Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:
While it is encouraging that the Senate tax extenders package includes a number of renewable energy and energy efficiency incentives, we are concerned that it neglects other important renewable energy incentives and includes measures that would move us further away from a clean energy economy. As the House considers this package, we ask that any bill that is brought to a vote include provisions that will:
1. Continue the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit and provide an additional $1 billion for important domestic renewable energy projects, including wind and solar. This successful incentive, passed in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was capped at $2.3 billion, and was heavily oversubscribed. If continued it will allow for further growth in American manufacturing of clean energy technologies.
2. Reduce the unnecessary ethanol tax subsidy from 45 cents per gallon to no more than 36 cents per gallon. Continuing the credit at this reduced rate would save taxpayers about $1 billion over the course of a one year extension. Corn ethanol, a mature and environmentally questionable technology, continues to receive additional, duplicative incentives from the Renewable Fuels Standard mandate.
3. Eliminate the wasteful and environmentally-damaging "coal to liquids" tax subsidy. Over its lifecycle, liquid is responsible for nearly twice the greenhouse gas pollution as conventional fuels. Liquid coal production requires four gallons of water for every gallon of fuel produced. Furthermore, encouraging this fuel would only worsen the damage that coal mining wreaks upon ecosystems and communities. Earlier this year the House passed legislation that had removed this credit from Senate legislation, demonstrating the House's opposition to the extension of this wasteful subsidy.
This moment stands to be a crucial turning point for whether our clean energy economy falters or flourishes. We thank you for your attention to this matter.
Fortney (Pete) Stark