From Margaret Everton on August 16, 2010 in Remodeling News
Home star, aka “Cash for Caulkers,” is a $5 billion tax incentive program that rewards homeowners for making their residences more energy efficient (i.e. new window installation, Energy Star appliances, etc.), and frighteningly enough, it may become the next casualty of the oil spill. How, exactly? While the program has received bi-partisan support across the board and was expected to pass with the Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act, it has been blocked in Congress until at least mid-September.
The cause? Home star legislation came along with a provision lifting the $75 million liability cap on damages resulting from the Gulf oil spill. Republicans voted against the provision because they feared it would keep smaller oil companies from being able to acquire insurance for their own offshore drilling. All but two democrats voted in favor of the liability measure, believing it made sense given the extent of the oil spill damage claims already rolling in.
As of right now, Senate majority leader Harry Reid has postponed the vote on offshore drilling reforms until mid-September or later, after Congress returns from their August recess. Were certainly hoping Home star wont suffer from congressional gridlock, especially considering the multitude of benefitsboth environmental and economicalto be gained by homeowners across the country from energy upgrades.