Tax Code Reform Bill Would Set New Priorities by Providing Long-Term Incentives for Low-Carbon Energy Resources

Statement by Rob Cowin, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published May 2, 2019

WASHINGTON (May 2, 2019)—Today, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Clean Energy for America Act that would simplify the myriad of energy tax provisions, establish long-term, performance-based tax credits to promote low-carbon energy, and end tax incentives that reward fossil fuel companies for their ongoing contributions to the climate crisis.

The bill includes provisions supporting clean energy in the electricity and transportation sectors that would phase out only after we achieve significant cuts in carbon intensity while incentivizing energy conservation in residential and commercial buildings over the long term. It would also end tax incentives that have given fossil fuels a harmful, unfair market advantage over cleaner energy resources.

Below is a statement by Rob Cowin, director of government affairs for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“We applaud Senator Wyden for proposing reforms to the tax code that will provide more certainty to clean energy industries and send a much-needed financial signal about the importance of low-carbon sources of energy. By also removing the perverse incentives that perpetuate our overreliance on fossil fuels, the legislation will accelerate the transition to fuels that help us avoid the increasingly costly impacts of climate change.

“The technology-neutral approach of the Clean Energy for America Act recognizes the contributions of all low-carbon technologies to reducing carbon emissions to levels the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says is necessary to meet global goals on climate.

“We strongly support Senator Wyden’s effort to change our national energy priorities. We also urge Congress to work on policies that will complement this bill with clean energy opportunities in disadvantaged and marginalized communities and ensure communities the right to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate-related damages. We look forward to working with Congress on this bill and other efforts to address climate change in a fair and equitable manner.”