(Remarks as prepared for delivery)
Today’s joint hearing of the full Environment and Public Works Committee and the Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy will focus on the tremendous opportunities for development of solar power and the creation of clean energy jobs in the United States, the challenges in taking advantage of those opportunities, and the policies we can put in place to ensure America is a global leader in solar energy.
We will hear from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar about the policies and programs that the federal government is developing to address the opportunities for clean energy development on federal lands.
Our other witnesses today represent American clean energy businesses that are building renewable power systems that help to heat and light the homes our families live in, power the office buildings we work in, and energize the cities and industries that help to drive our economy.
These innovative companies are building commercial-scale solar power plants to provide clean electricity to thousands of households, making the cutting edge solar panels that turn the sun’s energy into electrical power, and installing and managing solar power systems for homes and businesses across the nation.
They are working to help ensure that America leads the clean energy transformation.
I want to extend a special welcome to our witness from eSolar, which is based in Pasadena, California, and are building the United States’ only commercial scale concentrating solar tower power plant, near Lancaster, California.
We know that clean energy is a proven job creator.
Clean energy and energy efficiency jobs continue to be one of the bright spots in the California economy. On December 9th, the Los Angeles Times reported an analysis released by Collaborative Economics for the Next 10 organization that found green jobs increased by 5 percent -- while total jobs declined by 1 percent -- in California from January 2007 to January 2008. The study also found that between 1995 and 2008, green jobs grew at three times the rate of the overall California economy.
You can’t out-source the installation of a solar roof or a utility-scale solar facility located here in the U.S.– those jobs are created right here in America.
This country can and should be a leader of the clean energy revolution. The companies here today are operating in a global marketplace. I look forward to hearing from them about the steps we can take together to create clean energy jobs here at home as we lead the world to a clean energy future.