Tax Reform Losers From Biofuels to Coal to Get Second Chance

Energy lobbyists, who failed to get a range of expired breaks for biofuels to coal-fired power plants into the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul bill making its way through Congress, may get a second chance before the end of the year.

The Senate plans to act on a slate of expired tax credits before month’s end, according to John Thune, the Senate’s No. 3 ranking Republican who serves on the Finance Committee. Lobbyists have been told the package of “tax extenders” — renewing tens of billions of dollars in expired tax incentives — could be hitched to must-pass government funding legislation expected in coming weeks.

“I would say the discussion of the extenders package is a golden opportunity,” said Scott Segal, a Bracewell LLP lobbyist seeking tax credits for small wind projects, geothermal heat pumps, and fuel cells.

Representatives of the House and Senate tax writing committees didn’t respond to requests seeking comment on the timing.

In addition to the expiring benefits, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which represents companies such as American Electric Power Co. and Peabody Energy Corp., is seeking a new tax credit for existing coal-fired power plants that would total $65 billion over 10 years.

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“We think we have a good case to make,” said Paul Bailey, the group’s president. “We’ve had a lot of retirements and there is a lot of concern about reliability and grid resilience so we think that is a good reason to have a tax credit that would prevent some coal retirements.”

The proposal, which would allow nearly every U.S. coal plant to qualify, comes as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is also moving forward with a rule to help coal plants that would apply to about 40,000 megawatts of coal out of a fleet of about 260,000 megawatts, Bailey said.

Meanwhile, the nuclear industry, which is retiring plants in the face of competition from electricity sources such as cheap natural gas and renewable power, is also seeking a tax credit, said David Brown, senior vice president of federal affairs for Exelon Corp., the largest operator of nuclear plants in the U.S.

The 30 percent investment tax credit, which as envisioned would phase down over time and then become a 10 percent permanent tax credit, is estimated to cost $5 billion, Brown said.

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Tax Reform Losers From Biofuels to Coal to Get Second Chance – اخبار زیست فناوری

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