Houses Passes Energy Bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Companies that build coal gasification plants in Kentucky could qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tax incentives under an energy bill that passed the House today.

The measure now goes to the Senate where legislatives leaders expect it to pass easily.

The House voted 87-to-10 to approve the bill after a lengthy floor debate.

A special legislative session which began Monday was called for the sole purpose of approving the energy plan. The measure would provide tax breaks for St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, which is considering building a $3 billion coal gasification plant to Kentucky. Early estimates put the value of the proposed Peabody incentives at $300 million.

The measure also would provide financial incentives for any other qualifying companies that build alternative fuel facilities.

Under the legislation, actual incentives would be decided by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, not the General Assembly. The proposal would provide breaks on sales taxes, income taxes and coal severance taxes for alternative fuel plants.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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