Ninth Time Is The Charm--Senate passes renewable energy tax package

Avoiding an end of year sunset of renewable energy tax credits, the senate finally passed (after nine tries) a renewable energy tax package. Wind power tax credits have been extended for one year; other types of renewable energy such as small-scale hydro or tidal power have been extended for two years. Solar tax credits for businesses and residential installations have been extended for eight years. The entire package amounts to $18 billion in tax credits. Bill is available in full--

Today, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel (D-NY)introduced a bill to offset the cost of the incentives in the Senate bill, which includes a modified version of the previously proposed repeal of the tax exemption for oil and gas producers. In the modified version, the bill would freeze the domestic production deduction for income of taxpayers that is with respect to oil, natural gas or any primary product thereof at 6% (which is current law). Absent this action, this deduction would increase to 9% in 2010. This is a scaled-back version of the provision proposing outright repeal of section 199 with respect to all oil, natural gas or any primary product thereof.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Green Wombat had the following post about a proposed high voltage solar power project in Southern California.
In short, the problem is that "SDG&E (SRE) needs to build a $1.3 billion, 150-mile transmission line through a state park and other environmentally sensitive lands to get the renewable energy to its customers. " Green Wombat.

The comments on Green Wombat focus on the viability of the high voltage solar power technology, but what interests me more (of course) is the impact of new power plants of any kind on the existing environmental law structure. Wind farms require vast expanses of land, and threaten birds and other animals. As this case indicates, large scale solar will require 1) the power plants themselves, and 2) the transmission lines to get the power to the grid. There will be an inevitable conflict between the Endangered Species Act, inter alia, that will result from what is essentially the construction of new power plants.

The question I pose is the following: should there be different standards applied to "green" power facilities?