September 03, 2008


ELLICOTT CITY, MD -- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-3) and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman joined together today to urge Congress to enact vitally important renewable energy legislation that could help reduce energy costs and America's dependence on foreign oil.  


The Jobs, Energy, Families and Disaster Relief Act (S. 3335) would extend many important tax credits, such as the investment solar energy tax credit, beyond the current Dec. 31, 2008 deadline.  On July 30, the measure failed to pass the Senate because of a Republican filibuster.


Howard County has a strong interest in congressional passage of this bill's solar energy tax credit. The County wants to install solar panels at its former landfill site off New Cut Road to offset electrical use at nearby Worthington Elementary School.   But, because of high costs, the project is stalled until Congress passes legislation to extend the solar tax credits.  


"Passage of this tax credit bill is critical because it levels the playing field for alternative energy sources such as solar power," said Senator Cardin.  "Oil companies benefit from significant tax breaks; it's past time to give investors in renewable energy the same incentives that can lead us to energy independence."


"The State of Maryland is quickly becoming a national leader in renewable energy, but we need a strong federal partner that invests solar and alternative energy sources to secure America's energy future," said Governor O'Malley.  "Free markets alone will not secure that future.  If we want a more secure, more renewable, and more affordable energy future, then our federal government must step up and act to bring about that future that we all prefer." 


"Extension of federal tax credits is critical to making renewable energy projects like this a reality. I see renewable energy in John McCain's commercials, but his complete failure to vote in support of incentives means we lose the opportunity to actually see renewable energy in our communities," said Howard County Executive Ulman.