Editor’s note: Mark Heesen is president of the , which is lobbying heavily against changes in how VC firms are taxed.

By MARK HEESEN, NVCA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In responding to the BP oil crisis last night, the President called for the acceleration of an economy fueled by clean energy.

He urged Americans to work together and rally so that we can bring new technologies to market and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We applaud the President’s vision and agree with it wholeheartedly.

Yet, it is imperative that the President understand that he can not expect the venture capital community to accept his commitment to clean tech innovation if he continues to support an increase in carried interest taxation for venture capitalists.

These are precisely the folks who are helping entrepreneurs bring clean energy technologies to market over the long term. Increasing their taxes will discourage the very investment the President is asking us to make.

We call on both the President and the Congress to maintain a meaningful tax differential for investment in start-ups that will bring innovation — including clean energy innovation — and jobs to our country.

With the Senate taking up in the near term, the time is now to show a commitment to investment in these technologies and companies that will help achieve the President’s goals.

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Note: In a statement from the NVCA, Heesen added:

“The venture capital community applauds the President’s vision and remains committed to finding the most promising clean technology innovations and building companies around them, creating millions of U.S. jobs and reducing dependence on foreign oil. However, we must be honest and clear in our assessment of the industry’s ability to continue long term investments in high risk innovations if Congress continues down the path of equating venture capitalists with investment managers rather than recognizing them as company builders when it comes to tax policy. Increasingly federally funded research in clean technology is critical – but those programs will be for naught if there is insufficient venture capital assessment to bring the technologies out of the laboratories and into the American marketplace.”

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