06/21/16 : Kateri Callahan

From the President’s Desk: Moving Energy Efficiency Forward

(Photo: Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan moderates energy efficiency panel at CEM7's Action Summit, on June 2nd.)

 

Greetings Board Members, Associates and Friends,

I write to you today from Hampton, VA where I am honored to be sharing the stage with energy visionaries, including Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, at the Virginia Energy Policy Forum, hosted by our Alliance Honorary Board member and former Chair, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.). Many of our Associates and friends have come together for this important event where a key focus area and goal of the Senator is to drive greater energy efficiency across the Commonwealth as an economy and jobs booster.

Today caps what has been an inspiring (if somewhat exhausting) two weeks for me – from helping to announce significant energy efficiency commitments that were made by businesses and governments around the world during the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) in San Francisco, to a celebration in New York for the Solar Impulse upon completion of the U.S. leg of its journey around the world to promote energy efficiency and clean energy. The passion for energy efficiency as the critical enabler of this historic circumnavigation of the globe that was expressed by the pilots and the sponsors simply was infectious. I believe that this majestic air craft truly could serve as the iconic symbol for the power of energy efficiency that we’ve all been seeking as advocates! We wish the pilots and all of the sponsors --including Alliance Associate Covestro -- every success as they begin the dangerous and historic crossing of the Atlantic.

And, back home in Washington, the Alliance policy team and our many allies and Associates continue to press hard for national energy efficiency policy. In my op-ed piece published in The Hill earlier this week, I detail how the House and Senate have the best chance in years to drive greater energy productivity into the U.S. economy, which will, in turn, put money back in the pockets of American consumers and businesses and create good jobs all across the country. As I stated, we believe the only path to successfully navigating an energy bill to the President’s desk starts and ends with the strong energy efficiency title included in the Senate bill – based on the so-called “Portman-Shaheen” legislation that our Honorary Chair Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) have been working to build bi-partisan support around for five years.

While our experience tells us that energy efficiency is the way forward, we recognize that there are risks. That is why our message of bipartisanship is important: if legislation leaves energy efficiency by the wayside, or includes regressive provisions included in the House bill, then Republicans and Democrats will not come together and there can be little hope for success this year.

While we anxiously await a positive outcome on Capitol Hill, the Alliance already is looking towards the 2017 election and opportunities for energy efficiency to be a keystone in our next President’s agenda. To kick-off this election cycle, the Alliance is hosting an exclusive Associate member Policy Perspectives breakfast featuring the energy advisors from both the Clinton and Trump campaigns. During this off-the-record conversation, campaign representatives will discuss each candidate’s energy platform, followed by Q&A sessions with each advisor. Rest assured that we will bring you all of the news from that event.

So, keep an eye out for more good news from the Solar Impulse as it heads from NYC to Barcelona; hope for (and work hard with us to win) good news on the national energy policy front; and, if you’ve not already, step up to our commitment to double energy productivity. Together we already are, and will continue to make a difference!

Here’s to a great summer season!

Kateri Callahan

Alliance to Save Energy President