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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2008
Senate Minority Sides With Big Oil
Washington, D.C.—A reckless and obstructionist minority used procedural tricks to prevent the Senate from even beginning debate on not one, but two bills to address high energy prices and promote clean energy. The cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008 (S.3044) failed on a vote of 51 to 43. (Senator Reid changed his vote to no to allow him to bring the legislation up at a later date.) An identical vote on the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 (H.R. 6049) failed on a vote of 50 to 44. Both cloture motions would have required 60 votes to pass. The Renewable Energy and Job Creation passed the House of Representatives on May 21 by an overwhelming margin of 263-160.
Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director
“The Senate Republican Leadership has now proved it has no interest whatsoever in even discussing the solutions to our mounting energy and economic crises. This minority of Senators determined to stop progress and protect the interests of Big Oil, Big Coal, and other special interests at all costs has used procedural tricks day after day to prevent the Senate from working on legislation that would bring skyrocketing energy prices under control, put America back to work, put the brakes on taxpayer-funded giveaways to an oil industry awash in record profits, and fight global warming by investing in a clean energy future.
“It’s time for solutions, not stalling. Instead of a healthy debate about common sense plans to offer consumers real relief and move America forward, the Republican leadership apparently prefers roadblocks and recycled rhetoric about the failed policies of yesterday. A majority of Senators is on record in favor of these badly-needed policies and it is disgraceful that a determined minority continues to prevent the world’s greatest deliberative body from even deliberating on the most pressing issues of the day.
“Make no mistake, this minority chose protecting Big Oil instead of promoting affordable clean energy and protecting their constituents from the crippling energy prices that are wrecking our economy. Preventing the Senate from even debating a bill is the most craven of tactics. This kind of behavior has no place in the United States Senate and neither should these Senators.
“By once again blocking efforts to extend these crucial clean energy tax incentives that are in danger of expiring, this minority is responsible for kicking the economy while it’s down. Jobs are already being lost in the renewable energy industry and at least 100,000 more could disappear unless Congress acts to immediately renew these tax incentives.
“It’s truly shocking that Senators will use procedural tricks to protect taxpayer-funded giveaways to Big Oil, but then mere minutes later will refuse even to allow debate on a bill that will protect existing jobs, create tens of thousands of new jobs, and help build the clean energy future we need to end our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels once and for all. "
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