Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Says renewable energy investments will promote economic growth, job creation and energy security
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar called for action on major renewable energy legislation at a roundtable meeting with Minnesota Power yesterday. At the roundtable, Klobuchar said more work is needed to create innovative opportunities for economic growth with renewable energy businesses and energy jobs across the country. Klobuchar supported several landmark renewable energy components in the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Klobuchar fought to pass wind production tax credits and hybrid vehicle credits in late 2008 and tax credits for energy efficient homes, businesses and appliances in the recently passes ARRA bill. These tax credits will help Minnesota's already strong homegrown energy industry to weather the recent economic crisis, create jobs and make investments for the future.
"As I've traveled across Minnesota, I've seen the potential of the emerging renewable energy economy," said Klobuchar. "From a solar panel factory in Starbuck to the Taconite Ridge on the Iron Range, the people of our state see the value of these new energy jobs. Investing in a renewable energy economy is absolutely key to our future prosperity and security. That's why we not only need to invest in renewable energy now, but also develop long-term policies that will spur innovation and drive economic growth in the future."
During the roundtable, Klobuchar and representatives from Minnesota Power discussed the importance of creating a national renewable electricity standard. Klobuchar also pointed to the leadership of providers like Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company, who in 2008 became a "founding reporter" of The Climate Registry, an organization established to measure and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions consistently, accurately and across borders and industry sectors.
Last Congress, Klobuchar introduced the American Renewable Energy Act, a ground-breaking bipartisan bill which included long-term extensions for energy efficiency tax incentives and promoted further development of wind power and other renewable energy sources nationwide. Major components of the bill have been enacted, including renewable energy tax incentives, renewable fuel incentives and energy efficiency tax incentives.
Measures in Klobuchar's legislation that were enacted in 2008 and 2009 include:
A four-year extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind The creation of a 30 percent tax credit for residential wind property (capped at $4,000) A five-year extension of the Production Tax Credit for other renewables A six-year extension of the individual tax credit for residential energy efficient property An extension of the tariff on imported ethanol A $2,500 credit for up to 500,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles A three-year extension of the new energy-efficient homes credit A two-year extension of the energy-efficient appliance credit
During the new Congress, Klobuchar said that establishing an aggressive, nationwide renewable electricity standard would be a top priority. The provision would require utility companies produce at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the year 2025. This aggressive national standard would revolutionize the renewable energy industry and create new industries and jobs across America.