The White House is devising an “end-game” strategy to pass a suite of clean energy tax subsidies that were swept to the wayside in last December’s omnibus spending bill deal, said a top White House official.
Brian Deese, one of President Obama’s top advisers, told an energy conference Tuesday that the White House is working on a clean energy “end-game” with its allies in Congress to see tax credits for a variety of alternative energy resources passed after the November elections in the lame-duck session of Congress.
“We are quite aware of the incremental extensions that weren’t included last time,” Deese said on a panel during the Tuesday event held by Columbia University. “We have been working closely with our congressional allies and we want to see those get done.”
The tax credits were not attached to last year’s spending bill, although the measure did include a landmark deal extending wind and solar subsidies for five years with an incremental phase out. The orphaned clean energy subsidies that were left out of the deal are for things like hydrogen fuel cells, renewable fuel infrastructure, geothermal and other alternative energy resources.
Attempts to include the extensions in other bills, including the Federal Aviation Administration’s reauthorization bill, collapsed earlier this year following a campaign by a number of free-market groups urging Republican lawmakers to oppose including what they referred to as “green pork” to the FAA bill.
Deese said the president is trying to be delicate this time around so not to make it seem like it’s a presidential initiative, but one with bipartisan support.
“There is a question as there often is in these circumstances about whether the best way to get something done is to have the president go out and make it a big thing about him or whether to actually try to make this something that has bipartisan support so that it actually can actually get done in the end-game,” Deese said.
“So, that is a calibration that we make,” he said. But the White House position is clear, “We want to see those get done.”
He explained that the administration is “working closely” with Senate and House Democratic leaders Harry Reid of Nevada and Nancy Pelosi of California, respectively, who “are very focused on that issue as well.”