CHARLOTTE, N.C.—U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield today called for a “new energy future” that relies in part on nuclear energy to foster economic growth, create jobs and reduce energy costs to consumers.
Addressing 600 nuclear energy industry leaders at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s annual conference, the North Carolina Democrat said, “With lower energy costs, businesses have more money to invest and hire. When jobs are created, consumers have more money to spend and save. Therefore, a new energy future is about a new energy economy. This boosts our economy and everyone benefits.”
Butterfield represents the first congressional district in northeastern North Carolina. He serves as ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade, and as a member of the subcommittee on environment and the economy.
Energy policy is “an American issue,” not a partisan one, Butterfield said. Noting that President Obama has challenged the nation to generate 80 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2035, he said, “I believe this is a goal we can achieve.”
Nuclear energy produces 70 percent of the U.S. electricity supply that comes from low-carbon sources. Numerous independent analyses have identified it as technology that is central to the nation’s ability to achieve lasting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the electric sector.
“I believe the United States’ commitment to nuclear energy is strong,” Butterfield said. “Nuclear energy remains a key part of the energy mix in policy proposals from the White House and Congress.”
Investment in nuclear energy “must touch all parts of our country,” spanning rural and urban areas, public and private schools, and research universities and community colleges, Butterfield said. “The new energy economy must benefit all Americans. It is the only way to win the future.”
It is vitally important that Congress “get serious” about implementing a long-term energy policy, Butterfield said. “The consequences of inaction are enormous and unacceptable. We are running out of time, and we must act now,” he said.