Bipartisan, bicameral legislation sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, and Reps. Mike Thompson, D-California, and Ron Estes, R-Kansas, the Financing Our Energy Future Act, was included in a newly introduced package of clean and renewable tax incentives Nov. 19.
Thompson, who is the House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee chairman, released also on Nov. 19 the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now Act, which addresses climate change by using the tax code to extend renewable energy use. The Financing Our Energy Future Act, now a section in the Thompson package, would give clean energy projects access to a tax advantage currently available only to oil, gas and coal projects.
“I am grateful to Chairman Thompson for including our bold, market-driven proposal in this effort to spur needed investments in clean and renewable energy,” said Coons. “By providing innovators access to a unique financing tool that traditional energy sources have enjoyed for decades, our bill will unleash investments in a whole range of new energy technologies to curb global emissions and create jobs. The Financing Our Energy Future Act enjoys broad bipartisan support and can pass both chambers this year. It’s time we give these vital clean energy technologies an immediate boost.”
“The U.S. has the largest and most efficient capital markets in the world, and our sensible, bipartisan legislation makes certain that renewable energy companies have access to those markets,” said Moran. “In order to grow our economy and further our energy independence, sound economic tools, like MLPs [master limited partnerships], should be expanded to allow additional domestic energy sources to compete on a level playing field. I am pleased that our colleagues in the House of Representatives agree and have worked to include this measure in a broad package of clean and renewable energy incentives.”
A master limited partnership is a business structure that is taxed as a partnership, but whose ownership interests are traded like corporate stock on a market. By statute, MLPs are currently only available to investors in energy portfolios for oil, natural gas, coal extraction and pipeline projects.
These projects get access to larger and more liquid sources of capital than are available for traditionally financed energy projects, making them highly effective at attracting private investment. Investors in clean energy projects, however, have been explicitly prevented from forming MLPs, starving a fast-growing portion of America’s domestic energy sector of the capital it needs to build and grow.
Newly eligible energy resources would include solar, wind, hydropower, marine and hydrokinetic energy, fuel cells, energy storage, combined heat and power, biomass, waste heat to power, renewable fuels, biorefineries, energy efficient buildings and carbon capture, utilization and storage.