The EXPO addressed the role that sustainable energy technologies are ready to play in solving the myriad problems facing America today, including volatile conventional energy prices, increased reliance on energy imports, job loss, the negative impacts of rising greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, and other environmental and public health problems that come from using fossil fuels. More than forty sustainable energy businesses, industry trade associations, government agencies, and policy research organizations set up exhibits to showcase the current status and near-term potential of a cross-section of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and programs.
Several Members of Congress assembled at the Expo for a morning news conference to show their support of renewable energy and energy efficiency, including the Co-Chair of the Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO), Co-Chairs of the House Caucus Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN), Vice-Chair of the House Caucus Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Rep. Inslee took the opportunity to announce his introduction of the U.S. Climate Action Now Act, which would improve the energy efficiency of buildings and help connect renewable energy sources to the grid.
An afternoon panel featured James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence and currently with Booz Allen Hamilton, Gal Luft of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, Lars Hansen of Novozymes North America, and David Sandalow, author of Freedom from Oil. The discussion focused on the national security implications of our dependence on imported oil and the future outlook of biofuels and plug-in electric vehicles to reduce this dependence and reduce CO2 emissions. Woolsey challenged the audience to "do to oil what we did for salt," noting that once refrigeration technology was widely implemented, salt was no longer a strategic commodity that gave exporting nations power over others.
Founded in 1992, the Sustainable Energy Coalition is a coalition of four dozen national business, environmental, and energy policy organizations advocating aggressive development of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. EESI is a member of the Sustainable Energy Coalition.
On July 31st on Capitol Hill, the Sustainable Energy Coalition hosted the 11th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum in cooperation with Members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses.