Wind credit out of Senate tax package – for now

The broad tax extenders package a Senate panel will debate Thursday does not extend expiring tax credits for wind energy projects, but supporters are planning an effort to add the incentives that the wind industry calls vital.

“Senator Baucus will fight hard for it,” said an aide to Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that will take up the bill Thursday.

The Hill’s On The Money blog has much more on the overall extenders legislation.

The credits have landed a role in the 2012 White House race as President Obama pushes Congress to extend the incentive while GOP competitor Mitt Romney has come out in opposition.

Romney’s stance could create political hurdles for supporters of the credits. Republicans must now buck their party’s presumptive nominee if they back the incentives that have long had bipartisan backing.

Capitol Hill sources expect an amendment to add the extension when the Finance Committee meets, or efforts to include the measure in the underlying bill that’s up for debate Thursday.

The credit is currently scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

The wind industry is pushing hard for extension of the credit, calling it essential to financing new power projects. New wind installations have fallen off when the credit has lapsed in the past, which last occurred in 2004.

Romney’s opposition to the incentive puts him at odds with some heartland Republicans who back the credit, including Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a member of the Finance panel.

—This post was updated at 11:13 a.m.



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