Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Bill to Promote Ocean Clean Energy Projects

December 10, 2019
Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) was joined by Rep. Ed Case (HI-01) in introducing H.R.5375, the E. Cooper Brown Ocean Clean Energy Act of 2019. This bill would provide a 15% investment tax credit for Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) and resume the investment tax credit for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). These clean energy technologies will help address some of the most pressing energy production, energy consumption, and environmental issues faced by urban and coastal communities. 
 
“As our nation and planet are facing serious environmental threats, states like Hawai‘i are helping lead the way to a clean energy future,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “My legislation will help encourage investment in sustainable, diverse, and clean energy. This will also create new, good paying jobs in communities across the country, help end our unsustainable addiction to fossil fuels, and support the growing movement for a 100% clean energy economy.”
 
“Just as we jump-started early research and development for now-established alternate energy sources like solar and wind, so should we also for environmentally sustainable and economically viable forms of ocean-sourced energy,” said Rep. Ed Case.  “One especially promising form is seawater air conditioning, already underway in Hawai’i cooling buildings without electricity and reducing the use of ozone-depleting substances like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which contribute to global warming. The tax credit in this bill will incentivize the private sector to further develop this technology, which has already proven to be an efficient and sustainable source of replacement energy.”
 
Background: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a marine technology using the difference of temperature between deep cold ocean water and warm surface tropical water to produce carbon free electricity. Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) is a proven technology that safely harnesses deep cold water of oceans and lakes to provide air conditioning. OTEC and SWAC is fuel free, has a low environmental impact, can supply pure water for both drinking and agriculture, can supply refrigeration and cooling and can provide a coastal community with reliable energy.
 
Hawai‘i’s clean energy goals are the most aggressive in the nation, forging the way as a world leader in clean energy by committing to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045. Hawai‘i is at the forefront of research exploring ways to meet these goals. Today, there will be a ceremony for a new wave energy conversion buoy at the Naval Wave Energy Test Site at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
 
The bill was named after the late E. Cooper Brown, an environmental lawyer, who fought for marginalized communities and indigenous people. In his later years, Cooper developed a keen interest in the environmental benefits of developing clean ocean energy technologies to reach commercial fruition. His most recent work was on developing incentives for the private sector to assist in the commercial development of OTEC and SWAC. Language on a new Ocean Energy Act was finalized but unfortunately, Mr. Brown never saw the final draft and passed away after a long fight with cancer.
 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a leader in Congress advocating for divestment from fossil fuels as well as ending our nation’s fossil fuel subsidies and expanding our country’s investment in green renewable energy. In the 115th Congress, she introduced H.R.3671, the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act -- more commonly referred to as the “OFF Act” — which transitions the nation from fossil fuel energy sources to clean energy sources — stimulating our economy, supporting our working men and women, and protecting our environment. The bill gained strong support among environmental groups across the country.
 
She has supported the extension of renewable energy tax credits, which have helped propel the development of clean energy in Hawai‘i.
 
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for 16 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
 
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