Baucus Brings U.S. Energy Secretary to Butte Jobs Summit
Senator Highlights Montana Energy Development at Economic Development Summit
Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010
(Butte, MT) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus invited U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to speak to Montanans about the future of U.S. energy and the importance of renewable energy development at the Economic Development Summit in Butte today.
Baucus was instrumental in bringing some of the country's foremost energy experts, including Chu, to the jobs summit to meet with Montana energy leaders and explore new ways to capture and develop the state's vast energy resources, from wind to coal to oil and gas to biomass.
"Montana has enormous potential to develop its energy resources, and with energy development comes good-paying jobs," said Baucus. "I thank Secretary Chu, along with the energy experts on our panels, for being here to connect with Montana businesses and continue our work to put Montana on the map as a leader in our county's energy future."
"Thanks to the leadership of Senator Baucus, Montana's support for wind, biofuels, hydropower and carbon capture technologies is creating jobs while helping to address the growing climate challenges we face," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The U.S. has the opportunity to be a world leader when it comes to clean and renewable energy, and Montana is poised to play a key role in ensuring the country's competitiveness in the global clean energy economy."
In total, Baucus hosted six energy panels at the Summit, bringing Montanans together with national energy leaders such as General Electric, Horizon, and Siemens, along with power purchasers such as Pacific Gas and Electric, the administrators of Western Area Power Administration and Bonneville Power Administration and Department of Energy.
During the Summit, Baucus announced an agreement between Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) and Northwestern Energy to coordinate the planning of two regional wind energy transmission projects, which will help move Montana's wind power out of the state to purchasing markets. Baucus has been pushing for months to facilitate the agreements to study the Montana Renewable Collector System (MTRCS) and the Mountain States Transmission Intertie (MSTI).
The Senator also announced that the nationally-recognized energy and efficiency firm, Pure Energy, will open an energy efficiency training center between Lavina and Roundup in October. The Pure Energy Center and Ranch will provide energy efficiency training programs and certifications for people in Montana's construction industry and for those who need to be re-skilled to meet today's energy savvy customers.
Baucus also met with Alex Pourbaix, the President of TransCanada, during the Summit to announce Transocean's open season for Montana oil producers to connect with the Keystone XL pipeline. This move will ensure the pipeline is an economic driver in Montana for years to come. On Friday, Baucus asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to proceed quickly with the completion of the permitting process for the pipeline so the project can begin.
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