GOP tax plan picks energy industry winners and losers

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 04:36:49 PM. Clean sources of energy would lose, and polluting fuels would win, under the House Republicans' tax plan. Thank goodness for the Senate. I'm not sure when opposition to clean energy, improved efficiency and pollution became hallmarks of conservatism, but House Republicans are definitely doing everything possible to protect coal and nuclear energy at the expense of natural gas and renewable
Clean sources of energy would lose, and polluting fuels would win, under the House Republicans' tax plan. Thank goodness for the Senate. I'm not sure when opposition to clean energy, improved efficiency and pollution became hallmarks of conservatism, but House Republicans are definitely doing everything possible to protect coal and nuclear energy at the expense of natural gas and renewable sources. Some politicians seem to think conservatism is only about conserving the status quo. Frequent readers of this column know that I am no fan of government interference in markets. Lawmakers should reserve such measures for protecting national security or to correct market failures. For example, I want the government to enforce the "polluter pays principle," which says no one should generate profits by polluting common resources like air, water or public lands. I oppose efforts to pick winners and losers using the tax code. A different type of economics, though, operates in Washington. Industry lobbyists and the wealthy have used cash to influence lawmakers since the Tariff of 1816, when Congress first used tax policy to boost American businesses. The nuclear, coal and oil industries demonstrated their power in the House this summer with the first draft of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The biggest surprise is their attempt to blow up a deal that Republican Sen. Charles Grassley crafted in 2015 to predictably phase out tax credits for wind and solar energy. Hundreds of...Read more
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