Rep. Berman Fights to Invest in Renewable Energy, Stop Giveaways for Big Oil
Today, Rep. Howard Berman voted for H.R. 6, the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, to repeal $14 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for Big Oil companies in order to invest in clean renewable and alternative fuels and energy efficiency.
The bill passed by a vote of 264 to 163.
"Repealing extraneous tax breaks and subsidies to profit-rich oil companies and reinvesting these taxpayer funds in cutting-edge alternative energy technologies is a critical first step toward a path to energy independence," Rep. Berman added. "Spurring the development of clean renewable energy and alternative fuels by investing in American ingenuity will create good-paying jobs and a more secure America."
"Over the last six years, oil and gas companies received billions of dollars in additional government subsidies despite the fact that Big Oil companies raked in record profits," commented Berman. "Last year, the big five oil companies made $97 billion, while consumers paid $3 per gallon at the pump. Democrats are committed to a new direction - a long-term approach to reducing our dependence on foreign oil."
"In last year's State of the Union speech, President Bush promised to end our addiction to oil. Today, Democrats are taking a bipartisan step toward that goal by investing in clean renewable energy and alternative fuels, including cellulosic ethanol, and other cutting-edge technologies. We hope to work with the President to fulfill this crucial promise for the future of America."
The bill would ensure oil companies that were awarded the 1998 and 1999 leases for drilling paid their fair share in royalties, and would close loopholes, ending giveaways for Big Oil in the tax code and in the 2005 Energy bill. Further, the bill would create a Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve to invest in clean, renewable energy resources and alternative fuels, promote new energy technologies, develop greater efficiency and improve energy conservation.