Bipartisan Agreement on Affordable, Reliable, and Clean Energy

August 11, 2023

Congressman Peters knows our electric grid needs to be modernized and expanded to withstand increasingly severe weather events across the country. His BIG WIRES Act would ensure renewable energy can be efficiently transferred between regions and lower costs for consumers.

Read more about it in this July 26th piece from Energy Portal, posted below:

Bipartisan Agreement on Affordable, Reliable, and Clean Energy

By Daniel Hall

July 26, 2023

U.S. Representative John Curtis of Utah and Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado have expressed bipartisan agreement on the importance of developing energy sources that are affordable, reliable, and clean. Both legislators recognize the shared goal of cleaner air and energy that is accessible to all while ensuring resilience against extreme weather events.

Curtis, as vice chair of the House Energy, Climate, and Grid Security and Federal Lands subcommittees, understands the need for clean and affordable energy in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes coal, oil, and gas interests. He emphasizes the importance of considering these three factors when discussing energy solutions, as his constituents are concerned about leaving a better Earth for future generations.

Permitting reform is a key topic among lawmakers, with conversations occurring across party lines and in both the House and Senate. Curtis highlights the significance of permitting reform for various energy projects, such as electrical transmission lines and oil and gas infrastructure. Streamlining the permitting process would help expedite the development of energy projects.

Hickenlooper introduced the Building Integrated Grids With Inter-Regional Energy Supply (BIG WIRES) Act in collaboration with Representative Scott Peters. This legislation aims to facilitate interregional electric transmission through the construction of new transmission lines and facility upgrades. The BIG WIRES Act is intended to address the disparities in electricity access and renewable energy availability across different regions of the country.

The bill’s authors argue that such measures are necessary to prevent power outages like the one experienced during the 2021 Texas storm. Curtis acknowledges the potential challenges in securing a vote for the bill but emphasizes the importance of passing legislation rather than relying on executive action, as legislative measures are more enduring and less likely to be undone by future administrations.

Curtis also mentions his membership in the Conservative Climate Caucus, which comprises around one-third of the House Republican Conference. He notes that the dialogue within the caucus has evolved to focus on presenting ideas related to climate instead of engaging in debates solely about the existence of climate change. This shift reflects a growing recognition among conservatives of the need to address climate issues effectively.

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