2012 Candidates for President

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Candidate Views on Energy And The Environment

Ron Paul

Summary

Congressman Paul's views on man-made global warming have evolved slightly over the year. In a 2007 interview at the beginning of his Presidential bid, Congressman Paul noted that man may be contributing slightly to the problem, but that more work needed to be done. In 2009, he supported legislation to subsidize the purchase of more fuel efficient vehicles in part to assist in pollution reduction. At later times, Congressman Paul has called the idea a hoax, noting that the phrase "global warming" is not longer used as temperatures have not been rising. He notes the new language of "climate change" in use to address this disparity. 

Congressman Paul supports expanded exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas on and offshore. He notes that the oil industry is one of the most heavily regulated and subsidized industries and that if all those facets were removed, private industry would create more competition which would lead to lower gas and energy prices. He states that the problem that causes inflated prices is not price gouging or a lack of regulation, but rather a lack of competition which is brought on by regulation and bureaucracy that make new competition in the market almost impossible. In 2006, Congressman Paul supported legislation to streamline the permitting process for oil drilling sites. In 2010, he stated that exploration and refinement of oil is simply none of the government's business.

In the past, Congressman Paul has noted that protection of the environment is not a function that the Constitution allows the federal government to perform. He has therefore called for an end to the EPA. To address any possible pollution, Congressman Paul has stated that private property rights should function in this aspect as no man has the right to pollute another person's land, water, or air. He notes that if government regulation of the environment were removed and ill environment effects were addressed on a private property level, then the cost of any pollution would be built into the cost of that particular energy model. The best energy model would then prevail and would be the one that best balances the cost to bring the product to market and the effects it has on the environment.

Congressman Paul supports nuclear, wind, solar, and any other forms of energy production, However, he opposes subsidies to them as he does not believe that the federal government has the right to take money from one person to subsidize the energy desires of another. However, Congressman Paul has sponsored legislation to provide tax incentives to alternative energy sources.

Congressman Paul opposes cap-and-trade and other carbon taxes to regulate carbon emissions. In addition to skepticism about the need to regulate such emissions and the belief that the subject should be handled by private property rights, Congressman Paul has stated that the system would lead to a flight of jobs and capital from the US.

 

Gas and Middle East Policy

In September of 2005, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the topics of gas and middle eastern policy.

Gas, Taxes, and Middle East Policy
September 5, 2005

My constituents in the Texas gulf coast are very concerned about the price of gasoline, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina has left nine gulf coast refineries inoperable, and reduced capacity at four. This will mean the loss of 20 to 40 million barrels of oil in coming months, and prices at the pump well over $3. Congress can help immediately by suspending federal gas taxes, which alone add 18.4 cents to the cost of every gallon. The state of Texas adds another 20 cents per gallon in taxes.

Citizens are always asked to sacrifice during crises; why are governments never expected to do the same? Immediate, short-term relief for every American at the pump could be a reality when Congress returns to Washington this week. Congress should pass, and the president should immediately sign, a bill suspending the federal gas tax. This would create pressure for states to do the same. This is the simplest, fastest, and soundest way to drop gas prices and ease the financial impact of Katrina. Wouldn’t it be better to leave that money in the pockets of the American public at least temporarily, especially as we’re all being asked to provide financial help to hurricane victims?

Many people are upset with oil companies, which is understandable given the frustrations of steadily rising gas prices. But the fundamental problem is not a lack of regulation or price gouging, but rather the lack of price competition between oil companies. The maze of regulatory and environmental rules makes it nearly impossible for would-be competitors to explore new domestic sources of oil or build new refineries. When was the last time you heard of a new start-up oil company? This is because of too much government regulation, not too little. History proves time and time again that the best way to provide any good is too allow markets to operate freely.

The bulk of our refining capacity is concentrated along the gulf coast, leaving the nation’s gas supply vulnerable to annual hurricanes. Without new oil exploration and new refineries, our domestic capacity is fixed. As demand rises with the growth of the U.S. population, we find ourselves increasingly dependent on oil-rich nations-- many of which have questionable governments. With worldwide demand for oil increasing, and our domestic supply fixed, we face a new era.

We must increase domestic production, pure and simple. We cannot afford to be held hostage by unrealistic environmental rules that threaten to strangle our economy. Existing refineries cannot carry the nation if we hope to maintain reasonable gas prices. Turmoil in the Middle East demonstrates that we cannot depend on OPEC nations to make up for our lack of domestic production. As recently as 2002, before we went into Iraq, oil cost less than $20 per barrel. Now it’s nearly $70 per barrel. Before the war, many predicted that a renewed flow of cheap Iraqi oil would benefit American consumers. The opposite has taken place. Iraqi oil production has come to a halt, and OPEC prices have risen steadily over the last few years. Consider this: Iraqis can buy gas for as little as five cents per gallon, courtesy of American taxpayers! We’re talking about imported refined gas, because Iraqi refineries are not operating. Iraqi officials, using American tax dollars, buy this fuel from the Saudis or other OPEC nations at market rates. This subsidy to Iraq cost us nearly $3 billion in 2004 alone. What kind of foreign policy justifies using your tax dollars to subsidize gas prices in an oil-rich nation, while prices skyrocket in the U.S.? We must change our priorities and focus our resources on the American people. We cannot count on using military or political influence in the Middle East to keep gas prices low.

It is easy to call for drastic government action in the emotional aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but we must not ignore history, logic, and basic economics. The Nixon administration imposed price controls on gasoline, but the result was shortages and long lines at the pump. The price mechanism is necessary to create an incentive for oil companies to increase the amount of refined gasoline available. Price controls also discourage the development of alternative fuels. When President Reagan later lifted price controls, worldwide oil production increased dramatically and gas prices plummeted. Electric, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles may be the future, but for the foreseeable future the American economy will continue to depend on oil. We must face this reality and increase the number of domestic refineries, while considering immediate tax relief at the pump. Long term, we must rethink our foreign policy to focus on the interests of American citizens rather than spending billions on nation-building exercises. We are spending more than one billion dollars every week in Iraq, and thousands of National Guard soldiers are assigned there. Those dollars and that manpower are sorely needed in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

 

A Free Market for Gas

In October of 2005, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the need for a free market for gasoline.

A Free Market in Gasoline
October 31, 2005

Many Americans understandably are upset with the sharp spike in gas prices since Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast in August, and are concerned by reports of oil company profits. But we must understand that high oil prices are not the result of an unregulated free market. On the contrary, the oil industry is among the most regulated and most subsidized of U.S. industries. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves whether too much government involvement in the oil markets, rather than too little regulation, has kept the supply of refined gasoline artificially low. Consider Marathon Oil, which operates a refinery in Texas City. Marathon recently announced the construction of new refinery that will bring several hundred thousand barrels of oil online every day- which is exactly what the nation needs. But building a new refinery is a daunting task that requires billions of dollars in capital investment. The process of obtaining federal permits alone can take several years. As a result, we won’t see a drop of refined gasoline from the new Marathon facility until 2009.

Federal subsidies and regulations are largely responsible for limiting the supply of refined gasoline in this country. The demand for gasoline has risen dramatically in America due to population growth in recent decades, but virtually no new refining capacity has been added. Basic economics tells us that rising demand and a fixed supply will lead to higher prices. No amount of congressional grandstanding about price gouging will change this economic reality. We must increase domestic exploration, drilling, and refining if we hope to maintain reasonable gas prices. We need more competition, which means we need less government. Most Americans agree that the American economy should not be dependent upon Middle East oil. Economist George Reisman, however, explains that our own domestic regulations make us slaves to OPEC: “Today, it is possible once again to bring about a dramatic fall in the price of oil- indeed, one even larger than occurred in the 1980s. And it could begin right away. All that is necessary is to abolish the U.S. government’s restrictions on domestic energy production inspired by the environmentalist movement.” Reisman also explains how abolishing restrictions on coal production, natural gas production, and nuclear power would further reduce the OPEC stranglehold. By increasing the supply of these other energy sources, demand for oil would decrease and prices would drop.

Note that much of the support for unrealistic environmental regulations comes from northeastern politicians and media, who weren’t nearly as interested in oil fortunes when the business hit rock bottom in the 1980s. Texas and the gulf coast have always been willing to supply the nation’s energy, and it’s a bit disingenuous to hear criticism from those who are happy to use oil but don’t want refineries in their backyards.

Oil is critical, but it is not a magic commodity that somehow is immune from the laws of economics. In fact, it is precisely because oil is so critical to our economy that we must allow the free market to deliver it. Absent government interference in the oil markets, gas prices would rise or fall according to concrete realities affecting supply and demand. High prices would encourage conservation better than any environmental regulations. Entrepreneurs would race to develop viable alternate fuels if gas prices rose too much. Centralized government planning, on the other hand, cannot solve our energy dilemmas. The Nixon-era price controls on gasoline in the 1970s produced nothing but disastrous shortages. By contrast, the Reagan administration’s immediate deregulation of the oil industry resulted in an unprecedented boom in oil production and a dramatic reduction in prices. This is the lesson we must remember. What can Congress do to provide Americans with some relief at the pump? First it can suspend federal gas taxes, which would save consumers nearly 20 cents per gallon. In the long term, Congress must pass legislation like HR 4004, which I introduced earlier this month. HR 4004 takes a comprehensive approach by allowing offshore drilling, eliminating regulations that restrict refining, and suspending harmful tax rules that discourage domestic oil production. If we hope to have a stable, affordable supply of gas, we must allow the free market to operate.

 

Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act

In June of 2006, Congressman Paul released a press statement noting his support for the Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act.

Paul Votes to Increase Refinery Permits and Lower Gas Prices
Paul Votes to Increase Refinery Permits and Lower Gas Prices Legislation Will Increase Supply of Refined Oil and Encourage Biofuels

June 8, 2006 Washington, DC: Congressman Ron Paul yesterday joined more than 235 of his congressional colleagues in passing legislation designed to lower the price of gas at the pump. The “Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act” addresses the critical need for new oil refineries, as demonstrated by rising gas prices in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita last fall.

The Act requires President Bush to designate new suitable sites for oil refineries, creates a streamlined process for approving applications for refinery construction, and reduces regulatory red tape.

It also encourages the production of biofuels by requiring the Defense Department to set aside sites on closed military bases for refining biological material.

No new refineries have been built in the U.S. since 1976, even as the population—and demand for gasoline—grows steadily. Investors and companies seeking to build new refineries face a lengthy and uncertain federal application process, which often takes years. The end result is higher gas prices.

“American consumers should not be held hostage by federal regulations that keep the supply of refined gas artificially low,” Paul stated. “The need for new refineries is acute, and it’s time to streamline the process before gas prices do more harm to our economy.”

 

Grist.org Interview

In October of 2007, Congressman Paul was interviewed by Grist.org and asked a series of questions about energy and environmental policies.

What makes you the strongest candidate on energy and the environment?

On energy, I would say that the reliance on the government to devise a policy is a fallacy. I would advocate that the free market take care of that. The government shouldn't be directing research and development because they are bound and determined to always misdirect money to political cronies. The government ends up subsidizing things like the corn industry to develop ethanol and it turns out that it's not economically feasible. So, my answer to energy is to let the market work. Let supply and demand make the decision. Let prices make the decision. That is completely different than the bureaucratic and cronyism approach.

On environment, governments don't have a good reputation for doing a good job protecting the environment. If you look at the extreme of socialism or communism, they were very poor environmentalists. Private property owners have a much better record of taking care of the environment. If you look at the common ownership of the lands in the West, they're much more poorly treated than those that are privately owned. In a free-market system, nobody is permitted to pollute their neighbor's private property -- water, air, or land. It is very strict.

But there are realms of the environment that, by definition, can't be owned, right? How would you divide the sky or the sea into private parcels?

The air can certainly be identified. If you have a mill next door to me, you don't have a right to pollute my air -- that can be properly defined by property rights. Water: if you're on a river you certainly can define it, if you're on a lake you certainly can define it. Even oceans can be defined by international agreements. You can be very strict with it. If it is air that crosses a boundary between Canada and the United States, you would have to have two governments come together, voluntarily solving these problems.

Can you elaborate on when government intervention is and isn't appropriate?

Certainly, any time there's injury to another person, another person's land, or another person's environment, there's [legal] recourse with the government.

What do you see as the role of the Environmental Protection Agency?

You wouldn't need it. Environmental protection in the U.S. should function according to the same premise as "prior restraint" in a newspaper. Newspapers can't print anything that's a lie. There has to be recourse. But you don't invite the government in to review every single thing that the print media does with the assumption they might do something wrong. The EPA assumes you might do something wrong; it's a bureaucratic, intrusive approach and it favors those who have political connections.

Would you dissolve the EPA?

It's not high on my agenda. I'm trying to stop the war, and bring back a sound economy, and solve the financial crises, and balance the budget.

Is it appropriate for the government to regulate toxic or dangerous materials, like lead in children's toys?

If a toy company is doing something dangerous, they're liable and they should be held responsible. The government should hold them responsible, but not be the inspector. The government can't inspect every single toy that comes into the country.

So you see it as the legal system that brings about environmental protection?

Right. Some of this stuff can be handled locally with a government. I was raised in the city of Pittsburgh. It was the filthiest city in the country because it was a steel town. You couldn't even see the sun on a sunny day. Then it was cleaned up -- not by the EPA, by local authorities that said you don't have a right to pollute -- and the government cleaned it up and the city's a beautiful city. You don't need this huge bureaucracy that's remote from the problem. Pittsburgh dealt with it in a local fashion and it worked out quite well.

What if you're part of a community that's getting dumped on, but you don't have the time or the money to sue the offending polluter?

Imagine that everyone living in one suburb, rather than using regular trash service, were taking their household trash to the next town over and simply tossing it in the yards of those living in the nearby town. Is there any question that legal mechanisms are in place to remedy this action? In principle, your concerns are no different, except that, for a good number of years, legislatures and courts have failed to enforce the property rights of those being dumped on with respect to certain forms of pollution. This form of government failure has persisted since the industrial revolution when, in the name of so-called progress, certain forms of pollution were legally tolerated or ignored to benefit some popular regional employer or politically popular entity.

When all forms of physical trespass, be that smoke, particulate matter, etc., are legally recognized for what they are -- a physical trespass upon the property and rights of another -- concerns about difficulty in suing the offending party will be largely diminished. When any such cases are known to be slam-dunk wins for the person whose property is being polluted, those doing the polluting will no longer persist in doing so. Against a backdrop of property rights actually enforced, contingency and class-action cases are additional legal mechanisms that resolve this concern.

You mentioned that you don't support subsidies for the development of energy technologies. If all subsidies were removed from the energy sector, what do you think would happen to alternative energy industries like solar, wind, and ethanol?

Whoever can offer the best product at the best price, that's what people will use. They just have to do this without damaging the environment.

If we're running out of hydrocarbon, the price will go up. If we had a crisis tomorrow [that cut our oil supply in half], people would drive half as much -- something would happen immediately. Somebody would come up with alternative fuels rather quickly.

Today, the government decides and they misdirect the investment to their friends in the corn industry or the food industry. Think how many taxpayer dollars have been spent on corn [for ethanol], and there's nobody now really defending that as an efficient way to create diesel fuel or ethanol. The money is spent for political reasons and not for economic reasons. It's the worst way in the world to try to develop an alternative fuel.

But often the cheapest energy sources, which the market would naturally select for, are also the most environmentally harmful. How would you address this?

Your question is based on a false premise and a false definition of "market" that is quite understandable under the current legal framework. A true market system would internalize the costs of pollution on the producer. In other words, the "cheapest energy sources," as you call them, are only cheap because currently the costs of the environmental harm you identify are not being included or internalized, as economists would say, into the cheap energy sources.

To the extent property rights are strictly enforced against those who would pollute the land or air of another, the costs of any environmental harm associated with an energy source would be imposed upon the producer of that energy source, and, in so doing, the cheap sources that pollute are not so cheap anymore.

What's your take on global warming? Is it a serious problem and one that's human-caused?

I think some of it is related to human activities, but I don't think there's a conclusion yet. There's a lot of evidence on both sides of that argument. If you study the history, we've had a lot of climate changes. We've had hot spells and cold spells. They come and go. If there are weather changes, we're not going to be very good at regulating the weather.

To assume we have to close down everything in this country and in the world because there's a fear that we're going to have this global warming and that we're going to be swallowed up by the oceans, I think that's extreme. I don't buy into that. Yet, I think it's a worthy discussion.

So you don't consider climate change a major problem threatening civilization?

No. [Laughs.] I think war and financial crises and big governments marching into our homes and elimination of habeas corpus -- those are immediate threats. We're about to lose our whole country and whole republic! If we can be declared an enemy combatant and put away without a trial, then that's going to affect a lot of us a lot sooner than the temperature going up.

What, if anything, do you think the government should do about global warming?

They should enforce the principles of private property so that we don't emit poisons and contribute to it.

And, if other countries are doing it, we should do our best to try to talk them out of doing what might be harmful. We can't use our army to go to China and dictate to China about the pollution that they may be contributing. You can only use persuasion.

You have voiced strong opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. Can you see supporting a different kind of international treaty to address global warming?

It would all depend. I think negotiation and talk and persuasion are worthwhile, but treaties that have law enforcement agencies that force certain countries to do things, I don't think that would work.

You believe that ultimately private interests will solve global warming?

I think they're more capable of it than politicians.

What's your position on a carbon tax?

I don't like that. That's sort of legalizing pollution. If it's wrong, you can buy these permits, so to speak. It's wrong to do it, it shouldn't be allowed.

Do you think it should be illegal to emit harmful pollutants?

You should be held responsible in a court of law and you should be able to be closed down if you're damaging your neighbor's property in any way whatsoever.

Who would set the law about what pollutants could and couldn't be emitted? Congress?

Not under my presidency -- the Congress wouldn't do it. The people who claim damage would have to say, look, I'm sitting here, and these poisons are coming over, and I can prove it, and I want it stopped, and I want compensation.

You've described your opposition to wars for oil as an example of your support for eco-friendly policies. Can you elaborate?

Generally speaking, war causes pollution -- uranium, burning of fuel for no good purpose. The Pentagon burns more fuel than the whole country of Sweden.

Do you support the goal of energy independence in the U.S.?

Sure. But independence does not mean to me that we produce everything. I don't believe governments have to provide every single ounce of energy. I see independence as having no government-mandated policy: If you need oil or energy, you can buy it.

What about being independent from the Middle East, so we're not buying oil from hostile countries?

I think it's irrelevant. We wouldn't be buying it directly, we would be buying it on the world market. I don't think the goal has to be that we produce alternative fuel so that we never buy oil from the Middle East. The goal should be to provide all useful services and goods through a market mechanism instead of central economic planning or world planning. That system doesn't work.

What role do you think coal should play in America's energy future?

Coal is a source of energy and it should be used, but it has to be used without ever hurting anybody. I think we're smart enough to do it. Technology is improving all the time. If oil goes to $150 a barrel because we've bombed Iran, coal might be something that we can become more independent with. I think technology is super, and we are capable of knowing how to use coal without polluting other people's property.

But coal technology has been proven to harm people -- with poisons like mercury and asthma-causing particulates -- so should old-style coal plants be allowed to continue operating?

Use of the technology I mentioned to prevent harm to people, even if it costs more for the coal producer, is another example of how costs must be internalized to the energy source. To the extent coal can be efficiently produced in a way that does not pollute another's property or another's physical body, it will be chosen as a viable energy source. Certainly no producer of energy or anything else has a right to pollute or harm another's property or person.

If coal is not competitively priced when all costs to keep production safe are internalized to the producer, then coal will not be purchased or produced. I do not happen to believe this will be the case, but it is for the market to sort out, not politicians in Washington. It may be that, from time to time, as other energy sources become scarce, "safe coal" will be viable even if it is not at some other point in time.

What's your take on nuclear?

I think nuclear is great; I think it's the safest form of energy we have.

Ethanol?

I don't think anything's wrong with ethanol -- it's just not economically competitive. It's only competitive now because those who produce it get subsidies.

 

Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Tax Credit Act

In May of 2009, Congressman Paul issued a press statement noting legislation that he was introducing called the Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Tax Credit Act.

Congressman Paul Introduces Bill for Fuel Efficient Cars
May 11, 2009

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Ron Paul is urging his colleagues in congress to cosponsor his legislation HR 1768 the Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Automobile Tax Credit Act.

This legislation would help Americans spend less on gas and reduce pollution by providing a tax credit of up to $2,000 when they sell or trade in a car and obtain a vehicle that has at least 20% higher average fuel economy than their previous vehicle. It also creates a federal tax deduction for any state or local taxes paid on the purchase or the more fuel-efficient automobile, and makes interest on loans to purchase the more fuel-efficient vehicle tax deductible.

“Providing tax deductions and tax credits to make it easier for Americans to purchase fuel-efficient automobiles is a win for American consumers, a win for the environment, and a win for those of us who favor free market solutions to pollution and high gas prices,” Congressman Paul stated in a letter to his congressional colleagues.

Congressman Paul has frequently made the case for the free market and private property rights in protecting the environment, and has signed the Americans for Prosperity’s “No Climate Tax” Pledge. This pledge states that “climate change legislation should not be used as a guise to fund a massive increase in the size and scope of government…” and reaffirms Congressman Paul’s promise to vote against any legislation related to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.

 

Cap-and-Trade Will Lead to Capital Flight

On June 29, 2009 Congressman Paul spoke about cap-and-trade in his weekly address. He compared the practice to the Catholic Church selling indulgences. He stated that the practice would lead to a flight of capital from the country and that the bill would simply lead to companies leaving the country to go to less restricting countries. He further states that there is no consensus on global warming or that it is man-made.

Cap and Trade Will Lead to Capital Flight

In my last column, I joked that with public spending out of control and the piling on of the international bailout bill, economic collapse seems to be the goal of Congress. It is getting harder to joke about such a thing however, as the non-partisan General Accounting Office (GAO) has estimated that the administration’s health care plan would actually cost over a trillion dollars. This reality check may have given us a temporary reprieve on this particular disastrous policy, however an equally disastrous energy policy reared its ugly head on Capitol Hill last week.

The Cap and Trade Bill HR 2454 was voted on last Friday. Proponents claim this bill will help the environment, but what it really does is put another nail in the economy’s coffin. The idea is to establish a national level of carbon dioxide emissions, and sell pollution permits to industry. HR 2454 also gives federal bureaucrats new power to regulate a wide variety of household appliances, such as light bulbs and refrigerators, and further distorts the market by providing more of your tax money to auto companies.

The administration has pointed to Spain as a shining example of this type of progressive energy policy. Spain has been massively diverting capital from the private sector into politically favored environmental projects for the better part of a decade, and many in Washington apparently like what they see. However, under no circumstances should anyone serious about economic recovery emulate an economy that is now approaching 20 percent unemployment, where every green job created, eliminated 2.2 real jobs and cost around $800,000 each!

The real inconvenient truth is that the cost of government regulations, taxes, fees, red tape and bureaucracy is a considerable expense that has to be considered when companies decide where to do business and how many people they can afford to hire. Increasing governmental burden directly causes capital flight and job losses, as Spain has learned. In this global economy its easy enough for businesses to relocate to countries that are more politically friendly to economic growth. If our government continues to kick the economy while its down, it will be a long time before it gets back up. In fact, jobs are much more likely to go overseas, compounding our problems.

And for what? Contrary to claims repeated over and over, there is no consensus in the scientific community that global warming is getting worse or that it is manmade. In fact over 30,000 scientists signed a petition recently directly disputing the claims on which this policy is based. Legitimate environmental claims should instead be directed towards the public sector. The government, especially the military, is the most serious polluter in the country, and is exempt from most EPA regulations. Meanwhile Washington bureaucrats have classified the very air we exhale as a pollutant and have gone unchallenged in this incredible assertion. The logical consequence is that there will come a time when we will have to buy a government permit just to emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from our own lungs!

The events on Capitol Hill last week just demonstrate Washington’s audacity in manufacturing problems just so they can expand government power to solve them. 

 

Property Rights and the Environment

When asked about pollution and the environment, Congressman Paul stated that pollution was based handled through enforcement of property rights as no one is allowed to pollute another man's property.

 

Global Warming is a Hoax

While discussing some election results and government intrusion, Congressman Paul stated that global warming was a hoax. (Comments start at 6:25 into video).

 

Exploration is none of the Government's Business

In April of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss the involvement of government in drilling.

Government and Gasoline

As we head into the summer driving season and gasoline prices are again creeping up, the administration has announced plans to explore opening up more off-shore areas for exploration and drilling. On the one hand this can be lauded as a positive step. On the other hand, it is too little, much too late to have any meaningful or long-term effect on what Americans pay at the pump any time soon, if at all.

Indeed, if increasing domestic energy production was really a priority, the administration would direct the EPA to remove its many roadblocks and barriers to energy production. In fact, abolishing the EPA altogether would do much to improve our country's economy. Instead of protecting the environment as they are supposed to do, most of what they do simply chills the economy. Polluters should be directly liable in court to any and all parties they harm, rather than bureaucrats at the EPA.

Of course, last week's announcement was couched in terms of removing barriers and red tape. However, the fact that we had these barriers in the first place is yet another reminder of how the energy market is hampered and controlled by bureaucrats and central planners in Washington, rather than the demands of the people and the decisions of private investors.

