Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, joined Bloomberg Television on Nov. 20 to discuss the Financing Our Energy Future Act, a bipartisan bill that levels the playing field for clean and renewable energy projects.
The bill was included this week in a major clean and renewable energy incentive package put forward by the House Ways and Means Committee. Coons also discussed government funding and trade.
“There is a big tax finance advantage that oil and gas and pipelines get, it’s called master limited partnerships,” said Coons. “It has been in place 40 years. This bipartisan bill opens that up to all forms of energy, renewable and non-renewable. [I]t is included in what I think is the most promising package for renewables and for energy financing generally for this Congress.”
Video and audio are available at http://bit.ly/2OAv0pA.
Excerpts from the interview:
When prompted, “Tell us about your bipartisan bill that would tweak the IRS code as it relates to energy policy,” Coons responded, “That's right. It's the Financing Our Energy Future Act and it takes my Republican colleagues at their word that as we look at energy of all kinds, we should have an all-of-the-above energy strategy that doesn't pick winners and losers. There is a big tax finance advantage that oil and gas and pipelines get, it’s called master limited partnerships. It has been in place 40 years. This bipartisan bill opens that up to all forms of energy, renewable and non-renewable, and in a package that just came out of the Ways and Means Committee, it is included in what I think is the most promising package for renewables and for energy financing generally for this Congress.”
When asked, “Are you confident that this gets done by the end of the year?,” Coons answered, “I am very hopeful. This is a bill that in the Senate has a half dozen Republican sponsors as well as Democratic sponsors, including the Chair of the Energy Committee. It's had a hearing, it's had a markup, it's been scored. I think this is exactly the sort of commonsense, manageable package of legislation that could really be a part of the end of year bill.”
When asked for an update on government funding and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Coons responded, “I am hopeful as an appropriator that we don't have a shutdown and that we don't throw up our hands and simply continue with exactly the funding levels we had from last year. That's what’s called a CR, or a continuing resolution. The subcommittee I'm the ranking Democrat on, Financial Services, we had a great markup, we have a good package. I am really hopeful we won't have a shutdown and before the end of the year we will actually pass the rest of the appropriations bills here and in the House. On USMCA, the new free trade agreement for North America, I am hoping that it will move through the House. There were some important revisions to it that were being sought by House Democrats that I would support. We are running out of time, so it is my hope that they will resolve those negotiations.”
When asked about the impact of tariffs on Delaware’s poultry and other farmers, Coons said, “The tariffs that are a key part of Trump's strategy in the trade war with China are impacting American companies and American consumers. The tariffs are not all being paid by the Chinese, they are largely also being paid by American consumers and American companies. I am hopeful that we are going to have an abundant Thanksgiving. The turkey growers, the chicken growers in Delaware are looking forward to a hungry America that they can really help feed next Thursday.”