Menendez: Report Showing China Surpassing US In Clean Energy Investment Should Be A Wakeup Call

Menendez: Report Showing China Surpassing US In Clean Energy Investment Should Be A Wakeup Call

Member of Energy Committee says Congress has golden opportunity this year to again make clean energy jobs and competitiveness a priority

Washington - A new report from the Pew Charitable Trust shows that the United States has fallen to a distant second place behind China in clean-energy investments (http://www.pewtrusts.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=57972). Last year, the U.S. invested $18.6 billion in renewable energy sources, while China's investments amounted to $34.6 billion. The report suggests that in addition to the recession, the lack of strong governmental policy is a significant reason for the U.S. falling behind.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and author of bipartisan solar manufacturing tax credit legislation, today said this report should be a wakeup call. He said it stands as ample evidence for a stronger renewable energy standard as part of upcoming energy legislation.

"This report should be a wakeup call for anyone who thinks we can lose the clean energy race and still create the jobs and economic activity needed to compete globally in the 21st Century," said Menendez. "At this moment, we have a golden opportunity to harness the job-creating, cost-saving potential clean energy has to re-charge our economy. If China does it in a better, bolder and faster way, we will miss out on many thousands of jobs and slip further in global competitiveness. This is the reason I have authored the bipartisan solar manufacturing tax credit bill and was a main supporter of clean energy manufacturing tax credits in the Recovery Act. It is also a prime reason that I was not satisfied with the energy bill we have passed out of the committee - the renewable energy standard needs to be stronger in order to create the type of jobs and economic benefits we need. Ours is a more purely market-driven economy, which means that in order to unleash clean energy growth we need to send the right market signals. That's what needs to happen if we are to remain economically competitive in the 21st Century."

Menendez's solar manufacturing legislation would boost the manufacturing of solar power equipment and the job creation that accompanies it. Currently, a 30 percent Solar Investment Tax Credit (SITC) exists for the purchase or installation of solar power technology. Under the Solar Manufacturing Jobs Creation Act, equipment and facilities used to manufacture solar power technology would be added to the eligible property list for the SITC. Menendez is a member of the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over this bill.

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