Thursday, April 10, 2008

US Senate Votes For Solar, Wind Tax Credits; Faces Hurdles

From Dow Jones via CNN Money:

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to extend tax credits for wind-power and solar-energy projects, but the measure is unlikely to become law in its current form due to concern it would add to the nation's deficit.

By 88-8, the Senate added the renewable-energy tax credits to a major housing bill. Companies such as utility XCel Energy Inc. (XEL), the largest U.S. seller of wind-generated energy, have been calling on Congress to act quickly. The tax credits expire at the end of the year, but executives are making decisions now about whether to invest in renewable projects beyond this year.

The U.S. House of Representatives has hardened its opposition to this version of the tax-credit extensions, which are estimated to cost $6 billion over 10 years. House leaders have strong objections to deficit-financed tax breaks, and with few exceptions offset lost tax revenue with tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere.

"I doubt that the House will accept these extensions without some corresponding offsets," said Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., on the Senate floor. "This leaves the administration with a key role to play in developing a compromise that will be acceptable to both chambers.">>>MORE