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 ...