Clean energy advocates to 'amp up the message' of economic benefits
August 18, 2017
By Garrett Hering, S&P Global Market Intelligence
Citing the need to broaden political support for clean energy resources and raise awareness about their economic advantages ahead of looming congressional funding decisions, a coalition of 10 national trade groups and advocacy organizations today announced a week long lobbying and public relations offensive centered on Capitol Hill.
"National Clean Energy Week," from Sept. 25-29, aims to "amp up the message" that renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage and other low-carbon fuels, including natural gas and nuclear power, together represent "an energy revolution that is part of the mainstream economy," said Lisa Jacobson, president of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and a member of the event's steering committee, in an interview.
"It's extremely well-timed," she added, pointing to upcoming votes in Congress on slashing renewable energy and energy efficiency funding in the Department of Energy budget and other legislation affecting energy policy. "I am not sure that most members of Congress realize what's going on with renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural gas. ... What they don't get is the economic story behind it, that we are what's growing and contributing in new ways in every district."
"We are looking for a common denominator," added Charles Hernick, director of policy and advocacy at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum, on "how to better engage Republicans and moderates." While climate change and the environmental benefits of clean energy are "absolutely" part of the dialogue of National Clean Energy Week, which includes a symposium and host of lobbying events, "We are focusing on job creation, economic benefits and energy security," he said.
The first confirmed speaker is U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., according to the group, who recently called on the Senate to extend production tax credits for the troubled Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Plant and the V.C. Summer nuclear expansion projects.
Other organizations behind the week-long lobbying and public awareness initiative include the American Wind Energy Association, theSolar Energy Industries Association, the National Hydropower Association, Advanced Energy Economy, the Biomass Power Association, Clean Energy Business Network and the Nuclear Energy Institute.