A lot of green companies are hoping that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will grant them more green credits than they have been able to get under the Obama administration.
A bipartisan group of senators is pressing the EPA to expand the green credit program and to add more credits for forestry, which has been a huge beneficiary of the program under President Trump.
But in a report to Congress this week, the group warned that there are only about 20 green companies in the United States that receive more than 10% of their revenue from green companies, and that the program is not working to help them.
“The Environmental Protection Act’s $1 billion in new tax credits under the green energy credits program have not resulted in more green jobs,” said Sen. James Inhofe James (Jim) Mountain InhofelOvernight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Trump takes aim at Iran in exclusive interview | Senators press Trump on North Korea | Senate panel approves new spending bill | DHS chief to testify on cyber threats | Cybersecurity bill cleared in House | Senators to hold hearings on Biden nomination MORE (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
“In some instances, green jobs have gone away.”
Green companies, which have long lobbied for tax breaks, have said that they would have liked to see more green businesses included in the credits, but that the agency’s focus on forestry has not helped.
“In a lot of cases, green businesses have gone into forestry,” said Kevin Egan, vice president of policy and government affairs at the American Forest Products Association (AFFPA).
“That’s where we were in 2013 and ’14, but we have continued to grow in recent years.”
Egan pointed to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that found that “there are fewer green jobs in the forestry industry than any other sector.”
The report, released in December, estimated that between 2005 and 2016, the forestry sector added nearly 12,000 green jobs.
In 2016, forestry added 2.1 million jobs, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that forestry employment grew by 9% from 2007 to 2016.
Green businesses, meanwhile, have seen their business investment decline significantly, according to the CBA.
The CBA estimates that the number of green jobs declined from 1.1% of the U,S.
economy in 2014 to less than 0.5% in 2017.
Egan said the report doesn’t include all green companies that are still operating.
“There are companies that we know of that are operating, but they’re in limbo,” he said.
“It’s not easy to identify those companies and make a determination on their eligibility.
The EPA should be doing that.”
The EPA has not provided a timeline for when the EPA will grant green credits.
The agency is working to update the tax code and establish new standards for green credits, the CBO report said.
In a statement to The Washington Times, a spokesman said that “the Department will provide an update to the [green energy credits] program in the near future.”
In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tom Coburn Thomas (Tom) Allen CoburnSenate panel approves key spending bill Hillicon Valley: 50M affected by Facebook hack | Google to merge | House Intel votes to kill H-1B visas | Sanders backs Gillibrand over Cybersecurity MORE (Okla.) last week, Sen. Maria Cantwell Maria Elaine CantwellOvernight Health Care: GOP seeks to block vote on Kavanaugh | GOP’s response to ObamaCare flub | GOP pushes spending bill to avert shutdown | Dems vow to fight Trump on Keystone, Puerto Rico MORE (D-Wash.) asked the EPA administrator to extend the credits.
“We are encouraged by the fact that the EPA is taking this action to help businesses compete and grow in the global marketplace,” Cantwell said in the letter.
“The extension of the credits will give green companies a boost in the marketplace, helping to ensure that we are providing the economic opportunity that will make the transition to sustainable forestry easier for businesses in the U; and will allow us to provide additional support to the forestry industries.”
“We hope that the Administration will extend these green credits to all businesses in 2020,” Cantand wrote.
“We would welcome an extension to this extension, as well as the extension of credits to other industries that are growing in the sector.”
Industry advocates and green groups are hoping for a boost for green companies.
But they also worry that the extension could have unforeseen consequences.
Green groups are concerned that a $2.5 billion tax credit would not be enough to help forestry grow, as the green credits program has only been extended for the past four years.
In 2017, Congress passed legislation to extend credits to the agricultural sector, which includes many of the biggest companies in forestry.
The extension is being supported by several green groups