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Debating - and agreeing - on energy policy

Disagreements may make headlines in the energy policy debate, but you know we're getting somewhere when an oil company executive, a foreign policy expert, and Dan Reicher,'s Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, agree on the most effective way of lowering today's high energy costs: improving energy efficiency.

This past Friday, Dan Reicher participated with these and other experts in an energy summit convened by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ahead of possible votes on legislative proposals pending in Congress. Energy has taken center stage in D.C. during this short session before the October recess, and more than two dozen senators participated in the summit's morning session alone.

Dan and other member of the panel stressed the importance of improving energy efficiency as the low-hanging fruit in the energy policy debate. He pointed to the role of IT in making homes, businesses, and appliances more efficient, and he called on Senators to consider setting more aggressive national efficiency standards like those in place today in California.

Dan also emphasized the need to extend renewable energy tax credits. During this discussion, senators expressed particular interest in the promise of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) technology which Google has championed in recent months. Many participants also emphasized the need to make tax incentives more consistent and reliable to avoid sending "stop-and-go" signals to businesses and investors.

Check out the video archive of this summit to learn more.

Harry Wingo, Policy Counsel, Google

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