Policy Outlook 2012: Don’t Expect Much From Washington in 2012

You Have a Hand in a Clean Earth. Make Your Voice Heard Today!

We hope you have the time to read this article, written by Meg Cichon, Associate Editor of  RenewableEnergyWorld.com, it discusses “Looming deadlines, expiring credits and a turbulent election — renewables have a challenging year ahead in North America as 2012 is set for policy change.”  And, you can make a difference by emailing your reps. (Details on how to contact your Federal reps and find out who makes the decisions at your state or County level are shown in main body of this post.)

“…Political turmoil has enveloped 2011, and it is expected to set the scene for the coming year. The late-August Solyndra bankruptcy news cast a dark mark on the Department of Energy (DOE) loan program, which is fueling an already fiery Washington D.C. climate. The heated political atmosphere has already affected a biofuels industry facing a $6 billion cut in tax breaks for ethanol producers. It also is poised to impact debates on the set-to-expire 1603 cash grant and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for the wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass industries.

So what does this all mean for 2012?”

Due to the uncertain political climate, the focus may change from building incentives at the federal level to individual states. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) plans to hone in on state markets, according to Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “We are expanding into state policy…It’s an election year, so we’ll see limited work done by Congress. It will be very difficult for Republicans and Democrats to work together and push forward clean energy legislation. We have great opportunity at the state level.”

Once again, we remind you that your state and federal senators and congressmen/women need to know how you think and that you vote.   You can contact your US Senators by clicking here for email addresses and your congressperson by clicking here. And since many programs will be at the state level, don’t forget about contacting your local representatives and governors!

Because many things will happen on the state level, here is a very useful site that summarizes what incentives and subsidies are available for renewable energies in you state or county. DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, “serves as the nation’s most comprehensive, one-stop source of information on federal, state, local, and utility incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

DSIRE contains information on more than 2,200 programs and is accessible online for free at http://www.dsireusa.org.* It not only lists what programs are currently available within your location, it lists the organizations that administer the programs.  With a little extra effort, you can also contact your local senators and congresspeople, and governors, to make your voice heard.

We don’t have the money of British Petroleum, Exxon, or whatever other big oil company.  But, we have the votes.  Make sure your representatives know that YOU vote and HOW you vote.  Trust me, it makes a difference.  Think about the Tea Party’s power:  if all of us wanting renewable energy were to raise the ruckus they do (and we don’t have to lie to make points), it will go a good way.

Peace On Earth, Good Will to Man...May the New Year Bring You the Best!

By the way, Merry Christmas to all with Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men.  And, regardless of your feelings towards Christmas, accept our wishes for a peaceful, healthy and safe 2011!

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