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Salazar, Chu, Vilsack Kick-Off Onshore Renewable Energy Conference at Department of the Interior

Demonstrate how President Obama's Tax Cut Package is Unlocking Nation's Renewable Energy Potential

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today kicked off a workshop covering onshore renewable energy with a roundtable discussion about what the administration is doing to build a clean energy economy.   

The two-day conference at the Department of the Interior is bringing together nearly 400 stakeholders from across the government, renewable energy industry, and conservation community to discuss the Administration's efforts to rapidly and responsibly stand up renewable energy projects on our nation's public lands.

"We are starting to unlock our nation's renewable energy potential in unprecedented ways thanks to smart siting and economic incentives from the President's tax cut package," said Salazar. "Building a strong renewable energy economy will help reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil and create jobs here at home."

"American leadership in clean energy is essential to job creation and future economic competitiveness," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "We can lead the world in this arena, but we must work together - across the federal government, as well as with the private sector."

"The president has laid out a vision for an America that out-builds and out-innovates our competition as we work to win the future for the next generation and renewable energy is a major piece of that vision," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Through investments and incentives, renewable energy projects are creating jobs, building a thriving economy in rural America, and powering our future."

Immediately following the roundtable, Secretaries Salazar, Chu and Vilsack held a press conference with representatives from solar energy companies to discuss how President Obama's tax cuts are encouraging business investment and job creation in wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies. 

The six solar companies represented at the press conference-Solar Trust of America, Abengoa Solar, SolarReserve, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, and SunPower Corporation-- illustrate the success of the 1603 Treasury Grant Program (Payments for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits), and the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program in unlocking billions of dollars in capital and creating thousands of jobs for the American people. A fact sheet on the companies is available here

In 2010, the Department of the Interior approved a dozen renewable energy projects on public lands, including nine commercial-scale solar energy initiatives that combined will create more than 7,000 construction and operational jobs and produce almost 4,000 megawatts of energy, enough to power 1.2 million American homes.

Interior's effort is helping to meet President Obama's goal of creating 80 percent of America's electricity by 2035.

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