Chair Rodgers Joins CNBC’s Last Call to Discuss E&C Hearing on Powering AI

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Last Call to discuss the Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing on meeting the energy needs of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, while maintaining an affordable, reliable electric grid. Highlights and excerpts from the interview below:

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On Meeting the Energy Needs of Our Digital Future:  

“The hearing today highlighted how important reliable baseload energy is to new technologies, whether it is AI or other technologies. Today we were focusing on the massive data centers that are being built, massive amounts of data that’s being collected and stored, and that all requires reliable energy.  

“You think about advanced manufacturing and bringing those technologies to the United States. Again, it is dependent upon energy, and it is foundational to our lives. 

We need more energy, not less, but we continue to see policies from the administration that are shutting down energy ... their policies are making it harder. 

“If we are going to embrace artificial intelligence and everything it offers to us as a nation, it is going to require a lot more energy. That is why we have been continuing to focus on the importance of this baseload reliable energy.” 

On the Importance of Reliable Energy: 

“Baseload means twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It means that we have to have reliable energy, and that’s so foundational to our lives. We all are dependent upon it. 

“What we heard today is that we are going to need at least double, some are predicting even more baseload. 

 “Down in the Georgia region, where they finally did permit a new nuclear plant, the new Vogtle plant, they said they’re going to need at least the electricity generation equal to five of those Vogtle plants moving forward.  

“That’s why the Energy and Commerce Committee has been leading on streamlining the permitting process through a major nuclear package, hydropower, also dealing with natural gas pipelines 

"Permitting is probably the number one barrier to doing anything in the United States of America, including building these energy projects that are so foundational to our lives, our future, and these new technologies.”

Don’t miss what E&C Republicans said about the hearing: 

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Don’t miss in E&E Daily: Energy, Climate and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) set the tone by focusing on competition with U.S. adversaries, namely China.

AI, cryptocurrencies and data centers make up about 2 percent of global energy demand, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s only expected to increase in the coming years. 

“Communication, new frameworks and long-term planning are vital to meeting the technology and energy needs of this decade and decades to come,” said Duncan. 

CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers opening remarks. 

CLICK HERE to read Subcommittee Chair Duncan’s opening remarks.