Wind Power A Winner In Obama Tax Overhaul Plan

President Obama wants to lower the corporate tax rate while eliminating many loopholes—but reflecting his interest in promoting renewable energy, the administration’s recently released “Framework for Business Tax Reform” would make permanent and enhance a key tax break that the wind power industry must now wage periodic lobbying campaigns to retain.

The proposal put forward last week by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is broad but thin, leaving many details to be worked out by Congress. And the conventional wisdom in Washington is that in this election year, chances are approximately zero that a major overhaul becomes reality. But the plan demonstrates again that President Obama continues to see promoting clean energy production as a chief priority, and it distinguishes him from his potential Republican rivals.

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Under the proposal [PDF], the tax code’s bias toward fossil fuels would be eliminated. “The tax code currently subsidizes oil and gas production through tax expenditures that provide preferences for these industries over others,” the document reads. “The Framework would repeal tax preferences available for fossil fuels.”

Meanwhile, wind would get a big boost. “The President’s Framework would make permanent the tax credit for the production of renewable electricity, in order to provide a strong, consistent incentive to encourage investments in renewable energy technologies like wind and solar,” reads the proposal.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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