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New Strategy Targets Tax Breaks For Green Energy

Publication Date: 
June 16, 2012
Star Tribune - Business
Jim Spencer and David Shaffer

Felix Mormann, a fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, spoke with Jim Spencer and David Shaffer of the Star Tribune on how master limited partnerships could make renewable energy more democratic.

If you can't beat Big Oil, join 'em. That's part of a pragmatic new green energy strategy that seeks tax breaks for renewable power that were once limited to fossil fuels and biofuels.

Energy experts view the effort as a realistic approach to Congress' partisan gridlock. Demands to kill all tax subsidies for oil, gas and coal are out. Attempts to extend those subsidies throughout the entire energy industry are in.


Felix Mormann, an attorney and fellow at Stanford Law School, said master limited partnerships could broaden the pool of potential investors because existing wind and solar tax credits often benefit only large financial institutions with high tax burdens.

"What this does is it makes renewable energy more democratic," Mormann said. "Retail investors like you and me who maybe trade stocks for their personal accounts ... can start investing in wind farms, and big solar farms in the desert or maybe huge geothermal facilities."