Consider how extremely negative our government's reaction has been to other governments around the world that have nationalized their oil and energy industries, such as Venezuela and Iran. We deposed a democratically elected leader in Iran in 1953 for this very reason. Yet the level of involvement of our government and bureaucrats in energy is nearly absolute. Of course, the only thing worse than our government dictating energy decisions to its own citizens is our government dictating energy decisions to the citizens of other countries.

Along with the waste of prohibitions that leave our own natural resources untapped is the waste our government perpetrates with subsidies to alternative fuel sources. There is certainly profit to be made in perfecting cheaper, cleaner fuel sources, but government subsidy programs interfere with finding realistic long-term solutions. Subsidies divert resources towards certain politically-favored fuel types while ignoring others. If the market were left alone, private investors would put their own capital into the most promising alternative fuels. Instead, due to government incentives, resources are concentrated into politically chosen endeavors that could very well end up being dead ends. Meanwhile, precious time and money is wasted.

The government has the opposite of the Midas touch. This has been observed over and over by the reduced quality and rising prices in every private industry in which it entangles itself. Yet somehow people still seem willing, even eager, to relinquish to government control the most important and sensitive portions of our economy and society. Education, healthcare, and energy are all unfortunate examples of industries that are in my opinion, far too important to be left to government control when it is the market that has the golden touch.

 

The Western Debate

In October of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the Western Debate in Las Vegas. He was asked about the nuclear waste dump in Nevada. He stated that he did not support the Yucca mountain project as one state should not be able to tell another that they can dump their waste there. He also stated that he did not support subsidies of any kind for energy.

COOPER: Congressman Paul, you oppose this?

PAUL: Yes. Yes, I've -- I've opposed this. We've had votes in the Congress. There was a time when I voted with two other individuals, the two congressmen from Nevada. And I approach it from a state's rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, "We're going to put our garbage in your state"? I think that's wrong.

But I think it's very serious. I think it's very serious. But quite frankly, the government shouldn't be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. And nuclear energy, I think, is a good source of energy, but they still get subsidies. Then they assume this responsibility. Then we as politicians and the bureaucrats get involved in this. And then we get involved with which state's going to get stuck with the garbage.

So I would say, the more the free market handles this and the more you deal with property rights and no subsidies to any form of energy, the easier this problem would be solved.

 

Campaign Website Statements

ISSUE - Energy

”Any source that truly is cheaper and cleaner, yet still reliable, will not need government help to develop or sell.”

Government regulations, taxes, and corporate subsidies have distorted the energy market, causing some prices to rise above what they would be in the free market, while artificially lowering other prices and discouraging conservation. The costs of energy subsidies are hidden in your tax bill so the government can silently withhold them from your wallet with each paycheck.

As your Congressman, I am working to restore a free-market in energy. In particular, I am seeking for Congress to repeal federal regulations and taxes that impede the development of new energy sources. Such policies give government bureaucrats the power to pick winners and losers, and cause resources to be devoted to those producers with the most political clout rather than to the producers who are best able to meet the needs of consumers. Alternative sources should prove their viability in the free market. Any source that truly is cheaper and cleaner, yet still reliable, will not need government help to develop or sell.

Returning to a free market in energy will encourage conservation as well as the development of new forms of energy. In a free market, conservation occurs naturally when property rights are strictly enforced to prevent pollution and because resources become more costly as they become scarcer.

I have cosponsored legislation designed to encourage the development of alternative energy. H.R. 550 extends the investment tax credit to solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property, and H.R. 1772 provides tax credits for the installation of wind energy property.

Nuclear energy can also provide the American people with a reliable and environmentally sound alternative. Therefore, we should repeal federal regulations that hinder the development of nuclear energy. However, we should also repeal all federal subsidies and privileges granted the nuclear industry. Nuclear power should prove its worth in the free-market.

Clean, safe, and reliable energy is far too important to leave to the political whims of Washington bureaucrats.

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements

FREE MARKET SOLUTIONS

The free market – not government – is the solution to America’s energy needs.

Unfortunately, decades of misguided federal action have helped lead to skyrocketing fuel prices, making it even more difficult for hardworking families to make ends meet.

Washington’s bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have distorted the market and resulted in government bureaucrats picking winners and losers.

In fact, much of the “pain at the pump” Americans are now feeling is due to federal policies designed by environmental alarmists to punish traditional energy production – like oil, coal, and natural gas – in hopes of making energy sources they favor more “economical.”

Sadly, even with $4.00 a gallon gasoline, many are attempting to make our energy crisis even worse by working to impose job-destroying carbon taxes, or a “Cap and Tax” system.

As long as we allow federal regulations and bureaucratic red tape to get in the way of energy exploration, our country will never solve its energy crisis, and Americans will continue to pay the price in high costs.

A PRO-ENERGY PRESIDENT

As President, Ron Paul will lead the fight to:

* Remove restrictions on drilling, so companies can tap into the vast amount of oil we have here at home.

* Repeal the federal tax on gasoline. Eliminating the federal gas tax would result in an 18 cents savings per gallon for American consumers.

* Lift government roadblocks to the use of coal and nuclear power.

* Eliminate the ineffective EPA. Polluters should answer directly to property owners in court for the damages they create – not to Washington.

* Make tax credits available for the purchase and production of alternative fuel technologies.

It’s time for a President that recognizes the free market’s power and innovative spirit by unleashing its full potential to produce affordable, environmentally sound, and reliable energy.

 

Voting Record

Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act

The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act would have hastened the sale of drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia. It passed the House 266-149, but was never brought up for a vote in the Senate. Ron Paul voted in favor of the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act.

Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011

The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 would have prevented the EPA from passing any tax on greenhouse gases and excluded GHGs from the definition of air pollutants. Ron Paul voted in favor of the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (Cap-and-Trade)

Also known as Cap and Trade, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 sought to create a system of carbon credits which would be issued to each business, and dictated the amount of carbon each business was allowed to put into the evironment through the creation of goods or the use of energy. When a company exceed the amount of carbon allocated to it (exceeded it\'s cap), it could then trade or purchase carbon credits from businesses below their allocated level. The bill passed the house in a 219-212 vote, but was never brought up for a vote in the Senate. Ron Paul voted against the Cap and Trade Program.

Ron Paul voted against the Cap and Trade Program.

Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008

In February of 2008, the US House passed the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008. Among other things, the bill created tax incentives for renewable energy. The bill was widely supported by Democrats and mostly opposed by Republicans. It never came '); echo('up for a vote in the US Senate, but passed the US House in a 236-182 vote. Ron Paul voted against the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008.

Ron Paul voted against the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008.

Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008

In September of 2008, the House passed what was called the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008. Among other things, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008 created tax credits for renewable electricity, and paid for those credits with PAYGO offsets. The bill had widespread Democratic support and Republican opposition, but passed with a vote of 257-166. Ron Paul voted against the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008.

Ron Paul voted against the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008.

Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008

In May of 2008, The US House passed the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. The Act created tax incentives for energy production and conservation. The bill was largely supported by the Democrats and largely opposed by the Republicans. The bill passed the House in a 263-160 vote. Ron Paul voted against the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Ron Paul voted against the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007

Among other things, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007 removed oil & gas exploration subsidies. The bill passed the House in January '); echo('and passed the Senate in June. In the House, the bill was supported by almost all Democrats and opposed by a majority of Republicans. It passed with a 264-163 vote Ron Paul voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

Ron Paul voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007 or NOPEC

The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007 or NOPEC. The bill Amends the Sherman Act to declare it to be illegal and a violation of the Act for any foreign state or instrumentality thereof to act collectively or in combination with any other foreign state or any other person, whether by cartel or any other association or form of cooperation or joint action, to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product (petroleum), to set or maintain the price of petroleum, or to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for petroleum, when such action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price, or distribution of petroleum in the United States. The bill was not brought up in the US Senate, but passed the House in a 345-72 vote. Ron Paul voted against the NOPEC Act.

Ron Paul voted against the NOPEC Act.

Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003

The Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 dealt with reducing the amount of hazardous fuel on federal land, watershed forestry assistance, a healthy forests reserve program, and other items. '); echo('The bill passed the House 256-170 Ron Paul voted against the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.

Ron Paul voted against the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 2784; National Environment and Energy Development Act - Cosponsor

To greatly enhance the Nation's environmental, energy, economic, and national security by terminating long-standing Federal prohibitions on the domestic production of abundant offshore supplies of natural gas, to dedicate fixed percentages of the resultant royalties for environmental restoration projects, renewable energy and carbon sequestration research, and weatherization and energy assistance for those in need, and to share a portion of such royalties with producing States, and for other purposes.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 97; Free Industry Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Clean Air Act to: (1) exclude from the definition of the term "air pollutant" carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, or sulfur hexafluoride; and (2) declare that nothing in the Act shall be treated as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate change or global warming.

Michele Bachmann

Summary

Congresswoman Bachmann does not believe in man-made global warming. She has referred to global warming as a hoax, called for more investigation, and noted that the gases being pointed at as contributing to global warming are natural byproducts. 

In 2006, Congresswoman Bachmann stated during a debate that in the 1970's the concern among scientists was global cooling and it has not been established that global warmin is occuring. She stated that we needed to focus more on the science and less on policy. By 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann was calling global warming an outright hoax. She has co-sponsored legislation to prohibit US contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Free Industry Act to remove carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other items from the definition of air pollutant.

Congresswoman Bachmann strongly opposes cap-and-trade programs, which she refers to as "cap-and-tax." She has stated that cap-and-trade is an energy tax that will not only cripple the US manufacturing sector and destroy our economic recovery, but it will harm families, small businesses, family farms, and individuals alike. Congresswoman Bachmann has asserted that placing the cap-and-trade restrictions on US businesses would raise costs and drive business overseas, amounting to a stimulus plan for China and India without any environmental benefits.

In addition to cap-and-trade programs, Congresswomam Bachmann also opposes attempts by the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions through a finding that carbon dioxide represents a danger. She referred to such efforts as a backdoor energy tax.

To address the energy needs of the US, Congresswoman Bachmann is an advocate for the use of all types of energy. This includes wind, solar, nuclear, coal, and oil. Congresswoman Bachmann is a strong advocate for expanded drilling, drilling in ANWR, and drilling offshore. Congresswoman Bachmann has co-sponsored and advocated for the No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009. This legislaiton would open up the outer continental shelf and ANWR to drilling and exploration. She has also co-sponsored legislation to require the President to designate portions of no less that three military institutions to be used as refineries.

While in office, Congresswoman Bachmann has voted against the cap-and-trade program and against most energy legislation. She has co-sponsored legislation to increase the area availble for drilling, and to increase refining ability.

During her 2012 Presidential campaign, Congresswoman Bachmann stated that if elected, her Presidency would see gas come below $2 per gallon. This may have been alluding to the numerous pieces of legislation that she has co-sponsored to increase energy exploration and drilling, but no specific plan has been offered. Congresswoman Bachmann's 2012 presidential campaign website states that she will end the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, expand energy exploration, reign in the EPA, and ensure that additional tax burden is not placed on explorers and producers.

 

Look at the Science

In June of 2006, Congresswoman Bachmann responded to a quesiton on global warming in an interview and stated that global warming had not been established as fact, and that we needed to look at the science. To illustrate this fact, Congresswoman Bachmann discusses the concern of the 1970s of a global ice age. 

 

Combating Energy Concerns

In May of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a video noting her support for increased oil drilling and exploration and her support for nuclear energy.

 

Global Warming is a Hoax

In March of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann participated in a town hall event and stated that global warming was a hoax.

The big thing we are working on now is the global warming hoax. It's all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax. The tax cap and trade system for limiting emissions is just another tax on businesses. By 2012, incandescent light bulbs will be no more. Fluorescent bulbs are more polluting because of their mercury content. We are working on the light bulb bill. If the Democrats can hose up a light bulb don't trust them with the country.

 

Support for Expanded Drilling

In June of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting her position that Congress should open up more land to drilling to decrease the cost of gas.

Bachmann Continues Fight to Cut Gas Prices

Blogger Call on Energy

Washington, D.C., Jun 23, 2008 -

U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) continued her fight to decrease our nation’s sky-rocketing gas prices hosting a gas press conference with 15 national bloggers and 6 Members of Congress and a special order on the House floor to hit home the message that our nation’s middle class is hurting and needs help.

"Congressional leadership is to blame for the off-the-chart gas prices," stated Rep. Bachmann. "America’s families are struggling to make ends meet. We must act now to bring them the relief they deserve. At a time when food costs are high, our nation’s taxpayers can’t afford to wait much longer for a relief plan from Congress.

"Last week Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) a member of the Appropriations and Natural Resources Committees laid out Democrat leaderships only plan when he declared that the federal government should take over our oil refineries. Socializing our oil industry does not provide relief for America’s families.

"It is critical that Congress vote to open our nation’s available shale and off-shore reserves and look to other energy resources like ethanol, nuclear and wind power to solve our energy dilemma. There is more recoverable oil shale in the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming than in the entire country of Saudi Arabia. That’s enough to meet our supply needs for over two centuries and decrease our rising gas costs.

"I will continue to work in Congress to see that families in Minnesota and all across the nation get help to make ends meet. Supporting my plan to explore here, explore now, and pay less is critical to helping the struggling middle-class get back on their feet."

 

Floor Speech on Energy

In June of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann spoke on the House floor about the need to open more areas for drilling for oil and natural gas.

 

Cut the Red Tape Act

In July of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting her Emergency Energy Cut-the-Red-Tape Now Act.

Bachmann Unveils Legislation to Curb Rising Gas Costs
Authors “Emergency Energy Cut–the-Red-Tape Now Act”

Washington, D.C., Jul 7, 2008 -

Today, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) unveiled key legislation, the Emergency Energy Cut-the-Red-Tape Now Act, which would allow Americans to tap our national energy resources and provide relief from off-the-chart gas costs. In announcing this legislation, she stated:

"Gas prices are continuing to spiral out of control and Congress has done nothing to give Americans the relief they deserve. Record high prices are having a major impact on American consumers and businesses, from the way people travel to the way they do business to the food they buy at the grocery store.

"Sadly, the United States is the only country in the world that discourages using its own energy resources. Our country imports 10 million barrels of crude oil every day. We’re also importing 1.3 million barrels of refined gasoline. However, we have the ability to be energy independent. We have the knowledge and expertise right here at home to procure and refine these products, get them to the pump, and create thousands of American jobs in the process.

"My bill, the Emergency Energy Now Act will give the Secretary of Energy the ability to open the ANWR, oil shale reserves, and the Outer Continental Shelf, and streamline the refinery process. And if the price of oil exceeds $100 a barrel, the Secretary will be required to waive leasing and permitting regulations to open up these energy stores.

"Once these federal lands that have been off-limits are open to exploration, we would immediately begin to tap into our own resources, helping make us less dependent on foreign energy sources and reducing the cost to consumers. It’s clear that the American people are hurting and need help now. Congress must allow for the immediate opening of these lands and allow American companies to help our nation by exploring, producing, and putting these sources of energy into production now."

Some estimates indicate that the permitting process adds 5-6 years to the time it takes to build a refinery. Also according to estimates an offshore oil platform takes seven years and an estimated 1-5 billion dollars before oil or gas can be recovered from one area.

 

Support for Drilling in ANWR

In August of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann appeared on CNN and spoke about the need to drill in ANWR. This followed an op-ed discussing a recent trip to ANWR to generate attention and support for drilling there.

Off to ANWR
7/18/2008 | Email Michele Bachmann | All Posts By Blogger

Today my House colleagues and I are starting our trip to ANWR. On the way, we’ll be stopping in Golden, Colorado to tour the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The lab’s purpose is to find fresh renewable ways to power our homes, businesses, and cars, a key component of the Republicans’ All-of-the-Above energy plan.

Hopefully we’re able to take some pictures there so I can share them with everyone. After that, we’ll be off to Alaska. I’ve got my video camera with me so I’ll be sure to take some good footage to share with everyone when I return next week. In the mean time, here are some facts from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) about the estimated amount of recoverable oil we have in ANWR.

According to the USGS, the mean estimate of technically recoverable oil in the Coastal Plain of ANWR is 10.4 billion barrels – all of which is now economically recoverable.

• That’s more than twice the proven oil reserves in all of Texas.
• That’s almost half of the total U.S. proven reserve of 21 million barrels.
• That represents a possible 50 percent increase in total U.S. proven reserves.

What does 10.4 Billion Barrels of Oil Mean?
10.4 Billion Barrels produces:

• 436.8 Billion Gallons of Gasoline
o 12.6 Billion Tanks of Gasoline (based on a 16 gallon tank)
o 93 tanks of gas for EVERY registered passenger vehicle
• 10.4 Trillion Gallons of Diesel
o 320 Million Tanks of Diesel (with Two 150 gallon tanks on a semi)
• 4.3 Trillion Gallons of Jet Fuel
o 5.7 Million Tanks of Jet Fuel (on fully fueled 737-600s with 6,875 gallon tanks)

Let’s be clear about this. The Coastal Plain of ANWR, also known as the 1002 Area, is neither wilderness nor refuge. It was set aside by Congress and President Carter in 1980 for future oil development. Development would be limited to 2000 acres of the Coastal Plain or 0.01% of the entire 19.6 million-acre refuge. These lands were set aside for America to produce its own energy resources. What are we waiting for?

 

A Sham Energy Bill

In July of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann wrote an op-ed discussing her opposition to the DRILL Act, and citing critical misperceptions that the bill was written on.

A Sham Energy Bill
7/17/2008 | Email Michele Bachmann | All Posts By Blogger

Today, the Democrats are bringing to the floor their supposed “drilling” bill. The Drill Responsibly in Leased Land (DRILL) bill was pushed through committee yesterday where Democrats voted down every pro-production amendment offered by Republicans.

This bill essentially does 3 things that the Democrats want to use to mislead the American people into thinking they support increasing domestic energy production.

SHAM 1
It once again brings back the “Use it or Lose it” idea that was defeated a few weeks back by a bipartisan coalition because of its worthlessness. The 68 million acres that the Democrats say are in need of “use” are, in fact, being used. They are in some stage of exploration right now but are caught up in a bureaucratic maze of approval. As far as the “lose it” portion of the proposal, energy companies are already required to utilize acquired leases within a five to ten year period or the Interior Department Secretary has the right to revoke the lease.

SHAM 2
It says we can’t export oil from Alaska. Not a bad idea, but the problem is we haven’t
done that for the past 10 years.

SHAM 3
It “opens up” land to drilling in Alaska. While they’re on the right track, if they really
cared about opening up land for drilling, they’d do so in ANWR and not in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA) that has (1) already been open for 25 years, (2) is 250 miles away from the nearest pipeline, and (3) isn’t all that serviceable in that it only has 53 workable days a year of thaw.

Conversely, ANWR is close to the Trans-Alaskan pipeline that is already in service. More importantly, ANWR has more production potential on a much smaller piece of land. If the Democrats’ key fear about drilling is the damage it causes to the environment, what sense does it make to use a much bigger piece of land for a substantially smaller return?

Democrats know the vast majority of the American people want to drill here, drill now, and pay less – but this bill will not hide 30 years of shutting off access.

This bill is more of the Democrats’ same failed policies. It’s simply cover for doing nothing to produce energy and it’s the Democrat Leadership’s excuse for blocking votes on real oil and gas production.

Just yesterday, at a Financial Services Committee hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated “…a 1 percent increase in supply could lower prices by 10 percent.”

 

Support for all-of-the-above

In August of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting her opposition to a plan put forth by the Democrats to force oil companies to use their leased land or lose it.

Bachmann Criticizes Democrats' Energy-Lite Gimmick
Continues Her Fight for All-of-the-Above Energy Solution

Washington, D.C., Aug 16, 2008 - (Washington, DC) Today, in response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's unveiling of a so-called Democrat energy plan during the Democrats' weekly radio address, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) made the following statement:

"While American families struggle to pay their bills because of record high gas prices, Republicans have continuously demanded action from Congress on a real energy strategy. In contrast, after months of inaction, the Democrats closed down Congress early and headed off to summer recess. And now, with polls showing how strongly Americans favor the real solutions Republicans propose, Speaker Pelosi finally announces plans to pursue a plan over the next few weeks - presumably before Congress' next recess at the end of September.

"You can dress it up in new language and put it in a national radio address, Speaker Pelosi, but the American people know that this is just the same old tired ideas from the Democrats. This isn't a strategy or a solution; it's a gimmick.

"The Democrats' energy-lite includes the so-called 'use it or lose it' myths that just this week were debunked by the Washington Post editorial board. 'The notion that oil companies are just sitting on oil leases is a myth. With oil prices still above $100 a barrel, that charge never made sense.' Those are the Post's words, not mine. And, according to Speaker Pelosi, the Democrats' energy-lite 'will consider opening portions of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling.' Republicans have been talking about drilling off OCS for months now -- even years. Yet, all the Democrats can propose is to consider considering? Now's not the time for legislation that just proposes possibilities, Madame Speaker; the American people demand action.

"The fact of the matter is that Speaker Pelosi does not care about America's struggling families, she cares about retaining her majority in Congress. She has had countless opportunities to cut gas prices by allowing a vote on real energy solutions, but instead Democrats have been playing political games. Now they're trying to fool the American people by proposing energy-lite disguised as a real energy solution. The American people may not be in a position to buy much gas nowadays; but they're not going to buy this gimmick either."

 

Fast Track Shale Act

In August of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting legislation that she was putting forth called the Fast Track Shale Act.

Bachmann Introduces Shale Oil Exploration Bill
Offers the Fast Track Shale Act as part of $2 Gas Plan

Washington, D.C., Aug 1, 2008 - (Washington, DC) – Today, U.S Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) introduced another energy exploration bill which would provide the American people with much-needed relief at the pump. The Fast Track Shale Act would open up U.S. federal lands that contain oil shale, cut red tape binding Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulations for commercial development of this shale, and set in place new research and development that will help foster a better process of extracting this form of oil.

"With our nation’s families facing record high prices at the gas pump, America must become less dependent on foreign oil and produce our own energy so that we knock down these rising costs," stated Bachmann. "Right now, America has an abundance of oil and natural gas sources that are readily available. Unfortunately, Congress is standing in the way of their retrieval and is continuing to make it illegal to access these valuable resources."

BLM estimates that the oil shale-rich areas of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming alone hold 1.23 trillion barrels of oil. This oil would completely offset Saudi Arabia’s 1.2 trillion barrels of known reserves making the United States independent of foreign oil all together.

"Before taking the majority in Congress, Democrats promised to meet our nation’s energy demands, but they’ve been entirely unwilling to vote on a comprehensive energy bill before breaking for August recess," said Bachmann. "With complete disregard for our nation’s hurting families, the Democrat-led Congress has continually blocked efforts on the House floor to expand the development of American petroleum resources and bring down the price of fuel. I will continue to call for more exploration in Congress as part of a comprehensive all-of-the-above energy strategy."

 

Promoting New American Energy Act

In July of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting her legislation to bolster renewable energy.

Bachmann Unveils Renewable Energy Legislation
Part of her Plan for Two-Dollar Gas

Washington, D.C., Jul 31, 2008 -

(Washington, DC) Today, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann introduced a renewable energy bill as part of her All-of-the-Above energy strategy. Bachmann’s legislation would use tax incentives to promote new American energy sources and rein in out-of-control gas prices. The Promoting New American Energy Act would accelerate tax depreciation for investments in renewable energy, paving the way for long-term energy independence. In introducing this legislation, Rep. Bachmann stated:

"To combat this energy crisis, Congress must aggressively pursue all options – oil, gas, coal, wind, solar, biofuels, nuclear – leaving no stone unturned in the effort to provide Americans with relief and secure our energy future. My bill, the Promoting New American Energy Act, is part of a plan to do just that. It would accelerate tax depreciation to 3 years for investments in newer, cleaner, more efficient energy technologies. By encouraging greater investment in solar, wind, geothermal and more, these alternatives become a bigger part of our arsenal of energy options more quickly. And a diverse arsenal of solutions will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and curb our gas costs.

"According to a study by the nonprofit, nonpartisan American Council for Capital Formation, investments in alternative energy experience less favorable tax depreciation rules in the U.S. compared to many other countries. My legislation will put America on better footing globally and take us one step closer to increasing our domestic energy production.

"The fact of the matter is that our nation is in an energy crisis and Congress needs to do everything in its power to increase domestic energy production and exploration. By establishing new tax incentives to encourage purchases of energy production equipment and technologies, this bill provides American businesses with the tools needed to increase production and lower our current sky-rocketing energy costs."

 

American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act

In July of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting her support for the American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act.

Bachmann Offers Discharge Petition to Cut Gas Prices
H.R. 6107, the American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act

Washington, D.C., Jul 30, 2008 -

(Washington, DC) Today, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) continued the fight to decrease our nation’s sky-rocketing gas prices and offered a discharge petition to release H.R. 6107, the American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act, for legislative action. With 181 cosponsors, this bipartisan bill which opens the Costal Plain of ANWR and mandates that the Secretary of Interior issue leases no later than 25 months from the date of enactment, deserves consideration by the U.S. House.

"Our nation’s families are experiencing record high gas costs and Congress has sat on the sidelines for far too long," stated Rep. Bachmann. "It’s time that Congress provide them the relief they deserve. Congressional leadership and their lack of action is to blame for off-the-chart gas prices. They must redeem themselves and bring this commonsense legislation to the floor before leaving for the August break.

"The 2000-acres of the Coastal Plain can deliver an additional 1 million barrels per day or more for 30 years. That's roughly equivalent to what the State of Texas produces daily. And, H.R 6107 would provide this at no cost to the American taxpayer. In fact, this bill would create jobs once the Costal Plain is open.

