ROSKAM JOINS IN SENDING STRONG MESSAGE TO LAKE MICHIGAN POLLUTERS
Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) yesterday partnered in introducing legislation to deny tax credits to entities whose National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit allows for increased discharge of any pollutant above its 2006 levels into the Great Lakes.
"While it is important to provide incentives to increase domestic energy production, we must not trade those benefits for increased pollution," said Roskam. "Everyday my constituents rely on clean drinking water from Lake Michigan, therefore we do not take lightly to British Petroleum's (BP) plan to dump an additional 1,800 pounds of pollutants daily into this vital resource."
Currently tax law allows refiners to expense half of their capital costs for construction or expansion. This new legislation (H.R. 3276) would deny tax credits to refiners who increase pollution in the Great Lakes. Further, if an entity has multiple refining facilities, one of which allows increased pollution in the Great Lakes, the entity would be denied the tax credit for any of its other facilities.
"My constituents' precious tax dollars are already being spent to clean up Lake Michigan and its beaches due to years of pollution," continued Roskam. "Taxpayers should not have their hard earned money spent enabling those very same polluters. Congress has an obligation to provide oversight in this matter and I hope and trust my colleagues will lend their support to this important legislation."
Indiana's Dept. of Environmental Management recently issued a discharge permit which will allow BP to move forward with a $3.8 billion upgrade to its Whiting refinery. This expansion will dump an additional 54 percent of ammonia into Lake Michigan and raise the discharge level of total suspended solids by 35 percent. Last week, Congress voted overwhelmingly to condemn BP's actions by a roll call of 387-26.