WASHINGTON, D.C. — In case you missed it, this past Sunday and Monday, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Alaska to join U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski on a tour of clean energy research and development and renewable energy facilities in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Secretary Granholm’s visit highlighted the benefits of the recently Senate-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and the President’s Build Back Better Agenda that will create clean energy jobs, combat climate change, and create more resilient and healthier communities in Alaska and across the country.
In the News
The energy secretary said she welcomed the visit and emphasized the federal government’s interest in partnering with Alaska’s “energy pioneers” to apply knowledge and know-how to national and global issues on energy and climate science.
Granholm said she was interested in the opportunities for partnerships with Alaska Native communities. “Indigenous communities have been finding solutions for centuries,” she said. “We can learn from experience here.”
In the afternoon, Granholm received a warm greeting at the annual Renewable Energy Fair at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Despite a downpour that emptied outdoor booths promoting alternative energy and organic produce, among other exhibits, an indoor gathering led by proprietor Bernie Karl featured Granholm, Murkowski and Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who touted his subscription as a young adult to Mother Earth Magazine for prompting him to “think outside the box.”
“You in Alaska have been warming faster than any other state. You see it with the permafrost thaw and the lower salmon runs,” she said. “You ... also have the solutions and that means a lot to help us get there.”
In Fairbanks, Granholm and Murkowski went to several locations including the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Cold Climate Housing Research Center, the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility and Chena Hot Springs. They concluded their Fairbanks trip by taking a tour of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. They then flew to Anchorage where they had a conversation with National Hydropower Association President Malcolm Woolf at the Lakefront Hotel in Spenard.
“You’ve got every kind of renewable energy here,” she said. “You have sun, you have wind, you have hydropower, you’ve got geothermal, you’ve got biomass from the interior forested areas, (and) when you have every bit of the solution out there, this is why Alaska’s leadership in clean energy is so important.”
Murkowski and her guest Granholm also visited the Cold Climate Housing Research Center and the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility. “Alaska has so much to offer, and to teach the rest of the country about renewable energy, about various types of clean energy technologies,” Granholm said.
She also said President Biden’s goal is to increase renewable energy in the U.S. and to export it abroad. “We want to make sure that the U.S. takes advantage of this $23 trillion global market, that we’re not just standing by and allowing our economic competitors to take advantage of it, but that we’re doing it, that we are building these products, that we are stamping them ‘Made in America.’”
"Earlier this week, I met up with Sen. Lisa Murkowski to tour Alaskan clean energy projects in my role as U.S. Secretary of Energy. While Alaska is known as the “Last Frontier,” I learned during my trip how this state is pioneering our clean energy future."
"It also means the biggest investment in clean energy transmission in our nation’s history. This includes $25 billion for energy demonstration projects in advanced nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and more, plus money for critical mineral extraction to boost domestic supply chains for clean technologies.
All of this is going to create good-paying, union jobs and long-term economic opportunity for Alaskans. And it will help the fossil fuel workers who have powered our nation secure family-sustaining, skills-matched jobs, from running carbon capture to plugging orphaned wells.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal means big things for Alaska, and this administration is going to keep fighting for Alaska’s clean, secure energy future through President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. As I heard Alaskans say often up here: North to the future!"
The visit coincides with the recent passage of the bipartisan infrastructure deal and is intended to show how investments and research and development funding “will bring jobs and help build the state’s clean, secure energy future,” Granholm’s office said.
“America’s Last Frontier is leading the way to advance technologies that will make our clean energy transition possible,” Granholm said in a statement “I look forward to joining Senator Murkowski to witness this innovation.”
On Social Media
Sen. Lisa Murkoski: I was glad to host @ENERGY @SecGranholm, at the 15th Annual Chena Renewable Energy Fair, an event which promotes the groundbreaking work being done by Alaskans to harness the renewable energy potential across our state.
National Hydropower Association: Many thanks to @ENERGY @SecGranholm & Sen. @lisamurkowski for participating in our 2021 NHA Alaska Regional Meeting. #Hydropower is an essential part of a climate solution, & we appreciate their support, as it will help accelerate America’s push to a carbon-free grid #cleanenergy