We had breakfast with John Busel and Bob Lindyberg, my co-presenters, in the Rayburn Building. What strikes me about this is the accessibility to our government. Although we walked through a metal detector, you realize that no one asks why you are there or tries to prevent you from entering. Our government is accessible, and if you want change, then you need to speak up. Doing this as a group is even more effective. And you may have to do this time after time, but isn’t that true for anything that you are trying to change?
We headed to the cafeteria for breakfast. I noted that the plates and cups are made from recycled materials. Although the country may sometimes be slow to adopt trends, our government does try to adopt important trends first, like recycling. This was clearly illustrated in the café. I was happy to see lots of healthy food options, a welcome site to a traveler.
After breakfast, we went the briefing room. I felt very comfortable in what I was about to do. When speaking to our congressional members and staffers, it’s important to make a clear case for what you want – our ask. You can’t leave behind too many messages. The clearer and simpler those messages are, the better. They are asked to support many things.
We started our preparations for this visit a few weeks earlier and made sure we knew what we were about to ask for. As for my expectations—they are high. I want to see energy policy. I want a National Renewable Electric Standard (RES). This is a key driver of wind energy growth in the U.S., and currently we have short-term policy in place. Other regions of the world have national policies and incentives, and the U.S.—one of the largest markets—does not. We’re also asking for policy to support R&D into wind energy. The U.S. initiated this important industry 20-plus years ago with the onset of the energy crisis. Our government was there with the proper vision, but we let it go, and the industry was nurtured and grew up in Europe. The world leaders in this market are headquartered there, with the exception a few. The revenues, jobs have been realized by those nations for some time. It’s time for the U.S. to get behind this too.