Law360: Budget Bill Contains Energy Tax Credit Boon

I spoke with Keith Goldberg of Law360 about the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and its impact on renewable energy:

The orphaned credits were included in sprawling tax overhaul legislation last year, but ultimately left out of the version signed into law. But now, projects including fuel cells, combined heat and power and small-scale wind will regain their ITC eligibility and be subject to a phaseout schedule similar to that of solar projects.

“This is the end of a two-year saga,” said Liam Donovan, a lobbyist and principal with Bracewell LLP’s policy resolution group. “It gets those [orphaned credits] off the table as extenders going forward and it’s a model of how to wind these credits down.”

The budget bill also slashes the amount of carbon emissions that facilities have to capture in order to claim the credit from 500,000 metric tons per year to 100,000 metric tons per year, which Harrell said will encourage industrial facilities and other smaller emitters to invest in CCS technologies.

One factor working in favor of pumped-up CCS credits making it into the final budget bill was their bipartisan support, from coal country Republicans to Democratic climate change hawks.

“Any time you can get Sheldon Whitehouse [D-R.I.] and Shelley Moore Capito [R-W.Va.] on the same page, it’s an interesting mix,” Donovan said.

ew ITC guidance is included on an updated priority guidance plan put out on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Treasury that outlines projects it hopes to complete by June 30, 2018. But leading that priority guidance plan is Treasury’s implementation of the tax overhaul bill, which has Donovan wondering if ITC guidance will get pushed aside for the time being.

“My hunch is that it will be behind more immediate and urgent priorities,” Donovan said.

You can read the full piece here.

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