Senators Push Last Ditch Effort to Spur Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing

October 4, 2010 | Devon Swezey,

Just before lawmakers left Washington on Friday to focus full time on the November elections, Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced a package of tax incentives intended to support domestic clean energy manufacturing as investment from temporary stimulus measures expire. (E&E News Subs. Req.)

The bipartisan bill includes $2.5 billion to extend the section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, which would help domestic manufacturers retool or expand their operations to produce clean energy technologies. That tax credit is due to expire with the stimulus. As the Breakthrough Institute has long argued, incentives like these are critical to help U.S. companies compete in global clean energy markets and create jobs at home.

Last May, Rob Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and a co-author of our joint report, "Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant," testified before Senator Bingaman's Energy Committee on the importance of supporting domestic clean energy manufacturing:

"Without a policy focused on the supply side (e.g., developing a robust clean tech industry in the United States), there is a very real chance that any policies to spur demand for clean energy will simply result in that demand being filled by foreign supply. If that is the case and the United States continues to run trade deficits in clean energy, the United States will be a net loser of jobs in this growth industry."

A short lame-duck session planned for after the November elections is now all that remains between the expiration of critical clean energy manufacturing tax credits and the continuation of America's clean tech momentum.