Foster calls for industrial statesmanship

Ford assembly plant in Stanton, Tennessee, for electric pickup trucks. Photo credit: The Hill.

Clean energy business leaders should resurrect industrial statesmanship, wrote Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) Distinguished Associate David Foster in an opinion piece in The Hill.

“Today we are facing a new era of economic and political challenges, which will require a… willingness to step away from the status quo and recognize the need to embrace a broader sense of social purpose that provides solutions to the challenges of the clean energy transition,” Foster wrote.

He said the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Chips and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—all passed in the last 18 months—are providing a framework for positive social changes.

For example, the clean energy funds and incentives in the three laws all require or encourage that recipients use domestically sourced materials and provide their opportunities with the choice to join a union. Funding recipients are also required to show how their project will address issues including access to jobs and job training by underserved communities.

Foster explained that just as U.S. Steel, then the world’s largest corporation, opened the way to wide-scale recognition of labor rights in 1937, the clean energy businesses of today must lead to turn the tide of inequality in a decarbonized American economy.

Meredith Lu, Communications Intern

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