There is an annual call in Washington D.C. each summer for a national “infrastructure week." As years have gone by without significant action, the phrase has started carrying a sarcastic double-meaning. That changed this summer, when we saw real, bipartisan progress towards fundamental infrastructure policy that will help America rebound from the pandemic and make significant progress on the U.S. clean energy transition in the 2020s.
As we all wait for the House of Representatives to take up the Senate’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, BCSE is reflecting on the enormous amount of research, work, coordination and compromise that brought us to this stage. But the law-making process still isn’t complete, and we are calling on Congress and the President to get this important legislation over the finish line.
The infrastructure package includes significant policy and funding for America’s clean energy transformation. It makes these investments because clean energy and energy efficient infrastructure will create jobs and protect America’s economic competitiveness in the face of evolving international markets and the increasing threats of climate change.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is an important first step towards the energy system of the future, but we cannot stop there. The climate science is unequivocal: emissions must decline as soon as possible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
The IPCC Physical Science Basis report, published in early August, reinforced that extreme weather, and associated health and economic impacts, is intensifying due to climate change. The cost of recovery and adaptation associated with these climate disasters is already high, and will increase.
We have no time to waste in deploying available technologies to manage a reliable, safe, affordable and sustainable energy system. The BCSE has collected member stories to demonstrate the breadth of available solutions at bcse.org/infrastructure. We ask for everyone’s help in spreading the understanding that clean energy and efficiency solutions are ready, they create jobs, and they secure our future. The true challenges to a clean energy future are not technical or economic - they are political and regulatory.
It is a privilege to be working on solutions to these challenges with a diverse and dedicated (and growing!) coalition of clean energy companies. Consistent education and advocacy for climate solutions has led to the political moment that we find ourselves in today: where bipartisan legislation includes tens of billions of dollars for clean energy development and deployment, where a new conservative caucus is focused on climate change, and where there is potential for even more transformative policy.
To our friends across America and around the world, please let your representatives and networks know that clean energy and energy efficient infrastructure drive a competitive economy. The time for bold policy that transforms our energy and transportation sectors, especially, is now.
President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy
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