Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Congress Passes Renewable Energy Credits

The federal tax credits that helped build the solar and wind industries in the U.S. were temporary and set to expire by the end of 2008, which would have decimated the renewable energy industry just as it was poised for serious growth. All year, partisan gridlock repeatedly prevented Congress from passing laws that would have extended the credits — without which the renewable energy can't compete with cheap fossil fuels, as long as there's no price on carbon pollution. It wasn't until the credits were tacked onto the $700 billion economic bailout bill in October that they were finally passed, and then only as an afterthought — which pretty much describes where renewables rank on the list of America's priorities. But given that the alternative is the end of their industry, executives of solar and wind companies won't complain.