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House Democrats reintroduce green energy tax package

House Democrats reintroduce green energy tax package
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Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday put forward a sweeping green energy bill that would extend several clean energy tax credits, expand electric vehicle tax credits and set the stage for putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill, called the GREEN Act, was first introduced last year but is being put forward again with Democrats now controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House. 

The legislation would extend the use of tax credits for solar, wind and geothermal energy while also extending the use of a tax credit for using technology that captures carbon dioxide in the production of fossil fuels.

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It would also expand an electric vehicle tax credit and create a new tax credit for zero-emission commercial vehicles and zero-emission buses. The bill would further direct the Treasury secretary to assess the Environmental Protection Agency’s data on greenhouse gas emissions to tax entities based on their emissions.

“Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and we must act boldly to address this existential threat,” Rep. Mike ThompsonCharles (Mike) Michael ThompsonGun violence prevention groups optimistic background check legislation can pass this Congress Democrats reintroduce gun sale background check legislation Biden pledges action on guns amid resistance MORE (D-Calif.), the lead sponsor, said in a statement.

Democrats also included a provision that seeks to reduce environmental inequity by providing a tax credit for environmental justice programs at universities, with extra funding being made available to historically Black colleges and universities and minority serving institutions. 

The Sierra Club, a leading environmental group, praised some of the bill’s measures, but also said it wasn’t bold enough. 

“The Green Act would do a good deal to help the clean energy economy recover, re-employ hundreds of thousands of clean energy workers currently out of a job, and support President Biden’s build back better goals,” said the group’s Deputy Legislative Director Matthew Bearzotti in a statement. “However, this version of the GREEN Act falls short of the bold and ambitious legislation that is required and now possible.”

“We need a bill that is bold enough to fully unleash a clean energy transition equal to the challenge of the climate crisis, that cuts dirty subsidies which prop up detrimental energy sources, and which helps advance environmental justice for communities nationwide," Bearzotti added.