T. Boone Pickens
PLEASE CREDIT PHOTO: Ralph Alswang
"Wired for Progress Version 2.0," hones in on the key decisions facing Congress and the Obama administration in coming days and weeks as they take up the challenge of rebuilding America's electricity infrastructure. Version 2.0 focuses on the four major hurdles to building a national clean energy smart grid—planning, siting, cost allocation, and ensuring the low-carbon attributes of the electricity. We then examine three broader policy imperatives—grid intelligence, physical and cyber security, and job training and workforce development—that must also be part of this crucial modernization effort.
In February, the Center for American Progress published a major report on the urgent need to build a national clean energy smart grid to power an innovative, low-carbon 21st century economy that combats global warming and creates millions of good jobs. Titled "Wired for Progress 1.0," our report - based on an extensive stakeholder outreach process undertaken in partnership with the Energy Future Coalition – detailed the reasons why we need to build this national clean energy infrastructure quickly, and outlined key policy measures to move this complex project forward.
In just a few short weeks since that February release, Congress has made progress on drafting concrete legislative language and in building the political will to turn these policies into law. As this debate moves forward, it is critical that the essential features of the proposal remain clear, and the basic outlines of a national compromise be preserved. Reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil by examining short- and long-term solutions to replace foreign oil with domestic resources to fuel vehicles and trucks, including natural gas, is also an important issue to be addressed.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and energy executive T. Boone Pickens joined the Center for American Progress Action Fund, for a thought-provoking discussion on these issues.