With so much solar energy to harvest, it's no time to sit in the shade. I was pleased to read the recent Chronicle
article about the strides Texas is making in solar power [“Will Texas Catch Some Solar Rays?” News, June 29
]. At the annual Cool House Tour on June 24, I joined the Texas Solar Energy Society to discuss our ability to address both climate change and big utility bills through solar technology available now. Many of our neighbors were out to view a wide variety of local homes that are already fitted with solar panels. As a newly designated Solar America City, Austin is leading by example in promoting renewable energy.
And Washington is finally beginning to follow our lead. The House Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, recently approved tax incentives to boost the use of solar energy – including a long-term extension and broadening of a 30% investment tax credit for solar energy and removing the cap on the tax credit individuals can claim for installing solar arrays on residential property. The same legislation gave approval to my bill offering tax credits for consumers who purchase plug-in hybrid cars.
We must move quickly to make our clean energy future a reality. As Daniel Mottola's article notes, Austin is helping show the way for those of us concerned about the high cost of energy, the dangers posed by global warming, and the risk posed to our national security by our reliance on oil from the Middle East.