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July 16, 2021
Press Release

(PITTSBURGH, PA) – Today, Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17) and Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald hosted Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and senior officials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a meeting with regional stakeholders to discuss the future of manufacturing and decarbonization.  

“Western Pennsylvania is poised to be a leader in building the clean economy of the future,” said Lamb.  “We have a combination of resources no one else has: steelmaking expertise, abundant natural gas, and world-class researchers at both NETL and the universities.  With the right investment this team can lead the world in low-carbon steel.”

“The work being done by the Biden Administration around energy, compliments our own focus on energy in this region over the past few years,” said Fitzgerald. “Those efforts, and those of Secretary Granholm, will move us towards a region which continues to lead on sustainable energy to produce a sustainable future.”

“When we look at the future of American manufacturing and decarbonizing our industrial sector, we see a way to advancing goals essential for our nation – securing our global competitiveness, keeping the American people safe, and investing in a more prosperous future.  Thanks to the work of Congressman Lamb and County Executive Fitzgerald to bring us all together, we can build a sustainable manufacturing base in America that can meet the demands of a thriving economy, give millions of Americans good-paying union jobs, and overcome the climate crisis,” said Granholm.

In Congress, as a member of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Lamb has led efforts to address these issues.  Lamb led multiple provisions that were included in the Energy Act of 2020, which was signed into law in December of 2020, to develop the technology necessary to reduce the effects of climate change from the power and manufacturing sectors, including:

  • Advanced the Clean Industrial Technology Act of 2019 (CITA), which established a cross-cutting research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program focused on reducing emissions from iron, steel, aluminum, cement, and chemical production;
  • Supported provisions to expand the scope of the Loan Program Office (LPO) at the Department of Energy to include industrial applications, such as steelmaking;
  • Served as lead cosponsor of H.R 4091, the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act, which doubled the funding authorization to explore cutting-edge research in the energy sector; and
  • Served as lead cosponsor of H.R. 3607, the Fossil Energy Research and Development Act of 2019, which expanded carbon capture utilization and sequestration research and demonstration programs at the Department of Energy, including for industrial sources.

Under the leadership of the County Executive, Allegheny County has invested over $20 million in sustainable projects throughout the county since 2012 including the use of solar, a commitment to net zero parks, restoration of natural areas to address stormwater, increased focus on recycling and reducing waste, and the purchase of electric and natural gas vehicles.  Earlier this year, Fitzgerald announced an investment in locally generated clean energy that will build capacity for the region to move toward sustainable energy.  The 35-year power purchase agreement provides for renewable energy generated by a 17.8 MW low-impact hydropower facility to be constructed on the Ohio River.

Fitzgerald also continues to be a champion for the energy industry, including advocacy for the clean use of fossil fuels as the region explores and transitions to clean energy.

The meeting featured senior leaders from the DOE as well as Secretary Granholm, including officials from the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) which funds research and development projects to reduce the cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the nation’s fossil resources; the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) which works to  create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy; and the Loan Program Office (LPO) which provides debt financing for the commercial deployment of large-scale energy projects.

In April, the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced $75 million in Federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects to accelerate technologies for the decarbonization of major industrial sectors, including the steel and natural gas industries – both critical for the economy and jobs in Western Pennsylvania.

In addition to the DOE leadership, meeting participants included local representatives from labor, academic, government, philanthropic and industry stakeholders.