"I’m tired of the Democrats’ political games," concluded Rep. Bachmann. "America’s hard-working taxpayers need help making ends meet and I am going to force the Democrat leadership to stop ignoring them. I will continue to work in Congress to see that families in Minnesota and all across the nation receive help to get back on their feet."

H.R. 6107 also limits the footprint of development by including environmental regulations and restrictions for drilling. Once signed by a majority of House Members, 218, a discharge petition begins the process of forcing a bill out of a committee for action by the full House.

 

Support for Shale Exploration

In August of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting her support for legislation to promote shale oil exploration.

Bachmann Introduces Shale Oil Exploration Bill
Offers the Fast Track Shale Act as part of $2 Gas Plan

Washington, D.C., Aug 1, 2008 - (Washington, DC) – Today, U.S Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) introduced another energy exploration bill which would provide the American people with much-needed relief at the pump. The Fast Track Shale Act would open up U.S. federal lands that contain oil shale, cut red tape binding Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulations for commercial development of this shale, and set in place new research and development that will help foster a better process of extracting this form of oil.

"With our nation’s families facing record high prices at the gas pump, America must become less dependent on foreign oil and produce our own energy so that we knock down these rising costs," stated Bachmann. "Right now, America has an abundance of oil and natural gas sources that are readily available. Unfortunately, Congress is standing in the way of their retrieval and is continuing to make it illegal to access these valuable resources."

BLM estimates that the oil shale-rich areas of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming alone hold 1.23 trillion barrels of oil. This oil would completely offset Saudi Arabia’s 1.2 trillion barrels of known reserves making the United States independent of foreign oil all together.

"Before taking the majority in Congress, Democrats promised to meet our nation’s energy demands, but they’ve been entirely unwilling to vote on a comprehensive energy bill before breaking for August recess," said Bachmann. "With complete disregard for our nation’s hurting families, the Democrat-led Congress has continually blocked efforts on the House floor to expand the development of American petroleum resources and bring down the price of fuel. I will continue to call for more exploration in Congress as part of a comprehensive all-of-the-above energy strategy."

 

Opposition to Democratic Energy Proposal

In September of 2008, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting her opposition to Democratic proposals for energy.

Bachmann Outraged at Democrats' Energy Sham Proposal
Energy Bill That Brings Real Relief to the American People is Long-Overdue

Washington, D.C., Sep 16, 2008 -

Today, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) made the following statement in response to the House Democrats’ sham energy proposal:
"For twenty-one months the American people have been forced to pay off-the-chart oil and gas prices. They’ve waited anxiously for Congress to put aside the political games and come together to support a real energy solution. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat-led Congress decided to stick with their same old tired gimmicks and brought to the floor – without allowing any debate on any amendments- a bill that does nothing to increase our nation’s energy production.

"In the dead of night last night, at 11 pm, the House Rules Committee met to determine what - if any – debate would be in order. With less than one hour's notice to any Republican, they slipped in and did not approve a single amendment, cutting off debate on the seminal issue of our time. This is irresponsible. This is practically criminal. Congress is literally robbing the American people of the opportunity to have real energy independence.

"How does the Democrat-led Congress respond to the cries of the American people? They introduce a gimmicky energy proposal that will multiply red tape and make it almost impossible to lower already skyrocketing oil costs. Their bill extends the moratorium on nearly 9/10 of all off-shore reserves, including some of the most promising areas for exploration. It also fails to include revenue sharing for coastal states with off-shore leases – which even Democrats have called a poison pill dooming their bill to failure. This is proof positive the House Democrats don’t mean business.

"This bill also keeps Alaskan oil bottled up, fails to access the 2.5 million barrels of oil available per day from shale reserves, and creates new no-drill zones off-shore. This bill completely binds American production and pushes us further into dependence on foreign oil.

"My Republican colleagues and I will continue to call for a vote on true energy solutions until the Democrat-led Congress sets aside business as usual and works to pass a real solution that works for our nation’s families."

Bachmann authored four amendments that would have promoted renewable energy technologies, opened access to shale oil reserves, cut the red tape on domestic production, and eliminated frivolous legal maneuvers that are used to bottle up American oil and natural gas.

 

Cap-and-Trade Forums

In April of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann released a press statement and noted forums that she held on cap-and-trade programs.

Bachmann Hosts Cap-and-Trade Forums

Washington, D.C., Apr 9, 2009 - Today, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann held two public forums – one in St. Cloud and the other in Woodbury – to discuss the financial impact of President Obama’s proposed cap-and-trade energy policy on family budgets and our economy with special guest Chris Horner, Senior Fellow and author with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Rep. Bachmann issued the following statement at the conclusion of the two forums:

“I was very excited to see the tremendous turnout in both St. Cloud and Woodbury from so many 6th district residents interested in learning more about the serious ramifications of this cap-and-trade, or as I call it, cap-and-tax, policy proposed by the Obama Administration. President Obama has made this policy a cornerstone of his agenda, seeking its passage by August and it’s great that so many Minnesotans now have the facts on what this policy really means for them and for the economy. Cap-and-trade is an energy tax that will not only cripple our manufacturing sector and destroy our economic recovery, but it will harm families, small businesses, family farms, and individuals alike.

“While it is being messaged as a tax against big business polluters, the financial burden directly impacts every consumer. This tax will not only result in higher energy bills, it will increase the cost of everything from groceries to school supplies. But, let’s be honest: This isn’t really about being green, it’s about making green. The Democrats need the revenues this will generate to pay for their expensive spending agenda. But, that’s short-sighted because it will cost far more in the long-run than it will bring in. Any way you look at it, it’s low- and middle-income Americans who will pay dearly for this – especially in Minnesota. Cap-and-trade will increase energy costs for all energy consumers, but it will particularly raise costs for those who get their energy from coal-fired utilities, which are more dominant in the Midwest.

“With our economy in the shape that it’s in, everybody’s tightening their belts. Everybody’s worried about making their mortgage payments. Everybody knows someone out of work and wonders if they’ll be next. And, everybody has seen their savings and retirement dwindle. A cap-and-tax policy like this is the last thing families need right now.”

 

Fox Business Appearance

In March of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann appeared on Fox Business and spoke about cap-and-trade legislation.

 

Package of Energy Legislation

In March of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann released a statement noting the numerous pieces of legislation that she had introduced to make changes to the US energy policy.

Bachmann Introduces Legislation to Increase American-Made Energy without Increasing Taxes

Washington, D.C., Mar 31, 2009 - U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-06) today re-introduced her package of four bills that promote our nation’s energy independence. Her “all of the above” approach will increase the supply of clean, affordable, American-made energy today and provide tax incentives—instead of energy tax increases as proposed in President Obama’s budget—to invest in newer, more efficient energy technologies for the future.


“At a time when the American economy is experiencing the worst recession in decades, the last thing Washington should do is continue to restrict the development of cheaper energy and increase taxes to pay for energy exploration,” said Congresswoman Bachmann.

Her package includes: the Emergency Energy Cut the Red Tape Now Act, the Fast Track Shale Act, the Getting Resources Efficiently and Effectively Now, and the Promoting New American Energy Act.

Currently, the U.S. imports 10 million barrels of crude oil each day. In order to decrease reliance on foreign sources of oil, Bachmann re-introduced the Emergency Energy Cut the Red Tape Now Act, which would allow the Secretary of Interior to access offshore drilling, oil shale reserves, and streamline the refinery process. If the price of oil exceeds $100 a barrel, the Secretary would be required to waive leasing and permitting regulations to open energy stores.

Bachmann also reintroduced the Fast Track Shale Act, which would open federal lands that contain oil shale, cut the red tape at the Bureau of Land Management for commercial development, and set in place new research and development that will help foster even more efficient processes of extracting this form of oil.

“Unfortunately, frivolous lawsuits have often delayed accessing American energy resources. And quite frankly, that is often their objective. That is why I am also re-introducing the GREEN Act,” said Congresswoman Bachmann. “Environmental protections are important and necessary, but legal challenges to oil and gas leases, aimed at blocking production, can drag on unnecessarily for years.”

The Getting Resources Efficiently and Effectively Now (GREEN) Act would give the President or his designee the authority to review all leases to determine if they comply with applicable federal laws and following such approval no further administrative or judicial review would be permitted.

And, in order to promote an “all of the above” energy solution, Bachmann’s fourth bill, the Promoting New American Energy Act, provides incentives for newer, more efficient and cleaner energy by accelerating tax depreciation to 3 years for investments in newer, cleaner, more efficient energy technologies, including solar, wind, and geothermal investments.

“Ending our nation’s dependence on foreign oil can be done without spending the trillions of dollars President Obama has proposed. We have the resources and ability to develop American-made energy and to do so in way that creates jobs and provides tax incentives to encourage innovation to update our energy production,” said Congresswoman Bachmann.

 

Discussion of Carbon Dioxide

On Earth Day in 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann spoke about the idea that carbon dioxide was a pollutant. She notes that carbon dioxide is essential to life on earth and fundamental to the life cycle here. She mocks the idea that the US standard of living should be reduced to reduce a natural part of earth's atmosphere.

Mrs. BACHMANN. I thank so much my colleague, Mr. Pence from Indiana, for yielding to me for 5 minutes.

And I want to recognize and honor our colleague, Mr. Pete Olson.He's a wonderful freshman, and he's focused exactly on where we should be focusing, and that's on solutions.

We have a great solution to America's current energy crisis, and we do have one. And the great news is that the answer is here in our backyard. We have more coal in the United States than any other country in the world. We have abundant sources of natural gas. We have abundant sources of hydropower. We have abundant sources of wind, of solar. We have oil reserves. We have so much here in our backyard.

Instead of talking about a negative, draining our economy with the new cap-and-tax proposals, we could be here on this floor this evening talking about how we can create millions of new American jobs, high-paying jobs; be the lead exporter in the world of energy. That is the American story, and that's part of America's greatness. Unfortunately, the Obama administration, Mr. Speaker, as well as the Democrat majority that runs this body, is proposing a quite different solution. It's the new cap-and-tax proposal.

But people talk about cap-and-tax and they aren't sure exactly what we're talking about. Let's get back to step one: What is the problem? Why did we have to have this tax in the first place?

It's about carbon dioxide. Well, what is carbon dioxide?

Let us just go to a fundamental question. Carbon dioxide, Mr. Speaker, is a natural byproduct of nature. Carbon dioxide is natural . It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular life cycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can't even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that's on the Earth, to the fowls that fly in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as a part of the fundamental life cycle of Earth.

As a matter of fact, carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful, but there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas. There isn't one such study because carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas. It is a harmless gas. Carbon dioxide is natural . It is not harmful. It is a part of Earth's life cycle. And yet we're being told that we have to reduce this natural substance and reduce the American standard of living to create an arbitrary reduction in something that is naturally occurring in the Earth.

We're told the crux of this problem is human activity. It's human actions that are creating more carbon dioxide. Is that true or false? Well, carbon dioxide is a natural part of the Earth's atmosphere. But carbon dioxide is perhaps 3 percent of the total atmosphere that's in the Earth. So if you take a pie chart and all of Earth's atmosphere, carbon dioxide is perhaps 3 percent of that total.

What part of human activity creates carbon dioxide? If carbon dioxide is a negligible gas and it's only 3 percent of Earth's atmosphere, what part is human activity? Human activity contributes perhaps 3 percent of the 3 percent. In other words, human activity is maybe 3 percent contributing to the 3 percent of carbon dioxide that's in Earth's atmosphere. It's so negligible; it's a fraction of a fraction of a percent. It can hardly be quantified.

But let's go ahead and give those who believe in the global warming theory, let's give them their due. And let's say that former Vice President Al Gore is completely right in all of his premises. Let's give him his every premise that he believes on carbon dioxide and that emissions are rising here on planet Earth. Let's give him every premise.

And as we give him every premise, let's also give former Vice President Gore every solution that he believes the United States should embrace to address global warming: that we need to reduce our standard of living, tax our people, hike up the taxes. Let's say we put into place every solution that Vice President Gore has put forth for our country.

Even if we give Vice President Gore his premise, even if we give him his solution, what will be the result? Under his own figures, under Al Gore's own figures, we would reduce the amount of carbon emissions in Earth's atmosphere by the year 2095--the end of this century--we would reduce them by less than seven-hundredths of 1 percent. In other words, the temperature of Earth would drop less than seven-hundredths of 1 percent by the year 2095, and we would be essentially bankrupting our economy to do that. Certainly we would be dramatically lowering the American standard of living.

What will this mean? As my colleague, Mike Pence, has said, the American people will be paying not once for their electric bill; they will be paying twice. The American people will be paying double. They will be paying double for their electric bill; they will be paying increased prices at the gas pump, increased prices at the grocery store. They will be paying increased prices when they go to Target or Kohl's to buy clothing or goods for their family or to Wal-Mart. When they go to buy furniture, the prices will be included. Why? Because energy touches every part of American life. There is no part of American life or life anywhere on the planet that energy doesn't touch. What will that mean?

That will mean dramatic job losses. As a matter of fact, a study in Spain was concluded and it talked about new green jobs that were created. For every green job that was created in Spain, 2.2 jobs were lost in Spain. Is that what we want in the United States, create green jobs only to see a dramatic reduction in American jobs? As my colleague, Mr. Pence, said, the American heartland--I represent the great State of Minnesota--we can't afford that. And the chart that Congressman Pence pointed to stated in the Heritage Study that Minnesota would lead the Nation in job losses if this new cap-and-tax situation was put into place, is that what America wants? I don't think so.

When you look at the fact that carbon dioxide is a natural Earth substance, part of Earth's life cycle, that human activity only contributes 3 percent of 3 percent, so negligible that even if we give the global warming enthusiasts every premise and put into place every prescription, that even so, by the year 2095, we will only reduce carbon dioxide emissions less than seven-hundredths of a percent. And we are willing to export American jobs to do that and do that in spite of knowing that China and India have already declared, We're not in. We're not in. So you might as well call President Obama's and the Democrats' cap-and-tax plan the ``India and China job stimulus plan'' because that's exactly what this will mean for the American economy.

We can do so much better.

As our colleague, Pete Olson, said, we can, instead, embrace American energy solutions and create more natural gas, more oil, more coal, cleaner ways of heating and electrifying our Nation. That's not the way President Obama wants to go. President Obama said you can build a new coal plant but we will bankrupt you. As my colleague, Mike Pence, said, your electricity prices will skyrocket. It doesn't have to be that way.

I am so excited about solutions that we can have in our country, and that would be to make life better for the average American by reducing America's energy cost. This is reality. This is the good news. It's available to you, and the Republicans have a plan to do just that.

I yield back to my colleague from Indiana to tell more of the positive solution and the concerns that we have about this new cap-and-tax. As we go forward in the next weeks, we want to let the American people know, Mr. Speaker, that there are solutions to this problem, that we don't have to reduce America's standard of living.

With that, I would yield back to my colleague and thank him with much appreciation for hosting this remarkable hour this evening.

Mr. PENCE. I thank the gentlelady. And before she departs the floor--reclaiming my time--I would call the attention, Mr. Speaker, to you and anyone who might be looking in, to a map that reflects recent research done by the highly respected Heritage Foundation. They call this the manufacturing vulnerability index, which really calculates what the gentlelady said about her home State of Minnesota, my home State of Indiana, represent those kind of heartland States that will be undeniably most impacted by a cap-and-tax system.

I would yield to the gentlelady for a quick response. We're struggling in Indiana. Our economy, Mr. Speaker, has a 10 percent unemployment rate. The idea of Congress actually making a priority today--in the name of climate change--to pass legislation without numbers in it. Again, I want to emphasize we don't have numbers in this bill, but the estimates are based on independent studies that it will cost millions of jobs, the estimates are that it will burden families.

I would just ask the gentlelady, are the good people of Minnesota in a better position than the people of Indiana to absorb a national energy tax of some $3,128 per household?

I would yield.

Mrs. BACHMANN. Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, in Minnesota, we have had, historically, a very low level of unemployment. However, now, with the economy in the condition it is in, Minnesota is very unusual; we are upwards of 8 percent unemployment. In my largest city, we are looking at approximately 10 percent unemployment. In one of my great rural counties, we are also at about 10 percent level of unemployment. In Minnesota, that is absolutely unheard of.

And I would also refer to the map that the gentleman from Indiana is holding. This is a wealth redistribution scheme--some people would call that socialism. This is a wealth redistribution scheme. The reason why I say that is because the individuals in the United States that live in the heartland will be paying the tax, much of which will be redistributed to States on the coast, which will be paying negligible tax. And so all of that money will be taken out of the area in the United States that is very hard hit by this economy and transferred to Washington, D.C. and redistributed to other States.

This is adding insult to injury to an already painful process that a lot of people are going through. And that is why no one can understand this right now. I think no more clear statement needs to be said than that which our President stated perhaps about 4 or 5 weeks ago when he stated, he will have--this is a nonnegotiable. He wants this cap-and-tax. This is President Obama's highest priority. He wants this passed. But he also said that our economy couldn't take the imposition of this tax right now; it couldn't take it because our economy is vulnerable. So he is saying that he wants to delay imposition of this tax until 2012.

What does that tell the American people? The American people are smarter than that. They recognize this is a tremendous burden on their pocketbook and a job killer and, therefore, it should be a deal killer here in the Congress. And I know for you this is, for me this is. We have got to get to a better solution. Thank God we have one.

 

Opposition to Cap-and-Trade

In May of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann released a press statement noting her opposition to the Democratic cap-and-trade legislation.

Statement on the Democrats’ Cap-and-Tax Energy Proposal

Washington, D.C., May 5, 2009 - U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-06) today released the following statement as the American Energy Solutions Group discussed solutions to provide more affordable energy for individuals, families and small businesses:


“At a time when the American economy is experiencing a serious recession, the last thing Washington should do is restrict the development of cheaper energy and increase taxes to pay for retro energy ideas. Our government needs to slow down and think twice about enacting an energy policy that will clearly hurt our already struggling economy and financially impact—in the negative—every single American. And that’s exactly what cap and trade will do.

“Ending our nation’s dependence on foreign oil can be done without spending the trillions of dollars President Obama has proposed. The Energy Solutions Working Group is dedicated to an ‘all of the above’ approach that will increase the supply of clean, affordable, American-made energy today and encourage investment for newer, more efficient energy technologies for the future. We have the resources and ability to develop American-made energy and to do so in way that creates jobs and provides tax incentives to encourage innovation to update our energy production,” said Bachmann.

 

Floor Speech - Cap-and-Trade

In June of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann spoke on the House floor on the upcoming vote on cap-and-trade legislation.

Mrs. BACHMANN. I thank the gentleman from Virginia. I support the gentleman's amendment.

We know, Madam Speaker, that this national energy tax will cost the American people $2 trillion. We know that. We know this will result in a loss of 2.5 million jobs every year for the American people. We know that. We know this will result in a reduced standard of living for Americans. We know that. What is the point and what's the benefit?

But what is worse than this is the fact that now, because of this underlying bill, the Federal Government will virtually have control over every aspect of lives for the American people. It is time to stand up and say, We get to choose. We choose liberty or we choose tyranny. It's one of the two.

The underlying bill represents the tyranny and the intervention of the Federal Government. Mr. Forbes' amendment represents liberty for the American people.

It's our choice. What will we choose today? Will we choose liberty or will we choose tyranny?

I choose Mr. Forbes' amendment.

 

Cap-and-Trade is a Tax

In June of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann wrote an op-ed discussing the cap-and-trade program being proposed by the Democratic majority in Congress. She states that the scheme is nothing more than a tax.

Cap-and-Trade is a Tax
6/16/2009 | Email Michele Bachmann | All Posts By Blogger

Recently, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the House Democrats’ cap-and-trade energy bill and found that it will result in $846 billion in new energy taxes that will affect every single American.

Congressman Dave Camp, ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee laid the case out very clearly as to what this energy tax means for middle-class America:

“The President has repeatedly stated married couples earning less than $250,000 a year would not face higher taxes, but this legislation imposes an energy tax on every American and provides no help to families making more than $42,000 or individuals making as little as $23,000. Increasing Americans’ fuel and utility bills in this recession is not only bad policy, but it completely ignores the hardships millions of Americans are already facing. This is dangerous legislation in desperate need of closer review.”

If that wasn't bad enough, Bloomberg has reported that the Democrats' cap-and-trade energy tax will raise gas prices by 77 cents.

I think it's safe to say that President Obama's campaign rhetoric is catching up to him. Rather than prospering, all Americans are being hit hard by the reckless policies being practiced in Washington.

 

Ideology Over Science

In July of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann wrote an op-ed discussing the EPA's desire to implement restrictions on carbon-dioxide over the objections of scientists.

EPA Substitutes Ideology In Place of Scientific Integrity
7/1/2009 | Email Michele Bachmann | All Posts By Blogger

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, also referred to as cap-and-trade, or cap-and-tax, or the national energy tax, on the premise that if we don't act now to cut carbon emissions, our planet's environment will incur irreversible damage.

Now, we know that cap-and-trade is an absolutely disastrous economic policy, resulting in higher costs for every single American on energy and all manufactured goods. It is an economic time bomb for our nation's already struggling economy that will serve merely as a huge revenue booster for the federal government. We know that.

So supporters of this legislation claimed that we had to pursue this disastrous public policy because science says we must do it to save the environment. Enter the EPA, and its new administrator Lisa Jackson. You’ll recall that the EPA made a similar announcement not long ago, making an endangerment finding and stating that it would have to regulate carbon dioxide if Congress didn’t.

Last week, CBS News reported that "the Environmental Protection Agency may have suppressed an internal report that was skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government."

CBS states that "the EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an email message to a staff researcher on March 17: 'The administrator [Jackson] and the administration has decided to move forward... and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.'" The report's author, a 38 year employee of the EPA, was diverted to other work.

In other words, two weeks before the EPA submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, the EPA center director suppressed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty "decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."

But, wait, there’s more.

If we go back to January of this year, it was the EPA's Lisa Jackson who said, " I will ensure EPA's efforts to address the environmental crises of today are rooted in three fundamental values: science-based policies and programs, adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency."

It seems to me that Jackson substituted ideology in place of scientific integrity in this case. If Jackson really meant what she said, this report should not have been quashed but instead given ample consideration and debate. But in rushing through a major policy initiative of this White House and Congress, I guess you can't let the facts and the truth get in the way of action.

 

Lockup Our Energy Resources

In July of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann wrote an op-ed noting her desire to see US oil resources locked up for US use.

Locking Up Our Energy Resources
7/13/2009 | Email Michele Bachmann | All Posts By Blogger

As Americans hit the road for their family vacations this summer, they're undoubtedly noticing the money they leave at the gas pump. AAA's Fuel Gauge Report has the national average at $2.58 for regular gas. That's a far cry from the $4.11 we were paying a year ago. But, the need for an all-of-the-above strategy for energy independence remains just as great now as it did then.

So, it's puzzling that the Obama Administration is trying to restrict our ability to tap into American oil and natural gas resources.

Robert Bryce, Managing Editor for Energy Tribune, wrote in the Wall Street Journal on July 7, 2009 that President Obama is calling for the elimination of two tax incentives that encourage oil and natural gas exploration. President Obama calls them "unjustifiable loopholes" for big, bad oil and gas. The facts show that these two tax provisions more than pay their way all the while opening up American supplies that make us more energy independent.

One allows for the expensing of "intangible drilling costs," which are things like wages, fuel, and pipe. The other provides an allowance for percentage depletion, so well owners can deduct a portion of the value of the production of their wells. Together, these two provisions make up the bulk of the total $1.92 billion in federal oil and gas subsidies. An investment banking firm, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., analyzed the impact of eliminating the intangible drilling cost tax incentive and found that it alone could lead to an increase in the cost of U.S. natural gas by 50 cents per thousand cubic feet.

But, together, these tax provisions helped us to make advances in energy technology and to tap into natural gas reserves in Texas and Pennsylvania that were previously thought to be too expensive to reach. A report by the Department of Energy this April found that these newly available resources total 649 trillion cubic feet of gas. That is the equivalent of 118.3 billion barrels of oil, which is more than the proven oil reserves of Iraq.

As Bryce points out, "Simple arithmetic shows that eliminating the drilling subsidies that cost taxpayers less than $2 billion per year could result in an increased cost to consumers of $11.5 billion per year in the form of higher natural gas prices."

When you're gassing up the car for your next family outing, think about what it will take to make energy more affordable and energy independence more attainable. It's got to be an all-of-the-above strategy.

 

EPA and Carbon Regulation

In December of 2009, Congresswoman Bachmann wrote an op-ed discussing the regulation of carbon dioxide through the EPA.

EPA to Force Businesses to Regulate Carbon Dioxide
12/7/2009 | Email Michele Bachmann | All Posts By Blogger

With the future of cap-and-trade currently in limbo in the Senate, President Obama and liberal leaders in Congress are getting a bit nervous about the prospects of their national energy tax becoming law, and rightly so. More and more evidence is pointing to the highly skeptical statistics of global warming trends, and the scientific community is becoming increasingly wary about the soundness and significance of man made global warming.

In fact, recently revealed emails written by scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the U.K.'s University of East Anglia and their peers calling into question the scientific rationale for regulation have turned the global warming debate on its head.

But, if you were worried that facts and figures would get in the way of the United States pursuing a radical agenda, have no fear. Where Congress falls short, we have the EPA to pick up its pieces.

