SEIA -Sen. Baucus Offers Renewable Energy Compromise

Senate Compromise Could Finally Extend Solar Tax Credits and

Secure Tens of Thousands of Green-Collar Jobs Across the Nation

As you plan your editorial content and feature stories over the next few days, we wanted to update you on this important issue which has been front and center on the agendas of our nation’s governors, business leaders, energy companies and environmental groups. For more than a year, Congress has attempted to pass a bill to extend incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy like solar but members have been unable to agree on how to pay for the bill.

Last night, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced a new version, “The Jobs, Energy, Families and Disaster Relief Act of 2008,” S.3335 , aimed at resolving differences. The bill is expected to be voted on in the Senate as early as next Tuesday, July 29. Extension of the solar tax credits has come up for a vote in the Senate seven times and in the House five times during the 110th Congress and each time has failed to progress.

Baucus stated, “ This bill will create jobs, jump-start alternative energy, and ease financial burdens for American families, and Congress needs to act on it now. With gasoline over four dollars a gallon and a lot of folks needing work, there ’ s a big need for this tax relief right away. ”

Passing an eight-year extension of the solar tax credits is critical for our nation’s energy security and economy. On July 23 (Wednesday), 51 governors (all except Georgia) signed a letter to Congressional leadership calling for a long-term extension of the renewable energy tax credits, including solar. The governors cited the important role renewable energy plays in our nation’s energy security and tax incentives will promote a clean, secure, and affordable energy to fuel America’s future.

Tens of thousands of well-paying, green-collar jobs are at risk across the nation without a stable investment environment for the solar industry. Investors have already shown signs of uncertainty without a long-term extension of the solar tax credits and already 4,500 megawatts of solar power projects are on hold.

The American public overwhelmingly supports solar energy: 94 percent of Americans say it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar energy and nearly 74 percent of Americans believe we should have tax incentives to do just that.

Background Materials

July 25, 2008 - Text of Baucus Bill, S.3335:

House Voting Records on Renewable Energy Bills Since June 21, 2007:

Senate Voting Records on Renewable Energy Bills Since June 21, 2007:

July 23, 2008 - National Governors Association Letter to Congressional Leaders:

July 7, 2008 – Current Solar Power Plants Affected by Energy Bill (4,500 MW):

June 10, 2008 – Poll Reports 94% of Americans Say It’s Important for the U.S. to Develop and Use More Solar Energy:

Feb. 13, 2008 - Economic Impact of Not Extending Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Navigant Consulting: