Andrew Cuomo on Energy & Oil
Governor Cuomo also championed a landmark investment in the clean energy economy by launching a $1 billion NY Green Bank to stimulate private sector financing and to facilitate the financing of creditworthy clean-energy projects in New York State. In addition, the Governor guided another $1 billion through the NY-Sun initiative to promote the wide scale deployment of solar projects throughout the state.
Our state has a track record of being at the forefront of environmental and energy policy innovations. Notable among them is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which lowers carbon emissions through the use of a market-based cap-and-trade system. The NY Green Bank is another forward-looking way for our state to lead on energy policy and improve our residents' economic prospects and quality of life.
I will introduce a permanent Power for Jobs program, which ensures predictability and stability of supply with long-term contracts and incorporates efficiency incentives to reward such improvements.
We are now saddled with the largest federal budget deficit on record. There are indications that our consumption and dependence on fossil fuels are causing permanent changes in our climate--perhaps minor and insignificant, perhaps major and devastating. And many of our most stubborn problems remain--race relations, poverty, failing public education, housing shortages and the widening gulf between the wealthy and everyone else.
The truth is that technology has provided several ways to increase our energy supply dramatically while preserving our environment. In New York State, for example, many older power plants remain in operation despite their inefficiency and resultant polluting. A process known as "repowering" is available to retrofit these plants with new technologies that boost power production while cutting emissions dramatically. Unfortunately, neither states nor the federal government have provided support for repowering by private-sector energy companies during this credit crunch.
To address this problem, our federal and state governments should provide tax credits to existing power plants to offset the costs of repowering older, less efficient power plants with newer, cleaner, more efficient technology.
Congressional Summary:Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2016 the tax credit for electricity produced from wind, biomass, geothermal or solar energy, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities.
Proponent's Comments (Governor's Wind Energy Coalition letter of Nov. 15, 2011 signed by 23 governors):Although the tax credit for wind energy has long enjoyed bipartisan support, it is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Wind-related manufacturing is beginning to slow in our states because the credit has not yet been extended. If Congress pursues a last minute approach to the extension, the anticipated interruption of the credit's benefits will result in a significant loss of high-paying jobs in a growing sector of the economy. We strongly urge Congress to adopt a more consistent and longer-term federal tax policy to support wind energy development, such as H.R. 3307.
The leading wind project developers and manufacturers are slowing their plans for 2013 and beyond due to the current uncertainty. The ripple effect of this slow down means reduced orders for turbines and decreased business for the hundreds of manufacturers who have entered the wind industry in our states. When Congress allowed the tax credit to expire in 1999, 2001, and 2003, the development of new wind installations dropped significantly, between 73% and 93%, and thousands of jobs were lost. Providing renewable energy tax credits in order to provide consistency with conventional energy tax credits is the right policy to move the nation forward in an energy sector that offers global export opportunities and the ability to modernize a segment of our electric production infrastructure.