Renewable energy industry lobby signs letter demanding continuation of "vital" subsidies

Earthtimes.org allows members to post materials of interest on its site. One of its members, listed as Geothermal Energy Association, posted a press release from PRnewswire on October 31, 2007 under the titled of Extending Tax Credits This Year ‘Vital’ Over 100 Renewable Energy Companies and Organizations Tell President Bush and Congressional Leaders.

The news release includes a copy of the letter that 100 organizations – all listed at the bottom of the release – signed to urge the President, the Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Minority Leader to take fast action on the extension of federal tax incentives for a variety of energy sources that have been designated as “renewable” through a proper political process of give and take. Here is an excerpt from the letter:

As companies and organizations involved in America’s renewable energy sector, we believe that extension of existing section 45 energy tax incentives, the Clean Renewable Energy Bond (CREBs) program, and the commercial and residential solar and fuel cell investment credits are vital to our effort to transform the United States into a world leader in renewable and clean energy technologies such as geothermal, solar, biomass, fuel cells, hydropower, wind, landfill gas and municipal solid waste.

Notice the collection – it includes energy systems that use combustion process to turn fuels like biomass, landfill gas, and municipal solid waste into both energy and greenhouse gases that are then released into the atmosphere. It includes geothermal energy that requires drilling and hydropower that can have significant effects on both wildlife and land uses. It does not include emissions free atomic energy, even if it is based on the recycling of already mined fuel. (Nuclear does qualify for some of the programs, but not all, and the Nuclear Energy Institute is apparently not a favored member of the club.) Here is another interesting quote from the letter, especially in light of the bold statements by people like Amory Lovins and Harvey Wasserman who state that nuclear power has lost out in a free market to wind, solar and other renewables.

. . .the significant market acceleration created by these tax incentives is about to stall if Congress does not act to extend these programs. Companies across the country are facing imminent decisions about whether to move forward with new renewable energy projects, and if these credits are not extended many will be downsized or put on hold.”
“While various useful enhancements of these credits have been proposed by many of us, we would emphasize that there is no single action as important to all of us as the prompt approval of legislation to extend renewable energy tax incentives that promote new investment in these industries.”

In the words of the organizations involved in the industry, they are completely dependent on subsidies, even after many centuries of technological developments of the various types of “soft” (to use Amory Lovins pleasant term) energy systems.

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