Monday, September 29, 2008

Back & Forth On Renewable Tax Incentives Continues

Sep 28: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a brief statement following the September 26 House vote of 257-166, mostly along party lines, approving its different version of the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008 (H.R. 7060), which would extend and expand tax incentives for renewable energy. Speaker Pelosi said, “With the American people pinched at the pump, and seriously concerned about the state of the economy, the House has taken action again today to cut taxes for millions of middle-class families, invest in renewable energy technologies to create high-paying green jobs, make America more energy independent, and remove incentives in the tax code that encourage shipping jobs and investment overseas.

“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. This legislation also holds true to our commitment to fiscal responsibility. By closing loopholes that allow corporations and executives to avoid U.S. taxes by shipping jobs and investment overseas and curtailing unnecessary tax subsidies for big, multinational oil and gas companies, we are ensuring that future generations don’t foot the bill for the progress we can make today.

“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.”

On the Senate side, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who successfully guided the Senate bipartisan "tax extenders" package including extensions of incentives for key renewable energy technologies to a 93-2 approval vote in the Senate [See WIMS 9/24/08], commented on the House passage of its alternate legislation which has now created a new impasse with little legislative time left.

Senator Baucus said, “This move in the House endangers tax relief that American businesses and families need right now. While I commend the House’s effort to fully offset the cost of this needed tax legislation, it is clear to me from discussions in the Senate that even this new package of bills will not pass in this body. Therefore, the tax relief agreed to in the Senate is the only legislation with any hope of providing energy tax incentives, protection from the alternative minimum tax, and business and family tax cuts this year. The tax relief passed by the Senate does what all of us want: it supports jobs, energy, and families at a time when our country is in financial crisis. The House needs to take a vote on the Senate package and pass these tax breaks for jobs, energy, and families, period, even at some cost. Americans need the sound energy future, the good-paying jobs, and the tax relief the Senate bill ensures. The House can provide it with one vote. I hope that vote will be scheduled soon.”

Access a release from Speaker Pelosi (click here). Access a more detailed release from House Democrats (click here). Access the brief statement from Senator Baucus (click here). Access legislative details for Senate Substitute for H.R. 6049 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R. 7060 including links to the roll call vote (click here). [*Energy]