Senate Democrats

Bingaman, Feinstein, Baucus Discuss Democrats’ Efforts To Strengthen America’s Energy Independence, National Security, Economy

Washington, DC—Senators Jeff Bingaman, Dianne Feinstein and Max Baucus held a press conference call today to discuss Democrats’ efforts to solve our grave and growing energy crisis as gas prices continue to rise.  But Republicans showed again today they would stand in the way than work for the American people.

“This legislation represented an opportunity to make significant steps forward in a number of key areas of energy policy,” Bingaman said.  “With its passage, we could have reduced our dependence of oil, increased our consumption of home-grown fuels and provided substantial savings to consumers – all while creating new jobs.  For these reasons, I’m disappointed in today’s vote.  But it is my hope that during the next few weeks we will be able to craft legislation that achieves many of the goals outlined in this bill and get it to the President’s desk.”

Said Feinstein: “I’m disappointed that the Senate did not get cloture.  It’s a missed opportunity.  We had the chance to make a historic leap forward when it comes to increasing fuel efficiency standards. Bottom line: it’s time to get this bill finally passed into law.  So, I hope that we’ll come back with the right package and see fuel efficiency increased before the end of the year.”

“Today’s cloture vote on the energy bill was disappointing, but I’m confident that a few smart changes to some proposals will allow this vital bill to move forward,” Baucus said.  “The energy tax package, with its incentives for energy alternatives, energy efficiency, and new and better infrastructure, has strong support in the Senate and will be an essential part of a good energy bill.  The Joint Economic Committee has determined that the tax package’s offsets are responsible, appropriate, and will have no negative effect on consumer prices.  We have an obligation as Senators to help make our country as energy-independent as we possibly can, and promoting new energy solutions in the tax code is part and parcel of that effort.  I look forward to the passage of a robust energy bill with a strong tax title this year.”