As a member of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, Congressman Schiff has long advocated for increased investments in alternative energy and the development of energy efficient technology. Today, European and Asian competitors are developing technologies that will reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions of greenhouse gases. Rather than American entrepreneurs, it is our competitors who are prospering from these developments. By marshalling America's great strengths -- our innovativeness, our technological prowess, and our entrepreneurial spirit --Schiff believes that we can better secure our nation, save the environment, and become the world leader in a cutting-edge industry.
On the first day of the 111th Congress, Schiff introduced H.R. 175, a bill to expand the ability of the Federal Government to purchase cheap renewable energy. The Federal government is currently prohibited from signing energy contracts for more than 10 years, which prevents the government from taking advantage of a thriving private market in renewable energy. Many private installers sign agreements with homeowners, businesses, and local and state government agencies to install solar, geothermal or wind energy on their premises, recouping the cost with a 20- or 30-year agreement to buy power, often at lower-than-market rates. Unfortunately, to get the cheapest rates, these agreements must stretch to 20 years. H.R. 175 fixed this problem and was included in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which passed the House on June 26, 2009.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act was a ground-breaking effort to provide energy independence and fight global warming while keeping energy prices low. Unfortunately, it did not pass the Senate in the 111th Congress.
Schiff continues to fight to keep the renewable energy industry growing in America, and particularly in California, by supporting tax credits and loan guarantees for renewable energy research and development at the Department of Energy that will provide new avenues to affordable and homegrown green energy. He has also opposed efforts to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate air pollution, which would harm countless families across the country, and particularly those in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles that suffer from the terrible effects of air pollution.