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 MurkowskiSixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMore Republicans should support crisis aid for the Postal Service GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Republicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report MORE (Maine) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisDemocrats seek to tie GOP candidates to Trump, DeVos Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE (N.C.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Supreme Court upholds NY prosecutors' access to Trump's tax returns, rebuffs Congress | Trump complains of 'political prosecution' | Biden rebukes Trump, rolls out jobs plan Mnuchin: Next stimulus bill must cap jobless benefits at 100 percent of previous income Why Trump can't make up his mind on China 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 ScaliseCheney clashes with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up MORE (R-La.), Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanGOP lawmaker calls for Confederate portrait to be put back in Capitol Rep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman Republicans push for help for renewable energy, fossil fuel industries MORE (R-S.C.) and Markwayne MullinMarkwayne MullinGeorgia strengthens democracy, moves closer to NATO with US support Five takeaways from PPP loan data Lawmaker-linked businesses received PPP loans 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.