Cantwell touts alternative energy during visit to Pomeroy

By:  Stephanie Smith
POMEROY - Senator Maria Cantwell visited Garfield County over the weekend, talking about agriculture, energy and the economy.

"Well, we're here at the Eastern Washington Ag. Museum, which is a great project by the community to show the history of this area, how important agriculture has been in the past and how important it is going to be in the future," said Cantwell.

Cantwell spent four days in eastern Washington talking to constituents about the economy and renewable resources.

"We are very busy right now leading the charge in the United States Senate on what are called production tax credits and investment tax credits for investors who invest in renewable energy projects," said Cantwell. "And we've made that into a Treasury grant program and it has been quite successful in the last two years in creating thousands of jobs across our country. And it's about to expire, so we want to get it extended for another two years because we think it will be a big help in getting more of these projects online."

Cantwell said projects like the proposed wind farms in Garfield County are very important to growing the Washington economy.

"When you can give farmers a second income from wind generation and continue to farm, that is a very, very positive thing," said Cantwell. "So I think if you look at the future of energy supply and the things that we need to do with energy, Washington state, being a big hydro state in the past, learned how important that was. I think we can have a second push at energy, whether it is wind or solar or biofuels or light-weight materials or smart-grid technology. Washington state is really going to lead the way."