IMPACT Act proposes $30 billion in loans to clean energy manufacturers

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Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is proposing a bill that would lend $30 billion dollars to American small and medium sized manufacturing companies who specialize in clean technology.  The bill would make American manufacturers a player in the clean technology market which faces stiff overseas competition.  It is estimated that 70% of the components for clean technology (much of which was invented in America) are made abroad.  So far, 150 businesses have come out and endorsed the Senator’s legislation.

The Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor, business, environmental, and community leaders who are advocating a green revolution in the US, strongly support the bill.  Here’s how the Apollo Alliance sums up the advantages of the act:

  • $30 billion of revolving loans would generate $100 billion dollars in revenue
  • 680,000 direct manufacturing jobs would be created
  • every $1 million dollars invested in clean technology creates 5 manufacturing jobs
  • every $1 million dollars invested in energy efficiency creates 3-4 building-material manufacturing jobs

David McKinney, CEO of Clean Light Green Light which manufactures fixtures for LED lights, has endorsed the bill and sees this as an opportunity for his company based in Michigan.  Currently, he has fixtures being built in Sri Lanka and the Marshall Islands.  The loans and financing provided by the IMPACT Act would assist McKinny in bringing green collar jobs to a highly skilled, and highly unemployed work force.  Michigan is a state that has been hit with a drastic amount of job losses, with a 15.2% unemployment rate – the highest in the country.

Many of the incentives in the IMPACT Act are taken from money provided by the President’s stimulus bill.  Brown has also taken into consideration many of the incentives that were included in the climate bill recently passed by the House in June.  Senate Democrats hope to pass their version of the bill by October, and have something for President Obama to sign by the end of this year or early 2010.

Image:  Moiz Kapadia

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