For those of you interested in the machinations in Congress over the tax cut extensions, especially concerning renewable energy, here is the latest:

Yesterday, the Senate released what it termed a "final compromise" bill.  That bill should be voted on in the Senate very soon.  It reflects negotiations within the Senate and between the Senate and the White House.  It does not reflect a final deal with the House.

The very good news is that the Senate compromise includes a one-year extension of the "beginning construction" requirement for the 1603 grant to December 31, 2011.  This is a straight extension; it is not the complete revision of the program to a refundable tax credit that we blogged about previously.

The fate of 1603 still remains uncertain, however.  The House is the principal advocate of the complete revision and may insist on its version. 

The Senate compromise also includes 100% expensing, as agreed to between the White House and Republican leaders.  This means for property placed in service after September 8, 2010 and before January 1, 2012, the entire cost of the property may be deducted in the year it is placed in service.  In addition, bonus depreciation (50% immediate deduction plus normal depreciation for the balance) would apply to property placed in service in 2012.

For renewable fuels, more good news.  The Senate compromise extends through 2011 the existing per-gallon credits and outlay payments for ethanol, as well as the $.50 per gallon alternative fuels credit (other than for black liquor).  In addition, the $1.00 per gallon production tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel is also extended through 2011.

Activities are accelerating in Washington as Congress stumbles toward adjournment.  Stay tuned for further developments and intrigue.