House extenders package won’t include renewable energy credits

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015

The House Ways and Means Committee will mark up a tax extenders package today that doesn’t include renewable energy tax credits, marking a contrast to a Senate tax bill moving through the upper chamber that would provide subsidies for wind and solar power.

The committee is set to advance a series of bills this morning that would permanently extend a handful of tax incentives slated to expire at the end of the year, including a measure known as bonus depreciation that would allow companies to speed up the tax write-off process for certain business expenses.

But the package doesn’t include an extension of the wind production tax credit that expired last year or an expiring investment tax credit for solar. The incentives are a top priority for clean energy advocates but consistently come under fire from GOP lawmakers in the House who oppose federal investment in renewable energy.

Renewable energy credits were also left out of the House tax extenders package last year, and Republicans have said the party’s position on the issue hasn’t changed since then.

“Those extenders didn’t make the cut [last year]. I would think that the leadership’s position” hasn’t budged, Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) told E&E Daily earlier this year.

The House GOP’s opposition to the PTC and ITC sets up a showdown with Senate Democrats and some Republicans, including Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who have long backed the renewable energy tax credits.

The Senate Finance Committee passed a broad tax extenders package before the August recess that included renewable energy incentives. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and other critics vowed to fight the wind and solar measures once the bill reaches the Senate floor later this year.