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Nation’s Oldest Taxpayer Group Spearheads Broad Coalition Effort to Oppose Energy Subsidies
March 17, 2011
By Douglas Kellogg
(Alexandria, VA) – Today, the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) organized the release of a coalition letter signed by nearly 30 groups united in opposition to energy subsidy schemes in the federal government. The letter, signed by such prominent organizations as Heritage Action for America, Taxpayers for Common Sense, FreedomWorks, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute urges Congress to stop energy subsidies, including programs like loan guarantees and mandates, and begin the hard work of dismantling existing preferences that have been built into law.
To Read the Entire Coalition Letter Click Here.
In their open letter to Members of Congress, the signatories contended, “Instead of promoting a reliable and affordable energy industry, the subsidy-first energy policy that has prevailed the past three decades has created whole industries dependent on government and focused as much on ensuring their share of taxpayer largesse as they are on developing energy. This is no longer acceptable.”
NTU Vice President of Government Affairs Andrew Moylan pointed to ethanol subsidies and nuclear loan guarantees as perfect examples of policies that place significant burdens on taxpayers with little to no benefit. In addition to mandates that require its use and tariffs that lock out less expensive alternatives, ethanol receives a $6 billion-per-year subsidy through the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). In the last few months, NTU has joined with as many as 90 ideologically diverse environmental, food, and free-market activist groups to oppose VEETC in the name of fiscal responsibility. “Ethanol has become a sad symbol of how political clout can defeat even the most solid fiscal and scientific consensus, and we applaud the courageous legislative efforts of Senator Coburn and Representative Flake to put an end to this boondoggle once and for all,” Moylan said.
Despite the existence of $50 billion in federal loan guarantee authority for construction of nuclear power plants, initiatives have been launched from both Congress and the White House to massively increase investment risk to taxpayers – moves that NTU and some of its coalition partners have consistently opposed. Moylan stated, “Regardless of one’s view on nuclear power’s viability as an energy source, repeated warnings from watchdogs like the Government Accountability Office and non-profit organizations as well suggest that nuclear loan guarantees are financially risky and prone to severe mismanagement. We cannot afford them, especially in this fiscal environment.”
“For the first time in decades, Washington is beginning a conversation about cutting spending and reducing the size and scope of our bloated federal government,” Moylan concluded. “Wasteful and inefficient energy subsidies represent an ideal place to begin that conversation.”
The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. More information is available at www.ntu.org.