Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 or S.3335 is Federal legislation currently getting a lot of press. For example here are three writings I found within a few minutes of looking:
- Thomas Friedman of the NY Times wrote an Op-Ed piece on the subject on August 12th called Eight Strikes and You’re Out.
- Energy Outlook, a blog by Geoffrey Styles, has an entry from August 25th called Pay-Go for Renewable Energy Credits.
- The Salt Lake Tribune ran a letter by Arnold W. Reitze Jr. on August 25th titled Loaded Legislation.
But what is this legislation? The main component is the renewing of several expiring tax credits available to those seeking innovative energy sources. The public wants these credits renewed. It is an incentive for entrepreneurs in this industry to overcome some of the economies of scale problems that plague endeavors like this. The initial cost to the US government increases because it is in one sense subsidizing the innovation. In another sense, the lobbying money used by big oil could dwindle as well.
So if the voting public wants these credits extended then what do Senators do? They add other items to the legislation that may or may not have anything to do with the initial intention of the bill (Alternative Minimum Tax, Railroad Maintenance, Katrina Relief, Mine Safety, and so on). S.3335 suffers from this and is no surprise. It is just sad that something the public wants and is vital to the future of the US is stalled out in the Senate because of deal making.
For more info, please consult http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-s3335/show