WASHINGTON,DC (RUSHPRNEWS) JULY 31, 2008–The Council on Competitiveness convened top advisors to the Obama and McCain campaigns and senior officials in the US Department of Energy to address how to create a secure, sustainable and competitive energy future. The discussions were part of the Council’s Energy Security, Innovation & Sustainability (ESIS) Initiative steering committee meeting, which included chief executives from US industry, academia, government laboratories, and organized labor.Â
ESIS initiative participants believe that the future economic growth and security of the United States rely on the country’s ability to craft and implement a comprehensive strategy for increasing energy security and sustainability. They are working to provide the necessary foundation for the next Administration to advance a comprehensive energy agenda. That includes both developing a policy framework and building the coalition of stakeholders – CEO’s, university leaders, labor leaders, and others – for action in 2009.
At the meeting, Elgie Holstein, Senior Energy Policy Advisor to Senator Obama, and Becky Tallent, Senior Policy Advisor to Senator McCain discussed the five key strategies the ESIS Initiative has identified as critical to advancing America’s energy security:
Exercise presidential authority
Maximize energy efficiency across the U.S. economy
Catalyze private sector investment in sustainable energy solutions
Replenish the energy workforce pipeline
Fast-track energy technology commercialization and deployment.
This fall, the Council will issue a100-Day Action Plan for the new Administration, focusing on these five strategies.
“The ESIS Initiative is bringing together the right people and employing the right process to bring forward the right solutions for America,” said Deborah L. Wince- Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness.
The goal of the ESIS Initiative is to drive private sector demand for sustainable energy solutions, which will support the creation of new industries, markets and jobs. The Initiative’s co-chairs include James Owens, chairman & CEO of Caterpillar Inc.; Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and Michael Langford, national president of the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO.
“In order for American businesses to remain competitive, our country must have a comprehensive energy plan that utilizes all available energy sources. Affordable energy must be a priority for the next administration in order for American businesses to compete in the global economy,” said James Owens, chairman & CEO of Caterpillar.
“Energy security, and its link to climate change, is the greatest challenge and opportunity of our time,” said Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson. “The United States is at risk because we do not have a comprehensive energy security and sustainability strategy. It will require national leadership from the top to encourage the cooperation across the board that will be essential to develop, enact, and implement such a strategy. Given the importance of the energy question to our nation’s economic and national security, I would urge the next President to host an energy summit within the first 100 days of the new Administration.”
“There is a world wide shortage of skilled workers to build and operate the future’s energy generating technologies,” said Michael Langford, National President of the Utility Workers Union of America. “Everyone supports a green workforce, but neither presidential campaign has a comprehensive plan to address it.”
The ESIS Initiative was launched in August 2007. Its initial report – “Define. The Energy – Competitiveness Relationship” – was released in February 2008, and in June 2008 the group challenged the Presidential candidates to answer three key questions about how they would advance a comprehensive energy strategy.