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A Utah Senate committee approved a bill Friday that would specify state tax credits for alternative-energy producers and shift the program to the new Office of Energy Development.

SB65, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, would award credits starting at 20 percent and going up to 75 percent for 20 to 30 years, depending on the duration of a project's energy production. It would apply to everything from renewables to oil shale, tar sands and nuclear.

Matt Pacenza of HEAL Utah said the bill appears to favor larger projects with longer development times, such as the proposed Green River nuclear plant that his group opposes. He said it also would do more for large oil-shale mines than for rooftop solar panels.

Adams said tying the credit to years of production is simply meant to reward development that brings Utah the most jobs. The bill passed the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities and Technology Committee unanimously.

Brandon Loomis

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