Senate approves $650M alternative energy billBy MARC LEVY

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Builders of wind farms, owners of coal-fired power plants and buyers of hybrid cars and solar panels would be among those who benefit from a $650 million compromise bill approved Wednesday by the state Senate to promote cleaner energies and conservation.

The measure was approved 44-5 on the Senate’s last day of business for the year. It calls for tax credits, rebates, loans and grants over a decade or more in an effort to cut electricity bills and pollution and make Pennsylvania a destination for a booming renewable and cleaner energy industry.

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The Senate also passed two biodiesel bills Wednesday. One would require that biodiesel be added to each gallon of diesel sold in Pennsylvania in increasing amounts as in-state production of biodiesel reaches certain levels. The other would raise the in-state biodiesel production subsidy from 5 cents to 75 cents a gallon _ at a cost of about $5 million _ and expand an existing rebate program on purchases of gas-electric hybrid vehicles to other vehicles that burn alternative fuels.

This retains the link between fuel and food as we ‘burn up our food supply’ as we turn it into fuel. Makes fed’s inflation fight that much tougher, as the monetary system will get used whatever fuel can be produced will get used.

“This is a wonderful start and is a great way to end our calendar year with what I think is a great success under our belt,” said Sen. Mary Jo White, the Venango County Republican who was a sponsor of all three bills.


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