Nearly 200 House Democrats call for focus on clean energy tax credits in reconciliation
Nearly all of the House Democratic majority on Tuesday called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to ensure any final infrastructure package includes energy efficiency and clean transportation tax incentives.
The letter sent to the Speaker was led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Mike Levin (D-Calif), and Donald McEachin (D-Va.) and signed by a total of more than 180 House Democrats.
The letter calls such features essential to help the U.S. economic recovery. It also describes them as particularly urgent in light of the ominous report issued Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That report issued a “code red” on climate change, calling warming of at least 1.5 degrees Celsius inevitable and saying immediate action is needed to prevent a further increase.
Any package, the representatives wrote, should extend and update commercial and residential energy efficiency programs as well as energy-efficient transportation and renewable fuels. The letter also calls for a direct pay option in projects that face financing difficulties.
“These incentives will play a critical role in America’s economic recovery, alleviate some of the pollution impacts that have been borne by disadvantaged communities, and help the country build back better and cleaner,” the letter to Hoyer and Pelosi states. “We look forward to working with you to include a stable, predictable, and long-term clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation tax platform in the infrastructure package this year.”
Under the budget reconciliation framework released Monday, the Senate Energy & Commerce Committee would receive $198 billion, including funds for a clean electricity standard. However, the framework does not specify dollar amounts for specific agenda items, and committee chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has historically been one of the chamber’s most skeptical Democrats on renewable energy.