White House to talk energy with group of House Dems

To be sure, the SEEC and the White House share many of the same aims.

SEEC members will likely push to maintain or increase federal spending for the Environmental Protection Agency and for renewable energy programs within the Energy, Agriculture and Defense departments.

And both the White House and the SEEC have advocated addressing climate change, expanding clean-energy research funding, incentivizing renewables and energy efficiency, and stripping subsidies awarded to the oil-and-gas industry.

The gathering will also give coalition members, who trend more liberal than many of their colleagues, a chance to press the White House on a host of contentious subjects. Those include the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline and the possibility of rolling out greenhouse gas emission regulations for existing power plants.

The confab follows on Zichal’s Monday comments that the White House is engaging lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on energy tax policy issues.

Zichal paid heed to several tax items Monday that are of high importance for SEEC members.

Chiefly, many of the coalition's members want to make a production tax credit for wind, biomass, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy permanent.

The incentive, which subsidizes the cost of power generation, faces expiration every couple of years. Its backers say the lack of long-term certainty subdues investment.

Members also are pushing to open a pair of tax-financing mechanisms currently unavailable to renewable energy projects.

Those structures, known as Master Limited Partnerships and Renewable Energy Investment Trusts, are taxed like a partnership but traded like a stock.

Proponents say the deals would reduce the cost of capital by enabling a greater number of investors, and taxing the ventures at one level instead of two.

Read more about Zichal’s tax policy comments here.