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"State of Louisiana Considers 'Green' Bills to Incentivize Green Technology"
Sarah S. Brehm
Jones Walker Environmental & Toxic Torts E*Lert
June 23, 2009

Louisiana House and Senate committees considered several "green" bills and one resolution last week. Lawmakers have begun to realize that Louisiana is behind the national curve for laws that incentivize the implementation of greener technology—for both consumers and businesses. 

The bills provide specific tax credits; however, House Resolution 104 calls for the state to form a committee to study and develop an official green energy policy. The resolution states that "it is vital to the economy to identify, develop, demonstrate, and validate" sustainable and affordable new energy sources—with Louisiana leading the way. The resolution passed committee with no opposition and is currently pending final House passage. If passed, the House Committee on Commerce will report the results of its studies, along with recommendations for changes to laws, regulations, and procedures governing green energy, to the House of Representatives by February 1, 2010.

Automobiles

  • Senate Bill 26 would grant tax credits for the purchase of new, and the retrofitting of existing, automobiles, which utilize alternative fuels—such as liquefied natural gas, biodiesel, and electricity. Bill 26 is currently pending Senate Concurrence.

Energy Systems

  • Senate Bill 91 would grant a transferable tax credit for the costs and expenses attributable to the cost of constructing or installing energy systems, which use "qualified energy resources," as defined in 26 U.S.C. § 45 of the Internal Revenue Code. Unlike the federal tax code; however, Bill 91 includes facilities that burn biomass in conjunction with fossil fuels, to produce electricity and transfer the electricity to the point of use or storage. Bill 91 is currently pending House final passage. 

  • House Bill 858 expands the eligibility for the purchase and installation of residential wind and solar energy systems. La. R.S. 47:6030 currently provides a tax credit for individual homeowners; however, Bill 858 modifies the existing statute to add apartment complexes as well. Bill 858 is pending House concurrence. 

Carbon Capture

  • House Bill 192 would reduce the severance tax levied after payout on certain oil production that implements carbon capture technology by 50%. Bill 192 was scheduled to be heard on June 18, 2009; however, the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs committee has not considered it yet. 

Green Jobs

  • House Bill 733 creates a text credit for certain "green job industries" that include renewable energy companies, energy-efficient construction and retrofit companies, biofuel companies, and manufacturers of sustainable products that is not disadvantageous to materials or products manufactured in Louisiana. The bill allows up to $1 million per state-certified green project and no more than $5 million per year. The bill gives the secretary of the Department of Economic Development, the commissioner of administration, and the governor’s office the authority to certify "green projects" through the adoption and promulgation of rules that establish program details. Bill 733 is pending House concurrence.

For additional information on this or other "green" topics, or for more information on Jones Walker’s Green Law & Sustainability practice, please visit our website.