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Cancun! Wait! Democrats Get a Climate and Clean Energy Bill! (in Return for Baubles for the Rich)

The world has been dismayed by the inability of the US to pass climate legislation. At Cancun, negotiators have given up on us. But – not so fast!

It now looks likely that the 111th congress will pass a renewable energy bill in the lame duck session, as promised. A vote has been teed-up for Monday’s tax cut vote that now once again includes last Saturday’s Baucus Amendment extending Recovery Act solar and wind incentive deadlines, along with a lot of other renewable tax policy (full PDF).

Earlier this week Republicans were demanding that President Obama take the extension of renewable energy tax credits off the table in the deal they negotiated in return for bonus tax cuts for the rich, but the Senate Democrats have prevailed.

After two years of trying (and passing Waxman-Markey in the House) the Democrats will likely now pass a renewable energy bill in the final days of this congress, by tacking it on to Rush Limbaugh’s sofa cushion money that he appears to be so keen on. (He gets to keep $2.6 million that would otherwise be taxes on his $38 million, if tax rates for the rich returned to the 39% Clinton years’ levels)

The incentives to create clean energy jobs, energy-efficient homes, and investments in renewable energy in the Baucus Amendment 4727, as put forth for last Saturday’s first vote on the tax cuts, was filibustered because it lacked trinkets for the greedy and wealthy. It would have made the extension for one year only.

A renewable energy plea signed by 30 Democratic Senators prior to the vote has been followed by a stronger letter signed by another 16 this week, and also now demanding that renewable energy provisions be extended two years.

Like most Democratic clean energy policy in the last few years – in order to evade the filibuster – it is to be tucked into a bill that Republicans will allow an up or down vote on. So the rich will get their bonus. But now it looks as if the Democrats might actually get a better deal in return.

The full list of clean energy tax credits over the jump…


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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.


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