Reps. Runyan, Ruiz and Blumenauer Advocate for Renewable Energy in Tax Reform

Aug 19, 2013 Issues: Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. Last week, Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ), joined by U.S. Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), sent a bipartisan letter signed by 60 Members of Congress to the House Committee on Ways and Means advocating for support for renewable energy in tax reform. The letter is endorsed by the American Wind Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Geothermal Energy Association.  Runyan made the following statement:

“Renewable energy must be a part of an all of the above energy policy aimed at helping us to achieve energy independence.  In my district the solar and wind energy industries have a strong presence and help support our local economy,” stated Runyan.  “When considering tax reform we must remember the value of renewable energy as not only a piece of a larger long term energy strategy but also as a job creator in New Jersey.”  

Burlington and Ocean Counties are home to many jobs that are dependent upon the solar and wind industries.  In fact, Congressman Runyan toured several facilities last year including Wind Dry Solutions in Cookstown, a company that manufactures components for wind turbines, and Connector Products in Cinnaminson which also manufactures components for wind turbines.  The House and Senate have discussed taking up an overhaul of the tax code for several months and are expected to make strides in the fall.  The renewable energy industry currently benefits from the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC). 

Below is the text of the letter:

Dear Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin:

As the Committee on Ways and Means debates tax reform we urge your continued support for renewable energy. With an estimated 3.4 million green jobs in the U.S., which include renewable energy jobs, the industry needs policy certainty to continue to create jobs, grow domestic manufacturing, and produce sustainable, American-made energy. 

The race to develop renewable energy is widely considered one of the most important areas of economic growth for the 21st century. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, investment worldwide in renewable energy totaled over $244 billion last year.  While investment in a number of countries has increased in recent years, the United States saw a 34% decrease in renewable energy investment last year due to policy uncertainty. Maintaining policies in the tax code that promote investment in and deployment of renewable energy technologies will help ensure that the American consumer continues to benefit from renewable energy innovations while also reaping the benefits of a diverse energy economy.

Sources of renewable energy like wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, hydropower, and hydrokinetic energy are critical to America’s energy future. And renewable energy manufacturing, services and products apply the technological innovations that will continue to allow the industry to grow. In 2012, the wind energy industry grew by 28%, setting a new installation record and supporting 80,000 American jobs. Likewise, the U.S. solar market grew by 76% and supported 119,000 American jobs. We must work together to ensure that the United States leads the way. As you develop tax reform legislation, we urge you to include policies that promote America’s renewable energy economy.

Sincerely,

Raul Ruiz, M.D.                            Earl Blumenauer                           Jon Runyan

Member of Congress                     Member of Congress                     Member of Congress

                                         

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