Today, the EPA officially declared carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant. This is bad news for businesses and jobs alike.

The Wall Street Journal reports that:

"an 'endangerment' finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions -- even if Congress doesn't pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy more directly, and more quickly, than any global deal inked in the Danish capital (Copenhagen Climate Change Conference), where no binding agreement is expected."

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donahue released a statement on the EPA's costly decision, saying the EPA's endangerment finding "could result in a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project."

The National Association of Manufacturers had harsher words stating that the EPA action won't do much to combat climate change and "is certain to come at a huge cost to the economy."

The timing of this announcement is no coincidence. President Obama is scheduled to fly to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference later this month, and now he has something to show his similarly misguided peers.

With unemployment at 10%, our government and its agencies shouldn't be looking for ways to eliminate jobs and make it more expensive for businesses to operate. They should be doing exactly the opposite. But again, what else would you expect from liberal leadership that is more focused on seeing through their radical agenda instead of creating jobs and getting our economy back on track.

 

The Back Door Energy Tax

In March of 2010, Congresswoman Bachmann wrote an op-ed discussing EPA movements to establish a national energy tax without legislation dictating such a tax.

The EPA's Backdoor National Energy Tax
3/2/2010 | Email Michele Bachmann | All Posts By Blogger

In an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a national energy tax by circumventing the legislative process, the EPA (with the backing of the Obama Administration) is pushing emission regulations which will destroy jobs and further impact our already struggling economy.

Knowing full well these regulations will further hamper our nation's already precarious finances; the EPA is stealing a playbook from the White House and moving full speed ahead on a policy that the majority of Americans simply don't want. If these regulations come into effect, new taxes will force jobs overseas and shift higher prices onto the consumer, almost guaranteeing that our 10% unemployment rate will climb higher.

If a national energy tax was in the interest of the American people, wouldn't cap-and-trade have cruised through the Senate and been to the President’s desk by now? Instead, cap-and-trade is stalled and may never see the light of day due to its unpopularity and the increased damage it will inflict on our already fragile economy.

I believe the EPA and President Obama need to adhere to the legislative process and not force a jobs-killing tax on businesses throughout our country. Therefore, I signed on to a resolution with my Republican colleagues to put a stop to the EPA’s backdoor approach to raise your taxes. Now, more than ever, job growth needs to be encouraged, not stifled by taxes and regulation.

 

Keep Offshore Drilling Afloat

In July of 2010, Congresswoman Bachmann wrote an op-ed discussing the movement of offshore drilling platforms away from the Gulf of Mexico and towards overseas locations.

Keep Offshore Drilling in the U.S. Afloat
7/14/2010 | Email Michele Bachmann | All Posts By Blogger

As the unemployment rate sits at 9.5%, American jobs are literally floating away. Two oil drilling rigs from the Gulf of Mexico recently embarked on a two month journey overseas. Diamond Offshore announced one rig is going to the Nile River delta of Egypt and the other is heading to the Republic of Congo; and their job opportunities went with them.

These rigs were sitting idle due to President Obama’s deep water drilling ban and his administration’s subsequent new moratorium, even though a federal judge struck down the first ban. Diamond Offshore could not wait for the Administration to lift the ban in six months. Instead, the company saw an opportunity for up to $234 million to be generated through drilling off the shores of Congo.

The moratorium must be reconsidered before more rigs float away to aid other country’s economies. Additionally, the rigs already existing in the U.S. need to be utilized, under the highest safely standards, to provide more jobs which our nation so desperately needs.

Other countries are benefiting from offshore drilling while the U.S. is slipping far behind, as reported today in the Investor’s Business Daily newspaper:

According to RigLogix, the U.S. offshore rig fleet of 93 rigs of different types is only being used to 38% of capacity. In the Alaskan offshore, none of the four rigs is under use. In the remaining parts of the U.S. offshore, only two of the 28 rigs are in use, a grand total of 7%.

By contrast, 148 of the North Sea's 159 rigs are under contract, for a 93% utilization rate. Off the coast of Brazil, 68 of the 79 rigs are in use, for an 86.1% utilization rate. West Africa, which includes Republic of Congo, has 67% of its 76 rigs in use. Even Mexico, much maligned for not investing and squandering opportunities, utilizes 52% of its 62 rigs.

Just as the U.S. is falling behind in exports, amounting to only 17% of GDP as the rest of the world sails by with higher numbers, the 34% rig utilization shows how badly we're falling behind offshore.

The off shore drilling moratorium must be reconsidered before more rigs float away to aid other country’s economies. The tragedy that has cost the Gulf so much already should not be exploited like this to further an out-of-touch energy policy the President and Congressional Democrats have promised. The rigs already existing in the U.S. need to be utilized to their fullest capacity and under the highest safely standards to provide more jobs which our nation so desperately needs.

It is not too late for the U.S. to be a leader in deep oil drilling and safe exploration. But, President Obama must act quickly before more oil rigs are thousands of miles away providing jobs and revenue to foreign nations.

 

$2 a Gallon Gas

At a campaign event, Congresswoman Bachmann promised that if elected, she would bring down the cost of gas to less than 2$ dollars a barrel. She offered no plan to achieve this goal.

Under President Bachmann presidency, you will see gas come back down below 2$ a gallon again. That will happen.

 

Reagan Debate

In September of 2011, Congresswoman Bachmann participated in the Republican debate at the Reagan library. She notes her opposition to the EPA involvement.

Congresswoman Bachmann, a question about energy, back to that subject for a moment. Were you quoted correctly -- and do you stand by it -- as wanting to drill in the Everglades in Florida?

BACHMANN: The question was asked of me about that. And what I said is we have American energy resources all across this nation. And, of course, we would do it responsibly. That was my response at the time.

And on this issue on human -- human activity as being the cause of climate change, I think it's important to note that the president recognized how devastating the EPA has been in their rulemaking, so much so that the president had to suspend current EPA rules that would have led to the shutting down of potentially 20 percent of all of America's coal plants.

Coal is the source that brings 45 percent of America's electricity. What we're seeing is that a political agenda is being advanced instead of a scientific agenda. And this is leading to the -- to massive numbers of jobs being lost.

The president told us he wanted to be like Spain when it came to green job creation, and yet Spain has one of the highest levels of unemployment. The president is bringing that here in the United States. And I think tomorrow night, when the nation tunes in to the president, I'm afraid that we won't be seeing permanent solution. I'm afraid what we'll be seeing are temporary gimmicks and more of the same that he's given before.

...

BACHMANN: Energy is one of the greatest opportunities for job creation that we have in the United States. We just learned today that if the federal government would pull back on all of the regulatory restrictions on American energy production, we could see 1.2 million jobs created in the United States.

We could also see created over 50 percent more American energy production. And we could also see $800 billion more revenue coming into the United States government.

Don't forget the day that President Obama took office, gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. It's entirely possible for us to get back to inexpensive energy.

The problem is, energy is too high. Let's have a goal of bringing it down, because every time gasoline increases 10 cents a gallon, that's $14 billion in economic activity that every American has taken out of their pockets. This is a great solution, and this is the place to start with American job creation.

 

Huckabee Forum

In December of 2011, Congresswoman Bachmann participated in a forum that was hosted by Mike Huckabee. She speaks about the need to get rid of the EPA.

 

Official Website Statements

Energy Independence

Energy reform is perhaps one of the most critical issues facing Congress as Americans pay high prices at the pump day after day, and our dependence on foreign oil continues to threaten our national security. I believe it is imperative we look for real solutions to lower gas prices for American families and increase domestic energy production to break our dependency on foreign sources of oil.

We can achieve these goals by cutting federal regulations that drive up energy production and processing costs, increasing U.S. capacity to refine crude oil and exploring areas that are currently off limits to domestic production like the Alaskan Energy Slope, the oil shale areas of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, and the outer-continental shelf.

In addition, we must look beyond our traditional sources of energy to diversify our supply and find innovative solutions to help protect the environment. Minnesota has proven to be a leader in the production of biofuels, wind power, and other renewable sources of energy. As a member of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus (RE&EEC), I am working to raise awareness and educate lawmakers on technologies to improve energy efficiency and explore alternative forms of energy.

 

Campaign Website Statements

“All-of-The Above” Approach to Energy Development

At a time when the American economy is experiencing the worst recession in decades, the last thing Washington should do is continue to restrict the development of cheaper energy or increase taxes on energy consumers.

From reserves in the mountain West to ANWR to the outer-continental shelf, we have untapped resources that can increase energy supply and reduce prices. And, constantly improving technology gives us the ability to explore while preserving our natural heritage for generations.

I have introduced 4 pieces of legislation to free up our energy reserves and promote alternative forms of energy.

  • The Emergency Energy Cut the Red Tape Now Act, to improve access to offshore drilling and oil shale reserves and streamline the refinery process;
  • The Fast Track Shale Act, to improve our ability to access shale oil on federal lands;
  • The Getting Resources Efficiently and Effectively Now (GREEN) Act, to fast track access to American energy resources; and
  • The Promoting New American Energy Act, to accelerate tax depreciation for investments in technologies like solar, wind and geothermal.
  • Congress must open up domestic supplies of energy to exploration if we are to reduce your pain at the pump and lead our nation to real energy independence.

And as a member of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, I am working to raise awareness and educate lawmakers on technologies to improve energy efficiency and explore alternative forms of energy. We must never stop exploring alternative energy. For instance, France gets 80% of its energy from clean, safe nuclear energy. Yet, the U.S. hasn’t built a new reactor in three decades. We cannot limit our capacity for ingenuity in the search for energy answers.

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements

Achieving Affordable Energy

When Barack Obama was inaugurated, gasoline cost $1.83 a gallon. Today, prices have more than doubled. And a major reason is this Administration’s determination to lock up and raise the price of America’s abundant energy resources.

The government has conservatively estimated that America’s offshore reserves alone include approximately 86 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Many of these resources are off limits due to various moratoria and restrictions, many of which President Obama previously pledged to lift.

Now, his Administration, overreacting to the BP oil spill, has reversed that promise and brought approvals for deepwater wells in areas open to development to a virtual standstill. Not to mention threatening energy companies with new levies and cap-and-trade rules that would further hike costs and which the President has openly acknowledged are intended to price our coal industry out of business.

Meanwhile, in a deeply cynical, highly political ploy, the President recently released millions of barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserves in an artificial effort to temporarily reduce prices – letting loose for a few months a daily energy supply roughly equivalent to the daily output we could see for years to come from allowing limited and environmentally safe drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Besides driving up prices, the Administration’s actions are costing jobs and hurting our economy. It’s been estimated that opening up offshore areas for greater development could add two percent a year to our gross domestic product and bring in more than $2.2 trillion in revenue and royalties.

The natural gas industry has already proven what’s possible through new technologies that have dramatically increased reserves, resulting in more than a century of supplies. That’s the kind of “game-changing” advance that could reduce costs, create jobs and increase our security – if only government would get out of the way.

As President, I will work to lift the restraints that keep America from energy security. I will fight to increase access to the billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf and reverse the Administration’s “permatorium” in the Gulf of Mexico. I will stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s cap-and-trade rules in their tracks, and end this “Job Killing Agency’s” threats against our rapidly growing domestic shale gas industry and the energy and manufacturing bonanza it is offering. And I will put a halt to the threat of higher taxes against the explorers and producers whose investments and innovations offer the best hope of bringing down prices and ensuring our energy independence.

 

Voting Record

Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act

The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act would have hastened the sale of drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia. It passed the House 266-149, but was never brought up for a vote in the Senate. Michele Bachmann voted in favor of the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act.

Michele Bachmann voted in favor of the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act.

Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011

The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 would have prevented the EPA from passing any tax on greenhouse gases and excluded GHGs from the definition of air pollutants. Michele Bachmann voted in favor of the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.

Michele Bachmann voted in favor of the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (Cap-and-Trade)

Also known as Cap and Trade, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 sought to create a system of carbon credits which would be issued to each business, and dictated the amount of carbon each business was allowed to put into the evironment through the creation of goods or the use of energy. When a company exceed the amount of carbon allocated to it (exceeded it\'s cap), it could then trade or purchase carbon credits from businesses below their allocated level. The bill passed the house in a 219-212 vote, but was never brought up for a vote in the Senate. Michele Bachmann voted against the Cap and Trade Program.

Michele Bachmann voted against the Cap and Trade Program.

Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008

In February of 2008, the US House passed the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008. Among other things, the bill created tax incentives for renewable energy. The bill was widely supported by Democrats and mostly opposed by Republicans. It never came '); echo('up for a vote in the US Senate, but passed the US House in a 236-182 vote. Michele Bachmann voted against the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008.

Michele Bachmann voted against the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008.

Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008

In September of 2008, the House passed what was called the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008. Among other things, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008 created tax credits for renewable electricity, and paid for those credits with PAYGO offsets. The bill had widespread Democratic support and Republican opposition, but passed with a vote of 257-166. Michele Bachmann voted against the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008.

Michele Bachmann voted against the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008.

Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008

In May of 2008, The US House passed the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. The Act created tax incentives for energy production and conservation. The bill was largely supported by the Democrats and largely opposed by the Republicans. The bill passed the House in a 263-160 vote. Michele Bachmann voted against the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Michele Bachmann voted against the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007

Among other things, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007 removed oil & gas exploration subsidies. The bill passed the House in January '); echo('and passed the Senate in June. In the House, the bill was supported by almost all Democrats and opposed by a majority of Republicans. It passed with a 264-163 vote Michele Bachmann voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

Michele Bachmann voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007 or NOPEC

The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007 or NOPEC. The bill Amends the Sherman Act to declare it to be illegal and a violation of the Act for any foreign state or instrumentality thereof to act collectively or in combination with any other foreign state or any other person, whether by cartel or any other association or form of cooperation or joint action, to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product (petroleum), to set or maintain the price of petroleum, or to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for petroleum, when such action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price, or distribution of petroleum in the United States. The bill was not brought up in the US Senate, but passed the House in a 345-72 vote. Michele Bachmann voted in favor of the NOPEC Act.

Michele Bachmann voted in favor of the NOPEC Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 680; To prohibit United States contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Cosponsor

Prohibits the President from making contributions on behalf of the United States to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 1431; No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

To stimulate the economy and create jobs at no cost to the taxpayers, and without borrowing money from foreign governments for which our children and grandchildren will be responsible, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 2784; National Environment and Energy Development Act - Cosponsor

To greatly enhance the Nation's environmental, energy, economic, and national security by terminating long-standing Federal prohibitions on the domestic production of abundant offshore supplies of natural gas, to dedicate fixed percentages of the resultant royalties for environmental restoration projects, renewable energy and carbon sequestration research, and weatherization and energy assistance for those in need, and to share a portion of such royalties with producing States, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 5656; To repeal a requirement with respect to the procurement and acquisition of alternative fuels. - Cosponsor

Amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to repeal provisions prohibiting any federal agency from entering into a contract for procurement of an alternative or synthetic fuel for any mobility-related use, other than for research or testing, unless the contract specifies that the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and combustion of the fuel must be less than or equal to such emissions from the equivalent conventional fuel.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 6108; Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act of 2008 - Cosponsor

To provide for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 2279; Increasing Refinery Capability - Cosponsor

Requires the President to designate not less than three closed military installations or portions thereof that are appropriate for siting a refinery for gasoline or other fuel. Designates the Department of Energy as the lead agency for coordinating applicable federal refinery authorizations and related environmental reviews with respect to a designated refinery.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 97; Free Industry Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Clean Air Act to: (1) exclude from the definition of the term "air pollutant" carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, or sulfur hexafluoride; and (2) declare that nothing in the Act shall be treated as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate change or global warming.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 5656; To repeal a requirement with respect to the procurement and acquisition of alternative fuels. - Cosponsor

Amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to repeal provisions prohibiting any federal agency from entering into a contract for procurement of an alternative or synthetic fuel for any mobility-related use, other than for research or testing, unless the contract specifies that the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and combustion of the fuel must be less than or equal to such emissions from the equivalent conventional fuel.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 6132; Budgeting Nuclear Waste Funds - Cosponsor

Amends the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to authorize the Secretary of Energy to use amounts in the Nuclear Waste Fund to make competitive grants to enter into long-term contracts with private sector entities for the recycling of spent nuclear fuel. Directs the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to complete a rulemaking establishing a process for licensing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, of facilities for the recycling of spent nuclear fuel. Amends the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to provide that the receipt and disbursements of the Nuclear Waste Fund shall not be counted as new budget authority, outlays, receipts, or deficits or surplus for purposes of the executive budget, the congressional budget, or the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) (thereby moving the Fund off-budget).

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 6138; Shale Oil Reserves - Cosponsor

Amends the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 to repeal the prohibition on using certain funds to issue regulations for: (1) a commercial leasing program for oil shale resources on public lands; or (2) an oil shale lease sale.

Herman Cain

Summary

Herman Cain is a strong supporter of utilizing all available energy sources. He supports wind, solar, and nuclear energy. Mr. Cain also supports expanded drilling in all areas, including offshore and in ANWR.

Mr Cain does not believe in man-made global warming. He has stated that there has been no proven that global warming is a crisis. He opposed the cap-and-trade legislation, calling it nothing more that a tax scheme.

 

Support for Drilling

In May of 2008, Herman Cain wrote an article discussing his support for drilling for more oil. He notes his support for drilling onshore, offshore, and in ANWR.

May 26, 2008
Oil Abounds in America, but Democrats Vote to Keep It In the Ground

The Democrats in Congress have gone beyond ignoring real solutions to the pain at the gasoline pump and other critical problems. They are ignoring the people altogether in order to gain more political power.

Sadly, the mainstream media is allowing it to go almost unnoticed. I will not.

During the week of May 15, 2008, the Senate had three opportunities to increase the domestic production of oil and help ease our economy’s dependence on foreign oil. All three times the Democrats voted as a block to deny passage of critical oil liberating legislation.

The American Energy Protection Act of 2008 (Senate Bill 2958) would remove restrictions on oil exploration and drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This would have opened access to about 24 billion barrels of oil, which is enough to keep America running for five years with no foreign imports, while other energy technologies are being developed.

Senate Bill 2958 was offered as an amendment to another bill on the floor of the Senate and the Democrats promptly voted it down. Only one Democrat, Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, voted yes with the Republicans on increased production.

Sen. Landrieu is running for re-election this year. She is the same senator that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid convinced at the last minute to change her vote on permanent repeal of the death tax in 2006. Her vote for the increased oil production bill is a bone to the furious business community of Louisiana for reneging on her commitment to kill the death tax.

Secondly, Senate Bill 2958 would have removed commercial leasing restrictions on oil shale rich areas of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Oil shale is a solid material containing oil, which makes it more expensive to extract than traditional oil liquids. But today’s oil prices have made access to this source of oil more cost effective.

It is estimated that there are two trillion barrels of unexplored oil shale right here in the United States. That’s trillion with a “t”.

Lifting the oil shale restrictions was considered separately as an amendment to the FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations Bill in Committee, and failed on a party line vote of 15 to 14. No Democrats voted in favor of oil shale development.

The third opportunity came as a motion on the Senate floor to give governors the authority for increased exploration on the OCS in their “backyard” for new areas of production. The motion was voted down by the Democrats 51 to 44 with three Democrats voting with the Republicans. Sen. Landrieu was one of the Democrats . . . another bone to the people.

The mainstream media’s preoccupation with trying to squeeze more drama out of the Democratic presidential primary has left the Democrats in Congress unchecked on other critical issues. This is not a new development. It’s just a worsening one.

As the Democrats in Congress hold useless hearings to attack oil companies, pass useless legislation to try and sue OPEC, and continue to promote their wrongheaded idea of a “windfall profits” tax, the people continue to endure the pain of their irresponsibility.

There is nothing more critical to our national security than addressing our rapidly increasing dependence on foreign oil. And there is nothing more frustrating than the Democrats in Congress continuing to block all attempts to explore the oil resources we have right here at home.

But there is still hope! The original Senate Bill 2958 is stuck in committee.

A few thousand emails to Sen. Jay Bingaman, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, might help to blast it onto the Senate floor. If you are interested, go to www.hermancain.com and click on “Do Something Now!”

Let’s see if the Democrats in the Senate can ignore 10,000 voices.

 

Opposition to Cap-and-Trade

In June of 2008, Herman Cain wrote an article in which he discussed his opposition to the cap-and-trade legislation being pressed through the House and Senate.

June 2, 2008
Lieberman-Warner: The Carbon Emissions Police Are Coming

In my column last week, I informed those who were not aware of how the Democratic leaders in the United States Senate had systematically and consistently blocked legislation (S.2958) that would have allowed oil exploration and drilling right here at the home of the brave.

Specifically, there are at least 24 billion barrels of untapped crude oil on government controlled land, and another estimated 2 trillion barrels of oil from a mineral called oil shale stuck in the ground in the western part of our country. But the Democrats say “don’t touch that”.

While most of us were observing our favorite Memorial Day activities last week, the Senate had already scheduled a debate of America’s Climate Security Act of 2007 for the week following Memorial Day, which is this week.

Maybe the mainstream media missed telling us about this, because the bill has several aliases to keep us unaware. It is called the Lieberman-Warner bill, named after its original sponsors, and designated S.2191, as well as S.3036, which became the designation after it was reintroduced in 2008 by Senator Barbara Boxer of California. That should be a clue right there about what kind of climate security they are proposing.

I will spare you the suspense. Here’s the layman’s description of the bill.

The Lieberman-Warner bill is a cap-and-tax energy scheme, a carbon-emissions rationing program, a new tax on businesses and consumers, a new big government central agency and new career opportunities for thousands of new lobbyists specializing in greenhouse gas regulations.

A more technical description is available from the Congressional Research Service at
www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-2191&tab=summary.

The bill also establishes the Carbon Market Efficiency Board, which shall report on the national greenhouse gas emission market and provide cost relief measures if it determines significant harm to the U.S. economy.

Give me a break!

The people who conceived and wrote this crap are obviously descendants of the same people who wrote the original tax code in 1913, the Social Security legislation in 1935, the Medicare bill of 1965 and the out-of-control prescription drug legislation of 2004.

Just look at how well all of these “the government knows best” programs are working today, and we have a good idea of where this latest giant leap for mankind will work for our grandchildren.

Carbon emissions are an issue, but it has not been established that it is a crisis. Likewise, it has not been firmly established that global warming is a crisis. Additionally, there is a plethora of proactive ways to address these issues that are not even on the table, before we pass broad sweeping legislation filled with an abundance of unintended consequences.

But once again, the Democratic answer to every issue is more big government, more bureaucracy, more taxes and more restrictions on businesses and the people.

The response to my appeal to “Do Something Now” to get Senate Bill 2958 out of committee at www.hermancain.com has been spectacular. Thank you! Sen. Jay Bingaman of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee will have a few thousand voices waiting for him when his staff checks his e-mails this week.

My web site also now has “Do Something Now #2”, which is a link to the online petition initiated by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, demanding that Congress “Drill now. Drill here. Pay less.”

And stop the Lieberman-Warner bill!

Unless you would like to meet the Carbon Emissions Police, what are you waiting for? Go to “Do Something Now” and do it now.

Our grandchildren will thank you.

 

Crying Out for More Drilling

In June of 2008, Herman Cain wrote an article discussing the people's desire to see more domestic drilling and the Democrat's unwillingness to listen.

June 30, 2008
The People Cry Out for Domestic Oil Drilling, But Democrats are Deaf

A recent Consumer Reports survey as reported on the Fox News Channel indicated that 77 percent of Americans blame Congress for our oil price crisis. This implies that the Democrats’ attempt to shift the blame to oil executives, OPEC and oil speculators did not work.

Seventy-four percent of likely voters, according to a recent Zogby poll, support oil drilling in U.S. coastal waters. And yet the Democrats blocked legislation in the Senate and the House several times within the last few weeks.

Congressman Lynn Westmoreland has gotten 183 of his congressional colleagues to sign a simple petition that says, “I will vote to increase U.S. oil production to lower gas prices”, and as of June 28, 2008, not a single Democrat had signed the petition.

One has to say that the Democrats have shown incredible unity on ignoring public opinion, online petitions, congressional petitions, thousands of e-mails and phone calls for the sake of increasing their chokehold on power in the United States Congress.

Congratulations to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for keeping the Democratic ducks in line on the wrong side of the issue, while our dependence on foreign oil gradually picks the pockets of consumers and chokes the life out of our economy.

The list of lame excuses for their dogged position of not exploring the various resources we have right here at home would insult the intelligence of a fifth grader. Maybe they assume that most of their Democratic followers did not get past the fourth grade. I think not, but how else do you explain their deafness to the people?

This is another fine example of the “new direction” the Democrats promised in the 2006 election cycle – namely, backwards again.

Our days of cheap oil are over because Congress has allowed this country to get too far behind as a potential player in the world energy market.

Our energy situation will only get worse because the mass availability of alternative fuels and vehicles will take time to become commonplace.

The faceless enemy of capitalism and American energy independence has the Democrats in Congress right in the palm of its hands.

There is no single solution to our energy dilemma, and there is no one action by Congress or the president that will have an immediate effect on our pain at the pump. Inaction of the past has put us in our situation today, while today’s inaction by Congress will compound our energy problems of the future.

If the Democrats’ deafness to the people is pure political strategy, then it is a very dangerous strategy. Thomas Jefferson said, “The American people will not make a mistake, if they are given all the facts.”

The Democrats in Congress may be deaf to the people, but the people will not be blind to the facts forever.

