In the presence of recently nominated new Obama Administration energy secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, MIT Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, former Governor Bill Richardson stated that science should play an important role in politics.

The country needs scientists to be more involved in politics and find ways to collaborate in the policy making and review process. Richardson also recognized the path started by Obama in this direction by appointing Dr. Steven Chu to energy secretary during his first term, but he said more initiatives need to be taken to facilitate scientist involvement.

Richardson declared that in order to move away from a static energy economy, US energy policy must level the playing field between different sources of clean, renewable energy by providing consistent production incentives across the renewable energy sector. Richardson echoed NRG Energy President and CEO David Crane in the need for comprehensive federal energy policies and incentives, rather than a state-by-state approach.

While US policies to mitigate climate change are critical, Richardson stressed the need for a global initiative. The US must take the lead – together with China, India, Japan, Germany, and Russia – in an international effort to solve climate change. Richardson also proposed a regional approach to climate change by creating a free-trade market for renewables between the Americas. This collaboration will facilitate private sector innovation and create new clean jobs, said Richardson.

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