Update: The Senate postponed the three energy subsidy amendments until next week. Instead, they voted on amendments to drill in the outer continental shelf, expedite the keystone pipeline, and eliminate duplicative programs. Needless to say, Democrats killed all three of those amendments. We’ll fight on next week.
We’ve been gunning hard for the Pompeo/DeMint bill, which would end all subsidies and special tax preferences for energy companies. This is our chance to stand decisively on the side of the free-market and against crony capitalism and picking winners and losers in the market.
Today, it was announced that the Senate will consider several non-germane amendments to the highway bill (S.1813). Senator DeMint is offering his bill as an amendment (#1589) to the highway bill later this afternoon. This is where we will separate the men from the boys within the Republican Party. Please call your senators and tell them they must vote for the DeMint amendment if they are really sincere about ending corporate welfare.
Unfortunately, there are other amendments that will be offered in an attempt to further shield the inveterate rent-seekers in government. Senators Menendez and Burr are offering an amendment (#1782) to pass the T. Boone Pickens natural gas subsidies. Boone Pickens’s plan would grant a $4,000 tax credit per car produced by all manufacturers of natural gas vehicles. It would also give consumers a $7,500 tax credit for purchasing one of these vehicles. Companies that install commercial fueling stations for these vehicles would be entitled to a $100,000 subsidy per station!
We’re not just against handouts for green energy; we must oppose them for natural gas as well.
Also, Senator Stabenow will offer an amendment (#1812) to counter DeMint’s bill. Her amendment would extend all of the green energy credits and subsidies, including many of the new provision enacted in the 2009 Porkulous. [more background here]
Vote no on the Stabenow and Menendez-Burr amendments. Vote yes on the DeMint amendment. After today, we will know who really stands on the side of limited government.