USA: Leading renewable energy companies from across the country have formed a coalition to advocate for equal treatment between clean energy and fossil fuels that would allow average Americans to invest in renewable energy projects in the same way they do oil and gas projects.
The coalition, called Financing America’s Investment in Renewables (FAIR), supports a change in the law that currently allows oil, gas, coal and other “natural resources”-based energy projects, but not renewable energy projects, to use master limited partnerships (MLPs), a business structure that facilitates investment in qualifying projects.
Such a change has been proposed in the bi-partisan Master Limited Partnerships (MLP) Parity Act recently re-introduced in both the US House and Senate.
The MLP Parity Act, which was introduced jointly by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), would give investors in renewable energy projects access the decades-old, tax-advantaged MLP structure that is currently available to investors in fossil fuel-based energy projects.
An MLP is a business structure that is taxed as a partnership, but whose ownership interests are traded on an exchange like corporate stocks. This provides the state and federal tax benefits of a partnership with the liquidity of a publicly traded company. While MLPs have generated the abundant and affordable capital that has built the nation’s modern oil and gas infrastructure, renewable energy assets are not currently eligible to use the MLP structure.