U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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Building a clean-energy future for Delaware and the nation

Global investment in clean energy has taken off, with growth charted at more than 200 percent since 2005. If we want to stay competitive, the United States has to outpace our foreign competitors in the race to discover, develop and commercialize clean energy technologies. This is important for our economy, jobs, energy security, and environment. 

We can compete – and win – if we focus on innovation and take an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to our energy future that includes public-private partnerships and a commitment to developing new markets. This will create good-quality jobs across the country, but particularly in Delaware, where we are leading the way fostering clean energy research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Our state can be a model as we explore innovative solutions to our nation’s energy needs.

Senator Coons’ energy priorities include:

  • Financing clean energy projects. Innovative new energy technologies deserve to be supported by innovative new financing vehicles. Chris introduced the bipartisan Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act of 2013 to help level the playing field for clean energy projects and bring waves of new capital off the sidelines. His legislation allows the innovative financing currently used to support traditional energy projects and pipelines to be applied to clean energy – allowing new technologies to compete more fairly in the marketplace.  It has been introduced in the House as well and has gained the support of many diverse groups – businesses, trade associations, environmental advocates, labor, think tanks and more.  
  • Supporting innovative research and basic science. While clean energy projects will be launched and jobs will be created by the private sector, Chris understands that the federal government has an important role to play promoting innovative policies to bring new technologies from development to commercial production. This includes working with Senator Lamar Alexander to reauthorize investments in basic science and technology through cutting-edge programs such as the Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy (ARPA-E) and the Department of Energy’s science research programs.
  • Investing in renewable energy solutions. We have abundant renewable sources of energy right here in the United States, including wind, solar, geothermal and other solutions. We have to invest in commercializing alternative energy solutions like offshore wind, fuel cells, and advanced biofuels and make them widely available to consumers. In Delaware, we are already moving forward to manufacture clean energy fuel cells and grow a wind-power industry off our shores.
  • Expanding opportunities for energy efficiency. Energy-efficient technologies and practices save money, provide greater energy security, and improve the environment. From modern lighting and appliance standards to homeowner tax incentives and fuel economy standards, energy efficiency policies benefit Delawareans and our country as a whole. Chris is a champion of bipartisan solutions to spur energy efficiency deployment, including the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (Shaheen/Portman), of which he is a cosponsor, and the bipartisan Weatherization Enhancement, and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act, of which he is a lead sponsor.
  • Developing next generation biofuels. Senator Coons knows that biofuels can play in meeting economic, national security, and environmental goals. He is a leading advocate for advanced, next generation biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, and drop-in fuels like bio-butanol, and is actively working to support the research, development, and deployment of these advanced biofuels in order to grow this nascent industry. 
  • Supporting alternative vehicles, fuels and infrastructure. If our country is going to harness new transportation options, we have to develop and commercialize innovative new technologies. This includes electric vehicles and the infrastructure, like charging stations, needed to accommodate them. That’s why Chris supports efforts to produce the next generation of electric vehicles in the U.S. and make them affordable to purchase. Investments in research and development for new battery technologies will pay off with vehicles that can go further and get there faster. Chris also supports efforts to bring innovative new biofuels to market to power America’s transportation future.   
  • Encouraging the federal government to buy more clean energy. The federal government is a major consumer of energy, both in terms of liquid fuels and electric power. There are a number of opportunities for the federal government, especially the Department of Defense, to lead by example. The federal government should do all it can to use energy more efficiently and purchase clean energy resources. Chris sponsored the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2013 to encourage the federal government to invest even more in highly effective public/private partnerships that help the environment and save taxpayers money as energy costs are reduced.
  • Using our offshore resources wisely. While we will depend on fossil resources for some years to come, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was a painful reminder that we must have proper oversight, regulation and new cleanup mitigation approaches for offshore development. We should support exploration and production in the regions that are currently open for oil and gas. Additionally, Chris strongly supports developing offshore alternative energy, including new offshore wind projects as well as marine and hydrokinetic technologies in the future.


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