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NH's Shaheen: Renewable energy use is a priority

NH's Shaheen: Renewable energy use is a priority(via forbes.com)New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says upgrading the nation's aging

transmission system, helping clean energy companies succeed and

establishing a national standard for renewable energy use are her

priorities for the upcoming energy bill.Shaheen gave her first major speech on national energy policy Monday at the

New Hampshire Forum on the Future at the Bedford Village Inn.Shaheen, a member of the Senate Energy Committee, also said small and large

manufacturers alike need help with financing to become more

energy-efficient so they can cut costs and become more competitive

globally. And a skilled work force is needed to make homes and businesses

energy-efficient, too, she said.She said millions of new jobs will be created in alternative energy and

energy efficiency. She said the United States is already competing for

those jobs and is behind countries such as China and Germany."At a time when unemployment is spiking, businesses are struggling, and

families are making difficult choices just to get by, our only option is to

confront our energy challenges head-on and make significant investments in

our nation's future," she said in prepared remarks.Shaheen said New Hampshire is especially vulnerable to the nation's energy

policies. According to the Energy Department, it is one of the nation's

most petroleum-dependent states because of its reliance on oil to heat

homes. Demand for electricity is also on the rise, she said."We need to invest in new energy technology not only to meet these

increased demands, but also to mitigate against the threats of climate

change," she said.She lauded efforts by local companies and programs for helping the state

and national transition to a clean energy future, such as GT Solar in

Merrimack, which makes equipment for solar panels, and Segway, which has

introduced the PUMA, a zero-emissions, two-seat electric vehicle.But, she said, change can be as simple as "taking what we know and making

it better by being more efficient and more sustainable in the way we think

about and use energy and our natural resources," such as using New

Hampshire forest byproducts to create energy.Shaheen says all of these initiatives will help create more jobs, but "we

are going to have to negotiate and compromise," she said of her colleagues

in Washington."In Washington I've found there aren't just partisan differences, there are

geographic differences, as well. For example, biomass is an important

resource to us in New Hampshire, and I'm working to make sure it's utilized

in the best, most efficient way in the energy bill. In Michigan, they're

concerned about advanced fuel cell batteries and in the Dakotas, wind is a

priority."For the latest renewable energy jobs please click here