Stabenow Statement on Energy Bill Vote
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today made the following statement regarding today's Senate vote on the Energy Bill.
"The final energy bill did not include the proper balance between mandates and incentives for the auto industry.
"Almost two weeks ago, Congressional leaders reached a compromise on energy legislation that included tax incentives, increased use of clean energy by utilities and a major increase in CAFE standards. In addition, a loan program was authorized for the auto industry to retool their plants and create jobs in the United States to meet the aggressive CAFE mandates. The bill also included an incentive package to end tax payer funded subsidies for oil companies and redirect public support to the production of alternative fuels that will truly eliminate our dependence on foreign oil.
"Unfortunately, since this first compromise was reached, Republicans refused to eliminate taxpayer subsides for oil companies, stripped out tax incentives, including over $1 billion in consumer credits for the purchase of advance technology vehicles, eliminated the clean energy requirement and did not fully implement the loan program.
"Because these incentives were dropped and the funding for the loan program and other critical programs were left to the uncertainties of next year's Congress, I felt compelled to vote against this bill.
"While the bill did have some very positive elements like increasing the efficiency in buildings and promoting the use of biofuels, I could not support a new mandate on our auto industry without including the critical incentives and funding support needed to help them be successful and keep our jobs in America.
"Next year, I will continue my fight to provide the critical resources necessary to support the auto industry in their efforts to successfully meet these challenging new requirements.
"I want to praise Congressman John Dingell and Senator Carl Levin for their great work in improving this legislation during House and Senate consideration. It has been a pleasure to partner with them in this effort. There is no question that the CAFE regulatory compromise was a victory in our hard fought and on-going efforts to support the American auto industry and our proud auto workers who are the back-bone of America's middle-class." U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow