U.S. Senate should pass renewable energy bill

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | 10:00 a.m. CST; updated 5:49 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the U.S. House of Representatives passed historic legislation that could save consumers billions at the gas pump, reduce our dependence on oil and create hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs. The bill includes two crucial provisions — a renewable electricity standard for electric utilities that boosts renewable energy sources like wind and solar power and a long-overdue increase in fuel economy standards for vehicles.

If this bill passes the U.S. Senate, Missouri alone could welcome 5,400 more jobs involved in the renewable energy industry. At the present time almost all of Missouri’s energy dollars are sent out of state to purchase coal or oil. It’s time to keep some of these dollars and jobs in Missouri.

Together, these policies could also take millions of tons of polluting greenhouse gases out of the air.

The House-passed bill is a huge step toward a solution, and we cannot afford to have it weakened. But when the bill went to the Senate on Friday, Dec.7, a vote to end debate failed because of partisan politics.

I call on Sens. Bond and McCaskill to support a clean, forward-thinking policy that boosts both renewable electricity and improved automobile mileage. It’s America’s down payment on solving global warming while reducing our dependence on oil and saving consumers money by freeing us from the rising cost of foreign oil.

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