The renewables industry can breathe easier this weekend as details emerge from whirlwind negotiations that appear to clear the path toward passage of the first comprehensive tax bill in more than 30 years.
The final language, released by the Conference Committee last night, eliminates a House provision which would have effectively gutted Production Tax Credits (PTCs) critical to the wind industry; eliminates the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax; and takes the teeth out of the so-called BEAT (Base Erosion Anti-Abuse) Tax which would have prevented wind and solar developers from transferring tax credits to certain large institutional investors providing critical early stage funding to their projects. The final compromise allows impacted investors to use tax credits to offset up to 80 percent of this tax. The electric vehicle incentives were restored as well, while nuclear tax credits were excluded.
Senior Senate Finance Committee Members Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Thune (R-SD) appear to have led the charge in restoring these important incentives to the bill.
Assuming Republican Congressional leadership is able to hold together its tenuous majority and send a final bill to the President’s desk, Husch Blackwell’s energy and tax attorneys will provide a more comprehensive summary of all renewable energy provisions in the tax bill over the course of the coming weeks.