The U.S. Senate has passed H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. The measure, which was approved Friday morning, Dec. 18, funds the government for the remainder of the fiscal year (through September 30, 2016) and includes several important changes to the tax code that will impact the energy industry.
Among its key provisions affecting the energy sector, H.R. 2029:
- repeals the ban on oil exports immediately
- provides a tax credit to oil refiners for their oil-transportation costs
- extends through 2020, with a phaseout, the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC)
- extends through 2022, with a phaseout, the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), including a "commence construction" provision
- requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to finalize its rule on response plans to oil-train spills within one year
- extends various biofuel credits, including the second generation biofuel producer credit and the biodiesel and renewable diesel incentives, with no policy changes
A summary and the complete text of H.R. 2029 is available here.
The bill now heads to President Obama's desk for his signature. He is expected to approve it before the current funding stopgap measure expires on Dec. 22.