Congressman plugs clean energy

The United States needs a clean energy revolution, Congressman Jay Inslee told audience members at an event Thursday evening in Funger Hall.

Rep. Inslee, D-Wash., serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is known for his efforts in Congress regarding green technology. Also the leader of the recently proposed New Apollo Energy Act, Inslee said he firmly believes innovative technological thinking will free Americans from the perils of the current misuse of natural resources.

“Perplexed by a real problem we are having,” Inslee said, he wrote a book a year and a half ago titled “Apollo’s Fire,” which discusses environmentally-friendly lifestyles.

“We’ve become addicted to Middle Eastern oil,” he said. “As I stared at this problem, I saw America’s lack of optimism to solve it.”

Inslee said he wrote his book to discuss “the ability of Americans to solve this problem” as he thrives on the ambition to deviate “from a fossil fuel-based transportation system to an electrical one.”

He said the current economic downturn can be partly fixed by developing clean energy.

“The economy was slowing down, yet no one could see the horizon of job growth through green technology,” he said.

At the event, hosted by the Office of Sustainability, Inslee said he sees opportunities between the vast number of innovators needed to pursue clean energy, and the great number of jobless Americans. He also said he is convinced that not only can the declining economy be improved through these job openings, but that a cleaner and more energy-efficient nation would develop as a result.

Inslee said a clean energy revolution is both an economic opportunity and social necessity.

“We have international competition for green technology,” he said, adding that “China is choking with coal – they’re very competitive with us,” when it comes to developing clean energy.

Promoting the growth of a clean energy revolution is no easy feat, Inslee said. To carry out its development, “we need entrepreneurs to inspire true change in the industry,” he said.

The Senate’s tedious procedures, however, are holding back the change that his bill proposes, he said.

“It’s up to Congress to help the entrepreneurial thrive.”

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