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ICYMI: Hickenlooper Emphasizes Need for Affordable, Reliable Energy Transmission at Semafor Event on Permitting Reform

Jun 9, 2023

“[Manchin] and I have talked about convening a bipartisan group of people to look at this question of infrastructure”

“We should be one of the most abundant energy countries on earth”

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper joined Semafor editor at-large Steve Clemons to discuss bipartisan solutions for energy permitting reform. During the event, Hickenlooper emphasized the need to build out regional and interregional energy transmission capability to make energy delivery cheaper and more efficient.

Watch HERE, or see highlights below.

On his BIG WIRES Act and energy transmission reform

“BIG WIRES is the notion that we [don’t have] sufficient interconnectability and we also have missed opportunities. When you look at the overall wholesale cost of electricity in one region to another, if we could move that energy efficiently from region to region, there are tens of billions of dollars of savings, hundreds of billions of dollars…more than enough to pay for the cost of building that additional infrastructure.”

On the BIG WIRES Act being excluded from debt ceiling negotiations

“You asked me ‘was I disappointed that big wires didn’t get done?’… you bet,” said Hickenlooper.

“Part of what I think helps bring this country together is to find opportunities where it’s not Republican or Democrat, but it’s a common good that we can recognize. I think we will get BIG WIRES done for that very reason. I think there is so much potential on the table if we can get this regional capacity built to scale.”

On bipartisan solutions to climate change

“I understand climate change, and I have as strong a sense of urgency as anyone. But you can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We have working people in this country and around the world that need energy. And they need energy that is reliable and clean, but it’s also got to be affordable… I think we need to have a comprehensive plan that allows us to imagine a great transition to a clean energy future as quickly as humanly possible while respecting the rights of people all around the world.”

“[Manchin] and I have talked about convening a bipartisan group of people to look at this question of infrastructure. And it’s not just BIG WIRES, and the regional connections for our transmission system, I mean copper and lithium, the essential minerals– we could quite likely end up with a copper famine in 10 or 20 years. We need to get everybody around the table and start working on these issues and create a plan on how we are going to get from here to there so that we’re not producing the carbon dioxide that is poisoning our atmosphere and creating climate change.”


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