US tax credits for energy pass in bailout package

Ending months of uncertainty for renewable energy companies, the US House of Representatives passed legislation allowing tax credits for the solar, wind and biodiesel industries to be signed into law, Reuters reported. The approval came on Friday as part of the US$700 billion economic bailout package, approved earlier by the Senate.

The House voted 263 to 171 in favour of the tax breaks, which – before being given new life in the bailout package — had been stalled in a dispute with the Senate over how to fund them.

Along with credits for biodiesel fuel and for buyers of electric cars, the provision extends the life of the renewable-energy tax credits for solar and wind energy, which were due to expire at the end of this year.

However, many environmentalists were not in favour of the package because it included tax-credit extensions for refineries that process oil from shale or tar sands.

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