Algae Gets a More Level Playing Field with the Financing Our Energy Future Act

June, 19 / 2019

Financing new technology development can be challenging, and even when a technology becomes commercially viable there can be roadblocks for investors that seek to quickly capitalize on the latest advances. That’s why ABO is supporting legislation that can level the playing field for algae companies that don’t currently qualify for many of the tax advantages enjoyed by the fossil energy industry.

This month U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA-05) and Ron Estes (R-KS-04) re-introduced bipartisan legislation, the Financing Our Energy Future Act, that would allow clean energy companies to form master limited partnerships (MLPs). MLPs are operated and taxed as partnerships but can also be publicly traded, and offer investors liquidity, limited liability and dividends.

For decades, only companies that get their revenues from fossil energy extraction or pipeline projects have been permitted to form MLPs. By combining the funding advantages of corporations and the tax advantages of partnerships, these ventures have been able to more easily attract and deploy capital.

Expanding the scope of MLPs could significantly accelerate investment in clean energy projects, including algae cultivation that uses carbon capture for the production of fuel, oils or other valuable products.

Mark Allen, Chair of ABO’s board remarked: ““The Financing Our Energy Future Act will open up the master limited partnership tax-advantaged corporate structure to investors ready to finance the growth of renewable energy, carbon capture and utilization, and other vital low carbon products being deployed by the algae industry. The members of the Algae Biomass Organization thank Senators Coons and Moran, and Representatives Estes and Thompson for their leadership in introducing the Act in the 116th Congress. Allowing MLP’s to bring new capital to industry innovation and growth will help create jobs and enhance our energy and environmental security. Algae-based clean technology companies look forward to competing on the level playing field this bill will help ensure.”

In the Senate, the Financing Our Energy Future Act is cosponsored by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Carper (D-DE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

Read more about this important legislation here.