The Clean Energy for America Act was introduced today by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). An important element of this act is the fact that it provides for technology-neutral tax credits for clean energy production.
Wyden, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member, and 25 colleagues introduced the legislation “to overhaul the federal tax code to support an innovative, low carbon economy.”
The act would replace the current 44 different energy tax incentives with incentives for clean electricity, clean transportation fuel and energy conservation.
To incentivize clean electricity specifically, the bill would provide a production tax credit (PTC) or an investment tax credit (ITC) to facilities that are at least 35% cleaner than average, with a maximum of a 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour PTC or a 30% ITC available for facilities with zero carbon emissions.
“The federal tax code is woefully inadequate to address today’s energy challenges,” Wyden said. “It’s a hodgepodge of temporary credits, anchored by advantages for Big Oil, that don’t effectively move us toward the goals of reducing carbon emissions or lowering electricity bills for American families. It’s time to kick America’s carbon habit, and that means a complete transformation of the tax code to reward clean electricity, transportation and conservation”.
The National Hydropower Association has issued a statement in support of the act. It says, in part:
“NHA supports the creation of long-term technology-neutral tax credits under which hydropower resources would be able to claim full benefit,” said Linda Church Ciocci, president and chief executive officer of NHA. “In addition, the inclusion of an investment tax credit for new pumped storage projects, along with other energy storage technologies, is an important feature of the bill. Finally, NHA is also pleased to see that the bill includes a tax credit bond proposal so that state, local and tribal governments, along with public power providers and rural cooperatives, will also be able to access an incentive that will enable greater project deployment.”
Other supporters of the legislation include the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), Alliance to Save Energy, American Biogas Council, American Wind Energy Association, American Public Power Association, Biomass Power Association, Energy Storage Association, Growth Energy, Plug In America, Solar Energy Industries Association, Renewable Fuels Association, and Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
Wyden introduced similarly named legislation in 2017, but no action was taken to advance it.