Gallery: Senators Try to Block Government Financing for Renewable Energ...

 

One day after Obama announced his “Cash for Caulkers” energy efficiency program, a group of senators is trying to block government-funded, international renewable energy projects. In a letter to be read at a news conference today, the group of Democratic officials argue that financing renewables overseas under the Recovery Act runs counter to the economic stimulus plan’s goal: to create and preserve American jobs.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner requesting a moratorium on overseas stimulus spending. The group hopes that if the moratorium is put in place, it will stay that way until legislation can be passed which mandates that Recovery Act funds are spent on American soil.

We’re all for national job creation, but the senators’ logic is shortsighted. By limiting renewable energy financing to the US alone, we’d kill valuable opportunities to create international renewable energy partnerships. For example, an announcement last fall established a joint venture with China’s Shenyang Power Group, Texas’ Cielo Wind Power and a private equity firm. The group hopes to build a $1.5 billion Texas wind energy project. While the turbines would come from China, American workers would install the turbines and establish the farm on American soil. Scary to think what would happen to projects like this if they weren’t eligible for government funding.

Economics aside, combating climate change needs to be a global effort. Excluding international partnerships from US stimulus funds would not only end some great renewable energy projects, it would hinder important global climate change dialogue.

Via Associated Press

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3 Comments

  1. antkm1 March 4, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    As much as i’m for global partnerships and peace and love world-wide, i want our money to go to US labor AND products. Given the example describing the Texas energy project, why can’t these turbines be produced by US manufacturing companies and NOT the Chinese? If the US companies would just suck it up and start producing thier own products, then maybe we could start selling them overseas and build our economy back, not giving away my tax dollars to foreign manufacturers.

  2. manny March 4, 2010 at 12:57 am

    New policies are being formed around the world to help create a low-carbon economy focused on reducing carbon emissions. The challenge however, is to redefine our production of energy and reduce the demand for power, without hindering business development. The transition will not be easy but is essential if we are to tackle the problem of climate change
    Out of necessity comes opportunity and the rational response to climate change is to look towards the low carbon economy of the future

  3. klem March 3, 2010 at 11:00 am

    “Texas Wind energy project. While the turbines would come from China, American workers would install the turbines and establish the farm on American soil.”

    This is a fantastic project which could have been scuttled by this legislation. It would have forced the project investers to buy turbines that were built here. Instead, the chinese build the technology and our best and brightest dig the holes. What terrible legislation. This can’t go on. In the future we must work to ensure that other countries build the machines and we continue to do the digging. Thanks for this.

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