Rep. Dan Maffei voted for legislation that will spur job creation in the American clean energy industry and strengthen rural economies that have been hit hard by the recession. The Rural Energy Savings Act, or "Rural Star," will provide loans to American families and farmers to improve their energy efficiency and lower their utility bills, creating American manufacturing and installation jobs in the process.
Rep Maffei said: "We are helping hardworking American families make their homes and farm buildings more efficient -- lowering bills and creating jobs at the same time. Central New York is poised to be at the center of the new clean energy industry, and this bill will help us get there."
The programs in this bill will offer homeowners loans of about $3,000 to $7,500 to eliminate the upfront cost of home energy upgrades, which customers will then repay over 10 years on their electric bill. Their energy savings from the renovations will cover most of the cost of the loan. The Rural Star and Loan Star programs in this bill will boost demand for energy efficient products, materials, and construction and installation services that are made in America; over 90% of these products and materials (caulking, insulation, HVAC systems, hot water heaters, sealant, windows, and doors) are made in America.
The Rural Energy Savings Act is part of the Democratic "Make it in America" national manufacturing strategy to create the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future -- promoting American competitiveness, innovation, and exports. The strategy also includes:
· Closing tax loopholes that encourage corporations to outsource U.S. jobs overseas.
· Providing hometown tax credits to help small businesses hire new employees and sell their products and innovation overseas.
· Boosting incentives to create American clean energy jobs like making state-of-the-art wind turbines and solar panels--paid for by ending corporate welfare to Big Oil.
· Strengthening rules that U.S. and its contractors buy products made in America, especially to build transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure.
· Demanding that China and other countries honor fair trade principles or lose American business.
· Giving incentives to hire and re-train America's returning veterans for new clean energy jobs.
· Strengthening partnerships with businesses to retrain America's workers for jobs of the future.