Apr 26 2002
DOVER, DE - Delaware stands to benefit from investments in alternative energy sources required in the national energy policy that passed the Senate today, Senator Tom Carper said. The final bill provides incentives for conservation as well as production. The legislation provides tax credits for consumers who buy energy efficient vehicles and renewable energy credits to encourage energy made from poultry waste. The bill also includes support for fuel cells and solar power. "By increasing America's reliance on alternative and renewable sources of energy, we will strengthen our economy, improve our environment, and increase our energy security. It is a wise investment, and one I am glad we made," Carper said. While the final bill benefits Delaware, the bill should have gone further to set a clear, measurable objective to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. Carper joined Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) to sponsor an amendment that would have reduced the nation's oil consumption for automobiles by one million barrels a day. The Carper- Specter amendment was not included in the final version of the Senate bill. "The nation needs a clear, measurable objective for oil savings. With the increased threat of global warming and continued instability in the Middle East, now was the best time to set that objective," Carper said. "The Senate missed that opportunity." Carper, who received a special appointment to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, had been working through that committee to secure: * increased support for alternate fuels like diesel made from soybeans, which clean up emissions and offer a new market for Delaware soybean farmers; * increased emphasis on renewable energy sources including solar power, wind, and biomasses like poultry litter; *increased funding for Low Income Home Energy Assistance and weatherization grants to states; * increased attention to the development of fuel cells, which both DuPont and W.L. Gore plan to manufacture. Carper joined Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to successfully sponsor an amendment to the bill that gives support to combined heat-and-power generating plants, which are cleaner and more efficient than traditional generators.