Clean energy is a growing industry, filledwith both promise and potential. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I have made it a top priority to bring clean energy technology to Sacramento and transform our district into a global leader.
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Sacramento has received more than $280 million dollars worth of federal funding for green energy projects. This money has gone to help invest in new clean energy technologies, small businesses,promote energy independence, and help create new clean energy startups. In fact, in 2006, Sacramento was home to just thirty clean energy companies. That number has now increased to over 200 companies. And from 1996 to 2008, Sacramento posted the highest growth in clean energy in California and now boasts over 13,000 jobs within this sector.
In Congress, I have introduced several bills to promote clean energy jobs and manufacturing in our region. H.R. 502, the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act, would support the development and implementation of a National Clean Energy Technology Export Strategy. It would also assist American clean tech firms with export assistance by finding and navigating foreign markets to export their goods and services abroad.
During the 111th Congress, I also introduced H.R. 5931, the Renewable Energy Incentive Act in July 2010. This legislation would help bring additional resources to American clean energy businesses by increasing the accessibility of grants. This not only provides an opportunity to invest in renewable infrastructure, but also creates clean energy jobs.
And, I introduced H.R. 6212, the Small Business Clean Energy Financing Act, which would help small clean energy businesses access financing and remain competitive in the global market. By working within the existing Small Business Administration financing process, my legislation would direct the agency to prioritize clean energy initiatives, and make credit more accessible for our small clean energy companies. I plan to reintroduce both these pieces of legislation during the 112th Congress.
We cannot let China, Germany and other countries pass us by. We have an historic opportunity to lead the world in this sector in part because of the competitive advantage our region boasts. From world-class universities and training facilities, demonstrated consumer support, a range of existing clean tech companies and forward-thinking utilities, Sacramento has what it takes to foster growth in this sector and help jumpstart our local economy.
Congresswoman Matsui Hosts a Regional Clean Tech Convening in Sacramento
We know that this collaboration is critical to being California’s clean energy capital. So for the past six months, I have held a series of clean technology region convening events, which have brought together clean tech companies, non-profits, utilities, colleges, and businesses to discuss ways in which we can continue to foster cooperative relationships and strategic partnerships. And I am committed to helping to do everything I can to continue to facilitate these conversation, support local grant applications, and more.
It is vital that our local clean energy manufacturing firms continue to have the tools and resources they need to be competitive in the global clean energy economy, and create new, good paying jobs in the Sacramento region.
Visit these local agencies and organizations for more information on our work to make Sacramento the Clean Tech Capital: