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Washington, DC, USA: Investment Tax Credit Extension Bill Introduced in Senate

From Solarbuzz

Today, Senators Cantwell (D-WA) and Ensign (R-NV) introduced the Clean Energy Stimulus Act of 2008 (S. 2821). The bill extends the commercial Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for eight years, removes the utility exemption and provides AMT relief. The bill also extends residential ITC for one year, removes the $2,000 cap for residential PV, and provides AMT relief.

The two credits and other incentives are scheduled to expire at the end of 2008.
“Satisfying our energy needs and reducing our reliance on foreign sources is a challenge that we must meet, but that can only happen with the right incentives in place,” said Ensign. “Our bipartisan bill will help put us on a path toward energy independence with American ingenuity leading the way.”
“We have an opportunity to break the stalemate in the Senate,” Ensign added. “Especially at a time when our economy is struggling, we should not be increasing taxes to pay for incentives. These incentives are necessary for our energy security and to help jumpstart our economy.”

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) says this legislation will create thousands of jobs, unleash billions in investment and prevent a major disruption in this fast-growing sector – all at a time when the United States needs it the most. The bill got a quick boost from a key GOP leader–Sen. Pete Domenici (NM), senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Domenici issued a statement Thursday saying the tax credits for renewables would benefit the economy by creating jobs and furthering the development of alternatives to fossil fuels.

Senator Domenici said, “It is time to stop playing politics with our energy future and extend these important tax credits. In 2005, I was proud to help author the largest and most significant tax credits for clean energy technology in our nation’s history. The bill we’re introducing today will extend many of these tax credits to ensure that we can continue to develop alternatives to foreign sources of oil. I look forward to quick action so we can get this done.”
The House has approved this bill or similar versions four times, but the legislation stalled in the Senate over repeal of the oil industry tax breaks. On the last Senate vote to overcome a procedural, hurdle supporters fell one vote short of the 60 votes they needed. The Senate bill differs significantly from the $18.1 billion package of energy tax credit passed last February by the House of Representatives. The House paid for the incentives by rolling back the tax incentives for oil and gas companies, while Thursday’s Senate proposal contains no budgetary offsets.

SEIA expects the Senate to take action on the legislation over the next several weeks before the bill moves back to the House. There are still a large number of procedural hurdles to overcome, including the delicate issue of budgetary offsets, before final passage.

Rhone Resch, SEIA president says, “We applaud Senators Cantwell and Ensign for their leadership in presenting a bipartisan solution that stabilizes our country’s commitment to clean, reliable solar energy. From New Hampshire to Michigan to Oregon, this bill provides a much-needed shot in the arm for our ailing national economy. This legislation will create thousands of jobs, unleash billions in investment and prevent a major disruption in this fast-growing sector – all at a time when we need it the most.”
“We look forward to working with Senators Cantwell and Ensign and their respective leadership to see that a long-term extension of the ITC passes in the Senate, makes its way through conference and is signed by the President. With this one act, we can put our nation on a path to once again become a global leader in clean, reliable, job-creating solar power.”

Ensign and Cantwell’s bill has bipartisan co-sponsorship from the following Senators:

Sen Allard, Wayne [CO]
Sen Biden, Joseph R., Jr. [DE]
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA]
Sen Burr, Richard [NC]
Sen Coleman, Norm [MN]
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME]
Sen Cornyn, John [TX]
Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID]
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT]
Sen Dole, Elizabeth [NC]
Sen Domenici, Pete V. [NM]
Sen Ensign, John [NV]
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY]
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA]
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC]
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT]
Sen Hutchison, Kay Bailey [TX]
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD]
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN]
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA]
Sen Martinez, Mel [FL]
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ]
Sen Murkowski, Lisa [AK]
Sen Roberts, Pat [KS]
Sen Salazar, Ken [CO]
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT]
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY]
Sen Smith, Gordon H. [OR]
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME]
Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI]
Sen Stevens, Ted [AK]
Sen Sununu, John E. [NH]
Sen Thune, John [SD]

Last modified: April 8, 2008

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