GOP tax bill will cut thousands of clean energy sector jobs: Tom Kiernan

American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan on Tuesday said the GOP tax reform plan will be a major blow to the alternative energy sector.

In 2015, Congress approved a bipartisan five-year deal to begin phasing out tax credits for the wind energy production industry.

“The tax reform bill that’s currently being considered in the House Ways and Means (Committee) reneges on that deal. It actually lowers the value of the credit and changes some of the details, undoing that bipartisan deal from two years ago,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

According to Bloomberg, the tax plan would cut the wind industry’s 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt hour tax credit to 1.5 cents, which is estimated by congressional analysts to cut more than $11 billion in benefits to the industry over the next 10 years.

Kiernan said the tax reform plan will lay off thousands of American workers across the country.

“The problem is it is going to lead to layoffs throughout the wind industry, in our manufacturing facilities and construction firms throughout the country, very much in rural America, and it has already frozen $6 billion of deals that we were working on right now. So it just makes no business sense to do what the House is considering,” he said.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is an avid supporter of wind energy, also opposes the proposal.

“The wind energy production tax credit is already being phased out under a compromise brokered in 2015. It shouldn’t be re-opened. I’m working within the Senate Finance Committee to see that the commitment made to a multi-year phase-out remains intact,” Grassley said.

“We tax reformed ourselves,” Kiernan added. “We made a deal to drop our tax credit to zero over five years. All we are asking is that tax reform that was agreed to two years ago, a deal is a deal, let that play its course.”