I am passing along this Op Ed from Roll Call for its views about US energy policy.
The US Senate Finance Committee last week passed the EXPIRE Act which renews over 50 tax incentives that have lapsed or are about to lapse. One of those incentives is the Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) for renewable electricity. The EXPIRE Act would extend the PTC and the corresponding Investment Tax Credit election through 2015. The debate over EXPIRE has renewed the broader discussion about US energy policy, the role of credits, and the comparable value of different types of electricity generation.
One of my heroes in this debate is Daniel Yergin who was the first to educate me on the importance of all forms of generation. This theme is picked up by James Robo, the CEO of NextEra Energy, in the linked article. Here are a few of his choice comments:
My company thinks very differently. Yes, we are the largest wind developer in the country. Yet we also operate one of the nation’s largest nuclear fleets. We are a major developer of utility-scale solar power and we purchase more natural gas than any other U.S. electric utility. We do not merely advocate for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy — we live it. . . . Our country should reject zero-sum thinking about energy technologies and develop a long-term alternative to all the single-fuel provisions in the tax code, including the PTC. . . . Congress should extend the PTC through the end of next year, and also ensure that our nation’s long-term energy and tax policies reflect the reality that American sources of clean energy represent a tremendous advantage for our country.
At McDonald Hopkins, our energy practice attempts to support the “All of the Above” philosophy. We have been very active with Oil and Gas exploration companies and are doing more and more work with mid-streams and companies further down the supply chain. We have also been active with the wind and solar industries. We often comment here that we are fortunate today to be living and working at a time when energy development and markets are robust. Please feel free to contact us with your comments or energy related needs.