Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House without amendment (02/27/2008)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008 - Amends Internal Revenue Code provisions relating to renewable energy sources and energy conservation.

Title I: Production Incentives - (Sec. 101) Extends through 2011 the tax credit for the production of electricity from renewable resources (e.g., wind, closed and open-loop biomass, geothermal energy, small irrigation power, municipal solid waste, and qualified hydropower). Imposes a limit on such tax credit based upon investment in renewable resource facilities placed in service after 2009 in lieu of the current phaseout provisions for such credit.

(Sec. 102) Includes marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy as a renewable resource for purposes of the tax credit for producing electricity from renewable resources.

(Sec. 103) Extends through 2016 the energy tax credit for investment in solar energy and fuel cell property.

Allows an offset against alternative minimum tax liability for certain energy tax credit amounts.

Increases to $1,500 the credit limitation for fuel cell property.

Allows public electric utility property to qualify for the energy tax credit.

(Sec. 104) Allows a new tax credit for investment in qualified new clean renewable energy bonds.

(Sec. 105) Extends through 2009 the special rule for the treatment of gain from electronic transmission transactions by a qualified electric utility (as defined by the Federal Power Act).

(Sec. 106) Extends through 2014 the tax credit for residential energy efficient property expenditures. Increases to $4,000 the maximum amount of such credit for solar electric property. Includes residential small wind equipment and geothermal heat pumps as property eligible for such credit. Allows credit amounts to offset alternative minimum tax liability.

Title II: Conservation - Subtitle A: Transportation - Part I: Vehicles - (Sec. 201) Allows a new tax credit for the production of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Defines "qualified plug-in hybrid vehicle" as a motor vehicle weighing less than 14,000 pounds that meets certain emission standards under the Clean Air Act and that is propelled to a significant extent by an electric motor that draws electricity from a rechargeable battery.

(Sec. 202) Extends through 2010 the tax credit for installing nonhydrogen alternative fuel refueling property. Increases the rate of the tax credit for alternative fuel refueling property expenditures from 30 to 50% and raises the dollar limit for commercial properties to $50,000.

(Sec. 203) Modifies the definition of "passenger automobile" for purposes of limitations on depreciation and expensing of vehicles to include any four-wheeled vehicles that are designed primarily to carry passengers over public streets, roads, or highways and that are rated at not more than 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

Part 2: Fuels - (Sec. 211) Extends through 2010 the income and excise tax credits for biodiesel (including agri-biodiesel) and renewable diesel used as fuel. Eliminates the requirement that renewable diesel be made using a thermal depolymerization process.

Modifies the definition of "renewable diesel" for purposes of the income and excise tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel used as fuel to exclude any fuel derived from coprocessing biomass with a feedstock that is not biomass.

(Sec. 212) Disqualifies foreign-produced fuel that is used or sold for use outside the United States for the income and excise tax credits for alcohol, biodiesel, renewable diesel, and alternative fuel production.

(Sec. 213) Allows an alcohol fuels tax credit for the production of qualified cellulosic alcohol fuel.

Part 3: Other Transportation Incentives - (Sec. 221) Allows employees to exclude reimbursements for bicycle commuting expenses from gross income.

(Sec. 222) Allows a tax credit against payroll liabilities of New York Liberty Zone governmental units (i.e., New York State, the City of New York, or any agencies or instrumentalities thereof) for expenditures involving transportation infrastructure projects in or connecting with the New York Liberty Zone.

Subtitle B: Other Conservation Provisions - (Sec. 231) Authorizes the issuance of qualified energy conservation bonds to finance local government conservation and greenhouse gas reduction projects. Imposes a national limitation of $3.6 billion on the issuance of such bonds.

(Sec. 232) Extends the tax credit for nonbusiness energy property expenditures through 2009. Includes energy-efficient biomass fuel stoves as property eligible for such tax credit.

(Sec. 233) Extends the tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings through 2013.

(Sec. 234) Revises the amounts allowable under the tax credit for energy efficient appliances produced after 2007 (i.e., dish washers, clothes washers, and refrigerators) and extends such credit through 2010.

(Sec. 235) Allows a five-year recovery period for the depreciation of qualified energy management devices. Defines " energy management device" as a device that measures and records electricity usage data on a time-differentiated basis in at least 24 separate time segments per day and allows for the exchange of electricity-usage information and data.

Title III: Revenue Provisions - (Sec. 301) Denies the tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production of oil, gas, or any related products for major integrated oil companies. Reduces such deduction by 3% for taxpayers other than major integrated oil companies after 2009.

(Sec. 302) Revises the method for calculating foreign oil and gas extraction income and foreign oil related income to require a valuation prior to a specified fair market value event.

(Sec. 303) Increases by 3% the estimated tax payment of certain large corporations (assets of not less than $1 billion) in the third quarter of 2013.

Title IV: Other Provisions - Subtitle A: Studies - (Sec. 401) Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for a review of the Internal Revenue Code to identify the types of tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects. Requires NAS to reports its findings to Congress not later than two years after the enactment of this Act. Authorizes appropriations for such study in FY2008-FY2009.

(Sec. 402) Directs the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to enter into an agreement with NAS to produce an analysis of scientific findings relating to current and future biofuels production and the domestic effects of a dramatic increase in such production activity. Requires NAS to submit an initial report to Congress on its findings within three months after enactment of this Act and a final report within six months.

Subtitle B: Application of Certain Labor Standards on Projects Financed Under Tax Credit Bonds - (Sec. 411) Applies labor standards under the Davis-Bacon Act to projects financed with new clean renewable energy bonds.