Bennet, Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill to Level Playing Field for Renewable Energy

Bill would give renewable energy projects access to a tax advantage currently available only to oil, gas, and coal projects

Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today joined Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) to introduce a bipartisan bill to level the energy playing field by giving investors in renewable energy projects access to decades-old tax incentives currently available only to investors in fossil fuel-based energy projects.

The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act is a straightforward modification of the federal tax code that could unleash significant private capital. It would allow renewable energy companies to form master limited partnerships, which combine the funding advantages of corporations and the tax advantages of partnerships.

"Colorado has quickly become a leader in developing renewable energy technologies," Bennet said. "We need a tax code that supports the innovators in our economy rather than one that benefits the status quo. This bill takes steps to support our country's diverse energy needs."

A master limited partnership (MLP) is a business structure that is taxed as a partnership, but whose ownership interests are traded like corporate stock on a market. By statute, MLPs have only been available to investors in energy portfolios for oil, natural gas, coal extraction and pipeline projects.

These projects get access to capital at a lower cost and are more liquid than traditional financing approaches to energy projects, making them highly effective at attracting private investment. Investors in renewable energy projects, however, have been explicitly prevented from forming MLPs, starving a fast growing portion of America's domestic energy sector of the capital it needs to build and grow.

Newly eligible power generation from renewables, renewable fuels, and related energy activities include solar (PV and CSP), wind, hydropower, marine/hydrokinetic, fuel cells, electricity storage, combined heat and power, biomass, waste heat to power, renewable fuels, biodiesel, biorefineries, energy efficient buildings, carbon capture and storage.

In the Senate, The MLP Parity Act was also cosponsored by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME) and Cory Gardner (R-CO).

A companion bill in the House was introduced by Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX-02), Mike Thompson (D-CA-05), Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04), Mark Amodei (R-NV-02), Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Jerry McNerney (D-CA-09), Mike Coffman (R-CO-06) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03).

The MLP Parity Act has been endorsed by the following organizations: National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), Bloom Energy, Duke Energy, DuPont, First Solar, Gamesa, NRG Energy, Sempra Energy, Vestas, Virent, Williams, Advanced Biofuels Association, Advanced Ethanol Coalition, Alliance to Save Energy, American Council on Renewable Energy, American Wind Energy Association, Biomass Power Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Combined Heat & Power Association, Energy Storage Association, Geothermal Energy Association, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, Growth Energy, Heat is Power Association, International District Energy Association, National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative, Real Estate Roundtable, Solar Energy Industries Association, Clean Air Task Force, Union of Concerned Scientists, Clean Energy Trust, Third Way, CalCEF, CERES, Laborers' International Union of North America.

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