Hoeven, Cramer Object to Extension of Wind PTC in Year-End Legislation

Senators Offer Amendment to Strike Provision from Bill

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer today offered an amendment to strike a one-year extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC) from the year-end legislation. On the floor of the U.S. Senate, the senators called for consent to strip the provision from the legislation but their amendment was blocked.

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“We brokered a bipartisan agreement to phase out the wind PTC and permanently end it in 2019,” said Senator Hoeven. “We have made clear that we oppose the extension of the PTC, as it distorts our nation’s energy markets and leads to the loss of baseload power sources, like coal, risking blackouts and brownouts as we’ve seen in California. We simply can’t afford the loss of power during severe winter weather. While we oppose and are disappointed in the PTC extension, we were able to secure a two year extension on the 45Q construction deadline, as well as funding to support the development of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies. We will continue our efforts to help further enhance the 45Q and 48A tax credit, including providing a direct payment option, to help our coal producers better take advantage of these critical revenue streams through the implementation of CCUS technology. That will enable us to continue utilizing our nation’s abundant coal reserves while also reducing emissions.”

“The wind production tax credit is harmful legislation and ineffective policy, but once again it was slipped into a must-pass piece of legislation at the end of the year with no debate or discussion. This feels like living in an episode of the Twilight Zone,”said Senator Cramer. “Those who continue to slip this credit into these spending bills should consider why it cannot be extended on its own merit and let this market-distorting tax credit expire, as it was supposed to years ago.” 

Senators Hoeven and Cramer have been working to end extensions of the PTC, including:

As part of the year-end legislation, Hoeven and Cramer secured a two-year extension of the 45Q commence construction deadline, which will help support the development and implementation of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology and provide an important revenue stream to coal producers. This aligns with bipartisan legislation that the senators helped introduce earlier this year to enhance the 45Q and 48A tax credits to support CCUS efforts and help ensure coal’s continued role in the nation’s energy mix.

Additionally, the senators secured important funding priorities to benefit coal producers, such as:

  • The CarbonSAFE Initiative, which supports the development of CCUS facilities.
    • This Department of Energy (DOE) program awarded $17 million to the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) earlier this year for Project Tundra, a post-combustion technology to retrofit existing power plants, being led by Minnkota Power and the EERC. Project Tundra has received $43 million in federal funding to date.
  • For FY 2021, secured $750 million in funding for DOE fossil energy research, including $447 million for coal CCUS and power systems.
  • The USE IT Act, which supports CCUS and direct air capture research, and facilitates the permitting and development of CCUS projects and carbon dioxide pipelines.
  • The EFFECT Act, which provides authorizations for significant new federal investments in carbon capture and storage technologies:
    • This includes directing DOE to enter into cooperative agreements for new demonstration projects, building off the department’s existing partnership with the EERC. 

The Hoeven-Cramer amendment to eliminate the wind PTC extension was cosponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander, John Barrasso and James Lankford.