 

Neil Cavuto Appearance

In early 2012, Herman Cain appeared on Neil Cavuto and spoke about drilling offshore, in ANWR, and in numerous other places.

 

South Carolina Debate

On May 5, 2011 Herman Cain participated in the Republican debate in South Carolina. He speaks about energy independence and the price of oil.

 

TEA Party Debate

In September of 2011, Mr Cain participated in the TEA Party debate and was asked health care. He talks about pulling back some of the regulations put in place.

QUESTION: The United States has an abundance of coal, oil, natural gas and uranium. The American people have been told for decades that energy independence is a top priority. What will you do in your first 100 days in office to assure the American people that energy independence will finally become reality.

BLITZER: Mr. Cain?

CAIN: The first thing that I would do in order to assure that we get on the road to energy independence, and I do believe that we can because we do have the natural resources to do so, we've got to remove some of those barriers out of the way that are being created by the federal government. I would start with an EPA that's gone wild. That's where we start.

I would put together a regulatory reduction commission for every agency starting with the EPA. This regulatory reduction commission -- one of my guiding principles is if you want to solve a problem go to the source closest to the problem. So the people that I would appoint to that commission will be people who have been abused by the EPA. That would be the commission that would straighten out the regulatory burden.

 

Fox News / Google Debate

On September 22, 2011 Herman Cain participated in the Fox News / Google debate. He states that if he had to eliminate one department, it would be the EPA as it is out of control.

KELLY: Thank you, Governor.

Mr. Cain, this question was one of the top 10 video questions voted on by people online, and it comes to us from Lee Doren of Arlington, Virginia, via YouTube.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: My question is, if you were forced to eliminate one department from the federal government, which one would you eliminate and why? Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

HERMAN CAIN, BUSINESSMAN: The first -- the first department, if I were forced to eliminate a department, I would start with the EPA and start all over.

It's out of control.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I know that makes some people nervous, but the EPA has gone wild. The fact that they have a regulation that goes into effect January 1, 2012, to regulate dust says that they've gone too far.

(LAUGHTER)

So rather than try to fix it, eliminate all of the things that they have right now and then start rebuilding a responsible EPA.

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements

Chapter Four: Release Our Domestic Energy Resources

America is a land blessed with abundant natural resources and the capability of the people to obtain them. From the oil-rich states of Louisiana and Alaska to the mighty dams along rivers across the states, the options for many forms of energy are real and plentiful. Still, liberals continue to perpetuate the misunderstanding that the high energy consumption of a thriving nation and conservation of our precious planet are at odds with one another.

Because they have perpetuated such a myth, liberals have forced excessive environmental regulations which have stifiled our domestic energy production, and instead, forced American consumers to rely far too heavily upon foreign oil. In many cases, this oil comes from Middle Eastern countries some of whom are not friendly to the U.S., who end up dictating the prices of our energy consumption. In return, Americans have seen no improvements in our environment or in the cleanliness of our air. We must expand our domestic energy resources by loosening government’s grip responsibly. Subsidies on agricultural products, like ethanol-producing corn, have become a mechanism for the government to pick and choose industries it favors, while doing little to enhance our ability to harness real alternative energy resources. Instead, we must allow all forms of energy the ability to develop in a free market system.

Alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar, nuclear and hydroelectric are certainly part of the solution long term, but private industry must take the lead for true innovation to be a bigger part of our future energy needs. If alternative energy sources are found to be inexpensive, safe and plentiful, American consumers will choose to purchase them. Let the markets decide which forms of energy fuel our cars, heat our homes and which ones will keep America working. America can develop a path to energy independence…and we will. We have the resources but we need the leadership.

 

Rick Santorum

Summary

Senator Santorum does not believe in man-made global warming. In 2011, he referred to the notion that man was changing the climate as patently absurd. He opposes cap-and-trade legislation, stating that it would destroy a state like Pennsylvania.

Senator Santorum supports all manners of energy production. He is a strong advocate for increased oil and gas exploration and increased drilling for oil and natural gas. This includes drilling in ANWR and the outer continental shelf. He opposes the viewpoint that government should chose which resources the people are allowed to use.

 

All Right Magazine Interview

On January 8, 2010 Senator Santorum was interviewed by All Right Magazine and asked about cap-and-trade. He stated that the legislation would destroy a coal state like Pennsylvania.

ALL RIGHT MAGAZINE: What would Cap-and-Trade do to a coal and steel state like Pennsylvania? Might it have electoral implications?

SENATOR SANTORUM: Absolutely. That bill would destroy a coal state like Pennsylvania. Over tens of thousands of Pennsylvania families are directly or indirectly impacted by the coal industry. It is frightening just how focused the President and Congress are on destroying this industry. Rather than focusing on energy technology, this Congress is trying to recklessly eliminate an entire source of energy. There’s a reason why the United States is called the Saudi Arabia of coal, and it’s because we have decades of coal reserves that can be utilized for electricity generation and coal-to-liquid fuel technology. Not only is this an energy issue, but it is an economic and national security issue.

 

Campaign Event

In an undated campaign event, Senator Santorum outlines his views on energy production, regulation, drilling, and reducing the cost of gas.

 

Fox News Appearance

In June of 2011, Senator Santorum appeared on Fox News with Greta Van Susteran. When discussing energy, he is asked about a recent article where he is quoted as supporting the end of ethanol subsidies.

VAN SUSTEREN: We have 30 seconds left. You are quoted in this article as saying Iowa is critical. You think you should phase out the ethanol subsidies in five years, a major stink bomb in the state.

SANTORUM: The people here, ethanol has gotten a bad rap in the sense people say it can't be competitive. I've learned a lot about the industry. They've made tremendous strides. It is a very efficient way of producing fuel. I know people say you are crazy subsidies it would go away. Watch, the subsidies are going to go away. Ethanol has turned the corner technologically, and they are going to survive this and do well. I think what Tim Pawlenty and I propose will in my case more so put them on a path to make them sustainable over the long term.

 

Rush Limbaugh Appearance

In June of 2011, Senator Santorum appeared on the Rush Limbaugh radio show and discussed global warming and energy policy. He stated that the idea of man-made global warming was patently absurd.

Limbaugh: And we're back, Rush Limbaugh here with Rick Santorum, Republican seeking the presidential nomination. Mitt Romney in his announcement earlier this week in New Hampshire said, yes, he believes there is global warming, and, yes, he thinks human beings are contributing to it. Do you?

Santorum: I believe the earth gets warmer, and I also believe the earth gets cooler, and I think history points out that it does that and that the idea that man through the production of CO2 which is a trace gas in the atmosphere and the manmade part of that trace gas is itself a trace gas is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd when you consider all of the other factors, El Nino, La Nina, sunspots, you know, moisture in the air. There's a variety of factors that contribute to the earth warming and cooling, and to me this is an opportunity for the left to create -- it's a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm. It's been on a warming trend so they said, "Oh, let's take advantage of that and say that we need the government to come in and regulate your life some more because it's getting warmer," just like they did in the seventies when it was getting cool, they needed the government to come in and regulate your life because it's getting cooler. It's just an excuse for more government control of your life, and I've never been for any scheme or even accepted the junk science behind the whole narrative.

Limbaugh: I have a minute and a half. You ever ask yourself where the American people are politically? Do you ever fear the American people just maybe want a European socialist country, that they'd rather be dependent on government? Does that worry you?

Santorum: Does it worry me? Well, you know, Rush, 'cause you combat it every day with the popular culture and the media and academic institutions, that gets pounded away every day into the minds of our young people, and I don't know how many times I've listened on your show where people said, "You know, you opened, the scales fell from my eyes. It's finally making sense to me. I understand all of these lies I've been told." You tell people lies enough and you indoctrinate them enough, of course I've got grave concerns and that's one of the reasons I'm doing this is because I think we need -- look, the person who's been able to win the presidency since the age of television has had one thing in common. They've been the best communicator in the race. We need someone like a Rush Limbaugh who can communicate and can touch the soul of Americans and can reach out across the radio and television and paint a vision that helps drop those scales, that can remind people what a great country we are and that it's a great country because we believe in free people and the ability of free people to provide for themselves, their family, their community, and the God they love. That's what America is about, and we can with get back to that. We need to begin to believe in ourselves instead of the having someone tell us that they need to believe in him, the anointed one to provide for them.

Limbaugh: Rick, thanks for your time. Your passion is infectious. It really is.

 

New Hampshire Debate

In June of 2011, Senator Santorum participated in the Presidential debate in New Hampshire. He was asked about ethanol subsidies and stated that he opposed such subsidies.

MCELVEEN: Thanks very much, John. Timely issue. Question for Senator Santorum. The Senate tomorrow is going to be voting on possibly abolishing the ethanol tax, effective July 1st (inaudible) major impact on our friends in another early voting state in Iowa. They grow corn. This is a move that would basically remove tax credits worth $6 billion. Question to you is, do you support abolishing?

SANTORUM: Yeah, I actually had proposed that we can phase out the ethanol subsidy, which is the blender's credit, over a five-year period of time. I also proposed, as part of helping him in that transition -- one other thing. I also phase out the tariff on ethanol coming into this country over that five-year period of time.

One of the issues for the ethanol industry is distribution networks. So I would take half of that credit every year, 4.5 cents, and use it to help expand distribution for E-85 in other areas of the country. And that all would be shut down in five years.

And I say that because I think the ethanol industry -- I voted against ethanol subsidies my entire time in Congress. But I will tell you, the ethanol industry has matured greatly, and I think they are actually capable of surviving and doing quite well going forward under that -- under that plan.

 

Iowa Campaign Event - Subsidies

In June of 2011, Senator Santorum told a group of Iowa farmers that he opposed ethanol subsidies and that the industry had come far enough to stand on it's own.

My position is that we should phase out all energy subsidies and create a level playing field.

This is an industry that has come a long way and has not done a very good job of telling its story about how competitive ethanol actually is in the energy mix.

 

Des Moines Register Interview

In August of 2011, Senator Santorum was interviewed by the Des Moines Register. He was asked about drilling and states that there is no place that drilling shoulld be outlawed, including ANWR. He states that the current administration views the government's role as determining what resources people are allowed to use.

 

Michigan Economic Debate

On November 10, 2011 Senator Santorum participated in the Michigan Economic Debate. He was asked about subsidies for energy and states that he opposes all subsidies.

CRAMER: Senator Santorum, I want to talk about a high-quality problem our country has.

I just came back from North Dakota. We have made the largest oil discovery in a generation there. Not only is it a -- the find a big step toward creating energy independence, it stands to create as many as 300,000 jobs. But what the guys tell me up there is that they can't handle the rush without federal help.
Would you favor incentives, incentives to get workers and businesses to where the jobs are to support this boom?

SANTORUM: No, because we have done it in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has Marcellus Shale. It took a while for us to ramp up, but we're drilling 3,000 to 4,000 wells.

The price of natural gas, because of Marcellus Shale, which is the second largest natural gas find in the world, has gone from $12 to $3.65. And we let the marketplace work. So, no, we didn't have the federal government come in and bail us out.

I want to make the point about manufacturing jobs again, because if you're -- if you're talking about creating jobs that trickle down, I agree with Newt. We have folks who have innovators. But he always -- he talked about innovators that -- that created jobs for blue- collar workers. The unemployment rate among non-college-educated is well into the double digits in America. It's 4 percent or 5 percent for people who have college degrees.

The reason I put forth this manufacturing plan is not just so we can say "Made Here in America," that we can create opportunities for everyone in America, including those that don't have that college skill set, people who built this country, like my grandfather, who was a coal miner. So -- so that is a very important part that Republicans, unfortunately, are not talking about.

We need to talk about income mobility. We need to talk about people at the bottom of the -- of the income scale being able to get necessary skills and rise so they can support themselves and a family. And that's what manufacturing does, and that's why I'm laser-beam focused on it.

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements

Tap America's vast domestic resources to power our 21st Century economy

Rick Santorum believes we need to stop being naïve, put aside our dreams of "green jobs," and focus on the great domestic resources at our disposal. This means we need an all-of-the-above energy policy that utilizes oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy to power our economy and empower the American worker. To do this, we must start by eliminating the Obama Administration's roadblocks to oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, along the Outer Continental Shelf, and onshore - including in ANWR. Furthermore, no new natural gas regulations, such as those being debated by Congress, should be enacted. The states are regulating the natural gas industry and there is no reason for the federal government to get involved. Federal regulation for federal regulation's sake serves no purpose - and in this instance it not only impedes job growth, but weakens our national security.

 

Voting Record

Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006

The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 was an attempt to open up more areas of the Gulf of Mexico for oil drilling. It passed the Senate with broad support in a 72-25 vote. However, it was not raised in the House. Rick Santorum voted in favor of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Rick Santorum voted in favor of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Amendment - Reduction of Oil Dependence

In June of 2005, the Senate voted on an amendment to reduce oil importation in the US by 40% by 2025. The would have raised the original goals set in the bill form a 1 million barrel per day reduction to a 7.6 million barrel per day reduction. This would most likely be achieved through increased CAFE standards of 78 miles per gallon in cars and a 185-percent increase in light trucks. The voted failed 47-53. Rick Santorum voted against the amendment.

Rick Santorum voted against the amendment.

Amendment - ANWR Fast Track

In March of 2003, the US Senate voted on an amendment to prevent fast-tracking of drilling in ANWR. The amendment passed 52-48. Rick Santorum voted against the amendment and thus supported ANWR drilling.

Rick Santorum voted against the amendment and thus supported ANWR drilling.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge amendment

In April of 2002, the Senate voted on an amendment to allow ANWR to be opened up for drilling. The full amendment was a separate piece of legislation that dictated the amount of land to be leased, the amount to be reimbursed to native Alaskans, an amount to be traded with Israel, and numerous other provisions. The amendmnent failed to pass the Senate 46-54. Rick Santorum voted in favor of the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Rick Santorum voted in favor of the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

This representative has not been identified as sponsoring or cosponsoring significant legislation related to this title.

Newt Gingrich

Summary

Prior to 2008, Congressman Gingrich believed in man made global warming and supported a cap-and-trade program. In a February 2007 PBS interview, Congressman Gingrich stated that he agreed that there was evidence of man made global warming and that he believed that a cap-and-trade system would benefit the economy. He noted that people react positively to incentives and negatively to punishments. He proposed incentives programs to promote lower carbon emissions along with the carbon trading system.

In a 2007 debate with Senator Kerry, Congressman Gingrich stated that the evidence was sufficient that global warming existed and that action needed to be taken immediately. The obvious implication being that if action can address the issue, then it was man made. That same year, he introduced a "Contract with the Earth" and spoke about the concept of "Green Conservatism" as a method of winning the environmental debate against the left.

In 2008, Congressman Gingrich made a public service announcement with House Speaker Pelosi noting the dangers of global warming, and the need to take action to solve the problem. The commercial asked viewers to go to wecansolveit.org. That site name points to the Climate Reality Project at climaterealityproject.org. That site promotes the view that climate change is real, that it must be enacted upon with legislation such as cap-and-trade, and that the Earth is in danger without that action. It was founded and chaired by Al Gore, and presents no "conservative" or private market solutions to global warming.

In 2008, Speaker Gingrich shifted his view to be in complete opposition to cap-and-trade and to be skeptical of globla warming claims. Congressmen Gingrich has maintained on his "Answering the Attacks" website that he does not believe that there is a scientific concensus that global warming is real and man made. He also states that he made the commercial with Speaker Pelosi because he wanted to promote conservative and free market approaches to solving the problem. At a conference that same year, he stated that as a historian, it was impossible to known the extent of global warming and how much humans were contributing.

Congressman Gingrich also testified in hearings (not as a Congressman, but as an advisor) against the Waxman-Markley cap-and-trade program. He has asserted his strong opposition to the program numerous times.

Congressman Gingrich's strongly supports expanded drilling both onshore and offshore. In 2008, he started a movement for drilling in the US and wrote a book titled "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." To aid in energy efficiency, Congressman Gingrich has proposed a series of prizes to be awarded to individuals or companies that develop new energy efficient automobiles and other items. He supports the removal of bureaucratic and legal obstacles to responsible oil and natural gas development in the United States, offshore and on land. He also supports ending the ban on oil shale development in the American West. He has stated that to incentivize safe oil production, the federal government should create a federal royalty revenue sharing to give coastal states an incentive to allow offshore development.

In addition to immediate drilling, Congressman Gingrich supports a rapid expansion of nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, wind, and solar energy. He also supports tax incentives to retrofit coal energy facilities for new carbon sequestering technologies. He has stated that he supports the goal of obtaining 25% of US energy from renewable sources by 2025. 

Congressman Gingrich has opposed EPA regulation of carbon emissions and has called for the EPA to be abolished. His 2012 energy plan consists of the following 6 points:

  • Remove bureaucratic and legal obstacles to responsible oil and natural gas development in the United States, offshore and on land.
  • End the ban on oil shale development in the American West, where we have three times the amount of oil as Saudi Arabia.
  • Give coastal states federal royalty revenue sharing to give them an incentive to allow offshore development.
  • Reduce frivolous lawsuits that hold up energy production by enacting loser pays laws to force the losers in an environmental lawsuit to pay all legal costs for the other side.
  • Finance cleaner energy research and projects with new oil and gas royalties.
  • Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would use incentives and work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy.

 

The American Eleven

In September of 2006, Congressman Gingrich released an article through the Human Events website noting eleven items he believed should be pursued. One of those items was energy independence. He notes his support for nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, clean coal, and biodiesel. He also notes a plan to split oil revenue with the states for offshore drilling. 

Achieve Sustainable Energy Independence. The country is eager for a straightforward new energy strategy for national security, environmental and economic reasons. The combination of $3 gasoline, watching Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Russia get more of our money, and concerns about the environment come together to require real change. The House should meet that need. Starting with Rep. Jim Nussle's (R-Iowa) bill on renewable fuels, adding to it clean nuclear power using new technologies that are safe and produce little waste, developing more clean coal solutions, investing in a conversion to a hydrogen economy, incentivizing conservation, providing tax credits so the auto industry can invest in the new technology and new manufacturing equipment needed to produce revolutionary new vehicles, creating the tax incentives to build the distribution system for biofuels, hybrids, and hydrogen, providing deeper tax incentives for radically better cars (imagine a substantial tax credit for cars exceeding 200 miles to the gallon of petroleum through a combination of E-85 or biodiesel, hybrid use of electricity and hydrogen), and a bill to create state flexibility in exploring off shore with a 50% split in revenue so state legislatures and governors would have an incentive to develop environmentally sound methods of exploration and production.

 

Bold Solutions

In January of 2007, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for the Human Events Website noting bold solutions that he was proposing on numerous subjects. One of these subjects was National Security and the Environment. Congressman Gingrich proposes a series of prizes for energy projects, including a vehicle that gets more than 500 gallons per mile.

Bold Solutions for Energy to Help National Security, the Economy and the Environment

  • Create a series of incentives and prizes to develop a hydrogen economy and return the Middle Eastern oil supply to being a petrochemical feedstock. A hydrogen economy would be better for America and our allies. A hydrogen economy would be better for the environment (no carbon loading of the atmosphere). A hydrogen economy would be better for the American economy because it would keep at home all the cash we are currently sending to Venezuela and the Middle East.
  • While working to develop a hydrogen economy, there should also be an interim strategy to include incentives for conservation and for renewable fuels, including wind, solar and biofuels. It is better to send the money to American farmers than to send it to foreign dictators.
  • Create a $1-billion prize for the first affordable car to get 500 miles per gallon of gasoline and be manufacturable at a price of $30,000 or less per car with reliability and performance comparable to a gasoline powered car. This car would probably combine an e-85 ethanol fuel with a hybrid motor using electricity (and allowing a plug-in to absorb the 40% of electricity production currently unused at night) with a composite construction modeled off the Boeing Dreamliners very light and very strong (much stronger than steel) composite.
  • A second $2-billion prize should be offered for a car getting 1,000 miles to the gallon of gasoline.

 

PBS Interview

On February 15, 2007, Congressman Gingrich was interviewed by PBS and discussed the subject of energy and global warming at length. In that interview, Congressman Gingrinch expressed his support for a cap-and-trade system, and stated that global warming was a real and pressing problem. He asserts that the US economy would be better off today if a program of capping carbon emissions and trading them was put into place in 2000, when George W Bush took office.

What was it that convinced you that global warming was a real and pressing problem?

Gingirch: Oh, I think the weight of evidence over time [convinced me] that it's something that you ought to be careful about. As a conservative, I think you ought to be prudent, and it seems to me that the conservative approach should be to minimize the risk of a really catastrophic change.

And when did you come to that?

Gingirch: Well, I thought over the last eight or 10 years it was useful to move in that direction. I was strongly opposed to Kyoto treaty the way it was written; I think it was written by the Europeans as an anti-American document. I also think it doesn't get the job done because it excludes China and India. But I felt that was a lost opportunity to talk about: How do you design a pro-science and pro-technology strategy that lowers the amount of damage the human race does to the planet? ...

We're going to start in '88 because it's an interesting year; it's the year of radical weather and people start worrying about it. Back in the 1980s, the first President Bush said on the way back from [the Climate Change Conference in] Rio, that "Our way of life is not up for negotiation." Did you agree with him when he said that?

Gingirch: Yeah, I still agree with that. I think there's a false dichotomy. The left has this passion for using whatever issue they can find as an excuse to eliminate capitalism, to eliminate markets, to eliminate personal choice, to demand a lower standard of living. I think that's all, frankly, irrational. There's no reason you can't have a very high civilization with a terrifically good quality of life and do so with remarkably little environmental damage, but it requires different strategies.

And it was the approach of the environmentalists that Bush was responding to? I thought it was more a matter of there wasn't a solution on the table that he could see.

I think both were true. Look, I think the problem we've had is that the people who have been most aggressively emphatic about major environmental problems tend to be people who come from the left and who, a, exaggerate the problem's immediacy. If you look at the various things in [Al] Gore's movie [An Inconvenient Truth], they're just factually wrong -- you know, we're not faced with drowning Florida by Thursday -- and so you start with people reacting to the exaggerations.

Second, they tend to be very cheerfully anti-market and anti-entrepreneurship and anti-technology. When Gore wrote in [his book] Earth in the Balance that the greatest threat of the 20th century was the internal combustion engine, it was an utterly irrational comment. I mean, no serious student of the 20th century could look at Stalin, Mao, Hitler, the Holocaust and then say, "But boy, that automobile, that was really the big threat."

So first of all, you just have this whole reaction to an emotional assault on modernity. Second, the answers of the left tend to all be more litigation, more regulation, bigger government, higher taxes. People who share my values don't particularly want to be sold those particular solutions. So what happens is conservatives refuse to think about it. The left tends to come up with ideas that won't work and represent a value system that's not likely to be adopted, and you're caught in this kind of a model.

I'm writing a book called Contract with the Earth precisely to break out of that dialogue and to say that there should be, in the Theodore Roosevelt tradition, a science-and-technology, entrepreneurial, market-oriented, incentive-led system that solves things -- which we did to some extent. If you look at sulfur and the Clean Air Act of 1990, there was an amazing breakthrough. There was a substantial change from the way we had done business before. And it worked; it reduced total sulfur in the atmosphere by 50 percent for about one-tenth of what people thought it was going to cost.

In the early Clinton administration, their idea was a BTU [British thermal unit] tax, with the idea that you would raise revenue and you would reduce carbon. What did you think about that?

Gingirch: I think if you're in the left, the answer's always a tax; the answer's always bigger government; the answer's always more regulation; the answer's always more litigation. Just tell me what the question is.

You were against it.

Gingirch: I think it's nuts. I mean, I read newspaper columnists who ride subways explaining that a 50-cent-a-gallon gas tax is the right strategy. Well, if you're a big downtown newspaper and you're not a senior citizen in South Dakota riding around on Sundays, and you're not a suburbanite driving into Atlanta, and you're not somebody whose entire economy is based on trucks, it's easy to be for a 50-cent-a-gallon gas tax. This has been a favorite answer on the left since John Anderson, [who ran for president as an independent,] in 1980. And the rest of the country says, every morning, no. ...

Clinton said, at the time, that it was the biggest political mistake that he had made.

Gingirch: It was on the short list.

Was it an issue that cost Democrats their jobs the next time around?

Gingirch: No, not by itself. It was part of a pattern. They passed a very large tax increase that infuriated the people who paid taxes. They had taken a series of very left-wing positions on social issues. They had come out for an anti-gun bill, which had enraged the gun-owners around the country. There were a whole series of these things that came together in 1994. ...

You said you were anti-Kyoto; you must have been one of those 95-0 votes.

Gingirch: Well, first of all, on the Senate side it was 95-0, including at the time [Sen.] John Kerry [D-Mass.] and all sorts of people who now wish they hadn't voted no. As speaker of the house, I had a team in Kyoto who came back and were just appalled by the way the treaty was negotiated, by the role of the U.S. delegation, by the degree to which the Europeans rigged the entire treaty to be anti-American. For example, no act of carbon sequestration by farmers and by forests counted, because Europe doesn't have very many acres to do this in and we have lots of acres. So all the things America could do well didn't count.

The year that the baseline was chosen was the deal that happens to help Europe and not America. The fact that China and India aren't even included means that you give them a substantial economic [advantage]. If we implemented Kyoto, we would have been raising the cost of doing business in the U.S.

One of the arguments that President Clinton made at the time was there was a moral responsibility of the First World to go first, because we put the carbon up there, and that the developing world would come second. That, for some people, was a reasonable argument.

