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Published on 02/27/2008 in
Updated 02/27/2008
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Renewable Energy Bill Passes House

Funding will be an Issue for the Senate

Thousands of solar citizens sent messages to their U.S. representatives in the last few days to urge support for the House bill that would create tax credits for renewable energy.Here’s what happened:

A few minutes ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax of 2008 (H.R. 5351). The final vote was 236 – 182 with 11 members of the House not voting, and was largely split along party lines.

In a joint statement, Speaker Pelosi, House Majority Leader Hoyer and sponsor of the bill Rangel said: “The bill extends and expands tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy and fuel, as well as for hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances. It does not add to our deficit, but rather repeals $18 billion in tax subsidies for Big Oil companies.”

“The bill extends and expands tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy and fuel, as well as for hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances,” the Democratic leaders’ statement continued. “It does not add to our deficit, but rather repeals $18 billion in tax subsidies for Big Oil companies. By strengthening our renewable energy sector, the bill will help create the next generation of good-paying, green collar jobs and bring down energy prices in the long term.”

House Democrats spoke out in favor of the bill, saying that it will help push the U.S. toward energy independence. On the other side of the aisle, House Republicans spoke out against it on the grounds that it would do nothing more than single out America’s domestic oil industry with higher taxes that will hurt the economy and the pocket books of consumers.

H.R. 5351 will increase investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency and will pay for that investment by repealing unnecessary tax breaks to traditional energy companies. It is similar to the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act (H.R. 2776) that passed the House as part of a bipartisan energy package in August 2007 but was stripped in order for the package to pass in the Senate.

The Bush Administration has already issued a letter indicating that the president will veto a bill that rolls back tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, so all eyes are now on the Senate, to see whether the Finance Committee can find less objectionable sources of revenue.

Watch this space!

(ARTICLE FROM SOLAR NATION)

Last modified: February 27, 2008

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