Brendan Doherty, candidate from Rhode Island's First Congressional District, today identified a bold and bipartisan initiative to re-energize America's economy, reduce dependence on foreign energy, and support a transition into an era of renewable energy.
"Today I am embracing a comprehensive energy strategy advocated by the Bipartisan Energy Working Group as a way to ensure that America can lower energy costs for consumers and small businesses while generating royalty income that will be available to invest in infrastructure, renewable energy, worker training, and environmental conservation, and at the same time reducing our deficit without imposing new taxes," said Doherty.
In a press conference in front of historic Slater Mill, Doherty presented his plan to "Re-energize America" through increased revenues from federal royalties and distribution of those funds to the following: (1) infrastructure development, (2) renewable energy production, (3) environmental and conservation efforts, (4) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, (5) deficit reduction, and (6) advanced manufacturing training. Doherty's Re-energizing America plan is based in part upon H.R. 1861, the Infrastructure Jobs and Energy Independence Act, a bipartisan plan that was submitted in 2011 by the Bipartisan Energy Working Group. The group includes Representatives Tim Murphy (R-PA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Bill Shuster (R-PA), and Tim Walz (D-MN).
"This kind of game changing proposal would have an economic multiplier effect," said Doherty. "Lower energy costs for consumers would allow for greater purchasing power and encourage economic growth. Lower energy costs for small businesses would allow for greater investment in innovation and growth. Meanwhile, increased infrastructure and development of traditional and renewable energy resources would provide job growth in those industries and the manufacturing training proposal would be particularly beneficial in Rhode Island where our large number of unemployed residents could take advantage of the program."
Local business leaders applauded Doherty's Re-energizing America plan. Al Lubrano, President and CEO of Materion Technical Materials and Chairman of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, said: "Brendan Doherty understands the key factors for a manufacturing job creation renaissance. He sees that this proposal will provide competitive energy sources to help us lower overhead costs and will retrain our workers to provide them with skills suited to today's technology so we can manufacture the products we bring to market."
David M. Chenevert, President of Cumberland-based Swissline Precision Mfg. Inc., was also present at today's event. "The issue of a skills gap can be solved if business leaders and educators are allowed to do what they do best," said Chenevert. "The type of program that Brendan Doherty is advocating is not a band aid approach to solving RI skills gap issue but a long term answer to the concerns of manufacturers in Rhode Island."