Letter of Opposition: AFP Rejects NAT GAS Act Energy Subsidies, H.R. 1380
Dear Members of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees,
Recently, legislation to create new tax incentives for the production and use of natural-gas vehicles came before your committees in the form of H.R. 1380, the NAT GAS Act. On behalf of 1.7 million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I am writing to say AFP stands opposed to this legislation and the continued use of the tax code for such industrial engineering.
In November, the American people sent a wave of lawmakers to Washington to end government handouts, not to create new ones. It is simply disingenuous for lawmakers to pay lip service to limiting government and ending corporate welfare only to turn around and support new subsidies and giveaways to particular industries. We need to be cutting inefficient tax breaks that distort economic activity, not adding more to the IRS arsenal. The NAT GAS Act violates this very premise: increasing and expanding subsidies that favor natural gas over other sources of fuel, resulting in preferable treatment for an industry with deep pockets and expensive lobbyists.
Government should not be in the position of choosing winners and losers in the marketplace. If a technology truly has worthwhile benefits for American consumers (lower cost, higher efficiency, environmental benefits, or otherwise) then that technology should demonstrate its value by competing for consumers’ dollars in the open market.
Ostensibly, H.R. 1380’s goal is to reduce fuel costs for American consumers. To accomplish this goal I urge you to instead focus your efforts on reducing regulatory barriers to new investment and innovation. Opening the Outer Continental Shelf for additional oil and natural gas development, as the House has done in recent legislation, is a good start. Halting the Environmental Protection Agency’s power grab toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions without congressional direction would also serve this same end. In contrast, adding new tax expenditures to the nation’s already overly complex tax code is nothing more than industrial engineering.
With this in mind, Americans for Prosperity strongly opposes H.R. 1380, the NAT GAS Act, and any similar measures to add new tax handouts to the federal government’s already shamefully long list.
Director of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity