LaHood: Renewable energy tax credit transfers will boost industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The future of wind energy in Illinois may depend greatly on the ability for tax credits to be transferred form one development to the next according to concerns expressed Wednesday by 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap.
LaHood has announced his support for bipartisan legislation in the Renewable Energy Transferability Act. The legislation allows the transfer of renewable energy tax credits. The move would not only deploy renewable energy, but it would also increase innovation, LaHood states. He is joined by Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon in introducing the bill. Both congressmen are on the highly influential House Ways and Means Committee.
“Illinois’ 18th District is the second largest producer of wind energy in Illinois and remains one of the top wind energy producing districts in the entire nation. Throughout central and west-central Illinois, wind energy projects support our local economies and help create jobs,” stated LaHood. “Investing in rural communities through wind energy projects has a proven track record of success, and it’s important we encourage the production of clean and renewable energy sources. I am proud to join Rep. Blumenauer to introduce this legislation, which will continue to incentivize investment into wind energy projects in Illinois and continue lowering energy costs for residents in the 18th District.“
The Cardinal Point wind energy project along the Warren and McDonough County border serves as an example of renewable energy capital investments helping boost local economies. Construction projects generate tax revenue through the sales of fuel, food and possibly hotel rooms as workers complete these large-scale installation projects in rural areas.
LaHood credits the past 20 years since the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit as having “massively expanded the development of renewable energy across the United States.” As tax credits phase out, the renewable energy industry is then faced with the task of acquiring additional financing for new projects. That can have an impact on any energy cost reduction that is passed on to consumers in the way of savings. The proposed Renewable Energy Transferability Act would help credits to be exchanged more freely and reach a wider base of investors, according to LaHood.
“The American Wind and Energy Association strongly supports the Renewable Energy Transferability Act legislation introduced by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Darin LaHood that would allow limited transferability of the renewable electricity PTC and ITC,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Maximizing the usability of these tax credits as they phase out will expand consumer access to low-cost renewable energy. Following similar treatment for other technologies, the Blumenauer and LaHood bill will deploy thousands of additional megawatts of renewable energy projects and boost economic development across the country.“
The bill can be read in its entirety online at: https://bit.ly/2WMXoaX
LaHood also recently supported legislation to provide more tax credits for nuclear power facilities. That particular bill has the purpose of reinvesting the money saved by those tax credits into capital projects. The nation’s nuclear power industry faces substantial challenges with meeting health safety and environmental safety needs while dealing with an aging system. In the face of such mounting costs, the famous Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania -- the previous site of a partial reactor meltdown in March 1979 -- will soon be shut down as a result of high costs and the need to keep utility costs affordable in a competitive market.