Solar Industry Launches Push to Pass Energy Bill

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has begun its push to get an energy bill that promotes clean solar energy signed into law before Congress adjourns next month.

Washington, D.C. – September 20, 2002 [] The campaign, which will include CEO visits to Congress, an e-mail and fax campaign from solar enthusiasts and workers employed by solar companies and an informational campaign to educate energy bill Conferees about the key solar provisions, began Thursday with delivery of a letter to bill Conferees urging aggressive efforts to expand clean energy technologies. Top executives at more than 70 companies nationwide signed the letter. “As the nation inches toward a broader war in the Middle East, we are reminded once again that energy diversity and domestic production are essential to our national security,” said Glenn Hamer, SEIA’s Executive Director. “An energy bill with strong solar provisions will make us less dependent upon foreign energy sources while cleaning our air and building a 21st century high-tech industry here in the United States. That’s not a bad way for Congress to complete its session before election day, particularly since solar energy regularly polls in the stratosphere nationwide.” Key SEIA recommendations include: * Retain the 15% residential solar energy tax credit, passed by both the House and Senate and included in the President’s budget; * Double the business investment tax credit for solar to 20 percent, at least temporarily; * Pass a Renewable Portfolio Standard that retains Senate language of double credits for distributed solar, and explicitly include solar hot water heating in any RPS; * Incorporate Rep. Oberstar’s bill to purchase photovoltaic systems for federal buildings and extend it to include solar hot water; * Net Metering/Interconnection: maintain the good Federal standard of the Senate bill but add some enforcement teeth; and * Adopt the Senate language extending the production tax credit to include solar. “Chairman Bingaman, Senator Allard, and Rep. Hayworth have brought us close to a great victory for clean energy,” said Hamer. “Let’s hope Congress finishes the job this year.”
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