Groups press lawmakers on expiring credits

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

More than 50 groups are making a renewed push for Congress to extend multiple energy tax credits to avoid an investment plunge after this year.

Allowing the expiration of tax credits threatens jobs and millions of dollars of investments, and favors some energy industries over others, the groups said on a conference call yesterday.

“Incentives for renewables have been temporary. Incentives for conventional energy resources are permanent and in the tax code,” said Todd Foley, senior vice president of policy and government affairs at the American Council on Renewable Energy.

The council joined other renewable power groups, like the National Hydropower Association, in signing a companion letter to House and Senate leaders outlining concerns.

The association’s deputy executive director, Jeff Leahey, said marine energy technologies and the broader hydropower industry faced an uncertain future because of the expiring production and investment tax credits.

“If the credit should lapse, that will place the hydropower industry at a competitive disadvantage versus other renewables,” Leahey said.

Different groups on the letter are targeting different parts of the tax code. The Coalition For Renewable Natural Gas, for example, is calling for lawmakers to extend expiring credits for alternative fuel vehicles and advanced biofuels.

Marcus Gillette, director of government affairs for the gas coalition, said credits were critical for increasing the availability of alternative fueling stations and reducing petroleum use.

Conservative group Americans for Prosperity released a statement this summer opposing renewable credits as “plain, old pork barreling” (Greenwire, June 17).

Last year, Congress extended tax credits for wind and solar but not for other renewables like geothermal. Senate lawmakers have tried to move new extensions for other low-carbon sources.

On the House side, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) is not interested, said William Signer, an advocate for the National Employment Opportunity Network.

“I think that people are going to wait until after the elections to determine what they want to do,” Signer said.