Pruitt calls for killing wind tax credits

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2017

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt called for ending renewable tax credits.

In a speech at the Kentucky Farm Bureau, Pruitt said he would do away with “these incentives that we give to the wind industry.” Via a budget deal forged at the end of 2015, federal tax credits for wind and solar were extended.

“I’d let them stand on their own and compete against coal, natural gas and other sources. Let utility companies make real-time market decisions on those kinds of things, as opposed to being propped up through tax incentives and other types of credits that occur both at the federal and state level,” Pruitt said.

Renewables have a role to play in the electricity mix, but it’s not wise to be fully dependent on them, he said. “Are they more costly? Yes.”

Yesterday, Pruitt also previewed plans to propose a rule withdrawing the Clean Power Plan (Greenwire, Oct. 9).

Any rollback of tax credits would have to go through Congress. While there has been speculation there could be a push for that as part of tax reform, many say it’s not likely to gain traction considering support from Republicans in wind-rich states (Greenwire, Jan. 20).

Under the 2015 deal, the wind production tax credit was extended through January 2020, with incremental phase-downs starting this year. The 30 percent solar tax credit was extended through 2019 before an incremental decline to 10 percent in 2022.