House Pitches Bill to Spur Green Manufacturing

Democrats propose tax incentives to modernize manufacturing facilities and encourage renewable energy.

The renewable energy market received a jolt earlier this week when Congress walked away from a fight on climate legislation. But it appears the industry will be getting help in other areas, as the House is moving forward on a bill that would provide $25 billion in tax credits to manufacturers of renewable energy equipment and funding for other sources of clean energy.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Lavin (D-Mich.) introduced legislation on July 26, referring to it as a discussion draft, which includes $6.5 billion worth of investment tax credits for manufacturers that re-equip, expand or establish domestic manufacturing facilities that produce advanced energy equipment.

The bill is part of an effort to build on top of the $2.3 billion of investment tax credits provided by the 2009 economic stimulus package and give financing tools to state and local governments to encourage energy-efficiency. The new bill would extend federal subsidies for wind and solar power facilities that received funding last year.

The proposed legislation would also extend tax credits for offshore wind and geothermal energy through 2016, bringing those technologies in line with the tax credit currently in place for solar energy plants.

Lavins bill also encourages renewable fuel production and technologies to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil, by giving including tax incentives for large natural gas and electric/hybrid vehicles and for domestically produced biofuels.

As the world moves toward renewable energy and a greener economy, it is necessary to accelerate a new era of American manufacturing and innovation, said Rep. Lavin in a statement. With the U.S. government as a full, active and effective partner, the private sector can expand our green manufacturing capacity, ensuring that these jobs and products will be created in the U.S., competing globally and protecting our environment. The governments of other countries are racing ahead to dominate in this area.

Democrats have been aggressively trying to advance legislation to encourage renewable energy, but have seen mixed suggest. Just last week, the Senate ended any plans for an official vote on energy and climate legislation.

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