Applied Materials recently hosted Congressman Lamar Smith, representative for the 21st Congressional District of Texas, at the company’s Austin facility for an in-depth overview of the semiconductor industry, global challenges and opportunities ahead and Applied’s leadership role in the industry.
Congressman Smith chairs the influential Science, Space and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, which has jurisdiction over important programs within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) hosted a renewable energy tax equity seminar recently at the White House. The seminar was designed to promote private sector investment in tax equity partnerships for solar, wind and other renewable energy projects. Since the 2008 economic crisis, financing available for renewable energy projects has been limited as the renewable tax equity markets have been very slow to recover.
Last week I attended the Aspen Institute’s annual Clean Energy Economy Roundtable, from July 21–24, 2011 in Colorado to participate in conference discussions that focused on policy tools needed to further accelerate the clean energy economy while highlighting innovations in clean-tech policy, renewable energy and financing already underway.
The House of Representatives’ vote on Tuesday to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act is essential to ensuring we stay at the front of the pack as a leader in scientific and technological innovation. The COMPETES ACT investment of $46 billion over the next three years for basic research programs aimed at boosting science, technology, engineering and math education will help the U.S. encourage innovation and economic growth here at home at a time when we need it most.
This week on Capitol Hill, it appeared as though the House and Senate were finally seeing eye-to-eye on the issue of clean energy. In two separate hearings—one on the Global Clean Energy Race held by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and one on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee—the case for re-establishing the U.S. as the leader in clean energy manufacturing and deployment was well argued.
To all the naysayers who questioned whether energy legislation could pass this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has an answer for them: not so fast. Speaking at the third annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Reid revived hopes that a bill would get through after all, albeit a much smaller one than the House approved last summer, which may even include the resurrection of a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).
Recently Applied Materials hosted seven members of the New Democrat Coalition to discuss key issues affecting the development of clean energy technology in the U.S. The New Democrat Coalition (called the “New Dems” for short) is a group of seventy House of Representatives Democrats with a focus on pro-innovation and pro-growth policy objectives. The group met with Applied Materials Chairman and CEO, Mike Splinter for a roundtable meeting to discuss the current state of the solar industry, policy recommendations for improving clean-tech manufacturing and research and development in the U.S. and the effects of U.S. tax policy on the high-tech industry’s development.
On Friday, President Obama called on Congress to extend the popular clean energy manufacturing tax credit (MTC) [Section 48C] program by approving an additional $5 billion in investment. This would more than double the $2.3 billion that Congress authorized last year as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
An investment of this size would create upwards of 40,000 jobs and generate more than $12 billion in private sector investment, which would lead to an additional 90,000 jobs, according to the president.