Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sunset for Solar Investment Tax Credit? An Update

The U.S. Senate has included the critical clean energy tax incentives--including an eight-year extension of the 30% investment tax credit and removal of the residential $2000 cap--in the bailout package. the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. This would adds a significant job development enhancement to the package--according to a study by Navigant, roughly 1.2 million. Now the bailout would provide greenbacks for Wallstreet, but also green jobs for Mainstreet, where it's also critical. The bill will likely pass the Senate tonight, but prospects in the House are much more uncertain.

Since 2007 when the House majority re-instituted a pay-as-you-go or pay-go approach to expenditures and tax credits, Democrats targeted such credits for oil and gas be re-directed to solar and wind. The Senate and White House have balked for over a year on this version of HR 6049 (and various other bills intended to do the same).

The current extension attempt being included to the "Wall Street bailout" is still not fully funded in this new Senate version. This writer believes it should be passed anyway for the sake of keeping solar and wind vibrant, foster more jobs and continuing reduction of greenhouse gases in the process. Hopefully, as soon as next spring, the issue will be re-addressed by a more progressive House (and White House) that will more forthrightly reduce or eliminate oil and gas tax credits in favor of solar and wind tax incentives.


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