By Randy Shannon
August 1, 2021
The US Congress is an important battleground in the campaign to slow, stop, and reverse global warming induced catastrophic climate change. The dumping of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is overwhelming planet Earth.
The financial weight of the coal, oil, and gas industries and their Wall Street owners floods Capitol Hill with their thousands of lobbyists. They write legislation then lobby and threaten Congress to pass dozens of laws that transfer public funds to their industry. These funds are transferred in numerous ways – tax credits, depletion allowances, interest rebates, research funds, loan guarantees, amortization, foreign tax credits, oil spill deductions, income tax exemptions, credits for coal washing.
The carbon polluting industry’s control of Congress guarantees that taxpayers, and actually all citizens, directly subsidize global warming. And we are increasingly victimized by the effects of catastrophic climate change – increased hurricanes, floods, fires; rising ocean levels; melting arctic ice with consequent growing release of methane hydrates that accelerate global warming.
On July 28 Rep. Michael Doyle PA-18 introduced HR4758, co-sponsored by Rep. Conor Lamb PA-17, Mike Kelly PA-16, and Bill Huizenga MI-2. This bill “amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend and modify the section 45 credit for refined coal from steel industry fuel, and for other purposes.” This bill has not been printed yet, so the details are not yet available. (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/hr4758)
What is clear is these representatives want to serve Wall Street interests by forcing the public to increase subsidies for carbon burning. Carbon burning is burning the bridges to a sustainable future. Stopping global warming and catastrophic climate change starts right here, right now. This bill must be withdrawn or defeated by any means necessary.
On March 19 a member of the progressive “Squad” in Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar has introduced HR2102 “To eliminate certain subsidies for fossil-fuel production.” The title of the bill is “End Polluter Welfare Act.” This bill singles out 39 specific laws that force the public to subsidize carbon burning and its consequences so that these industries face no, low, or reduced cost for their polluting enterprises. This bill will increase the competitive position of alternative renewable energy. It will also reduce carbon burning. Finally it will generate demand for thousands of new jobs in the renewable energy industry.
HR2102, the End Polluter Welfare Act, eliminates section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that Reps. Doyle, Lamb, Kelly, and Huizenga want to extend. HR2102 has 21 co-sponsors and was referred to seven House committees: Ways&Means, Natural Resources, Transportation&Infrastructure, Financial Services, ScienceSpace&Technology, Agriculture, Energy&Commerce.
Our time for action is now. We cannot afford to delay. The future we leave to coming generations is at stake. We must force Doyle, Lamb, et al to end their servitude to the big banks that own the carbon burning industries and work for a sustainable future.