Senate Dems seek tax parity for renewables, fossil fuels

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation to phase out fossil fuel subsidies on the same schedule as tax credits for wind power.

The “Fossil Aid Is Inefficient and Regressive (FAIR) Energy Policy Act” would phase out subsidies for coal, oil shale and other fossil fuels each year after December 2016 until they are eliminated in 2020.

Similarly, the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy begins to decline in increments each year after 2016, before fully phasing out in 2020. The PTC for wind energy was extended as part of a budget deal in December.

“If we are phasing out tax credits for clean energy — something I oppose — then why are we still committing to permanently support the fossil fuel industries with tax preferences they don’t need?” Schatz asked in a statement.

The bill is co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Dianne Feinstein of California, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts.