by Will Greene
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.; District 9) introduced her first piece of legislation last week, a bill intended to incentivize clean energy manufacturing in the United States. The Security in Energy and Manufacturing Act (H.R. 1424) would extend the advanced energy manufacturing tax credit program, providing a 30% tax credit or grant in lieu of a tax credit, to domestic companies manufacturing renewable energy systems.
While the political makeup of the US House likely makes Sinema’s bill a tough sell to a Republican-controlled Energy & Commerce Committee, let alone House membership at large, clean energy advocates can be encouraged that in 2012 the Arizona delegation added a well-spoken ally. Sinema’s voice is especially welcome considering the recent subtraction of a key solar proponent in Rep. Gabby Giffords.
These voters are smart. Arizona’s largest utility told us last year that solar energy represents the most cost-effective energy choice when comparing new energy facilities. When our state and nation finally decides to account for the full costs of energy choices – including associated impacts of pollution on health and climate - solar energy and other renewables come out on top. And it’s not even close.
Sinema’s first bill may be a sign of good things to come from a member of Congress who appears to have an inspiring energy vision for our state and nation.