Yesterday, my staff and I hosted a Clean Energy Economy Forum with 164 stakeholders from 39 states across the country. Participants represented a broad-based network of organizations and institutions – including sportsmen and women, business leaders, conservationists, and Indian country. Thank you to all who attended in person and who participated online.
The discussions centered around the need for a comprehensive energy plan that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, creates jobs, and reduces the pollution that causes climate change. The Department of the Interior has a unique role to play in each of these challenges.
As the managers of twenty percent of our nation's landmass and 1.7 billion acres of the outer continental shelf, Interior lands supply much of the nation's traditional and renewable energy resources. Since January, we have invested $41 million in recovery funds to facilitate a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of renewable energy on public lands and tribal lands. These investments are bringing about new clean energy jobs at a time when our country needs them most.
Interior is also leading the way when it comes to addressing the impacts of climate change. Recently, we established the first-ever coordinated departmental strategy to address climate change and are providing sound science, delivering land management strategies and innovative carbon sequestration strategies for the country.
But we can't do this alone. We need combined efforts of the groups represented at today’s forum and the American people to bring about such a massive change for our country and our world. Together we can create jobs, protect our treasured landscapes, and ensure a clean energy future for generations to come.
I look forward to more productive conversations and discussions in the days and months ahead. Check out Part 1 of the Clean Energy Economy Forum above, and the rest at the links below:
Ken Salazar is the Secretary of the Interior