On April 22, EFI Founder & CEO Secretary Moniz testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs at a hearing entitled “21st Century Communities: Capitalizing on Opportunities in the Clean Energy Economy.” The hearing covered the landscape for clean energy investment, workforce training and job creation, and technology advancement.
Moniz’s testimony centered on increasing risks to U.S. financial systems, energy infrastructure, and economic growth, recognizing that quantifying these risks is difficult but efforts to elucidate them are essential for the stability of the nation’s financial, security, social, and health systems going forward.
Moniz deftly answered a question from Senator Jon Ossof, who asked about the formation of economies of scale and consolidation of clean energy production capacity in specific regions. “We are big advocates for the hub concept, it allows for great efficiencies, transferability of skills, optimization of infrastructure, Moniz said. “Too often, we talk about continental scales of infrastructures rather than focusing on hubs in many different regions, which make infrastructure challenges more manageable.”
The domestic supply chain was a persistent topic, with Senator Elizabeth Warren asking if federal government procurement of American-made clean products would help incentivize industry to create such products. Moniz responded positively, noting that government procurement helps to create a market, which leads to cost reduction. “We are the largest economy in the world and can be very powerful regarding export capabilities in those markets,” Moniz said, “We need to make the markets of future technologies like hydrogen and CO2 management, that would draw on skillsets of current oil and gas workers today.”
One of the major foci was on job creation and workforce training, specifically preparing the workforce to benefit from the clean energy economy, and union job opportunities across Appalachia to plug methane leaks, dispose of coal waste, and reclaim abandoned mine land. Moniz commented that creating jobs within the clean energy economy is the first step and training programs from colleges and unions will follow. He also pointed to the significance of capping methane leaks in order for us to carry on with natural gas.
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