Should Congress extend the production tax credit for wind energy or let it expire at year's end?
Debate over the wind industry's key tax credit has heated up over the past week as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney came out in opposition to the policy and President Obama doubled down on his commitment to it. The production tax credit's fate was a moving target last week, leading up to a Senate Finance Committee markup of broader tax-extenders legislation.
While the Senate bill won't go anywhere right now, the latest bout of legislative uncertainty surrounding the PTC foreshadows the heated debate the likely debate to come in both chambers of Congress on the policy once the time for the real decision-making comes during the lame-duck session.
What economic and environmental factors should Washington consider in deciding whether to extend the tax credit? What does this debate foretell for subsidies for solar, nuclear, and other sources of energy? Will the PTC's fate hinge on presidential politics, as some experts have suggested?