Energy Takes Center Stage in Developing Green Technologies
Today, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing on how emerging green technologies will help stabilize and grow the U.S. economy. With summer gas prices rising and winter heating costs just months away, the hearing focused largely on energy production and conservation.
"U.S. economic prosperity is closely tied to the availability of reliable and affordable supplies of energy," said Chabot. "I am certain that further research into alternative energy sources will yield new techniques for producing energy that we cannot even fathom."
In many industries, home construction in particular, the demand for green technologies is growing significantly. The National Association of Home Builders reported that more than half its members are incorporating green practices into the design and construction of new projects.
Andrea Lucke, vice president of sales and design for Robert Lucke Homes and president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati, said, "By encouraging growth in green building, our nation's home builders have the potential to profoundly affect energy efficiency and conserve precious natural resources and our environment."
While the national focus has been on pain at the pump, energy prices across the board are on the rise and Americans are looking for savings anywhere they can find them. Lucke testified that "home builders have found that the products that are most appealing to buyers are energy efficient products, including energy efficient windows, appliances and heating and cooling equipment."
Given the obvious and pressing need for affordable energy, Congressman Chabot lamented that the legislation considered by this Congress does nothing to create new sources of energy and warned the consequence of inaction is making the U.S. more reliant on foreign sources. "The search for energy sources should not be a zero sum game," said Chabot. "We need to balance renewable energy initiatives with efforts to ensure an abundant, affordable supply today."
Yesterday, Chabot introduced the Gasoline Price Relief Act to provide a tax credit of $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for couples filing joint tax returns for the purchase of gasoline or diesel fuel. He has also introduced legislation with Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) entitled the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC) to give the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission legal authority to bring an antitrust case against the OPEC oil cartel. Chabot also recently sponsored the Oil Speculation Reduction Act, aimed at curbing excessive international speculation in the foreign oil market.