Congressman Blumenauer and Ways and Means Committee Democrats Introduce Green Energy Tax Package
November 19, 2019
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee and longtime advocate for climate action, today joined with Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee to introduce a package of tax incentives for green energy technologies like wind, solar, energy storage, and electric vehicles and provide new incentives for additional activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In a June 2019 Committee mark-up, Chairman Richard M. Neal committed to introducing this critical package following consistently strong advocacy from Congressman Blumenauer.
"Donald Trump's reckless policies, whether environmental deregulation or ill-thought out tariffs, have wreaked havoc on the renewable energy industries and our efforts to decarbonize our economy," said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. "Congress must act. While the GREEN Act is just one step of many needed to tackle the climate emergency, I applaud Chairman Neal and my Ways and Means colleagues in putting together a comprehensive package of tax incentives to help the renewable energy industry and put us back on the path towards decarbonization."
“I applaud Congressman Blumenauer for his contributions to this framework,” said Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA). “The climate crisis requires bold action, and I’m pleased that we’re using the legislative tools at Ways and Means’ disposal to create green jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and help heal our planet. We look forward to hearing from stakeholders to ensure this bill is effective in helping improve energy efficiency and eliminating carbon emissions.”
Congressman Blumenauer is a longtime advocate for renewable energy and strong climate action. In June, Congressman Blumenauer engaged in a colloquy with Ways and Means Chairman Richie Neal, where he agreed to work on a package of incentives for renewable energy in 2019. The GREEN Act is a direct result of this discussion, and contains a number of provisions that would provide assistance for wind, solar, and geothermal energy, energy storage, electric vehicles, and frontline communities.
Congressman Blumenauer has also introduced two stand-alone pieces of legislation that are contained in the GREEN Act, the Renewable Energy Investment Act, and the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Act.
The Renewable Energy Investment Act (H.R. 5157) allows for direct payment of up to 85% of the value of the Section 48 investment tax credit or the Section 45 production tax credit for eligible projects, with 100% allowed for tribal governments. Under this provision, rather than opting to carry forward credits in years when their credits exceed their tax liability, taxpayers could take a reduced credit upfront in the form of a refund of an overpayment of tax. This would expand the pool of investors for eligible projects, driving additional deployment of renewable energy across the country.
The Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Act (H.R. 5160) extends and expands the Section 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction by increasing the maximum per-square-foot deduction from $1.80 per-square-foot to $3.00 per-square-foot. It also modifies the efficiency requirements such that in order to be eligible for the deduction, property must reduce associated energy costs by 30% or more in comparison to a building that meets the most up-to-date building efficiency standards.