By Mariannette Miller-Meeks
As is custom at the beginning of each new session, our first two weeks of the 118th Congress have been filled with excitement. Perhaps one of the most exciting parts, though, was being appointed to serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce-one of the most prestigious committees in Congress.
The Committee on Energy and Commerce is the oldest standing committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and holds the broadest responsibility, with oversight jurisdiction spanning from healthcare, broadband, telecom, and consumer protection to energy and environment issues. With Iowa’s energy footprint and my background as a surgeon, I am excited to bring a new perspective to the committee.
One of my top priorities heading into the new Congress is to bolster our domestic energy production which will curb our reliance on foreign nations for our energy supply. In Iowa, we are blessed with natural resources which allow our state to remain a net exporter of clean energy. Between our wind turbines, solar plants, and growing ethanol and biofuel industry, Iowa provides the perfect framework for the rest of the nation as we move towards clean energy solutions and energy independence.
As we continue this shift to clean energy, it’s important to remember that each state has its own unique geographic composure. Some options that work well in Iowa may not be the best option for states like Alaska or Washington, which is why we must take an “any of the above” approach as opposed to a “one size fits all.” The United States is leading in this sphere, but only because our clean energy policies have been all-encompassing and presented without strict mandates or emission caps.
We must also prioritize American innovation, which goes hand in hand with expanding domestic energy production. As the world around us continues to modernize, it’s imperative that we present policies that will allow the United States to remain a leader in innovation and technology. If we continue to invest in research and development, we can prevent future dependence on China and other countries for technology-including technology that is required for clean energy alternatives.
I look forward to serving on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and bringing an Iowa perspective to the table as we work towards a cleaner, healthier energy future. I’m proud of our state’s leadership, and I’m excited to continue my efforts to cement our energy independence.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks currently represents Iowa’s First District in the United States House of Representatives.