Late last night, the Senate Finance Committee voted its massive tax overhaul bill out of committee, retaining Production Tax Credits (PTC) important to the wind industry. The House version, which cleared the lower chamber earlier in the day, significantly scaled back these credits.
After taking a week off to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the full Senate is expected to take up the legislation the week of November 27th. Any number of Senators, including outspoken PTC critics James Lankford (R-OK) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), may still attempt to offer a PTC roll-back amendment at that time.
It is widely expected that any effort to scale back the credit will be met with stiff resistance from Iowa Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA). Grassley already fired a shot across the bow to wind energy detractors during last night’s mark-up, noting that the PTC credit has been “badly hurt” in the House and “shouldn’t be screwed with” in the Senate.
Husch Blackwell’s energy group will continue to monitor issues affecting the renewables industry as this debate continues to play out on Capitol Hill.