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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Apr 9, 2013 1:29 AM Flag

    White House engaging lawmakers on energy tax code issues

    White House engaging lawmakers on energy tax code issues

    By Zack Colman - 04/08/13 03:58 PM ET

    The White House is working behind the scenes with some lawmakers on energy issues in preparation for Congress tackling tax code reform, an aide to President Obama said Monday.

    Heather Zichal, Obama’s top climate aide, said the administration is meeting with both Republicans and Democrats to discuss energy tax policy issues important to the president.

    “I think there’s an important dialogue happening. We’re hopeful in trying to create space to be able to actually do that,” Zichal said Monday during a Washington, D.C.-area event hosted by Transportation Energy Partners.

    While Zichal characterized Congress’ chances of taking up tax reform as “up in the air,” she said the White House is “standing by ready to engage.”

    Zichal mentioned a few of the administration’s specific tax policy aims, but declined to elaborate beyond her public comments.

    “I’m not in a position to go into detail on that right now,” she told reporters.

    If Congress does dive into tax reform, many of the energy measures Obama prefers would likely run into opposition from fiscal conservatives.

    Conservatives have pushed back against energy subsidies — especially for renewable energy — they say would expand the federal deficit.

    They have been particularly critical of the production tax credit for renewable energy, which Obama wants to make permanent.

    The credit subsidizes renewable energy generation from wind, biomass, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy.

    The incentive currently faces expiration every couple of years. Renewable energy proponents say the uncertainty of congressional approval stunts investment.

    Zichal said baking the credit into the tax code is a significant administration priority. She explained it would help reach a second-term goal to double renewable..

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