U.S. Representative Jared Polis

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Polis releases environmental tax plan for clean energy future

Polis to welcome U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley to Colorado on Thursday

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Washington, May 31, 2017 | comments
WASHINGTON: Today, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., vice-chair of the Congressional Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), sent a detailed environmental tax policy plan to address clean air, clean water, and environmental sustainability, to leaders of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.  The plan, co-signed by 15 other SEEC members, chronicles loopholes and limitations in the current tax structure.
 
“While it’s true that the Trump administration is comprised of several climate change deniers, science is not the only argument for pursuing environmental sustainability.  The fiscal argument, by itself, should be enough to motivate progress.  Any tax reform plan needs to level the playing field for the new energy economy, which will create green jobs and hold polluters accountable,” said Polis.  
 
A carbon price is the foundation of the tax reform plan, with estimates suggesting that a $25-per-ton surcharge on carbon would generate $977 billion over 10 years.  In part, the letter reads, “We are encouraged by reports that a carbon price is being considered by the Administration as part of tax reform -- it mitigates the negative externalities of pollution, while simultaneously promoting economic activity and expansion.”
 
Beyond the carbon price, the letter details how to end loopholes for the oil and gas industry, and level the playing field for all other energy sources and environmentally sustainable programs.  
 
Ending loopholes
 
The plan suggests a repeal of the Domestic Manufacturing Deduction for oil production, coal, and fossil fuels, ending over $12.4 billion in corporate tax breaks over 10 years.  Similarly, repealing the Dual Capacity taxpayer rules for claiming foreign tax credits would save another $11.5 billion over 10 years. 
 
Leveling the playing-field
 
The letter also suggests asking to expand existing wind and solar tax credits to other energy sources, like geothermal heat pumps, small wind, combined heat and power, fuel cells, micro-turbines, hydro, and biomass.  Modifying the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit would allow these “orphaned” industries to grow. 
 
The letter consists of over 20 other actions the federal government should take on tax reform. The full letter and a summary can be found here.  
 
On Thursday, June 1, Polis, will welcome U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., to Colorado. The pair will be in Fort Collins discussing climate change.  They will meet with the National Resource Stewardship and Science (NRSS), the National Park Services, and the North Central Climate Science Center.  For more information please contact Jessica.Bralish@mail.house.gov.
 
Polis serves as vice-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC).  He is a champion for the environment in Congress and an advocate for local control of oil and gas development.  He has written several op-eds, introduced legislation to close oil and gas loopholes in the Clean Air Act, and has testified before the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission.

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