‘Movement’ coming on extenders package — Baucus

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Senate may hit another milestone in its consideration of whether to extend a bevy of expiring tax incentives — including a key credit for the wind industry — soon after returning from its Independence Day recess, a senior Democrat said today.

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.) said he hopes to see “movement next month” on a tax extenders package, although he would not offer additional details. Industry lobbyists tracking the issue have said they expect the committee to mark up an extenders package in July, although Baucus would not confirm those plans.

As to the fate of the wind production tax credit, which expires at the end of this year, Baucus was equally circumspect.

“Everything is on the table” for potential inclusion in a package, he said, declining to offer specifics. He did acknowledge “there’s a lot of interest” in extending the PTC.

“Someone said, ‘Wisdom is experience, and experience is mistakes,’” Baucus said in an interview. “I’ve made mistakes in answering those kind of questions in the past.”

The credit provides a benefit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for wind energy developers. It was first instituted in 1992, although it has expired several times since, followed by sharp downturns in wind development.

The credit enjoys broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, although its supporters have struggled to find a legislative vehicle to enact an extension. The wind industry says tens of thousands of jobs will be lost if the credit is not extended this year.