Every renewable energy industry in the country—wind, hydro, solar, geothermal, biomass,…—are working hard right now to get some critical government subsidies continued.
It’s quite odd that this clean energy industry has to work so hard for government support the fossil fuel industry has had for over a century.
There are a couple of key policies these renewable energy industries are pushing and you can help them do so here:
- a renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) — send a short message to your congresspeople via that link
- the 1603 Treasury Grant Program — same deal–contact your congresspeople about this important renewable energy program via the link.. all the cool kids are doing it!
Here’s more info a few statements on these programs:
“The PTC is the primary policy tool to promote wind energy development and manufacturing in the United States,” the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) writes. While it is set to expire at the end of 2012, the wind industry’s long lead times to develop projects and order wind turbines from manufacturers means that the credit has already effectively expired for the industry. Congress has a choice to make: extend the PTC this month, and keep the wind industry on track to employ 500,000 people, or halve the work force, including tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs that will not return to this country.”
“America needs homegrown energy resources to power the nation, and with our economy struggling, we’re in dire need of American jobs. Wind energy delivers in both of these areas. The renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) is an effective tool to keep electricity prices low and encourage development of proven clean energy projects. However, the PTC expiration is looming and we need to act fast to protect wind industry jobs.”
This week, “executives from the hydropower, geothermal and biomass power industries called on Congressional leaders to extend the production tax credit through 2016 for hydropower, geothermal and biomass,” a joint letter on the Geothermal Energy Association’s website states. “The three industries operate in parts of the country not often associated with renewable energy – particularly the Southeast and Mountain West – and company and trade association leaders expressed concern for a looming crisis that has put thousands of jobs in these states at risk. The call comes as opponents of renewable energy tax policy place the future of these industries in jeopardy.”
“The group called for the immediate passage of H.R. 3307: American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011, which covers all renewable technologies, and is sponsored by Rep. Dave Reichert [R-WA8] and Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR3] with over 60 bipartisan cosponsors, including 16 Republicans.”
“The geothermal industry has added over $1 billion in new power projects to the grid since the Congress extended the PTC to geothermal energy in 2005, bringing several thousand drilling, construction and operating jobs to often rural areas with high unemployment,” said Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association notes. ”But with a project lead time of 4 years or more, the geothermal industry has already reached its so-called tax credit cliff, even if the legal deadline is 2013. This is not just undermining projects in 16 states with new geothermal power projects, it is also costing vendors lost orders in over 46 states that supply geothermal projects. It is more critical than ever for Congress to adopt a longer time frame for geothermal incentives. We urge action now to extend the tax deadline from 2013 to at least 2016.”
Much more on this, from these three industries above, in the letter linked above.
“The 1603 program is hands-down one of the most successful policies ever enacted to deploy clean energy. In only two years, it has generated over $22 billion in private sector investment to jump-start more than 22,000 renewable energy projects across the country. This has created tens of thousands of new American jobs.”
Again, you can contact your senators in Congress on SEIA’s site.
“Please take a few moments to contact your Senators TODAY. We need to stand together to let Congress know that extending the 1603 Program is critical to keep America working,” SEIA writes. It’s true—we do. The fossil fuel industry has the money. But we have the people power. We can be sure the fossil fuel industry will continue investing in Congresspeople in order to get a nice return in subsidies of various kinds. We have to show up online and elsewhere to make sure renewable energy gets at least equal treatment.