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Kerry’s Tax Credits for Plug-In Cars, Building Efficiency Added to Energy Bill

by Pamela Leavey

Following up on my earlier post about John Kerry and his stance on energy issues and CAFE Standards, the Senate Finance Committee today accepted several key provisions introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) to the energy tax package. Kerry’s plan will roll back tax breaks for big oil companies, saving taxpayers $9.5 billion during the next 10 years. His proposals for tax credits for energy efficient homes and buildings, plug in hybrids cars, and renewable fuel production were also agreed to by the Finance Committee.

The Committee also accepted a Kerry amendment to demand higher environmental standards on liquid coal facilities. The amendment mandates a 20% life cycle greenhouse gas reduction requirement to liquid coal facilities that receive the alternative fuels tax credit.

“Ending big tax breaks for the oil companies is a huge step forward in solving our energy crisis,” Senator Kerry said. “It’s just not right that big executives are riding the gravy train while Americans can’t afford heating and cooling bills and suffer historic pain at the pump. We aren’t going to solve our energy crisis until we start getting smart about efficiency and new fuels, and providing incentives for greening and production of renewable fuels will move the ball forward.”

“Coal to liquids hurts our efforts to adopt clean, new, renewable sources of energy that are good for our environment and our future,” Kerry added. “My amendment will help curb greenhouse gas emissions from liquid coal facilities. We can burn coal in a clean way, while keeping jobs in our country and adding new ones. This legislation is a good place to start.”

A summary of the Kerry provisions is below:

– Modifications to Section 199: Rolls back royalties for major integrated oil companies. Excludes gross receipts derived from sale, exchange or other disposition of oil, natural gas or any product thereof from the domestic production deduction.

– Greenhouse Gas Reduction Requirement for liquid coal facilities: The committee adopted an amendment proposed by Kerry which attaches a 20% life cycle greenhouse gas reduction requirement to liquid coal facilities that receive the alternative fuels tax credit.

– Cellulosic alcohol production credit: Creates a new production tax credit of 50 cents per gallon for up to 60 million gallons of cellulosic fuel production in a taxable year.

– Plug-in hybrid vehicle credit: Establishes a new credit for each qualified plug-in vehicle in service and a credit for plug-in vehicle conversions. The base amount of the credit is $2,500 and can be increased depending on battery capacity.

– Extension of alternative vehicle credit: Extends the advanced lean burn technology vehicle credit through 2012 and through 2016 for qualified fuel cell vehicles.

– Energy efficiency credits – Extend Act: Introduced by Kerry, and Senators Snowe and Feinstein, these provisions extend tax credits for existing and new energy efficient homes and commercial buildings.

Finally the WaPo makes a case for why the “the Senate energy bill’s more stringent CAFE measure must prevail over the Pryor-Bond-Levin amendment.” Michaeldvg has a guest post up today on his blog, from the Auto Alliance who are of course, supporters of the Pryor-Bond-Levin amendment.

According to environmental advocates, three senators stand in the way of that possibly happening: Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sen. James Webb (D-Va.). We did our whip count yesterday, and here’s what we learned. Mr. Warner told us he “has decided to vote against the amendment.” Mr. Webb said he “is inclined” to support it. That leaves Ms. Mikulski, whose office didn’t return our call or e-mail. If she’s still on the fence, she should follow Mr. Warner’s wise lead.

8 Responses to “Kerry’s Tax Credits for Plug-In Cars, Building Efficiency Added to Energy Bill”

  1. Sorry to go Off Topic here…

    Are you sick and tired of the daily Iraq news?

    I am.

    Just like the OJ Simpson stuff and Joey Buttafuocco, it just won’t go away.

    It didn’t have to be this way.

    Also – I liked the Clinton/Soprano Video.

    It showed that the Clintons are in touch with the American Culture….

    NOT the Sub-Culture of the White House, where Karl Rove has sent some 140,000 emails under the RNC, as opposed to the official White House records.

    Now everyone knows that something stinks in Washington, DC.

