February 04,2016

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Senate Finance Committee Democrats Urge Congress to Move Forward on Renewable Energy Tax Incentives

Senators Call for Hearing, File Energy Tax Amendment to Broad Energy Bill Currently Before the Senate

WASHINGTON – As Congress considers broad energy legislation on the Senate floor, all 12 Senate Finance Committee Democrats, led by Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today urged their colleagues to take action on energy policy and combat climate change by updating outdated energy tax policies.

In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, all 12 Democratic members called for a hearing this year to consider more than a dozen different energy tax bills that senators from both parties have introduced in the current Congress.

“This Committee should build on the work that has already been done and take action to ensure our nation’s energy tax policy helps emerging industries adjust to future changes in the regulatory environment while bolstering the economy, protecting consumers, and combatting climate change,” the senators wrote in the letter.

In addition to Wyden, the letter was signed by: Sens. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Tom Carper, D-Del., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Michael F. Bennet, D-Colo., Robert P. Casey, Jr., D-Pa., and Mark R. Warner, D-Va.

Wyden, Bennet and Cantwell also filed an energy tax-related amendment to the energy bill the Senate is currently considering, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The amendment consolidates more than 40 energy tax incentives into three technology-neutral credits that encourage clean power, clean transportation fuels and energy efficiency for homes and buildings. It is the tax piece of a broad, climate-focused energy bill that 30 Democratic senators introduced in September.

Sens. Schumer, Stabenow, Menendez, Carper, Cardin, Patty Murray, D-Wash., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Christopher Coons, D-Del., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, cosponsored the amendment.

In December, Congress passed a five-year extension of tax credits for wind and solar producers as part of a large tax extenders bill that was signed into law. Fifteen incentives for energy efficiency, clean fuels and renewable power sources like biomass and hydropower are set to expire at the end of the year.

The Senate is continuing debate on the Energy Policy Modernization Act this week.

The full text of the letter can be found here. Read the text of the amendment here.