Senate Democrats

Democratic Senators, Energy Expert Discuss Efforts To Increase Investments In Alternative And Renewable Energy, Conservation

Washington, DC— DemocraticSenators Max Baucus, Jeff Bingaman and Ken Salazar joined Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, and Greg Wetstone, senior director of government and public affairs for the American Wind Energy Association, at a press conference today to discuss efforts to create incentives for innovators and American consumers to invest in alternative, renewable energy sources and energy conservation. The bill’s tax relief and incentives for jobs, energy, and families will put money back in the pockets of hard-working middle-class Americans suffering from record-breaking gas prices, create good-paying jobs here at home, and help break our dependence on oil.

“Americans want Congress to steer this country toward alternative and renewable energies,” Baucus said. “With gas at $4 a gallon, why on earth would we wait another minute to start boosting the new energy technologies promoted in this tax relief bill?   A ‘no’ vote on this jobs and tax relief bill is a vote to kick the can down the road again on energy, and that’s an expensive proposition for families filling up at the pump. My home state of Montana is the new frontier for alternative energy, from wind to oilseed crops, and I know it’s time to back up new energy opportunities with good policy.  My bill also gives Congress the chance to protect millions of American families from the alternative minimum tax and to create good-paying jobs by helping companies innovate – two more good reasons for Senators to support this legislation.”

Said Bingaman: “Extending these tax credits should be one of Congress’s main priorities before we break for August recess.  Beyond that, I hope next year we can enact them for a substantially longer period than we’re now considering.  It’s clear that our country can produce a lot more of the power that it consumes from renewable sources, but we need a long-term, consistent policy to achieve that goal.”

“With gas prices over $4 a gallon, the dangers of our dependence on foreign oil are clearer than ever,” Salazar said. “We need to be honest about our energy future and aggressively pursue the opportunities that clean, affordable home grown resources offer us. The tax incentives we are trying again to pass would give our clean energy economy the certainty it needs to grow – our energy future and tens of thousands of jobs depend on these critical provisions.”

Said Callahan: “As energy prices continue to fuel pain into our ailing economy, the best and most immediate help Congress can offer is a robust and effective package of energy efficiency tax incentives, like those contained in S. 3335.  Energy efficiency tax incentives should be a political ‘no brainer’ as they not only will reduce energy bills for American consumers and businesses, but also will spur investment in new technologies and improve the productivity of our economy.”

“With more than 75,000 jobs and over $11 billion in clean energy investment at risk, we call on the U.S. Senate to act immediately to extend the production tax credit for wind energy,” Wetstone said.