July 18, 2012
PORTLAND – Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland, will join other lawmakers from the Northeastern states and Eastern Canadian provinces to assess and discuss the costs and benefits of regional clean-energy standards and hear about successful approaches to decreasing electricity demand during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC) on July 20 – 23 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Well-designed policy in these areas has the potential to enhance the region’s economic future while improving public health and advancing goals of energy independence and security.
The meeting, entitled “Regional Challenges and Shared Opportunities,” is the largest gathering of state officials and Eastern Canadian provincial leaders in the Northeast. It will be held at Bally’s Hotel.
“Energy-efficiency meets electricity needs at far lower costs than new power plants and expanded transmission infrastructure that would otherwise be required to keep up with ever escalating demand,” said State Rep. Jon Hinck, vice chair of the CSG/ERC Energy & Environment Committee. “Experts from some of the states with the most successful efficiency programs and best energy building standards will share their knowledge with our committee members.”
At a separate event, a senior analyst from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will be presenting the findings of NREL’s recent ''Renewable Electricity Futures Study'', which asserts that renewable electricity from technologies that are commercially viable today, in concert with a more flexible electric system, are more than adequate to meet 80 percent of total U.S. electricity generation by 2050.
Following the presentation, three legislative committee chairs –Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko, chair of the Delaware House’s Energy Committee; Massachusetts State Sen. Marc Pacheco, chair of the Massachusetts Senate’s Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change and the Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture; and New Jersey State Assemblyman Upendra Chivakula, chair of the New Jersey Assembly’s Telecommunications and Utilities Committee – will discuss debates in their respective states on the future of their Renewable Portfolio Standards.
“I am pleased to be joining Rep. Hinck and our U.S. and Canadian colleagues to assess the status of state clean-energy standards, and discuss the role that renewables have played in boosting our economy and creating local jobs, while reducing air pollution,” said Pennsylvania State Rep. Chris Ross, chair of the CSG/ERC Energy & Environment Committee.
On July 22, participants will wrap up the program with a tour of PSEG’s Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power stations and the company’s Energy and Environmental Resource Center, in Salem, New Jersey. Legislators will participate in a roundtable discussion with William Levis, President and CEO of PSEG Power, on nuclear safety following the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Mr. Levis has served as a top resource on the issue for the industry. They will also have an opportunity to hear from independent nuclear experts from academia, a nonprofit advocacy organization and a state regulatory agency.
For more information about 2011 CSG/ERC’s Annual Meeting, and to access information on its policy areas, please visit CSG.
CSG/ERC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1937, serving legislative, executive and judicial branch officials in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the Eastern Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Québec.
Jodi Quintero [Hinck], 287-1488, c. 841-6279