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Press Release of Senator Cantwell
Cantwell Announces Washington State to Host First Meetings of the U.S.-China Energy Dialogue
Senior U.S. Government Officials to Meet in Gig Harbor with Chinese Counterparts This Weekend; Private Sector Business Leaders To Meet in Seattle and Spokane
Wednesday, February 27,2008
WASHINGTON, DC – As part of her ongoing efforts to move our nation towards a cleaner, more diverse energy system, and to address soaring energy costs, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), today announced the United States and China will hold the first meeting of a comprehensive new bilateral dialogue to address national and international energy challenges. The first meeting between representatives from both governments will be held on March 2, 2008 in Gig Harbor. The bilateral dialogue, established by the United States and China in December 2007, will address critical energy and environment issues facing both countries over a ten year period and was agreed to at the Third Meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED).
The bilateral dialogue, established by the United States and China in December 2007, will address critical energy and environment issues facing both countries over a ten year period and was agreed to by Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson, Jr. at the Third Meeting of the U.S.-China SED.
“The world’s largest economy and its fastest-growing emerging economy have a shared responsibility to address the dual challenges of environmental sustainability and energy security,” said Secretary Paulson. “This weekend’s meeting will be the next step in a partnership focused on developing a long-term strategic plan that will maximize our nations’ technology resources, increase energy security, and strengthen economic growth.”
“The U.S. and China are the two largest energy consumers, importers of foreign oil, emitters of carbon dioxide in the world,” said Cantwell. “China spent $35 billion in 2006 in energy grid infrastructure alone and opportunities for the future will be even greater; money that could be spent on investing in clean energy technologies or addressing our country’s trade deficit with China. By starting a comprehensive, cooperative dialogue between our countries we can explore ways to develop and promote clean energy technologies that will benefit the international economy and the world’s environment for years to come.”
Cantwell was instrumental in expanding U.S-China clean energy discussions, and secured Washington state as the location for the first meeting of the new dialogue. A leader in urging the U.S. to expand clean energy cooperation with China, Cantwell authored a bipartisan letter to President Bush, and signed by 11 other senators, urging him to develop and implement a comprehensive bilateral U.S-China energy policy. Late last year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced a doubling (from 7.5 to 16 percent) of their renewable energy target by 2020. Included in the NDRC’s responsibilities is policy, planning and oversight of energy issues.
Cantwell also applauded efforts by a private sector group to form the US-China Clean Energy Forum with the Chinese government. The Forum, which will convene two to three times per year for the next several years, will hold meetings in Seattle and Beijing, China. The first “working group” meeting will take place in Seattle this weekend as well. They will then visit energy technology companies in Spokane on Sunday.
“These government and private sector forums couldn’t happen at a more appropriate time, or in a more appropriate place,” Cantwell continued. “Washington state is a national leader in developing and deploying clean energy technologies and, by working together with our counterparts in China, we can take steps to create economic opportunities and invest in clean energy solutions.”
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