Congressman Braley sits atop a wind turbine in Northeast Iowa.
Ending our dependence on foreign oil and promoting Iowa renewable energy is critical to our national security and economic growth.
I’m working on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to shift the United States’ energy focus from the Middle East to the Midwest -- so we can invest more in renewable energy like wind and biofuels and create the good-paying jobs of the future.
Working to Train Workers for Clean Energy Opportunities
Investing in clean energy job training is an important step to preparing Iowa's workforce for the 21st Century economy.
The first bill I introduced and passed into law was the New Era Act, which created a grant program for Iowa’s community colleges to offer renewable energy workforce training programs.
The program will help equip Iowa workers with the skills they need to fill clean energy production and manufacturing jobs that are being created throughout Iowa and the Midwest.
Working for Wind
Iowa is already a national leader in wind energy and biofuels production, but our state can be a world leader in the research, development, and production of renewable energy.
Wind energy is a major growth industry in Iowa. Iowa is first in the nation in per-capita wind energy production, and second nationally in total annual wind energy production in megawatt-hours. According to the Iowa Wind Energy Association, the Iowa wind energy industry already employs over 3,000 full-time workers. That number could grow with a more certain investment climate for the wind energy.
That’s why I introduced the American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act. This bill will extend the wind energy production tax credit for another four years. In January of 2013, Congress renewed this tax credit for a full year, and modified the credit so that all new applications are eligible, rather than completed projects.
Working for Biofuels
I am a strong supporter of maintaining the renewable fuels standard (RFS) and extending the biodiesel tax credit. I am committed to maintaining the RFS and the promise it holds for jobs, our economy, and our environment. Production of biofuels supports thousands of jobs in Iowa. We can’t afford the job-killing effects of letting this tax credit expire, especially in this economy.
Most Americans fill up their cars with gas a few times a week, but they have no idea where that gas is coming from. So, in June of 2011, I introduced a bill that would require "country of origin labeling" (COOL) at gas pumps. This bill would give American consumers more information at the pump and the choice to vote with their wallets. By arming consumers with more information, The COOL for Fuels Act would help create more jobs here in America by encouraging consumption of American-made fuels and alternatives.
Also, earlier in 2011 I introduced the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill to end tax breaks for big oil companies, who clearly don’t need them while they’re raking in record profits. This bill will use the savings from these tax breaks to invest in renewable energy, creating jobs in Iowa, boosting the renewable fuels industry and paying down the national deficit. Ending oil industry tax breaks will save about $43 billion over the next ten years.