- A Senate Democratic aide has told SNL Energy that extending the wind industry's production tax and other lapsed federal incentives will be the top energy priority in Congress' lame duck session.
- The aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, indicated the outcome of the Nov. 4 elections may affect the final plans of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to push for a vote on packages containing nearly 60 temporary incentives before new, and perhaps more conservative, lawmakers begin their terms in 2015.
- There is no word from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Republican priorities, though last month he told Politico there is interest in moving ahead with the PTC.
While there may be support for extending the wind industry's production tax credit, how the extension is proposed will make a significant difference to the chances of passage. SNL Energy reports the measure could be included in S 2260, the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act of 2014.
That bill, proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) was pulled back this session but the PTC could be included after the election. But the chance of passage may hinge on what else is included, observers say. Corporations moving abroad has become a trend as they seek ways to reduce their tax burden. Democrats have tried to halt the trend, and the issue would be a non-starter with Republicans if provisions to do so are included in S 2260.
"The effort will go nowhere if Senate Democrats try to attach extenders to a bill to block corporate inversions," Keith Martin, an attorney at Chadbourne & Parke, told SNL.