Siemens U.S. Chief Concerned By Inattention to Climate Change

The head of Munich-based Siemens AG’s U.S. unit said he is unhappy that federal energy policymakers in Washington are no longer focusing on climate change.

Eric Spiegel, chief executive officer of Siemens Corp., said a national strategy is needed to reduce clean-energy technology costs and find solutions for environmental risks associated with greenhouse gases. Siemens is making wind-turbine components in Hutchinson, Kansas, and is “well on track to become one of the world’s top three providers” of turbines, according to a statement in December.

Congress no longer seems interested in tackling the issue, Spiegel said today at a clean-energy conference in Washington.

“I’m pretty concerned about where we are on climate change,” he said. There were “billions and billions and billions of dollars” in projects waiting to go forward had Congress passed climate legislation, Spiegel said. The U.S. House passed climate-change legislation in 2009. The bill died in the Senate last year.

Without legislation requiring cuts to emissions of carbon dioxide and gases linked to global warming, a national mandate for renewable energy production would spur more investment in innovation than tax cuts would, Spiegel said.

“We need to drive down the cost of clean energy technologies,” Spiegel said at the conference, which was organized by the Howard Baker Forum, the Bipartisan Policy Center and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

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