“This is keeping everyone honest.” Sen. James Lankford.
Whether Sen. James Lankford’s amendment to finally phase out federal government tax subsidies to the Wind Industry is successfully passed, we’ll have to wait and see what the U.S. Senate does. As OK Energy Today reported earlier this week when the Senator introduced his amendments, one was to completely phase out the Production Tax Credit and another was toe reform the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
But it was the wind industry amendment that grabbed the headlines. Sen. Lankford’s plan is to completely end federal renewable energy production tax credits by the end of 2031, making 2019 the last year a project could qualify for a credit under a program started in 1992.
“The problem is ten times in the past 24 years, the production tax credit has been undefined for a future year, assuming it would go to zero. And ten times this Congress has gone back and retroactively put it back into place,” said the Senator in explaining his amendment in the Senate chambers this week. “Ten times. So to say in 2020, we’re just going to leave it undefined and it goes away is not a true phase out. That’s a phase down, and it leaves it in the tax code.”
He said it’s time to eliminate the tax credit from the tax code, noting that the extension approved in December will cost $17 billion over the window.
“If we’re going to d eal with a lot of our national priorities,” added Lankford, “I’m great with having wind in our portfolio, but this is not a new industry that continues to need support, and to provide the clarity that’s needed to make sure that we actually end this credit when we said we were going to end this tax credit. Let’s remove it from the tax code in 2020 and make sure it goes away.”
View the Senator’s speech on the Senate floor.
View Senator Lankford’s speech