Energy efficiency seems like one of those ideas that should be a surefire winner on Capitol Hill, like promoting nutrition for children or safety for pets. But sometimes a program’s popularity can be a handicap when it comes to Congress — just ask Elizabeth Tate, the new director of government relations for the Alliance to Save Energy.
When legislation to bolster federal energy-efficiency standards was brought to the Senate floor in September, it quickly became mired in debate over unrelated issues like the Keystone XL pipeline and the Affordable Care Act.
Tate, 31, found it painful to watch. “Putting in place better energy-efficiency policies would be an easy way to improve so many things,” she said. “So it was disappointing to see that non-germane issues took away the opportunity to have a discussion about the bill.”
When the bill stalled last fall, Tate hadn’t yet started working at the alliance, a coalition of public and private groups promoting energy productivity through public policy. But she’s been focused on energy efficiency for years.
She started her career at the New York City law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson after graduating from the University of Virginia and attending the University of Pennsylvania Law School, but Tate was anxious to get back to her hometown of Washington. She landed a job with the House Science Committee in 2010 and energy issues ended up on her plate.
“I was doing background research on energy efficiency and looking at whether or not it was something we should be looking at on the committee,” she said. “That’s when I really became interested in energy efficiency.
“It’s something that resonates with me because it touches every aspect of our economy. It’s a way to reduce the need for increased electric-generation capacity, and from a consumer perspective it reduces out-of-pocket energy costs.”
In 2012, Tate began working on legislative and regulatory affairs at the American Public Gas Association, a trade group representing publicly owned natural-gas companies. While Tate says she learned a lot about energy issues at APGA, she jumped at the chance to work at the alliance because she believed it would provide a platform to advance energy-efficiency policies on a much larger scale.
“APGA is a great organization and has amazing people, but I decided to come over to the alliance because our work here is at the forefront of pushing the goal of doubling the nation’s energy productivity,” Tate said. “We see energy productivity as a major economic driver. It’s a way to create jobs and it’s a way to help move the country towards energy independence.”
Tate added that despite the problems the energy-efficiency bill encountered last fall, “I’m highly optimistic that we’ll see movement on it this year.”
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Donald Trump's "transition team will meet next week with representatives of the tech industry, multiple sources confirmed, even as their candidate largely has been largely shunned by Silicon Valley. The meeting, scheduled for next Thursday at the offices of law and lobbying firm BakerHostetler, will include trade groups like the Information Technology Industry Council and the Internet Association that represent major Silicon Valley companies."
Today in bad news for Donald Trump:
- Newsweek found that a company he controlled did business with Cuba under Fidel Castro "despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." In 1998, he spent at least $68,000 there, which was funneled through a consluting company "to make it appear legal."
- The Los Angeles Times reports that at a golf club he owns in California, Trump ordered that unattractive female staff be fired and replaced with prettier women.
In some of the first state-by-state surveys since Monday night's debate, Hillary Clinton has the edge in five battlegrounds, according to polls by Public Policy Polling. In four-way matchups, Clinton leads Donald Trump 46%-40% in Colorado, 45%-43% in Florida, 44%-42% in North Carolina, 45%-39% in Pennsylvania, and 46%-40% in Virginia. Gary Johnson doesn't top 7% in any state. Voters in all five states thought that Clinton decisively won the debate.