Clean Coal Loan Guarantees and Tax Incentives: Issues in Brief [August 19, 2014]   [open pdf - 326KB]

"Coal represents a major energy resource for the United States. Coal-fired power plants provided approximately 37% of U.S. generated electricity (about 1.5 billion megawatt-hours) in 2012, while consuming over 800 million tons of coal. Power plants that use coal are also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, contributing approximately 28% of total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2012. As part of federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, loan guarantees and tax incentives have been made available to support private sector investment in 'clean coal.' Both loan guarantees and tax incentives were included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT05, P.L. [Public Law] 109-58). [...] Regarding tax incentives, Congress might consider several options: (1) maintain the status quo, which would allow existing tax incentives to phase out; (2) authorize additional funding for existing tax incentives; or (3) redesign tax incentives for clean coal or carbon capture and sequestration related technologies. Several projects that were previously allocated tax credits have been cancelled. A question for Congress is whether there is demand for tax benefits in their current form. Further, are tax incentives an effective tool for encouraging investment in clean coal technologies?"

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CRS Report for Congress, R43690
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