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 MurkowskiThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump juggles three crises ahead of November election Retired Navy admiral behind bin Laden raid: Forcefully clearing DC protesters was not 'morally right' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump takes victory lap in morning news conference MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump GOP Sen. Murkowski 'struggling' with whether to vote for Trump MORE (Maine) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP Sen. Murkowski 'struggling' with whether to vote for Trump Poll: Biden leads Trump, Cunningham neck and neck with Tillis in North Carolina Scaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach MORE (N.C.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner Mnuchin The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Association of American Railroads Ian Jefferies says no place for hate, racism or bigotry in rail industry or society; Trump declares victory in response to promising jobs report Trump signs bill giving businesses more time to spend coronavirus loans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: BIO's Michelle McMurry-Heath says 400 projects started in 16 weeks in biotech firms to fight virus, pandemic unemployment total tops 43 million 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 ScaliseClyburn: Cowed GOP ascribes 'mystical powers' to Trump Top GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force Top GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force over coronavirus probe MORE (R-La.), Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanRep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman Republicans push for help for renewable energy, fossil fuel industries House GOP urge Trump against supporting additional funding for state and local governments MORE (R-S.C.) and Markwayne MullinMarkwayne MullinRepublicans push for help for renewable energy, fossil fuel industries Overnight Energy: Republicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel | GOP lawmakers push back on bill to make greener refrigerators, air conditioners | Green groups sue Trump over California fracking plans Republicans push back on bipartisan bill to make greener refrigerators, air conditioners 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.