July 28, 2021

What They Are Saying: Support for Clean Energy Innovation Bill

Washington, D.C.--Support from energy industry and environmental groups continues to grow for the Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act, a bipartisan energy tax proposal introduced by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Finance Committee Member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) to encourage innovation in the clean energy sector.  Read below to see what they are saying. 

“The bipartisan Energy Sector Innovation Credit creates incentives for breakthrough innovation for power generation and storage technologies across the clean energy spectrum.  It’s a real game-changing market signal for private sector innovators.  ESIC helps overcome the initial financing hurdles associated with developing “first-of-a-kind” and nascent power generation technologies.  By making the credit proportional to how much a project earns from market sales, the credit eliminates the unintended ‘negative pricing’ distortions other credits have had on power markets.” – Rich Powell, Executive Director of ClearPath Action

“If the U.S. is going to reach its long-term climate goals, our leaders will need to direct tax incentives to advanced clean energy technologies that are emissions-free and available all hours of every day.  The legislation introduced today would do just that, offering more funding to support first-of-their-kind clean energy innovations.  This is crucial, as technologies at this stage an increased level of risk and need more help to overcome the ‘valley of death’ that often stands in the way of commercialization.  Congress must support clean, advanced technologies in the tax code, and this bill is the right tool to do the job.” – Lindsey Baxter Griffith, Director of Federal Policy at Clean Air Task Force

“In order to maintain grid reliability and resiliency we need to embrace all emerging low carbon and carbon free generation resources.  Idaho Falls Power is focused on finding dispatchable generation resources that do not depend upon weather conditions to operate.  We support the work Senators Crapo and Whitehouse have done to broaden the scope and put different technologies on an equal footing and also support not for profit electric utilities across America.” – Bear Prairie, General Manager of Idaho Falls Power

“This is forward-thinking legislation and, quite frankly, it is essential if we are to drive research and innovation in the energy sector to meet our nation’s energy independence goals.  As an advocate for non-carbon-emitting energy, I appreciate that the credits are technology-agnostic, allowing a variety of innovative technologies to get off the ground.  Developing new technology energy projects can be prohibitively expensive and the search for a funding source daunting and time-consuming, especially at the beginning stages when start-up companies struggle to turn a profit.  And when you factor in the significant regulatory hurdles most of these companies face, we know that many would never get off the ground without some form of incentive or assistance.  But as a taxpayer, I appreciate that the credits scale back as the technology takes off in the marketplace.  Federal dollars are most useful when a technology is in development.  But once the marketplace heats up, the government’s role as a source of funding should naturally diminish.  The Energy-Sector Innovation Credit Act anticipates this.  It represents a responsible use of tax dollars.  I believe it will indeed help spur a wave of new investment and innovation in clean energy sources.  This is crucial for our country as we move closer and closer toward a carbon-free energy future.” Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper

“We appreciate Senator Crapo’s innovative vision and leadership for introducing the Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act.  This bipartisan bill underscores the valuable role that the federal government can play in advancing realistic carbon reductions in the energy sector.  Legislation such as ESIC will facilitate projects like UAMPS’ Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) that will in turn advance Idaho’s role in leading the nation and indeed the world in nuclear energy innovation.” – Mike Squires, Government Affairs Director of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS)

“We are pleased to see legislation introduced that spurs innovation and values the carbon-free energy that nuclear power provides.  Deep decarbonization will require all carbon-free energy sources — both the technologies that exist today and innovations of the future.  The ESIC will promote the deployment of new nuclear technologies, while we continue advancing efforts to preserve existing nuclear plants.” – Maria Korsnick, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute

“The Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act would substantially reduce the capital expenditure risk associated with carbon removal technologies, such as direct air capture.  If we can lower the barrier to entry for early-stage technology developers, we’re a lot closer to scaling these critical technologies.  Importantly, this legislation shifts the threshold of captured carbon to be more in line with the current scale of this technology at 5,000 tons of CO2 per year –– an inclusive and thoughtful change that Carbon180 applauds.” – Rory Jacobson, Deputy Director of Policy at Carbon180

“A technology-inclusive tax credit is crucial to drive deployment of a wide range of energy technologies needed for the clean energy transition.  This legislation takes a novel approach to financing American innovation which will support the development of energy jobs and solidify American leadership.  The built-in phase out period for this credit also makes this a durable, bipartisan policy solution, critical to reaching American climate goals.”Michele Stockwell, Executive Director of Bipartisan Policy Center Action

