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Positive steps

Editorial

Our hat is off to Sen. Jerry Moran who collaborated sev- eral weeks ago with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) to reintro- duce legislation to level the energy playing field by giving investors in clean energy projects access to a decades-old- corporate structure whose tax advantage is currently available only to investors in fossil fuel based energy projects.

Moran said that this modification of the federal tax code should unleash significant private capital by helping an emerging class of energy-generated and renewable fuel companies to form limited partnerships which in turn qualify for the tax advantage of partnerships.

Moran said in making the announcement that the measure had been reintroduced, “The United States has the largest and most efficient capital markets in the world, yet our renewable energy companies rarely have access to those markets. In order to grow our economy and increase our energy security, sound economic tools, like MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships), should be expanded to include additional domestic energy sources.”

A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Ron Estes, Wichita Republican, and Mike Thompson, Calif. Democrat.

Currently, master limited partnership is a business structure that is taxed as a partnership and is only available to investors in energy portfolios for oil, natural gas, coal extraction and pipeline projects.

One has to wonder how this inequity in the tax code came about. Why, one has to ask, is it that renewable energy sources would be denied access to the same tax privileges that were granted to fossil fuel-based projects?

Could it be the fact that fossil fuel companies as well as climate change deniers have more lobbyists in Washington? Also, kudos go out to Sen. Moran for voting with six Republican colleagues to block the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. They don't have enough votes to override President Trump's veto, but the courage that these seven Republicans demonstrated should be commended.

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