TOUGH GOING FOR NEW ENERGY INCENTIVES
The bad news: The Bush administration has been nothing if not consistent in opposing incentives for New Energy while nevertheless making claims of support like those in the State of the Union speech. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA): “President Bush threatened a veto on the tax portion of the recently-passed energy bill, which included major incentives for a new generation of clean energy -- incentives that would have heralded a new era in green technology development. The Bush veto threat also killed the Renewable Electricity Standard which would have required that up to 15 percent of our electricity be generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020. He also opposes any mandatory cap-and-trade bill that would unleash the technology to meet the climate challenge by setting a price on carbon emissions.”
So the possibility of extensions for the Production Tax Credits (PTCs) and Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) that have underpinned New Energy expansion for the last 3 years being included in the president’s economic stimulus package is remote.
Gregory Wetstone, AWEA: “…renewable energy companies are already reporting a precipitous decrease in investment due to uncertainty.”
The good news: An aid to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) says Senator Baucus will push for the PTCs and ITCs in the spring. With tremendous luck, the extensions can be put in place before the New Energy industries set aside plans presently under development and lose a year of growth.
Government policy matters. If the PTCs and ITCs are not extended soon, this year's production will be lost. (click to enlarge)
Contact Senators and Congressmen and tell them to get on these incentives: POWER OF WIND
Clean energy groups face ‘tough road’ in getting tax-credit extensions in stimulus package
Dan Caterinicchia, January 29, 2008 (AP via San Diego Union-Tribune)
Fact checking the union: Clean energy and global warming; A closer look at the SOTU’s energy claims
Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), January 29, 2008 (Grist)
President Bush and the U.S. Congress
Extensions for the crucial Production Tax Credits (PTCs) and Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) are not likely to be part of the economic stimulus package called for by President Bush and being taken up by Congress.
- The PTCs and ITCs have underpinned an uninterrupted expansion by the New Energy industries since 2005 when they were renewed. They will expire at the end of 2008.
- 2007: $20 billion in New Energy investment, 6,000 megawatts of New Energy, tens of thousands of jobs
Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) industries can make a huge contribution to this teetering economy. (From a Solar Energy Society presentation - click to enlarge)
This action is on D.C.’s Pennsylvania Ave., between the White House and Capitol Hill.
- The economic stimulus package amounts to $150 million, 1% of U.S. GDP. It is ended to put money to work in the U.S. economy, creating growth that might otherwise be interrupted by the housing market problems.
- The tremendous expansion in the New Energy industries over the last 3 years, with policy support, would on the face of it make them prime candidates for funding to obtain further economic stimulus. But the Bush administration displayed its attitude toward incentives for New Energy when it pushed them out of December’s energy bill.
- According to Gregory Wetstone of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a letter from 30 Senators last week documented that 100,000 new jobs could be created in 2008 with “prompt” extension of the incentives
New Energy is good for the consumer, too. (From the American Wind Energy Association - click to enlarge)
- Tyson Slocum, energy program director, consumer group Public Citizen: “I'm not saying it can't be done, but there's a tough road ahead [to get the PTCs and ITCs in the stimulus package]…”
- Emily Lawrimore, White House spokeswoman: “We would have to review the entire tax package, including the revenue offsets, before supporting any particular tax incentive…”
- Gregory Wetstone, AWEA, on the hope of getting the incentives package passed: “…we don't think we're out of it.”
- Rep. Markey: “If the hawk could learn to fly like a dove, can the oil man from Texas truly come clean on the environment? Only if Congress forces that choice on the President Bush…to transition our nation to a true green economy and protect the future of this beautiful planet for generations to come.”