Organizations representing construction, manufacturing and electrical workers joined solar and wind advocates in signing a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to take action that ensure electric grid updates are made if any infrastructure legislation is passed. The signatories also encouraged Congress to promote grid investments to reduce the impacts of outages and to increase transmission efficiency and security.
The letter was co-signed by AWEA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), WIRE and other groups. It was sent to Senators Mitch McConnell (R) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D) as well as Representatives Paul Ryan (R) and Nancy Pelosi (D).
“Just like highways and bridges, transmission is infrastructure that keeps the U.S. economy moving – and growing,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “Investment in new transmission lines will modernize the U.S. grid and deliver more clean energy to population centers. This investment also will help to keep the lights on and costs low for American homeowners and businesses. Recognizing transmission as essential infrastructure is another way Congress and the administration can keep promises of advancing all forms of energy while growing U.S. energy independence.”
Citing President Donald Trump’s (R) campaign promise to improve and modernize US infrastructure, the letter asserted that environmentally responsible expansion and improvements to the existing power grid would accelerate economic development, create jobs and save consumers money. The letter observed that electric grid modernization is unique among other forms of infrastructure. It also expressed that obstacles to grid modernization are related to regulatory practices and government policies, not a shortage of tax revenue.
“Modern electricity infrastructure is the missing piece of the puzzle that will allow the greater use of clean, abundant sources of energy in communities across America,” said SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “We’ve seen lower cost clean energy expand dramatically in parts of the country with modern infrastructure, and that is a trend that will only continue with supportive and sensible policy.”Tweet