Freshman Democratic senator Chris Coons is proposing a way to encourage investment in wind, solar and biofuel projects without sapping too many taxpayer dollars or worsening the bitter partisan battle over energy incentives, reports Roberta Rampton at Reuters News. He introduced new legislation that would allow a broad range of renewable power generation and transmission projects to qualify for a tax structure used widely by pipeline and other energy-related companies. It cuts out politics by applying to all forms of energy. The “master limited partnership” MLP structure lets the market pick the winners by not taxing corporate profits, provided most profits go towards investors. Thus, those companies that profit most, gain the most tax breaks. Existing government tax breaks designed to help commercialize renewable power are expiring, and face an uphill political battle for renewal. The bill has support from one Republican and five other Democratic senators but is unlikely to be considered this year. Meantime, in the near term, senior policy analyst Whitney Stanco at Guggenheim Partners says the Obama administration would look at extending a similar tax structure, the “real estate investment trust” REIT to renewables.
http://planetark.org/wen/65611 Reuters World Environment Planet Ark:Tweaking U.S. Tax Code Could Spur Green Energy: Senator 08-Jun-12 Roberta Rampton