This is all so discouraging and short-sightedness.
(Be sure to read my profile of Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington. She's up for reelection in 2006, and is a passionate supporter of environmental causes and alternative energy sources.)
From the Center for American Progress....
Recent signs of bipartisan cooperation to move America towards real energy independence are little more than illusions. Although the Senate was able to pass important amendments to expand the use of renewable energy, White House pressure in defense of oil companies appears to have scuttled any remaining hope of sensible legislation. The outcome of several key amendments is a classic case of failed potential:
White House and congressional leaders continue to stick their heads in the sand about the very real threat from global warming. Although almost the entire world agrees climate change is a serious threat, right-wing leaders in the U.S. continue to oppose mandatory caps on emissions that cause harmful global warming. Just last week, aides to Sen. Pete Domenici (chairman of the Senate Energy Committee) claimed that the senator "is convinced that the science now indicates that climate change is occurring and we need to do something about it." But after a scolding from White House officials on the topic, Domenici backtracked and is now unlikely to force any changes on emissions.
These same leaders want the U.S. to be dependent on foreign oil. Sen. Maria Cantwell introduced an amendment to the energy bill that would finally force America to do more than just talk about energy independence by reducing oil imports by 40 percent within 20 years. Domenici mocked the measure and it was defeated on the Senate floor.
Here’s the sensible alternative: invest heavily in high-tech and renewable energy solutions and move the country away from its dangerous dependence on Middle East oil. More drilling and tax breaks for irresponsible and backwards looking oil companies like ExxonMobil will do nothing to solve America’s energy needs. Americans are ready to move our economy into the 21st century by investing in alternative energy sources like biofuels and producing energy efficient, high-tech products that meet our needs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.