Gingirch: I would make the argument that the United States ought to take the lead worldwide in developing the technologies and in developing the techniques that dramatically reduce the carbon loading in the atmosphere, and we ought to do it for our own interests. The United States is the wealthiest and most successful country in the world; it is the leading country in the world; [it] has an interest in the best possible environment on the entire planet. And if we don't show leadership, then it's very hard to get the rest of the planet to do the right things.

So I don't care about that part of it; I cared about the idea that the Europeans had designed a treaty specifically harmful to America and specifically helpful to Europe, and that we had an administration that was prepared to go along with hurting America for no long-term gain. If you look at the total effect of Kyoto as it's designed, it's not very big in total, because China and India replace any carbon reduction in the United States and Europe. ...

Let me talk to you a little bit about a Frank Luntz memo that came out at about that time: ... "The international fairness issue is an emotional home run. Given the change, Americans will demand that in any international global warming treaty, nations such as China, Mexico and India would have to sign up for the majority of Americans to support it." He is going back to that fairness issue; it is unfair.

Gingirch: Look, at a time when many Americans are afraid of jobs leaving the U.S. for China, India and Mexico, to suggest that we're going to sign a treaty which puts a greater economic burden on America and accelerates the flow of jobs to China, India and Mexico -- it's an astonishing treaty for a liberal, Democrat administration to sign at the time that most liberal Democrats are screaming about unfair international competition.

But the core problem here is much deeper than this. The core problem is that the human race, for 400 years, has been using science and technology and entrepreneurship to create greater wealth, greater opportunities and more capacity to have a decent world. We now are trapped in this cycle where if it's not regulatory, bureaucratic and high tax, it doesn't count. I would like to see us go to a real market in which we accelerate the incentive to get rid of carbon. ...

Let me talk about another part of the Luntz memo that also happens in the mid-90s. And he writes: "The scientific debate is closing against us, but it's not yet closed. There's still a window of opportunity to challenge the science." There were Republicans who did challenge the [science] back then. Were you one of them?

Gingirch: Look, there are scientists who challenged the science. My conclusion is that you do not have to agree with the most hysterical interpretations to agree that, as a matter of prudence, we should minimize carbon loading of the atmosphere. ...

Were you saying that in 1995?

Gingirch: Yes -- I mean, I say it today. There's a big difference between long-term climatology and the weather, and the fact is that there are many things that happen that change climates. The Gulf Stream quit 11,000 years ago for 600 years. ... Nobody fully understands why it started again. Now, if you can't explain something the scale of the Gulf Stream, don't come and tell me that you have a computer model that says that in 2073, there will be .705 change [in temperature]. It's just not true.

A lot of what you see currently is science as collective anthropology: signatures on things by people who have degrees in science, but they don't have degrees in climatology.

[There was at that time] a group of scientists who get to be known as the science skeptics: the same four or five people who speak against global warming. And there's a connection between what Luntz writes and a campaign to discredit the science at the time.

Gingirch: That could be. I don't know.

There was a lot of it in the papers, and by 1995, when the first U.N. panel comes out, 2,000 international scientists, many of them Americans [were saying global warming is a problem]. In '95, were you onboard with --

Gingirch: Well, first of all, look: The whole idea of a U.N. panel of 2,000 scientists is anti-science. I mean, it's politics; it's not science.

Why is that?

Gingirch: Because science is Darwin writing a single book by himself, explaining a theory, and then the scientific world debating that. The fact is that before Max Planck proposed quantum mechanics, most physicists didn't believe it was true. When [Albert] Einstein produced [his theory of] relativity, most physicists didn't think it was true. The greatest English physicist of the 19th century, Ernest Rutherford, went to his grave believing that Planck and Einstein were nuts.

If you read [Thomas] Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, the older generation usually believes whatever it learned; you bring them new knowledge, they may or may not believe it. So if you say to me we've had this huge meeting and all these guys voted, my question will be, OK, and was it true? Yes, they got a vote. Was it true, or is it, in fact, politically correct? ... It's very anti-scientific to have science popularity contests. That's anthropology and politics; that's not science.

In 2000, candidate George Bush pledged mandatory carbon caps; it was a campaign pledge. What did you think of it at the time? Were you for that?

Gingirch: I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there's a package there that's very, very good. And frankly, it's something I would strongly support.

And did you, at the time, in 2000?

Gingirch: At the time I wasn't directly involved in the campaign.

He reversed that campaign pledge within months of taking office. Would we be in better shape today if he had kept that campaign pledge?

Gingirch: If he had instituted a regime that combined three things I just said -- mandatory caps, a trading system inside the caps, as we have with clean air, and a tax incentive to be able to invest in the new technology and to be able to produce the new technology -- I think we would be much better off than we are in the current situation. ...

The CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] system for automobiles hasn't worked. Everybody cheats and gets around it. The caps, with a trading system, on sulfur has worked brilliantly because it has brought free-market attitudes, entrepreneurship and technology and made it very profitable to have less sulfur. So people said, "Wow, it's worth my time and effort."

Americans get incentives. Americans like winning. ... What we ought to be doing is inventing a whole series of breakthrough mechanisms that create incentives for people to have a better environmental outcome in an economically positive way, to accelerate the transition to better and cleaner technologies. If Bush had led that effort in 2001, or if somebody will lead that effort in 2007, we will get much further down the road than we're going to get with litigation and regulation. ...

We've had three administrations: one early, and maybe not technology there yet; a second administration that reportedly knew everything about global warming; and now we've got another administration that has been saying all along that it's not a problem. Why do you think we have had three administrations who have not been able to deal with this issue on the federal level?

Gingirch: Because the left insists on pain, and the right insists on avoidance, and you've had no real leadership that says there's a positive, economically rational, science-and-technology way to solve this that makes your life better, not worse, and gives you more options, not fewer. ...

Is it because there are institutional impediments? I'm talking the oil and gas lobbies.

Gingirch: No, I think it's intellectual. I think that we're right at a tipping point where you could begin to imagine the development of an entirely new generation of systems; where you had a combination of a carbon cap with a trading system; you had prizes for the invention of major breakthroughs; you had incentives for investing in the new breakthroughs and accelerating their use and their development. And you could imagine a world 15 years from now that is dramatically greener than the world we're currently in.

But what you have is: People on the right know they're against regulation, and they're against taxation, and they're against bigger government, so they don't want to think about it because the only answers they ever see are things they hate. People on the left know the environment's important, but their answers are all regulation, taxation and litigation. So you're caught in this gridlock.

The average American, in fact, wants a healthy environment, but they also want a healthy economy. And the average American would like their political leadership to figure out a solution which is economically rational, environmentally favorable, and which leads to the creation of a better future using better science and technology to give them more choices and a higher quality of living.

 

Support for 25 by 25

On February 20, 2007 Congressman Gingrich spoke at a group called 25 by 25. He speaks about the security aspect of the US needing to supply it's own energy. He notes the national security importance of getting 25% of our power from renewable energy by 2025.

 

Debate with Senator Kerry

On April 10, 2007 Congressman Gingrich debated Senator John Kerry concerning global warming and environmental laws. In that debate, Congressman Gingrich stated that urgent action was needed on climate change.

KERRY: I'm excited to hear you talk about the urgency -- I really am. And given that -- albeit you still sort of have a different approach -- what would you say to Sen. Inhofe and to others in the Senate who are resisting even the science? What's your message to them here today?

GINGRICH: My message I think is that the evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon-loading of the atmosphere.

KERRY: And to it urgently -- and now ...

GINGRICH: And do it urgently. Yes.

If I can, let me explain partly why this is a very challenging thing to do if you're a conservative. For most of the last 30 years, the environment has been a powerful emotional tool for bigger government and higher taxes. And therefore, if you're a conservative, the minute you start hearing these arguments, you know what's coming next: which is bigger government and higher taxes.

So even though it may be the right thing to do, you end up fighting it because you don't want big government and higher taxes. And so you end up in these kinds of cycles. And part of the reason I was delighted to accept this invitation and I'm delighted to be here with Sen. Kerry is I think there has to be a if you will a "green conservatism" -- there has to be a willingness to stand up and say alright here's the right way to solve these as seen by our value system.

 

Green Conservatism

In April of 2007 Congressman Gingrich released an article on the Human Events website declaring the principles of green conservatism. He again supports the idea of prizes for energy projects. He also proposes the idea of tax credits for policies and practices that reduce carbon emissions and for those who reduce their "carbon loading."

We Can Have Green Conservatism -- And We Should
by Newt Gingrich
04/23/2007

I had a debate a couple weeks ago with Sen. John Kerry -- followed by a speech last week -- about something called "green conservatism." Some of my old friends have approached me to ask why I'm spending so much time talking about the environment -- and with a former Democratic nominee for President no less.

The answer is simple: For the last 36 years, I have watched the pro-regulation, pro-litigation, pro-taxation liberals label themselves as the only Americans who care about the environment.

The leftwing machine would have you believe that to care about clean air and water, biodiversity, and the future of the Earth you have to both buy in to their catastrophic scenarios and sign on to their command-and-control bureaucratic liberal agenda, including dramatic increases in government power and draconian policies that will devastate our economy, as the only solution to environmental challenges.

The time has come to define a fundamentally different approach to a healthy environment and a healthy economy. The time has come for the development of Green Conservatism as an alternative to big bureaucracy and big litigation liberal environmentalism.

Conserving Our Environment, Not Expanding Our Government

Before I talk about what I mean by Green Conservatism, I want to say a few words about how I got to this belief and why I think it's so important for the future of our movement.

I first became interested in conservation when I was a kid in Pennsylvania. Notice that I use the word "conservation." It reflects my fundamental disagreement with today's liberal environmentalists. I believe we should be good stewards of the natural world. We should "conserve" it for our benefit and our children's and grandchildren's benefit, not use it as an excuse for massively expanding regulation, litigation and bureaucracy.

In any case, as a child I originally wanted to be either a zoo director or a vertebrate paleontologist because I was fascinated by the natural world -- and still am. In 1971, I participated in the second Earth Day and became the coordinator of an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program at West Georgia College. In my commitment to the environment, I was echoing the conviction of two well known Republican leaders. The first was President Theodore Roosevelt, who said that "the nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets, which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value." The other was then Gov. Ronald Reagan, who upon the occasion of the first Earth Day said that "[there is an] absolute necessity of waging all-out war against the debauching of the environment."

Liberal Environmentalism: Radical, Hysterical and Inaccurate

I care about conserving our environment. But for too many years, liberals have defined what it means to care about the environment -- and too often at a level that is so radical, so hysterical and so inaccurate that the first reaction of conservatives is to oppose them. Without articulate conservative leadership on conservation, the result has too often been that conservatives are labeled anti-environment. For too long, we have not led with our solutions for the environment, while liberals propose and dominate the debate with ill-conceived regulations, a focus on litigation instead of science, and a focus on taxes instead of markets and incentives. Conservatives have allowed liberals to monopolize and hold the high ground on a subject of great concern to all Americans. With your help, I want to change that.

We have every reason to call out all outlandish, fear-mongering exaggerations -- but that doesn't mean we should stop there when it comes to the issue of the environment.

For example, former Vice President Al Gore suggests that global warming is so bad that we could have a 20-foot rise in the oceans in the near future. No responsible scientist anywhere believes that to be true. But if the debate becomes, "Al Gore cares about the earth, and we're against Al Gore," we end up in a defensive position where the average American could end up perceiving conservatives as always being negative about the environment.

Green Conservatism: Pro-Freedom, Pro-Market, Pro-Environment

I'd like to offer you a different view: You can be totally committed to conservative principles -- to individual liberty, a market economy, entrepreneurship and lower taxes -- and still be a Green Conservative. You can believe that with the sound use of science and technology and the right incentives to encourage entrepreneurs, conservatism can provide a better solution for the health of our planet than can liberalism.

So what is Green Conservatism? Here are its basic values:

  1. Green Conservatism favors clean air and clean water.
  2. Green Conservatism understands biodiversity as a positive good.
  3. Green Conservatism favors minimizing carbon loading in the atmosphere as a positive public value.
  4. Green Conservatism is pro-science, pro-technology and pro-innovation.
  5. Green Conservatism believes that green prosperity and green development are integral to the successful future of the human race.
  6. Green Conservatism believes that economic growth and environmental health are compatible in both the developed and developing world.
  7. Green Conservatism believes that we can realize more positive environmental outcomes faster by shifting tax code incentives and shifting market behavior than is possible from litigation and regulation.

Key to Green Conservatism: Energy Independence From Dangerous Dictatorships

A key part of Green Conservatism is to make sure that we don't have only an "environment policy," but we have a comprehensive "energy and environment" policy.

For green prosperity and green development, we have to have a strategy that makes the transition from the unimproved fossil fuels that dramatically improved the quality of life over the pre-industrial period. We need a new generation of clean energy that will: enable us, in national security terms, to be liberated from dependence on dangerous dictatorships; enable us, in economic terms, to be effective in worldwide competition; and enable us, in environmental terms, to provide for a much cleaner and healthier future.

Reliable, affordable energy is indispensable to economic growth around the planet, and economic growth is essential to a healthier environment. In so many ways, both here and abroad, we truly achieve "green through growth."

Sounds Good, but How Do We Get There?

You may have heard me say before that one of the reasons I am optimistic about the future of America is that we can expect four to seven times as much new scientific knowledge and innovation in the next 25 years as we have had in the past 100. As a result, America is truly ideally suited to meet the challenges of conserving our environment. Americans excel at precisely those capabilities that will be required: entrepreneurially led technological innovation and utilization of the power of the free market to provide better environmental outcomes with economic growth advantages, not disadvantages.

There are two key ways we can encourage this entrepreneurialism and innovation:

  1. Allow Prizes to Compete With Process in Our Government-led Scientific Research Investments. We should significantly invest in prizes as a competitive alternative to the current peer-reviewed process of scientific research. We should, for example, offer prizes for the development of high gas mileage cars and other carbon-reduction challenges. We must maximize the rate at which we develop and diffuse new technologies both here and abroad, and prizes have historically unleashed dramatic creativity and innovation. Read here for a partial listing of examples of previous and current prizes.
  2. Offer Carbon Reduction Tax Credits. Green conservatism values reducing the carbon loading of the atmosphere. The least economically disruptive and least government empowering models will be the most effective in achieving this value. We should therefore create a program of carbon-reduction tax credits. One such tax credit idea is to incentivize the creation of new energy production technologies that reduce carbon loading.

Our Entrepreneurs and Markets vs. Their Lawyers, Bureaucrats and Regulations

Our generation faces the extraordinary challenge of bringing to bear science and technology, entrepreneurship, and the principles of effective markets in order to enable people to have a good life both economically and environmentally.

So in the future, I'm going to be talking a lot about Green Conservatism. After all, conservatives can stand toe to toe with any liberal anywhere in America when it comes to wanting to build a better future for ourselves and our families. Four hundred years of American experience has demonstrated that a commitment to science, entrepreneurship and free markets can create better solutions for a better future than lawyers and bureaucrats and their never-ending schemes of regulation and taxation.

In August of 2007 Congressman Gingrich spoke about supporting nuclear power and how much carbon emmission would be lowered had the US followed the same nuclear development as France.

 

Contract with the Earth

In October of 2007, Congressman Gingrich outlined a plan for a Contract with the Earth. In a Human Events article, he discusses his plans for addressing the environment, and states that liberals do not have a monopoly on being good stewards of the environment.

Green Conservatism: A New Way of Thinking About the Environment
by Newt Gingrich
10/30/2007

Do you remember back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when people began thinking differently about welfare?

Politicians in Washington and in state capitals actually woke up to the fact that the usual left-right screaming matches weren't doing any good. Lots of us came to understand that the welfare system we then had was actually harming many of the people it was supposed to be helping. The result of this new way of thinking was welfare reform.

Eleven years later, the effects of this change are nothing less than transformational. Welfare rolls have declined by more than 60 percent. And a million and a half fewer children are living in poverty.

Today, I want to introduce you to a new way of thinking about the environment.

My Latest Book: A Contract with the Earth

This week marks the launch of my new book, A Contract with the Earth.

I wrote it with my friend Terry Maple, who was once the head of Zoo Atlanta and is now president and CEO of the Palm Beach Zoo and professor of conservation and behavior at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

If I had to boil down the message of A Contract with the Earth to just a couple sentences, I would say it's this:

The left doesn't have the last word on how we protect our environment -- and neither do the folks who say we should sit back and do nothing.

The fact is, according to polling done by my grassroots organization, American Solutions, 95 percent of Americans believe we have an obligation to be good stewards of God's creation for future generations. Eighty-two percent said they believe so "intensely."

Over the last 36 years, I have watched the pro-regulation, pro-litigation, pro-taxation and pro-centralized-government advocates become the definers of environmentalism.

The left would have us believe that to be an environmentalist you have to believe in catastrophic threats, dramatic increases in government power and economically draconian solutions. Such a big-government bureaucracy, trial-lawyer-litigation and excessive-regulation "environmentalism" does a poor job of protecting the environment while it erodes individual freedom, destroys jobs and weakens our country.

The time has come to propose a fundamentally different approach to a healthy environment and a healthy economy.

The time has come for the development of a mainstream environmentalism as an alternative to big bureaucracy and big litigation environmentalism. You could call it "green conservatism," but it's really the mainstream environmental approach that has worked so well in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt epitomized this approach when he said, "The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose and method."

A Better Way to Protect God's Creation

A Contract with the Earth, which is available in both book and audio form, describes a different -- and better -- way to protect God's creation.

Take this quick quiz:

  • Do you believe a healthy environment should be able to coexist with a healthy, growing economy?
  • Do you believe investments in science and technology will generate solutions to most of our environmental problems?
  • Do you believe incentives should be offered to encourage corporations to clean up the environment?
  • Do you believe corporate and private philanthropy is essential to the success of a global and environmental movement?

If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, you're probably in the environmental mainstream. You may even be a green conservative.

I'll have a lot more to say about A Contract with the Earth and new ways of thinking about protecting our environment in the weeks and months ahead. For now, you can read more about green conservatism at ContractWithTheEarth.com.

 

National Constitution Center Debate

On March 20, 2008 Speaker Gingrich participated in a debate in Philadelphia with the National Constitution Center. In that debate, he discusses his views on whether or not global warming is man-made. He states that it is difficult to know if global warming is man made.

 

We Can Solve It

In an April 2008 commercial for wecansolveit.org, Congressman Gingrich appears with Speaker Pelosi and states that climate change is an issue that needs to be urgently addressed. That website - wecansolveit.org is a pointer to the Climate Reality Project at climaterealityproject.org. That entity was started by Al Gore and he still chairs it. It promotes the viewpoitn that global warming is real, that it is man made, and that steps such as cap-and-trade are necessary to stop it. 

Congressman Gingrich's 2012 campaign website runs a page called "Answering the Attacks." On that page, Congressman Gingrich states that the advertisement that he made with Speaker Pelosi was a mistake and that he does not believe that there is settled scientific evidence of global warming. He states that he made the advertisement in an effort to promote conservative solutions. Looking up the information on wecansolveit.org shows that it was registered by Climate Reality since 2007. This means that the site advertised promoted no "conservative" or private market approaches to climate change.

Global Warming/Cap and Trade

Newt does not believe there is a settled scientific conclusion about whether industrial development has dramatically contributed to a warming of the atmosphere.

Newt absolutely opposes “cap and trade” as well as any system of taxing carbon emissions. He testified before Congress against it in 2009 and led a grassroots effort while the Chairman of American Solutions to block its passage in the House and Senate.

Newt believes that cap and trade would kill hundreds of thousands of American jobs, cause electricity and fuel prices to skyrocket, and make America poorer. In contrast, Gingrich believes the best way to protect the environment is through markets, incentives, and entrepreneurs, who quite often are deploying innovative new technologies.

As for the question of whether industrial development has dramatically contributed to a warming of the atmosphere, Newt has noted there is no settled scientific conclusion. Many scientists believe it is the case. Others do not. But this unsettled scientific question has nothing to do with the best approach to protecting our environment, which is always markets, incentives, and entrepreneurs creating better and more efficient products and services.

Q: So why did Newt do the ad with Nancy Pelosi in 2007 calling for action to address climate change?

Newt does not believe there is a settled scientific conclusion about whether industrial development has dramatically contributed to a warming of the atmosphere.

Through his entire career, Newt has supported pro-market, pro-entrepreneur, innovative solutions to our environmental challenges, which he believes are superior to the liberal pro-bureaucracy, pro-tax, pro-regulation approach to the environment.

Newt believes that conservatives cannot be absent from the conversation about the environment and instead that conservatives must offer and explain why conservative solutions are better. Unfortunately, the attempt to get that message out through the ad with Nancy Pelosi failed. On November 8, 2011, Newt told FOX News’ Bret Baier that doing that commercial with Pelosi was “probably the dumbest single thing I’ve ever done”.

Newt will continue to oppose the Democrats’ destructive cap-and-trade and carbon tax proposals, continue to support expanded domestic oil and gas drilling, and continue to fight for a fundamental replacement of the job-killing Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency. 

 

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less

In May of 2008, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events discussing the merits of drilling in the US. He backed up this article with a video. He called the push to increase petroleum production "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." Congressman Gingrich also wrote a book entitled "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less."

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less
by Newt Gingrich
05/20/2008

Last week, liberals in Congress voted for the equivalent of a $150 billion tax increase. They voted to make your next trip to the gas station more expensive; to make your next airplane ticket more expensive; to make heating your home more expensive -- even to make feeding your family more expensive.

How did they do it? By voting to block environmentally sound production of U.S. energy in favor of continuing to be held hostage to oil from foreign dictatorships. I'll explain in a minute.

My Dad, Your Dad, and the Importance of History

First, I want to talk about my dad, your dad, and the importance of history.

My dad was a career army officer, and it's no exaggeration to say that he is responsible for the path I've taken in my life. When I was fifteen, Dad took me to visit the battlefield at Verdun, in France. It was the bloodiest battle of World War I, one of the bloodiest wars of the 20th century. As I came to understand the tremendous destructiveness of the battle -- and the distinct possibility that its outcome could have been different -- I knew that I would devote the rest of my life to standing between civilization and the madness of places like Verdun.

So in a very real way it's my father that I'm thinking about when I write my novels (with co-author and historian William Forstchen) of "active" or alternative history. My latest, the second in our Pacific War series, entitled Days of Infamy, is now out. As Father's Day approaches and you think about your father, consider a signed Days of Infamy or Pearl Harbor as a gift. They're exciting and informative looks at an important part of our history.

"A Vote That Would Make a Difference in People's Lives"

Who's to blame for our high gas prices? The oil companies? The Saudis? OPEC? The answer, unfortunately, is closer to home: The "No-We-Can't" Left in Congress.

Last Thursday, with oil at $124 a barrel, liberals on the Senate Appropriations committee voted to block environmentally sound development of oil shale in Colorado.

According to the Investors Business Daily there are an estimated 1 trillion barrels of oil trapped in shale in the U.S. and Canada. Retrieving just a tenth of it would quadruple our current oil reserves.

But the "No-We-Can't" Left in Congress -- as they're prone to do -- said no, and Americans will pay the price. Colorado Senator Wayne Allard (R) put it best when he said: "If we are really serious about reducing pain at the pump, this is a vote that would make a difference in people's lives."

Saudi Arabia Did More Last Week to Lower Gas Prices Than Congress Did

The Left just doesn't seem to get it. They spent much of last week ridiculing the President for visiting Saudi Arabia in an effort to lower oil prices. Here's what Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Friday:

"The president seems to value his friendship with the Saudis more than his obligation to help the American people with gas prices."

But what Senator Schumer doesn't seem to understand is that the Saudis did more last week to lower oil prices than liberals in Congress did.

While liberals were voting to prevent domestic production from oil shale, the Saudis, following President Bush's visit, agreed to boost their oil output by 300,000 barrels a day. It won't fix the problem, but at least it won't make it worse, which is exactly what liberals in Congress did last week.

As Americans, we all need to ask ourselves the following: Which is it -- the Congress or Saudi Arabia -- that has a greater obligation to ease our energy prices? And which is the greater obstacle to energy independence and security?

The Left's Answer: More Pain, Not More Production

As I mentioned, the higher energy prices Americans are paying are the equivalent of a huge tax increase. One economist calculated that the price of oil rising from $80 a barrel to $100 a barrel had the same effect on Americans' pocket books as a $150 billion tax increase -- and the price of oil has risen an additional $27 since then!

So how is it that the liberals in Congress, faced with an opportunity like the one last week to lessen this burden on Americans, could reject it without a second thought?

Once again, the answer seems to boil down to three little words: "No we can't."

Change Jimmy Carter Can Believe In

Campaigning in Oregon last week, Senator Barack Obama seemed to forget his campaign theme of "Yes We Can," telling his fellow Americans that more pain -- not more production -- is the answer. He responded to a question about America's role in reducing global energy consumption like this:

"We can't tell [other countries], don't grow. We can't -- drive our SUVs and you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on you know, 72 degrees at all times, and whether we're living in the desert or we're living in the tundra, and then just expect that every other country's going to say OK."

I have two reactions to this.

First, I'm used to my doctor telling me I can't eat as much as I want, but it sounds eerie coming from a politician. Is the "No We Can't" Left planning to ban the buffet line as well?

Second, and more importantly, telling the next generation of Americans that they can't have the lifestyle that their parents enjoy is defeatist and wrong. It is a rejection of the energy, optimism and innovation that has made this nation great.