“The Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition (CHFC) is encouraged by Senators Whitehouse (D-RI) and Crapo’s (R-ID) bipartisan leadership and support of clean hydrogen production through the introduction of the Energy Sector Innovation Credit [ESIC] Act.  The CHFC formed around the principle of supporting resource-agnostic, technology-neutral policy approaches to reduce the carbon intensity of hydrogen production, transport, storage, and utilization.  This bill would stimulate clean hydrogen production as a first step in the tool kit to create a clean hydrogen economy.  CHFC members promote all forms of clean hydrogen so long as it results in significantly reduced, net-zero, or net-negative carbon dioxide emissions.  We look forward to working with both Senators to ensure policies needed to enhance investment opportunities that accelerate and scale the use of clean hydrogen throughout our economy are included in legislation that is considered by Congress.  We applaud their bipartisan cooperation to advance our energy future.” – Shannon Angielski, President of Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition

“Few policy issues are more important than assuring that the United States has an ample availability of energy.  As we innovate in the means of production and recovery of energy sources, it is vital that the U.S. lead the world in this effort.   Accordingly, as has long been proven, innovation at this scale must be backed by policies that encourage private sector creativity.   The market must decide what applications best fit a given need, but the government must ensure that viable innovative options are available for market evaluation.  The ESIC legislation introduced by senators Crapo and Whitehouse seeks to ensure that these goals are furthered.   Their approach to the innovative tax treatment for various technologies is a valued step forward in seeking creative means to ensure that ‘no technology is left behind.’   Moreover, this legislation sends a message to America and the world that the U.S, is committed, on a bi-partisan basis, to ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of innovative and realistic action to meet any energy challenge the world may face.” – Bud Albright, President and CEO of United States Nuclear Industry Council

“The Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act incentivizes the deployment of new, innovative clean energy technologies that are crucial for reaching net-zero emissions in the power sector and creating good, well-paying jobs across the country.  It fills a gap in the current tax code to support early stage technologies, including advanced nuclear, carbon capture, energy storage, and advanced renewables.  To meet our climate goals, we need to deploy a diverse set of clean energy technologies at twice the rate we’ve ever achieved historically.  A combination of ESIC, deployment tax credits, and a clean energy standard can ensure we decarbonize the grid rapidly with affordable and reliable clean energy technologies.” – Josh Freed, Senior Vice President of ThirdWay’s Climate and Energy Program

“We are encouraged by the leadership of Senator Crapo and Senator Whitehouse in introducing technology-inclusive tax credit legislation to promote innovation in clean energy technology.  The Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act (ESIC) would catalyze private sector innovation to reach national decarbonization and clean energy goals.  Particularly, the legislation would accelerate the commercialization of early stage technologies like advanced reactors.  Advanced nuclear innovators can benefit from the opportunity to choose from flexible tax credit options that best fit their technology and business model.” – The Nuclear Innovation Alliance

“We look forward to continuing to work with you on this legislation and thank you again for making these tax credits both more effective and more equitable for public power utilities and the communities we serve.  The Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act is designed to allow qualifying facility owners, including public power utilities, to transfer energy-related tax credits to other project partners.  This would be an important step to removing the financial disincentive for public power utilities to own such facilities, which are needed to transition to cleaner generating technologies.” – American Public Power Association President and CEO Joy Ditto

“We commend Senators Crapo and Whitehouse for introducing thoughtful legislation that incentivizes utilities like Xcel Energy to more rapidly decarbonize while ensuring affordability and reliability for our customers.  In order to reach our goal of a 100% carbon-free electric system by 2050, we need new, carbon-free, 24/7 dispatchable resources to remove the last increment of emissions on our system.  ESIC addresses this challenge by creating a broad-based incentive that would encourage the cost-effective development and deployment of these resources by utilities and other project developers.” – Ben Fowke, Chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy

"The Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act will have a substantive impact on bringing advanced fission technology to market, and is one of the most impactful pieces of legislation today for expanding clean energy deployment.  Oklo plans to build a wide range of fission power plants, offering customers the convenience of subscribing to clean, reliable, and affordable energy, and this act helps achieve that." – Jacob DeWitte, CEO and Co-Founder of Oklo Inc.

