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Bailout Credits Renewables

A last-minute addition to a financial bailout bill supports solar and wind power, as well as plug-in hybrids.
October 3, 2008

The financial bailout package signed into law today has some bonus provisions for renewable energy and plug-in vehicles.

Last year, last-minute wrangling led Congress to drop from its major energy bill significant tax credits for wind and solar energy, as well as for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The solar and wind credits were set to expire next year, which would have put some renewable-energy companies in a bind. What’s more, without a tax credit for plug-in hybrids, vehicles that use little to no gasoline for short trips, few people would have been able to afford them.

This year, these credits seemed on track to be approved, until the financial crisis and Treasury secretary Henry Paulson’s bailout package distracted Congress, leading some experts to worry that the renewable-energy companies and automakers would be left in the lurch.

But the credits were added to the bailout bill, which passed the House today and was quickly signed into law.

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