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Senator Warner talked to a group of Virginia's agricultural leaders yesterday about the role they can play in creating America's new green energy economy.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch covered the event

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner said America is "by no means in the lead" in developing alternative energy sources. But he said Virginia could take the lead by developing its nuclear-power industry, using its research into the efficient use of coal and exploiting "the enormous opportunity in the wind area, not just on shore, but offshore, too.

"We don't know what technologies are going to be the winner," Warner said. "So we have to push them all and make this truly a national priority."

In his remarks, the Senator talked about the current research into alternative energy by Virginia's universitites and businesses and emphasized the need to improve the distribution system for energy by upgrading to a more efficient and cost-effective "smart grid" (which would also create jobs).  

He also talked about a subject close to his heart: increasing access to broadband to our rural areas, to connect our agriculture communities to the global economy:

"Imagine if, 100 years ago, it was determined that if your town wasn’t on a railroad -- or 50 years ago, that if your town wasn’t on an interstate highway -- then your community got left behind. What a tremendous disservice to people living in rural parts of America. Modern IT infrastructure is a critical part of any kind of plan to reinvigorate the economies of our rural communities."