Thursday, January 3, 2013

Infrastructure in the Fiscal Cliff Deal

President Obama signed a bill (H.R. 8) embodying an agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”  In some ways, the bill is a punt.  The 113th Congress and the president will be negotiating new deals again in a couple of months.  Rather than complain about the chronic procrastination and shortsighted partisanship that is prevalent in our capital (I supposed I just complained), I’ll summarize some of the infrastructure-related features of the bill.


The bill extends the tax credit for wind energy of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour.  The extension is for 10 years and will cost $1.2 billion annually.

A more modest provision in terms of price, $1 million annually, will extend a subsidy of $2 per ton for coal produced on Indian lands.

Other provisions
  •          Extend tax credits for home energy improvements and energy-efficient new homes and appliances,
  •          Extend the tax credit related to what are now called second generation biofuels,
  •         Extend credits for a variety of alternative energy generation in addition to wind,
  •         Extend a number of programs that support biomass projects through tax credits and financial assistance,
  •          Extend the tax credit on refueling properties for alternative fuel vehicles,
  •          Extend credits for biodiesel.


Railroads will receive a one-year extension of the tax credit for maintenance.  The will be about $165 million of the year.

An expired increase in the tax credit for taking public transit that originated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is revived for 2013 and retroactively for 2012.

Electric scooters and bikes will be supported by an extension of the tax credit for “2- or 3-wheeled plug-in” electric vehicles.

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