Beyond that, it is misleading to label the business deductions that energy companies employ as handouts or subsidies, as many of the industry’s critics have done. These deductions and other accounting measures are no different than those used by Americans around the country. More than that, they are incentives — not special breaks — to continue advancements in research and development for alternative and innovative energy solutions.
In the end, it is not only unfair to single out the energy sector in this way. It is also unwise, potentially undermining the continued growth of an industry that promises to deliver new, high-paying jobs where they are desperately needed, including the African-American and Latino communities.
Rather than leveling attacks on this important industry, our leaders should look for ways to support it as it improves the fortunes of low- and middle-income Americans, while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and shrinking our national debt.
John Burnett is a former candidate for New York City comptroller and a resident of Harlem, N.Y.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.