Dem senator pushes bill to overhaul clean energy tax credits

Source: By Devin Henry, The Hill • Posted: Monday, May 8, 2017

Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has introduced a bill to create a new system of federal tax credits for clean energy projects.

The bill, dubbed the “Clean Energy for America Act,” would overhaul the existing tax structure for energy development, which today consists of 44 different tax credits.

Wyden, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, argues some of those credits are too short to effectively deploy more clean energy, while others subsidize technologies “with no discernible policy rationale.”

Wyden’s new bill, which has the support of 21 other Democrats, would instead rely on a “technology-neural” tax credit for utilities that expand their clean energy options, available in the form of either a production or investment tax credit.

The bill also creates a tax credit for the development of cleaner-burning transportation fuel and another to incentivize energy conservation in homes and commercial buildings.

“This bill is built around the proposition that the law ought to reward innovative energy technologies with incentives that spark investment in the private economy,” Wyden said in a statement.

“These investments will shrink electric bills for American families and create new clean energy jobs in Oregon and across the country.”

Wyden’s proposal was originally built into a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal Democrats pitched in January. His new bill comes one week after the White House rolled out a major tax plan, the opening action of a major congressional debate over tax policy.