WASHINGTON D.C. – This week, Congresswoman Moore introduced HR 5158, the Promoting Sustainable Energy Projects for Tribal Communities Act, which allows tribal governments to receive cash in an amount equivalent to the full value of certain federal tax credits available to offset the cost of electricity generated using qualified energy resources or investments in renewable energy property.
In response to the introduction of this bill, Congresswoman Moore made the following statement: “Our tax code marginalizes tribal governments and their role in developing renewable energy. Because tribes are not subject to federal income tax they are not able to use tax credits. This situation has hindered the financial and energy independence of tribes across the nation, and undermined tribal sovereignty.
Additionally, the declining use of coal is having devastating economic effects on tribal communities that have relied on coal to bring economic opportunity and jobs to Indian country. But rather than subsidize dirty energy, we need forward thinking solutions.
My bill will not only incentivize tribal communities to pursue renewable energy projects, but will create high-paying jobs, attract needed large-scale investments and most importantly, restore tribal sovereignty.”
The tax-exempt status of tribal governments has precluded Indian country from benefiting from existing incentives. Tribes have been sidelined in efforts to grow the amount of energy from renewable resources. For example, tribes are often relegated to being passive players by leasing their lands to third party developers. These arrangements can leave tribes without a voice in how their land, water, atmosphere and community are affected.
Furthermore, for generations, many tribes have relied on coal reserves, coal mines, and coal plants for jobs and financial resources. These tribes are facing additional hurdles due to the fact that our nation and utility companies are shifting away from coal.
HR 5158 will spur renewable energy infrastructure in Indian country and promote tribal energy sufficiency and tribal self-determination by empowering tribes to tap into the abundance of renewable resource potential that exists on tribal lands.
Empowering Homeowners Energy Efficiency Act
This week, Congresswoman Moore introduced HR 5159, the Empowering Homeowners Energy Efficiency Act, which allows individual taxpayers to claim a tax credit to partially offset the cost of a home energy audit, up to a maximum credit of $150.
“In the U.S., 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from producing electricity that heats our homes. Given this, we don’t have to look far to find ways to pursue sustainability,” said
Congresswoman Moore. “A home energy audit allows homeowners to take proactive efforts to pursue energy efficiency. This legislation helps reduce a cost barrier for Americans looking to take steps towards reducing their carbon footprint.”
An HEA is an assessment to determine where a residence is losing energy, specifically trouble spots that can be fixed to make a home’s energy consumption more efficient and sustainable. The scope of an HEA can vary, ranging from a minimal test of the efficiency of household appliances, windows and doors, to a comprehensive review of the efficiency of the home’s structure (e.g., using a variety of diagnostic tools such as a blower door test to look for air leaks to the outside or an infrared camera exam to determine effectiveness of exterior wall insulation).
Many state and federal grant programs already help cover the cost of making the improvements recommended through an energy audit. This tax credit would serve as a powerful incentive for homeowners to make green decisions for their homes, providing them with a deeper understanding of what changes could both reduce their energy costs and their home’s carbon footprint.