Dems call for extension of clean-energy tax incentives

Democrats are pressing Congress to renew clean-energy tax incentives that are set to expire at the end of this year.

In a letter sent to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on Monday, 25 senators urged the committee not to let tax credits expire for offshore wind investments and cleaner vehicles, among others.

“If a broader tax code overhaul cannot be achieved by year’s end, it is imperative that these key clean energy tax incentives are renewed as soon as possible,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement. “These tax credits have helped scale up production and drive down the cost of clean energy technologies."

Markey added that the incentives will help consumers save on energy bills and reduce "harmful pollution."

In a similar letter, penned by the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, six Democrats called for extensions of the clean energy tax credits.

While typically approved on a routine basis, the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees are more reluctant to pass any such measure until broader tax reform starts to go through.

Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) were a few of the House Democrats that signed the letter.

The two letters sent by Democrats on Monday are the latest calling for extensions to crucial tax incentives for industry stakeholders.

Last week, the National Wildlife Federation, along with 230 other conservation, public health and small-businesses organizations, sent a letter to President Obama to extend offshore wind development.

“Today, the Southeast gets most of its electricity from just three sources — coal, nuclear and natural gas. The region urgently needs to diversify its energy supply," David Carr of the Southern Environmental Law Center said in a statement.

"Congress must extend the investment tax credit to allow the region to tap into this clean, zero-cost fuel."

But with the release of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray's (D-Wash.) budget deal, which passed the House last week, hope for extending the tax credits waned as none of the provisions were included.