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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 MurkowskiTrump: GOP candidates need to embrace 'make America great' agenda if they want to win Republicans who backed Trump impeachment see fundraising boost Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate aims to pass anti-Asian hate crimes bill this week This week: Democrats move on DC statehood Trump looms over Senate's anti-Asian hate crimes battle MORE (Maine) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisBipartisan Senate proposal would grant million to minority businesses Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings MORE (N.C.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says 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 ScaliseRepublicans who backed Trump impeachment see fundraising boost Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study Scalise: House would 'take action' against Gaetz if DOJ filed charges MORE (R-La.), Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanGeorgia county says removal of All-Star Game will cost tourism 0M GOP senators push to end MLB antitrust status Trump calls for boycott of MLB for moving All-Star Game MORE (R-S.C.) and Markwayne MullinMarkwayne MullinIntelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats hearing GOP leader to try to force Swalwell off panel Sirota says eviction moratoriums can play key role in COVID-19 fight 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.