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TAUC advocates for legislation to strengthen U.S. manufacturing

April 29 2010

TAUC has joined more than 80 business, labor, environmental, and government organizations in urging Congress to adopt new tax policies to enhance industrial energy efficiency in order to increase manufacturing competitiveness, create jobs, and reduce pollution.

TAUC and other supporters sent letters to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee asking for tax credits to expand use of combined heat and power (CHP) and waste energy recovery, which would vastly improve energy efficiency. While often overlooked in the search for improved efficiency, manufacturers consume vast quantities of energy, usually finding it to be one of their largest production costs. Indeed, these technologies often double the efficiency of an industrial plant and other large energy users.

Supporters of industrial energy efficiency are asking for passage of the bipartisan S. 1639 (sponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, and Olympia Snowe, R-ME) as well as H.R. 4144 (Rep. Jay Inslee, D-WA) and H.R. 4751 (Rep. Paul Tonko, D-NY) to encourage near-term, shovel-ready projects that will create and maintain thousands of jobs within the industrial sector and in the manufacture, installation and operation of CHP and waste energy recovery equipment.

Waste energy recovery, which captures waste energy from industrial facilities, now receives no tax benefits. CHP, a process by which manufacturers generate electricity and heat on site, obtains only a 10 percent investment tax credit for the first 15 megawatts of a project limited to 50 megawatts in size. The bills now in the House and Senate would remove the limitation to small projects and apply the tax credit to a project’s first 25 megawatts (S. 1639 and H.R. 4144), as well provide a 30 percent credit for recycled energy and CHP with efficiencies above 70 percent (H.R. 4751).

Other companies and associations supporting the changes include Caterpillar, BHP Energy, the Steel Founders’ Society of America and the U.S. Clean Heat and Power Association.

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