WASHINGTON, USA: Delay in adjournment this week means Congress still has time to act on an energy tax bill that will protect American jobs and expand markets for fuel cell, solar and wind power technologies, says a spokesman for the US Fuel Cell Council (USFCC).
"The delay gives Congress a last-minute opportunity to strengthen the marketplace foundation for the fuel cell, solar and wind power industries in these uncertain times," said Robert Rose, Executive Director of the USFCC. Support for extending the credits is strong and bipartisan, but the extension is hostage to other differences in tax policy, Rose said. "It’s time to free these energy tax credits. Jobs are at stake, economic opportunities will be lost and the nation will also lose the environmental and energy security benefits that make these technologies a national priority."
According to two independent studies, at stake are between 500,000 and 675,000 new jobs over the next 20-25 years. Whether these jobs are located in the US or overseas will depend in substantial part on where favorable markets for fuel cells are located.
"Members of Congress are serious about putting us on a path of energy independence and creating green-collar jobs. Enacting the energy credits is the best way to prove it. Failing to act casts doubt on this commitment, fairly or not," said Rose.
"The fuel cell industry is making great strides in creating new job opportunities, mitigating green house gas emissions and providing users with clean, reliable power. But this momentum is fragile and relies on supportive tax policy," Rose said.
The 100-member US Fuel Cell Council, www.usfcc.com, is the voice of the fuel cell industry.