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The Senate Shills for Big Oil

Source:  Copyright 2008, New York Times
Date:  March 3, 2008
Byline:  Editorial
Original URL: Status ONLINE


One of the major shortcomings in last year’s admirable energy bill was its failure to extend vital tax credits to producers of wind, solar and other renewable fuels. This was entirely the doing of the Senate, which caved in to the oil companies and their White House friends.

The House had approved the credits but insisted — under the Democrats’ pay-as-you-go rules — that they be paid for by eliminating the same amount in tax credits for oil and gas producers. Industry (which is rolling in cash these days) howled, President Bush lofted veto threats, and the Senate caved.

The damage was immediately apparent. New investment in clean, non-fossil-fuel energy sources — which need the help until they become competitive with older, dirtier energy sources — began to shrivel.

The Senate now has a chance to redeem itself. Last week, the House approved a new $17 billion package of credits, spread over 10 years, to encourage the ...

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