    How much evidence does it take?


  2. Tom,

    The 140,000 emails Karl sent are what is left after someone pushed the delete button an unknown number of times. (One suspects they were pushing it for more than 18 and 1/2 minutes…)

    Iraq is a nightmare that will not stop even when we wake up. Did you see Hersch’s latest New Yorker article on The General’s Report.

    I can spare you the details although I think General Taguba’s comments are worth reading. The plot has not changed. Rumsfeld lied under oath to the Congressional committees as to what (and when) he and W knew about Abu Ghraib.
    They hadn’t seen the pictures until the night (or week?) before his testimony. A lot of people in the chain of command opted not to LOOK at the pictures. As Taguba says, they read the report and the descriptions in it were graphic enough to require action and investigation.

    No, they killed the messenger assigned to run for them, Taguba.

    Then there’s the special needs boys orphanage in Baghdad. The increase in abortions in Iraq.

    Here comes another GERD attack. Gotta get the Pepto.

  3. Tom

    I agree it’s getting to be (or has been for a while) too much. Something does stink in Washington and it’s really time for it to go.

    I just posted a YouTube of the Clinton video: http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=6038

    Nice use of popular culture.

  4. Of all the renewable energy articles I read I don’t read anything on the use of pellet stoves for heating. We had a pellet stove installed January of 2006, our home is 2300 sq.ft. our heating costs dropped from 190 plus a month to 65. The wood pellets are made from waste products, are carbon neutral, and its amazing how little ash is left after a week of burning and after a year and a half only a few handfuls of ash were in the venting system. This available, renewable energy source of heat isn’t even considered for a tax credit, but a more efficient natural gas furnace would be. burning natural gas more efficiently is great but it is still burning gas, and the pellets are far more efficient and ignored. how about someone in higher places really taking a good look at a cheap renewable energy resource that even looks beautiful in the home. I love my pellet stove. Instead of freezing at 67 in order to pay the high cost of a polluting fuel, its 75 and cozy, and my wallet likes it too. Now I smile when the xcel energy bill comes and its 10.00 for what i cook with. Its a hold energy rescource that is being ignored. Someone WAKEUP. Sandra Frye Phillips, Wisconsin

  5. Sandra,

    Thanks for that info. I had seen a furnace advertised not long ago that uses corn and other bio fuel but this sounds even better.

    I would expect this type of furnace does not produce the ash that prevents many urban dwellers from using wood stoves?

    Time for an Internet trip…

  6. ginny, pellet stoves are even approved for mobile homes. we purchased ours from a dealer who also comes out once a year to clean the stove and the venting system. the cleaner for the venting system is a leaf blower that he just sucks the little dust out of there with. we get the pellets delivered once a year. it took 3 and a half pallets for last year. a pallet contains 60 40 pound bags. i wouldn’t heat with anything else. its so clean and pertty too. you can get cheap ones that look like an ugly black box. ours is a quadrafire, fireplace insert. glass doors, gold trim, you can look them up on the net. just put in pellet stove and the places and makes should pop right up. thats how i found ours. i sure wish a whole lot of people would start using them. its lots of fun to open the xcel energy bill and find 10 bucks for gas that i cook with. just get good pellets. doesn’t have to be the most expensive ones but pine pellets burn hotter and cleaner than hardwood (ash) ones do. good luck and spread the word. now if the legislatures would get with it. i really love that stove. no more long johns and sweaters in the house in order to afford the heat. well sweaters anyhow. not really longjohns. thanks for the reply. sandy

  7. Hi guys,

    I would like to recommend this website:

    E.nergi.es – wood pellets, shelled corn, other biomasses and stoves company directory and product reviews.

    It’s a community-driven website where anybody can add a company, info about a product and, most important, review companies and products for the benefit of other people.


  8. why not give a huge tax breaks for existing hybrid cars that are sitting on the lot; this would help middle class american convert from gas gusslers to fuel economy; congress alway looking for something that we curently do not have like plugs ins we need the tax break now for fuel economy cars.