Solar Energy Industries Assoc. Names Smith as 2008 National Solar Energy Champion
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today announced that U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) is the Republican winner of its 2008 National Solar Energy Champion Award, citing his strong support and leadership on solar energy-related issues in the U.S. Congress.
"I have been proud to work with the Solar Energy Industries Association to ensure that we have the right incentives in place for residential and commercial solar development," said Smith. "My home state has seen firsthand the benefits of a growing solar industry. I am very encouraged that more companies are moving to Oregon and providing family wage jobs with green energy resources."
"Senator Smith has long been an advocate for solar energy and understands the potential of the industry to be an economic engine in Oregon and throughout the country," said Rhone Resch, president of SEIA. "As a member of the Senate Finance Committee he has been a leader in promoting long-term tax credits for solar as a key component of America's energy policy and that is why we are proud to name him SEIA's 2008 Solar Energy Champion of the Year."
As a member of the Senate Finance and the Energy and Natural Resources Committees, Senator Smith has played a key role in forging a bipartisan compromise to extend the solar investment tax credit (ITC). Senator Smith has supported these efforts over the last 4 years and two Congresses.
After nine attempts, the Senate - with Senator Smith's leadership - passed H.R. 6049, the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 on Sept. 23. The bill would extend the solar tax credits for 8 years, for both commercial and residential consumers. The legislation is currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. If no action is taken the solar tax credits expire Dec. 31.
The Senate bill makes several major improvements that Senator Smith has long advocated for that would put solar energy within reach for all Americans. These include a complete elimination of the $2,000 cap