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On Wednesday, July 14 at 12:30pm ET, Axios energy reporter Ben Geman unpacked alternative energy innovations and the impacts they'll make this year and beyond, featuring Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and American Clean Power Association CEO Heather Zichal.

Sen. Ed Markey unpacked his priorities with climate policy in the Senate, addressing clean energy, the current state of climate change, and a potential bipartisan deal to address these issues.

  • On his current top priorities regarding clean energy: “Number one is that we need a plan which dramatically reduces greenhouse gases across our country. Secondly, we have to have a plan which creates millions of new clean energy union jobs in our country. And thirdly, we have to make sure that we create jobs, but do so with environmental justice.”
  • On climate policy must-haves: “My perspective is that we have to do a bipartisan deal and the reconciliation bill at the same time. We have to be guaranteed that this time we put in place the policies that are necessary in order to once again make the United States the leader on all of these issues. The fires, the floods, the high temperatures all across our country make it very clear that we have a planet that is running a fever and there are no emergency rooms for planets. We have to act with the preventative care that we know we can put on President Biden's desk within the next couple of months.”

Heather Zichal dove into the American Clean Power Association’s ambitions as climate policy debates continue on Capitol Hill. She focused on the pandemic’s effect on clean power initiatives and zero carbon options in the coming years.

  • On the potential of offshore wind: “We believe we have a huge opportunity with the existing pipeline of projects now that the administration is moving on those pending applications. In addition to all the clean power the offshore wind industry can deploy, we're also going to be creating a whole series of new jobs and investment opportunities...We shouldn't be behind the EU. We shouldn't be behind China in terms of deploying offshore when we want to. We want to be the leader.”
  • On infrastructure talks coming to a head on Capitol Hill: “We're incredibly excited, this is truly a once in a generation opportunity to get more policies in place to support the deployment of clean energy. It's really exciting to see the holistic approach that Congress and the administration are taking...The fact that we've got Democrats and Republicans working together around transmission is really very important.”

Axios CEO & Co-founder Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with GE Senior VP and CEO of GE Renewable Energy Jérôme Pécresse where they discussed promising renewable energy technology.

  • On the future of offshore wind in the US: “I think of offshore wind as one of the two big things ahead of the US energy system in the next five to 10 years. Offshore wind is a sector that now in the world is getting global. It is already very significant in Europe. In the US there has for some years been very large untapped potential along the Eastern Seaboard. There is the potential to get a lot of projects before 2026, another 10 gigawatts before the end of the decade, and probably close to a hundred gigawatt when you get to 2050...There is a very large potential for job creation.”

Thank you General Electric for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Climate solutions could cause their own problems

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

World leaders are pondering unprecedented moves to combat global warming by speeding up the transition to clean tech — but they're also learning more about the potential downsides of those changes.

Why it matters: The changes will be needed to avoid the most dire climate scenarios. But there are potential environmental, human rights, and geopolitical risks to shifting how we get around, the way the electric grid operates, and how everything from cement is made to buildings are constructed.

Markey: Passing reconciliation bill "precondition" for successful climate summit

Photo: Axios

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) told an Axios virtual event this week that he believes Congress needs to pass strong climate and clean energy measures in the reconciliation package if the U.S. wants to be a leader at the UN climate summit in November.

Why it matters via Axios' Ben Geman: The world is nowhere near starting the steep greenhouse gas emissions cuts needed to keep the goals of the Paris climate agreement within reach. The summit is seen as a critical forum to spur more aggressive steps.

Senate Democrats' budget resolution includes key climate priorities

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Biden speak briefly to reporters as they arrive at the Capitol for a Senate Democratic luncheon, July 14. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Included in the newly released outline of Senate Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget resolution are key details on which climate provisions made the cut.

Why it matters: The budget resolution sets the stage for consideration of a Democrats'-only measure to fund some of President Biden's key priorities, including some of the most far-reaching proposals yet enacted in the U.S. to tackle the climate crisis.