Obama, Congress Considering Alt Energy in Stimulus Bill

John Davis

uscapitolAs leaders in Congress and President-elect Barack Obama look at another possible economic stimulus package, renewable energy sources, such as biodiesel, ethanol, solar and wind, look to get $25 billion in tax credits from the plan.

This story from the Washington Post says the credits could come in either a single bill or a series of legislative moves:

The main elements under consideration include a two-year, $8.6 billion extension of the production tax credit for renewable energy, an item that favors wind power projects. Obama advisers are considering a proposal from the wind and solar industry that would make those credits refundable or count them against past taxes because many financial firms that provided capital for those projects no longer have taxable income and can’t use the credits.

The bill could also include tax credits for service stations that install high-ethanol-content fuel pumps, a $7,500 tax credit for plug-in vehicles, an extension of the biodiesel credit, and one for coal-fired power plants that capture more than half of their carbon emissions or that could be retrofitted to do so later. There could also be clean-energy credits for rural cooperatives.

The stimulus package may also establish a federally funded National Clean Energy Lending Authority, an idea that has been promoted by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.). The agency would receive as much as $10 billion to $20 billion and would extend low-interest loans or loan guarantees to renewable energy projects in an effort to mobilize private capital. If successful, Van Hollen said, the agency could become self-sustaining.

The package could also include funds to help homeowners make energy-efficiency improvements.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, News, Solar, Wind