The Washington Times - September 15, 2008, 05:45PM

The U.S. ambassador to Sweden, Michael Wood, may have been appointed by a president considered a friend of the oil industry, but he has made alternative energy the focus on this tenure in Stockholm.

“For the past two years, I have traveled to all 21 [provinces] visiting Swedish alternative energy companies. I compiled information about these companies into a list, sometimes simply called the Ambassador’s List, which I have shared with American investors,” Mr. Wood wrote in an article in the Svenska Dagbladet last week.

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“My hope is that these great Swedish ideas can grow and spread through partnership with American investors, researchers and alternative energy companies,” he said.

Even though the United States depends “on other nations for more than half of our oil needs,” that dependence is “not a great problem if the sources are diversified,” he said, warning Europe that it is “at risk, because it relies too much on one unreliable energy supplier: Russia.”

“Keep developing alternative fuels,” Mr. Wood wrote. “Ethanol instead of gasoline, biogas instead of natural gas, solar and wind power instead of coal; all of these steps will reduce dependence on imported oil and natural gas while also cutting carbon emissions. Sweden leads the world in alternative energy technology. I will continue my efforts to create lasting linkages between energy innovators in the U.S. and Sweden.”

Mr. Wood is a political appointee and former CEO of Hanley Wood, LLC, a “media company in the housing and construction industry,” according to his embassy’s Web site.

Nicholas Kralev, diplomatic correspondent, The Washington Times