Today, the Senate Finance Committee approved and reported the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act. It includes an extension of the 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour production tax credit for wind for projects that "start construction" before the end of 2015.
Although, Senator Wyden (D-OR) created some nervousness by not including the production tax credit extension in the bill he initially introduced on April 1, it is not surprising to see the Senate Finance Committee approve the extension of the production tax credit given the support it has from Senators Cantwell (D-WA), Grassley (R-IA), Wyden and others. Senator Toomey (R-PA) introduced an amendment to strike the production tax credit and other renewable energy incentives from the extension bill, but his amendment was defeated by a committee vote of 6-18.
The passage of the Expire Act by the Senate Finance Committee is a first step in a long legislative journey and may not on its own to create enough confidence to spur investment in the development of new projects.