As members of the House Ways and Means Committee wades into America's tax-code quagmire in search of simplification, shore Representative Jon Runyan (R-3) urges the panel to take renewable energy into account.

A bipartisan message sent last week to the panel by 60 Congressional members including the Republican has the support of the American Wind Energy Association, Solar Energy Industries Association and Geothermal Energy Association, according to information frum Runyan's office.

Lawmakers in both houses expect to take steps to overhaul the tax code in the fall. Currently, renewable energy concerns can take advantage of production and investment tax credits.

"Renewable energy must be a part of an all of the above energy policy aimed at helping us to achieve energy independence," said Runyan in a prepared statement that echoes his stand since first running for the Third District seat.

"In my district the solar and wind energy industries have a strong presence and help support our local economy. When considering tax reform we must remember the value of renewable energy as not only a piece of a larger long term energy strategy but also as a job creator in New Jersey."

Runyan also notes that alternative energy is emerging as a new source of employment in Ocean and Burlington Counties. Wind Dry Solutions in Cookstown and Connector Products in Cinnaminson are two wind-turbine parts makers whose factories he visited in the past year.

The letter, in part, cites renewable energy as a source of more than 3,000,000 jobs in the U.S. It also cites a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report detailing policy uncertainties as the main factor in a 34-percent drop in domestic renewable energy investment in 2012, against worldwide investment of more than $244,000,000,000.

The signatories call wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, hydropower and hydrokinetic energy "critical to America's energy future," noting a 28-percent growth in the wind energy industry and 76-percent growth in solar concerns during 2012.

Representative Runyan takes your calls, e-mails and texts during the next "Ask The Congressman," August 26 at 8 PM here, as well as at WOBM-FM/AM.