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The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, along with the Highway Revenue Act (1956) created the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) as a mechanism through which federal gasoline taxes would be used to fund the construction and maintenance of the U.S. highway system. Both the taxes themselves and the authority to place these funds into the HTF expire and must be extended periodically. In 1993, the last increase brought the federal gas tax to 18.4 cents per gallon, 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel. Many point to inflation and increased fuel efficiency as causes of significant shortfalls in the HTF and claim… [more]View Insight
Senior Tax Counsel
United States Senate Committee on Finance
As part of his efforts to comprehensively reform the tax code, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) released a staff discussion draft on December 18, 2013 that proposed a dramatically simpler set of energy tax incentives that are technology-neutral, more predictable, and promote cleaner energy that is made in the United States. Policymakers have included tax breaks for energy in the tax code for nearly one hundred years. These incentives were created with good intentions to create jobs, promote energy security, and help reduce air pollution and environmental damage. But over the years, the number of provisions has ballooned… [more]View Insight
The production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy is currently set to expire December 31st, 2012. The credit is currently 2.2¢ per kWh created by wind. The average price of electricity nationwide is 11¢ per kWh. A study released recently by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) states that without an immediate PTC program extension, wind energy “jobs will drop by nearly half, from 78,000 in 2012 to 41,000 in 2013.” According to the report, an extension of the program through 2016 could create nearly 17,000 wind industry jobs. Denise Bode, AWEA’s CEO, has stated that “these jobs could vanish if Congress allows… [more]View Insight
[Note: The statements below are intended solely to stimulate discussion among the Expert community, and do not represent the position of OurEnergyPolicy.org. Text in italics indicates clarification or expansion.] There is a question what carbon policy is most suited to the U.S. The question boils down to the best way to force GHG emitters to spend enough money on reduction of CO2 and other GHG. Several policies have been discussed or tried around the world: Cap and Trade Cap and trade is a popular yet problematic solution. Firstly, it hasn’t produced the expected significant change in places it has… [more]View Insight
[Note: The statements below are intended solely to stimulate discussion among the Expert community, and do not represent the position of OurEnergyPolicy.org. Text in italics indicates clarification or expansion.] The main recommendation is to let the free market do its work. It is likely that gasoline prices will continue to rise over the next 20 years and as a result will encourage consumers to buy more efficient cars, drive less, use more public transportation, live closer to work, etc. Government intervention is required only to nurture the market for oil replacement. The last oil shock and the new economic… [more]View Insight