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US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders launches bill to support renewable energy tax credits

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation that aims to enact long-term extensions of several clean energy tax credits that benefit the bioenergy and biofuel sectors.

The bill, titled the "American Clean Energy Investment Act of 2015," or S. 2391, would permanently extend the production tax credit for renewable electricity generated from certain sources, including wind, open- and closed-loop biomass, geothermal, solar and marine and hydrokinetic energy.

For onshore wind facilities, starting in 2022, the credit would be gradually reduced to a rate of 1.1 cents/kWHr for facilities that commence construction starting in 2025.

The bill would also extend the $1.0/gallon second generation biofuel producer credit for advanced biofuels derived from cellulosic or algae-based feedstocks through the end of 2022. Similarly, the $1/gallon tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel would be converted from a blenders credit to a producer credit and extended through the end of 2022.

The special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property that enables a tax payer to deduct 50% of the cost of plant property associated with the production of second-generation biofuels derived from cellulosic or algae-based feedstocks in the year that property is placed into service would also be extended through 2022.

Elsewhere, the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit, which allows a tax credit of up to 30% for the installation cost of certain alternative fuel infrastructure, up to $100,000, would be extended through 2022 and expanded to include ethanol blender pumps capable of delivering ethanol blends of E50 or higher.

Biodiesel blenders pumps capable of delivering B50 blends or higher would also be eligible, along with Type II and Type III electric charging stations for electric vehicles.

Commenting on the bill when it launched in December, Sanders said: "We have a moral responsibility to help working families in the fossil fuel industry find new jobs.

"We must act now to reenergise our manufacturing base, bolster our clean energy economy and protect the livelihoods of these workers and the communities they support.

"Currently the United States wastes huge amounts of money providing corporate welfare to coal, oil and gas corporations that are destroying our planet. It is time for us to invest in technologies that are cutting greenhouse gas emissions and in the long run will be more cost-effective."