Senate surprisingly bipartisan for renewable energy


In this hyper partisan era with Republican politicians and pundits openly committed to blocking President Obama on every issue and Mitt Romney’s position on renewable energy, you could be forgiven for assuming that renewable energy is a Blue – Red issue. The truth is renewables have strong advocates in the senate on both sides of the isle.

For example, a few days ago (August 7), the Senate Finance Committee passed the “Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act,” which would extend the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and the investment tax credit (ITC) for wind power. The Senate Finance Committee has 24 members, 13 Democrats and 11 Republicans. The bill passed 19-5, which means over half of the Republican committee members voted for it.

In fact, the most important federal solar incentive, the Renewable Energy Tax Credit, was first passed in 2005 under President Bush and then extended before the election in 2008 with wide bipartisan support (74-25).

As you can see from the scorecard at the end of this report, over half the Republican senators received a “C” or better, further demonstrating renewable energy’s bipartisan credentials.

The information for the grading system was gathered from The system itself was based loosely on the CAF scale (The Campaign for America’s Future).

Not all the senators had a CAF rating, so those were judged subjectively by the number of times they voted in a renewable friendly way and HOW renewable friendly those bills were. Clearly, the methodology is a bit loose. However, I tried to err on the side of caution, rounding grades down rather than up, to avoid accusations of data manipulation.

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August 2012