Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit Would Improve Obama Stimulus Package

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Advice from Colorado alliance of business, associations, environment groups and the Renewable Energy Task Force of the South Denver Chamber of Commerce.

Following the initial technology investment, such as putting up a wind farm or a concentrating solar plant, renewable energy has zero fuel costs. That's an attractive business model. Renewable energy assets are a solid investment in a sector that is well positioned to experience rapid growth

Press Conference:

Wednesday January 14, 11:30 AM
South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce
6840 South University Blvd, Centennial, CO 80122
(Please RSVP attendance via email)

An unusual alliance of business, trade association and environmental groups are calling on President-elect Barack Obama to provide a tax credit to support companies that add a renewable energy fund to employee 401(k) plans.

According to the Renewable Energy Task Force, South Denver Chamber of Commerce, the Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit will be a high yield investment for the economic stimulus package. At a comparatively moderate cost of $7 to $8 billion dollars, the proposed tax credit is expected to generate $30 to $100 billion of renewable energy investment, along with 500,000 or more clean energy jobs To provide scale for this influx of new investment, the American Wind Energy Association reports entire 2007 revenues for the U.S. renewable energy sector were $19 billion.

"It's time to help Americans get back to work by investing in renewable energy production. For the 50 million employees who participate in 401(k) plans, we need to make it easy to invest in renewable energy," says Beth Hart, President Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA).

The innovative Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit requires the federal government to provide a tax credit ranging from $40 to $400 dollars per employee to businesses that add a renewable energy fund to 401(k) plans. Small business will receive a higher per employee tax credit; corporations will receive a smaller per employee tax credit but a larger overall tax credit.

The Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit provides a financial incentive for businesses to add a renewable energy fund to employee 401(k) plans and covers the minor administration cost of a fund addition. Because it is a refundable tax credit, businesses operating at a loss receive a one time tax refund. Profitable businesses receive a tax credit that lowers the amount of tax they pay.

The Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit will prompt the growth of existing renewable energy mutual funds thereby increasing renewable energy production. The tax credit will also stimulate the creation of new renewable energy project financing funds suitable for 401(k) investment plans.

  •     Renewable Energy Mutual Funds hold shares of typically 20-100 renewable energy production companies. Example: Calvert and Guinness Atkinson alternative energy funds.
  •     Renewable Energy Project Financing Funds provide project financing for bundles of new wind farms, concentrated solar power plants and large scale installation of solar panels on commercial buildings, factories and schools. Currently renewable energy project financing funds are available to large institutional investors. As investment in renewable energy grows, renewable energy project financing funds that are accessible to individual 401(k) plan investors will be created by the financial markets.

"Following the initial technology investment, such as putting up a wind farm or a concentrating solar plant, renewable energy has zero fuel costs. That's an attractive business model. Renewable energy assets are a solid investment in a sector that is well positioned to experience rapid growth," says John Brackney, President South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.

It is unusual for business and environmental groups to work together towards a common goal. Gillian Caldwell, campaign director for 1Sky, says "Our members and allies support increased renewable energy production. Our nation must bring renewable energy solutions online as quickly as possible to fight global warming." 1Sky is a collaborative national campaign to ensure bold federal action to tackle global warming and create a 21st century green economy.

The Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit is expected to be a highly effective and popular part of the upcoming economic stimulus package.

"The Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit will provide hundreds of thousands of new jobs, combat climate change and strengthen our economy. Clearly, the time to invest in our country's future is now," says Jim Welch, CEO of Bella Energy, a Colorado based solar energy company.

Disclosure: In order to reduce CO2 emissions and create jobs, Ken Beitel owns an IRA account with an investment amount of approximately $46,000 in the Calvert Alternative Global Energy fund held at JP Morgan Chase and Citi Smith Barney brokerages. Other individuals listed in this release may also own renewable shares or funds; full disclosure details available on request.

Press Contact: Ken Beitel, Renewable Energy Task Force Member
Ph: 720 436-2465 Email: Ken.Beitel @ TheRenewableEnergyInitiative.org
Web: http://www.RETaskForce.biz

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