Energy

Dems Propose Eliminating Some GOP Tax Cuts To Subsidize Green Energy

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor
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Democrats’ infrastructure plan calls for eliminating more than $1 trillion in tax cuts to fund energy spending, including upgrades to the electric grid and tax subsidies for green energy.

The proposal would eliminate most of the tax cuts Republicans pushed through Congress in 2017. Instead, Democrats would use those funds on infrastructure projects, including diverting $80 billion on energy programs.

“We will provide increased funding for research, development, demonstration and technical assistance for electric grid modernization, smart technologies, and DOE research,” the Democrats’ plan reads.

Democrats would fund electric grid upgrades, cybersecurity and energy efficiency measures. Their plan also calls for making permanent green energy tax subsidies, consolidating existing benefits into three categories.

There would be tax subsidies for “clean electricity” set at “2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour or an investment tax credit of up to 30 percent.” Energy efficiency and “clean” transportation fuels would also be subsidized.

“This would provide a production tax credit of up to $1 per gallon,” reads the plan, adding that “existing tax credit for fuel cell vehicles would be made permanent, and the permanufacturer limitation for the electric vehicle tax credit would be eliminated.”

The plan would also pump $3 billion into electric vehicle charging stations and refueling infrastructure for alternative vehicles with “the potential to dramatically reduce the emissions of pollutants and climate-change inducing greenhouse gases.”

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Democrats unveiled their response to President Donald Trump’s $200 billion infrastructure plan on Wednesday. Trump’s plan uses federal funding to leverage private and state funds, while Democrats repurpose revenues projected from raising taxes.

“The Trump infrastructure plan falls far short of what is needed to address our crumbling infrastructure,” Democratic Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a statement.

“Instead of making real investments in roads, bridges and broadband, the President conjures up an illusory plan that would be funded on the backs of working Americans, by raising new Trump Tolls,” said Leahy, ranking member on the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Democrats’ infrastructure plan raises the top marginal income tax rate back to 39.6 percent, reinstates the full alternative minimum tax, closes the carried interest “loophole,” and raises corporate taxes to 25 percent.

Reversing tax cuts would raise about $1 trillion over 10 years, Democrats claim. However, Republicans immediately went on the offensive against the Democratic plan, labeling it as bad for the economy.

“More than 90 percent of American workers have seen more money in their take-home paychecks because of the tax relief law,” Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso said.

“Now Senate Democrats want to take their hard-earned money away from them,” Barrasso said.

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