WYDEN, COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO OVERHAUL ENERGY TAX CODE, COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and 25 colleagues today introduced legislation to overhaul the federal tax code to support an innovative, low carbon economy. The Clean Energy for America Act would consolidate the current 44 energy incentives into three technology-neutral provisions that encourage clean electricity, clean transportation and energy efficiency.

The bill is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Tom Carper, D-Del., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Angus King, I-Maine, Tim Kaine, D-Va., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Tina Smith, D-Minn.

“The federal tax code is woefully inadequate to address today’s energy challenges. 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,” Wyden said. 

To incentivize clean electricity, the bill would provide a production tax credit (PTC) or an investment tax credit (ITC) to facilities that are at least 35 percent cleaner than average, with a maximum of a 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour PTC or a 30 percent ITC available for facilities with zero carbon emissions.

To encourage clean transportation fuel, the bill would provide a tax credit for fuels that are at least 25 percent cleaner than average, with the maximum credit of $1 per gallon available for fuels with zero carbon emissions. The bill also eliminates the per-manufacturer cap on the tax credit for electric vehicles and extends the credit for fuel cell electric vehicles.

To incentivize energy conservation, the bill would provide a performance-based tax credit for energy efficient homes and tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings. The value of the tax credit would increase as more energy is conserved. 

Text of the legislation available is here.

A one-page summary of the bill is available here.

A section-by-section summary of the bill is available here.

A web version of this release is available here.