Efforts to extend tax credits for the wind and solar industries did not make it into the $2 trillion emergency coronavirus relief package. Democrats had sought to include them as negotiations stalled over the weekend, sparking anger and frustration from Republicans including Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford who took to the Senate floor this week to voice his ire.
Negotiators reached a deal late Tuesday. The package also did not include $3 billion the President and GOP Senators wanted to fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve amid the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer of New York had called the proposal a “big oil bailout.”
POLITICO’s Morning Energy Report indicated other energy-related ideas did not make it in the final package.
Also absent are any extension for clean energy tax credits that many Democrats — and certainly the wind and solar industries — had hoped to see. The clean energy provisions could be pushed to a later corporate rescue package. Democrats had also been pushing for a promise for airlines to cut carbon emissions as a condition of their federal aid, but they did not appear to win any major concessions on that front in the final deal.
The president and Republicans have railed against Democrats’ proposals to include environmental measures in the proposal. Speaking to Fox News this week, President Donald Trump said there was a previous iteration of a stimulus package that was “really a good, solid deal.” But added that, “all of a sudden, they start throwing all of the little Green New Deal stuff in, right? … ‘We want green energy, we want all this stuff, let’s stop drilling oil.’ They had things in there that were terrible.” But it seems unlikely aspects of the progressive deal will make the cut of this package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly said on a call with House Democrats on Tuesday that “there is no Green New Deal in our bill.”
Source: POLITICO’s Morning Energy Report