Wind energy policy moves forward in the U.S. Senate

15 April 2014 by Mary Kate Francis

Across the country, wind power supporters are thanking their legislators for taking an important step forward in the effort to extend the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC).

The Senate Finance Committee, whose members are listed below, approved a bill on Thursday, April 3, to extend a host of expired and expiring tax provisions, including the renewable energy PTC and Investment Tax Credit (ITC). 

The extension would let wind energy developers qualify for the tax credits if they start construction on their wind projects by the end of 2015.  

However, during the markup of this bill, the Senators did take a vote on the elimination of the renewable energy PTC, and several additional credits. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced this amendment, and five Senators joined him in voting for it: Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY). As the remaining 18 Committee members voted in opposition, the amendment failed.

If you are represented by a Senator who serves on the Finance Committee, and would like to write him or her a note in follow-up, please use AWEA’s Power of Wind advocacy tool to send a quick message to your Senator.  

The next step in the legislative process will be for the bill, entitled the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act of 2014, to move to the Senate floor for consideration. At that time, all Senators will have the opportunity to vote on this bill.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he would like to take this bill to the Senate floor "after lawmakers return [Monday,] April 28, from a two-week recess."

Senate Finance Committee Members:
Colorado: Sen. Michael Bennet (D)
Iowa: Sen. Charles Grassley (R)
Kansas: Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
Delaware: Sen. Thomas Carper (D)
Florida: Sen. Bill Nelson (D)
Georgia: Sen. Johnny Isakson (R)
Idaho: Sen. Michael Crapo (R)
Maryland: Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D)
Michigan: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D)
New Jersey: Sen. Robert Menendez (D)
New York: Sen. Charles Schumer (D)
North Carolina: Sen. Richard Burr (R)
Pennsylvania: Sen. Bob Casey (D) and Sen. Patrick Toomey (R)
Ohio: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Sen. Rob Portman (R)
South Dakota: Sen. John Thune (R)
Texas: Sen. John Cornyn (R)
Utah: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R)
Virginia: Sen. Mark Warner (D)
Washington: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)
West Virginia: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D)
Wyoming: Sen. Michael Enzi (R)

If you are represented by one of these Senators, please use AWEA’s Power of Wind advocacy tool to send a quick message to your Senator