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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Name:
    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Republicans blocked a $32 billion package of tax breaks for renewable energy that would have been financed mostly by taxes on oil companies

    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. With a number of senators not voting, Democrats could resurrect the measure later, though there was no immediate indication of that.

    [..]

    Oil companies earned $111 billion in profits last year and at that rate stand to earn $1 trillion over the 10 years covered by the tax package, said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., rejecting suggestions that "this is an undue burden" on oil companies.

    Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., whose Finance Committee crafted the tax package, said the incentives for renewable and alternative fuels "will help wean ourselves away from OPEC ... from these very high gas prices."

    The tax changes would have channeled $11 billion over 10 years into development of renewable fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel and power from wind turbines. It provides an additional $18 billion in other tax breaks — from tax credits to clean and renewable energy bonds — to support improvements in energy efficiency, clean coal technology, development of gas-electric hybrid cars that could be plugged into the national power grid and other alternative energy programs.

    [...]

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