First the Republicans filibustered the Lieberman-Warner carbon cap and trade bill, effectively forcing Senate Democrats to shelve any carbon legislation until next year.
Now the Senate voted on two bills Tuesday that would have revoked tax breaks for Big Oil and extended tax credits to renewable energy. Proponents of the two measures touted them as vital for consumer relief and transition to new energy sources, but both measures failed to muster the 60 votes needed to proceed.
The first vote, on the Consumer First Energy Act, fell short of cloture by a vote of 51-43. The second, on the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, failed by a vote of 50-44. Both votes fell largely along party lines.
Trade organizations that represent renewable-energy firms on the Hill say they're already seeing a slowing of growth in the sector because companies are hesitant to start new projects without the assurance that these credits will be available.
It seems to me as though Republicans are making a fatal flaw in putting wrong-headed economic arguments above the environment. This newest one harms the renewable energy industry just so we can continue giving tax breaks to big oil!