In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address he called for clean-energy sources to supply 80% of the country’s electricity by 2035, and for Congress to cut oil subsidies and invest in clean-energy instead. AWEA President Denise Bode was in the House chamber for the speech and says the organization welcomes the possibility of the first predictable long-term federal policy toward renewable energy. “But, of course, we’ll need to make sure the policy really deploys the renewable energy Americans want in the near term, as well as the long term,” she says. Bode also released the following statement about the President’s initiatives on clean energy:
“We are pleased to see the possibility of the first predictable long-term federal policy toward renewable energy. But of course we’ll need to make sure the policy really deploys the renewable energy Americans want in the near term, as well as the long term. Wind energy can deliver right now on its promise to deliver new electricity to Americans more affordably than any other energy source, if we have a level playing field to compete with the permanent entitlements that fossil fuels have enjoyed for over 90 years.”
On the President’s statement on ending billions in oil industry tax subsidies and investing in “tomorrow’s energy” Bode says it’s true that fossil fuels receive five times more in federal incentives than renewable energy, but AWEA doesn’t believe that is in line with Americans’ current priorities. “The predictability of the permanent incentives for conventional energy sources is as important as the amounts,” she says. “Renewable energy currently suffers from the inability to predict whether incentives will be extended every year or two.” Bode says it’s time to reorient the tax code to predictable policies that allow energy sources that will never run out, to thrive, instead of keeping renewable energy on a constant one-year footing.
By 2030 wind can be up to 20% of the electric supply all by itself, according to a study by the George W. Bush administration. “It insources jobs and investment into America,” Bode says. “That’s what our industry is doing to make good on this national commitment to clean energy and economic growth.” The President also wants to put one million advanced technology vehicles on the road by 2015. Bode says AWEA looks forward to driving cars on wind. “With plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles headed for showrooms, that has finally become a reality,” she says.
In conclusion, Bode states, “We applaud the president’s emphasis on innovation and ingenuity, and getting more jobs from clean energy. Wind energy has improved its efficiency 40% in five years. In tight budget years, it makes sense to invest our money in that kind of new technology. We look forward to working with the new majority in the House and leaders in the Senate to diversity America’s energy portfolio and foster renewed economic growth.”
Filed Under: Policy