Carper Cheers Tax Incentives in End-of-the-Year Spending Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) and senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement on the critical clean energy tax provisions included in the omnibus spending bill that would provide long-term incentives for offshore wind energy and create new incentives to support technologies that convert wasted heat to electricity, two issues that Senator Carper has worked for years to advance.

“As a nation, we need to do more to incentivize the production of clean energy here at home, especially to meet our clean energy and emission reduction goals. This bipartisan spending deal will provide industries with the certainty and predictability needed to make long-term investments in new, innovative clean energy technologies.

“I am thrilled that the bipartisan spending bill includes a slightly amended version of my legislation with Senator Collins that would spark investments in offshore wind power. The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act provides a long-term offshore wind investment tax credit to make offshore wind a reality in this country, along with the manufacturing and construction jobs that come with it. By investing in this new technology and harnessing the power of offshore wind energy, we can create good-paying jobs, reduce our reliance on dirtier sources of energy and provide reduced energy costs to consumers. For over ten years, Senator Collins and I have tried to provide long-term tax certainty for the offshore wind industry and to have this provision finally included in the tax extenders package is a very good day.

“This bipartisan spending deal also includes an amended version of my legislation with Senator Cardin, the Waste Heat to Power Investment Tax Credit Act. This legislation creates a new tax credit to support the investment in technology that reduces harmful emissions and conserves energy by converting wasted heat to clean electricity. This is an important tax credit is supported by industry, environmental groups and labor, and it’s one that Senator Cardin and I have been pushing for since 2014. So much of the energy used at industrial facilities across the nation escapes into our atmosphere as thermal heat. Right now, we have technology at our fingertips that could harness this waste and transform it into clean and usable electricity, but, for too many businesses, making upfront investments in this technology have proven difficult. This new waste heat to power tax credit relieves some of that burden, helps ensure that America leads on the frontier of energy, and creates good-paying American jobs in the process.

“I’ve long said that if we want to encourage businesses to invest in growing our country’s clean energy sector, we have to make clean energy tax credits for those industries predictable and reliable. We can’t ask companies to research and develop cleaner technologies if we can’t tell them what their yearly tax bill will be. With these new critical tax incentives, we can go a long way in supporting our country’s growing renewable energy industry. The First State is home to hundreds of Delawareans who work on the cutting edge of clean energy technology that will be supported by this federal investment. By extending and expanding these clean energy investment tax credits, we are walking the walk – protecting our environment while also growing our economy and helping to save and create good-paying jobs.

“The package announced tonight also includes other important extenders that we know make a real difference. An extension of something called the new markets tax credit will help finance projects in underdeveloped areas. This tax credit once helped to finance a remodeling of our very own Queen Theater in Wilmington. In addition, the permanent extension of something known as the craft beverage excise tax reduction will help distillers and craft brewers in our communities grow, invest in their business and create new jobs, while the permanent extension of the short line rail tax credit will support investments in railroad track and bridge improvements.

“The phrase ‘tax extenders’ gets thrown around a lot in Washington, D.C. It sounds pretty wonky, and it doesn’t help that we give these credits overly technical names. But they are really important, and they often help small businesses across our region and across the country to do the work that is critical for our communities, our fellow Americans and our planet, but is not always financially viable. I’m glad that so many of these tax credits that were set to expire have been given new life in this package. Unfortunately, too many of these credits are still only extended for one year or a few years. I will continue working to ensure that, one day, we make these credits permanent in order to provide much-needed certainty for families and businesses alike, rather than lurching from year to year.”