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Americas Biodiesel Tax Policy

Federal energy related tax policy hearing brings opposing viewpoints

The US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce held a Federal hearing Wednesday in regards to energy-related tax policy.

The hearing, titled “Federal Energy Related Tax Policy and its Effects on Markets, Prices, and Consumers,” was attended by multiple economic and energy-related experts, offering their testimonies to committee members.

Two of the witnesses, Dr. Terry Dinan, Senior Advisor, Congressional Budget Office, and Dr. Robert Murphy, Senior Economist, Institute for Energy Research, held opposing viewpoints in regards to previous federal government provided financial support for the development, production, and use of renewable fuel and energy technologies.

“The benefits of basic science research are difficult because the knowledge can be used in a wide variety of often unforeseen ways,” Dinan said during his testimony titled “Federal Support for Developing, Producing, and Using Fuels and Energy Technologies.”

The Senior Advisor for the Microeconomic Studies Division went on the add that an early study suggests that the benefits of Department of Energy (DOE) funded basic research on innovation have been substantial.

In 2016, excise tax credits and other incentives for biodiesel and alternative fuels totaled $4.2bn, 29.8pc of the total energy-related preferences in the income tax code during that year.

Dr. Murphy meanwhile relayed research supporting the reversal of federal funding to the energy sector, citing the activity as a means to artificially promote the expansion of some energy sources, while further distorting behavior and reducing consumer welfare, resulting in a less efficient energy sector.

Going forward, Congress will continue to explore energy and electricity markets, and the policies affecting those markets, however dates for any further hearings are unknown currently.

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