Highlights from When America Leads: Competing for the Future of Clean Energy

Highlights from When America Leads: Competing for the Future of Clean Energy

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“We are not going to stand by and watch thousands of factories go overseas because we are going to level the playing field. We are going to make it competitive to be able to build stuff in this growing sector in the United States. No more are we going to be bystanders.” - US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm 

On Thursday, September 15, 2022, Third Way hosted an event that launched groundbreaking new analysis from Boston Consulting Group. The research, commissioned by Third Way and Breakthrough Energy, highlights six emerging clean energy technologies that the United States can build a durable competitive advantage with and drive economic development throughout the country. The discussion was led by Secretary Jennifer Granholm and included leaders from labor, industry, the public sector, and policy experts from leading NGOs. 

On the heels of the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, Investment Infrastructure and Jobs Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, the event highlighted how these three laws are laying the foundation for decades of American leadership in the global clean energy market and for partnership between the US and our allies. You can read Third Way’s Executive Summary here

Here are a few highlights from the event, as well as the full video: 

Josh Freed, Senior Vice President for Climate and Energy, Third Way

Throughout our history, America has a longstanding tradition of innovation, pairing federal action with private sector investment to drive US leadership in the industrial and manufacturing sector. We’re at another inflection point in the nation’s history, Josh Freed told the audience, with the opportunity to seize markets that will strengthen the economy, and cement the future of American-made clean energy.

Secretary Jennifer Granholm, US Department of Energy

Secretary Granholm emphasized the Biden Administration’s commitment to strengthening American competitiveness and building a strong and durable clean energy economy. The trifecta of recent legislation–Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)–addresses climate change and will help modernize the US industrial sector, while positioning America to be a clean energy powerhouse.

Secretary Granholm stressed the importance of investment in America’s innovation ecosystem, both to expand reliable, affordable, and secure clean energy access and to build millions of American jobs. 

Roxanne Brown, International Vice President at Large, US Steelworkers

Secretary Granholm moderated an engaging fireside chat with Seifi Ghasemi, CEO of Air Products, Roxanne Brown, International Vice President-At Large at United Steelworkers, and Eric Dresselhuys,CEO of  ESS Inc., touching on our biggest competitors in the global clean energy marketplace and how American industries and labor unions can capitalize on investments in recent legislation.

Roxanne Brown, spoke about the essential role of a unionized workforce in driving the clean energy transition. Drawing parallels to periods in  American history when the public and private sector and labor unions coalesced around building a strong and fair US industrial sector.

Dr. Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Senior Resident Fellow and Economist, Third Way

The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer moderated a panel discussion featuring Dr. Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Senior Fellow and Economist on Third Way’s Climate and Energy Program, Tina Zuzek-Arden from Boston Consulting Group, Mike Boots, Executive Director of Breakthrough Energy and Dr. Varun Sivaram, Special Advisor to US Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. 

Dr. Hughes Cromwick answers Robinson Meyer's question on how this report operationalized competitiveness, and she talks about how the recent troika of policies passed by Congress and promoted by the Biden Administration set the US up for success. 

Watch Full The Video

Over the next several months, Third Way will outline how strategic investments can be leveraged to bring each of the six clean energy technologies to market while giving American industry a unique competitive advantage. Make sure you sign up for our climate and energy list here to get these materials sent straight to your inbox.

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