Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar, Wind Power

US House Passes Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Bill Returns to Senate

Speaker of The U.S. House of Representitves Nancy Pelosi announced that the House passed the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008 (H.R. 7060), which will extend and expand tax the production and investment tax credits for renewable energy on Friday by a vote of 257-166.

“When I became Speaker, I made energy independence the top priority for the New Direction Congress. This legislation holds true to that commitment, investing in the future and the ingenuity of the American people to create and deploy cutting-edge renewable technologies that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Pelosi said.

Under the legislation, the PTC will be extended for one year and the ITC will be extended for eight years. The extensions would be at least partially paid for by a change in the tax code for the oil and gas industry. The bill also contains removal of the US $2,000 cap for residential solar installations. The package is worth US $18 billion.

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) earlier in the week expressed the difficulty he and his colleagues in the Senate have had getting the tax credits passes and warned that if the House makes changes to the bill it may not move forward.

“I hope they will take into account the seriousness of how difficult it has been for us to get this passed,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “Don’t send us back something else. We can’t get it passed.”

What the Senate will do with the bill now is a matter of speculation but Pelosi said that the bill is a piece of legislation that will benefit the country and should pass the Senate.

“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to seize the opportunity to enact this bill law, thus creating and saving jobs in a difficult economy, providing essential tax relief to families and businesses, and speeding our transition to a clean, renewable energy and energy efficient future,” Pelosi said.