Energy Policy TV Video: Advocates Eye Economic Stimulus Bill to Boost Economy, Solar & Renewables Industry

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Randy Swisher, Executive Director of the American Wind Energy Association, Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association and David Hamilton, Director of the Global Warming and Energy Program at the Sierra Club told a press conference hosted by Energy Policy TV and the United States Energy Association, and co-sponsored by BP America and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, that they are looking at a planned broad economic stimulus bill in Congress to win provisions they failed to gain in recently passed energy legislation. The video is available at no cost on Energy Policy TV.

The opportunity is that we can create the market here, we'll attract new jobs, and we'll benefit as an economy....If we wait three or four years and we don't extend these tax credits - we don't build these markets here in the United States - we are going to be importing our solar from other countries.

    Swisher called it a "massive disappointment" that last month's energy bill does not include an extension beyond 2008 of tax credits for investment in renewable energy projects like wind energy and solar energy. Despite bipartisan support, the tax credits were felled by partisan disagreements over the overall energy bill, the advocates at the Newsmaker said.

They said congressional leaders told them they would try to pass the tax-credit extension this year, and are looking at a planned economic stimulus bill aimed staving off a recession, as one alternative. "In an election year, there are opportunities to move this stuff," Hamilton said.

The advocates agreed that the renewable energy industry is creating manufacturing jobs, with new factories opening across the country. Extension of the tax credits is required so that continues. "The United States is facing an opportunity and a challenge at the same time," Resch said. "The opportunity is that we can create the market here, we'll attract new jobs, and we'll benefit as an economy....If we wait three or four years and we don't extend these tax credits - we don't build these markets here in the United States - we are going to be importing our solar from other countries."

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