Release Date: Jul 16, 2008Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Chamber's Energy Institute Announces New Policy Platform with Broad Bipartisan Support
Sends Recommendations to Next President and Congress for a Safe, Secure, and Prosperous Energy Future
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In an open letter to the next president and Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy today unveiled 13 fundamental pillars to build a foundation for a new, strategic, and long-term energy policy for the United States.
"We are long overdue for energy solutions that will keep our nation on track and our economy strong," said Tom Donohue, the U.S. Chamber's President and CEO. "We are crafting ideas and building support to help our elected officials move forward in a constructive way."
Tom Donohue and General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.), president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, and more than two dozen former senior executive and legislative branch leaders as well as industry officials urged America's future political leadership to expand the nation's supply of affordable fuel and power from traditional and alternative sources, bolster energy efficiency, and expand and modernize energy infrastructure.
"With a challenge as great and urgent as securing our energy future, America's leaders must come together in support of a sensible long-term approach that promotes economic growth at home and strengthens our national security," said General Jones. "How we solve our energy challenges will define who we are as a nation in the 21st century."
The bipartisan group of 27 signatories include former secretaries of Energy, State, Defense, Commerce, and Treasury; former members of Congress; and national security experts. Their collective public service spans over 300 years. The signatories are united in their views that energy is one of the most significant economic and national security challenges of this century.
"Our nation's dependence on foreign oil poses unprecedented challenges to our economic prosperity and national security," General Jones said. "The solutions to our energy challenges must begin with commonsense energy principles upon which a comprehensive, coherent energy policy can be based."
The pillars encompass efforts to increase energy supplies, address growing demand, and enable advancements in technology and infrastructure. The 13 energy principles outlined in the open letter include accelerating energy efficiency across all sectors; modernizing and expanding energy infrastructure; transforming the transportation sector including greater use of alternative and renewable fuels; and expanding the use of nuclear power, coal, and renewable energy as well as new domestic exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The open letter advocates for reducing the environmental impact of energy use and increasing investments in climate change research. The pillars call for addressing critical shortages in scientists and engineers through education and training programs, incentives, and visa policies. Above all, the open letter shows that this is America's opportunity to demonstrate leadership in innovation and solve what is a global challenge.
In addition to these pillars, the open letter highlights the need for unprecedented bipartisan political leadership. By committing to the Institute's 13 pillars, policymakers can chart a new course for America's energy future by enhancing domestic energy resilience, preserving the environment, and creating new American jobs, industries, and technologies.
The signatories to the open letter include: Spencer Abraham, former Secretary of Energy and U.S. Senator (R-MI); Dr. David M. Abshire, former Ambassador to NATO and President and CEO of the Center for the Study of the Presidency; George F. Allen, former U.S. Senator (R-VA) and Governor of Virginia; Richard L. Armitage, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State; Howard H. Baker, Jr., former U.S. Senator (R-TN), White House Chief of Staff, and U.S. Ambassador to Japan; James A. Baker, III, former White House Chief of Staff, U.S. Secretary of State, and U.S. Secretary of Treasury; Gen. Charles G. Boyd, USAF (Ret.), president and CEO of Business Executives for National Security; Frank C. Carlucci, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; William S. Cohen, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, U.S. Senator and Representative (R-ME); Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Kenneth M. Duberstein, former White House Chief of Staff; Donald L. Evans former U.S. Secretary of Commerce; J. Bennett Johnston, former U.S. Senator (D-LA); General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.), president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, former National Security Advisor and U.S. Secretary of State; Robert C. McFarlane, former National Security Advisor; Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, III, former Counselor to President Clinton, Special Envoy for the Americas, and White House Chief of Staff; Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and former U.S. Senator (D-GA); Dr. William J. Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), former U.S. Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and National Security Advisor; Charles S. Robb, former U.S. Senator (D-VA) and Governor of Virginia; Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Founder, Chairman, and CEO of J.E. Robert Companies; Dr. James R. Schlesinger, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret.), former National Security Advisor; Dr. George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Secretary of Labor; Admiral James D. Watkins, USN (Ret.), former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Chief of Naval Operations; and R. James Woolsey, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a commonsense energy strategy to help keep America safe, strong, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, consensus building, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels. To read more about the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy, the signatories to this open letter, and to watch today's event, visit www.energyxxi.org/.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.