Post Election Engagement on Renewable Energy

Here we are on the eve of the mid-term elections. You are probably tired of robo-calls, political mail and yard signs — and ready to go to the polls.

Thankfully, no matter what your party affiliation, there’s a bipartisan issue that we can all agree on and that is 25x’25’s goals for cleaner forms of energy.

We can all agree there are multiple economic benefits from clean energy that benefit our entire nation. Through one policy alone, the Renewable Fuels Standard, the renewable fuel sector has generated $184.5 billion of total economic output annually across the United States. In addition, Fuels America reports, more than 852-thousand jobs are supported, $46.2 billion in wages and $14.5 billion in tax revenue are realized. That’s economic activity no one should ignore.

In the past year, record levels of biomass, biofuel, solar and wind generation capacity has come on-line. Thanks to contributions from our nation’s farmers, ranchers and foresters, today over 10 percent of our nation’s energy supply comes from renewable sources.

And we can all agree that diversifying our nation’s energy mix to include local sources that never run out is a smart strategic move that reduces our dependence on foreign oil. It makes us more resilient and helps ensure our national security interests. It makes us more independent—a freedom we cherish—of other nations that don’t always have our best interests at heart.

We can all agree that we like to breathe clean air and drink clean water, two important co-benefits of renewable energy development.

The USDA recently reported that we haven’t really begun to understand and quantify the economic effects of the bio-economy, specifically the non-fuel bio-economy. However, one trade source called USDA’s, Why Biobased? report—”It’s the multi-trillion biobased economy, stupid.” We can all agree that real, multi-billion, let alone multi-trillion dollar growth opportunities are good for our country.

We can all agree that our agriculture and forestry producers are becoming more and more efficient, providing not only food, feed, fiber and fuel to meet growing demands; but the scientific and technological advances they employ decrease greenhouse gas emissions and can help us counter the effects of increasing temperatures and extreme weather.

Next Tuesday is Election Day, and no matter which candidates win, the stage will be set for the post-election engagement of a new generation of policy officials who will be leading our country, our states and our counties.

It’s incumbent upon all of us to engage these newly elected leaders and reinforce our support for the new energy future that is evolving. We must help them appreciate the tremendous, multi-faceted benefits of all forms of renewable energy.

No matter the outcome that occurs at the polls, we must remember that clean energy is a bipartisan issue. Come Wednesday, the next chapter in our quest to achieve the 25x’25 goal begins. Further gains in clean energy won’t just happen on their own accord. It will take a concerted effort by all of us to develop and maintain the public policy planks necessary to continue the growth of this beneficial and essential sector.

We’ve come a long way over last decade, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels. We must take the high road, redouble our efforts and reinforce with policy and decision makers the multiple economic, environmental, and national security benefits that can be obtained in a 25x’25 energy future. Join us in this epic journey.

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