America’s dependence on foreign energy sources threatens our national security, economy, and environment. Our country must urgently pursue a more balanced energy policy that will promote conservation and maximize clean, domestic, renewable sources of energy. We need to achieve greater energy independence so that America is no longer subject to the whims of the volatile Middle East region. For the sake of our national security, we cannot afford to rely on foreign sources. For the sake of our environment, we cannot afford to rely on resources that are not clean.
As worldwide consumption increases, oil is simply not the answer. As Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.” Now is the time to change our thinking and focus on renewable sources of energy. That is why I have supported critical investments in biofuels, geothermal, solar, and other forms of alternative energy, as well as greater research and development in renewable energy sources, which is incredibly important to Ford, GE, UPS, and other Louisville businesses.
New technologies present new opportunities to grow our economy and create jobs nationwide, but we need to make sure we have a quality workforce that is trained for these green jobs. Congress has made important investments in these areas, and we are working to help spur the market for such products. One great success of these programs is GE, which was awarded $25 million in Recovery Act tax credits for three clean-energy manufacturing initiatives that will create 830 jobs by 2012. These three initiatives include $11.3 million toward the facility’s production line for more energy-efficient dishwasher models, $8.7 million for more energy-efficient water heaters, and $4.8 million for more energy efficient clothes dryers. As a result of these incentives and growing confidence in the U.S. commitment to energy-efficient appliances, GE is bringing jobs back from China. The water heater is the first new product line at GE’s Appliance Park in 50 years.
This is just one example of the potential that exists when we invest in clean technologies. Doing so will ensure that our nation sees more success stories like ours in Louisville.