Senate Democrats: GOP tax bill would ‘kneecap clean energy’

Senate Democrats: GOP tax bill would ‘kneecap clean energy’

By TMN Interns   
From left, Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) were among the lawmakers who appeared at a news conference Tuesday about the Republican tax bill. They said it would hurt renewable energy corporations. Klobuchar told reporters: "Let us invest in the workers and the farmers of the Midwest and not the oil cartels in the Mideast."(Anthony Jackson/TMN Intern)

By Anthony Jackson

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Tuesday slammed Republican tax provisions in the Senate-passed House bill that dismantle green-energy tax incentives.

“If you thought the Republican tax plan wasn’t bad enough, the House and Senate tax bills both contain provisions added at the behest of their fossil-fuel allies meant to kneecap the clean- energy, blue-collar job revolution in the United States,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said at the news conference.

The tax bill includes provisions to prevent renewable-energy companies from financing green projects; stipulates slashing tax credits for solar and wind companies; providing fossil-fuel industries a $15 billion tax subsidy; and removing a $7,500 tax credit for electric-vehicle purchases.

General Motors’ Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Monday that the electric-vehicle tax credit makes the cost easier on consumers, and eliminating it “changes the equation.”

Markey said if Republicans fail to remove these provisions from the bill, then “tens of thousands of clean-energy jobs” could be lost.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruit told the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Oct. 9 that he fully supported the  provisions in the bill on which lawmakers would eventually vote in favor of.

“I would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar,” Pruitt said, adding that he wants renewable energy companies to “stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas.”

The Senate version of the tax bill protects the renewable energy tax credits and subsidies, but sells drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fossil-fuel companies.

On Oct. 4, President Donald Trump rolled back 85 percent of national park protections for Utah’s Bears Ears Monument and 50 percent for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, potentially opening the lands for mining and fossil-fuel ventures.

From left, Sens. Ron Whitehouse (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) at a news conference Tuesday about the Republican tax bill that will hurt renewable energy corporations. (Anthony Jackson/TMN Intern)
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