Business leaders are calling on Congress to take action and extend clean energy tax incentives. A total of 302 companies and business associations signed a letter urging Congressional leaders to vote ‘yes’ and pass the EXPIRE Act, which would extend the tax credits they say “are critical to the continued growth of clean energy technologies.”
Listed among the 62 tax incentives included in the EXPIRE (Expiring Provisions Reform and Efficiency) Act are renewable energy production and investment tax credits that have been seminal in fostering rapid growth in wind, solar, biofuels and other clean renewable energy sources across the U.S. The EXPIRE Act would extend these provisions for an additional year, through Dec. 31, 2015.
The need for stable tax policy
According to the letter to Congressional leaders, “Businesses and investors need stable, predictable federal tax policy to create jobs, invest capital, and deploy pollution-reducing energy technologies. Allowing the lapsed clean energy tax provisions to languish undermines investor confidence and jeopardizes continued economic and environmental benefits.”
Johnson Controls, Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Co., POET, Sherman Williams and Calvert Investments, as well as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Tooling and Machining Association, the American Association of Port Authorities, the Center for Rural Affairs, the Biotechnology Industry Association and the National Wildlife Federation, signed the letter urging Congressional leaders to pass the EXPIRE Act.
Having passed successfully through the Senate Finance Committee, the EXPIRE Act is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. The business groups that signed the letter would like to see a vote before the start of the lame-duck session of Congress that will follow the mid-term national elections this November.
Extending the renewable energy tax credit
The renewable energy investment and production tax credits have played a critical role in spurring development and adoption of renewable energy technology, systems, markets and industries. Supporting their call, the letter to Congress states:
“These bipartisan tax provisions have a proven track record of helping scale up production and drive down the cost of clean energy technologies, thereby ensuring that market-ready technologies are deployed to their full potential.
“The nation’s suite of clean energy and energy efficiency tax provisions lower the cost of clean energy and keep the U.S. competitive in the global technology race. They promote economic development, job creation, and a cleaner environment. To continue capturing these benefits it is essential to restore stability in the marketplace by extending the expired provisions through 2015 and by making them retroactive to the beginning of this year.
“Once again, we urge you to quickly restore the expired clean energy and energy efficiency tax provisions. Doing so will help build the economy, create jobs, and deliver a safer, healthier future for our children.”
An audio recording of the of the phone-in press conference announcing business leaders’ call on Congress to pass the EXPIRE Act is available online.
* Image credits: 1) GE; 2) AWEA; 3) IRENA