Sunday, August 17, 2008

Candidates missing: Inaction

John McCain and Barack Obama are so busy talking about energy independence they've forgotten to vote on it: Obama, McCain absences may doom big Arizona solar plant.

S.3335 and H.R. 6049 are 'portmanteau' bills, including enough tax breaks to give you a headache if you try to read them. Nevertheless, their main thrust is to continue existing breaks on solar and wind turbine investment.

Both bills failed to get the 60 votes needed even to make it to the Senate floor. McCain has evidently taken no position on the legislation, though I've read that he failed to vote on S.3335 eight times-- once when he wouldn't even leave his Senate office. Obama says he supports it: and voted for it the three times he was present.

The latest vote on S.335 was 51-43 with six abstentions, basically on party lines. H.R. 6049 got a similar 53-43-4 vote. Both Presidential candidates were absent, counted as abstentions.

The article claims, and I've read it elsewhere, that it's "because Republicans are blocking action on any energy bills until the Democrat-controlled Senate first acts on the president's request to lift the ban on offshore drilling for oil."

Shouldn't we expect more than political brinksmanship and gamesmanship from the Congress? Maybe not, there's a reason their approval ratings are lower than President Bush's.

By all means, let's argue about offshore oil-drilling (I vote no), but that's no reason to kill investment that's already in the 'pipeline': Solar group slams Congress over bill

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