April 8, 2008
Sierra Club Cheers Senate Action on
Washington, D.C.—Today the Senate voted by a margin of 88 to 8 to attach the Cantwell-Ensign Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act (S.2821) to the housing legislation currently being considered by the Senate. The Cantwell-Ensign legislation would put into place short-term extensions of key renewable energy tax incentives currently in danger of expiring at the end of 2008, including the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit. After final passage by the Senate the housing legislation will move to House for consideration.
Statement of Melinda Pierce, Assoc. Director of National Campaigns, Sierra Club
"The Senate’s action today recognizes the urgency of the situation and underscores the strong, bipartisan support for extending these crucial tax incentives. It is essential that Congress finalizes an extension of these critically important incentives for the wind and solar industries immediately. Failing to extend them immediately will deal a crippling blow to the rapidly growing clean energy economy.
"Failing to extend these incentives would not only dim a bright clean energy future, it would snuff out one of the few bright spots in these grim economic times. As news broke just this week that the economy has shed nearly 250,000 jobs in the first quarter alone, it is clear that we cannot afford to stifle the renewable energy industry. Projects are already in danger of being canceled and over 100,000 hardworking Americans in the wind and solar industries alone could be thrown out of work if Congress doesn’t act soon.
"We already know that making a serious commitment to clean, renewable energy could fuel tens of billions of dollars in economic growth and create over 820,000 new manufacturing jobs across the country. We also know that achieving these goals will be impossible unless we extend the current incentives without delay in order to avoid turning today’s green energy boom into tomorrow’s clean energy bust, as has happened each and every time Congress has let these tax incentives expire in years past.
"It would be difficult for taxpayers to find an investment that offers a better return. This package of incentives will pay us environmental and economic dividends for years to come.
"We are extremely pleased that the Senate acted so decisively today. The House has approved similar packages of clean energy incentives on numerous occasions over the past few months and we will continue to work with our allies on that side of the Capitol to bring this important measure across the finish line as soon as possible."
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