Lawmakers float renewable energy finance bill

“This market-driven solution supports the all-of-the-above energy strategy we need to power our country for generations to come. Our legislation will unleash private capital, create jobs and modernize our tax code,” Coons said in a statement.

Master limited partnerships are investment arrangements that are taxed like a partnership, but whose interests are traded like stock. Proponents say it helps reduce the cost of capital by spreading risk among more investors.

Since it’s a tax bill, the legislation will go through the Senate Finance Committee in the upper chamber, and the House Ways and Means Committee in the lower chamber.


The companion bills will have supporters in those committees.

Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowOn The Money: GAO to investigate Trump aid for farmers | Bloomberg calls for bolstering Dodd-Frank | Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes GAO launches investigation into Trump aid for farmers Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength MORE (D-Mich.), a bill co-sponsor, chairs the Finance Committee’s energy panel. And Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill McSally unveils bill to lower drug prices amid tough campaign Graham: Trump has 'all the legal authority in the world' to pardon Stone MORE (D-Ore.), a member of the Finance Committee and chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also backs the bill.

In the House, Thompson is leading the Ways and Means energy task force.

Some prominent Republicans have signed on to co-sponsor the Senate version, including Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Overnight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief MORE (Alaska) and Moran.

The bill's sponsors expect to pick up more conservatives, with an eye on those from oil states.

Coons has previously said oil-patch lawmakers could support the bill as a concession to preserve master limited partnerships for conventional energy projects if Congress overhauls the tax code.


Murkowski encapsulated that sentiment in a Wednesday statement.

“The Master Limited Partnership structure has helped the oil and natural gas industry deliver the abundant and affordable energy that powers our economy today. Through a small change in the tax code, this legislation will provide renewables with the same opportunity,” she said.

And in a nod to the possibility of oil industry support, American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard said Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in New York that master limited partnerships are “a perfect example of an investment vehicle that can facilitate renewable energy.”

The measure has a list of supporters from renewable energy industry groups.

And the concept also has backing from the White House. The administration has touted it as a way to spark investment to help meet President Obama's goal of doubling renewable energy production by 2020.