Finance panel to mark up extenders package tomorrow with ‘renewable incentives’

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Senate Finance Committee will mark up a tax extenders package tomorrow that includes “renewable energy incentives,” committee leaders announced early this morning.

The committee had been negotiating for weeks on the package, which will include “dozens” of targeted tax incentives that are set to expire at the end of this year or expired last year.

The statement from the committee said the package would reduce the number of so-called extenders typically included in such legislation by about 25 percent but indicated some popular programs were likely to remain, including “benefits for small businesses, working families, research and development and renewable energy initiatives.”

The committee did not specify exactly which credits would be included. Among the most closely watched renewable energy incentives is the production tax credit for wind, which is set to expire at the end of this year. Other credits in the mix include incentives for biodiesel and energy efficiency that expired last year.

Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) hailed the agreement as proof that the Senate can still work in a bipartisan manner.

“This effort has proven that legislating can still be done if both sides work together. Extending these tax-cutting provisions gives certainty to middle-class families and businesses across the country, and it helps support the jobs our economy needs,” Baucus said in the statement, which was released just after midnight.

“We’re facing serious challenges with the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, and this win shows we’re able to come together to tackle tough problems. This is exactly the kind of work it will take to address the fiscal cliff.”

Hatch said the planned markup showed a commitment to subject the dozens of extenders to “full and much-needed public scrutiny” and that it bodes well for future tax reform.

“This is a first step towards the ultimate goal of comprehensive tax reform that shows that there is a path to resolving the challenges we face as a nation,” Hatch said.

The announcement comes the same week Mitt Romney’s campaign announced that the presumptive Republican nominee would like to see the wind credit expire this year as scheduled (see related story).

Schedule: The markup is Thursday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m. in 215 Dirksen.