Congresswoman Barbara Lee Welcomes Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to California’s 13th Congressional District

Berkeley, CA — Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today welcomed U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to California’s 13th Congressional District for two events highlighting innovative responses to the global climate crisis. 

Congresswoman Lee and Secretary Granholm, a former UC Berkeley faculty member, first toured the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to hear from the nation’s leading scientists about their efforts to discover new technologies, ensure a clean and sustainable water supply, decarbonize the planet, and solve the climate crisis.

Following the tour and discussions with scientists such as Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, Congresswoman Lee and Secretary Granholm joined East Bay mayors and other local officials at a solar-powered Berkeley home to promote the Department of Energy’s Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+), an online tool helps local governments cut red tape on the review and approval of residential solar power. 

State Senator Nancy Skinner, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and other local leaders participated in the event at the home of Berkeley resident Pablo Diaz-Gutierrez. With the sky covered in gray smoke from the California’s massive wildfires, Congresswoman Lee, Secretary Granholm, and local leaders spoke about the importance of residential solar power at a time when threat of fire is causing shutdowns of traditional power sources across the state. 

“It’s such a pleasure to welcome Secretary Granholm back to California’s 13th Congressional District, and to hear about cutting edge efforts to transition to clean power,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Here in California, we’re experiencing the climate emergency first-hand. We have lost so many homes and lives – and entire towns – to wildfires over the last few years. We know that these unprecedented fires are driven by climate change. We also know that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis both here and around the world. As President Biden has said, justice has to be at the heart of our response. Increasing access to residential solar in communities like Oakland and Berkeley – where certain neighborhoods have experienced generations of environmental racism – helps to keep us on the path to justice. I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Granholm and President Biden to build back bolder and address the climate crisis with the urgency that it deserves.”

“From the brilliant scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to the 25 Bay Area communities that are ready to accelerate solar deployment with DOE’s SolarAPP+, California is leading the way on clean climate solutions," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. "President Biden's Build Back Better agenda will bring good-paying jobs and allow Californians to reap the benefits of upgraded, resilient infrastructure to combat the climate crisis and realize a clean energy future.”

For more information about the SolarAPP+ tool, go to: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/leadership-roundtable-empowering-cities-accelerate-rooftop-solar-installations-across