The Senate handily rejected cloture Tuesday on S. 940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, which, shorn of political slogans, was the legislation to raise taxes on oil and gas development in the United States.
The vote was 52-48, with Democratic Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Lousiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska joining Republicans to block the bill that would do nothing to address gas prices, but would discourage U.S. energy security and global competitiveness. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was the sole Republican to vote for cloture.
Next up once the Senate convenes at 10:30 a.m. this morning, a motion to proceed on legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to expand domestic oil and gas production. S. 953, the Offshore Production and Safety Act, mirrors the bill passed by the House last week, H.R. 1299, the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act.
Sen. McConnell summarized the bill on the Senate floor Tuesday: “Our bill would return American offshore production to where it was before this administration locked it up, require Federal bureaucrats to process permits–to make a decision one way or the other: process the permit, make a decision one way or the other–rather than sitting on the permits. And it would improve offshore safety. Our plan not only acknowledges the importance of increasing domestic production, it does something about it, while ensuring environmental safety.”