Conservative groups reiterate call to end PTC

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two conservative groups announced today they will continue urging lawmakers to end a key renewable energy tax credit through print and online advertisements and other efforts to mobilize activists in their home states.

Americans for Prosperity launched an eight-state print advertising campaign, while the American Energy Alliance said it will be spending six figures targeting nine states with online and social media ads, among other efforts.

AFP and AEA, both of which have been linked to the political network of billionaires Charles and David Koch, have led the effort to eliminate the production tax credit, a 2.3-cents-per-kilowatt-hour incentive to produce electricity from wind and select other renewable sources.

The PTC expired at the end of last year, but it is among several dozen tax breaks collectively known as “extenders” that could be renewed before Congress adjourns for the year.

With an estimated cost of $13 billion over a decade, it is the most expensive of about a dozen temporary energy incentives in the package, but it enjoys strong support from Senate Democratic leaders as well as a number of Republicans from windy states.

The broader extenders package includes items that enjoy overwhelming support, such as the research and development tax credit, and even some senior Republicans have signaled their preference to simply extend all the breaks in order to dispense with unfinished business before the end of the year, increasing the likelihood of an eventual extension.

AFP is running print ads in eight states: Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Texas, Ohio, Virginia, Nebraska and Utah. AEA’s nine-state campaign includes ads running in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina, Utah, California and Louisiana.

The conservative groups argue the credit is too expensive and has been in place for too long. Wind industry supporters say it has supported manufacturing and construction jobs and increased U.S. supplies of carbon-free electricity.