Last Friday, Vice President Joe Biden made a stop at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado to talk about the nation’s energy policy. Biden showed a strong backing for emerging renewable energy technologies throughout his speech,urging the nation to aggressively continue research and development ofrenewables.
Biden, at the outset, made clear his strong relationship with DOE Secretary Steven Chu, and his reasoning for backing what NREL and theother 15 national labs are doing in the way of R & D. The VicePresident asked the crowd to "imagine" several scenarios that are madepossible and will be made possible by continuing research anddevelopment.
And continued research and development, Bidenaffirmed, should be led by the United States. Not at the expense ofgrowing nations, Biden cautioned, and not in a chauvinistic way. The VPmade clear that development in China and India is good for the world,but that it is important for the United States to lead the world in this new science, and provide the "spark" for private enterprise.
While most of the focus was on what NREL and other labs are doing, Biden also touched on the relationship between public and private sectorsthroughout history, a touchy subject in recent years in the politicalrealm.
The Vice President chose several key moments in historythat were assisted by a working relationship between the federalgovernment and private corporations to make things such as firearmsduring the revolutionary war, and lay railroad track during Lincoln’spresidency.
Also, Biden spoke about JFK’s desire to go to the moon as not just aboutmaking it to the moon, but more so about creating thousands of newscientist jobs, researching and developing semiconductors, now vital inmost of today’s technologies. The "spin-off", Biden explained, from theintellectual investment to go to the moon was so great it is notpossible to be calculated today.
With the doubt in the middleclass in the wake of the recent recession, Biden left the crowd with the idea of the "sunshot" initiative, like JFK’s "moonshot", highlighted by the unveiling of the Start-up America Initiative, a contest looking for the top entrepreneurial innovator in America.
It is the administration’s hope that funding the research, creation, andcommercial deployment of advanced technology will not only diminish ourcarbon footprint, but will help keep our middle class afloat by creating thousands of new jobs and position the United States to lead throughout the century.
To watch the speech, click here