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'Fiscal cliff' deal bodes well for green energy

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Charlie Neibergall/AP/File

(Read caption) President Barack Obama speaks at the TPI Composites Factory, which manufactures wind turbine blades, Thursday in Newton, Iowa, in this May 2012 file photo. A one-year extension of the tax credit for wind energy is part of the fiscal cliff deal.

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It wasn't until 2 am yesterday morning that the U.S. Senate voted 89 to 8 to approve a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" that took effect on New Year's Day.

The House of Representatives then took an entire day of political wrangling before voting 257-167 to approve the Senate bill late yesterday.

But the final measure turns out to contain some good news for green energy, long a priority of president Barack Obama.

As Reuters reports, the 157-page bill contains an "eclectic mix" of "sweetener" provisions, among them roughly a dozen relating to green energy.

Many of the legislators who voted on the bill may not have been aware of all of its provisions, since votes were taken just minutes after the final bill was distributed. 

Those include:

Many of the provisions are simply extensions of existing programs that were destined to sunset at the end of last year.

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That means the bill's language may be no more than effectively changing the date of a program's termination from December 31, 2012, to a future date.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]

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