July 16, 2020
The Honorable Mitch McConnell The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Majority Leader Republican Leader
U.S. Senate U.S. House of Representatives
Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Republican Leader McCarthy:
Undoubtedly you have seen countless, unrealistic legislative proposals from Democrats that attempt to save the environment at great expense to American taxpayers and the economy. As Congress addresses the immense challenges of COVID-19, Democrats have offered legislation that, yet again, would be devastating to the
marketplace if enacted.
But not all environmentally friendly proposals are the same. The clean energy sector employs millions of people, with jobs in every state and every congressional district, providing Americans with consumer choice, lower energy prices and a cleaner environment. Further, as part of an “all of the above” energy mix, clean energy has helped to make our country energy independent, which has tremendous benefits both foreign and domestic.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has hurt the once-thriving clean energy sector, (1) having lost over 620,000 jobs, an 18% decline since the beginning of the pandemic. (2)
As Congress considers additional measures to stabilize the economy, secure jobs, and stimulate growth, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) recommends that Republicans take a commonsense approach that balances our nation’s economic, energy and environmental needs and pass legislation that has a strong return on investment for taxpayers while reducing red tape to expand the clean energy sector.
Our recommendations are to pass S. 2302, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), and S. 2657, the American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA). Both bills have been well-vetted and Republican-led and offer pragmatic solutions to the American people.
ATIA will streamline project delivery and federal approval of infrastructure projects, reduce carbon emissions, support carbon capture, utilization and storage projects, and provide funding to build and protect sustainable infrastructure. We believe investment in our nation’s infrastructure, especially resilient and sustainable infrastructure, is critical to increasing our nation’s energy security and job recovery as we emerge from this pandemic.
AEIA will modernize our domestic energy laws, thereby reducing barriers to ensure the U.S. remains a global energy leader while also strengthening national security, increasing our international competitiveness, and investing in clean energy technologies that protect human health and the global environment. The House has bipartisan companion legislation which focuses on several CRES priorities, including the development and acceleration of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies; investment in energy storage; and, innovation in advanced nuclear technology. We believe that a broad and comprehensive agreement is within reach and will ensure the U.S. leads the world in clean energy innovation.
And to conclude, we propose updating clean energy tax provisions, as market-based incentives have been central to driving investment and growth and helping stimulate the economy. Allowing taxpayers to temporarily monetize general business credits such as the section 48 investment tax credit and the section 45 production tax credit would provide taxpayers liquidity and help facilitate a clean and sustainable economic recovery. Measures such as extending the section 45Q carbon dioxide sequestration credit by two years would help carbon capture, utilization and storage projects that were first delayed by a lack of regulatory guidance and now have been further delayed by the continuing COVID crisis. Similarly, providing appropriate extensions for section 48 projects that have either been prevented from starting or completing construction due to the pandemic would ensure that taxpayers are able to use these incentives as contemplated before the
crisis. Finally, adding energy storage to the current investment tax credit will provide parity with other technologies, providing an economic stimulus that will transform the power grid, supply reliable and costeffective electricity and reduce greenhouse emissions.
As you may know, clean energy also enjoys strong Republican support. A national poll of Republican voters conducted by CRES last month revealed that 76% support Congress taking action to accelerate the development of clean energy and 67% supported federal investment in clean energy to aid our nation’s economic recovery. Further, 70% support accelerating the growth of clean energy as a means of achieving a global competitive
As Congressional Republicans work to develop recovery legislation, we encourage you to look to the clean energy sector to help secure critical jobs, promote future economic growth, and improve our natural environment.
Thank you for your continued leadership. My team and I look forward to working with you.
1 Clean energy represented 40% of the energy workforce in the United States, and around 2.25% of the nation’s overall
employment by the end of 2019 – see E2 report, Clean Jobs America 2020: Repowering America’s Economy in the Wake of COVID19, available here.
2 E2, E4TheFuture, and American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), “Clean Energy Employment Initial Impacts from the
COVID-19 Economic Crisis, May 2020,” memorandum to Philip Jordan, Vice-President, BW Research Partnership, 15 June 2020,
3 Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions and Public Opinion Strategies, National Republican Voter Online Poll – GOP Candidates,
conducted June 6-16, 2020, available here.