Recognizing that the renewable energy sector will increasingly play a leading role in our economy, Maurice has worked to ensure that New York is at the forefront of the high-tech green manufacturing job revolution. With his goal to make New York a national and international hub for solar energy research and development, Maurice didn't wait for Washington to act and instead took the initiative to help establish The Solar Energy Consortium -- a not-for-profit entity in upstate New York that brings together private solar companies and research institutions throughout the state to develop new ways to efficiently and effectively develop economically viable solar technologies.
The results have been extraordinary. In just three years, Maurice and TSEC have attracted numerous companies to upstate New York and helped create more than 400 solar manufacturing and other related jobs with 1,000 jobs expected by the end of next year. As a result of these efforts, New York is gaining the reputation as a premiere place to conduct renewable energy business.
While he works to steadily move the U.S. toward a reliance on clean, renewable energy, Maurice recognizes that fossil fuels are not going away over night and that the U.S. needs to produce its own energy to keep itself secure. However, Maurice wants to make sure that any domestic drilling for natural gas and oil is done so in a safe way. Disasters such as the BP Gulf oil spill and the recent blowout of a well just over the border in Pennsylvania are examples of why he wants the oil and gas companies to be held accountable for their actions and be required to follow the same rules that protect drinking water and our overall environment that other industries have to follow. Maurice is the coauthor of the FRAC Act, which would restore the EPA's ability to oversee the natural gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing and require energy companies to notify the public of what toxic chemicals they are putting in the ground to extract gas and oil.