2007 Scorecard Vote
America's growing dependence on oil and the threat of global climate change require a new energy policy that raises fuel economy standards, boosts production of clean, renewable energy sources, increases energy efficiency, and develops the next generation of technology. The Senate took the first step toward this goal by passing comprehensive energy legislation (H.R. 6).
The bill's most significant achievement was to raise automobile fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020--the first time these standards had been raised in more than 30 years. That single act will reduce U.S. oil consumption by 1.2 million barrels of oil per day by 2020-- more than half what we currently import from the entire Persian Gulf--saving consumers more than $26 billion and eliminating 206 million metric tons of global warming pollution.
The energy bill also established new energy efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings, protected consumers from price gouging, committed the nation to developing 15 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2015, and set biofuels production targets of 36 billion gallons by 2022.
Opponents of the bill mounted a filibuster against it, but on June 21, 2007, the Senate voted 62-32 to invoke cloture, which limits debate and allows the Senate to vote on the bill's final passage (Senate roll call vote 225). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE. The Senate then approved H.R. 6 by a 65-27 vote (Senate roll call vote 226). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.
In December 2007, after months of negotiations with the House, the Senate took up an amended version of H.R. 6. The new bill included environmental safeguards for the expansion of bio-fuels, a new standard requiring utilities to generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and incentives and tax credits for clean energy.
Opponents of a renewable energy standard mounted a filibuster against the bill. On December 7, 2007, the Senate voted 53-42 to override the filibuster, but this was seven votes shy of the 60 needed to end debate (Senate roll call vote 416). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE. Although the renewable energy standard was stripped from the bill, opponents still objected to the bill's transfer of incentives and tax credits from the oil industry to renewable energy and energy efficiency. On December 13, 2007, the Senate again failed to override the filibuster with a 59-40 vote (Senate roll call vote 425). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE. The clean energy incentives were subsequently stripped from the bill, which then passed the House and Senate and was signed by President Bush on December 19, 2007.