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A Bipartisan Opportunity in Advanced Energy Manufacturing

March 27th, 2013

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Our nation’s history is proof that manufacturing jobs lead to middle-class growth. At roughly the same time manufacturing’s share of the total workforce dropped from 20% to 9%, the middle class has shrunk from 61% of the U.S. population to 51%. While the U.S. manufacturing sector has recovered 500,000 jobs since early 2010, a major opportunity is surfacing in the clean energy sector. A $7 trillion clean energy market is developing around the world, and clean energy manufacturing provides an opportunity to renew and modernize our manufacturing sector.

The Obama Administration is already moving to help companies seize the clean energy opportunities. The Department of Energy is launching a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI), focused on growing American manufacturing of clean energy products. Led by Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, the initiative includes modern analysis of the global clean energy manufacturing supply chain to inform the Department’s future funding decisions. This is a program that will empower companies to use our nation’s competitive advantages for their and America’s gain. It is ensuring our government is the most-well-informed government in the world and can help American companies out-compete the likes of China, South Korea, or Germany.

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Iran Sanctions Could Be a Diplomatic and Political Slam Dunk for Obama

July 3rd, 2012

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By: Robert Walther and Aki Peritz

This piece was originally posted on National Journal.

This past March, the 24-hour news cycle was filled by pundits deriding the Obama administration for its handling of gasoline prices. With gas prices down 15% to $3.42 a gallon, those critics have gone silent. Yet, the EU and US sanctions on Iran that were recently put into full effect are leading some to predict a new rise in prices–just as we head into the primetime of the election year. It might make for interesting headlines, but the facts suggest the sanctions are unlikely to have a significant impact on American gas prices.

Global oil production has been rising at a time that the European economy is contracting and the market has weakened remarkably. Prices dropped to under $80 dollars a barrel last week. While news out of Europe of a bailout deal strengthened the oil sector on Friday, the current low prices will serve to cushion any impacts of Iranian oil curtailment. Also, let’s not forget that Iranian crude exports are already down nearly 40% from last year’s levels—yet this reduced output has not reversed the downward trend of world oil prices. What’s more, the six month waivers granted to China and nineteen other nations will provide an outlet for Iranian crude over the short-term, easing any strains on market. Read the rest of this entry »

Doing Hard Time in Fossil Fuel Prisons: Is Public Investment in R&D Un-American?

June 17th, 2011

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This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

The June 15 House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing (PDF) on federal energy programs smacked of science fiction. A government agency is actually doing its job. Fuel for cars made from sunlight, wind turbines that could be suspended in the air like kites on their own power, a method to capture carbon dioxide based on the human lung; all are possibilities that the Department of Energy (DOE) is helping explore.

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