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Senate Republicans Block Tax Increases for Big Oil & Increased Subsidies for Renewable Energy

Senate Republicans Block Tax Increases for Big Oil
By H. Joseph Herbert,
The Associated Press,
June 21, 2007.

"Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a $32 billion package of tax breaks for renewable energy that would have been financed mostly by new taxes on major oil companies. Democrats came three votes short of overcoming a threatened GOP filibuster that was keeping the measure from being attached to a broader energy bill. Republican senators argued that the nearly $29 billion in additional taxes on major oil companies would have led to reduced production and higher gasoline prices. Because of Republican opposition, Democrats needed 60 votes to allow the package to come up for a vote, but fell short, 57-36... The tax proposal had some bipartisan support, but also attracted sharp criticism from many Republican senators who lined up against it." __________________________________________________________________________ Senate Adopts Energy Bill Raising Mileage for Cars
By Edmund L. Andrews,
The New York Times,
June 22, 2007.

"The Senate passed a broad energy bill that would, among other things, require the first big increase in fuel mileage requirements for passenger cars in more than two decades. The vote, 65 to 27, was a major defeat for car manufacturers, which had fought for a much smaller increase in fuel economy standards and is expected to keep fighting as the House takes up the issue. But Senate Democrats also fell short of their own goals. In a victory for the oil industry, Republican lawmakers successfully blocked a crucial component of the Democratic plan that would have raised taxes on oil companies by about $32 billion and used the money on tax breaks for wind power, solar power, ethanol and other renewable fuels. Republicans also blocked a provision of the legislation that would have required electric utilities to greatly increase the share of power they get from renewable sources of energy. As a result, Senate Democrats had to settle for a bill that calls for a vast expansion of renewable fuels over the next decade--to 36 billion gallons a year of alternatives to gasoline--but does little to actually promote those fuels through tax breaks or other subsidies. The combination of breakthroughs and setbacks highlighted the blocking power of the entrenched industry groups, from oil companies and electric utilities to car manufacturers, that had blanketed Congress in recent days to defend their interests."