February 8, 2008
McCain Gives Clean Energy the Kiss Off
I cried some green tears in December when a package that would have provided billions in incentives for clean energy died in a heartbreakingly close 59-40 vote. While recessions are not exciting in any way, it was pretty exciting when a similar -- if much smaller -- package of clean energy incentives was on tap to be added to be added to the Senate’s version of the economic stimulus package. This package would have provided stop-gap extensions of clean energy incentives due to expire at the end of this year.
(See another piece your correspondent wrote about why including these incentives in the stimulus plan is both good policy and smart politics.)
Hold on a second you say -- some quick cipherin' reveals that the total number of votes in December's heartbreaking loss was only 99. But there's 100 senators you say. Precisely! And when it came time to vote on clean energy and it lost by a single vote, one Senator didn’t show up to vote. That Senator was John McCain.
But then in January, McCain said "Of course we want renewable energy. Of course we want better standards. I want to do everything I can to see that wind, solar, hydrogen, ethanol ... and all of these, including nuclear power, [are put to better use]."
Confused? Me too. It seems "everything" does not include showing up to vote.
So back to the economic stimulus package. Just this Wednesday the Senate was voting to expand the House version to include the clean energy incentives and other goodies. Clean energy lost again -- and again by a single vote: 59-40. And again there was one Senator who didn't show up to vote, even though he was in Washington, and even though two Senators traveling on the same plane managed to make the vote: John McCain.
When 99 other Senators showed up to vote and clean energy lost by a single vote, where was John McCain? Call and ask him yourself!