Bob Menéndez Questions if Polluters Illegally Claimed Clean Energy Tax Credits
Corporate polluters reportedly profited from hundreds of millions in tax credits to capture and store dangerous emissions -- without records to prove they did it. Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) wants these companies to provide the receipts or pay up. In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Menéndez pointed to disturbing public IRS and EPA documentation which shows that, while fossil fuel industries have received federal tax credits for the safe storage of nearly 60 million metric tons of carbon, less than 6 million metric tons have been verified as safely secured -- “a tenth of the sequestered carbon for which tax credits have been issued.” The Senator called on the IRS to undertake an investigation into the discrepancy between the amount of 45Q tax credits that have been claimed and the amount of sequestered carbon reported to the EPA. “It appears that following the issuance of the EPA regulations, a significant amount of tax credits were improperly claimed by filers who failed to comply with the clear standards of the law,” the Senator wrote. “Without evidence of permanent, secure geologic storage of captured carbon, the 45Q tax credit will be reduced to nothing but another wasteful tax giveaway to the fossil fuel industry—an unacceptable outcome for the American taxpayers.” A recent report from the nonprofit Clean Water Action found that the value of the tax credits claimed is between $597 million and $1.3 billion. More here.