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Legislation looks to extend offshore tax credit

Several New England Democrats are reintroducing legislation that would extend a tax credit for the offshore wind industry, citing the success of a project off the coast of Rhode Island.

The bill, known as the “Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development Act,” would extend a 30 percent investment tax credit for offshore wind projects, which is currently in place until 2019, through 2025.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the bill’s main sponsor in the Senate, said in a statement that the legislation “puts the ‘win’ in wind energy.”

“Offshore wind has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in Massachusetts and up and down the East Coast, encourage local innovation, and reduce carbon pollution. But in order to realize this potential, we need to provide this nascent industry the long-term certainty in the tax code that it needs,” he said.

The bill’s main sponsor in the House, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), said he hopes the bill will encourage other states to follow the example of Rhode Island, where the Block Island Wind Farm went online in December. The project could power up to 17,000 homes (Greenwire, Dec. 5, 2016).

“Clean energy is our nation’s future, and we need a sustained commitment to investments in more efficient and sustainable energy solutions,” Langevin said.

Other sponsors include Democratic Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

The bill was introduced in the House and Senate last year but died in committee in both chambers.