CRES has been a proud member of the Steering Committee for National Clean Energy Week (NCEW) since its inception in 2017. Although we pivoted to an all-virtual format in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s NCEW Policy Makers Symposium was the biggest ever. In fact, the online-only format gave the event organizers a chance to expand beyond the beltway, reaching audiences coast to coast. We also expanded the scope of the event, growing from one day to five, featuring over 30 hours of clean energy content.
A replay of the entire week is still available on demand at www.nationalcleanenergyweek.org, where you’ll find a broad spectrum of political ideas represented. As a leading advocate for conservative approaches to renewable energy and climate policy, we wanted to call special attention to some of the right-of-center elected officials who took the time to speak at the event. Here are some of the highlights from Republican members of the House of Representatives who celebrated NCEW with us.
Representative Darin LaHood (R-IL), has built a strong, conservative record, promoting economic development and fiscal responsibility, and he also recognizes clean energy as a great source of job growth and American competitiveness. He introduced the Renewable Energy Transferability Act, which would allow the transfer of renewable energy tax credits to drive innovation and deployment of resources like of wind and solar energy, as well as the Nuclear Powers America Act, which would provide an investment tax credit (ITC) for continued capital investment in existing nuclear plants. This summer, the American Wind Energy Association named him as one of its “Wind Champions.” Further, the Congressman believes we must continue to invest in R&D to drive innovation in the clean energy space and ultimately reduce our emissions.
“For a long time, we were reliant on fossil fuels, but over the last 10 to 15 years we have diversified, and that’s good for national security,” Congressman LaHood told the Policy Makers Symposium viewers, underscoring another benefit of investing in clean energy.
Representative John Curtis (R-UT) was pivotal to the success of this year’s NCEW as he was once again the lead Republican sponsor on H. Res. 1130, a bipartisan resolution recognizing the occasion that garnered 74 House co-sponsors. He has been a prolific proponent of clean energy legislation, including authoring the Incentivizing New and Valuable Energy Storage Technology (INVEST) Act, legislation that creates an energy storage investment tax credit, and introducing the Atmospheric Climate Intervention Research Act, a bill that authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to advance research on atmospheric climate intervention.
Congressman Curtis is a pragmatist, a point he emphasized himself in his speech at the Policy Makers Symposium.
“If you look past the headlines and past the hyperbole, you will find lots of good men and women on both sides of the aisle that want to work together and want to solve this ,” he said.
As one of two professional engineers in Congress, Representative David McKinley (R-WV) has a seat on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he has co-sponsored several bills on issues related to the coal industry, environmental regulation, and energy efficiency. He also serves as the vice-chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment. During NCEW, Rep. McKinley discussed the need for a global solution to climate change, focused on innovation. In his remarks, he noted the importance of ensuring a future for fossil fuels and the role that the United States can play in developing those tools necessary for reducing carbon emissions not just domestically, but also abroad, which include carbon capture and energy efficiency technologies.
“Shouldn’t we continue to develop energy technology that the rest of the world can adopt? Things like energy efficiency and carbon capture?” he asked.
Representative Garret Graves’ (R-LA) used his speech to publicly announce the introduction of the Building U.S. Infrastructure through Limited Delays & Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act, which will modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and reform its permitting process. This marks the first time a speaker has used NCEW as a venue to officially announce legislation. Rep. Graves is from a state that is one of the most famous producers of oil and gas, but he knows clean energy is a win-win proposition and is an advocate of “all of the above.”
Other House members celebrated NCEW on social media, including Representatives Ralph Norman and William Timmons, both Republicans from South Carolina, and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who recorded brief video messages, which you can view here, here, and here, respectively. Meanwhile, Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) wrote an op-ed celebrating NCEW in his district.
We were so proud of the wonderful contributions made by the GOP during NCEW, and more importantly, on Capitol Hill throughout the year. Be sure to check out our companion blog post highlighting some of the Senate Republicans who spoke at the Policy Maker Symposium this year.
We’re already looking forward to #NCEW21!