a capitol hill

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) urges lawmakers to oppose efforts by some in the Senate to try and attach extensions for expiring renewable energy provisions to legislation that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Efforts to extend the expiring renewable provisions are not germane to FAA reauthorization, and would also continue special interests handouts that distort the market and consistently fail to deliver the job and economic growth their proponents promise.

In December of 2016 Congress considered the issue of expiring tax provisions, eventually signing into law a $680 billion package that allowed some provisions to be made permanent and allowed over two dozen to expire. Congress also extended special tax treatment to renewable energy in the omnibus appropriation legislation that accompanied the tax extender package, which included extensions for the wind production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC). 

Given the special interest handouts renewables received last December, which will cost upwards of $20 billion over the next decade, the current push for further extensions is wholly unjustified. The $1.4 billion in expiring tax provisions now under consideration, which include those for wind power, geothermal heat pumps, fuel cell facilities, and combined heat power (CHP) properties, were left out of the December discussions and should not be extended as part of the FAA reauthorization.

Despite the arguments from proponents of such renewable energy handouts, such preferential treatment repeatedly fails to produce neither sustainable job creation nor real economic growth. The role of government should not be to use loans, subsidies, and mandates to prop up politically connected industries at the expense of the free-market and taxpayers.

Such market distorting policies come at the expense of American consumers and taxpayers who are left with higher energy costs, while also being deprived of affordable and reliable energy sources. Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace, which is why Americans for Tax Reform opposes the ongoing efforts to attach renewable extenders to FAA reauthorization, and encourages lawmakers in Congress to do the same. 

Photo credit: Elliott P.