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House Approves Tax Bill Extending PTC Only Through End of 2014

SNL Energy Finance Daily

By Michael Copley

The U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 3 approved a package of tax breaks that will extend through the end of 2014 the production tax credit for wind energy.

The House passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 by a vote of 378-46, reinstating the PTC, along with more than 50 other tax credits that expired at the end of 2013.

Reinstating the PTC was a top lobbying priority for the wind industry, but advocates were dismayed that the House failed to extend the PTC beyond 2014. The House bill would give developers about three weeks to qualify new projects.

"A three-week extension kills jobs and provides businesses little ability to create the jobs we want to create," Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said in a Dec. 2 news release. The group had urged a two-year extension, through the end of 2015.

However, wind advocates have faced a vocal block of opponents. Among those lobbying Congress not to revive the PTC is the Institute for Policy Innovation, a group that advocates for limited government and free markets.

Bipartisan forces want to revive the wind PTC because they benefit financially from it," IPI resident scholar Merrill Matthews said in a news release. "But thanks to the U.S. energy boom from fossil fuel production, energy for electric power generation is both abundant and affordable - and cleaner than ever."

Senate Democrats were pushing for a two-year alternative to the House bill. But a spokeswoman for Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., indicated the Senate would have little choice but to accept the House measure, The Hill reported Dec. 3.