Mobilizing Private-Sector Support for Homegrown Clean Energy

From the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz:

Ingenuity is one of our country’s greatest assets. America’s entrepreneurs and innovators have a legacy of unleashing their creativity, grit, and imagination to invent, discover, and build solutions that not only contribute to our growing economy, but also solve some of the toughest challenges facing the nation. Investing in homegrown innovation, including the development of new, clean-energy technologies, is a crucial part of the fight against climate change – and is key to keeping America on the leading edge of the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

That’s why today, we’re hosting a Clean Energy Investment Summit at the White House, where we’re announcing $4 billion in independent commitments by major foundations, institutional investors, and others to fund innovative solutions to help fight climate change, including technologies with breakthrough potential to reduce carbon pollution.

Taken together, these commitments far surpass the initial $2 billion goal set at the launch of the Administration’s Clean Energy Investment Initiative last February. And we look forward to seeing this initiative continue to build momentum in the months ahead.

Vice President Biden:

Biden touts clean energy to investors

[T]he vice president addressed the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit, rallying charitable groups and large investors to commit $4 billion toward clean energy technologies.

“To state the obvious, I’m not an investment banker,” Biden said. “I wouldn’t go long on investments that lead to carbon pollution. I’d bet on clean energy.”

Biden said even China was beginning to understand the escalating health effects of carbon pollution.

“In the United States, even the climate deniers are preparing for greater impacts from more extreme weather, from heat waves wildfires, superstorms, droughts — all of which drastically effect local security and local economies,” he said.

(Transcript of Vice President Biden’s speech will be added when it becomes available.)

More from Secretary Munoz:

As part of today’s Summit, the Administration is announcing a series of new executive actions to that will further encourage private-sector investment in clean-energy innovation. These include:

Launching a new Clean Energy Impact Investment Center at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to make information about energy and climate programs at DOE and other government agencies accessible and more understandable to the public, including to mission-driven investors;
Facilitating Issuing guidance on impact investments by charitable foundations in clean energy technologies and other potentially mission-aligned sectors; and
Improving financing options from the U.S. Small Business Administration for private investment funds seeking long-term capital.

Thanks to past investments, consumers are already benefiting from breakthrough technologies developed by our nation’s world-class researchers and entrepreneurs. We’ve seen major advances in solar photovoltaics, wind power, advanced batteries, energy-efficient lighting, and fuel cells – and the cost of solar energy systems has plummeted by over 50 percent in the past five years alone.

We must continue investing in these kinds of innovations if we are to maintain our leadership in reducing carbon pollution while also growing the economy.

Today’s announcements will help ensure that even more American-made clean energy technologies can make the leap from an idea, to the laboratory, to the global marketplace. We look forward to continuing to unleash the power and potential of innovations that serve both our economy and our environment, and to the as-yet-unimagined breakthroughs still to come.

  7 comments for “Mobilizing Private-Sector Support for Homegrown Clean Energy

  1. JanF
    June 17, 2015 at 8:32 am

    It makes good business sense to support efforts to combat carbon emissions. The NRDC predicts that the cost of global warming will be a quarter of a trillion dollars a year by 2025.

    Insurance companies, businesses on the coastal regions of our country, even some Republicans are all finding out that the cost of doing nothing is too high.

  2. Portlaw
    June 17, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Interesting. Thanks.

    Also wonder how the Pope’s encyclical to be released tomorrow will affect things. Especially wonder how the Republicans from Florida will react. Saw this

    WASHINGTON — As the steamy hurricane season descends on Miami, the city’s Roman Catholic archbishop, Thomas G. Wenski, is planning a summer of sermons, homilies and press events designed to highlight the threat that a warming planet, rising sea levels and more extreme storms pose to his community’s poorest and most vulnerable.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/us/politics/popes-views-press-gop-on-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    • JanF
      June 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      The pope’s encyclical will cause some discomfort among Republican Catholics and, really, the entire Republican Party. They have lured many Catholics into the fold on the abortion issue and if they start bashing the pope, I am not sure how well that will go over.

