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Pittsburgh Renews Itself With ‘Green’ Technologies

Pittsburgh, once described as the nation's "dirtiest city," is working hard to reverse that image with new energy efficient initiatives. Paul Solman looks at how the Steel City has become reinvigorated by implementing new "green" energy technologies.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Next, we continue our spotlight city week in Pittsburgh. Tonight, economics correspondent Paul Solman looks at efforts to develop clean energy in a city that was once one of the dirtiest in the U.S.

  • ANDREW HANNAH, CEO, Plextronics:

    That's how simple the process is.

  • PAUL SOLMAN, NewsHour Economics Correspondent:

    Entrepreneur Andrew Hannah thinks investment in solar power, mainly his own new technology, could solve the energy crisis in, of all places, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

  • ANDREW HANNAH:

    I think with a few billion dollars we can change the world.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    We'll show you Hannah's magic in a bit. But for this story, what matters is that there could be American answers to global warming, helping us compete and save the world at the same time, and that many of them are based where the seeds of the global warming crisis were arguably first planted.

    The problem started to some degree with the burning of Pennsylvania trees and coal to feed America's growing energy appetite. Another key historical event: the state's response to the whale oil crisis, says local economist Lester Lave.

  • LESTER LAVE, Economist, Carnegie Mellon University:

    In the 19th century, we were using whale oil for lighting. It was the best way to get light at night. The problem was that there were only so many whales and we had more people around.

    And so basically there just wasn't enough whale oil, so what happened was that, in western Pennsylvania, they discovered oil.

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