Can sustainability and economic growth go hand in hand? Secretary Moniz has the answer.

Sam Parry

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz joined more than 15,000 of our members during a jam-packed 45-minute tele-town hall this week, fielding live questions about everything energy.

But it was a call at the 23-minute mark from a Florida member that was the town hall’s most memorable – and arguably most substantive – moment.

With a rustle of wind blowing across his phone, the Fort Meyers man explained he was calling while riding his bike. Everyone in our room, including Secretary Moniz, grinned and chuckled.

But the caller had a serious question and one that is central to Environmental Defense Fund’s entire approach to protecting nature. “Is economic growth possible without environmental degradation?” he wanted to know.

Secretary Moniz nailed the response.

“There’s a history of lots of predictions of how expensive it’s going to be to move forward with economic growth while controlling environmental impacts,” he responded. “And historically, I think every time it’s proven to be incorrect.”

We think he’s right.

Throughout the event, Secretary Moniz laid out an inspiring, comprehensive vision of clean energy innovation, more efficient infrastructure, distributed energy, smarter grids, climate pollution reductions and more – a future we believe is within reach.

You can listen to the entire town hall here:


In his closing remarks, EDF President Fred Krupp pledged to remain committed to climate action as our top priority, and that our members and activists “will continue to support President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.”

Secretary Moniz responded with warm praise for EDF as “an organization that I have always found to be very solutions-oriented, and that’s what I like.”

Finding lasting solutions to the world’s most serious environmental challenges is what inspires our staff, day in and day out. And it was wonderful to share time with Secretary Moniz to swap ideas on the important clean energy solutions that will help us stabilize the climate.

As Fred said, “Nothing is more important.” This is why these four signs of climate progress are so encouraging. 

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