Highlighting the importance of investments in innovation for a stronger American economy, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew today toured the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) outside of Denver, Colorado. NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. The laboratory directs research programs whose efforts have helped to power our homes, businesses and transportation systems throughout the organization's 35-year history. Earlier today, the Secretary also met with leaders of Denver-area businesses to hear their views on the economy, their economic priorities for the coming months and the challenges they are facing.
During his visit to Denver, Secretary Lew discussed the President's economic priorities to strengthen the middle class and lay a foundation for long-term economic growth, including the need to invest in innovative technologies and prepare the American work force for the high-tech jobs of the future. These measures will help increase the momentum of the economic recovery and accelerate the pace of job creation.
"NREL is a stellar example of an important research investment that has moved the U.S. economy towards cleaner, more efficient forms of energy that will cut carbon pollution, protect our kids' health, reduce our reliance on foreign oil and support a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations," said Secretary Lew. "It also sets the standard for collaborative partnerships between the public and private sectors. We are committed to securing a clean energy future and investments in innovative institutions like the NREL will help to make this possible."
Based in Golden, NREL employs 1,600 full-time employees and 800 visiting researchers, interns and contractors. The laboratory specifically emphasizes a comprehensive energy approach that encompasses the relationship among key systems to make energy use and delivery systems more efficient. By developing renewable energy technologies and advancing related science and engineering, NREL has helped to further the nation's energy and environmental goals. The laboratory's work has contributed significantly to our ability to double U.S. generation of renewable energy over the past four years and will help accomplish President Obama's goals of doubling energy productivity by 2030 and re-doubling renewable energy generation by 2020.
While in Denver, the Secretary also visited with employees of the U.S. Mint.