Ensign, Cantwell Push Renewable Energy Bill Through Senate

Washington, D.C. – Thanks to the efforts of Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Senate passed a bill today to encourage the development of renewable energy. Working in a bipartisan manner, Ensign and Cantwell crafted this deal with the support of Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. 
“Senator Cantwell’s efforts to reach across the aisle were key to reaching this deal,” said Ensign. “Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have compromised and passed a great bill. Republicans in the House have agreed to pass it as is. Now it is up to the House Democrat leadership to join our efforts and pass this bill. I urge them to act quickly so that we can get this bill to the President.”
“Today we finally cleared the logjam in the Senate and extended critical tax incentives for American businesses that move our country toward a clean energy future.  This truly has been a bipartisan effort, and I thank Senator Ensign for all his work throughout the year on this issue,” said Cantwell.
“I admire and respect the work done by Sens. Cantwell and Ensign,” said Majority Leader Reid on the Senate floor.  “They have worked very hard.  It was a bipartisan effort to move forward.”
 “Sen. Ensign has been a real leader in the effort to extend renewable energy tax incentives and create more clean energy sources and good jobs here at home,” said Republican Leader McConnell.  “He worked across the aisle to make this happen and didn’t give up until he was able to break the gridlock and move this critical legislation forward.”
Ensign and Cantwell forged a compromise that passed the Senate in April, but the House of Representatives objected to it. Because renewable energy is a critical component to any comprehensive energy plan, Ensign and Cantwell fought to ensure passage of this bill today.
The bill extends the placed-in-service deadline for the Production Tax Credit, which encourages electricity production using geothermal, wind, hydropower and much more. By extending and improving the solar and fuel cell Investment Tax Credit for eight years, the bill encourages tremendous development of these technologies. 
The legislation also encourages energy efficient improvements to buildings and homes, including the addition of solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and energy efficient appliances. Recent estimates say this legislation could create millions of jobs across the economy and result in hundreds of billions of dollars in economic investment.