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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chairman of the Senate's green jobs subcommittee, has introduced legislation with nine cosponsors to encourage the installation of 10 million solar systems on the rooftops of homes and businesses over the next decade.

Sanders' bill would authorize rebates that, along with other incentives, would cover up to half the cost of the 10 million solar power systems and 200,000 water heating systems. Nonprofit groups and state and local governments also would be eligible. The legislation would ensure that participating homeowners and businesses also receive information on incentives to improve energy efficiency.

According to Sanders, a recent report shows that solar power could help make every state more energy-independent if solar units were installed on available rooftop space, because every state can meet 10% or more of its electricity needs just through rooftop solar. Moreover, because solar energy creates more jobs per megawatt than other energy sources, Sanders' bill could create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next 10 years.

The legislation's cosponsors include Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; and Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa.

To read a copy of the bill, click here [PDF].

SOURCE: Office Of Sen. Bernie Sanders


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