ABC disappointed by tax reform package introduced in the House

By Erin Voegele | November 06, 2017

The American Biogas Council has spoken out to express its disappointment in the tax reform package introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Nov. 2. The ABC it criticizing the bill’s unequal treatment of tax credits for renewable power technologies.

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, introduced the bill on Nov. 2. To date, two dozen members of congress have signed on to support the legislation, titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” or H.R. 1. The bill spans 429 pages and includes a wide variety of provisions related to individual and corporate taxes.

"The biogas industry is disheartened by the House's tax reform proposal as it does not address the urgent need to extend the Section 45 Production Tax Credit for open loop biomass, the technology under which biogas qualifies,” said Patrick Serfass, executive director of the ABC. “Furthermore, other baseload technologies also clustered under Section 45—closed loop biomass, hydropower, geothermal power and waste to energy—were all disregarded when addressing the needs of the renewable energy industry.”

The ABC explains that tax incentives for biogas and anaerobic digestion technologies expired at the end of 2016. Wind and solar tax credits, however, were granted long-term extensions at the end of 2015. According to the ABC, the House proposal grants extensions for technologies within the Section 48 investment tax credit, including fuel cells, small wind, combined-heat-and-power, and geothermal. “They received the same extension that solar received creating tax credits for many renewable energy technologies, but not baseload renewables like biogas, biomass, hydropower and waste-to-energy,” said the ABC in a statement. “This continued disparity in treatment puts biogas and anaerobic digester development at a competitive disadvantage and will increase the already negative impact on biogas project development and the industry’s ability to attract additional investment.”

The ABC said it is hopeful that Congress will stop picking winners and losers in the renewable energy space and that the Senate will create parity amount all renewables when it acts, rather than just continuing to only support some technologies. “As the House tax reform proposal addresses renewable energy tax provisions, we urge Congress to address the needs of all the renewable technologies who have seen their credit expire, including those in the Section 45 production tax credit,” the ABC said.

A full copy of the bill can be downloaded from the Congress.gov website