Yesterday the House passed new energy legislation to increase fuel efficiency standards and repeal billions in tax subsidies to the oil and gas industry, but the bill can't even make to a vote in the Senate. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) led the Senate effort against the bill, with $576,900 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry and another $107,00 from auto manufacturers to back him up.
Sen. McConnell seems ever more willing to do the bidding of his biggest campaign contributors. How else to explain opposition to new fuel efficiency standards when we stand a critical juncture for addressing global warming and greenhouse gas emissions? How else to justify huge tax breaks for oil companies when investment in alternative energy solutions is immediate?
We've released a statement pointing to McConnell's misplaced priorities on this legislation:
"With gas prices at record highs, it's unsettling that Sen. McConnell would carry the water for President Bush and big oil on an issue so important to Americans and the future of this country. [. . .] With worldwide consensus on the need to address global warming, it's time for Congress to take action. Unfortunately, Sen. McConnell seems more concerned about protecting the rising profits of oil companies instead of the devastating economic impact due to the rising temperatures of the earth.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has indicated that debate on this legislation will continue next week.