The battle over border wall funding forced Congress to sideline its year-end debate over “tax extenders,” which includes 11 green energy-related tax benefits that would cost roughly $53 billion over 10 years if they were made permanent, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Extending these tax credits just one year is estimated to cost roughly $5 billion.
The government is shut down over border wall funding, but only a month ago Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked President Donald Trump to support billions in green energy subsidies.
Schumer, a New York Democrat, in early December asked Trump to support “permanent tax incentives for domestic production of clean electricity and storage, energy efficient homes and commercial buildings, electric vehicles, and modernizing the electric grid.”
“If left unchecked, the damage caused by climate change will cause untold human suffering and significant damage to the U.S. economy,” Schumer wrote to Trump on Dec. 6.
Extending tax subsidy provisions primarily benefiting wind and solar power would cost nearly $32 billion over the next four years, according to Joint Committee on Taxation estimates. Permanently extending these tax subsidies could add billions more to the tab. The committee estimates solar and wind tax subsidies will cost more than $7 billion in 2019.
Based on committee estimates, continuing solar and wind tax subsidies is nearly six times the $5.7 billion Trump is asking from Congress for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.