A bill that would have extended and boosted the producer-incentive tax breaks on a host of alternative energy sources, including wind, solar, biodiesel, clean-coal and other projects to help spur alternative energy development, has been stopped in the U.S. Senate… for the time being.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana), would have extended the $1-a-gallon producer tax incentive for biodiesel but failed when Senate Democrats failed to garner the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture… cutting off debate and allowing a majority vote on the bill. Senate Republicans opposed the measure largely because of some of the tax hikes attached to the bill. But this story from the National Journal says it’s not dead yet:
The measure is in limbo, although Senate Majority Leader Reid can call the bill back up for a vote. Aiding the GOP cause were Democratic absences, including Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. Those two may be back for votes soon, however, giving Democrats a better chance on a revote as well as giving affected industries more time to lobby. Speaking earlier today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Baucus said he thought cloture could be invoked within a week to 10 days. One lobbyist predicted Republicans would eventually back the bill or risk blame for expiration of the tax breaks, particularly vulnerable incumbents like GOP Sens. John Sununu of New Hampshire and Norm Coleman of Minnesota.