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House Energy Committee Hearing on Clean Energy Solutions for the U.S. Power Sector

House Energy Committee Hearing on Clean Energy Solutions for the U.S. Power Sector

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy recently held another hearing in its series on expanding the nation’s clean energy economy, which is in line with the Committee’s broader objective to identify pathways to a 100 percent clean energy future for the U.S. by the year 2050. The hearing was titled “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions for the U.S. Power Sector.” Full Committee Chairman Frank Pallone issued a memorandum in advance of the hearing where he asserts that “decarbonizing the power sector will require significant expansion of renewable energy capacity” and lists out technologies necessary to achieve the Committee’s lofty goal, including grid flexibility, energy storage, natural or technological carbon capture, among others.
Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-IL) kicked-off the event, commenting that the greatest contributor of greenhouse gas is from the power sector, which is dependent on fossil fuels and accounts for 30 percent of U.S. emissions. His opening statement suggested that by making better use of renewable energy technology like wind, nuclear, and solar, the U.S. would be able to create up to 80 percent of all domestic energy consumption. Chairman Rush also mentioned that in order to achieve the bold goals set by the Committee, there must be a clear focus on creating a skilled workforce that does not leave minorities behind.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Fred Upton (R-MI) highlighted the ongoing shift in consumer preference for energy efficient technologies and credited the private sector for positioning the U.S. as the world leader in carbon emission reductions. He urged the Subcommittee to be wary of policy proposals that would regulate the industry and instead supported letting the free market lead the U.S. to further emission reductions, calling on technological advances to propel the sector into becoming more energy efficient.
The six distinguished witnesses gave testimony on ambitious, yet achievable solutions to reduce carbon emissions from power generation. The six witnesses included:
  • Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO, Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG)
  • Lee Anderson, Government Affairs Director, Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO
  • Karen Palmer, Senior Fellow and Director, Future of Power Initiative, Resources for the Future
  • Jeff Dennis, General Counsel and Managing Director, Advanced Energy Economy
  • Jim Matheson, Chief Executive Officer, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
  • John Bear, Chief Executive Officer, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.
 To view a recording off the hearing, or to read the written testimony of the witnesses, please visit the Committee’s website.

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