WASHINGTON— A letter to Congressional leaders signed by 302 companies and associations including major players in the U.S. economy was released today, calling for urgent action on the EXPIRE Act to extend tax policies they say are critical to the continued growth of clean energy technologies.
“Businesses and investors need stable, predictable federal tax policy to create jobs, invest capital, and deploy pollution-reducing energy technologies,” their letter says. “Allowing the lapsed clean energy tax provisions to languish undermines investor confidence and jeopardizes continued economic and environmental benefits.”
Signers included major companies such as Sherwin Williams and the MidAmerican Energy Co., and important voices for growth across the U.S. economy and conservation such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Tooling and Machining Association, the American Association of Port Authorities, the Center for Rural Affairs, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the National Wildlife Federation.
Among many provisions important to American business and industry, the EXPIRE Act includes policies that increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings; encourage development of advanced biofuels; and support investment in new wind farms through the renewable energy Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit.
A recording of today’s telephone press conference to release the letter may be heard online here. The 29-minute recording features remarks and responses to questions from:
Mark Wagner, Vice President of Government Relations for Johnson Controls Inc., a technology and industrial leader with 170,000 employees and customers in 150 countries. Wagner is also Chairman of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.
Rob Walther, Director of Federal Affairs of POET, the nation’s leading producer of biofuels, which this year is launching a cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa.
Terry Royer, CEO, Winergy and President of Winergy Drive Systems, a wind turbine gearbox manufacturer in Elgin, Ill.
Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council, (NRDC), which has 1.4 million members and online activists nationwide and a staff of more than 400 lawyers, scientists and other policy experts.
Stu Dalheim, Vice President, Shareholder Advocacy, Calvert Investments, provider of mutual funds that invest in socially and environmentally responsible companies.
Rob Gramlich, Senior Vice President for Public Policy at the American Wind Energy Association, started the call by noting that the Senate Finance Committee passed the EXPIRE Act in April on a bipartisan vote of 18-6.
“These bipartisan tax provisions have a proven track record of helping scale up production and drive down the cost of clean energy technologies, thereby ensuring that market-ready technologies are deployed to their full potential,” says the letter released today.
“The nation’s suite of clean energy and energy efficiency tax provisions lower the cost of clean energy and keep the U.S. competitive in the global technology race. They promote economic development, job creation, and a cleaner environment. To continue capturing these benefits it is essential to restore stability in the marketplace by extending the expired provisions through 2015 and by making them retroactive to the beginning of this year.
“Once again, we urge you to quickly restore the expired clean energy and energy efficiency tax provisions. Doing so will help build the economy, create jobs, and deliver a safer, healthier future for our children.”
Royer, of Winergy. said on today’s press call that the prolonged uncertainty over national tax policies has cost his manufacturing company half of its 400 jobs. “Do the right thing for the economy, do the right thing for the American energy buyer and pass this legislation today,” he said.
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