PoliticalNews.me - Sep 18,2011 - At Hearing, Udall Underscores NREL's Leadership in Creating Colorado Jobs, Innovations in Renewable Energy
Discusses with Nominee Danielson Lab's Role in Developing Renewable Energy
At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Mark Udall stood up for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and highlighted its leading role in developing innovations in renewable energy technologies that have translated into lasting jobs, a more comprehensive energy portfolio and the national security that comes with energy independence. The hearing was to consider the nomination of David Danielson, the nominee for Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which oversees NREL.
NREL came under fire earlier this year from House Republican lawmakers who wanted to dismantle EERE programs, including the lab. Udall spoke out against these efforts targeting NREL, and today, while questioning Danielson, he reiterated the need for investing in these technologies to lead—not just compete—in the global energy economy and pressed Danielson to defend NREL against similar efforts.
"The United States needs to be fully invested in renewable energy technologies for the job creation potential, the environmental benefits and to address our national security concerns, understanding that we need an all-of-the-above energy policy," Udall said. "Our competitors in China know this, which is why they're throwing everything they have at meeting their huge energy needs—why are we hesitating?"
During the hearing, Udall referenced the American Energy Innovation Council's "Catalyzing American Ingenuity: The Role Of Government In Energy Innovation" report, released earlier this week, that argues for more government investment in clean energy. The group—which includes eminent business leaders such as Bill Gates and Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin, another major employer in Colorado—states that a lack of private sector incentives for long-term energy research and development is preventing our country from leading on competitive breakthroughs that we have had in many other sectors, including defense. Previous government investments have led directly to private-sector products we rely on every day, from medical imaging technologies to GPS and the Internet.
"NREL is laying the foundation for a renewable energy economy in this country that has already created thousands of Colorado jobs that can't be sent abroad, as well as innovative technologies that can be," Udall said. "This lab not only puts to good use the natural resources our state is blessed with, but it also attracts skilled brainpower to our institutions. When these scientists develop a new technology from concept to product, it opens a realm of possibility for the private sector to build upon and sell in the open market. We're looking at ways to change how we power our communities and multiply more local jobs at the same time. I remain committed to cementing NREL's future success in Colorado."
Danielson outlined examples of work started at NREL that made its way to the open market, including solar-film technology that made First Solar one of the most valuable solar companies in the world. He added, "China and India are going to be very rapidly growing