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Next Generation Vehicles: Addressing Air Quality, Fuel and Efficiency

Next Generation Vehicles: Addressing Air Quality, Fuel and Efficiency

By: Margaret Keliher, Board of Directors, Principal Solar and Michael Gorton, Chief Executive Officer / Chairman, Principal Solar

One hundred years ago, the automobile began showing up on the streets of our country. Many experts at the time opined that it was nothing more than a novelty. The horse, after all, had been the primary transportation source for thousands of years. Now, the car is mainstream and everything else is novelty - not to be taken seriously. The problem is that the internal combustion engine has not changed significantly since its introduction. It has been a great resource, yet it also has its weaknesses. The number one man-made contributor to dirty air is the automobile. Couple that with rising gas prices and national security issues associated with fuel resources, and one can clearly see why many are looking for alternatives to the gasoline powered internal combustion engine. The good news is there are two strong contenders to replace gasoline powered automobiles: electric vehicles and natural gas-powered vehicles.


Margaret Keliher
Margaret Keliher

Board of Directors, Principal Solar

Margaret Keliher is the Executive Director of Texas Business for Clean Air since 2007 and director at the Texas Institute. Ms. Keliher has a passion for finding solutions to America's energy problem and for developing business initiatives for clean air and energy independence.  She is the first female in the 157-year history of Dallas County to serve as County Judge. In 2002 Judge Keliher was appointed to an unexpired term as Dallas County Judge by the County Commissioners Court. She served as Dallas County Judge until 2007.

Judge Keliher came to the Chief Executive Officer's role on the Court after serving as Judge of the 44th Civil District Court of Dallas County since 1999. In that position she received accolades for her organizational skills and for innovative ideas in handling her docket and communicating with persons with business in her court. The 2001 Dallas Bar Association Judicial Evaluation ranked her as one of the hardest-working Civil District Court Judges, ranked among the top in judicial temperament and demeanor.

She came to the bench from Jones Day law firm where she handled commercial and business litigation. She was with Jones Day from 1992 until 1998. Before joining the firm, Judge Keliher was with the Dallas County District Attorney's office as a felony prosecutor for two years.. Prior to her law career, she was a Certified Public Accountant with Deloitte from 1977 until 1986. She earned a bachelors in accounting from the University of Virginia, and graduated cum laude from the SMU School of Law.

Michael Gorton
Michael Gorton

Chief Executive Officer / Chairman, Principal Solar

A quintessential entrepreneur, mentor, and company builder, Michael Gorton has proven to be a strategic visionary, impacting the telecommunications, music, and healthcare industries. As founding CEO of Teladoc, the nation's leading telehealth company, Michael pioneered a health care model in which members had access to telephonic physicians who could review medical records, treat, and prescribe medication that today supports the new paradigm in health care reform. As a founder and leader of Principal Solar, Michael applies his business expertise, scientific education, and training to the renewable energy sector – a strong voice and proponent of solar power.

Prior to this, Michael served as a partner of the Texas Acceleration Group (TAG), an entity formed to assist startup companies. Michael and other TAG partners founded Palo Duro Records to promote unknown country artist Shelley Laine. Within three years, Laine became the number one ranked independent artist in country music, was nominated for Best Female Artist in 2002, and put six songs on the charts.

In 1993, Michael founded Internet Global, a company that delivered the first DSL network and one of the first VOIP networks at a time when few people predicted the profound impact the Internet would have on communication and society. Prior to this, Michael worked as a project engineer at Dallas Power & Light dealing with power plants, distribution, transformer management, and integration of renewable energy into the grid.

Fueled by his passion for education, Michael has taught college courses in math, astronomy, and physics and published two novels and dozens of articles on topics ranging from physics to healthcare.

Michael earned his B.S. in Engineering from Texas Tech, his M.S. in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas, and his Juris Doctorate from Texas Wesleyan University.