Sad Day for Our Country’s Progress

In case you weren’t aware, there was a hugely important Energy bill passed in the House and moved to the Senate for the approval. It failed to pass in the Senate and was chopped up for approval. What was lost in the process was a tax incentive for folks hoping to install renewable energy in their homes.

“On Thursday the U.S. Senate fell one vote short of extending the solar tax incentives in the 2007 Energy Bill. 60 votes were needed to move this legislation forward with a filibuster-proof majority. The vote just missed at 59 to 40, virtually along party lines. As a result, the tax incentives for renewable energy production and energy conservation were removed from the Energy Bill. Also the federal renewable energy standard was dropped.

The revised bill passed the Senate last night. While we’re pleased to see widespread support for increasing auto fuel efficiency standards and improved appliance efficiency (which is a good start), overall, the Senate missed a golden opportunity.”

An interesting aspect of why the incentives refused to pass can be understood by this:

“The $22 billion tax package would have extended tax credits for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, with support also earmarked for fuel cell development, clean coal. Much of the tax package would have been paid for by the repeal of several oil industry tax breaks, potentially costing the industry more than $13.5 billion.

Oil industry lobbyists had generated opposition to the tax package from Republican senators, who said it was unfair and unwise to raise taxes on oil companies.”

Sure, it may be “unfair” for the oil companies to start paying proper taxes, but isn’t it unfair for tax payers to be subsidizing oil companies with tax breaks when these companies, such as Exxon/Mobil (most profitable company in the US), made record profits that exceed the GDP of most small nations. With renewable energy tax incentives, those who are rewarded are individuals who are taking the initiative to create change on a personal level and who are paying the taxes that fund the incentives in the first place. If this frustrates and confuses you, it should! Please contact your representatives with your frustrations. We all use oil, and it’s hard to not, but we pay for it at the pump, we shouldn’t have to pay for it with our taxes as well.

Posted December 14th, 2007 in Uncategorized.


  1. Lau:

    Well spoken and love the illustration! It might just ease the pain a bit, lets hope clear and solid goals to reduce CO2 emissions will be set at the climate talks in Bali this night. But I am not very confident they will come to an agreement there. As much as our continents are alike culturally, we (our maybe not we, but just our governments) do seem to be on opposite ends when it comes to feeling the urgency that something needs to be done.

  2. POPs:

    Yes: Jim very well put, we can not believe in these times that our elected ones are pulling this.
    as colleen always says its all about the money. and big oil has lots of that to line the pockets of the senate.

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