Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus called the tax code an “important driver of energy policy” at a committee hearing on the role energy policy in the U.S. tax code. Senator Baucus continued to lay the groundwork for a tax reform plan to raise more revenue to lower the federal deficit.
Witnesses included former Oklahoma Senator Don Nickels, who pushed for energy-related tax incentives and oil executive Harold Hamm who heads Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney’s energy advisory team.
Speaking before the Bipartisan Policy Center Monday, Sen. Baucus said "There's a reason why Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley are in America. It's because we're innovators. The tax code needs to bolster this innovation. Innovative companies create jobs."
During his speech, Sen. Baucus called for a rigorous review of "tax extenders," various short-term tax breaks that create "major uncertainty each time they're up for renewal." The senator stressed certain tax breaks that he believes would put energy research and technology on a "level playing field."
Incentives like clean-energy tax credits are opposed by Congressional Republicans. Harold Hamm, one of the today's witnesses, expanded on Republican criticism of Sen. Baucus' reform efforts. Hamm heads GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's energy advisory team.