The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills on May 28 which include several provisions for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213) extends tax credits for hybrid trucks, biodiesel, and renewable diesel through 2010. It also extends a credit for the construction of new homes that cut the energy needed for heating and cooling to at least 50 percent below code. “This tax credit is an investment in a clean energy economy,” said Ellen Vaughan, an expert on high performance green buildings at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. “An incentive for contractors to build in energy-saving features at the outset drives the construction of homes that account for far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional homes.” The act also contains a provision to increase per-barrel taxes on oil companies to add to a trust to cover damages resulting from oil spills.

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5116) promotes scientific innovations as a way to tap into new economic opportunities and create jobs. The bill authorizes $85.6 billion in spending over five years for scientific research and education programs, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power, and carbon capture and sequestration. “More than half of the growth in our nation’s GDP since World War II can be attributed to development and adoption of new technologies,” House Science and Technology Committee Chair Bart Gordon (D-TN) said in a press release . “Investing in innovation boosts our economy as a whole and creates jobs in all sectors.”