Sanders Bill Seeks to Extend GHP Tax Credits

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced legislation that would eliminate a spate of tax benefits for the oil and natural gas industries, while extending renewable energy tax credits through 2020.

The Sustainable Energy Act, S. 239, contains provisions from legislation Sanders co-sponsored last year with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to eliminate virtually all government support for fossil fuels, including tax breaks, direct spending on research and development, and oil spill damage caps. It also increases royal-ties for coal mining and oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters.

The bill extends production and investment tax credits through 2020, and funds five years of clean energy manufacturing tax credits. The Production Tax Credit is currently in place for wind, geothermal electric, biomass, waste-to-energy, and hydropower projects that begin construction before the end of this year.

The Investment Tax Credit, which includes commercial geothermal heat pump projects and solar developments, is in place through 2016, and would be extended to 2020. An oversight while crafting the bill inadvertently left out extension of residential GHP credit beyond 2016. Sen. Sanders will work to add the 25D tax credit as the bill moves to mark-up.