Monday, 04 March 2024

Thompson, Lockyer discuss clean energy future

SAN FRANCISCO – On Friday, Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) and State Treasurer Bill Lockyer met in San Francisco to discuss legislation that would help spur green energy investments.

At the request of Treasurer Lockyer, Congressman Thompson introduced H.R. 3525, the “Private Activity Bonds for Clean Energy Projects” bill, which would add additional categories of tax-exempt private activity bonds to spur investment in clean energy technologies.

“We need to act quickly to change our methods of energy consumption,” said Congressman Thompson. “Failing to act now will cost us trillions of dollars, both in spending on foreign oil, and on combating the effects of climate change. By making it easier for local governments and private entities to finance alternative energy projects, we can help move our economy towards a greener future.”

Tax-exempt bond financing is a low-cost method of financing a project or manufacturing facility, with interest costs that are lower than commercial loans.

By granting private entities access to this low-cost financing, the bill will help stimulate investment in clean energy projects such as solar installations, creating new green jobs and rebuilding our economy.

“Expanding the benefits of tax-exempt bond financing to privately-developed renewable technologies is a win-win for California’s environment and economy,” said Lockyer. “We’ll spur green projects that produce alternative energy sources and stimulate the economy by creating green-collar jobs.”

Thompson’s bill would amend the IRS code to add additional categories of tax-exempt private activity bonds for renewable energy, energy efficiency, demand side management, energy storage, electric transmission, smart grid, water conservation, zero-emission vehicle projects and manufacturing facilities.

Additionally, the legislation would allow private companies to utilize both tax exempt bonds and federal tax credits for these projects.

The discussion was held at Project Open Hand, a charity serving meals to those in need.

Project Open Hand has dedicated themselves to carrying out their mission in a sustainable fashion, and has installed solar panels on their roof to power their facilities, saving over $12,000 per year.

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