On Wednesday, the Senate voted 98-0 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 636, the vehicle for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act. Heritage Action will key vote against the bill if subsidies for fuel cells, geothermal and biomass are included. Those subsidies — which were little more than corporate welfare — are expired and were not included in last December’s tax extenders package.
In a letter sent to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) 33% and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) 12% earlier this week, Heritage Action and 33 conservative organizations warned against including these provisions in the FAA bill:
Congress considered the matter of expiring tax provisions less than 4 months ago. The $680 billion package signed into law in December made some of these items permanent and allowed more than two dozen others to expire at the end of this past year, laying the groundwork for comprehensive tax reform. The $1.4 billion in expiring tax provisions currently under consideration — pertaining to wind power, geothermal heat pumps, fuel cell facilities and combined heat and power (CHP) properties — are a distortion of the tax laws for special interests in the renewable energy industry and were wisely left out of this package.
It should also be noted that Congress extended significantly favorable tax treatment to renewable energy in omnibus appropriation legislation that accompanied the aforementioned tax extender package. This bill included 5-year extensions of the main federal provisions for renewables, the wind production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC), at a cost of $23.8 billion over the next decade.
President Obama’s Department of Energy (DOE) likes to gamble with taxpayer money on politically favored green energy companies the private sector is too wise to touch. The Washington Free Beacon has identified yet another instance of the DOE wasting taxpayer money on a failed green energy company, which may now have to declare bankruptcy:
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has suspended stimulus payments to a major green energy company after the company said it is having trouble finding financing and may have to declare bankruptcy.
ECOtality admitted that possibility in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week. Lackluster sales caused revenues to fall significantly short of its expenses, the company said.
Obama’s Energy Team Seems to Love Failure
President Obama’s motto seems to be, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again until you fail an embarrassing number of times. And while you’re at it, waste billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars.
It will come as no surprise to conservatives that one of the Obama administration’s politically favored green energy projects has failed. The Hill reports:
The Energy Department (DOE) disclosed Monday that it has seized $21 million from Fisker Automotive, the financially distressed electric carmaker that has drawn $192 million in federal loans.
“Given the obvious difficulties the company is facing, we are taking strong and appropriate action on behalf of taxpayers,” DOE spokeswoman Aoife McCarthy said in a statement.
“Strong and appropriate action on behalf of taxpayers” would have been not investing our hard-earned money in politically favored green energy projects that are bound to fail in the first place.
ONWARD! Today is Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner’s last day in that capacity, and as he departs, he leaves us with an optimistic farewell:
I want to thank you for your generous support, of course, but more importantly, to tell you to remain optimistic about the future. Yes, progressives are on the offensive, aggressively trying to remake our country using a Euro-socialist mold. But this is why we must now redouble our efforts, not lessen or abandon them.
I know that as a patriot, you will do all within your power to ensure that our society will take back the reins from Big Government. I know that you believe in the enduring truth of our ideas of limited government, free enterprise, and individual freedom, and that they will eventually win the day. Freedom is man’s natural state; whenever he’s enslaved, all he thinks about is how to become free once again.
Hopefully we can live up to the challenge Dr. Feulner gives us, which is to “come up with solutions to strengthen the family, civil society, and our nation.” By doing so, we will fulfill the Founders’ vision for “a country of faith, family, and free enterprise” and “secure America’s blessings for future generations.”
Like a small, recalcitrant child, you always have to keep a watchful eye on the federal government. You never know what kind of crazy idea they’ve got in their back pocket. In a fresh burst of overly enthusiastic stupidity, the U.S. Energy Department is currently reviewing nine applications for companies seeking $4.8 billion in clean-energy loan guarantees.
We ALL know how this story ends. And it ain’t pretty. But you know the federal government’s favorite motto: If at first you don’t waste enough taxpayer money, waste, waste again!
The last time the Department of Energy issued a loan or loan guarantee was September 2011, when its authority under a stimulus-financed program expired.