BILL WOULD EXTEND, IMPROVE RECOVERY ACT ENERGY PROGRAM
On February 4, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., introduced H.R. 4599, the Renewable Energy Expansion Act, a bill that allows taxpayers to elect to receive a tax credit that functions as a direct payment for investing in or producing renewable energy. The amount of the payment is tailored to equal the subsidy provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's energy grant program. The legislation provides taxpayers the option to receive the new tax credit or to use the grant program. The legislation would also carry forward existing guidance and make technical changes that Rep. Blumenauer says would improve the underlying grant program. Finally, H.R. 4599 extends the tax credit until January 1, 2013.