Republicans push for help for renewable energy, fossil fuel industries

Republicans push for help for renewable energy, fossil fuel industries
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Republicans are pushing for assistance from the Trump administration for both the renewable energy and fossil fuel industries. 

Three Republican senators have asked the Treasury Department to help the renewable energy sector by extending the amount of time under which companies can qualify for a specific tax credit.

A group of 60 House Republicans also asked the Interior Department to speed up its process for reducing payments by fossil fuel companies leasing public lands. 

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Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDurbin: Democrats can 'slow' Supreme Court confirmation 'perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at most' Senate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Supreme Court fight pushes Senate toward brink MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump's Teflon problem: Nothing sticks, including the 'wins' Durbin: Democrats can 'slow' Supreme Court confirmation 'perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at most' Senate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election MORE (Maine) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGraham neck and neck with challenger in South Carolina Senate race: poll Trump's Teflon problem: Nothing sticks, including the 'wins' Netflix distances from author's comments about Muslim Uyghurs but defends project MORE (N.C.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHouseholds, businesses fall into financial holes as COVID aid dries up Centrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election MORE asking him to extend the “safe harbor” period under which companies can start construction on renewable energy projects and qualify for a tax credit.

They wrote in their letter that some developers may not have received equipment in time to qualify for one of the credits “due to COVID-19 related disruptions.”

“In order to mitigate this uncertainty, we urge you to modify Treasury’s guidance to treat COVID19-related equipment delivery delays as acceptable disruptions,” they added. 

The senators also said that many companies are not able to maintain a "continuous program of construction" to qualify for a different tax credit because of the pandemic. The lawmakers asked that “continuous efforts” be required for qualification instead. 

“At a time when the renewable energy industry is facing significant challenges, these steps will help protect American jobs and provide investor certainty as we work to rebuild our economy,” Tillis, Collins and Murkowski wrote. 

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Their letter comes as renewables are facing obstacles amid the coronavirus pandemic. A recent analysis found that since the coronavirus outbreak began, nearly 600,000 clean energy jobs have been lost. 

A two-year rent pause for wind and solar projects on federal lands has also recently ended. Reuters reported this week that those companies have been billed retroactively.

Meanwhile, House Republicans pushed Thursday for help for the oil, gas and coal sectors. Sixty lawmakers from the lower chamber asked the Interior Department to speed up its process for cutting royalties for companies that produce fossil fuels on public lands and in public waters. 

“We hope that you will use every tool at your disposal — including expedited royalty relief on federal lands and waters — to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t result in a further crippling of America’s oil, natural gas, and coal sectors,” they wrote. 

 “We encourage you to take additional action to streamline and expedite this process as soon as possible. We are concerned that the current process is unnecessarily onerous and lacks the clarity needed to provide swift relief,” said the letter, which was led by Reps. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseGinsburg becomes the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol House GOP slated to unveil agenda ahead of election House panel details 'serious' concerns around Florida, Georgia, Texas, Wisconsin elections MORE (R-La.), Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanBiden's Iran policy is deeply flawed GOP lawmaker calls for Confederate portrait to be put back in Capitol Rep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman MORE (R-S.C.) and Markwayne MullinMarkwayne MullinCongress must protect kidney disease patients during the COVID-19 pandemic Georgia strengthens democracy, moves closer to NATO with US support Five takeaways from PPP loan data MORE (R-Okla.). 

The Bureau of Land Management has so far granted more than 70 requests for royalty rate cutsand as of this week, had granted all of the requests it received, according to available data.