As demand for clean energy and related technologies continue to increase, it is critical that the United States continues to invest in growing our clean energy economy and workforce here at home. That will help ensure any corresponding increase in manufacturing jobs happens here in America, not in foreign countries like China.
Working together, the private sector and government can and should help increase domestic production of the materials and parts needed to support the clean energy boom, providing much-needed jobs for American workers while strengthening local economies throughout Alabama and across the country.
Advancing clean energy as part of our nation’s all-of-the-above energy strategy will not only support job creation and economic growth but will also help bolster energy independence and national security. As we work to expand and build out America’s clean energy capabilities, it is also critical that we continue improving and strengthening the entire electric grid so it can support our cleaner energy future.
That is why it is encouraging to see Alabama move forward with new investments that will help us build over a dozen new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at five locations across the state. As announced by Governor Kay Ivey last month, roughly $1.2 million will help build these new stations, making EVs a more practical choice of clean transportation for Alabamans.
These kinds of investments are critical in supporting a robust domestic clean energy economy. However, there is always room for improvement. In this case, the improvements that need to be made are in our nation’s inefficient permitting process.
To expedite clean energy projects that can create new manufacturing jobs, Congress must streamline and simplify the entire permitting process. That should be the next major legislative goal for Senator Katie Boyd Britt and our state’s entire congressional delegation.