Washington, D.C. – Today the US Senate voted on a bill offered by Senator Menendez that included provisions for extending key renewable energy and efficiency programs while doing away with billions of dollars in tax giveaways for big oil companies. The bill achieved a majority vote, 51 to 47, but did not receive the 60 votes necessary for passage. Environment America’s Federal Transportation Advocate, John Cross, released the following statement:
“Big Oil causes air pollution, global warming and disastrous oil spills—the last thing they deserve is to enjoy massive tax breaks as they reap record profits and as gas prices climb higher by the week. Even setting that money on fire would be better for the environment—and no more wasteful. It’s time for us to get off oil, and to stop handing tax breaks to a polluting industry that already costs us too dearly. We need to invest in a clean energy future instead. And that is precisely what Senator Menendez’s bill aims to do.
“This bill extends crucial clean energy programs, including the renewable energy production tax credit, the offshore wind investment tax credit, the 48c manufacturing tax credit, the 1603 Treasury program, and key efficiency tax credits. There are some provisions in Senator Menendez’s bill that we do not think should be reauthorized, including the refined coal and coal-to-liquids tax credits. However, we support the bill, as it will move us forward in building a more efficient economy powered by clean, renewable energy and local jobs.
“While the Senate unfortunately failed to achieve the necessary 60 votes to pass Senator Menendez’s bill, we are hopeful that the demonstrated support from a majority of senators will lead us toward the necessary shift from Big Oil giveaways to a clean energy future. We look forward to working with Congress toward that vision.”