Gravy train to continue for at least a year

“The White House and key lawmakers cleared the way Thursday night for swift Senate action to avert a Jan. 1 spike in income taxes for nearly all Americans, agreeing to extend breaks for ethanol and other forms of alternative energy as part of the deal.

Tax provisions aimed at increasing production of hybrid automobiles, biodiesel fuel, energy-efficient homes, coal and energy-efficient household appliances would be extended through the end of 2011 under the bill.  …

Among the energy tax provisions added was an extension of the current 45-cent per gallon subsidy for ethanol, at a cost to the Treasury estimated at nearly $5 billion. The issue is of particular interest to lawmakers from Midwestern states with grain crops.  …

The energy-related tax provisions will presumably increase support for the measure in the House [of Representatives] …”  “Obama, Lawmakers Clear Way for Passage of Tax Cut Bill

“To win over wavering liberals, Reid has added an ethanol tax credit, which Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) supports, and an extension of the Section 1603 cash grant program for the renewable energy industry, which Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) favors.

The package includes other green-energy incentives that could win support among House liberals, who are disappointed the Senate failed to take up a comprehensive energy reform and climate bill this year. They include tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel; energy-efficient homes; alternative fuels; and a 30-percent investment tax credit for alternative vehicle refueling properties.

Environmentalists and renewable energy trade groups applauded the extension of the grant program for renewable energy projects.

In a statement Thursday night, American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode called extension of the grant program a “great day for American workers.””  “Reid unveils tax plan with green provisions to win liberal support

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