Washington, D.C. — The House Democratic leadership sent the following letter today to President Bush.
Below is a text of the letter:
February 28, 2008
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The House yesterday passed the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Act (H.R. 5351) by a vote of 236-182. The Act extends and expands tax incentives to deploy and develop wind, solar, geothermal, ethanol, biodiesel, biomass, and other renewable energy technologies, as well as provides incentives to increase residential and commercial building efficiency. These provisions are critical to the creation of hundreds of thousands of green jobs across America, as well as the preservation of an estimated 116,000 jobs in the wind and solar industries alone. Additionally, these incentives are critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, making our nation less dependent on foreign fossil fuels, and reducing energy costs.
This measure will direct nearly $18 billion in incentives to American renewable energy. We believe strongly that this long-term commitment to our future must be made in a fiscally responsible manner. As part of the shift in our nation's energy policy, our legislation funds this commitment by ending certain tax subsidies given to the largest oil companies that are now earning historic profits.
There is no justification for continuing taxpayer-financed subsidies for the largest companies in the oil industry, and the most profitable corporations in America. The big five oil companies recently reported new record profits in 2007 — with ExxonMobil earning the largest corporate profit in American history, $40.6 billion, or the equivalent of $132 for every man, woman, and child living in the United States.
H.R. 5351 allows our nation to correct an imbalance in our tax code that favors one industry enjoying historic profits, and reinvest those dollars to help make cutting-edge technologies commercially viable: creating American jobs, spurring American innovation, and making real the American commitment to reduce global greenhouse gases.
Promotion of the renewable energy industry is the goal of the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference, which your Administration hosts next week. The conference offers a remarkable world platform to support a fiscally responsible commitment to these industries and technologies and the jobs they will produce. We urge you to reconsider your previous opposition to fiscally sound incentives for American renewable energy, and lend your support to this historic legislation in time for this occasion.
Speaker of the House
James E. Clyburn