It's also all too similar to President Carter in February of 1977 when he called the energy shortage "permanent" and called on Americans to turn their thermostat down to "65 degrees in the daytime and 55 degrees at night."

Of course, the energy shortage was anything but permanent. Just like today, it was an artificial creation of stupid government policies. Ronald Reagan's first official act as President was to deregulate the oil industry. Oil prices dropped soon after.

I guess "Yes We Can" only applies to reenacting the Jimmy Carter presidency.

Americans Can Control Our Own Energy Destiny

Our energy and environment challenges are real. But America has the technological know-how and the entrepreneurial spirit to overcome them. And, as I pointed out last week, Americans overwhelmingly support more domestic production of energy to help ease gas prices.

We -- not the Saudis or the oil companies -- control our energy future. We just need the political will to do so.

High energy prices aren't theoretical, they have real consequences for real people. The answer, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, isn't easy, but it's simple -- so simple it could fit on a bumper sticker:

Drill Here
Drill Now
Pay Less 

 

Rebranding the GOP

In May of 2008, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events. In that article, he listed 9 things that could be done to rebrand the GOP. Three of those were related to energy.

Nine Acts of Real Change That Could Restore the GOP Brand

Here are nine acts of real change that would begin to rebuild the American people's confidence that Republicans share their values, understand their worries, and are prepared to act instead of just talk. The Republicans in Congress could get a start on all nine this week if they had the will to do so.

  • Repeal the gas tax for the summer, and pay for the repeal by cutting domestic discretionary spending so that the transportation infrastructure trust fund would not be hurt. At a time when, according to The Hill newspaper, Senator Clinton is asking for $2.3 billion in earmarks, it should be possible for Republicans to establish a "government spending versus your pocketbook" fight over cutting the gas tax that would resonate with most Americans. Lower taxes and less government spending should be a battle cry most taxpayers and all conservatives could rally behind.
  • Redirect the oil being put into the national petroleum reserve onto the open market. That oil would lower the price of gasoline an extra 5 to 6 cents per gallon, and its sale would lower the deficit.
  • Introduce a "more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security bill" as a replacement for the Warner-Lieberman "tax and trade" bill which is coming to the floor of the Senate in the next few weeks (see my newsletter next week for an outline of a solid pro-economy, pro-national security, pro-environment energy bill). When the American people realize how much the current energy prices are actually a "politicians' energy crisis" they will demand real change in our policies.

 

Support for Nuclear Energy

In May of 2008, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events in which he described his support for nuclear energy and listed 10 items that the US should pursue related to energy.

Americans Support Energy Independence, Innovation, Incentives, and Nuclear Power

At AmericanSolutions.com you can view the Platform of the American People, a collection of 91 planks with the support of the majority of Democrats, independents, and Republicans.

The Platform shows that the American people overwhelmingly agree that we should use our resources to become independent from foreign dictators.

Brazil recently discovered two very large oil fields in the Atlantic Ocean. They are so large that they will make Brazil completely independent from Middle Eastern oil.

This is important because the Minerals Management Service has estimated a mean of 85.9 billion barrels of undiscovered recoverable oil and a mean of 419.9 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered recoverable natural gas in the Federal Outer Continental Shelf of the United States. And that estimate does not include any Brazil-size surprise discoveries.

The Platform also shows that Americans believe deeply in the power of technology, incentives, and innovation to develop new sources of energy and new methods of energy conservation. For example:

"We can solve our environmental problems faster and cheaper with innovation and new technology than with more litigation and more government regulation. (79 to 15)


If we use technology and innovation and incentives we do not need to raise taxes to clean up our environment. (68 to 29)"
And Americans also believe in the safety and reliability of nuclear energy.

"We support building more nuclear power plants to cut carbon emissions. (65 to 28)"

The First Step: Replace Warner-Lieberman with Domenici

The Next Steps to Clean, More Abundant, Lower Cost Domestic Energy

After switching focus from the Warner-Lieberman bill to the Domenici bill, here are the next steps toward an energy abundant American future:

  1. Change federal law to give all states with offshore oil and gas the same share of federal royalties Wyoming gets for land-based resources (48%). Today most states get zero royalties from offshore oil and gas development while states like Wyoming reap 48% of federal royalties for its land-based oil and gas. If Richmond, Tallahassee, and Sacramento suddenly had the potential to find billions of dollars a year in new revenues, their willingness to tolerate new oil and gas development with appropriate environmental safeguards might go up dramatically.
  2. Change federal law to allow those states that want to permit exploration with appropriate safeguards to do so. Companies could be required to post bonds to pay for any environmental problems, and a share of the state and federal revenues from new offshore development could be set aside to finance biodiversity and national park projects.
  3. Allow companies engaged in oil and gas exploration and development to write off their investments in one year by expensing all of it against their tax liabilities. This will lead to an explosion of new exploration and development.
    Immediately renegotiate the clean coal (FutureGen) project for Illinois to get it built as rapidly as possible (see the chapter in Real Change for rapid contracting techniques with incentives that can reduce construction time from years to months). It is utterly irrational for the Department of Energy to postpone the most advanced clean coal project in America (LEARN MORE ABOUT DOE'S FAILURE ON FUTURE GEN).
  4. Coal is America's most abundant and lowest-cost energy resource. If clean coal technologies can be demonstrated to produce power with virtually no carbon release, then coal becomes environmentally very acceptable. America IS the Saudi Arabia of coal. We simply must fund the most advanced experiment and get on with using our most abundant resource.
  5. Congress should pass a series of tax-free prizes to accelerate innovation in developing new technologies for using coal. The result will be a better environment, more energy independence, and more energy at lower cost. Eliminate half the Department of Energy bureaucracy and turn the money into paying for prizes. America will get a much bigger, faster return on its investment.
  6. Develop a tax credit for refitting existing coal plants. There are a lot of existing coal plants which are going to be around for a long time. The most efficient way to make them more environmentally acceptable is to create a tax credit for retrofitting them with new methods and new technologies.
  7. Pass a streamlined regulatory regime and a favorable tax regime for building nuclear power plants.
  8. Make the solar power and wind power tax credits permanent to create a large scale industry dedicated to domestically produced renewable fuel. A contractor recently told me about a solar project he had planned for the American southwest that is now being built in Spain because he distrusts the American Congress and is tired of it playing games with short-term tax credits. We have enormous opportunities in solar, wind, and other renewable fuels; and they can be developed with a stable tax policy.
  9. Develop long distance transmission lines to move wind power from the Dakotas to Chicago. The potential is there for an enormous amount of electricity generation, but it is locked up geographically because the neighboring states have no reason to be helpful. The Dakotas can generate the power and Chicago can use the power, but the federal government may have to make the connection possible.
  10. Allow the auto companies to use their tax credits for the cost of flex fuels cars, hybrids, and the development of hydrogen cars including necessary retooling for manufacturing. The American auto companies have billions in tax credits, but they have no profits to turn the tax credits into useful money. The federal government could make the tax credits refundable and therefore useful if they were spent on helping solve the energy problem. This would be a win-win strategy of much greater power than the fight over CAFE standards.

 

3 Things on Oil Prices

In June of 2008 Congressman Gingrich spoke on energy for American Solutions. He stated that there were 3 things that could be done to lessen oil prices. These items were:

  • open the strategic oil reserve
  • increase oil exploration
  • maximize the development of alternative fuel

 

 

News Week Interview

In October of 2008, Congressman Gingrich was interviewed by Newsweek on energy policy. They discuss wind power, green jobs, and the cost of gasoline.

Moving From Votes to Volts

As the election ends, Gingrich says the real energy challenges begin.

During the presidential campaign, voters have heard endless talk about the candidates' plans to overhaul U.S. energy policy. Starting this week the winner will begin working to enact that vision—and, in the process, he'll confront the political and budgetary challenges that have constrained previous presidents from making the country more energy independent. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich understands these challenges better than most, and in a new book, "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less," he outlines his ideas for how America should take control of its energy future. Gingrich, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, spoke to NEWSWEEK's Daniel Stone. Excerpts:

STONE: Haven't both candidates overplayed the notion of green jobs and green investment boosting the economy?

GINGRICH: No, I don't think so. One of the reasons I'm so angry about energy is because we were supposed to have our first future-generation coal plant by 2008. Now it's supposed to be 2016. Meanwhile, the Chinese will open their first plant next year. There's a very high likelihood that the technology that goes around the world and earns royalties will be Chinese. Now that is a terrible comment on American bureaucracy and red tape. These kinds of things can lead to dramatic economic growth. We need to have a very large infrastructure of energy. We need to be competitive.

With countries like China less concerned about the environment, can a better U.S. energy policy really make a big difference?

You actually can solve the environmental problems better in the U.S. [even] at a time when China is building one new coal-burning electric plant per week. [Solutions aren't] going to come from China and India and countries that won't give up growth for the environment. So I think the sound, healthy [policy] is to tax America's energy producers, because we are the country most likely to have very high environmental standards.

What happens to McCain's "all of the above" approach if the Democrats—who favor a more reserved strategy on drilling—take over multiple branches of government in January?

I think the challenge [the Democrats] have is that this is a center-right country. This is a country that would [like to] build nuclear-power plants. We would drill for oil offshore. This is a country that, by a 72 to 18 margin, has more faith in entrepreneurs than bureaucrats to solve our problems. The next time gas is $4 a gallon, people will look at their leaders. If Obama gets to be president, for his entire presidency, the majority of Americans will still have traditional internal-combustion engines.

What do you drive?

I drive an Escalade.

That's quite a guzzler.

Well, it's a hybrid. And I am very much in favor of more biofuels and hydrogen cars. I was driving a Tesla in San Jose and it's a terrific sports car—but it's also a long way from replacing 220 million vehicles.

Even if we increase oil drilling, engineers point to a significant lag time—up to a decade—before new supplies of oil can truly relieve gas prices. Why bother?

We fought the entire Second World War in three years and eight months. Think about that … We haven't had a seismographic survey since 1984 on fuel reserves, so you have new 3-D seismographic capabilities. No one has even tried using them. So we're told on one hand we don't have any capacity, but that we also are not allowed to look.

Don't you worry about the potential devastation of oil spills from offshore drilling?

First of all, there's natural seepage in the Santa Barbara Channel every day. There's natural seepage off Norway every day. It's an inherent part of those natural systems. Even with the oil coming in from Saudi Arabia, those ships still dock in Florida. And the fact is that, statistically, ships are more dangerous.

What do you make of T. Boone Pickens's energy plan?

Wind has a role to play. I would very much favor the federal government helping create the [electrical] transmission system he wants. But on natural gas, you have to ask: how rapidly, talking realistically, can you really convert vehicles to run on natural gas? That is a huge project. I don't think it fulfills the requirement for the foreseeable future. The internal-combustion engine will continue to be very important.
If Obama wins and you had a line-item veto on his energy plan, what would you eliminate?

His energy plan is largely pious hope. He hopes they can make breakthroughs and do this or that.

Obama said in one of the debates that Americans need to sacrifice and cut back their energy usage. How do you think that'll fly as part of the solution?

Just as well as it did with Jimmy Carter. People don't elect presidents who tell them to sacrifice. They elect presidents who solve problems so they don't have to sacrifice.

The cost of oil is less than half what it was earlier this year. Will talk about green tech and energy efficiency dissipate?

It's not going to go away for two reasons. First, even with prices lower, we're still sending money overseas to people who turn around and use that money to buy our companies. Second is that long-term demand from China and India for oil and gas is inevitable. This won't go away. Civilizations are growing, and as more and more people desire a better life all over the world, they're going to use more energy.

 

Waxman-Markey Testimony

On April 27, 2009 Speaker Gingrich spoke in testimony on the proposed cap-and-trade legislation known as Waxman-Markey. He asserts his opposition to the bill.

Getting to the Right Bill

There are a few points of hope in this bill, but nothing to encourage the dramatic scale of change we need to address our energy needs.

The first good thing in it is a provision that restricts the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating carbon, which the EPA is currently positioning itself to do. This would be a power grab of staggering proportions and completely antithetical to historic American rallying cries of "no taxation without representation". We didn't win a revolution to replace taxation by an unaccountable King for taxation by unaccountable bureaucrats.

The Congress should immediately pass a stand alone bill that cuts off any appropriations funding to the EPA that would be used to regulate carbon dioxide. Then Congress should reform EPA to eliminate the bureaucratic arrogance which led to this power grab.

 

Reagan Debate

In September of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in the Republican Primary debate at the Reagan Library. He spoke about the need to open up Alaska to development.

WILLIAMS: Congresswoman, time.

Speaker Gingrich, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, will come to the end of his term in 2014. Would you reappoint Ben Bernanke?

GINGRICH: I would fire him tomorrow.

WILLIAMS: Why?

GINGRICH: I think he's been the most inflationary, dangerous, and power-centered chairman of the Fed in the history of the Fed. I think the Fed should be audited. I think the amount of money that he has shifted around in secret, with no responsibility, no -- no -- no accountability, no transparency, is absolutely antithetical to a free society. And I think his policies have deepened the depression, lengthened the problems, increased the cost of gasoline, and been a disaster.

I want to take the rest of my time, Brian, to go back to a question you asked that was very important. We were asked the wrong question at the last debate. The question isn't, would we favor a tax increase? The question is, how would we generate revenue?

There are three good ways. The Ronald Reagan technique put 3,700,000 more people back to work as of last Friday. You reduce government spending. You raise government revenues enormously. The committee of 12 ought to be looking at, how do you create more revenue, not how do you raise taxes.

Second, you go to energy, exactly as Michele Bachmann has said. You open up American energy, $500 billion a year here at home, enormous increase in federal revenue.

Third, we own -- with all due respect, Governor -- we own 69 percent of Alaska. That's one-and-a-half Texases. Now, let's set half of Texas -- let's set a half Texas aside for national parks. We could liberate an area the size of Texas for minerals and other development. That would raise even more revenue, not the normal Washington viewpoint.

 

Western Debate

In October of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in the Western Debate on CNN. He was asked about the latino vote and states that he believes that latinos want the same things as other races - to have a good education and a good job.

QUESTION: My question for you is, do you support opening the national nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain?

COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, we'll start with you.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Sorry, go ahead.

GINGRICH: Look, we -- we worked on this when I was speaker. I think that it has to be looked at scientifically. But I think at some point we have to find a safe method of taking care of nuclear waste. And today, because this has been caught up in a political fight, we have small units of nuclear waste all over this country in a way that is vastly more dangerous to the United States than finding a method of keeping it in a very, very deep place that would be able to sustain 10,000 or 20,000 and 30,000 years of geological safety.

COOPER: Is Yucca Mountain that place?

GINGRICH: I'm not a scientist. I mean, Yucca Mountain certainly was picked by the scientific community as one of the safest places in the United States. It has always had very deep opposition here in Nevada. And, frankly...

COOPER: You were for opening it in Congress, right?

GINGRICH: Huh?

COOPER: When you were in the Congress, you were...

(CROSSTALK)

GINGRICH: When I was in Congress, frankly, I worked with the Nevada delegation to make sure that there was time for scientific studies. But we have to find some method of finding a very geologically stable place, and most geologists believe that, in fact, Yucca Mountain is that.

 

CNN National Security Debate

Congressman Gingrich participated in the national security debate on CNN on November 22, 2011. When asked about energy and states that if the US was serious, it would open enough sources in the US to drop the cost of oil overnight.

ALISON ACOSTA FRASER, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OKLAHOMA OFFICE OF STATE FINANCE: Hi, my name is Alison Acosta Fraser, and I'm the director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. And my question is this, the next president will have to make some very, very tough choices in order to solve the nation's spending and debt crisis. Would you be willing to say that our national security is so paramount that cuts to the defense budget are unacceptable?

BLITZER: Speaker Gingrich.

GINGRICH: No. I helped found the Military Reform Caucus in 1981 at the beginning of the Reagan buildup because it's clear that there are some things you can do in defense that are less expensive.

It's clear, if it takes 15 to 20 years to build a weapons system at a time when Apple changes technology every nine months, there's something profoundly wrong with this system. So I'm not going to tell you automatically I'm going to say yes. (APPLAUSE)

GINGRICH: But let me make a deeper point. There's a core thing that's wrong with this whole city. You said earlier that it would take too long to open up American oil. We defeated Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan in three years and eight months because we thought we were serious.

If we were serious, we would open up enough oil fields in the next year that the price of oil worldwide would collapse. Now, that's what we would do if we were a serious country. If we were serious...

 

Huckabee Forum

In December of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in a forum that was moderated by Mike Huckabee. He speaks about his commercial with Speaker Pelosi and his support for an environmental solutions office.

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements

AN AMERICAN ENERGY PLAN

"Contrary to popular belief, America has more energy than any nation on earth. All that's keeping us from becoming energy independent is a lack of political will to do so." -- Newt Gingrich

Today's high gas and energy prices are entirely a function of bad government policies. Newt has an American Energy Plan that would maximize energy production from all sources--oil, natural gas, wind, biofuels, nuclear, clean coal, and more--and would encourage clean energy innovation without discouraging overall energy production.

Newt's American Energy Plan:

  • Remove bureaucratic and legal obstacles to responsible oil and natural gas development in the United States, offshore and on land.
  • End the ban on oil shale development in the American West, where we have three times the amount of oil as Saudi Arabia.
  • Give coastal states federal royalty revenue sharing to give them an incentive to allow offshore development.
  • Reduce frivolous lawsuits that hold up energy production by enacting loser pays laws to force the losers in an environmental lawsuit to pay all legal costs for the other side.
  • Finance cleaner energy research and projects with new oil and gas royalties.
  • Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would use incentives and work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy. 

 

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

This representative has not been identified as sponsoring or cosponsoring significant legislation related to this title.

Mitt Romney

Summary

Governor Romney believes in man-made global warming, but he is not certain to the extent that man is causing the change in the environment. He supports a global effort to cap carbon emissions and possibly a global cap-and-trade, but not one that applies only to the US. Governor Romney supports lowering energy use through renewable resources and increased efficiency. He proposes "No Regrets" policies which he states is encouraging the use of US and renewable energy which has the combined affects of energy independence and lowering greenhouse emissions. Governor Romney supports the use of nuclear, clean coal, liquid coal (if carbon sequestered), solar, wind, and any other renewable resource. He also supports drilling ANWR, and offshore.

2008 Presidential Campaign

In May of 2007 Governor Romney stated in a campaign speech that he believed in global warming and that man was causing it, but he was not sure the extent to which man was causing it. He stated that we needed to find a way to reduce our use of energy, and expressed his support for numerous forms of energy development, including drilling in ANWR and offshore. This was the introduction of "No Regrets" policies that allow us to become energy independent and reduce the greenhouse gas that we emit.

At a 2007 New Hampshire town hall, he reasserted his belief in man-made global warming, stating that it was clear to him and a lot of other people that the earth was getting warmer and that man was playing some part in that warming. He stated his support for numerous forms of US energy, including nuclear, and noted that the topics of national security and energy independence were tied together. He stated his support for tax incentives for fuel efficient vehicles.

Later, at a 2007 Iowa town hall, Governor Romney was asked about international agreements on cap-and-trade and other environmental issues. He responded that previous agreements, such as the Kyoto protocols only targeted developed nations and left out nations such as China and India, which are today the highest polluters. He noted that he would not agree to any carbon capping solution that capped US emissions, but left out other countries.

This support for carbon capping schemes only on a global basis was restated at other various town halls, along with Governor Romney's belief that man-made global warming existed, but the extent that humans were actually contributing was unknown. He repeatedly stated that it wasn't called "America warming" but rather "global warming."

2012 Presidential Campaign

In June of 2011, Governor Romney responded to questions at a town hall and repeated several of his views, including his view that man was contributing to global warming and that the US should not enter into any cap-and-trade schemes unless it applies world-wide.

Governor Romney made energy policy one of the chief components of his 2012 economic plan for the presidency. In that plan, he is critical of the idea that green jobs are created at a pace equivalent to other energy jobs, and harshly critical of the limited production due to moratoriums in ocean drilling. Governor Romney's plan consists of actions to reduce and reform regulation, increase production of energy, and expand research and development. As part of the regulatory reform, Governor Romney proposes streamlining and fast-tracking the permitting process for safe companies and procedures, overhauling outdated legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and reforming nuclear regulation to make building nuclear power plants feasible. To increase production, Governor Romney would sanction an inventory of energy resources, explore for resources anywhere it can be safely done including ANWR and offshore, extract shale gas, and partner with neighbors. To expand research and development, Governor Romney would focus government funding on research and development of new energy technologies and on initial demonstration projects that establish the feasibility of discoveries, and fund projects through a DARPA model of long-term guaranteed funding.

  • Significant Regulatory Reform
    • Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals
    • Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities
    • Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas
    • Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
    • Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview
    • Expand NRC capabilities for approval of additional nuclear reactor designs
    • Streamline NRC processes to ensure that licensing decisions for reactors on or adjacent to approved sites, using approved designs, are complete within two years
  • Increasing Production
    • Conduct comprehensive survey of America’s energy reserves
    • Open America’s energy reserves for development
    • Expand opportunities for U.S. resource developers to forge partnerships with neighboring countries
    • Support construction of pipelines to bring Canadian oil to the United States
    • Prevent overregulation of shale gas development and extraction
  • Research and Development
    • Concentrate alternative energy funding on basic research
    • Utilize long-term, apolitical funding mechanisms like ARPA-E for basic research

 

Des Moines, Iowa Town Hall

In May of 2007, Governor Romney took questions at a Des Moines, Iowa town hall. When asked about carbon caps, Governor Romney does not directly answer the question, but states that he would not support capping US emissions without capping international emissions.

Question: I was encourage to read that over 20 major corporations and businesses in this country support a mandatory cap on carbon emissions. My question is, do you support those companies? And, number two, What's your position, do you support a mandatory cap on carbon emissions?

Governor Romney: Well, we're sure gonna have to find a way to reduce our use of energy, and particularly foreign energy. There are a lot of people that are worried about global warming, I think that we are probably experiencing a change in our climate. Human activity may well be contributing to it, I think that it probably is ... what I don't know is how much of the change is due to human activity, and what action we could take that would change the trajectory of the changes that we're seeing. That's why I adopt what I call "No Regrets Policies." Policies that allow us to become energy independent, and will have as one of their byproducts, reduction of the CO2 that we emit ... greenhouse gas that we emit. 

So let me tell you the things I'd like to do. With regards to developing more energy, I'd like to see some of our renewable resources, biodiesel, biofuel, ethanol, cellulosic ethanol. I wanna see us developing liquified coal, if we can sequester the CO2 properly. I wanna see nuclear power, I wanna see us develop on own oil offshore, and in ANWR. Let's develop all the sources we can to provide for our own energy needs, and free ourselves from dependence on Achmadenijad, and Chavez, and Putin, and others who have that oil today.

...

Now, if we're going to get into an agreement with the rest of the world on CO2 caps and so forth, I want it agreed to with the whole world, not just us. Last time, when they were talking about the Kyoto accord, it only applied to developed nations, not to developing nations like India and China. But within 10 years, the developing nations, India, China, and others were putting out more CO2 than the developed nations. So if we're gonna have some provisions of that nature, it's got to be global, not unilateral. 

 

Hopkinton, NH Town Hall

On November 10, 2007 Governor Romney held a town hall in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. He was asked about his views on energy and global warming. He states that global warming is happening and that man may be contributing to it.

Question: I feel that America's strength is very linked to a big problem that we're facing, and that's global warming and climate change. I am concerned about the environmental impacts, and also the national security impacts of our addiction to oil. I'd like to know what your view about that is.

Governor Romney: I'm glad that you put the two together, because like you I feel that they are connected. That is, the security implications of our addiction to oil, at the same time the environmental impacts of our overuse of carbon based energy sources. 

It does appear to me, and I think to most people that the world is getting warmer. And it also appears to me that we are contributing to that. I don't know how much we're contributing to that, I don't know what percentage it is ... what percentage is caused by factors out of our control and what percentage is caused by the burning of greenhouse gas emitting fuels, I don't know. But I know that it's a good idea in that setting to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I'd also like to get us off of foreign oil, and those two things are linked for me, or they have common potential.

So here's what I would like to do. I'd like to develop more sources of energy, and become more efficient in our use of energy. Those are the two halves of the equation if you will. 

First, in terms of source, i'd like more nuclear power, i'd like to have liquified coal, where we can sequester the CO2. I'd like to see us using our renewable resources, solar, wind ... I'd like more cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, biofuel, blue-green algae, biodiesel, all these sources. And the list goes on and on. I would invest substantially more dollars in developing basic science that can help develop some of these technologies. So that's the energy side.

Then there's the efficiency side, which is less expensive, which is getting more fuel efficient cars, more fuel efficient homes, and businesses. When I was governor, I proposed that everybody that got a car that got more than 35 miles to the gallon wouldn't have to pay sales tax on the car. You don't worry about that here, I know, but down south that's an issue ... no sales tax, and no excise tax if you bought a car that got over 35 miles to the gallon. And if you needed a van, if you got one that was over 22 ... I can't remember the number ... but if you got over a certain level, you got the same break.

And so we tried to encourage people to move towards more fuel efficient vehicles. I think that the combination of those things, seriously undertaken, can get us energy secure and off of foreign oil, and we can stop sending a billion dollars a day to Achmidenijad, and Chavez, and Putin, and the like. It would have the effect of improving our national security, improving our economy ... we keep a billion dollars a day here ... and also improving our environment. I'll fight to have, finally, a real energy policy that gets us on that course.

