Important amendments to the highway bill that is in the Senate (S. 1813) will be coming up next week. There is one very good amendment introduced by Senator Stabenow (D-MI) that would extend very important wind and solar energy incentives. And there is an amendment by Sen. DeMint (R-SC) that would immediately kill the critical Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind power.
The Vote Solar Initiative and Power of Wind have easy ways for you to support the Stabenow amendment (S. AMDT 1812) and oppose the DeMint amendment (S. AMDT 1589) via the links above. Please go ahead and quickly submit your comments now,.. or even go ahead and try calling your Senators!
(If you know the full story, click both the links above and send two important messages to your Senators today. If not, read on….)
Solar Energy Support
The large majority of the U.S. population is in favor of supporting clean solar energy, often above 90% of the population is. Why? Well, it’s obvious that increasing solar energy production will result in cleaner air, lower healthcare bills (and less human suffering), and will help to slow or stop global warming. Additionally, it is known to create jobs (there are now over 100,000 solar energy jobs in the U.S.) and stimulate the economy (sorely needed).
Nonetheless, for some reason (hint: financial contributions and lobbying from the fossil fuel industry), there are a large number of politicians opposed to such support.
One of the most important federal supports for solar energy is the 1603 Treasury Program. As Vote Solar notes, “Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has offered an amendment which would extend the 1603 Treasury Program that made the federal tax credit for solar useful in the current economy.”
Contact your Senator in support of this solar-energy amendment here!
But you’re not done!…
Wind Energy Support
Just like solar, just very slightly less, wind energy has massive support from the American public and the vast majority of the population (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents) support wind energy support from the federal government to help get this young industry off its feet (the same type of support fossil fuel industries — oil, gas, and coal — have received for over a century).
From what I’ve seen in just about every poll on the matter, Americans are more in support of solar and wind energy support than support for any other energy-related technology or policy around.
Nonetheless, as mentioned above, some politicians are against this support (for rather obvious political reasons).
Stabenow’s amendment, discussed above, not only supports solar energy, but also supports the most important federal incentive for wind energy in the U.S. today, the PTC. It would extend the PTC for one year.
On the other hand, DeMint’s amendment would end the policy immediately.
The PTC has been critical to driving down the cost of wind energy a tremendous 90% since the 1980s. But without it, the wind energy industry would be in trouble. It is still a young industry and needs the support its competitors have been getting for ages.
“Times are hard for the wind industry right now – with the uncertainty of the PTC beyond the end of this year, wind project developers’ plans for 2013 projects and the manufacturing orders that they’d usually place at this time of the year are not happening,” Power of Wind writes. “Over 400 facilities across 43 states manufacture for the wind industry – and they are facing the very real possibility of laying off employees if the industry outlook does not change soon.”
Sign Power of Wind’s important email to your Senators today to continue support for the wind energy industry in the U.S.!
The latest announcements from the Senate floor indicate that these amendments will probably be voted on this coming Tuesday, March 13.