"The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008: Investing in the Green Economy Through Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Tax-Exempt Bonds and Green Building Incentives"

Throughout the 2008 Presidential campaign, every candidate talked about the importance of investing in clean and renewable energy as a means of moving the country from dependence on foreign oil, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating millions of jobs in the so-called “green economy.” Congress has taken the first step towards achieving those goals with its passage of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (the “Act”) as part of the $700 billion bailout package signed into law by President Bush on October 3, 2008.

Among other things, the Act amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to 1) extend and enhance tax credits for renewable and cleaner energy facilities; 2) introduce new clean renewable energy bonds; 3) provide a variety of incentives for biofuels and other cleaner transportation fuels; 4) provide preferential tax treatment for transmission facilities; and 5) add tax credits for energy efficiency initiatives and green building. This Stroock Special Bulletin discusses these five main areas of the Act and examines their implications for the renewable energy markets and the green economy generally.