I find U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s recent attempt to cut back on tax credits for all alternative energy sources concerning because I think he failed to recognize some of the benefits of these energy sources, such as job creation and a cleaner environment. Perhaps what was most troubling was that, although he was quick to criticize credits for these new energy sources, he didn’t say a word about decreasing tax credits for oil and energy companies.
Luckily, the Senate Finance Committee rejected Mr. Toomey’s amendment that would have removed all incentives for alternative energy including wind and tax credits for bio-fuel. Mr. Toomey attempted to mislead people when he said, “They ought to compete on a level playing field.” I applaud one of Mr. Toomey’s Republican colleagues who defended the alternative energy incentives and noted that the “100-year-old oil and gas industry continues to benefit from tax preferences that benefit only their industry.” Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, noted that the oil and gas industry tax credits have resulted in the loss of $4 billion in tax revenues every year. Why didn’t Mr. Toomey mention rolling back tax credits for these industries? Maybe it is because the oil and gas industry is one of his top campaign contributors and has donated more than $400,000 to him during his career in politics.
I also think Mr. Toomey fails to recognize the benefits of wind energy here in Pennsylvania. More than 4,000 people are employed by the wind industry in the state. Isn’t he supposed to represent our interests?