Green Energy Special Interests Pressured Dems To Pass Tax Package One Day Before Reconciliation Deal

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Gabe Kaminsky Investigative Reporter
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  • Over 280 companies and stakeholder groups pressured Democrats to approve an energy tax package one day before a massive spending bill allocating billions to “energy security and climate change” was agreed on by Democratic senators.
  • The spending package, which puts roughly $370 billion toward the green energy initiatives, will soon be voted on in the Senate.
  • The American Clean Power Association (ACPA), one of the group’s that signed the letter, notably spent $470,000 lobbying for energy subsidies included previously in the now-defunct $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, which would have spent $325 billion on green energy tax incentives.

Hundreds of green energy special interest companies and stakeholder groups pressured Democrats to pass an energy tax package one day before a reconciliation deal spending billions on “energy security and climate change” was agreed to by Democratic senators.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin reached a deal Wednesday on a bill dubbed “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” that would spend roughly $370 billion on “energy security and climate change.” Just one day before the agreement, more than 280 companies and stakeholder groups demanded Congress pass the energy tax package.

“Additional delay in adopting the transformational policies contained in the package only hinders progress on these national goals,” the groups and stakeholders wrote to Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden on Tuesday. “Clean energy leaders, customers, and advocates across the country are poised to act on these goals.” (RELATED: Manchin’s Spending Bill Shafts Coal Miners With Massive Tax Hike)

The bill, which will head to the Democratic-controlled House for a vote after the Senate officially votes on it, delivers a $10 billion tax credit to manufacturing facilities for electric vehicles (EV), solar panels, wind turbines and more. It also delivers up to $20 million in loans to manufacturing facilities to build clean vehicles, CNBC reported.

The reconciliation package sends $2 billion to existing auto plants so they can manufacture clean vehicles, the outlet reported, and $30 billion in production tax credits for U.S. manufacturers of criminal mineral processing, wind turbines, batteries and solar panels. The package also dishes out a $4,000 tax credit for buying a used EV and a $7,500 tax credit for a new one.

One of the green energy groups that signed on to the letter is the American Clean Power Association (ACPA), a national trade group for companies in the wind power industry. The association notably spent $470,000 lobbying for energy subsidies previously included in the now-defunct Democratic $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, which would have spent $325 billion on green energy tax incentives.

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 06: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to the press at the U.S. Capitol on March 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate passed the latest COVID-19 relief bill by 50 to 49 on a party-line vote, after an all-night session. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

“The entire clean energy industry just breathed an enormous sigh of relief,” ACPA CEO Heather Zichal said in a statement Wednesday after the Schumer and Manchin deal. “This is an 11th hour reprieve for climate action and clean energy jobs, and America’s biggest legislative moment for climate and energy policy.”

The deal between the two Democratic senators comes after Manchin said he would not support the reconciliation bill’s climate and energy provisions two weeks ago. There was an “intensive effort” by lawmakers and climate advocates to convince Manchin to support the provisions, according to Politico.

One of those who met with Manchin to convince him to back the bill was economist Larry Summers, Politico reported.

“I support a plan that will advance a realistic energy and climate policy that lowers prices today and strategically invests in the long game,” said Manchin on Wednesday. “This legislation ensures that the market will take the lead, rather than aspirational political agendas or unrealistic goals, in the energy transition that has been ongoing in our country.”

Schumer and Manchin’s offices did not respond to requests for comment, nor did ACPA.

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