GOP tax bill could take the wind out of renewable energy growth

A wind turbine generator outside Peetz, Colo. The Republican tax bills seek to scale back tax preferences for renewable energy like wind and solar. /Credit Ryan David Brown for The New York Times

By Brad Plumer and Jim Tankersley | The New York Times

The Republican tax bills moving through Congress could significantly hobble the United States’ renewable energy industry because of a series of provisions that scale back incentives for wind and solar power while bolstering older energy sources like oil and gas production.

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The possibility highlights the degree to which the nation’s recent surge in renewable electricity generation is still sustained by favorable tax treatment, which has lowered the cost of solar and wind production while provoking the ire of fossil-fuel competitors seeking to weaken those tax preferences.

Whether lawmakers choose to protect or jettison various renewable tax breaks in the final bill being negotiated on Capitol Hill could have major ramifications for the United States energy landscape, including the prices consumers pay for electricity.

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