By Lisa Jacobson, President, BCSE
This year, we are proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. BCSE was formed as U.S. business executives from the energy efficiency, natural gas, and renewable energy sectors came together in preparation for the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As we look back on our history, working with numerous Administrations and Congressional leaders, we recognize and acknowledge the partnership we have had with policymakers from both sides of the aisle, and our commitment to bipartisan collaboration remains steadfast.
Over its history, BCSE has worked to build support for clean energy policies on a bipartisan basis. The BCSE coalition has served as a resource to policymakers as they worked to enact federal policies and programs that have launched the energy transition that we are bearing witness to today. These policies have invested in research, development, and deployment of a broad portfolio of clean energy and energy efficiency technologies. Consistent themes of BCSE recommendations include support for technology-inclusive and market-based policies and opportunities to build public-private partnerships.
It’s no wonder why both parties have invested in clean energy time and time again. Clean energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support because they use homegrown American energy.
Significant bipartisan policy achievements include the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. These laws combined expanded a broad range of clean energy and energy efficiency tax incentives and established the Renewable Fuel Standard to tackle transportation-related emissions.
In 2021, BCSE saw the enactment of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which included over $80 billion in investments in power and grid infrastructure, energy efficiency, and advanced transportation. Crafted by leaders of both parties, the law not only supports resilient infrastructure that powers our communities and moves our families, but also boosts clean energy jobs across the country, lowers energy costs, and helps mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Energy Policy Act of 2020, enacted in a Republican-led Senate, set the table for the passage of the IIJA and other important pieces of legislation.
Investing in clean energy improves energy security and resilience across the country while saving consumers money – making it a cause BCSE believes everyone can get behind. We know that strong and consistent policy signals at the national level will ensure the continued expansion of clean energy and maximize its economic and environmental co-benefits.
Happy anniversary, BCSE. Here’s to 30 more years of building partnerships and coalitions to support a clean energy future.
Take a deep dive into BCSE’s 30 years of clean energy policy work in our celebratory anniversary video:
About the Author: Lisa Jacobson is the President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.