WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) travelled to a meeting today with the U.S. Secretary of Energy by driving a new, battery-powered vehicle electrified through technology made in the Cincinnati area.
"Ohio is at the forefront of the progress being made in the auto industry. The 21st century auto industry is making impressive gains, implementing new, clean energy technology in every aspect of the manufacturing process," Brown said. "This new electric car, electrified by technology made in Ohio, is another example of a success story being written in the Buckeye State."
AMP Electric Vehicles, based in Hamilton County, converts conventional cars to electric vehicles. The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is fueled by non-explosive, new technology lithium batteries. The battery pack is expected to retain 80 percent of its capacity up to 100,000 miles, according to the company.
Brown is a proponent of clean energy technology and is working to end America's dependence on foreign oil. Brown is the author of the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009, legislation incorporated in the House-passed clean energy bill that would create a $30 billion revolving loan program to help auto suppliers and other small and mid-sized manufacturers retool for the clean energy industry. Brown's bill would also expand the focus of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to include support for manufacturers transitioning to the clean energy economy. A report released in February estimates that Brown's IMPACT Act could create more than 52,000 jobs in Ohio.
According to the Pew report, The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America, between 1998 and 2007, jobs in Ohio's clean energy economy grew 7.3 percent while overall jobs declined 2.2 percent in the state. By 2007, however, there were more than 35,250 jobs in Ohio's clean energy economy almost matching job numbers at Wal-Mart, Ohio's largest employer. Pew found in that same year, Ohio supported 2,513 clean energy businesses, and in the last three years, Ohio has attracted more than $74 million in clean energy venture capital.
The report also places Ohio as part of a national trend that saw clean energy job growth outpace overall job growth. Across the country, jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a rate of 9.1 percent while total jobs grew by only 3.7 percent over the same period. According to Pew, Ohio emerged fourth in the country for clean energy job creation out of the 38 states and the District of Columbia that also experienced burgeoning employment in the clean energy sector.
Brown is also a longtime advocate for the auto industry. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Brown has introduced critical pieces of legislation to help manufacturers retool for the clean energy industry and to promote more domestic manufacturing of clean energy technology.