Posted on December 11, 2019 by Jeff Morehouse
This week, House Energy & Commerce Republicans hosted the first-ever “Energy & Environment Innovation Showcase” – an exhibition designed to celebrate a host of American innovators and outline a clear legislative agenda to support realistic climate solutions. The event featured an array of technologically diverse groups, including a small modular reactor company, and a carbon capture project, and a renewable natural gas producer, to name a few.
The event captured the spirit of putting markets over mandates and innovation over regulations to address climate change. Each of the technologies showcased holds real promise in achieving deep decarbonization, producing affordable energy, supporting continued U.S. job growth. Many are exportable technologies that can help lead the world to solve global problems.
In addition to the presentations and displays from industries and academic attendees, multiple Republican leaders from the Energy & Commerce committee attended the event to articulate their shared perspective on what a robust innovation agenda should look like. After Rep. John Shimkus (IL-15) and Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06) kicked off the event with some opening remarks, Rep. Greg Walden (OR-02) sat down with Kristen Soltis Anderson for an engaging discussion on what makes Republicans’ approach and legislative proposals practical and effective. Watch their full interview here. Throughout their discussion, Rep. Walden (OR-02) emphasized that R&D investments and market based technological innovations are vital to any effort to support the environment and climate.
Other members including Reps. Michael Burgess (TX-26), Bob Latta (OH-05), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Tim Walberg (MI-07), Buddy Carter (GA-01), Dave McKinley (WV-01), Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Gus Bilirakis (FL-09), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Billy Long (MO-07), Bill Flores (TX-17), Richard Hudson (NC-08), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02) and Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) attended or participated by inviting home district companies.
As E&E News puts it, Republicans solidified their energy innovation pitch putting forth a clear policy agenda for congressional action on clean energy innovation. These policy solutions include 12 bipartisan bills that each provide critical financial or regulatory support to a host of energy technologies. Streamlining the development of advanced nuclear demonstration projects (NELA) and boosting RD&D funding for carbon capture (LEADING Act) and energy storage (BEST), for example, are smart approaches to accelerating the development and deployment of breakthrough technologies. These legislative items would represent an important step towards evolving innovation policy in the United States and boosting low-carbon solutions.Republicans sent a very clear message this week — clean energy innovation is the path forward. Their commitment to leading on climate issues with realistic and bipartisan policies while maintaining the United States’ competitive edge and boosting the nation’s capacity for energy innovation was the true showcase.