New energy technologies and conservation should receive tax incentives, according to the president and CEO of the National Energy Marketers Association.
WASHINGTON, DC – “One of the lowest cost, highest yield policy solutions is to create targeted tax incentives to encourage all forms of new energy supply, technology and conservation investments,” says Craig Goodman. “This includes investments in new pipes and wires to reduce congestion, advanced metering systems, new computer systems, new energy supplies as well as distributed generation.” “Both the state and federal governments have powerful and effective tools to encourage new investments in energy supply and conservation,” he explains. “The federal tax code already contains a myriad of targeted energy, environmental and efficiency tax credits that should be updated to increase the supply of electricity and natural gas and reduce consumption.” California has failed to achieve the competition in price that was promised by deregulation, and he says deregulation can work only when consumers are assured that new supplies will be available to meet their growing demand. “Fortunately, there are still low-cost, effective, short-term options that can help California consumers and its economy to mitigate this energy emergency,” adds the former senior energy official from the Reagan & Bush administrations. “However, time is of the essence.” California regulators should implement emergency conservation measures, rebates and conservation incentive rates, he recommends. Consumption over certain levels should cost enough to encourage consumers to conserve, and the California Energy Commission should exercise its authority to override local permitting decisions that have blocked construction of any plant that complies with the state’s rigorous environmental standards. There should also be incentives for investment in new energy supplies, conservation, technology and infrastructure. “While the California energy crisis is a major leadership and energy policy challenge, there may be a silver lining,” he concludes. “California has led the country in environmental aesthetics and … Californians have placed a very high premium on the environment.” “As a result, California may become the pilot program that commercializes alternate, environmentally friendly, energy supply and demand responses,” he says. “The silver lining is that the rest of the country, indeed the world, could benefit.” NEMA is a national association that represents wholesale and retail marketers of natural gas and electricity.