Responding to Administrator Pruitt’s Comments on the Wind and Solar Tax Credits

  • Gregory Wetstone

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.The Hill

As reported recently by The Hill, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt thinks the solar investment tax credit and wind production tax credit should be eliminated.

Speaking at an event in Kentucky, Pruitt said “I would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar…I’d let them stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources, and let utilities make real-time market decisions on those types of things as opposed to being propped up by tax incentives and other types of credits that occur, both in the federal level and state level.”

In a follow-up response letter published in the Oct. 17 print edition of the The Hill, I offered the following response on behalf of the renewables industry:

 “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s assertion last week that the federal tax credits for wind and solar power should be eliminated leads one to wonder if he is aware that these credits are already phasing out under a bipartisan tax package agreed to in late 2015.

It’s troubling that the Administrator would focus his tax views on the dwindling Federal support for the renewable sector, rather than the permanent subsidies for fossil fuels that have been in place for more than 90 years.

With responsibility for protecting the nation’s air quality, one would hope the Administrator would value the tremendous improvement in pollution levels accompanying the booming growth in the renewable energy sector.

And then there is the reality of what the $50 billion in annual renewable energy investment means for the U.S. economy, including the creation of the country’s two fastest-growing job categories, wind power technician and solar power installer. Fortunately, support for renewable energy spans the political spectrum and Americans can be confident that the Congress, which will make the call on tax legislation, will keep these facts in mind.”