Tax extenders bill includes incentives for biofuels, energy efficiency

The tax extenders bill proposed Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) includes a number of tax credits that incentivize the production of biofuels and various energy efficiency measures for vehicles and homes.

The credits expired at the end of last year.

But Wyden’s bill does not include production tax credits (PTC) for renewable electricity sources such as wind, hydropower and geothermal energy, despite recent pleas from industry, lawmakers, state governors and others. President Obama sought PTC renewal in his 2015 budget proposal.

Tax credits in Wyden’s draft include the credits for plug-in electric vehicles, alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, cellulosic biofuel production, renewable diesel, coal production on American Indian land, construction of new energy-efficient homes, alternative fuel production and fuel cell motor vehicles. All would be extended for two years except the fuel cell credit, which would only get a one-year extension.

It also includes a two-year extension of bonus depreciation for cellulosic biofuel facilities.

“This bipartisan extenders package is the product of a Finance Committee that came together to provide needed certainty to the economy, protect jobs and maintain important priorities for working families,” Wyden said in a statement about the tax extenders package.

A committee aide said that though the bipartisan draft for markup did not include the PTC, it is likely to be included in the final bill the passes the committee.

The Natural Resources Defense Council called the Tuesday release the “opening shot” for the Senate’s consideration of many energy tax credits that NRDC supports.

“We look forward to working with Chairman Wyden to get additional clean energy tax provisions added to the bill as it moves through committee action,” Franz Matzner, associate director of government affairs at NRDC, said in a statement.