Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Congressman Declares Wind Tax Credit ‘Dead'

Business
Congressman Declares Wind Tax Credit ‘Dead'

Companies across the country rushed to qualify for the wind production tax credit (PTC) in December, and for good reason—the chances of it returning seem even bleaker a few months later.

Because Republicans are seeking a broader tax overhaul this year, one representative says there's virtually no hope of the PTC making a return this year.

"Maybe there will be some in the Senate who will try to revive it but I really do think it’s dead in the House,” U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-LA, told Bloomberg this week.

Don't be surprised if there's no movement to extend the wind production tax credit this year, one House representative said. Photo credit: Iamoix/Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. House of Representative Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, (R-MI), introduced a proposal last month that would retroactively reduce the credit from about 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of produced energy to 1.5 cents. The incentive would then be eliminated in 10 years. Camp's plan estimated that the PTC provision would increase revenues by $9.6 billion over time.

Boustany, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee says he doesn't see that provision or any other involving the PTC being seriously addressed this year.

Camp's plan indicated that prominent members of the wind industry said that the PTC wasn't needed for much longer, despite various instances of politicians and businesses fighting for its renewal. After all, wind generation more than tripled since 2008 and a record 12,000 megawatts of U.S. wind farms were under construction by the end of 2013.

Boustany said that the industry may want a slower reduction in payments than Camp's draft calls for, but it ultimately has favored a phaseout of the PTC. That may be why it's not a significant priority, even though President Barack Obama lauded renewable energy in front of his large State of the Union audience.

“In fact, they were the only industry that came to us and said we don’t need this down the line,” Boustany said. "[Wind project backers] just need it to bridge the investment that was contingent on it.”

Meanwhile Obama's recent budget proposal called for an extension and expansion of the PTC, to replace the investment tax credit, which displeased the solar industry.

As Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden assumed leadership of the Senate Finance Committee, he received a petition with 50,000 signatures calling for the renewal of the PTC. Before leaving the Senate to become the U.S. ambassador to China, Wyden's predecessor, Max Baucus, proposed a consolidation of energy tax credits that would have preserved the PTC through 2016 before morphing its principals into one or two much broader credits.

“The wind industry has been and will continue to be engaged in tax-reform discussions,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said. “The Senate Finance Committee offered a very constructive approach to reform, in our view, and we look forward to working with Congress as debate over tax reform continues.”

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

 

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock" — an estimate of how close humanity is to the apocalypse — remains at 100 seconds to zero for 2021. Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The 13th North Atlantic right whale calf with their mother off Wassaw Island, Georgia on Jan. 19, 2010. @GeorgiaWild, under NOAA permit #20556

North Atlantic right whales are in serious trouble, but there is hope. A total of 14 new calves of the extremely endangered species have been spotted this winter between Florida and North Carolina.

Read More Show Less

Trending

There are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients. Marko Geber / Getty Images

By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson

The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.

Read More Show Less
Candles spell out, "Fight for 1 point 5" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 11, 2020, in reference to 1.5°C of Earth's warming. The event was organized by the Fridays for Future climate movement. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.

Read More Show Less
A monarch butterfly is perched next to an adult caterpillar on a milkweed plant, the only plant the monarch will lay eggs on and the caterpillar will eat. Cathy Keifer / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.

Read More Show Less