Congress Urged to Pass Sustainable Energy Tax Incentives

by Ken Bossong

Sept 27, 2004 Washington - In a letter delivered to the leaders of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives as well as to the key congressional tax and energy policy committees, 30 member groups of the Sustainable Energy Coalition called upon Congress "to enact the FULL SET (emphasis added) of energy efficiency and renewable energy tax incentives that have been pending before the U.S. Congress since at least the beginning of 2003."

The organizations noted that "many of these provisions have been approved in the past one or more times by the Congress only to subsequently become incorporated into, and mired down by, more controversial legislation." Moreover, it now appears likely that the Congress will seek to only approve a few selected sustainable energy tax provisions before ending its current session.

The letter's signers argued that "these renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives must be freed from the burden of controversial legislation that may not pass the Congress this year," and urged Members "to enact these provisions, including comparable tax treatment for cooperative and municipal utilities, on their own merits ... before you end this session and go home."

Furthermore, they wrote, "enactment of these incentives is absolutely imperative to curb our dependence on energy imports, reduce rising oil and natural gas prices, and cut the growing emissions of greenhouse gases. Failure to approve these measures will cost quality American jobs, cripple new basic domestic industries, and set back the recovery of businesses hurt by rising energy prices. It will also worsen national and homeland energy security and environmental quality, the nation's balance of trade, and American industry's international competitiveness."

Finally, the letter reminded Members that "enacting these tax incentives is one of the best things you can do for your constituents, your states, and for the nation's energy future" and that "it is now well past the time when they should be signed into law."

Souce: Sustainable Energy Coalition