TOLEDO – Congresswoman Kaptur welcomed the federal Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative here for its Midwest regional summit meeting by urging a recommitment to the goal of energy independence as a way to create jobs and keep America strong.
“We have a long tradition of innovation in our state—from the Wright Brothers to Edison to Kettering—and we must also innovate our way to energy independence,” Kaptur said to attendees of the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored event at the University of Toledo.
“We appreciate Assistant Secretary (Dave) Danielson coming to this hotspot for energy development.”
Kaptur noted Toledo’s prominence as a solar energy research center and Cleveland’s bid for federal support of a major wind energy project off the Lake Erie shore. “The LEEDCo project is one of the most exciting projects in the country,” she said, noting that Ohio already has more than 400 megawatts online already and the potential for as much as 6,000 additional megawatts of capacity.
“Energy dependence is our chief strategic vulnerability,” she said. “By making clean energy a national priority, we can end our harmful dependence on foreign oil and create thousands of new jobs in manufacturing right here in America’s heartland.”
The Midwest summit was the first of several regional events that are designed to showcase regional clean energy manufacturing activities and seek input on how the initiative can strengthen national and regional manufacturing competitiveness.
“Clean energy can drive America’s twenty-first century economy, but only if we create the right environment to allow industry to grow and thrive,” Kaptur said.
“That’s what we’ve been doing in Northern Ohio—investing in research and development and protecting against foreign competitors who seek to undermine our markets through dumping and to steal our intellectual property through industrial espionage.”
Also attending the regional summit were Akron native Deborah Wince Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, and representatives from ArcelorMittal, Eaton Corporation, General Electric, and First Solar, along with organizations such as NorTech and the AFL-CIO.