“The way we wrote this bill, it will have a bias toward manufacturing states and toward states like Ohio that have history of manufacturing,” Brown said. “They know how to make things, or have entrepreneurial activity, and that’s why we are very well suited to take advantage of this bill.”
Brown said he was thinking about Tiffin and similar Ohio towns as the legislation was being drafted.
“Tiffin is a town just so much like Mansfield, or Galion, or Dover and New Philly, where two or three plant closings has a huge impact,” Brown said. “This bill will help communities like that fight back.”
The bill calls for the creation of a non-political technology investment corporation consisting of seven members who would be appointed by the president. The group would administer various grant and loan programs to encourage and support research and development of green energy sources.
Brown said he is proposing funding the program with $36 billion over a five-year period. The first year, $1 billion would be allocated, the second year $5 billion, and $10 billion each during the third, fourth and fifth year of the program. Brown said funding could be raised by reducing or eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and from savings he said would be realized as the Iraq conflict is drawn to a close.
Brown said Germany decided to be a world producer of solar energy technology not many years ago. He said Germany now exports solar panels and solar cells to various markets around the world. The plan for states such as Ohio, Brown said, is not just to use green energy but to develop green technologies and manufacture the materials to sell to others.
“Our nation’s green future is more than just using green energy and living in green housing,” Brown said.
“We must build green energy and its components here. We know green energy is inevitable, but importing green energy from China and Germany like we do with oil today from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela does not need to be that way. It’s not in our nation’s best interest. The next green energy company that can change the world is out there waiting to happen.”
With only about three months left in the current legislative session, chances for passage may be limited, but Brown said he wanted to enter the bill into the public debate to begin building support now rather than waiting for another legislative session.
“When we talk about this bill, we’re not talking about Ohio being the sunniest state in the country, or central Ohio having the most wind,” Brown said. “We’re talking about developing the industry here. We’re going to do plenty well in solar and wind turbine energy production inside the state, whether it’s the turbines on Lake Erie or solar at Oberlin College. The purpose of this bill more than anything is to help Ohio and other manufacturing centers in the country to develop these technologies and well as production.
“It will mean good paying jobs at home as we build solar panels and solar cells, and wind turbines.”
Fact BoxWhat the investment would do
* The corporation would provide loans to assist in research and development of projects to design, create or formulate new or enhanced green products, equipment or processes.
* The corporation would help small or medium-sized businesses buy or build equipment for green technology development and to assist those businesses in product development.
* The corporation would offer loans to small businesses to finance the development of green technology innovations.
* The corporation envisions funding to five communities as national pilot communities in the development of industry for green technologies.
* The corporation envisions funding to educational institutions to help establish models for green educational institutions.
* The corporation could provide funding to National Guard bases for green energy development.
* Green technology internships and apprenticeships could be financed through the program.