WASHINGTON – As Republicans on the congressional tax scam conference committee try to finalize their partisan plan this week, Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are demanding removal of renewable energy provisions from the final conference report that would devastate clean energy deployment and job growth. Wind and solar energy currently have more than 360,000 workers in their industries, the majority of them blue-collar jobs such as roofers, electricians and steelworkers. These clean energy industries are projected to support 500,000 American workers in just three years.
“The potential of these industries and this job creation is imperiled by provisions in the legislation that has been passed by the House and Senate,” write the Senators in the letter. “Wind and solar here in the United States are creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying, blue-collar jobs and more sustainable economic growth. The increasing deployment of electric vehicles will help reduce our consumption of foreign oil and enhance our national security.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.
A first provision included in the Senate bill called the “base-erosion anti-abuse tax” (BEAT) would harm the ability of renewable energy projects to make full use of essential federal tax credits. A second provision included in the House bill would significantly reduce tax credits for the wind industry, which could eliminate over half of all new wind production planned in the United States. A different provision included in the House bill would eliminate the tax credit for electric vehicles, jeopardizing the market just as automakers are increasingly ramping up their commitments to producing these vehicles.