Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan and Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewables Cathy Zoi joined Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly, and former U.S. Senator John Warner in Arlington at a Clean Energy Economy Forum with a diverse group of local and regional stakeholders and students.
The group conversed about the need for a plan to bolster the American clean energy sector which will create millions of new jobs while enhancing national security and protecting the environment. The Administration Officials and Elected Leaders also participated in a constructive dialogue with the attendees about the mid-Atlantic region’s experience and opportunities in the nascent clean energy economy.
“We are putting American resources and American ingenuity to work as we build a clean energy economy that is less reliant on foreign oil,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “We have already begun to move forward with environmentally responsible large-scale solar and wind projects that will create jobs here at home, but we must also pass comprehensive clean energy legislation that will allow us to lead the world in the technologies, green jobs, and economy of the future.”
“USDA’s efforts to advance America’s energy independence and combat climate change will create jobs and wealth in the nation’s rural communities with profound benefits for our farmers, citizens, and planet,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan. ”The passage of a strong climate change bill will have a net benefit for America’s farmers and ranchers.”
“By aggressively pursuing clean energy technologies, we have the opportunity to lead the world in a new industrial revolution and put Americans across the country back to work. These investments and the support of states like Virginia will help create green jobs that will make us more competitive in the global marketplace, while protecting the environment and addressing climate change,” said DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi.
Governor Tim Kaine said, “A primary role of government is to set the stage for a transformation to a clean energy economy. Through strategic investments and policy decisions we can provide a framework for market forces to work to our favor. Federal climate and energy legislation will be key to opening the door to these opportunities.”
Representative Gerry Connolly said, “The Administration and Congress’ comprehensive effort to transform America’s energy economy is working in Virginia. Right here in Northern Virginia, federal dollars are aimed at reducing our dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gas emissions and restoring economic growth by helping fund rail to Dulles Airport, expanding Prince William County’s bus fleet and Virginia Railway Express’ locomotive fleet with more efficient vehicles, and investing in Smart Grid Technology. On the state level, Governor Kaine’s leadership on improving state government energy efficiency and spearheading a state energy plan has helped put Virginia in the forefront of the new energy economy.”