Tax parity advantages polluters
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on reforming the energy tax code. Before the hearing Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) endorsed the idea of tax parity between energy sources at an investors’ conference.
Friends of the Earth Climate and energy campaigner Lukas Ross issued the following statement before the hearing:
The idea of tax parity is just a way for Big Oil and King Coal to maintain the status quo. The way our tax code gives billions of dollars in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry every year exemplifies a century long dysfunctional relationship of government support for polluters. Instead of ending government support for dirty energy just as cleaner alternatives are ramping up, Chairman Wyden should start taking the money that is being wasted on dirty energy sources and investing it in renewable energy.
The biggest flaw in the idea tax parity for energy sources is the underlying assumption that all energy sources are equal. We simply cannot afford an “all of the above” energy policy. Fossil fuels pollute our air and poison our water and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tells us that two-thirds of recoverable reserves must be left in the ground to avoid the worst impacts of climate disruption. Real tax parity will only be achieved when polluters are forced to pay the price of their pollution, and instituting a price on carbon is the best place to start. As long as Congress allows polluters to poison us free of charge there can never be parity in the electricity sector.