three years and says that too often the Inland Empire is forgotten in the vast economic landscape of California despite being the home to 4.2 million residents. “If we were a state,” he said, “we’d be the 26th largest in the country.”
The IEEP works with labor and business leaders to make sure the region is represented in federal as well as state governments. Granillo says the IEEP is “well received” because they are a “convener.” Their mission, he says, is to create a leadership group that comes together to tackle some very important issues that affect many people.
One of the many issues is energy independence. “We need to change our mindset,” he said. The Inland Empire is a vastly arid region, and according to Granillo, water and energy conservation are priorities because the population will increase by two million people. Southern California Edison and The Gas Company are members of the IEEP, and he says they are constantly looking at these issues.
When asked about the need to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations, Granillo replied by saying that we should help the construction community if possible because they are “gun-shy” of investing in a new technology that has yet to be worked out. However, he added, “There are ways right now in new construction to make sure that we’re putting in the basic infrastructure so that when those decisions are made, when the need is there, it’s not going to be cost prohibitive. We can be thinking ahead to provide this service down the road.”
About the commercialization of solar energy, Granillo said, “We have to look at the almost 20,000 square miles of desert that is part of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. There’s a great opportunity for us to use pieces of that in order to provide solar energy into the grid.” He also sees it as a jobs issue, and believes the Inland Empire could be an “absolute leader in renewable energy,” but also voiced his concern at proceeding “with respect to the environment.”
However, when asked about the need to build new transmission lines, he cautioned, “it is a hard issue to grapple with. You see a lot of people who look at renewable energy as the future. We need to see that the same people, who are really in favor of renewable energy, also don’t become a stumbling block when it comes to putting in place the infrastructure that would make that possible. It calls for a need of political leadership in a very difficult decision of land use.”