EPA Chief Calls for Ending Wind Tax Credits to Help Coal Survive



(Bloomberg) -- Tax incentives for the wind industry should be eliminated, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday.

“I would do away with these incentives that we give to the wind industry,” Pruitt said, responding to a question about the effectiveness of renewable energy at an event held at the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Monday. “I’d let them stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources." 

In a video of the appearance on the farm bureau’s Facebook page, Pruitt said those energy sources should compete in the market "as opposed to being propped up by tax incentives and other types of credits that occur, both in the federal level and state level.”

Congress voted to extend tax credits for both the wind and solar industries in 2015 as part of a broad deal that also ended ban on crude oil exports. Under the deal, the wind industry’s 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt hour tax credit would begins phasing down this year before expiring in 2020. The solar industry’s 30 percent tax credit winds down and expires in 2022.

With Congress contemplating a rewrite of the tax code, opponents of that deal are hoping to end those tax breaks early, putting the wind and solar industry on the defense. 

"A deal is a deal," American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan told the Conservative Clean Energy Summit last week. "Just stick with that [production tax credit] phaseout."

Referencing Pruitt’s remarks on Twitter, Florida Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo characterized them as "things that are not happening."

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Natter in Washington at anatter5@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net Mark Drajem.



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