Democrats on key panel offer bill on solar tax incentive

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Solar panels sit above the first-ever Solar Grove parking lot at the Kyocera Plant June 24, 2005 in San Diego, California. The Solar Grove is an array of 25 solar panels that turns a 186 vehicle parking lot into a 235 Kilowatt solar electric generating system. 

A group of Democrats on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee introduced a bill Friday aimed at encouraging clean-energy production that they’re seeking to include in a forthcoming multitrillion-dollar spending package.

The legislation would allow solar companies to be eligible for a full-value production tax credit. Currently, this incentive is available for wind and geothermal energy.

The bill’s release comes as President Biden and congressional leaders have made it a top priority to pass a spending package that includes renewable energy incentives along with funding for child care, education, health care and other Democratic priorities. Democrats plan to pass the spending package through the budget reconciliation process to sidestep the need for any GOP support in the Senate.

The sponsors of the solar bill say it should be included in the reconciliation measure because it would help advance Biden’s goal of achieving carbon-free electricity production by 2035.

“Let’s get this in the reconciliation package so we can help make the United States carbon free by 2035,” Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the solar bill, said in a statement. “This legislation makes that goal that much easier to attain.”

Other Ways and Means Committee members who are backing the bill include Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Ron Kind (Wis.), Steven Horsford (Nev.), Dwight Evans (Pa.), Dan Kildee (Mich.), Jimmy Panetta (Calif.) and Don Beyer (Va.).

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, is also a sponsor.

A number of environmental groups support the bill, including the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

The Ways and Means Committee is expected to start considering its portion of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package next week. The panel has yet to release text of its portion of the measure.

A Democratic aide familiar with the matter said that the sponsors of the solar bill have been working with Ways and Means Committee staff, who view it positively.

Tags budget reconciliation Dan Kildee Dwight Evans Earl Blumenauer Jimmy Panetta Joe Biden Ron Kind Solar power Steven Horsford

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