Public power utilities that issue tax-exempt and taxable debt to finance projects would like the massive climate bill pending in Congress to include tax-exempt, as well as taxable, debt in its credit enhancement provisions. The bill, introduced May 15 and co-sponsored by Reps. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., would create a Clean Energy Deployment Administration that could provide credit support to taxable debt obligations sold by state, local, and private-sector entities to finance "clean energy" projects. The credit enhancement could take the form of direct loans, letters of credit, loan guarantees, insurance, or purchases of debt instruments. The bill is pending in the Senate.

The taxable debt obligations covered by the bill's provisions would be eligible for federal credit support if they were issued to "significantly increase the energy efficiency" of buildings or facilities or to "enable the deployment of energy storage applications for electric drive vehicles, stationary applications, and electricity transmission and distribution."

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