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Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act Passes the House
The renewable energy industry was bolstered when the House of Representatives voted 236-182 in favor of the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008 (HR 5351).
Many energy incentives contained in the 2005 energy bill are set to expire by the end of 2008. Without extending tax incentives to invest in renewable industries, many companies would face massive layoffs starting as early as next month, says the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“Without tax incentives to use renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, most companies won’t be able to afford new projects designed to reduce global warming emissions,” says Jim Presswood, energy advocate with the NRDC.
Extensions in HR 5351 for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are for multiple years, which reduces the impact of a boom-bust cycle for the technologies. While Congress historically extends clean energy incentives in two-year increments, many pieces within the bill are valid for up to eight years in some cases.
Buildings account for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The new bill includes tax credits for increasing the efficiency of commercial buildings, the purchase of high efficiency home heating and cooling equipment, the production of efficient home appliances, and installation of efficiency retrofits in
The clean energy technology incentives in HR 5351 would be paid for by repealing oil industry subsidies. The subsidies average about $1.7 billion per year, Presswood says.