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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NY Post: On Gowdy, GOP Malaise, and the Emerging House Exodus

In today’s New York Post I take a look at Trey Gowdy’s sudden retirement and what it says about the state of the House GOP majority:

It’s worth noting that this move comes amid political green shoots for Republicans. After months of increasingly ugly polls, the generic-ballot deficit has stabilized in the mid-single digits, a survivable range for the GOP. Presidential approval, perhaps the best historical barometer for midterm performance, has crept above the 40 percent political “Mendoza” line for the longest period since last September.

And Republicans’ signature legislative achievement has risen in popularity as Americans see the impact of tax cuts in the news and in their paychecks.

Yet the GOP jailbreak continues. The House casualty list stands at 41 and counting.

And whether it’s the breakdown of regular order, the paralytic legislative process, consolidation of power within the leadership ranks or simply a calculated hedge against a rising Democratic tide, congressional chairmen are leaving the People’s House in droves.

So one can easily rationalize Gowdy’s decision, as one could each of the nine outgoing committee chairmen that came before him. Many, including Gowdy, leave behind safe seats, and weren’t responding to direct political threats. Now-former Budget Chairman Diane Black (R-Tenn.) is actually seeking a statewide promotion. And among those who were vulnerable, like Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, most were term-limited by strict House GOP rules.

In the case of Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen — himself both endangered and unlimited — the gavel may have been stripped even if he had returned. Which is to say each member exits under their own circumstances.

But, while Gowdy’s retirement won’t cost Republicans a seat, it represents the most visible indicator yet that as House control hangs in the balance, those with the most vested interest in holding serve are choosing flight over fight.

Read the full piece here.

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