Climate Change, Energy Policies and Taxes, Oh, My!

NACS GR team highlights top industry issues for the 117th Congress and Biden Administration. 

February 03, 2021

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—With a new Congress and new administration in Washington, NACS continues to be at the forefront of fighting for our industry.

“There’s a lot to keep an eye on,” said Jon Taets, NACS director of government relations, on this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “How the New Congress May Affect the C-Store Industry.”

“The climate change stuff is going to be really driving under everything they do, but I also do expect a lot of action from the Department of Labor, in particular, on a lot of the rules the Trump Administration adjusted and made final the last year and a half, like the joint employer rule and the overtime rule in particular,” Taets said.

“We’ll be paying a lot of attention to some little-known congressional procedures called reconciliation and the congressional review act on what they can do there to move things through very narrow majorities without needing 60 votes in the Senate, and that will include a lot of tax policies.”

Climate, energy and environmental policy will be at the forefront of the Biden Administration.

“Climate is going to permeate the entire regulatory and legislative agenda,” said Paige Anderson, NACS director of government relations. “We’re going to see climate issues pop up in areas you never thought you would—it could be a defense bill, it could be an intelligence bill, it could be an addition to the traditional highway and infrastructure bill. We’ve already seen day one of President Biden’s administration issue two executive orders in the space regarding the  Keystone Pipeline and the Paris Accords on climate change.”

Anderson pointed to electric vehicles as a focus of the Biden Administration. “President Biden has said he wants over 500,000 electric vehicle chargers put into the system, and he has a lot of authority to encourage that,” she said. “Then you have Congress, in both the House and Senate, in their various pieces of legislation, want to do a lot in this space.”

President Biden’s approach to tax policy is markedly different from the Trump Administration. The new Congress is “going to be able to move a package that involves tax policy probably in the summer,” Taets said. “We’re going to see them raising taxes on high-earning individuals ($400,000 a year and over) … They may also try to phase out the 199A deduction … at the same $400,000 level.”

For more on what the new Congress and administration mean for retailers, listen to the podcast here. Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps, YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 200,000 times by listeners around the world.

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