The U.S. Senate on Tuesday rejected an amendment to a bipartisan energy bill that called for phasing out fossil-fuel tax benefits.

The amendment, from Democrat Brian Schatz of Hawaii, failed in a 50-45 vote.

The vote was almost entirely along party lines, with Mazie Hirono of Hawaii voting for the measure.

Senator Brian Schatz at Honolulu Civil Beat's editorial meeting.  1 sept 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Sen. Brian Schatz at a Honolulu Civil Beat editorial meeting, September 2015. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

In a press release before the vote, Schatz said, “If we are phasing out tax credits for clean energy — something I oppose — then why are we still committing to permanently support the fossil fuel industries with tax preferences they don’t need? My amendment would address this imbalance and phase down those tax preferences. I hope my colleagues join me in putting our clean sources of energy on a level playing field with their highly polluting counterparts.”

Schatz’s amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act was one of six that failed to be adopted Tuesday.

“The amendments included Republican ones, such as a provision to limit the president’s power to designate national monuments, and Democratic ones, like requiring additional campaign finance disclosures from fossil fuel companies,” The Hill reported.

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