Friday, December 14, 2007

Outmaneuvered on the Energy Bill

As reported in teh San Jose Mercury News:

"The Senate on Thursday gave final approval to a historic 40 percent increase in fuel economy for cars and light trucks, but fell one vote short of providing long-term tax credits to boost the use of solar, wind and other renewable sources.

The wide-ranging energy bill won final approval, 86-8. But the Senate bill is weaker than what the House wanted because of the removal of the tax credits and another provision that would have required utilities to generate more energy from renewable sources.

"This is a strong bill, but I'm disappointed because it should have been much stronger," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, just before the final vote."

The Merc also notes:

"Senate Democratic leaders came very close to a stronger bill when they mustered 59 votes, including nine Republicans, to close off debate on a version of the bill that included the tax credits for renewables and a rollback of almost $14 billion in tax breaks for oil companies.

But they needed 60 votes, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., quickly removed the tax package from the bill to secure its passage. The Bush administration had announced it would veto any bill that included what it characterized as a major tax increase on the oil industry."

86 votes for a "Republican bill" in a Democrat-controlled Senate. Obviously some solid work by Sen. Boxer and her colleagues in the majority party. I feel well-served.