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Local

Wind energy tax credit in committee bill

Thursday, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved a incentive tax “extender” bill, which includes incentives for renewable energy. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said the bill included a renewal of the wind energy production tax credit that had previously been removed.

“Renewable energy supports thousands of jobs and generates billions of dollars in investment across the country,” Grassley said.  “Public policy continues to help renewable energy develop and generate electricity and fuel from natural resources.  It’s good news for the economy and for energy diversity to restore these provisions.”   

The package also includes biodiesel provisions; both incentives expired in January.

The committee chairman, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) included the biodiesel provision in their initial proposed bipartisan package, but excluded wind energy provisions. Grassley led a successful bipartisan effort to amend the bill to include the wind provisions. 

His amendment reflects the law before it lapsed and extends it for two years. Qualified parties may take either the production tax credit or the investment tax credit, but not both, and the provision is extended through Dec. 31, 2015.

This may be one of the last times the tax credit is extended, based on Grassley’s comments in an interview Thursday, March 27.

“Not that we should have a wind energy tax credit forever. Only until it’s a mature industry, which is probably only three or four years away,” he said. “Then do away with it. But we need to finish the project.”

The bill also extends for two years, through 2015, the tax credit for biodiesel, as well as the small agri-biodiesel producer credit and the tax credit for diesel fuel created from biomass. It also extends through 2015 the tax credit for facilities producing cellulosic biofuel. 

Grassley said he hopes for full Senate consideration of the bill as soon as possible.

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