$700 Billion Bail Out Provides for Alternative Energy Tax Credits: Is That Good or Bad?

The $700 billion bail out bill the House of Representatives just passed — and President Bush signed — includes tax credits for solar, wind and biodiesel.

Yahoo! News reports:

“The legislation would extend for one year the production tax credit for wind energy, with an eight-year extension for investment tax credits for solar energy projects.

Buyers of plug-in electric cars would receive tax credits ranging from $2,500 to $7,500.

The bill also provides incentives for the use of biodiesel. However…it promotes…a loophole where companies mix foreign biofuels with U.S. biodiesel to receive the U.S. subsidy, then sell the fuel at a discount to European markets.”

Solar Energy Industries Association President Rhone Resch said the tax credits would create 440,000 permanent jobs and add $325 billion in private investment in the U.S. solar energy sector.

Early commenters online at the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch Web page raised two particular questions:

1. Why were these alternative energies included in this crisis-related bail out bill?

2. Is this the beginning of the next crisis: an alternative energy bubble?

Well, what do you think, sustainablog readers?

My initial response is to, of course, be happy for this bipartisan effort to support alternative energy development. But I was a bit surprised to see it was attached to a bill about something that should have full focus right now: the economic crisis.

So, why was it done this way? And is this a good or bad thing?

Related posts:

Scotland Planning to Lead World With First Tidal Energy Turbine Farms

T. Boone Pickens Plan: Bidding for Renewable Energies or Water Grab?

New Home Wind Turbine Design: The Energy Ball

  1. Emma

    I was listening to NPR this morning on this subject. I initially thought that the 3-page bailout plan first written up was a bit cavalier. But upon learning that the new plan is over 400 pages and offers tax breaks to everyone including a maker of wooden arrows in Oregon, I begin to worry. I wish government could do its job without getting so, well, political…

  2. Discuss Global Warming

    Thats good because global warming doesnt exist. Its a hoax. The “bill” was Unconstitutional. It didnt originate in the House and a spending bill is supposed to originate in the House. So, I cant wait for the lawsuits.

    Our government is as whacked out as these enviromental whackos.

  3. Will Johnston

    It’s actually indicative of how broken our system is that our legislators, when told that the economic engine of our country has been paralyzed and is in desperate need of oxygen (liquidity), that many focus on pleasing their consituents and what type of earmarks they can tag on. It really feels like Rome is burning. Hopefully Obama will truly follow through on his message of ‘change’, as the country has seldom had a greater need for change.


  4. Greg Nielsen

    All bills of this type must originate in the house, but they failed their version. The Senate had the green energy bill sitting there already approved by the house, so they attached the bailout to it along with other attachments to garner votes. It worked, the senate approved the whole thing and the house approved the amendments. Bush signed it.

    You asked why it was done this way, that is why.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *