SENS. VOINOVICH, PRYOR INTRODUCE BILL TO EXPEDITE DEVELOPMENT OF CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
Will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, give developing world cleaner energy options
Today, U.S. Senators George V. Voinovich (R-OH) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) introduced a bill to initiate an international effort to develop the new technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy security while protecting jobs and the economy. The International Clean Energy Development Act of 2009 (ICED) would direct the U.S. program office of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) to establish a committee focused on the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies - including cleaner fossil fuel and power generation - through U.S. support.
"Countries like China and India will continue to use coal regardless of the availability of clean energy technologies," Sen. Voinovich said. "We must work to give these countries and the rest of the world better, cleaner energy options while protecting jobs and the economy. Our bill focuses the American legacy of entrepreneurship and innovation on finding a solution to climate change by creating incentives for the development and deployment of new clean energy technologies. I urge my colleagues to take quick action on this bill and I will continue to spearhead efforts to craft policies that promote a clean and secure energy future."
"Technology holds the key to domestic and international cooperation on reducing greenhouse gases," Sen. Pryor said. "That's why we must accelerate the next generation of technology to the marketplace by making a committed investment in the innovation of clean energy technology development. Coordinating this program through the Asia-Pacific Partnership holds the most promise for achieving a cleaner energy future."
ICED would enable APP to strengthen its focus on the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies and provide a $200 million per year investment from Fiscal Year 2010 to 2015 for that purpose. The Development and Commercialization Committee on Clean and Efficient Energy Technologies, formed by ICED, will review all existing APP action plans involving the research, development and commercialization of clean energy technologies. It will then single out and invest in the acceleration of the plans which show the most promise. Participating projects which are selected to receive U.S. funding support will be required to match the acceleration funding provided by the United States dollar-for-dollar in order to increase the value of the project to both the project participants and American taxpayers, yielding a minimum of $2 billion in investments in clean energy projects over five years.
The Committee will facilitate collaboration between national laboratories, educational institutions, private sectors, local and national policy makers, and other technical and policy experts within APP member countries with respect to the development of promising technologies including new carbon capture and sequestration technologies. APP partners include Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea and the United States.
The Committee will be housed within the APP U.S. Program Office at the Department of State and would be comprised of technical and energy policy experts appointed by the Secretary of State. Appointments would stem from: the Departments of State, Energy, Commerce and Treasury; the Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Agency for International Development; the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and the Council on Environmental Quality.
Within one year after the Committee is established, the Secretary of State will be required to report to Congress on the actions taken by the Committee and the results being realized by the selected projects. The Committee must also identify and describe priorities for the development and commercialization of clean and efficient energy technologies and strategies for promoting those technologies within the APP member countries, taking into account the economic and national security interests of the United States.
ICED is co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Kit Bond (R-MO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Richard Burr (R-NC).