WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today joined experts from Third Way and the Breakthrough Institute in unveiling a new clean energy report that calls for increased investment in clean energy research and development. Brown led the panel discussion to outline the urgent need for Congress to strengthen support for clean energy technology innovation.

“Clean energy is the future of our nation, but it can also create jobs now – in Ohio and across the Midwest,” Brown said. “Done right, increased research and development of new clean energy technologies will drive innovation and reduce our dependence on foreign energy. Already in Ohio entrepreneurs and workers are leading the way.”

Brown was joined by Josh Freed and Vice President Matt Bennett of Third Way, a nonpartisan, progressive think tank and by Michael Shellenburger and Ted Nordhaus from the Breakthrough Institute, which specializes in climate and energy policy. The panel discussion focused report’s findings, and the importance of increasing federal investment in energy research and development. The report urges greater prioritization of clean energy technology and a coordinated approach to innovation. 

Brown is a leading advocate in Congress for the creation of a clean energy industry. Since 2007, Brown has held 130 roundtables across the state, meeting with workers and business leaders about how to position Ohio as a leader in the clean energy economy. At an unprecedented forum in Toledo this spring, Brown convened business, labor and environmental leaders to discuss how climate change initiatives could create new jobs and economic opportunities in clean energy across Ohio. Over the past year, Brown held three groundbreaking clean energy summits in Ohio, connecting business leaders, manufacturers, and farmers with federal energy officials.

In August, Brown introduced the IMPACT ACT, which would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small and medium sized manufacturers transition to the clean energy economy. Brown’s IMPACT ACT has gained the support of hundreds of businesses across the country and was included in the U.S. House climate change bill.   Brown also led ten U.S. Senators last month in writing to President Obama emphasizing the need for climate change legislation to be developed in a way that ensures the future competitiveness of American   manufacturing.

Earlier this year, Brown introduced several pieces of legislation that promotes establishing a clean energy economy in Ohio and across the country. Brown is the author of The Rubbish to Renewables Act of 2009, which would create jobs and increase demand for clean energy technology by creating a $250 million competitive grant program at the Department of Energy to support and expand the use of municipal solid waste as a clean energy source. In April, Brown introduced The Restoring America’s Manufacturing Leadership through Energy Efficiency Act of 2009. The bill would create a financing mechanism for businesses that want to adopt new energy efficient technologies to cut costs, save and create jobs, and improve competitiveness. At the start of the 111th Congress, Brown announced his Green Energy Production Act of 2009 that would expand clean energy research and development to help build a clean energy manufacturing base in Ohio.