Support Clean Technology, House Members Tell Debt Supercommittee

Today is the deadline for Congressional members to submit requests to the Debt Supercommittee – the group charged with finding a minimum $1.2 trillion in deficit-reduction measures over the next decade.

Representatives presented ideas that combine job creation with debt reduction.  The Supercommittee is charged with coming up with a plan by Thanksgiving.

The following representatives submitted recommendations that support the growth of clean technology.

Henry Waxman (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, submitted the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, which gives homeowners rebates for energy efficiency upgrades.

The program would cost $6 billion, but save $9.2 billion over the next 10 years while adding 168,000 new jobs to the economy.

He also submitted the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act, which would develop a "national clean energy technology export strategy." It would "help bolster the competitiveness of the U.S. clean technology industry here at home and in the international marketplace."

Ed Markey (D-MA), lead Democrat on the Natural Resources panel sent a letter detailing $20 billion in cuts and $65 billion in revenue by eliminating subsidies to the largest oil companies, and implementing long overdue reforms on mining and grazing fees on public lands, among other methods.

Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, will submit recommendations for supporting cleantech saying "We’re very much concerned that the committee not ignore the impact of clean technology jobs."

The House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC) sent the message: invest in renewable energy.

The Coalition – whose members are all Democrats – argues that supporting clean energy innovations represents an enormous opportunity for growing the economy and reducing the federal budget. "We all know that we send billions overseas for energy," says Jay Inslee (D-WA), SEEC co-chair.

SEEC points out in its letter that growth in cleantech industries has far out-paced the economy as a whole, and that demand for solar PV installations in the US grew 69% in the past year alone. However, the letter continues, insufficient government support has seen the nation fall behind clean energy exporters such as China and Germany.

"Investing in clean energy innovation is no longer a choice – it’s a necessity," says vice-chair Paul Tonko (D-NY).         

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