The wind-friendly amendments that were added to the legislation concerning the approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline have failed in the Senate.
Introduced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Senate Amendment 133 would have extended the federal wind production tax credit (PTC) for five years and established a clear path forward for renewable energy.
Despite the setback, Jim Reilly, senior vice president of federal legislative affairs at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), maintains that the PTC still carries bipartisan support. Reilly says that although the vote does not reflect the tax incentive's broad support, it leaves the door open for a continued bipartisan effort to include a PTC extension in energy legislation that is considered by the full Senate.
‘Senator Heitkamp's amendment to extend the PTC could have encouraged a constructive, bipartisan conversation about how to do that,’ Reilly says. ‘Instead, the amendment, like many offered today to the Keystone XL bill, was viewed as a political issue rather than an opportunity to advance important policy and America's energy security.’
Leaders in both the House and Senate have begun to tackle broad tax reform, and as part of that process, AWEA will engage with Senators and Representatives from both sides of the aisle to advance a responsible extension of the PTC.