Heritage Action Opposes Special Tax Breaks for Renewable Energy

Members of Congress will return to Washington, D.C. after the Presidential election on November 14th for a lame-duck session of Congress. Historically speaking, politicians use lame-duck sessions to sneak through controversial legislation because many members of Congress are retiring or lost their seat to opposing challengers and are no longer accountable.

Heritage Action will monitor a number of issues that could come up during the lame duck session including increased federal spending and an Internet sales tax. Heritage Action is also concerned that politicians could attach “green pork” tax provisions for renewable energy sources onto bills that have nothing to do with energy policy.

Heritage Action, in partnership with a number of conservative groups, recently sent a letter to Congress calling for a level playing field for all forms of energy.

The letter states: “Government subsidies, loans, mandates, and tax policies regarding renewables have consistently failed to deliver on their promises of long-term job creation and economic viability. Americans deserve access to energy solutions that are affordable and reliable-ones that should be able to stand on their own in the marketplace.”

Around $1.4 billion in tax provisions are set to expire by the end of the year. These special tax breaks prop up wind power, geothermal heat pumps, fuel cell facilities, and combined heat and power (CHP) properties over other energy sources including fossil fuel based ones.

The federal government should create a level playing field, not favor one industry over another. Special-interest carve-outs take power away from consumers and give it to the federal government and politically connected businesses. Tax provisions for special interest groups also discourage efforts to pass tax reform.

Congress should oppose extending renewable energy tax provisions during the lame duck. Instead it should begin the process of comprehensive tax reform that will boost our struggling economy and create jobs.

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