NEW ENERGY FACES CONGRESS
Congressional Committee Could Target Renewable Energy Funding
Jessica Lillian, 20 September 2011, (North American Windpower)
"A total of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts looms as the U.S. Congress' Joint Select Committee (JSC) begins work on trimming the U.S. budget. For the renewable energy sector, the most important message right now is that during the JSC negotiation process, no department, program or incentive is considered safe from the axe…
"The 12-member committee, led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is working under an extraordinarily tight deadline - by Washington standards. The Congressional Budget Office must review and score a completed proposal from the JSC [federal spending through fiscal year 2021] by Nov. 23, and Congress will vote by Dec. 23…[or] sequestration will force across-the-board spending cuts…"
click to enlarge
"Whether through a JSC decision or sequestration, several key renewable energy funding programs and incentives - as well as the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) renewable energy research initiatives - could fall victim to cuts…These provisions - many of which expire at the end of this year - include the U.S. Department of the Treasury's popular Section 1603 cash-grant program…
"The investment tax credit and production tax credit may have a better chance of long-term survival, but their extension still faces an uphill battle… historical discrepancies, coupled with the current political climate, suggest reduced - or, at best, flat - funding levels for the DOE in the future…[L]obbying efforts from various industries have kicked into high gear, and for the renewable energy sector, now is the time to jump into the fray…"