New Energy Bill: Lobbyists Trump "We the People"

It’s been a week since the Senate passed its energy bill. Tuesday the House approved it. Today I wonder, once again, what happened to our representative republic. A recent poll showed that 77 percent of Republicans want utilities to be required to use renewable energy for some portion of energy production. Obviously, Dems and independents support such measures in even higher numbers.

The reasons differ according to person, but American people clearly want an energy bill that gets the country on a track to energy independence, new energy technology and environmental responsibility. And how did our Congress respond? With an energy bill that panders to industrial concerns. Well, it did mandate better fuel efficiency for vehicles and require an increase in biofuel (almost half of it from corn — nod to big agriculture).

But beyond that? No requirements or incentives for utilities to update our woefully outdated grid system and use renewable energy. No extension on tax credits for businesses and residences that make use of renewable energy. And, of course, Big Oil retains all of its preferential tax breaks and treatment. Big Oil gets plenty of corporate welfare, despite its huge profits. And the companies trying to research ways of making us energy independent get peanuts compared to the tax benefits Big Oil reaps.

The American people want energy technology and innovation to bring us into the 21st Century. Americans are ready to invest money in what will mean lower energy costs in the long run, as well as cleaner, safer, more stable fuel sources. Now, when will our “representatives” get on board?

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