Creating Change by Having Conversations with Policy Makers

As respected leaders in their communities, chambers of commerce often serve a critical role as conveners for important conversations between their member companies and federal, state and local policy leaders. In addition to often being newsworthy, these discussions are also critical steps in ensuring that policies benefit local economic development.

In Norfolk, Virginia, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a discussion with David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who delivered what a local newspaper called “an optimistic forecast of the future that included cheaper batteries and LED lights, cars with double the gas mileage and affordable solar projects.”

Danielson spoke to the chamber’s Business Leader Roundtable.

One example of progress Danielson cited is a $47 million federal grant that Dominion Virginia Power recently won to install two offshore wind turbines more than 550 feet tall. He predicted that wind turbines could generate 20 percent of the country’s power by 2030. “This will be Virginia pioneering something nationally,” he said, adding that energy efficiency presents a multi-trillion dollar opportunity for the U.S. companies.

“We’re in an exciting time as it relates to our energy strength as a nation,” Danielson said. “If you look at our energy security, the opportunity we have to really lead in addressing global and environmental issues, and the opportunity that presents for us to continue to reinvigorate our economy and our manufacturing base, it’s pretty phenomenal the number of things that are converging in our direction right now.”

Are you looking to host a good conversation about energy policy in your state? Let us know. We can help by identifying leading regional and national voices in energy innovation.