Democratic Party presidential nomination candidate Julián Castro visited a wind turbine manufacturing plant in Newton, Iowa, on Wednesday, and proposed new policies to invest in renewable energy, particularly wind power.
The plan, announced at TPI Composites Inc., will double the investment in wind power in the United States, and expand the exporting of renewable technology around the globe.
This proposal includes a number of bold ideas including permanently extending the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit, investing $10 billion a year in renewable technology export promotion, creating a $200 billion Green Infrastructure Fund to invest in climate infrastructure such as smart grids, evaluating government projects for their carbon impact, and banning fossil fuel exploration and extraction on federal lands.
“The United States will lead the world in the 21st century clean energy economy by making smart investments in renewable energy. That’s why I plan to double wind power at home and export U.S.-made green technology around the globe,” said Secretary Castro. “We do not have to decide between protecting our environment and growing our economy. We can do both.”
This week, Secretary Castro qualified for the September Democratic Debates, after securing the required fourth qualifying poll. In July, Secretary Castro secured the required 130,000 grassroots donors needed to qualify for the debates.
Highlights of Castro’s proposal include:
- Permanently extend the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), allowing the ITC to be used for energy storage investments. Achieving worldwide net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 requires rapidly expanding the deployment of renewable technologies. The PTC has been instrumental in tripling wind energy capacity in the last decade and significantly increasing investment in solar energy. Restoring the PTC, expanding the ITC for energy storage, investing in renewable-friendly power grids and technology, and moving to lower our carbon impact sets us in a position to at least double wind power by the end of Secretary Castro’s first term.
- Export American renewable energy technology and expertise. Empower the Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the International Development Finance Corporation with up to $10 billion a yearin additional funding with a mandate to support renewable, carbon-free, and carbon-negative energy exports. This investment will equip the United States to better compete globally and lead in the world in the 21st Century new energy economy.
- Establish a $200 billion Green Infrastructure Fund to invest in smart infrastructure. Expanding wind and solar power in the United States will require investments in smart electricity grids and energy storage that can support variable and distributed energy sources. The Castro administration will create a Green Infrastructure Fund with $200 billion in funding to support grants and loans to build this infrastructure, supporting well-paying jobs and integrating more wind and solar energy into our nation’s energy grids.
- Require climate sensitivity through ‘Carbon Scoring’ in future planning and government projects, ensuring every federal dollar meets our climate goals. Requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to ‘score’ all major federal government projects for their carbon impacts, ensuring over $1 trillion in federal spending each year accounts for the climate impact. Establishing benchmarks on climate impact will lower carbon emissions and increase the use of renewable energy.
- End leasing of federal lands for fossil fuel exploration and extraction, designate renewable energy zones on public lands, and expedite permitting for these projects. Meeting our climate goals requires responsible custodianship of our federal lands and implementing sustainable energy practices, including wind and solar energy, that protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.