By Mark Drajem, Bloomberg Government.
Are those snow clouds on the horizon for the FAA/ITC deal? Senate negotiators haven’t yet tied up their negotiations to extend the investment tax credit to fuel cells, geothermal projects and other types of energy projects as part of the FAA reauthorization bill, but already it’s garnering blowback from House Republicans. Sen. Ron Wyden says that he and Sen. Orrin Hatch are looking to finalize their energy tax package for a vote next week. Still, it’s Congress, so no deal is final until, well, it’s final. Hatch, for what it’s worth, says he’s “trying to stay out of it.” And the tax provisions may not be limited to the ITC: It may also include a tax credit for carbon capture projects, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp told Bloomberg BNA’s Ari Natter.
But getting support for any of these tax breaks in the House may be tougher. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is circulating a letter asking her colleagues to oppose the proposed ITC expansion. The ITC was limited to solar projects in the omnibus deal, and it should stay that way, she said. “Congress took time to consider this issue in December and decided that these renewable energy tax extenders were not in the best interest of the country,” she writes in a letter provided to Catherine Traywick. So far, 10 members have signed onto the letter, and it will be given to other lawmakers next week before being delivered to House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster. Shuster would lead negotiations with the Senate on the broad FAA reauthorization bill.