“Developing and deploying new low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies is critically important for putting the United States on a path to net-zero by mid-century and building up new sectors that promise good paying, next generation jobs.  Tax incentives targeting early innovation will help unlock American ingenuity.  The Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act, when combined with a suite of policies aimed at transforming our energy use and engaging local communities to address future impacts and historic pollution, can drive us toward a cleaner, more prosperous future.  We applaud Senator Crapo and Senator Whitehouse along with the other cosponsors, and Representative Panetta and Representative Reed for working across the aisle to find solutions to the challenge of climate change.” – Jason Albritton, Director of Climate and Energy Policy at The Nature Conservancy

“Energy innovation is the surest path to reduce our emissions, promote jobs, and boost economic growth right here in America.  The Energy Sector Innovation Credit takes a market-based approach to encourage the development and deployment of the most promising clean energy technologies – from nuclear and hydrogen to energy storage and carbon capture – and provides a foundation for their widespread adoption across the country. CRES applauds Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and John Barrasso (R-WY), along with Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), and Thomas Suozzi (D-NY-3) for their bipartisan efforts to accelerate energy innovation in the marketplace.” – Heather Reams, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

“No single technology will beat climate change and meet America's energy needs.  Addressing these dual challenges requires a diverse set of tools.  The Energy Sector Innovation Credit is a smart, technology-neutral solution that will help bring breakthrough, emissions-reducing technologies to market.  The American Conservation Coalition thanks Senator Crapo and Senator Whitehouse for their leadership on this important bill." – Quill Robinson, Vice President of Government Affairs of American Conservation Coalition

"Addressing climate change will require new and emerging technologies to help decarbonize the U.S. power sector.  The challenge will not only be developing these new technologies, but helping them get to market. Citizens’ Climate Lobby applauds Senators Whitehouse and Crapo, and Representatives Panetta and Reed, for introducing the Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act of 2021, which will help businesses overcome those challenges.  This bill is a smart way to support new technologies and will help accelerate decarbonization, especially when combined with other market-based incentives.” – Ben Pendergrass, Senior Director of Government Affairs for Citizens’ Climate Lobby

“As a ministry that believes in allowing individuals to flourish with their God-given talent, we applaud the ESIC and its creative approach.  Instead of the government picking winners or losers, this bill rewards creativity for innovative approaches in fostering a clean energy economy that supplies solutions for the climate crisis while simultaneously injecting hope for American workers and companies.  Paraphrasing retired Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Government works best when its sets the bar and allows industry the flexibility to find the solutions.  The ESIC legislation sets the bar and allows our imaginative engineers and scientists to find solutions within distinct categories that are substantively different from one another.  Then the tax credits are awarded by success and penetration into their respective markets.  Rewarding success has always been part of the American ethos, and the ESIC legislation does exactly that.” – Reverend Mitch Hescox, President of the Evangelical Environmental Network

“We applaud Senators Crapo and Whitehouse for including an investment tax credit for energy storage in the Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act.   Bipartisan support in Congress for an ITC for standalone storage continues to grow.  This is good news for accelerating the deployment of much-needed energy storage technology, creating well-paying jobs, allowing our homes and businesses to ride through outages, and making our power grid clean and resilient.  And as Senators Crapo and Whitehouse highlight, an ITC for storage will also drive down the costs of next-generation storage technologies.  We look forward to working with legislators in both parties and in both houses of Congress to finally enact the ITC for storage this year.” – Jason Burwen, Interim CEO of U.S. Energy Storage Association 

“We want to see clean, advanced nuclear reactors built in communities that want them.  To make that happen, these important climate technologies—which face steep innovation costs—will need the kind of tax help that hastened the build-out of renewables in the United States.  With the Energy Sector Innovation Credit, technologies like advanced nuclear, which pair well with renewables, could start to benefit from production credits of up to 60% and—even more meaningfully for advanced reactors—investment credits of as much as 40%. While we still hope to see a direct pay tax option passed for advanced nuclear, the introduction of ESIC represents these lawmakers’ commitment to powering American communities with new, clean energy technologies as quickly as these innovations can hit the market.” – Jackie Toth, Senior Advocacy Director at Good Energy Collective

Full text of the bill can be found HERE.  A section-by-section can be found HERE.  A one-pager can be found HERE

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