Wednesday, October 11, 2017

EPA chief says wind tax credits should be eliminated

On Monday night, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt told a meeting of the Kentucky Farm Bureau that the federal government should end tax credits for the wind industry. Although the EPA doesn’t have control over tax incentives for renewable energy, the agency has considerable authority to hamper similar programs that boost renewables—most recently seen in Pruitt’s efforts to repeal the Clean Power Plan—and his comments reflect how energy policy is being approached in the nation’s environmental bureau. "I’m not in Congress, and the state of Oklahoma has similar incentives, [but] I would do away with these incentives that we give to the wind industry. I would let them stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources," Pruitt told the audience, with senator Mitch McConnell at his side. (Senate majority leader McConnell, notably, does have sway over federal tax incentives.) Pruitt added that he believed the US government should, “let utility companies make real-time market decisions on those kinds of things as opposed to being propped up with tax incentives and other types of credits that go through the federal and state level.”The statement in favor of real-time market decisions without government meddling seems in opposition to the proposed rule that Energy Secretary Rick Perry put forward in September, which would require utilities to increase compensation to power plants that can store more than 90 days worth of fuel reserves on site (i.e., coal and nuclear plants)...more

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