Emergency -- contact your senators to save renewable energy in US

Please read this.

Last-minute provision in Senate tax bill could 'devastate' renewabl...

This is a sneak attack on all renewable energy projects. It would result in an immediate sell off!

The BEAT tax would apply starting in 2018, but “credits would be clawed back on [PTC] deals closed as far back as 2008,” Martin said.

The letter argues that the retroactive nature of the BEAT provision would mean that companies holding tax credits would try “to sell them immediately, even at great discounts, a phenomenon that would flood the marketplace and further damage tax equity markets.” [emphasis mine]

Greg Greg Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy:

“It came out of nowhere.” 

I just emailed my senators with this message: 

The Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) provision inserted in a last minute mark-up of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act in the Senate finance committee would affect $50 billion in annual investment in renewable energy projects. Keith Martin, a partner with Norton Rose Fulbright, warns that the BEAT provision would make it harder for “banks and other large companies that are the principal source of tax equity for renewable energy to know, when closing on tax equity investments, whether they will receive the tax credits on offer for making the investments,” The BEAT tax would apply starting in 2018, but “credits would be clawed back on [PTC] deals closed as far back as 2008,” Martin said. I urge you to revise the BEAT provision so that the PTC and ITC are given the same treatment as R&D tax credits. That, the trade groups say, would restore the certainty that underpins the tax equity market and, by extension, the growth in renewable energy investment.

I urge you to take similar immediate action.

This ice pick-to-the neck assasination of the US renewable energy industry was probably long planned at the Heartland Institute.

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Corporate capture of government at its finest... but fossil fuel companies can't buy votes, and politicians still care about reelection.

If you're in a time zone where your Senators' offices are still staffed, CALL THEM! If not, leave messages, leave email!

Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121

More sources of phone & web contact info

Grinning Cat gave me permission to share the emails he sent, which are much easier to understand than mine.

To Republican senator:

One last-minute provision in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act demands immediate attention.

I urge you to revise the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) provision to exempt the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy, just as research and development tax credits are excluded.

Without this revision, the new 100% tax would prompt major financial institutions to withdraw from tax equity financing. Companies would find it virtually impossible to monetize these tax credits -- generated exclusively through investment in US projects -- and would sell them immediately at deep discounts, further damaging tax equity markets. Since BEAT is retroactive to as far back as 2008, companies would be punished for having relied on the tax code for existing as well as new projects. The BEAT provisions as reported out of the Budget Committee would devastate American wind and solar energy job creation and investment, nearly $50 billion annually.

The Republicans are supposedly the party of fiscal responsibility -- not puppets of the Heartland Institute and fossil-fuel conglomerates. Demonstrate that. Revise BEAT to exempt PTC and ITC credits.

Here is Grinning Cat's email to his Democratic senator.

Dear Senator Casey:

While the entire Tax Cut and Jobs Act is a horrible bill whose only "good" purpose would be, as you stated, to make the rich even richer, one last-minute provision deserves special attention.

I urge you to revise the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) provision to exempt the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy, just as research and development tax credits are excluded.

Without this revision, the new 100% tax would prompt major financial institutions to withdraw from tax equity financing. Companies would find it virtually impossible to monetize these tax credits -- generated exclusively through investment in US projects -- and would sell them immediately at deep discounts, further damaging tax equity markets. Since BEAT is retroactive to as far back as 2008, companies would be punished for having relied on the tax code for existing as well as new projects. The BEAT provisions as reported out of the Budget Committee would devastate American wind and solar energy job creation and investment, nearly $50 billion annually.

I called my senators' offices this morning, in addition to my emails last night. As usual, at the Democrat's office I was preaching to a preacher -- but it was still important to add my voice! And at the Republican's office, the staffer was noncommittal and professional (even if she was thinking, "oh, god, not another clueless librul; he probably votes Democratic and we don't need to care about him" -- but collectively take up enough of staffers' time and attention, and congresscritters will hopefully get the message that the people who vote to reelect them (or not) are actually paying attention).

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