Mitt Romney’s announcement this week that he opposes any extension of the wind production tax credit derailed a bipartisan agreement in the Senate to renew the industry’s crucial tax break, sources said Wednesday.
The wind PTC, which expires at the end of this year, was originally going to be included in the bipartisan deal that the Senate Finance Committee announced early Wednesday, senior Senate sources familiar with the negotiations told POLITICO.
But wind was cut out of the deal after Romney came out against any extension or gradual phase-out of the credit in a campaign statement Monday. The statement, which came while the former Massachusetts governor was still on his overseas trip, prompted several Republican members to withdraw their support, the sources said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the committee’s top Republican, disputed that account later Wednesday, saying Romney’s opposition had no influence on the wind credit’s exclusion.
Hatch, a major Romney supporter, said he hasn’t even spoken to the Republican presidential candidate about the issue. He said he expects to do so soon, in part because he doesn’t understand whether Romney is truly opposed to any type of extension.