Legislation streamlines tax credits to encourage production of clean energy
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 15, 2017) – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, cosponsored legislation introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that will measurably reduce carbon pollution over the next decade through a series of incentives for clean energy and the promotion of new technologies in the private sector. The Clean Energy for America Act includes technology-neutral tax credits for domestic production of clean electricity and clean transportation fuel, as well as performance-based tax incentives for energy-efficient homes and office buildings. These credits are open to all resources, including fossil fuels that capture carbon or make efficiency improvements.
“With our incredible potential for both solar and wind alongside innovative research and development at our national laboratories and universities, New Mexico is poised to become a major producer and exporter of clean power,” said Senator Heinrich. “This bill rewards innovation to promote clean energy production and storage, and will help create clean energy jobs in New Mexico.”
The current system of energy incentives in the tax code is overly complex and far less effective than it should be. Today, there are 44 different energy tax incentives. More than half are too short-term to effectively stimulate investments, while also providing different subsidies to different technologies with no clear policy direction. By contrast, this bill proposes a dramatically simpler set of long-term, performance-based energy tax incentives that are technology-neutral and promote clean energy production and storage in the United States.
Senator Heinrich has been a leading advocate for growing the clean energy economy in New Mexico and modernizing the electric grid. His efforts to secure multi-year extensions of production and investment tax credits have spurred major growth in the clean energy industry in New Mexico. The tax credits helped pave the way for major utility-scale wind projects like the Sagamore Wind Project and El Cabo Wind Farm. Each new wind project represents hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment and economic impact in rural New Mexico. The tax credits have also helped boost the solar industry, which has created nearly 3,000 jobs in New Mexico, including over 1,000 new jobs in 2016 alone.