With a number of tax incentives for renewable-energy production set to expire at the end of the year, some mostly Democratic lawmakers are urging Congress to pass an extenders package in the absence of comprehensive tax reform.
Members of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition wrote to House Ways and Means Committee leadership on Monday calling for an extension of a slate of clean-energy tax credits currently on the chopping block. The move was timed to coincide with the release of a nearly identical letter sent by a coalition of Democratic and independent senators to Senate Finance Committee leadership.
Both letters express support for an overhaul of the tax code, which would fall under the jurisdiction of the two committees, but stress the importance of extending a number of tax incentives intended to spur renewable-energy production.
“As we approach the end of the calendar year, many tax programs that are critical for creating jobs, deploying clean energy, and cutting pollution are facing expiration. If a broader tax code overhaul cannot be achieved by year’s end, it is imperative that these key clean energy tax incentives are renewed as soon as possible,” both of the letters state.
The wind-production tax credit, worth 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by wind power, has taken center stage in the battle over expiring clean-energy tax provisions as the year winds to a close. The wind credit is at the top of the list of credits the lawmakers want to see extended as soon as possible.
Beyond that, the lawmakers ask for the continuation of a number of other tax provisions, including the investment tax credit for renewable energy, the advanced energy manufacturing tax credit, and tax credits for efficient new homes and appliances as well as hybrid medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
Unlike its House counterpart, however, the Senate version of the letter also asks for an extension of the alternative-fuel vehicle-refueling property credit, the residential energy-efficiency tax credit, and a number of tax incentives for advanced biofuels.
The letters signals growing concern among stakeholders connected to industries affected by the credits that Congress will not act to pass an extenders package before the end of the year.
In the past, tax extenders have been almost routinely approved on Capitol Hill. This year the legislative landscape is a bit different, however, as leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees appear hesitant to pass any kind of stopgap measure until comprehensive tax reform begins to move.
Prospects for an extenders package have also dimmed with the release of a budget deal in the House that does not include provisions for an extension of any of the credits set to expire.
Extension of the wind-production tax credit faces Republican opposition in the House, with even members from some of the windiest districts in the U.S. calling for a drawdown of the tax incentive.
On the House side, signatories of the letter include Reps. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.; Rush Holt, D-N.J.; and Chellie Pingree, D-Maine. The Senate letter is signed by Sens. Edward Markey, D-Mass.; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Christopher Coons, D-Del.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; and 19 others.
What We're Following See More »
Nigel Farage, who led the Brexit effort in the United Kingdom, appeared at a Trump rally in Mississippi yesterday. Farage told the 15,000-strong crowd: "Remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment."
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”