By Barbara Kessler
The push is on to get Congress to renew tax credits for clean energy for energy producers, green businesses and real estate owners. Environmental and business groups — fed up with the lengthy debates on the topic in Washington — have declared May 20 a National Day of Action to extend the tax incentives and are urging people to call or write their U.S. senators to vote for clean energy tax incentives.
Without Congressional action on the pending bill H.R. 6049, many of the credits will expire at the end of 2008, and are already causing uncertainty among new greener businesses trying to serve homeowners and commercial properties with improved energy systems, according to proponents like the advocacy groups, Solar-Nation.org and the World Wildlife Fund, which has set up an email form you can send to senators. Those wanting the extensions say they are needed to sustain new businesses and engender investment in emerging technologies. Among the credits that the groups want extended:
- Investment Tax Credits for Solar and Fuel Cell Technologies, including a credit for 30 percent of the cost of residential solar and fuel cell systems.
- Tax Deductions for energy efficient commercial buildings
- Tax Credits for the Manufacturers of Efficient Appliances
- Tax credits for energy efficient new homes of up to $2000 and a $500 credit for retrofits to existing homes.
The legislation has been stalled as the House and the Senate have debated how to pay for it; Senators say they don’t want to raise new taxes to cover the $54 billion bill and the House’s trial balloons to ding oil companies for some of the tab have been shot down by Senate and White House disapproval.
“Call it stalemate, call it deadlock, call it a stand-off; the bottom line is, the clean energy revolution is being strangled,” complains Solar-Nation on its website. “Every day that passes without an extension places more green jobs and investment at risk and slows down our transition to a clean energy economy.”
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