WASHINGTON -- A solar-powered icemaker made by Energy Concepts Co. of Annapolis is the only feasible way for many people in developing countries to have refrigeration, according to the company's founder, Donald Erickson. But developing and marketing the product has been stymied by the lumbering U.S. government bureaucracy, Mr. Erickson told a Senate committee yesterday.
Arguing that the country was missing out on an enormous world market for emerging environmental technologies, Mr. Erickson was testifying on behalf of a bill introduced by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., that would establish a new federal agency to coordinate and fund the research, development and marketing of environmentally sound technologies and products.
"While we win the [Nobel science] prizes, other countries win the markets," Ms. Mikulski told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
"It is in this field [environmental technology] that the next economic superpowers will emerge."
Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, chairman of the committee, agreed that "technology can do for our environment what it did for our national defense." Currently, so-called green technology programs are poorly coordinated and driven by agency regulations rather than market demands, he said.