Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Democrats Fight to Extend the Green Stimulus from The Recovery Act in the Tax Hostage Drama

Republicans are demanding that President Obama take the extension of renewable tax credits off the table in the deal they negotiated in return for bonus tax cuts for the rich, according to Politico.

But Democrats are fighting to allow an up or down vote on an extension of the Recovery Act green stimulus provisions that are about to expire. The extension, Baucus Amendment 4727, already got 53 votes on Saturday’s failed vote to extend Bush era tax cuts on just the first $250,000 of income,  indicating that without a Republican filibuster, the measure would pass.

Two green stimulus provisions in particular, are endangered. (Ethanol extensions have Republican support.)

The two expiring provisions are:

Green energy R&D manufacturing tax credits which are used to begin the conversion of rust belt factories to wind turbine production or the development of new more energy efficient technologies, and the Section 1603 cash grants for solar and wind which are fueling an unprecedented amount of new solar and wind projects.

“These are some of the biggest potential job producers in the country,”  California’s Senator Feinstein told Politico. “And it’s dependent on these Treasury grant programs for the most part.”

Republicans prevented an up or down vote in the tax vote last weekend in their familiar blocking tactic (the filibuster), because the tax cuts were only on the first $250,000 of income in the tax bill.

But it appears that there’s more than wealthy taxpayers’ rights that matters to the Republican Senators. They want the expiring renewable energy tax cuts taken out of the bill.

As renewable energy is becoming more competitive, partly as a result of the Recovery Act investments, clean energy policy is being fought hard by the fossil-fuel subsidies lobby and their proxies in the GOP.

There is a need for both the renewable energy provisions to be extended some time to take effect, and they are not costly to the general treasury.

So far, as of November 2010, only $11 billion of the green stimulus money has actually been cashed, according to publicly available data at

Partly, this is because much of the Recovery Act green energy stimulus has been in the form of  loan guarantees that then prompted the private sector to step up and invest in green companies. A loan guarantee is not cash out the door. The taxpayer is out relatively little actual money because of the way the green stimulus was designed. Incentives like tax credits that won’t be counted till next tax year.

But part of the problem is also due to the unprecedented nature of the green energy push. State-level bureaucrats responsible for approving new renewable infrastructure have been overwhelmed by the sheer number and size of the new large scale renewable energy projects that must be approved by the deadline of the end of this month.

As a result, many solar and wind companies have not yet got final approvals from officials to build the new renewable energy infrastructure, which takes 18 months or more to pass environmental reviews. There’s no Haliburton Exemptions for solar or wind!

It is clear that it takes a little more time than a year and a half to completely revamp the US energy infrastructure to prepare for the new clean energy economy of the 21st century.

Image: Orange Juice Blog
Susan Kraemer@Twitter

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


You May Also Like

Air Quality

The story regarding the tax bill Republicans are set to pass in Congress tomorrow is wickedly clear: It cuts taxes on the super rich...

Clean Power

With the Senate Republican tax bill racing towards a contentious vote despite numerous obstacles, a group of American energy trade bodies have penned an...

Clean Power

The Norwegian government is launching a program to finance renewable energy in developing countries to the UN just as discussions regarding climate finance are...

Clean Power

What a difference it makes whether you live in a good clean-energy-policy state or you don't. Solar incentives in sunny but 95% coal-powered Utah...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.