The Senate Finance Committee last week held a hearing looking at energy provisions in the tax code, specifically titled, “Reforming America’s Outdated Energy Tax Code.” Many in the industry are applauding the efforts of the Committee and calling this hearing a step in the right direction.
“Energy tax expenditures play an important role in the development and deployment of advanced energy technologies. Today, we often think that the goal of energy tax incentives is mainly to help support the deployment of renewable energies,” Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) said in a statement. “However, in truth, these provisions have been important for all types of energy sources – including natural gas, coal, and nuclear. As a result, our country has been able to access energy cheaper in a more diversified way — making us more energy secure and more economically competitive.”
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is encouraged by support for moving to a technology neutral and performance-based approach to energy tax policy.
“In 2012, the NEMA Board of Governors adopted a policy supporting corporate tax reform and a system that is predictable, efficient, and has rates that are comparable to those of other advanced economies. It is achievable by broadening the tax base and using revenues to lower tax rates,” NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff said.
NEMA has provided the Finance Committee a package of technology-neutral tax incentives developed by its members to boost energy efficiency and the electric grid.
Since tax reform is likely to be a multiyear effort, NEMA has urged Congress, in the interim, to extend expired energy-efficiency incentives including section 179D, the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction, in order to maintain the nation’s progress to a more energy efficient and competitive economy.