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United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 21, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I will be brief. I did what many of us did today. We spent the day digging through a 5,600-page bill, trying to find out what is in it. We broke it up into hundreds of pages of chunks and separated it among our staff and just started reading through it as quickly as we could, trying to be able to pull out the details.

We found a lot of things that we really like. We found a few surprises as well. So help us, we found, right in the middle of the document on tax policy, a zombie--the wind production tax credit. Something that we had heard had died--in fact, something that we had heard died 2 years ago; in fact, something that we had heard died 6 years ago when all of us agreed it should die. In fact, the plan was to take it down a little bit each and every year until it finally got to zero. The problem was, when it got to zero, some lobbyist helped somebody get it back in last year, and it suddenly, after going to zero, reappeared. And then, so help me, it reappeared again.

So this temporary credit that distorts the market, that literally changes the prices in all of our energy--whether that be oil or gas or coal or solar or hydroelectric or nuclear--gives a special perk to one, and all of the rest of them get furious. But for whatever reason, this simple credit can't seem to go away.

When we agree to something, we should probably stick to it, and we agreed years ago to phase this out. But yet this zombie keeps reappearing and walking the halls of the Senate.

Our simple challenge is this. Let's put this zombie in the daylight. Let's have the real argument over it and determine: Is this distorting the energy market for everybody else, including all of our renewables? Is it something we need to keep?

I live in Oklahoma, and if you know our song, you know ``the wind comes sweeping down the plains.'' We have been called the Saudi Arabia of wind power. I promise, you can't drive very far in Oklahoma without seeing a field of windmills. We have lots of wind power, and we think it is a great energy source. But it is a mature energy source, and it does not need the wind production tax credit. So let's sunset it.

With that, I yield

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