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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

November 20, 2017

Update: Tax Reform Bills, Monthly Conference Call Reminder, Draft Solar Tariff Letter, Happening Distribution


Tax Reform Bills

Late last week, the House approved its tax reform bill (H.R. 1). The bill has significant changes in renewable energy production and tax credits that would retroactively slash the value of the PTC, while adding new requirements for the ITC. This approach violates the bipartisan, good-faith agreement reached in 2015 which phases out the PTC by 2019.  The House bill does extend the ITC for nuclear energy.

The governors sent a letter to members of the House Ways and Means Committee, detailing the impact those changes would have on the states’ wind industry.  The House approved the bill on a largely partisan vote, without restoring the changes the governors had requested.

The Senate Finance Committee approved its own tax reform bill late last week.  Its bill does not include changes to the energy production and tax credits.  The full Senate will consider the committee’s bill when it returns on November 27. The bill will likely dominate the Senate calendar that week. The President has said that he expects to sign a tax reform bill before the Christmas recess.

Assuming the Senate tax reform bill passes without the changes to the PTC and ITC, the absence of those changes will be a major negotiation point for the House and Senate to reconcile. The energy tax credits will be at risk unless a favorable compromise is approved.

Since it’s unlikely the House or Senate will adopt the other chamber’s bill, Congressional leadership will appoint members to a conference committee to reconcile the differences in the bills. Conference committee membership is usually drawn from the standing committees that drafted the bills.  In the Senate, that’s the Finance Committee on which five of its eight members represent wind-rich states in the Midwest, several of whom have been effective advocates for renewable energy.

As soon as there’s a clear legislative path, we’ll need to act quickly so we can craft the most effective message from the governors to Congress. We’ll keep you posted.

Monthly Conference Call Rescheduled

Just a reminder that we rescheduled our monthly conference call to Thursday, November 30 (11ET, 10CT, 9MT, 8PT), since the regular date fell on Thanksgiving. We’ll send you the agenda early next week.

Former FERC Chairman Joe Kelliher, who now handles regulatory issues for NextEra, will join us to talk about the new FERC commissioners, national transmission development, and Secretary Perry’s grid proposal, among other things.

Draft Solar Tariff Letter to President Trump

The letter asks the President to reject the recommendations of the U.S. International Trade Commission, which would impose trade sanctions on silicon-based solar photovoltaic cells and solar panels.

Your comments and edits are welcomed.  Please share them with us by Monday, November 27.  We plan to send the coalition’s letter to the  President by the end of this month.

Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

Jamie Redford is giving a DVD and a private link to his new documentary— Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution — to every coalition governor.

Redford’s documentary is the story of his personal recognition of clean energy’s value and the jobs and environmental benefits it can bring to the states.  The message of Redford’s movie is the right one at the right time, especially for those governors who have made renewable energy an important part of their states’ economic future. The movie opens nation-wide on December 11.

We’ll mail the DVDs and the personal letter from Redford to your governor early next month.  We’ll email you a copy of the letter and a private link to the Happening.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.