U.S. Senate Votes to Restore Funding for Wind Power Research & Development

US Senate votes to restore funding for wind power R&D

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted 54-42 to approve a bipartisan amendment providing $95 million in federal funding to wind power research and development.

The amendment -- co-sponsored by Sens. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, and Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican – restores funding for wind energy research for fiscal 2017 at the same level for the current fiscal year.

In addition to $95 million for wind power research, the appropriations bill also gives the Department of Energy $632 million for fossil fuel research and $1 billion for nuclear power research.

“Wind energy deserves fair treatment among government support for different energy sources,” Grassley said in a press release. “This amendment gives wind energy the attention it deserves.”

Late last year, Congress approved a five-year extension and phase out of the 2.3 cent-per-kWh credit for wind power. Grassley said the wind power industry is the only energy sector that has proposed phasing out it tax benefit. Other industries such as oil and gas enjoy permanent tax benefits, he said.

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