Indefatigable, Thy Name is John Kerry


On “Meet the Press” this weekend, David Gregory asked White House climate and energy adviser Carol Browner whether Congress could return to a climate measure in a lame duck session. She had little to say other than that it could “potentially” be under consideration.

But John Kerry (D-Mass.) isn’t giving up on getting something done this year. Unwilling to let clean energy legislation be pushed to the wayside now that an emission-curbing bill isn’t likely to get any attention this year, Kerry has a new measure on the table, one that would fund clean energy through a variety of incentives and tax-cuts. Kerry has, of course, been the main senator pushing for climate action this year. His newest bill is the Clean Energy Technology Leadership Act of 2010, which includes provisions that would, according to the summary his office released:

  • provide additional funding for the advanced energy manufacturing credit and uncap the credit for solar energy property, fuel cell power plans, and advanced energy storage systems, including batteries for advanced vehicles;
  • extend and modify tax incentives for new energy efficient homes, nonbusiness energy property improvements, and energy efficient commercial buildings;
  • encourage clean transportation by providing incentives for natural gas heavy vehicles;
  • extend the excise tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel retroactively for 2010 and through 2012;
  • modify the cellulosic biofuel tax credit to include algae based fuels;
  • extend the credit for domestic manufacturers of energy appliances;
  • provide an additional $3.5 billion for clean renewable energy bonds; AND
  • extend the research and development tax credit retroactively for 2010 and through 2012 and provide an additional 10 percent credit for qualified advanced energy research expenditures.

Maybe the Senate can get their act together on this. Oh, and while they’re at it they should refund the money they took from renewables to pay teachers last week.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.