Some Senate Democrats don’t expect their leaders to bring energy legislation to the Senate floor again before the election, after their failure last Thursday to pass repeals of tax breaks and royalty relief for oil and gas companies. The worry is that another fight over energy would simply damage incumbent Democrats, The Hill
“The easy thing for us to do on energy is what we just did [try to repeal the tax breaks]. We don’t know what else you can bring,” Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said after Senate Democrats met to discuss their energy plans.
With gasoline prices standing above $4 a gallon in much of the country, a do-nothing strategy might not fare the Democrats so well either.
But Udall said Democrats fear Republicans will use any energy bill to make vulnerable Democratic incumbents take difficult votes. Even the simplest bill could come back to bite Democrats, he said.
“[Sen. Jeanne] Shaheen, [D-N.H.], has a great energy efficiency bill with [Sen. Rob] Portman, [R-Ohio], completely bipartisan. You could put that on the floor, but everybody believes they’d dump the kitchen sink in.” The Shaheen-Portman’s bill includes popular tax incentives for businesses and homeowners to invest in insulation, computer-controlled thermostats, and more efficient electric motors.
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