WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today announced his support for a bipartisan plan to extend tax credits for clean energy that are set to expire at the end of this year.
Domenici is an original cosponsor of the Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act of 2008, introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.). The legislation will provide a one-year extension of the renewable energy production tax credit and an eight-year extension of the solar energy and fuel cell investment tax credit, and provide other incentives for clean energy and energy efficiency.
“It is time to stop playing politics with our energy future and extend these important tax credits. In 2005, I was proud to help author the largest and most significant tax credits for clean energy technology in our nation’s history. The bill we’re introducing today will extend many of these tax credits to ensure that we can continue to develop alternatives to foreign sources of oil. I look forward to quick action so we can get this done,” Domenici said.
Domenici supported and voted for the inclusion of clean energy tax credit extensions in the economic stimulus package earlier this year. Ultimately, Congress passed a stimulus package which did not contain the tax credit extensions.
“The current state of our economy adds even more urgency to this issue. For one thing, the development of clean energy technologies like wind and solar will bring jobs to many states, including New Mexico. If we take away existing tax credits, we will place the entire industry—and the jobs that come with it—in jeopardy. In addition, high energy costs are hitting consumers where it hurts. The sooner we get alternatives to fossil fuels online, the sooner we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and hopefully bring down prices along with it,” Domenici said.
In addition to extending production and solar tax credits, the legislation introduced today authorizes $400 million for Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, and extends tax credits for those who modify or build energy-efficient homes and commercial buildings. The bill also extends credits for energy efficient appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators.
Among the technologies that benefit from the renewable energy tax credit are wind, biomass, geothermal, small irrigation power, landfill gas, trash combustion and hydropower facilities.