Tennessee's senior Senator continued pushing a project of special personal interest this week during Senate debate on the energy legislation (H.R. 6). Senator Lamar Alexander attempted to pass an amendment to eliminate tax credits for alternative wind energy.
The amendment (S. Amendment 3353) was opposed by both Democrats and Republicans across the ideological spectrum from Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) to Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Larry Craig (R-ID). The measure ultimately failed by a 79-14 vote.
The speculation that Sen. Alexander has opposed windmills for personal reasons has surfaced in the past. A Senior Policy Scientist at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware Willette Kempton said in 2005, "The level of ignorance in Sen. Alexander's speech is remarkable." This time Alexander opposed windmills for, of all reasons, the way they look.
U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) spoke on the House floor this week noting that the House Omnibus bill weighed 35 lbs and was filled with too much pork. What she did not mention was that it included her own pork project sending $784,000 for horticultural research in Appalachia at the University of Tennessee.
Luckily, Tennesseans of the 7th Congressional District have a Congressperson who will take the time to literally weigh the omnibus bill, take a taxpayer-funded trip to Brazil, and grandstand on the House floor.