Dear Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Manchin:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauds your collaborative leadership on moving numerous energy-related bills through the committee, and strongly supports the committee’s efforts to enhance energy security, develop the energy workforce of the future, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening America’s economic competitiveness.
We encourage the committee to favorably report the following three bills to be considered during the business meeting on December 12. Each of these bills would build upon the committee’s bipartisan efforts to develop comprehensive energy legislation focused on the innovations, regulatory streamlining, and workforce development initiatives that would enhance America’s global competitiveness and provide the technological solutions needed to address climate risk. Specifically, the Chamber supports:
S. 2393, the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019, which would establish a workforce development program within the Department of Energy (DOE) to facilitate the education, training, and continued enrichment of the energy workforce of the future. By establishing mentorship, internship, and financial and technical assistance, this bill would provide a pipeline for the skilled workforce necessary to support energy-related industries.
S. 2660, the Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2019, which would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish a program to accelerate the research, development, and demonstration of technologies that improve the efficiency, reliability, resilience, security, and capacity of wind energy generation, while also reducing the cost and improving the materials and manufacturing for wind turbines. This bipartisan effort serves to round out the many other technology-specific research, development, and deployment bills moved through the committee this year.
S. 2666, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2019, which would provide for the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of DOE to work together on the establishment of priority areas for the development of geothermal, solar, and wind energy projects. This bipartisan bill would streamline the permitting of these projects while requiring economic viability and minimizing the environmental impacts associated with these renewable energy facilities.
We encourage the committee to report these bills and combine them with previously reported bipartisan energy bills to craft comprehensive energy innovation, workforce, and climate technology legislation. These issues remain top priorities for the Chamber, and we look forward to working with you, your colleagues in the Senate and the House, and with Congressional leadership to ensure that a legislative package addressing these issues is passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law.
Neil L. Bradley
cc: Members of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources