Business Roundtable Vice President Matt Sonnesyn today testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy, Water Development and Related Agencies during a hearing on “Energy Trends and Outlook.” Sonnesyn underscored how technological innovation is and will remain crucial to delivering affordable, reliable energy while reducing environmental impacts.
“As the nation’s business leaders, the CEO members of the Business Roundtable understand the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s changing energy landscape,” Sonnesyn said in his written testimony. “For companies and individuals to harness these opportunities, public policy should support a resilient, efficient infrastructure and a stable regulatory regime. Ensuring robust, affordable energy for the world while reducing emissions and facilitating consumer choice represents a considerable challenge – one that requires technological innovation, sound policies, and political and corporate commitment.”
Sonnesyn, who oversees infrastructure, energy and environment policy at Business Roundtable, detailed current and emerging energy development challenges and the need for continued research and development to spur new technological breakthroughs for a more secure, sustainable and environmentally responsible energy future.
On addressing energy and environmental challenges, Sonnesyn noted:
“The United States remains a global leader in research, development and commercialization of energy efficiency, renewable energy, new nuclear and other energy technologies. We believe that the U.S. should capitalize on these advantages and accelerate development of a portfolio of affordable, diverse and efficient options for meeting our economic, environmental and energy challenges. The development and global deployment of new, efficient low-greenhouse gas (GHG) technologies is vital to an effective long-term response to concerns about global climate change.”
On investing in energy innovation and research and development, he said:
“The most significant breakthrough technology of the last decade – hydraulic fracturing – was funded in its earliest stages in part by research dollars from the Department of Energy – funds provided by this Subcommittee. We do not always know where our next technological breakthroughs will come from, but we do know that we will need them to continue providing diverse, reliable, affordable and sustainable supplies of energy to power our economic growth while also reducing environmental impact.”
Highlighting potential breakthrough technologies that could fundamentally improve the U.S. and global energy landscape, Sonnesyn discussed promising technologies that Business Roundtable is currently exploring as the organization develops a report on this topic to be released later in 2019. He outlined five areas of emerging innovation: 1) Advanced nuclear, 2) carbon capture utilization and storage, 3) hydrogen, 4) energy storage and 5) advanced substitute materials.