U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) today addressed the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness during an Energy and Smart Grid listening session at NC State. The session brought together national energy experts and high-tech companies to discuss ways to promote job creation in energy and smart grid technologies. Hagan also discussed job creation at Cree, a manufacturer of energy-efficient LED lighting, in Durham.
“Today’s topic is my No. 1 focus in the United States Senate – jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Hagan, a member of the Senate Small Business and Banking committees. “My four favorite words are ‘Made in North Carolina’ and I want to see this phrase all across the globe. This is why I convened a small business Exporter Forum in Charlotte earlier this month – which gave practical advice to NC small businesses about competing in the global marketplace -- and I will continue working in the Senate to create a positive environment so our businesses can create jobs and grow.”
Cree’s 21st-century products lit up the Olympic stadiums in Beijing and are lighting the Pentagon in Virginia, and the Rayburn Office Building on the House-side of the Capitol. This world-class North Carolina technology is coming to the Hart Senate Office Building on the Senate-side of the Capitol this summer. In 2009, Hagan urged Senate leaders to utilize energy efficient LED lighting technologies, like those produced by Cree, to improve the energy efficiency of Capitol Hill facilities.
Also today, Hagan announced that North Carolina is among 10 states that will receive funds to modernize the electric grid in rural communities. In North Carolina and Tennessee, French Broad Electric Membership Corporation will receive a loan guarantee of $20 million, with more than $2.4 million for advanced electric meters. At this morning's listening session, Senator Hagan expressed support for investments in smart grid technologies that will save North Carolinians money on their utility bills and allow North Carolina utilities to produce electricity more efficiently.
“Why should we focus on updating our energy grid?” asked Hagan at this morning’s energy and smart grid listening session. “Well, for starters, it hasn’t been updated since Thomas Edison invented it more than a century ago. Imagine if we were still tapping away on typewriters. We must continue supporting investments – both private and public – in innovation.”
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Jeffrey Immelt, head of the Jobs Council and GE Chairman, also participated in the listening session.
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