After much debate and negotiations between the White House and Congressional Democrats and Republicans, the Senate tax bill passed today included a provision to extend critical clean energy tax incentives. This came after a spirited and hard fought effort by renewable energy and energy efficiency advocates as well as the environmental community. The bill also included provisions that are harmful to the environment and unnecessary, including subsidies for coal-to-liquid fuels and corn ethanol.
Federal Clean Energy Advocate, Sean Garren, issued the following statement:
“Today the Senate took a step to breathe life into our economy by passing an extension of a critical renewable energy tax incentive. Wind, solar and geothermal, among other renewable energy industries, have been a bright light in an otherwise dim economy these past few years. Thanks to renewable energy champions in the Senate the promise of a clean energy future is still alive. The House must now pass these critical wind and solar tax incentives to deliver cleaner air and good jobs.
“The public health and environmental benefits, as well as tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in investment that have been generated by these growing clean energy resources, would not exist if not for investments like the Treasury's convertible renewable energy tax incentive. To date, more than 1,300 renewable energy projects and around 75,000 jobs in the wind and solar industries alone have been supported by the program.
“Without a long term commitment to renewable energy, like a renewable electricity standard, we must at the very least extend this renewable energy incentive for another year, in order to continue this growth and its benefits. With the program set to expire in just a month’s time, action on this critical investment is urgently needed.
“It is regrettable, however, that while this tax bill supports sound investments in truly clean energy options, it also supports environmentally harmful energy sources such as corn ethanol and coal-to-liquid fuels. Neither of these are effective technologies to reduce our dependence on oil. We will continue our work to convince our nation’s decision-makers that dirty energy sources such as these are not worthy of public policy support. Congress should focus on investing in the technologies that will produce results for our environment and for American taxpayers, and not on the special interest preferences of agricultural corporations and the coal industry.”