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Major leaders from government, business, labor and nongovernmental organizations have agreed on four key recommendations to reform U.S. energy policy at the National Clean Energy Project: Building the New Economy forum in Washington, D.C. These principles would boost new renewable energy production, transmission and distribution and reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Participants in the forum, which was sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, energy executive T. Boone Pickens, Center for American Progress Action Fund President John Podesta and former Vice President Al Gore.

"The time has come to rethink and remake our energy future," says Salazar. "That means building a new electric transmission system that is capable of bringing the power of renewable energy resources to American consumers, from the solar power of our Southwestern deserts to the winds of the High Plains to the geothermal resources of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest."

The participants in the forum decided that:

- A national clean energy infrastructure is essential to drive economic recovery, create good jobs, increase national security, reduce oil use and protect the global environment;

- A regional planning process can speed the siting and construction of new transmission lines that can deliver solar, wind and geothermal electricity to meet the growing demand for energy to power growth;

- Smart grid technology and distributed generation of renewable energy can increase the transmission efficiency and provide new information and tools to consumers to reduce their energy use, save money on energy bills and cut global warming pollution; and

- Investments in new infrastructure to support domestic alternative transportation fuels, such as natural gas and advanced bio fuels, will cut U.S. dependence on oil and reduce global warming pollution.

SOURCE: National Clean Energy Project

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