Strange bedfellows challenge Congress to end dirty tax extenders
WASHINGTON — Green Scissors — a coalition of free-market, taxpayer and environmental groups — sent a letter today asking Congress to allow a suite of dirty energy tax breaks to expire at the end of 2016.
A perennial ritual in Washington, almost every year Congress tries to pass a “tax extenders” bill to continue tax breaks slated to expire. This year the expiring incentives include giveaways for a range of polluting industries, including energy sources like municipal solid waste and wood biomass that are often more harmful to air quality and the climate than the fossil fuels they would replace.
In addition to calling on Congress to allow these measures to expire, the letter opposes proposals that have been introduced in both houses that would modify or extend existing tax breaks not scheduled to expire at the end of the year. These include bills like the recently introduced HR5879, which would extend the qualifying deadline for new nuclear plants to claim production tax credits –a de facto bailout for over budget, behind schedule facilities
“It’s disappointing to see Congress once again fall prey to the worst of Washington politics — generous tax breaks for favored industries at the expense of the taxpayer. It’s time for Congress to do the dirty work of saying no to these industries rather than allowing these wasteful, often dirty extenders to continue,” said Catrina Rorke, director of energy policy at the R Street Institute.
“Taxpayers can’t afford the business-as-usual extension of a smorgasbord of special interest tax breaks,” said Autumn Hanna, senior program director at Taxpayers for Common Sense. “Instead of this yearly hodgepodge of corporate giveaways, it is time for Congress to take up comprehensive tax reform.”
“Instead of coming home after the election and once again giving polluters an early holiday gift, this is a great opportunity for Congress to break with tradition,” said Lukas Ross, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “Congress should pick public health over corporate profits.”
Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, [email protected]