‘Stability’ is key in ‘all of the above’ energy strategy — Majority Whip McCarthy

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012

As Congress considers whether to extend a wind-industry tax break, a key House Republican signaled his willingness yesterday to continue providing the incentive, saying “stability” is key to ensuring a diverse mix of energy resources.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) stopped short of explicitly endorsing an extension to the production tax credit for wind, a 2.2 cents-per-kilowatt-hour incentive that’s set to expire at year’s end. But he noted the industry should be part of the “all of the above” energy mix Republicans would like to see.

“I have a district that actually produces oil, it produces wind, solar, geothermal. … I think we need a little of all of it to be able to get there” to energy independence, McCarthy said in a press briefing. “You get stability when you take away the uncertainty.”

McCarthy’s comments came a day after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would bring a bill to the floor before November’s election to prevent “the largest tax increase in American history.” It remains unclear whether the PTC would be included in that legislation, which seems primarily aimed at maintaining rates for all earners from the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, but PTC supporters are growing more optimistic about their chances (E&E Daily, May 16).

McCarthy, the third-ranking member of House leadership, pointed to ongoing efforts in the Ways and Means Committee to examine all 103 temporary tax extenders set to expire at the end of this year and declined to say explicitly whether he thought the PTC should be part of a pre-election tax package.

A Ways and Means spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment yesterday.