      Pew just did a survey showing that 38% of Republican Catholics believe in climate change … and probably 98% believe that people should respect their pope’s words. :)

      I am going to put up a post on the encyclical later today (with a followup tomorrow), because I think it is important. I was raised Catholic but moved on when I found their teachings to be at odds with my life view. And while I can disagree with the teachings of the Church (and their teachers) on many things, I can also give them props when they deserve them. In the olden days, the Church cared about working people, the poor, the homeless, those without health care … and was against the death penalty and wars of choice. When they shifted to caring more about zygotes than the post-born it was a sad thing. I am glad to see them getting back on track.

      • Portlaw
        June 17, 2015 at 2:27 pm

        And I think that this is what informed all of my politics to this very day

        In the olden days, the Church cared about working people, the poor, the homeless, those without health care … and was against the death penalty and wars of choice.

        • JanF
          June 17, 2015 at 8:43 pm

          You can’t go wrong with that.

          The Church has had this friction before. Because you can’t ignore the teachings of your founder … eventually it catches up with you:

          http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122056/last-time-conservatives-dismissed-major-encyclical-it-ended-terribly

          The new encyclical on climate change that the Vatican is set to release on Thursday (an early draft of which has already been leaked) will only deepen the chasm between the church teachings and Republican politics.

          […]

          Buckley’s feud with the Catholic left came to a boil when Pope John XXIII released the encyclical Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher) in 1961, which reaffirmed the church’s support for government welfare programs and coupled them with calls to fight poverty in the Third World and end colonialism. The anti-imperialism of Mater et Magistra was particularly repellent toNational Review conservatives, who thought that European domination of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia was essential for fending off communism.

  3. princesspat
    June 17, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Floyd McKay, writing in Crosscut…..

    Coal ports: Will they cost communities their “second paycheck”?

    For four and a half years, coal exports and the massive terminals proposed at Longview and near Bellingham have been a subject of local debate. Millennium and Gateway Pacific (GPT), respectively, are still far from approval and may never see the light of day. Throughout this time, terminal developers Ambre Energy and SSA Marine have made one basic argument: Jobs and economic growth will result from the terminals. These, in turn, will result in still more jobs for others and higher revenues for governments.

    Terminal opponents — a variety of environmental and sustainability organizations — seized on health issues from coal dust and diesel fumes, traffic snarls from long trains, fishery impacts, the effect of coal on climate change, and more. They had the upper hand in public meetings in 2012, packing large arenas with objectors. The developers have been patient, in it for the long run and waiting for possible political help as environmental reviews continue.

    Opponents tossed some new terminology on the table Tuesday — the term “Second Paycheck.” Its roots are in the region, having been coined by University of Oregon economist Ed Whitelaw and two colleagues five years ago. It was re-introduced by David Eichental, a managing director of PFM – a large national consultant based in Philadelphia – who conducted an economic impact study on the coal ports…..

    ~snip~

    The term refers to quality of life amenities such as outdoor recreation, clean air and water, scenic vistas, local food and culture, and livable neighborhoods. These amount to a “paycheck” that can’t be cashed at your bank…..

    http://crosscut.com/2015/06/coal-ports-are-new-jobs-the-only-paychecks-to-worry-about/

    How I wish the proposed developments were for clean energy technologies and not for coal. Between the coal and oil trains the Bellingham’s waterfront neighborhoods are already feeling the impact. Increased train activity will be even more harmful to our local quality of life.

    • JanF
      June 17, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Residents of Wisconsin are discovering that same thing in the wake of the budget unveiled by Presidential Candidate Walker in February. The budget calls for cuts to stewardship funds, for bike trails, for the scientists and teachers at the Department of Natural Resources, for cuts in the funding of our state parks, and rule changes making it easier for outside corporate interests to pollute our waterways and our air. The things that make our state a nice place to live are being taken away, and stupidly, it will also have a negative impact on one of our only remaining industries: tourism. They are killing and cooking the goose that was laying golden eggs, all to fund Walker’s national campaign.

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