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News:Sept. 2008:U.S. Senate Passes Energy Bill

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On September 24, 2008, Directory:James Dunn wrote:

Folks – A miracle has happened – The Senate Passed the Energy Tax Bill last night, offering our US Solar Industry a major Boost – US-made Renewable Energy!

The only major concession was a 2 year tax break to refineries, but the bill ends the ability of hedge-fund managers to defer taxes on profits earned in offshore funds.

This is a monumental event, which Bush should sign, and could create over 400,000 JOBS!

Overview : H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, will provide approximately $18 billion of tax incentives for investment in renewable energy, carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects, energy efficiency and conservation. The bill will also extends $27 billion of expiring temporary tax provisions, including the research and development credit, special rules for active financing income, the State and local sales tax deduction, the deduction for out-of-pocket expenses for teachers, and the deduction for qualified tuition expenses. In addition, the bill provides almost $10 billion of additional tax relief for individuals through an expansion of the refundable child tax credit and a new standard deduction for property taxes. The bill would be primarily offset by closing a tax loophole that allows individuals that work for certain offshore corporations, such as hedge fund managers, to defer tax on their compensation and would delay the effective date of a tax benefit that has not yet taken effect for multinational corporations operating overseas.

U.S. Senate Passes Energy Bill


5/14/2008 Introduced in House

5/20/2008 Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Ways and Means. H. Rept. 110-658.

5/21/2008 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 263 - 160 (Roll no. 344).

9/23/2008 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay. 93 - 2. Record Vote Number: 205.


Quoting from Matter Network Sept. 24, 2008

: "The Senate passed a $17 billion energy tax measure thatgives an unprecedented boost to the solar-power industry and extends tax credits for wind as well as for refineries that process heavy oil.

: "The energy measure, passed by a 93-2 vote margin, is part of a tax bill pegged at more than $100 billion. The energy portion of the bill failed eight times in the Senate and has faced opposition in the House because portions of the legislation haven't been paid for with offsetting revenue.

: "It is the most significant legislation ever introduced in Congress for solar," said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. "It will provide a stable market for businesses to grow over the next 10 years."

: "First Solar Inc., Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., SunPower Corp. and other companies would create 441,000 permanent jobs and inject $232 billion in new spending into the economy by 2016 because of the tax credits, according to a study commissioned by Resch's group.

: "The legislation "will help take that industry to new heights," said Senator Maria Cantwell, a primary proponent of the renewable energy tax credits. The Washington State Democrat told reporters today the proportion of renewable tax breaks to those for fossil fuels was two-thirds to one-third.

: "The measure extends through 2016 an investment-tax credit for solar projects. A narrower version of the credit has been in effect for three years, and with other renewable electricity tax breaks, is set to expire this year.

: "It will extend by one year a tax break for wind-power production and by two years for other renewable sources such as geothermal and biomass electricity. It also includes credits for coal projects that mitigate carbon emissions and for advanced cars such as plug-in hybrids.

: "Tax-Break Extension

: "Lawmakers broke a logjam and paved the way for today's passage last week with a two-year extension of a tax break that goes to refineries retooled to handle heavier fuels, such as from Canadian oil sands production. The measure also would send money to 29 Texas counties to respond to the effects of Hurricane Ike, which hit the state's coast on Sept. 13.

: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said the bill would go to the House for a possible vote tomorrow and asked lawmakers in that chamber not to alter the Senate bill.

: "Don't send us back something else", Reid said in comments on the Senate floor today addressed to the House. "It will not pass. If they try to mess with our package, it will die."

: "Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat who sponsored the measure, said he expected the House would tweak the bill, but that it would be "window dressing" and he said the bill will go to President George W. Bush for his signature.

: "Provision for Revenue:

: "The revenue-generating provisions include curtailing a tax break oil companies get for job creation and for overseas production and ending the ability of hedge-fund managers to defer taxes on profits earned in offshore funds.

: "The White House Office of Management and Budget issued a statement today saying the administration opposes the new taxes, but that the president would sign the bill.

: "These provisions will increase the costs of American oil production, will give further advantages to foreign suppliers, and will likely result in higher prices at the pump," the office said.

