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July 1st, 2007

Clean Energy Act 2007 Survives New Mexican Assault

“The San Francisco Democrats want to run cars with wind”, said Congressman Steve Pearce in a statement opposing the Clean Energy Act of 2007 which would repeal tax breaks for the oil industry and order the Bush Administration to collect past royalties on federal oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Pearce wants to preserve corporate welfare for oil and gas extraction by large energy companies in the form of tax breaks for Big Oil awarded by Congress in 2004, at a time of unprecedented profits in the industry. Despite Pearce’s objection the Bill passed the House.

New Mexico Republican Senator Pete Dominici used procedural votes and filibuster to preserve corporate tax breaks and prevent collection of royalty payments on Federal Leases in the Gulf of Mexico. For good measure, Dominici slapped down the renewable energy standard as well. This provision would have required electric utility companies to include a small percentage of renewable energy in their sales. The standard was reduced to an almost insignificant 11% by 2020, but with Dominici in charge the provision was eliminated. New Mexico Senator and Energy Committee CHAIRMAN Jeff Bingaman whined “I don’t know how to pursue it any further”. After being gutted the so-called Clean Energy Act of 2007 passed the Senate.

The final Clean Energy Act of 2007 which will emerge from the Conference Committee will likely contain provisions that promote biofuels, energy star appliances, energy storage technology, efficiency in federal buildings, aid to local governments, a media campaign and maybe, just maybe WIND CARS!