A new tax season is nearly upon us, and after a year of record inflation and astronomical energy costs, American consumers and businesses in the energy sector need a break. Congress can provide that relief by addressing issues within the tax code which — if left untouched — will soon harm American energy security and stall innovation… Following the introduction of immediate expensing, private sector R&D increased significantly. According to research from the think tank R Street, energy and environmental R&D jumped by 11.8 percent — that’s $3.3 billion — the year after the TCJA was signed into law. For context, energy and environmental R&D expenses increased by only 2 percent from 2012 to 2017. This has boosted American economic competitiveness and helped the private sector deliver next-generation technologies to the market… Just as pro-growth tax policies have driven innovation, a pro-growth regulatory system accelerates investments in new technologies and projects. In the United States, the biggest regulatory hindrance to bringing new energy and transmission projects online is arguably the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Enacted in 1970, and largely unchanged since then, NEPA requires any project receiving federal funds to conduct either an environmental assessment or more burdensome environmental impact statement before receiving a permit to begin construction. NEPA has become a bureaucratic boondoggle that has hindered American energy and economic progress. Under NEPA it takes an average of 4.5 years for energy and transmission projects to receive a permit. NEPA’s outdated process hurts American economic and energy security as well as environmental progress. While the law hamstrings fossil fuel projects, it disproportionately slows down clean energy generation and transmission capacity from being built….
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