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Public Statements

Introduction of a Bill, The American Microturbine Manufacturing and Clean Energy Deployment Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Ms. LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a bill, the American Microturbine Manufacturing and Clean Energy Deployment Act of 2011.

* This bill builds on the great American tradition of innovation and manufacturing. It will help our country create new high-paying jobs, promote investment in the clean energy economy, and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

* The bill would accomplish these goals by establishing a 30 percent investment tax credit for microturbines, thereby granting parity with other renewable and fuel cell technologies. Microturbines, which have been supported by research and development funding from the Department of Energy, are small, ultra low emission gas turbines that produce usable efficient thermal energy and clean electrical power. While used most often in commercial buildings, microturbines have a wide range of applications, including renewable power, hybrid electric buses, trucks, and cars.

* Over 90 percent of the world's microturbines are manufactured right here in the United States by American workers for American companies. And of the U.S. manufacturers, one is located in Southern California and employs a number of my constituents. Another manufacturing facility is located in New England. American microturbine companies enjoy a robust export market, which means customers across the globe are increasing energy efficiency and reducing pollution and their carbon footprint. But sadly, the domestic market is weak. Why? Because our incentive structure has failed to encourage the adoption of this readily available clean energy solution. This must change, and my bill will help increase deployment in our own country.

* Where microturbines are deployed in the United States, there are numerous success stories. In the spirit of bi-partisanship, let me highlight one in my home state. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which many of us have visited, deploys sixteen 65-kilowatt microturbines that provide onsite electricity. In addition, the waste exhaust from the turbines heat the facility's water supply and is then run through an absorption chiller to provide air conditioning to the Air Force One Pavilion. This innovative approach not only enhanced the environment around the library by eliminating the need to construct additional power lines, but it also saves the facility over $300,000 per year in utility bills.

* We have the opportunity to help businesses and families across the nation save energy and preserve the environment. And, by enacting the American Microturbine Manufacturing and Clean Energy Deployment Act, we will create thousands of jobs. According to a recent survey of the microturbine industry, estimates are that the enactment of a 30 percent tax credit could immediately create over 2,000 new jobs. During the first year of the new tax credit, enough new microturbines could be deployed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 170,000 tons of CO

* Mr. Speaker, two of the most overarching public policy goals of the Congress and the country are to create jobs and promote energy efficiency and independence. I strongly believe that microturbine technology is a key component in our efforts to meet these challenges. This is an American-invented technology and an American-dominated industry. We should keep it that way. I urge our colleagues to join me in supporting this clean, innovative American industry.

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