Wind Energy Tax Credit Divides KS Lawmakers
The issue of wind energy tax credits is sharply dividing the Kansas Congressional delegation. Republican U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, of Wichita said this week that he’s trying to convince more lawmakers that the credit should be allowed to expire. But Republican Kansas Senator Jerry Moran supports keeping the credit, and says the benefits are worth it.
“It creates significant income and economic activity in lots of places in Kansas, but especially in places rural that are struggling,” says Moran.
Moran says he would be more likely to support a multi-year phase-out of the credit. If lawmakers do nothing, the credit will expire at the end of the year.
Wind energy tax credits help make wind power more affordable, and have boosted the industry in states like Kansas. But those credits are set to expire at the end of the year, and lawmakers from Kansas disagree on what should be done.
Wichita Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo said last week that the federal government supporting wind energy with tax credits is an intrusion into the economy. Pompeo says opposition is growing and he’s arguing to let the credit expire. But Republican Kansas Senator Jerry Moran says the credit benefits rural economies and helps move the country towards energy independence. Moran says an abrupt end to the credit would be a major disruption to the industry.
“I don’t see this as picking winners and loser, as sometimes the allegation is. This is helping our country move in a direction that’s a value to the country. I believe over time that support needs to disappear, but how we do that matters, and we certainly wouldn’t want to cripple the growing industry,” says Moran.
Moran says he would instead support phasing out the credit over several years. There was a similar debate last year before the credit was extended as part of a budget deal.