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Lawmakers Want Colleagues’ Help In Supporting Manufacturing Industry

A group of Senators want their colleagues' help on a multi-pronged approach to strengthen manufacturing as an industry, create new jobs in the clean energy industry and provide better access to reliable energy sources.

The 10 lawmakers sent a letter to Senators Kerry, Lieberman and Graham asking for legislative provisions in all those areas. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is leading the effort.

"Our nation's economic future depends both on our global competitiveness and access to reliable energy sources," the Senators wrote. "We must not allow our nation to become dependent on foreign clean energy industries or squander the opportunity to compete successfully in the global clean energy marketplace. A strong manufacturing base is crucial if the United States is to build the clean energy technologies of the future and achieve energy independence."

The group wants legislation that will provide assistance for retooling and clean energy manufacturing.

"We are convinced that successful legislation must include a multi-pronged strategy to maintain and strengthen our industrial base and the millions of manufacturing jobs," states the letter.

The letter notes that due to the financial crisis, many American manufacturers are struggling to obtain the capital necessary to make critical investments in energy efficiency or for necessary retooling to diversify into new clean energy products such as wind turbines, solar panels, and advanced vehicles.

"We propose financial assistance mechanisms that include: establishing a manufacturing revolving loan fund, expanding the 48C advanced energy manufacturing tax credit, providing tax incentives to encourage capital investments in efficiency and clean energy technology, and investing in domestic production of advanced vehicles and components," states the letter.

The lawmakers said several federal programs exist to promote the production and use of clean energy sources, and that linking clean energy incentives to domestic manufacturing will both create immediate good-paying manufacturing jobs in the domestic economy and enhance the innovation and competitiveness of firms located in the U.S.

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