Democrats take control of U.S. Congress, vow energy-fund reallocation

Here at Grist, we’re advocates of multipartisan cooperation and fans of progress, no matter what its origins. But as the Democratic-led, greener-seeming Congress takes over today, we’d like to allow ourselves a whoop. Whoop! One of the Dems’ top priorities is an energy package that will stick it to Big Oil. By repealing oil and gas tax cuts and forcing the payment of long-shirked royalties, the Dems estimate they can generate $14 billion to $16 billion to put toward renewable energy. Whoop! “The Democrats are appropriately shifting money from the 20th-century technologies to the 21st-century technologies,” said a solar-industry rep, while Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) got feistier: “There will be a new cop on the beat to force every big oil company that is currently lining its pockets with taxpayer dollars to come back to the negotiating table.” The fun will come when Congress debates how to divvy up the fund, and when or if the bill makes it to the president’s desk. But still we say: whoop!