WASHINGTON – Today the House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Congressman Tom Rice (R-S.C.) that would strengthen American investment in nuclear energy and save energy consumers money by clarifying the U.S. tax code to allow for more effective use of the nuclear production tax credit (PTC).
“Investment in nuclear energy is critical to energy independence, national security, and job creation in America,” said Congressman Rice. “States like South Carolina recognized the importance of this investment and are leading the way in developing advanced nuclear power facilities, but ambiguities in current law are posing a risk to their full success. Passage of this bill gives these cutting-edge facilities certainty in their investment while creating parity so savings can be passed on to consumers in South Carolina and across the country.”
The nuclear PTC was established under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to encourage U.S. investment in nuclear energy between public–private partnerships and has been essential in attracting new development in nuclear facilities. However, under current law, rate payers to for-profit partners receive savings from the credit, while rate payers to nonprofit partners do not. This bill amends the law to ensure the credit works as it was originally intended to benefit both nonprofit and for-profit investors.
Today, four new nuclear power units are currently under construction in South Carolina and Georgia, creating tens of thousands of jobs and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In each new nuclear unit, one of the partners is a nonprofit entity. This legislation would allow these nonprofits to utilize the full amount of the nuclear PTC in these construction projects, allowing them to pass rate savings onto consumers in South Carolina and other states in the southeast.
This bill also removes the requirement that new nuclear facilities be placed into service by the end of 2020 in order to receive the tax credit. This change allows facilities that become operational after 2020 to qualify for the PTC, ensuring that the credit allocation is fulfilled as Congress originally intended.
Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Full text of the bill is available here.