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House to Vote Wednesday on Clean Energy Package -- Berkley Calls Bill Good for Nevada

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

House to Vote Wednesday on Clean Energy Package -- Berkley Calls Bill Good for Nevada

Extends Tax Incentives to Boost Production of Solar, Wind, Geothermal Power

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is calling for passage of legislation (H.R. 5351) which invests in clean, renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. Incentives included in the package will help promote the development and use of more solar and geothermal energy in the Silver State. The legislation increases federal incentives to clean energy producers by repealing billions in subsidies to oil and gas companies.

"Clean energy is the future of Nevada and extending these incentives will encourage greater development of solar, geothermal and other forms of green power. This legislation extends tax breaks for clean energy and for consumers to buy hybrid vehicles by eliminating giveaways to big oil and gas producers at a time when these global giants continue to make enormous profits," said Berkley. "This package is good for Nevada, good for businesses, good for the environment and a good investment in our energy future."

This legislation would reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, increase renewable electricity production, and encourage greater energy efficiency. It 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.

Berkley noted that the incentives for green energy included in the bill are critical to existing workers and for the creation of good-paying green collar American jobs. A recent study showed that allowing the renewable energy incentives to expire would lead to about 116,000 jobs being lost in the wind and solar industries through the end of 2009. [Source: Economic Impact of Tax Credit Expiration - Final Report, Prepared for the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, February 13, 2009]

To pay for the renewable energy incentives, the bill includes narrowly targeted provisions repealing unnecessary tax subsidies and loopholes only for the large integrated oil companies. The big five oil companies recently reported record profits in 2007. Exxon Mobil earned $40.6 billion -- the largest corporate profit in American history.

H.R. 5351: Green Jobs and American Energy Independence

* Provides $8 billion in long-term clean renewable energy tax incentives for electricity produced from renewable resources, including wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydropower, ocean tides, and landfill gas.

* Includes $2 billion in new clean renewable energy bonds for electric cooperatives and public power providers to finance facilities that generate electricity from these renewable resources. These provisions are critical to creating tens of thousands of jobs and planned renewable energy projects that could power electricity for up to 12 million homes [Source: America Council on Renewable Energy, 2/11/08].

*Helps working families reduce their fuel bills by providing between $4,000 and $6,000 in tax credits toward the purchase of fuel-efficient, plug-in hybrid vehicles.

* Helps state and local governments finance a variety of environmental conservation and efficiency programs by providing up to $3.6 billion in interest-free financing.

Provides tax incentives to help homeowners and businesses reduce their energy costs by investing in energy efficient property. The bill would encourage manufacturers to build affordable appliances that push the boundaries of efficiency and help finance more energy efficiency improvements to homes and commercial buildings.

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