Bioenergy, Energy Efficiency, Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar, Wind Power

MIT Energy Forum Addresses Federal Policy for Climate and Renewables

The Obama Administration and Democratic members of Congress are serious about addressing renewable energy and climate change. That was the message at the Clean Power: Building a New Clean Energy Economy policy forum hosted by MIT this week. U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) said that he and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) will start to hold hearings next week on the energy bill that the two introduced last month. The legislation, which was the focus of the forum includes the establishment of a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS), guidelines for a carbon cap and trade system and calls for green job education and training programs.

The Congressman said that the hearings on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 will start next Tuesday, and three members of President Barack Obama’s cabinet, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will testify before the house committee about the good that the bill would do for not only the renewable energy industry but for the U.S. in its attempt to lead the global climate change debate.

The event also featured remarks from Carol Browner, the president’s Assistant for Energy and Climate Change. Browner said that while renewable energy now accounts for about 3 percent of U.S. electricity production, “we hope we can double that in the next three to four years.” She pointed to Markey’s energy bill as vital to making that happen.

Rep. Markey said that his hope is that the energy bill moves through Congress and is signed by the president before the summer recess. Right away, he said, this legislation “will create jobs by the millions, save money by the billions, and unleash energy investment by the trillions.”

To hear more of what Congressman Markey, Browning and MIT president Susan Hockfield had to say at the forum, play the video below.