Local Chambers Set the Record Straight on Clean Power Plan Support

October 13, 2017

By Doug Luciani, Aaron Nelson, and Diane Doucette

When it comes to what is good for local economies and communities, local chambers of commerce are as American as apple pie.

That is why, as the Co-chairs and Executive Director of a nationwide network of 1,200 local chambers representing 900,000 businesses, we have repeatedly supported the Clean Power Plan that EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt this week signed a measure to repeal.

And that is why we feel we must make our voices heard again: because growing jobs, attracting businesses investments, and keeping our communities healthy are on the line.

While a diverse group, local chambers across this nation are united in support for what is in the best interest of our local businesses, economies, and communities. For many, that includes the economic development benefits of clean energy.

Clean energy is the biggest and fastest-growing energy sector in America. As CEOs of local chambers of commerce, we have first-hand experience with the economic benefits that clean energy and innovation are providing. We have seen a growth in jobs and investments through wind, solar, battery, and other innovative and exciting energy technologies.

Investing in clean energy is a powerful, positive trend with some mighty big supporters. In Michigan, Republican Governor Rick Snyder, like the Republican Governors of Illinois and Ohio, adopted a new policy this year to grow the clean energy economy.

In North Carolina, we celebrated the opening of a $400 million wind farm in one of our state’s most economically distressed communities—as well as the passage of a comprehensive energy bill that will keep our state a leader in solar energy.

We have welcomed wind farm projects in Ohio that are bringing in more than a billion dollars to three rural communities, and celebrated 7,000 new jobs and $94 million in new investments from new solar projects in Utah.

Simply put, there is broad support for the opportunities clean energy presents. More than 350 companies and investors have voiced their support for the Clean Power Plan including some of America’s largest and most innovative corporate leaders like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

This week’s reversal of America’s commitment to clean energy not only runs counter to what is actually creating job growth in America, it runs counter to what is creating our nation’s energy independence. It also threatens to diminish America’s position in the global energy innovation race while China and other nations make more significant commitments to clean energy.

Let’s remain a strong nation by embracing innovation not turning from it. There are too many good opportunities in clean energy ahead.

Doug Luciani is CEO of TraverseConnect in Traverse, MI. Aaron Nelson is CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina. They are Co-chairs of Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE). Diane Doucette is CICE’s Executive Director.