Photo: Screengrab via Whitehouse.gov
Since comprehensive clean energy & climate legislation failed in Congress, a renewable energy standard is still glaringly absent, and the EPA's role in regulating greenhouse gases in the future is still up in the air, our options for stimulating growth in the clean energy sector are few and far between. All we have, in fact, are a few tax breaks to encourage investment in clean energy -- and the GOP is currently battling to take those away. In Obama's Weekly Address, he comes to the defense of the tax breaks, and harps on the importance of backing clean energy. Video is after the jump:
Of course, if Obama had put up a proper legislative fight for comprehensive clean energy reform in the first place, we wouldn't be quibbling over some sorry tax breaks. Indeed, it's not exactly the most opportune time to step up to the plate on clean energy issues, though it is the safest -- where was a weekly address on clean energy and jobs, or on climate, back in the spring, while the climate bill was still languishing in the Senate? Or in July, right before it "died", in the midst of the hottest summer in the global temperature record?
But no, now it's time to fight for clean energy, when all we have left are some tax breaks for renewable energy companies. Obviously, these tax breaks are important now, and Obama is right that we need them. Dave Roberts points to this chart that shows the difference between years where the clean energy tax breaks were in place and those where they weren't, and the impact it had on clean energy investment:
Clearly, the tax breaks help. And clearly, the clean energy industry is entitled to some tax breaks, especially as long as oil companies are receiving billions in yearly subsidies. It would be a disgrace to lose the tax breaks now -- but Obama should have spoken up sooner.