Thune Praises Senate Vote to Extend Wind Tax Credit and Other Renewable Energy Incentives

September 23rd, 2008 - Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate today passed H.R. 6049, a bill to extend several tax provisions relating to energy production, including the production tax credit for wind energy through 2009. The measure passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 93 to 2.

"The investors who are going to make large-scale wind energy production possible in South Dakota and across the nation need the certainty that comes with this tax credit extension," said Thune. "I believe Congress can use this extension as a first step on the path to a long-term production tax credit."

In addition to the wind energy production tax credit, the bill contains a provision creating $800 million in new Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to finance new renewable energy development facilities, including wind farms and bio-refineries. The bill also includes incentives specifically targeted at increasing cellulosic ethanol production and extends the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit through 2009.

"Our nation's overdependence on imported energy puts our economic and national security at risk," said Thune. "These incentives will give innovators in South Dakota the opportunity to help reduce our oil imports while creating good jobs and attracting economic development to the state."

The bill also includes a one-year correction to the Alternative Minimum Tax, which would protect 24 million middle income Americans from a significant tax increase. Additionally, this bill would extend the deduction of state and local sales taxes, the qualified tuition deduction, the teacher expense deduction, and the research and development tax credit, which is critical to keeping U.S. businesses competitive in the global marketplace.

Additionally, the legislation reauthorizes the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, which benefits several rural South Dakota school districts. It also fully funds the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for one year.

"It is my hope that the House of Representatives will take up and pass this critical measure before Congress adjourns," added Thune.

The House of Representatives must now take up and pass this bill before it can be sent to the President, who has stated that he is prepared to sign it into law.