Manufacturers Need Level Playing Field in Clean Energy Legislation Says Senator

March 10, 2010
Senator Sherrod Brown points out 70% of clean energy components are made outside of U.S.

At a meeting with President Obama and Cabinet members to discuss climate change legislation, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged that "done right, clean energy legislation can be a jobs bill."

He pointed out however that the bill needs to promote the "competiveness of U.S. manufacturing through targeted retooling assistance and border equalization measures. A great risk of a weak bill is that U.S. industries incur increased costs, and as a result, cheaper products would be imported from abroad. Thats unacceptable and wont create jobs or reduce emissions.

"When 70% of the clean energy components are manufactured outside the U.S., something needs to change. I've talked with manufacturers and workers across Ohio, and I am worried about our long-term manufacturing competiveness. We can't trade our dependence on foreign oil for Chinese-made wind turbines. The right investments in domestic manufacturing and energy policy will help rebuild our nation's manufacturing base and create jobs."

Brown is calling for the establishment of a national manufacturing policy. And that means "ending Chinese currency manipulation. It means leveling the playing field so that manufacturers in America who are becoming more efficient aren't put out of business from Chinese manufacturers who dont face comparable standards. If we do this the wrong way, energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries will ship both their jobs and their carbon emissions overseas. And that would be a loss -- for the environment and the economy."

Last month, Brown joined a group of eight senators in writing to the EPA to express economic and energy security concerns regarding the potential regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. Following the letter, the EPA agreed to delay regulating greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources such as manufacturing facilities.

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