Delaware companies talked face-to-face with U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and other White House officials Thursday at a town meeting co-hosted by Gov. Jack Markell.

The event, which was also hosted by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, highlighted the success local companies are having creating jobs in industries that protect the environment, such as alternative energy and energy conservation.

Executives from White Optics, Delawind, Solarport, Flexara and W.L. Gore explained how their companies have succeeded at putting Delaware on the leading edge of the Green Economy. Success of companies like these is critical to getting our economy going again and protecting the environment from global warming and other harmful impacts of climate change.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen our local and national economy,” Markell said. “We’re making solid progress in Delaware and I believe we’re well on our way to emerging as a leading example of a green economy.”

During the past legislative session, Markell proposed and then signed into law mandatory consumption reduction targets of 15% by 2015, aggressive new building codes and other bold actions promoting energy efficiency.

“The first step towards creating a green economy is championing energy efficiency and conservation,” Markell said. “Every dollar saved by energy efficiency is a dollar that could be spent supporting the local economy.”