BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 5351, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008. I commend the Speaker and the Ways and Means committee for their tireless efforts on behalf of this important legislation.
We are at a crucial point in the United States in the development of our alternative energy economy. We are at a point where, without our support, these industries could either grow and prosper or be sent overseas. This bill represents an important step to ensure that alternative energy technologies like windmills and fuel cells are manufactured in Connecticut, not China and in Indiana, not India.
Tax credits for alternative energy technologies are crucial to these industries across the United States, and particularly in Connecticut. Connecticut has become a leader in the alternative energy field, particularly in the area of fuel cell technology. We have succeeded as a result of investment in research and development, partnerships between the industry and the state and federal government and the ingenuity and talented workforce in the state.
The impact of the fuel cell industry on Connecticut's economy has been powerful. The Connecticut fuel cell industry has created over 2,000 jobs statewide and generates $29 million in tax revenues to the state annually.
The Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008 strengthens and extends the tax credits for investment in fuel cell technology for 8 years, providing much needed certainty to the industry. It also extends the production tax credit for alternative energy technologies like wind, solar and geothermal energy.
In a recent New York Times article, a reporter traveled to small towns in Texas that people had all but given up on because of their faltering economies. These same towns are now experiencing a rebirth because the wind industry is bringing jobs back to their community. This is the impact this important legislation can have on towns throughout the Nation and why I rise today in strong support of H.R. 5351.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT