2004 Scorecard Vote
President Bush's national energy plan, first released in May 2001, was strongly criticized by environmentalists for encouraging environmentally destructive practices while doing little to provide Americans with clean, efficient sources of energy. In 2003, the Senate approved an energy bill, based on the President's plan, which would have weakened vitally important environmental laws, though it did not include a provision for drilling in the Arctic. A bipartisan filibuster blocked Senate approval of the energy bill conference report, but in March 2004, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) attempted to attach similar energy policy provisions to S. 150, an unrelated bill on an Internet tax moratorium. Like its precursor, Domenici's Amendment 3051 would have undermined environmental laws like the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. It would also have eliminated a program for increasing the energy efficiency of federal buildings, done nothing to raise the fuel efficiency of automobiles and done little to increase America's investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
In order to prevent the bill from being debated or amended, the Senate leadership immediately called for a cloture vote. On April 29, 2004, the Senate voted 55-43 in favor of the cloture motion (Senate roll call vote 74). NO is the pro-environment vote. The tally fell well short of the 60 votes required to end debate, and Domenici's amendment was dropped from the bill. The Senate later approved provisions awarding billions of dollars in tax credits to coal, oil and gas, and nuclear industries that remained in H.R. 4520, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.