During a hearing on Wednesday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called for tax reform that creates a level playing field to allow the U.S. clean energy sector to thrive.
‘In order to lead the global energy transformation, the United States should strive for energy exceptionalism that addresses the challenges of the 21st century and no longer slows down energy innovators,’ said Wyden. ‘It's time to end the crazy quilt of more than 40 energy tax incentives with a modern, technology-neutral approach. Pursuing predictable, level playing-field tax policies could clear the way for America's clean energy sector to thrive at home and outmatch global competitors."
Wyden said the tax code must be updated to take the costs and benefits of energy sources into account. He added that U.S. energy policy must reflect factors such as energy efficiency, affordability, pollution and sustainability.
Wyden also called for an end to stop-and-go treatment of certain energy tax incentives – a process that causes uncertainty and hurt investment for clean energy producers. The senator said these short-term extensions put renewables at a disadvantage compared to traditional energy sources that have tax benefits permanently baked into law.
"Congress has developed a familiar pattern of passing temporary extensions of those incentives, shaking hands and heading home," he said. "But short-term extensions cannot put renewables on the same footing as the other energy sources in America's competitive marketplace."
Recently, Wyden publicly called on congressional colleagues to revive the stalled EXPIRE Act, which would extend a slew of expired tax provisions, including the wind energy production tax credit. He said inaction on the legislation was ‘unacceptable."