NCEW Recap: Armchair Discussion: Bipartisan Administration Efforts

On the final day of the 2023 National Clean Energy Week, the Policymakers Symposium began with an in-person armchair discussion featuring Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Xochitl Torres-Small and former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy Mark Menezes.  

The conversation, moderated by CRES Forum President and National Clean Energy Week Chair, Heather Reams, discussed the work of bipartisan administration officials on the intersection of agriculture, energy and rural communities. Energy is generated and transmitted in primarily rural areas; therefore, energy needs and demands are a community-level priority. Not only does it keep the lights on, but it also provides employment opportunities and income security for these communities. The panelists agreed that those who live in rural or developing communities are often on the frontlines of climate change, so they understand the need for continued development of clean, low-carbon energy resources.  

“There is opportunity in investing across the spectrum and in being part of a solution that includes a solution to reliable energy, to resilient energy, and also to fight climate change,” Deputy Secretary Torres-Small said.  

To deploy these clean energy technologies, they must be reliable, affordable, and resilient: “You can bring the best new plans, you can bring the best new technologies, you can bring the shiny new object to places that will receive it with open arms, but unless the community sees it as a need, the opportunities will not last,” said former Deputy Secretary Menezes.   

As the panelists pointed out, the next 10 to 20 years should be focused on researching and finding innovative ways to get to net- zero while supporting communities that need it most and showing how adopting clean energy technologies is a beneficial step forward. As Deputy Secretary Menezes commented, “By all measures, it is go time to invest and deploy these technologies.”  

Watch the full discussion here. To see other panels from National Clean Energy Week, like and subscribe on YouTube.    

CRES Forum is the lead convener and a proud sponsor of National Clean Energy Week. 

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