For Immediate Release
Emily Robinson, 202-331-5427
UCS: Green Stimulus Measures Would Help Revive Economy
Economic Recovery Plan to Move in House and Senate This Weed
WASHINGTON - The Senate Finance Committee today will begin marking up its version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which includes such green initiatives as extending the production tax credit for wind projects through 2012, allowing businesses flexibility in claiming tax credits over a five-year period, and increasing the amount of tax credits available for residential renewable energy and energy efficiency systems. On Wednesday, the House will consider a similar version of the recovery plan that the House Ways and Means Committee passed last week.
The House bill would quadruple investment in energy efficiency for buildings and appliances and boost research and development funding for renewable sources of energy by 225 percent, according to the Center for American Progress. A new Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee program would provide $8 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects.
"The recovery package's renewable energy initiatives will create tens of thousands of green collar jobs and help transform the nation's energy system," said Marchant Wentworth, a legislative analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Energy Program. "The plan's green investment provisions will quickly put Americans to work creating a smarter, cleaner and more reliable energy system that will strengthen the economy and protect the environment at the same time."
The stimulus package is just the beginning, Wentworth said. He called on Congress to pass a national standard requiring utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. This type of standard, which 28 states and the District of Columbia have adopted, has helped make the United States the world's largest wind power producer. According to the American Wind Energy Association, more wind energy capacity was installed in the United States in 2007 and 2008 than in the entire previous 20 years.
In addition to fostering homegrown, clean energy development, renewable electricity standards help stabilize energy bills, generate good local jobs, and help fight global warming, according to UCS analyses, other independent studies, and government reports.
"Now that there is a new administration in office, it's time for the federal government to step up to the plate," Wentworth said. "President-elect Obama should fulfill his campaign pledge to work with Congress to pass an aggressive 25 percent by 2025 renewable energy standard. That would allow all Americans to take advantage of clean, 21st century energy sources."
The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.