Rep. Wasserman Schultz Backs Plan To Invest In Renewable Energy, Create New Jobs
Rep. Wasserman Schultz today backed landmark legislation that will make significant new investments in renewable energy sources, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, help end our dependence on foreign oil and slash taxpayer funded subsidies to oil companies. The Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008 was approved by a vote of 236-182.
"South Florida families are being squeezed every time they go to the pump," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. "Oil prices reached a record high of $102 per barrel today and we are paying $3.25 a gallon for gasoline, it is time to end our continued dependence on foreign oil and it is time to invest in alternative energy. By investing in renewable energy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil we reduce the overall cost of energy while reducing global warming. And at a time when our economy is struggling, the investment in and development of domestic alternative energy will help create hundreds of thousands of new American jobs. "
The Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act makes new investments that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, increase renewable electricity production, create jobs and protect our environment. The bill extends and expands tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy and fuel, as well as for plug-in hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances. Additionally, the bill includes solar energy tax credits that could reduce carbon dioxide pollution by 240 million tons.
The new investments in wind, solar, geothermal and fuel cell technology will also create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and help strengthen the American economy. The Geothermal Energy Association estimates that the geothermal provisions alone could create tens of thousands of new jobs and stimulate tens of billions of dollars of new investment in geothermal energy production.
Additionally, the legislation approved today repeals $18 billion in unnecessary tax subsidies for big, multinational oil and gas companies. The vote comes shortly after the big five oil companies recently reported record profits for 2007, with ExxonMobil earning $40.6 billion - the largest corporate profit in American history. While oil companies have profited, consumers have felt the pinch. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline in South Florida is $3.25.
"Every day, South Florida families are feeling the pain at the gas pump while, big oil companies are making billions of dollars and receiving handouts from the government," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "I am proud of this legislation because it will create jobs, improve our environment and help make our nation energy independent. We do all of this and pay for it with the money that the big oil companies used to get in subsidies, a win-win for America's working families."