WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX-02) and Mike Thompson (D-CA-05) re-introduced bipartisan legislation to level the energy playing field by giving investors in a range of clean energy projects access to a decades-old corporate structure whose tax advantage is currently available only to investors in fossil fuel-based energy projects. The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act is a straightforward, powerful modification of the federal tax code that could unleash significant private capital by helping an emerging class of energy-generation and renewable fuel companies to form master limited partnerships, which combine the funding advantages of corporations and the tax advantages of partnerships.
“Clean energy technologies have made tremendous progress in the last several decades, and they deserve the same shot at success in the market as traditional energy projects have experienced through the federal tax code,” said Senator Coons. “By updating the code, the bipartisan Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act levels the playing field for a broad range of domestic energy sources -- clean and traditional alike -- to support the all-of-the-above energy strategy we need to power our country for generations to come. This practical, market-driven solution will unleash private capital and create jobs, and that’s why it has earned broad support from Republicans and Democrats in Congress as well as think tanks, business leaders, and investors. Updating the tax code in this way will help increase parity and ensure that these energy technologies can permanently benefit from the incentives that traditional energy sources have depended on to build infrastructure for more than 30 years.”
“The United States has the largest and most efficient capital markets in the world, yet our renewable energy companies rarely have access to those markets,” said Senator Moran. “In order to grow our economy and increase our energy security, sound economic tools like master limited partnerships (MLPs) should be expanded to include additional domestic energy sources. The MLP Parity Act will allow the renewable energy sector to utilize the MLP structure for project development making it accessible to a broader and deeper investment pool that can drastically reduce the time and cost associated with deploying new energy technologies.”
“For years, the United States has allowed our energy security to be subject to turmoil and mayhem in the Middle East,” said Representative Poe. “It is in our best interest to pursue a comprehensive energy strategy that encourages the domestic production of all energy. This common-sense tax credit will help the United States do just that.”
“This bipartisan bill will make it easier and more appealing for private capital to be invested in renewable energy,” said Representative Thompson. “We need to take a comprehensive approach to America’s energy future. By leveling the playing field and treating renewable energy the same way we do oil and gas, we can create jobs, diversify our energy infrastructure, and allow for the creation of more renewable energy sources and technology."
A master limited partnership (MLP) is a business structure that is taxed as a partnership, but whose ownership interests are traded like corporate stock on a market. By statute, MLPs are currently only available to investors in energy portfolios for oil, natural gas, coal extraction, and pipeline projects.
These projects get access to capital at a lower cost and are more liquid than traditional financing approaches to energy projects, making them highly effective at attracting private investment. Investors in clean energy projects, however, have been explicitly prevented from forming MLPs, starving a fast growing portion of America’s domestic energy sector of the capital it needs to build and grow.
Newly eligible energy resources would include solar, wind, marine and hydrokinetic, fuel cells, energy storage, combined heat and power, biomass, waste heat to power, renewable fuels, biorefineries, energy efficient buildings, carbon capture utilization and storage.
In the Senate, the MLP Parity Act was cosponsored by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).
In the House, the MLP Parity Act was cosponsored by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX-02), Mike Thompson (D-CA-05), Mark Amodei (R-NV-02), Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Jerry McNerney (D-CA-09), Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03).