New Energy Provisions Encourage Us to Meet Responsibilities (Rep. John Lewis)

Environmental protection is very much in keeping with the discipline and philosophy of non-violence, which became an important principle for me through my work in the Civil Rights Movement.  I believe this beautiful Earth is not ours to waste or to hoard.  I think it is humane, it is respectful, it is morally responsible for us to leave this planet a little greener and a little cleaner than we found it.

As Americans, we have a great distance to go before we meet that responsibility.  But lasting change is often made incrementally, especially when it strikes at the core of a nation’s way of life.  Lessening our dependence on oil and our footprint as a nation will require sacrifice, discipline, and a fundamental shift in our approach to our lives.  But it seems that Americans are ready to begin that process of change.  In many ways they are leading the leaders to chart a new direction for the future.  That is why I wanted to co-sponsor this bill because I think it helps encourage the elemental shift that will have to take place in order for environmental conservation and preservation to become an important part of the American way of life.

H.R. 2776 does some good things.  It provides for a long-term federal investment in the research and development of various kinds of energy technology -- including wind, solar, geothermal, marine, hydropower, trash combustion, cellulosic ethanol and others.  Several aspects of the bill expand on tax incentives already in place to enable states to offer low-interest loans and grants to residents who decide to buy energy efficient appliances, and it allows states to issue tax credit bonds to finance energy conservation initiatives like green city or mass transit programs.

It offers a production credit for the manufacture of biodiesel and renewable diesel, and it encourages utility companies to install “smart meters