Senate Republicans today shot down a proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to help install up to 10 million solar power systems for homes and businesses in the coming decade.
Rebates for solar systems would have been authorized by a Sanders amendment to a Keystone XL oil pipeline bill now before the Senate.
“The scientific community tells us very clearly if we’re going to reverse climate change and the great dangers it poses for the planet we must move aggressively to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” Sanders said.
His amendment called for a 15 percent rebate to homeowners and businesses that install solar power. The new solar power generated would have been enough to replace one-fifth of the nation’s dirty, coal-fired power plants. The measure also would create new jobs.
“So if you’re interested in reversing the dangers of climate change and creating jobs, I would urge you to support this amendment,” Sanders said. The amendment got 40 votes. It needed 60 to pass.
Sanders’ proposal was supported by Vermont’s Green Mountain Power, a leading proponent of solar and other renewable sources of energy. “Green Mountain Power is finding new ways to help Vermonters save money and be more comfortable, while moving to cleaner local sources of energy,” said Mary Powell, the utility president. “We appreciate the efforts of leaders like Sen. Sanders and others who recognize the importance of ongoing investments in renewable energy.”