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Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 06:19 am



Solar panels and pedal power are all one man needs in his latest effort to change the way the U.S. gets its energy. Tom Weis, an activist and former wind energy consultant, stopped his “rocket trike” in Springfield for a day this week on a ride from Boulder, Colo., to Washington, D.C.

Weis is collecting signatures for a petition – available online at – that he’ll present to federal lawmakers after he completes his 2,500-mile ride. The petition calls for the nation to develop a 100 percent renewable energy grid by 2020. Weis likens his goal for the nation to President John F. Kennedy’s goal to put man on the moon.

Weis’s mode of transportation – a German-made recumbent three-wheel bike with a lightweight carbon fiber shell, electric assist battery and solar powered headlights and blinkers – is just one example of what the U.S. should be exploring with greater vigor, he says. “It represents the creative potential of humans to do things differently,” he says. “When people see it they get excited.”

Weis is the president of Climate Crisis Solutions, an environmental consulting firm.