Sen. Alexander recommends Congress end Wind Energy Production Tax Credit

Source: By Kevin Randolph, Energy Insider • Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) suggested Congress end the wind production tax credit at the end of the year through its tax reform bill in remarks made Tuesday on the Senate floor.

“To date, the wind production tax credit has already cost taxpayers billions, and Congress has recognized the need to end the wind production tax credit by passing legislation to phase out the credit by 2020, but we should do better,” Alexander said. “We have turned our attention to tax reform and our principle challenge is to find tax breaks and loopholes to eliminate so that we can lower rates for taxpayers – and I think that at the top of the list should be ending the wasteful and expensive subsidy for a clearly mature technology this year.”

Alexander noted that the tax credit has been in place for 25 years and has been extended 10 times by Congress. He also noted that it cost taxpayers $9.6 billion between 2008 and 2015 and is expected to cost $23 billion from 2016 to 2020, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Wind energy accounts for approximately 6 percent of U.S. electricity generation.

The senator also suggested that Congress consider ending subsidies for other energy technologies.

“I also believe the conversation about energy subsidies and taxes is bigger than the wind production tax credit,” Alexander said. “As Congress examines ways to reduce tax rates and broaden the base, we must be willing to look at all tax subsidies for mature technologies. I’m here today to challenge my colleagues to be willing to consider all energy subsidies for mature technologies – wind, solar, oil and gas – as candidates for elimination in a tax reform bill. These dollars could be better spent to lower rates for taxpayers.”