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WASHINGTON – In a Senate Finance Committee hearing on tax reform and energy policy today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) discussed the need to extend key offshore wind investment tax credits with his fellow committee members and a panel of witnesses. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the role the U.S. tax code should play in American energy policy and the various options for energy tax reform.

Witnesses included former Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), Chairman, CEO and Founder of The Nickles Group, LLC; former Rep. Phil Sharp (D-Ind.), President of Resources for the Future; Dr. Dale Jorgenson, Samuel W. Morris University Professor at Harvard University; and Harold G. Hamm, Chairman and CEO of Continental Resources.

In his remarks, Sen. Carper said, “One of our ideas on the investment tax credit is, rather than just providing a production tax credit which is what we use to incentivize the building of windmills onshore, we’re suggesting a different kind of investment tax credit which would be good for a limited period of time … The idea is just to get it started, show that we can do this, and that we can do it successfully.”

In July 2011, Sens. Carper and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act (S.1397), which extends investment tax credits for the first 3,000 MW of offshore wind facilities placed into service. Those tax credits are set to expire at the end of the year.