Earlier this month, CRES joined the Conservative Energy Network (CEN) for our third-annual “fly-in” event, which was conducted virtually this year. The three-day series of more than 65 meetings brought together dozens of advocates from across the country for discussions with U.S. House and Senate Republicans and their staff members regarding federal investments in clean energy.
CEN is a nonprofit grassroots coalition of conservative families, farmers, business owners, and political and faith leaders who believe the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy will ensure the nation’s energy independence, protect American national security, conserve the natural beauty of our homeland, create new homegrown jobs, and guard against rising energy costs. During the meetings, these advocates focused on four main issues— energy storage, infrastructure, national security, and sustainable farming.
A group of advocates meet with Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN)
Meetings were held with the offices of lawmakers representing Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indian, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Additional advocates discuss clean energy with Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
The group touted the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (S. 627/H.R. 1684), which seeks to provide a 26 percent investment tax credit (ITC) to all energy storage projects in all applications.
Energy storage is the “holy grail” of the renewable sector because it has the potential to solve the intermittency challenge that is inherent in resources like wind and solar energy. As the share of clean power sources in energy generation increases, so will the need for advanced energy storage. Offering an ITC has proven to be effective with wind and solar development, so we’re hoping this bill will do the same for energy storage. Most of the lawmakers wanted to see this bill pass.
In addition, we spoke with many offices about the Growing Climate Solution Act (S. 1251/H.R. 2820), which will help farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners earn carbon credits for adopting climate-friendly agricultural practices. It’s a voluntary, natural solution that will help independent producers in the ag industry, all while reducing emissions.
The CRES-CEN team speak with Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN)
The American Critical Mineral Independence Act (H.R. 2637) that will promote domestic exploration, research, development, recycling, and processing of critical minerals.
Critical minerals are essential to America’s economic and national security, and advanced technologies like clean energy, but their supply is often at risk due to scarcity or geopolitical issues. For example, the U.S. obtains around 80 percent of its rare earth imports from China. On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the offices we met with agreed we need to secure our supply chain.
Finally, our team highlighted the importance of the BUILDER Act (H.R. 2515) to all clean energy infrastructure projects because it would streamline the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) permitting process, which is vital to moving these projects forward with more timely environmental reviews. Right now, completing the relicensing of an existing dam, for example, can take up to 10 years and millions of dollars to complete.
Participants brought a lot of enthusiasm to the table and proved to be great campaigners for these issues. For more on this event, read our press release. Great job, everyone!