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Sens. John Ensign, R-Nev., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., have led a bipartisan group of senators to announce a bill to encourage the development of renewable energy and expand energy efficiency in buildings, homes and appliances.

"We commend Senators Cantwell and Ensign for their leadership in crafting a bipartisan approach to the urgently needed extension of renewable energy tax incentives that are scheduled to expire at the end of this year," says Gregory Wetstone, senior director of governmental and public affairs for the American Wind Energy Association, in a statement about the bill. "We look forward to working with Senators Cantwell and Ensign and other supporters of renewable energy in both the House and Senate to ensure that legislation extending these incentives is passed and signed into law by President Bush."

The Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act of 2008, authored by Ensign and Cantwell, extends incentives to encourage renewable energy. Extending the placed-in-service deadline through 2009 for the production tax credit (PTC) encourages electricity production using renewable energy resources such as geothermal, wind, biomass and hydropower facilities, according to Ensign’s office.

"Satisfying our energy needs and reducing our reliance on foreign sources is a challenge that we must meet, but that can only happen with the right incentives in place," says Ensign. "Our bipartisan bill will help put us on a path toward energy independence with American ingenuity leading the way."

Ensign and Cantwell's bill has six Democratic co-sponsors and 14 GOP co-sponsors.

A PTC extension has received House approval as part of a separate bill - the Renewable Energy And Energy Conservation Act (H.R.5351). The bill was received in the Senate in late February and referred to the Committee on Finance.



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