Lawmakers Push for Solar Credit Extensions

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported some subtle successes last week in their campaign to secure a long-term extension for solar tax credits.

While such a move appears unlikely before year’s end, two lawmakers pushed for an extension through an amendment and the introduction of a new bill, reflecting a more receptive climate on Capitol Hill for congressional support of solar energy in the U.S. Senator Harry Reid (R-NV) offered an amendment to the Budget Reconciliation Tax Title to extend all renewable energy and energy efficiency tax credits through 2010. The amendment, however, was challenged on procedural grounds, during which Senator Grassley stated that when it comes time to extend the credits, that Congress will do so. SEIA worked closely with Senator Reid and others to develop their support for extension of solar tax credits and they are now strong supporters for solar. “Although there will not be another opportunity this year to pass a long-term extension of the tax credits, we continue to build strong bipartisan support on the Hill that will help us in the near future,” SEIA said in a statement. In other positive solar news from Capitol Hill, Representative Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) this week introduced H.R. 4300, the “Clean and Green Solar Tax Act of 2005,” which would extend both tax credits to a full six-years’ duration. SEIA worked closely with the office of Rep. Ferguson. Initial cosponsors included Henry Brown(R-SC), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Udall (R-CO), Virgil Goode(R-VA), Rob Simmons (R-CT), James Walsh (R-NY), and Mark Green (R-WI) — a list they expect to grow as they meet with more offices on these issues through the early part of next year. SEIA says that while it is unlikely to receive a vote in the packed sessions leading up through the end of 2005, this will provide an excellent vehicle for House members to show their support for the solar tax credit specifically.
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