Bipartisan Letter Urges Renewable Energy Incentives for Non-Profits

Reps. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Lee Terry (R-NE) and Ron Kind (D-WI) sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sander Levin, urging for the extension of the Clean Renewable Energy Bond (CREB) program. The request carries strong bipartisan support with seventeen Republicans among the sixty-six signers. CREBs provide not-for-profit utilities access to similar renewable energy incentives that are available to similar, for-profit businesses.

The letter explains, "The CREBs program was extended in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Since the program's inception, electric cooperatives and public power systems combined have applied to the Treasury Department to finance generation projects across the country from wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas and hydropower projects.
"As Congress considers tax incentives to drive down the cost of innovative or renewable technologies, we urge you to support CREBs or other incentives that can assure that not-for-profit utility consumers have access to reliable and affordable energy on a basis comparable to consumers of for-profit utilities."
Extending CREBs or providing comparable tax incentives for renewable energy would ensure that not-for profit utilities are provided the tools to help solve the nation's energy problems, simultaneously creating thousands of jobs.

Full text of the letter follows:

June 22, 2011

The Honorable Dave Camp
Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Sander Levin
Ranking Member, House Ways and Means Committee
1139E Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin:

We are writing to ask you to consider electric cooperatives and public power systems as you develop tax policies that drive innovative technologies and encourage an "all-of-the-above" approach to electricity production.

Not-for-profit utilities serve 25 percent of the nation's electric consumers and are active in the development of innovative technologies and deployment of renewable generation. When Congress first enacted tax incentives for innovative technologies, they were designed only for for-profit developers and utilities. This left a quarter of the nation's electricity consumers unable to afford the benefits of local renewable resources or to develop new technologies, like carbon capture and sequestration.

In 2005, Congress began to correct this disparity, enacting the Clean Renewable Energy Bond (CREB) program on a bipartisan basis. The program provided not-for-profit utility consumers access to renewable electricity incentives similar to the Production Tax Credit (PTC) that could be tapped by for-profit developers.

The CREBs program was extended in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Since the program's inception, electric cooperatives and public power systems combined have applied to the Treasury Department to finance generation projects across the country from wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas and hydropower projects.

As Congress considers tax incentives to drive down the cost of innovative or renewable technologies, we urge you to support CREBs or other incentives that can assure that not-for-profit utility consumers have access to reliable and affordable energy on a basis comparable to consumers of for-profit utilities.

Sincerely,

Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Lee Terry (R-NE)
Ron Kind (D-WI)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Adam Smith (D-WA)
Ben Luján (D-NM)
Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Bill Huizenga (R-MI)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Bruce Braley (D-IA)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Charlie Bass (R-NH)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Danny K. Davis (D-IL)
Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
David A. Scott (D-GA)
David Cicilline (D-RI)
Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
Donald Manzulo (R-IL)
Donna Christensen (D-VI)
Doris Matsui (D-CA)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
G. K. Butterfield (D-NC)
Greg Walden (R-OR)
Gregorio Sablan (D-MP)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
Jim Matheson (D-UT)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
Joe Baca (D-CA)
John Dingell (D-MI)
Judy Chu (D-CA)
Larry Kissell (D-NC)
Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Lee Terry (R-NE)
Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY)
Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)
Mel Watt (D-NC)
Mike Ross (D-AR)
Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
Mike Michaud (D-ME)
Mike Rogers (R-MI)
Pete Stark (D-CA)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Peter Welch (D-VT)
Randy Hultgren (R-IL)
Richard Hanna (R-NY)
Rick Larsen (D-WA)
Ron Paul (R-TX)
Ron Kind (D-WI)
Sam B. Graves (R-MO)
Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Shelley Berkeley (D-NV)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Tim Walz (D-MN)
Tom Latham (R-IA)
Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Walter B. Jones (R-NC)
Corrine Brown (D-FL)