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Locals Voice Support For Knight Energy Bills

Measures To Spur Energy Innovation Endorsed By Groups In Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys

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Washington, September 16, 2016 | comments

Organizations from the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley are formally backing a pair of measures by Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) that would grow the region’s presence in the renewable energy industry.

The Santa Clarita Economic Development Corporation, Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, and City of Palmdale all wrote letters in the past month supporting two pieces of legislation by Knight.  H.R. 5638, the Solar Fuels Innovation Act, and H.R. 5349, the Energy Contracting Opportunities Act, would both expand opportunities for the many companies in the region that work on solar energy. All four entities acknowledge that renewable energy plays a large role in the local economy and endorse Knight’s efforts to grow the industry. 

“The energy sector continues to evolve and it is important that our region continues to capture new growth opportunities,” said Palmdale City Manager James Purtee in the City’s letter. “Investment in new technologies and the removal of bureaucratic roadblocks are two critical paths for fostering job growth.”

The Energy Contracting Opportunities Act, which currently awaits committee consideration, would change an outdated rule for federal agencies that limits their ability to enter into long-term contracts with energy companies, bringing them in line with contracting options currently only available to the Department of Defense. The Solar Fuels Innovation Act would institute a research program at the Department of Energy Office of Science to develop the advanced chemistry needed in order to convert sunlight into storable fuels. It passed the House in July with unanimous, bipartisan support.

Knight, who serves as Vice-Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy, says both bills would spur innovation and encourage economic development  

“These measures would benefit the many businesses in our community that work with renewable energy but face barriers to growth,” said Knight. “I am pleased to have the support of so many great local groups, and I look forward to working with them to expand opportunities in our region.” 

 
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