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Key Vote: No on Omnibus Spending Bill
Vote h705-2015

As Congress considers a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, coupled with a $650 billion tax extenders package, the American Energy Alliance urges all members to vote against any legislation that extends the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and fails to prohibit funds from being repurposed to the Green Climate Fund. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the PTC and ITC extensions alone will cost taxpayers nearly $24 billion. While we support lifting the decades-old ban on oil exports, AEA will score AGAINST the omnibus spending bill as long as it includes extensions of the PTC, the ITC, and fails to prohibit funds from being repurposed to the Green Climate Fund.

The wind PTC is a wasteful subsidy that lines the pockets of multinational wind corporations at the expense of American taxpayers. While the PTC was originally intended to help wind be cost-competitive, today the wind industry claims it is already cost competitive. Having fulfilled its original purpose, the PTC only serves to distort electricity markets and harm taxpayers—all to benefit wind lobbyists and the wind industry. Worse, Congress is subsidizing an expensive source of electricity that cannot be relied upon to keep the lights on.

The same can be said for the solar ITC. The ITC costs billions of dollars in foregone revenue to prop up an inefficient, unreliable, and expensive energy source. This credit should not be renewed. Even Sunnova, one of the largest solar companies, has advocated against the ITC, stating that it actually does more harm than good for the solar industry.

The omnibus negotiations settled on trading a 5-year extension of both the PTC and ITC for lifting the ban on oil exports. AEA supports lifting the ban, as it would promote free trade and strengthen the American economy. However, lifting the ban should not be traded for the PTC or the ITC. Lifting the oil export ban is a good enough policy that it should be agreed to on its own merits. We are confident that this policy goal can be reached in the coming year. Congress should not trade one good policy for multiple terrible ones.

In addition to the PTC and ITC extensions, this package fails to expressly prohibit the Obama administration from diverting money to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund. This slush fund is integral to the president’s efforts to bankroll an international climate deal, which many in Congress have vowed to block.

While this deal is full of bad provisions, it’s worth noting that there are a handful of good and important ones. Along with lifting the ban on oil exports, there is a provision in the extenders package to repeal the gift tax for contributions to 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) organizations. In the past, the IRS has abused their power and selectively assessed a gift tax on individuals and organizations. This provision would be the most meaningful step that Congress has taken to protect citizens from IRS abuse since the targeting scandal.

AEA will key vote against the current omnibus package that extends the PTC, the ITC, and fails to prohibit funds from being repurposed to the Green Climate Fund. We strongly urge all Representatives and Senators to vote NO. Should the Senate link tax extenders to the omnibus, we will score against that package as well.

AEA Position: No

Vote result on 2015-12-18


(316 to 113)

  • Voted Yes
  • Voted No
  • Did Not Vote