RENEWABLE ENERGY AND JOB CREATION ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - May 21, 2008)
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Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008. As a member of the Ways & Means Committee, I am proud to have helped craft this very important tax bill that will give much needed relief to millions of American taxpayers while also moving forward on our agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate our economy.
Unfortunately, over the last several years we have seen tax bills pushed through Congress and signed by the President under the guise of ``relief' for the middle class and the poorest in the country. I think many in this chamber have now come to recognize that many of these measures presented as tax relief for the middle class were in fact more tax breaks for the richest in society. Today we finally have before us a bill that will give real relief to millions of taxpayers, many of whom are hardworking middle class families struggling with rising energy and food bills.
First, H.R. 6049 addresses the need for more clean energy production in our country by providing long-term extensions of the renewable energy production tax credit and the solar energy and fuel cell investment tax credit, while amending them to increase accessibility. These long-term extensions will give utilities and investors the predictability they need to move forward with new generation projects in the years to come. The bill also addresses energy use and carbon emissions by extending multiple energy-efficient credits for homes and businesses, creating incentives for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects, and calling for carbon audit of the tax code to determine what policies are encouraging wasteful energy use and unnecessary carbon emissions. The Act also addresses our dependence on dirty foreign oil by extending and improving tax credits for the production of cellulosic biofuels and plug-in electric vehicles.
Most exciting of all, however, are the innovative qualified energy conservation bonds this bill creates. The qualified energy conservation bonds give states and local governments the resources needed to invest in green programs designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Giving local authorities the power to choose what green energies to implement in their backyard is good public policy, because I know the energy needs of western Wisconsin are vastly different than those of Queens. By not picking the winners and losers in Washington, we are allowing exciting technological changes, advancements, and the market--not Congress--drive the green energy revolution.
In the area of tax relief, H.R. 6049 extends several popular expiring tax provisions. In particular, the bill will provide property tax relief for 30 million Americans, help for more than 12 million children through an expanded child tax credit, tax relief for more than 11 million families through state and local sales tax deduction, help for more than 4.5 million families to cover the cost of education through the tuition deduction, and relief for more than 3.5 million teachers who will be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses for their classrooms.
Finally, this bill is fully offset and complies with pay-go rules. Under the leadership of Chairman RANGEL and Speaker PELOSI, we are demonstrating that we can provide tax relief without sending the debt on to our children. After years of fiscal recklessness--deficit-financed tax cuts for the wealthy and out-of-control government spending--this bill sets a precedent of fiscally responsible tax reform.
Again, .Mr. Speaker, I am happy to support this sensible and fair tax bill before us today. Offering some tax relief in uncertain economic times and meeting the challenge of climate change with innovative and constructive solutions are exactly the issues this Congress should be focused on. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 6049.
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