Senator Whitehouse’s Green Energy Summit

On Tuesday June 11th, 2013, Robert Cagnetta and Shaun Allen of Rhode Island SuperGreen Solutions attended Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) 4th Annual RI Energy and Environmental Leaders Day in Washington D.C..  The event was developed by Senator Whitehouse to give Rhode Island based clean energy and energy conservation representatives a chance to hear directly from federal officials and representatives about current federal policies and initiatives.

The day featured speeches about clean energy generation, energy conservation, and climate change by such notable environmental advocates as Vice President Al Gore, National Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and several federal officials including Enest Moniz, Secretary of Energy and Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.

The speakers highlighted the effects of climate change to Rhode Island and other waterfront states and how clean energy, and energy conservation are essential to America’s future prosperity, security, and goals towards energy independence. As one speaker stated, “rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and a rise in extreme weather events represents a call to action in our moral obligation to fight climate change”.

Several round table discussions allowed attendees to understand the administration’s current focus, as well as hear about upcoming policy initiatives.  As explained by the speakers, pending legislation, current laws, and other federal efforts seek to reduce the cost of clean energy, improve electrical distribution on a regional level, and revamp the tariff and market rules in the wholesale market.  The key, many said, was to promote innovation, provide government investment to improve the efficiency and cost of proven technologies, and encourage energy efficiency across the board.

About 80 private businesses and government policy representatives attended the event.  The round table discussions and post-event social allowed participants to engage in lengthy discussions related to clean energy and energy conservation activities and strengthen essential relationships between the government and private industry.