: "The agreement would extend the alternative-minimum tax relief without revenue increases. The other so-called tax "extenders" in the bill, such as the research credit, will be "substantially paid for,"said Baucus, the Finance Committee Chairman." (Bloomberg, Sept. 23, 2008)

: "This Baucus amendment was different. It had come within a hair's breadth of passage last December with a 59 cloture-vote. It had bipartisan support. You need 66 votes to prevent a White House veto, and typically, the Bush White House has also not supported Democratic energy bills. But this time around the Baucus/Grassley bill easily hurdled its cloture of 60, passing by a decidedly veto-proof 93-2.

: "The extension for production tax credits for wind and solar had failed repeatedly the Republicans filibustered the cloture-vote eight times to prevent it. The funding mechanism had also failed in the past because Senate Republicans did not support reducing oil company subsidies."

In the News

U.S. Government Axes “Renewable Diesel” Tax Credit - The U.S. Senate voted to renew a one year extension for renewable energy tax credits worth $18 billion dollars. Absent from the package was a tax credit aimed at helping food giant Tyson and oil giant ConocoPhillips turn a profit by converting fats leftover from Tyson’s processing of beef to the so-called “renewable diesel” that ConocoPhillips blends with regular diesel. ( Sept. 24, 2008)

On Ninth Attempt, Senate Passes Clean Energy Provisions - The Senate has succeeded in passing the Baucus-Grassley Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 on the ninth attempt for most of its renewable energy provisions, as part of a "Christmas tree" tax bill to save the AMT and extend help to disaster victims. (Matter Network Sept. 24, 2008)

Breaking: Senate Passes Extensions of Renewable Energy Tax Credits - The United States Senate has voted to approve legislation containing a one-year extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) through December 31, 2009. (RedGreenandBlue Sept. 23, 2008)

Senate Approves Renewable Energy Credits - Things could be looking up for renewal of renewable energy incentives as the U.S. Senate has approved $17 billion in tax credits for wind, solar, geothermal and ocean energy systems. (Domestic Fuel Sept. 23, 2008)

Energy bill would reverse ban on oil shale development in Utah - The first big step has been taken toward increasing America's oil production. And Utah may end up playing a big role. (KSL Sept. 17, 2008)

House Passes Energy Bill with Renewable Fuels Provisions - (Domestic Fuel Sept. 16, 2008)

US Senate passes Energy Bill 86-8 oil tax package dropped to overcome Republican filibuster House likely to approve, President Bush says will sign - In Washington, the United States Senate passed the Energy Bill 86-8 after $13 billion in oil company taxes were dropped from the bill. Voting on an earlier version of the bill with the tax package still included, the Senate came up one vote short (59-40) of ending a filibuster staged by Senate Republicans in support of the oil companies. The bill will now go to the House where it is expected to pass, and the President is expected to sign the legislation into law before the end of the year. (Biofuels Digest Dec. 17, 2007)

Senate Passes Energy Bill Key Renewable Energy Provisions Axed - The U.S. Senate passed a watered-down version of the federal energy bill yesterday 86-8. Democratic leaders dropped key renewable energy provisions from the legislation after a cloture vote failed by one vote. (Renewable Energy Law Blog Dec. 14, 2007)

Other Coverage


Urge Your Representative to Vote for a Small-Wind Investment Tax Credit


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See Talk:News:Sept. 2008:U.S. Senate Passes Energy Bill


"The Bill still needs approval from both the House and the President, after having failed muster at least 7 times so far in 2008, with an already bankrupt government, as we are going deeply into a worldwide Recession/Depression and seeing a continually weakening US dollar." -- Congress:Member:Robert L. Pritchett (Sept. 24, 2008)

Why the Energy Bill is Bad for Americans - "You've seen rising gas costs. You've experienced the difficulty in finding gas over the past few days as a result of Hurricane Ike. The House of Representatives had the chance last night to enact meaningful solutions to our energy problems. Unfortunately, the bill we voted on yesterday was more about politics than about what was best for YOU." (Right Side News Sept. 18, 2008)