 

Cedar Rapids, Iowa Town Hall

On November 30, 2007 Governor Romney participated in a town hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, When asked about carbon capping and a Kyoto type protocol, Governor Romney states that he would not support provisions that were not global.

Question: One of the international communities big issues right now is crafting an international treaty to combat global warming. There's going to be a new Kyoto agreement, and then we'll start in Bali here in early December. So my question is "How would you address this challenge on an international basis, and how should the United States play a role in solving this international crisis of global warming?"

Governor Romney: One, I describe what are, in my view, some of the most dramatic things that we can do to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions all by ourselves. So the new sources of energy that are non-CO2 emitting, much greater efficiency in our cars, homes, appliances, businesses ... Those two things combined will dramatically reduce the growth, and perhaps reduce the absolute level of our CO2 emissions at some point. 

Those are things that I do for three major reasons, and different people have different reasons for liking those ideas. One is to give ourselves better security, so that we don't have to worry about buying oil from people that don't like us. Two is strengthening our economy, so that we don't send over a billion dollars a day outside our country, and three is to reduce greenhouse emissions and affect global warming. So we have those three reasons for taking those actions by ourselves.

Now what happens if we put into place a regime to put caps of some kind ... targets and so forth. Well, I think that one important principle that I want to make is this; we don't call it America Warming, we call it Global Warming. That being the case, I want to make sure that those discussions are held on a global basis. Not with an "OK what's America going to do?" and everybody else sits back and they're doing nothing. Now what was wrong with Kyoto is that it said "OK America, you put in place these caps, but China, who is now the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, you don't have to do anything. I want China, and India, ... by the way, they're competing for our jobs. I don't want to put our employers and our employees costs which the Indians and the Chinese then don't have to pay which may our jobs even less competitive. 

I will work on a global basis to get other nations to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is fair to us and the other people of the world. 

 

Manchester, New Hampshire Town Hall

Just after a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire in December of 2007, Governor Romney was asked if he supports cap-and-trade. He states that he would support it on a global system, but not solely for the US.

Question: Do you support cap-and-trade?

Governor Romney: I support it on a global basis. It's one of the possible solutions that I am looking at. I do not support for the US alone. I'd want to do it with other nations involved as a global solution.

 

California Debate

In January of 2008, Governor Romney participated in the California Presidential Debate at the Reagan Library. Governor Romney stated that he opposed caps on emissions without the involvement of the entire world, but that he believed that states such as California possessed the right to make their own laws in this area.

ROMNEY: But let's talk about our policies with regards to greenhouse gases and global warming.

I think we all agree that America should become energy independent. The consequences of us continuing to buy over $1 billion of oil a day from people who oftentimes use this money against us is bad for our economy; it's bad for our foreign policy; and all that energy being used is probably bad for our environment.

It's probably warming our environment. And we want that to stop. So a unilateral action to get ourselves off of foreign oil makes all the sense in the world.

Nuclear power, biodiesel, biofuel, all the renewables, liquefied coal, where you sequester the carbon dioxide, those things make all the sense in the world.

But when you put in place a new cap or a mandate, and particularly if you don't have any safety valve as to how much the cost of that cap might be, you would impose on the American people, if you do it unilaterally, without involving all the world, you'd impose on the American people a huge new effective tax: 20 percent on utilities, 50 cents a gallon for gasoline -- that's according to the energy information agency -- would be imposed on us.

And here's what happens. I've lived in the business world. I've lived in the real economy for 25 years of my life. What happens if you do that? You put a big burden on energy in this country as the energy-intensive industries say, "We're going to move our new facilities from America to China, where they don't have those agreements."

And you end up polluting and putting just as much CO-2 in the air because the big energy users go there. That's why these ideas make sense, but only on a global basis.

They don't call it "America warming." They call it "global warming." That's why you've got to have a president that understands the real economy.

COOPER: Just so I'm clear, you said you side with the states. That means you side with Governor Schwarzenegger on this one?

ROMNEY: I side with states being able to make their own decisions, even if I don't always agree with the decisions they make.

 

Cavuto Appearance - Drilling

In August of 2008, Governor Romney appeared on Neil Cavuto's show on Fox News. He was asked about President Obama's plans for drilling and statements that he favored expanded drilling. Governor Romney asserts that President Obama is wrong and that more drilling is needed.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Well, you know, I think he's trying to have it both ways, actually. He's — he's been pretty clear that he still opposes offshore drilling. And John McCain is in favor of offshore drilling.

Barack Obama wants to say, well, he would consider it as part of a comprehensive plan. But, look, the Democrats have control of both houses in Congress. And, if he were president, he would have, obviously, an enormous sway. And he opposes offshore drilling, as the Democrats do. And we need it in this country, just like we need nuclear power. John McCain is right on these issues. Barack Obama is wrong.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you, Governor, there are press reports now that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been telling Democratic members, "Look, I'm going to stand firm on opposing a vote on this issue, that is, drilling, but you can go ahead and tell your constituents you're for it," and, essentially, everything will be hunky-dory."

What do you make of that?

ROMNEY: Well, I think she's — she's playing practical politics.
She should, of course, allow her members to vote their conscience. And — and, frankly, what's right for America is for us to finally become energy-independent. And, for that to happen, it will require — if you will — every source of energy we have and every source of efficiency.

And that means nuclear power. It means offshore drilling. It means more natural gas. It means liquefied coal, as well as ethanol, solar, wind power. T. Boone Pickens' wind power idea is a good one.

We're going to have to develop all these sources. John McCain is for all of those. Barack Obama will just pick and choose. And, frankly, the ones he picks and chooses are not enough to get us energy independent or to affect in a significant way our oil prices long term.

CAVUTO: But, dating back to the debates, when you were still in the race, Governor, John McCain was not nearly as much of a fan for drilling as he has become one now.

Now, obviously, higher energy prices had a lot to do with that. But is he just as guilty of flip-flopping as Senator Obama?

ROMNEY: Well, I — I didn't accuse Barack Obama of changing his position. I accused him of trying to have both positions at the same time, and it's not going to work.

He's been pretty clear that he still opposes offshore drilling. And John McCain, recognizing that we're suffering from $4-a-gallon gasoline prices, along with George Bush and many, many others, Republicans and Democrats — Nancy Pelosi pointed this out to her own Democrats — people are saying, you know what, we've got to change.

And Barack Obama hasn't been willing to change. John McCain has. He favors offshore drilling, and we need it.

 

Iowa Town Hall

On May 28, 2011 Governor Romney gave a town hall in Iowa. At that town hall, he spoke in negative terms about President Obama's support for cap-and-trade. He stated that it would increase uncertainty, and raise energy costs.

… he came into office and what was happening that people were losing jobs, home values were going down, costs were rising. And instead of focusing his energy on the economy, he delegated the stimulus to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. And they built a stimulus which grew government jobs, but didn’t grow private sector jobs. And then he went to work on his real agenda, and that was cap and trade to raise energy costs…

… virtually very aspect of his agenda increased the degree of uncertainty that existed in the employment sector. Small business that was say energy intensive wondered what the cost of their energy would be if his cap and trade program went through…

... I also think he may be getting some inspiration from our European friends, because when their economy was in trouble they spent more money and borrowed more money. And like the Europeans, when their energy was an issue they raised the cost of energy with cap and trade…

 

Manchester Town Hall

On June 3, 2011 Governor Romney gave a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire. In that town hall, he was asked about his views on global warming (21 minutes into video). He responded that he did indeed believe in global warming and that he did believe that man was causing it.

Q: Will you sir state that under a Romney administration, global warming was be accepted as a reality, and that this reality will form the basis for all energy and environment policy?

Governor Romney: ... It's an important topic. I actually had the privilege of writing a book at the end of my last campaign. I found that one of the challenges in a campaign was that most of the time, you answer short questions with short answers, and long questions with long answers, and your on your base, and you get one and a half minutes to lay out your views on a whole host of issues. So I wrote a book called "No apologies," and in there I have a section on this very topic. On energy, on global warming and so forth, and I indicated my views. I don't speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe that the world is getting warmer. I can't prove that, but I believe it based on what I read that the world is getting warmer.

And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don't know how much, our contribution is to that, because I know that there's been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past. But I believe that we contribute to that, and so I think that it is important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing.

Now, how do we go about doing that. One of the opportunities that we have is that the people who are really focused on climate change and global warming have the same interests as the people who are pretty focused, as I am, on getting ourselves off of our dependence on foreign oil. I happen to think that buying every year a half a trillion barrels of oil outside the country, really hurts our economy. I also think that it puts us in a position of jeopardy in some respects to the energy cartels that have the capacity to pull strings that would affect our national interests, and so I want to get us off our dependance on foreign energy

So there's some things we could do to basically accomplish both. One is to use more natural gas in the production of electricity, to use more national gas in the propulsion of our vehicles. We have just found through something called horizontal drilling. Sounds a little strange, but the fact is that we use to drill holes vertically into the earth, and now we can drill vertically and then to go horizontally, and tap into those natural gas pockets. And we've developed about a hundred years of energy through this method. I wanna get that natural gas into usage in our truck fleet, on our interstate highways, in our energy grid. Natural gas is far less CO2 emitting, and it's domestic so it solves both the challenges that we've talked about.

Nuclear power doesn't generate any CO2, and it's also domestic, and nuclear power is something that I think that we have to have. So I look at our natural resources and our domestic resources and I say "you know what, America can be energy independent, independent of our dependence on energy cartels, we'll still of course trade our energy ... Canadian energy and so forth, we'll of course trade with them. But I want to get us off our dependence on foreign energy, and at the same time move to sources that are far less CO2 emitting.

I also want to see us become more energy efficient. I'm told that we use almost twice as much energy per person as a European, and more like three times as much energy as does a Japanese citizen. We can do a lot better. I'd like to see us get our homes and our systems of insulation and so forth could be far more efficient. I think that's happening, and I believe that we have a role in trying to help that happen. 

So for me, highest priority is to get ourselves off of our dependence on foreign energy, and develop all of our resources, including our renewable sources. Solar, wind, nuclear, gas, clean coal, ... By the way, we can't just say that it's all gonna be solar and wind. I love solar and wind, but they don't drive cars, and we're not all gonna drive Chevy Volts. 

We're gonna have to get our domestic sources of carbon fuels as well, that are less CO2 emitting, less polluting. That's gonna get us energy independent and reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. 

By the way, any policy, ... We talked about cap-and-trade and I know that a lot of people like to talk about cap-and-trade. Look, we cannot as Americans enter into an agreement that makes our energy to beome more expensive if we let the big emitters of the future like China and Brazil off the hook. We don't call it American warming, we call it global warming ... and if there's an effort in this, it's gonna have to be international in scope.

 

Believe in America Act

On September 6, 2011 Governor Romney proposed an economic plan as part of the 2012 presidential campaign. Achieving energy independence was one of the items that Governor Romney pledged.

Energy Policy

  • SIGNIFICANT REGULATORY REFORM
    • Streamline and fast-track approval processes
    • Amend Clean Air Act to exclude regulation of carbon
  • INCREASED PRODUCTIONrn
    • Conduct comprehensive survey of the nation’s reserves
    • Open reserves to exploration and production
  • RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTrn
    • Focus investment in basic research
    • Utilize DARPA-like funding mechanisms

We rightly think about energy as a national-security issue. But the energy sector is also a job generator of paramount importance. If we produced more energy domestically, millions of new jobs could be created. The imperatives of national security and economic policy can be made to work in tandem.

Producing more domestic energy would create good jobs and bolster local economies in a wide variety of energy-producing regions that effectively “export” their product to the rest of the country. While countless jobs are engaged in the actual energy-production process, they are a small fraction of the full workforce that benefits. Before the first barrel of oil is pumped out of the ground, entire industries are hard at work creating the equipment and providing the services used in drilling, production, and the long chain of supporting industries that brings energy from inside the earth to the consumer. The ripple effects into the non-energy sectors of the economy are commensurately important. If instead of sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas we can send them to our own energy-rich centers, the nation as a whole will experience the economic benefits that we currently see other countries enjoying at our expense.

Augmenting our domestic supply would strengthen the economy in many other ways. For one thing, greater domestic supply would put downward pressure on energy prices, leading to faster economic growth, more competitive industries, and less pain at the pump. For another thing, at a time of record deficits, greater domestic supply would generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue from drilling leases and royalties for the U.S. Treasury. It is one way to address our fiscal problems without imposing new taxes on the American people. Finally, by reducing imports, it would improve America’s trade balance and strengthen the dollar.

 

Reagan Debate

In September of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Republican debate in the Reagan Library. He expresses support for drilling in numerous areas.

 

TribLive Op-Ed

On October 19, 2011 Governor Romney wrote an op-ed for TribLive.com concerning energy policy. He states in that op-ed that he supports opening the Marcellus shale deposits.

Trib exclusive: Meeting the energy challenge
By Mitt Romney
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Energy policy is now at the red-hot center of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And with good reason.

The United States is an energy-rich country living like an energy-poor country. We purchase hundreds of billions of dollars of energy from overseas while keeping many of our own energy resources locked up in the ground. Reversing this backward dynamic is a critical pathway to creating economic growth and jobs.

In Pennsylvania and neighboring states, we are seeing the tremendous benefits that domestic energy development can confer. Tapping the Marcellus shale deposits promises not only to supply clean and inexpensive energy to our country for the next century but also to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

We could usher in similar benefits across the nation with an aggressive plan to develop all our resources.

My jobs plan, released last month, would do just that.

It surveys all of our existing resources so that we can make intelligent decisions about where to focus production. It dramatically streamlines regulation so that government facilitates production instead of interfering. It opens up vast new swaths of territory, on- and off-shore, for development. It pursues partnerships with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to ensure that American workers can participate in their development efforts and reap the benefits.

Yet even if we take these steps, we should not be under any illusions. Energy policy alone is not going to extricate the United States from our current economic straits. Yes, it is a vitally important sector, but as Pennsylvania's own experience attests, energy production alone will not turn around our economy. We must approach energy as part of a more fundamental reconfiguration of our economy if we are to generate economic growth and the jobs America needs.

Our tax system is widely recognized to be a mind-bendingly complex accumulation of special favors wrapped into law. It needs to be made lower, flatter and fairer. Our corporate rates must be brought into line with the rest of the world if we don't want to continue hemorrhaging jobs to countries with more competitive tax structures.

The federal regulatory apparatus has grown into a business-strangling monstrosity. The federal government's own estimates place the cost of federal regulation at a staggering $1.75 trillion. We need to pare this back radically, keep only those regulations whose benefits outweigh the costs and cap the imposition of new ones.

Our trade policies have to be rethought. Contrary to what many people think, international trade is a job creator. But if trade is mismanaged, as it has been, it can be a job killer. We have to open foreign markets to our goods, just as our economy is itself open.

Our labor laws need to be reformed. Unions can play a constructive role in a market economy but they can also make entire industries uncompetitive. We can't afford the policies favored by the Obama administration that do away with basic democratic procedures like the secret ballot while protecting undemocratic ones like coerced campaign contributions, tipping the balance in favor of union organizers at the expense of the very workers they purport to represent.

We have to invest in "human capital." America's workforce is our country's greatest renewable natural resource. If we are to create jobs, we need to narrow the mismatch between the skill set of our workers and the requirements of the employment market. The federal government currently spends $18 billion on training. But this is through 47 separate programs administered by nine different agencies. Most of them are completely ineffective. I would turn this function over to the private sector and to the states.

Federal spending has to be brought under control. Under Barack Obama it has increased by 28 percent -- from nearly $3 trillion to almost $4 trillion. The federal government is sucking away the capital that businesses could be using to invest in new plants and to hire people. Federal spending needs to be cut; it then needs to be capped at 20 percent of GDP, and we need a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to ensure that we never head down this disastrous path again.

Accomplishing all this change is not going to be easy. But all of it is vitally important. The path we're on is a dead end. The time to turn around is now. The economic future of our country is at stake.

 

Western Debate

In October of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Western Debate in Las Vegas. He was asked about Yucca Mountain and states that he opposes forcing the people of that state to accept nuclear waste from other areas.

COOPER: Governor Romney, where do you stand on this?

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Congressman Paul was right on that.

(APPLAUSE) I don't always agree with him, but I do on that. The -- the idea that 49 states can tell Nevada, "We want to give you our nuclear waste," doesn't make a lot of sense. I think the people of Nevada ought to have the final say as to whether they want that, and my guess is that for them to say yes to something like that, someone's going to have to offer them a pretty good deal, as opposed to having the federal government jam it down their throat.

(APPLAUSE)

And by the way, if -- if Nevada says, "Look, we don't want it," then let other states make bids and say, hey, look, we'll take it. Here's a geological site that we've evaluated. Here's the compensation we want for taking it. We want you electric companies around the country that are using nuclear fuel to compensate us a certain amount per kilowatt hour, a certain amount per ton of this stuff that comes.

Let -- let the free market work. And on that basis, the places that are geologically safe, according to science, and where the people say the deal's a good one will decide where we put this stuff. That's the right course for America.

 

Huckabee Forum

In December of 2011, Governor Romney participated in a forum that was moderated by Mike Huckabee. He spoke about the involvement of the federal government in fracking and the declaration of carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

 

2012 Campaign Website Statements

ENERGY SECURITY AND INDEPENDENCE

Meet the challenge of achieving a secure and affordable supply of fuels

We need to lower the amount of energy we use and increase the supply of domestic energy sources. Government must be a partner, not an obstacle, in this effort. As President, Mitt Romney will facilitate the exploration and development of conventional fossil fuels, remove the regulatory hurdles that prevent the construction of nuclear power plants, and address market failures that prevent the adoption of new technologies.

The Obama Approach: It’s Not That Easy Being Green

Unfortunately, the first three years of the Obama administration have witnessed energy and environmental policies that have stifled the domestic energy sector. In thrall to the environmentalist lobby and its dogmas, the President and the regulatory bodies under his control have taken measures to limit energy exploration and restrict development in ways that sap economic performance, curtail growth, and kill jobs.

Sharply Curtailed Production

Oil is obviously one of our most crucial energy resources and the single most important fuel for our transportation needs. But the 2010 BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico provided political cover for the implementation of the Obama administration’s dangerously short-sighted energy policy. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste” is the notorious maxim of the President’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. And here it was put into practice once again. The result was a sweeping moratorium on underwater drilling that destroyed more than 10,000 jobs and cost $1 billion in lost wages.

That moratorium, which affected drilling even in shallow waters where the environmental risks were especially low, was part of a larger energy-policy incoherence. For even as the Obama administration was suppressing underwater energy development here at home, the President was talking up the importance of foreign countries tapping into their own underwater reserves: “By some estimates,” said President Obama during a visit to Brazil, “the oil you recently discovered off [your] shores … could amount to twice the reserves we have in the United States. … [W]e want to be one of your best customers.” The logic of barring off-shore exploration in our own waters while applauding it elsewhere is difficult to comprehend.

Similarly, the Obama administration has delayed the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which could bring enormous supplies of Canadian oil from Alberta to our market. The project could also create more than 100,000 American jobs. The result is a perverse effect. Canada has considered constructing a pipeline to its Pacific Coast instead, from where it would ship the oil to China. Our failure to move forward as quickly as possible with this project hurts our own energy supply and helps our competitors. The apparent rationale for the Obama administration policy—concern over global warming—is undercut by the fact that the Canadian oil sands will be developed regardless of what we do. The only question is whether the United States or China will be the beneficiary.

Pushing Toward Bankruptcy

Coal is America’s most abundant energy source. We have reserves that—at current rates of uses—will last for the next 200 years of electricity production in an industry that directly employs perhaps 200,000 workers. But rather than focus on refining technologies that burn coal cleanly, President Obama has been waging war on the entire coal industry. His initial proposal for cap-and-trade, the complex scheme for allowing industries to trade the right to emit greenhouses gases, would have been a crippling blow to the U.S. economy. The coal industry would have been hardest hit. “[I]f somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” declared then-Candidate Obama. “It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” Nor would consumers have been spared the impact. President Obama candidly acknowledged that under his plan of a cap-and-trade system, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” The legislation that ultimately reached Congress was estimated to cost $9.4 trillion in lost GDP and 2.5 million jobs over the next quarter century.

Cap-and-trade died in Congress, but a similarly blithe disregard for the economic impact of his policies prompted President Obama to find another path to reach the same objective. “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way,” he said as he directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to achieve his goals by other means. Having declared carbon dioxide to be a “pollutant” that poses risks to human health and is therefore subject to regulation, the agency is now engaged in an extraordinary rulemaking process to impose controls on all major emitters of carbon dioxide, with users of coal at the top of the list.

Other EPA regulations targeting the entire American industrial base pose a similar threat. The EPA has issued a 946-page “hazardous air pollutants” rule mandating “maximum achievable control technology” under the Clean Air Act.

Even the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, an unlikely source of criticism for the President, said the rule would place 250,000 jobs in jeopardy. In conjunction with other regulations that the EPA is seeking to impose, the total number of lost jobs may come to be much higher. New regulations for industrial boilers—the so-called “Boiler MACT”—may put another 800,000 jobs at risk. Proposed ozone regulations might cost more than seven million jobs in the coming years. If unemployment is today over 9 percent, these regulations and proposed regulations play a part in keeping it that way by shaking business confidence. Once in force, they may drive the rate higher still. And they will certainly drive higher the cost of electricity, affecting consumers and businesses across the country.

An Unhealthy “Green” Jobs Obsession

As the Obama administration wages war against oil and coal, it has been spending billions of dollars on alternative energy forms and touting its creation of “green” jobs. But it seems to be operating more on faith than on fact-based economic calculation. To begin with, wind and solar power, two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative fuel, remain sharply uncompetitive on their own with conventional resources such as oil and natural gas in most applications. Indeed, at current prices, these technologies make little sense for the consuming public but great sense only for the companies reaping profits from taxpayer subsidies.

As for job creation, studies show that “green” jobs might actually hurt employment more than they help it. Green energy is capital-intensive and tends to displace labor. Indeed, the track record in Europe shows that new “green” jobs came at a steep cost. Spain’s experience, for example, reveals that each new “green” job created destroyed 2.2 others. The price tag in subsidies was exorbitant, rising to nearly $1.5 million per job in the wind industry. Even steeper job loss ratios can be found in the United Kingdom, where 3.7 jobs were lost for every new “green” job created. Here in the United States, despite the Obama administration’s wishes, the marketplace is simply not absorbing green-collar workers. Of 3,586 recent graduates of a Department of Labor-sponsored “green” jobs training program, only 466 were able to find jobs. Taxpayer money spent on “green” training, it seems, was wasted.

The Obama administration’s diversion of resources into green energy has occurred at a time when the traditional energy sector—oil, gas, coal, and nuclear—holds remarkable job-creating potential. These are all labor-intensive industries that generate good-paying opportunities for workers, affordable energy for consumers, and billions of dollars of revenue for government. Yet instead of going for this obvious triple play, President Obama has been pursuing a course that kills energy sector jobs.

Mitt Romney’s Plan: A Pro-Jobs, Pro-Market, Pro-American Energy Policy

Mitt Romney has a better way. As president, he will make every effort to safeguard the environment, but he will be mindful at every step of also protecting the jobs of American workers. This will require putting conservative principles into action: significant regulatory reform, support for increased production, and a government that focuses on funding basic research instead of chasing fads and picking winners.

SIGNIFICANT REGULATORY REFORM

The first step will be a rational and streamlined approach to regulation, which would facilitate rapid progress in the development of our domestic reserves of oil and natural gas and allow for further investment in nuclear power. We need to establish a new regulatory framework, one that simultaneously enables industry to extract natural resources from the earth while also protecting the earth from the risks inherent in these activities. The alternative—of sharply curtailing our domestic energy industry—is an approach that only drags down economic growth and eliminates jobs. The world needs energy, and the United States is in a position to produce it more cleanly and safely than any other nation.

Streamline and Fast-Track Permitting Processes

Toward that end, all permits and approvals for exploration and development should be issued according to fixed timelines with the availability of fast-track processes. Procedures for issuing permits should be consolidated so that businesses have a one-stop shop for approval of common activities. For instance, once a particular drilling technique has been approved in a particular area, any company with an established safety record should be able to quickly receive a comparable permit. As president, Mitt Romney will take these steps to lift the cloud of uncertainty in which the regulatory process now enshrouds energy enterprises. Businesses could begin to invest without fear that their initiatives will be caught up in interminable delays caused by unaccountable agencies.

Overhaul Outdated Legislation

The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other environmental laws need to be overhauled. Laws that require every significant scientific innovation or technological breakthrough to trigger prolonged regulatory scrutiny and years of spurious litigation are an excellent means of imposing self-inflicted wounds on our economy. As president, Mitt Romney will propose thoughtful and measured reforms of the statutory framework to preserve our environmental gains without paralyzing industry and destroying jobs. For example, rules affecting coal power plants could be streamlined to achieve the necessary environmental protection while avoiding job-killing plant closures. As described in Romney’s regulatory policy, this would mean ensuring that the cost of new regulation is always considered and establishing reasonable timelines for compliance.

Additionally, the Clean Air Act was passed to protect us against pollutants that pose dangers to human health. It was not intended to control carbon-dioxide emissions, and is poorly tailored to that purpose. The Obama administration’s efforts to fit that particular square peg into the round hole of the Clean Air Act— essentially achieving the effects of cap-and-trade without congressional approval— threaten enormous economic disruption. Romney will work to amend the Act and remove carbon dioxide from its purview.

Reform Nuclear Regulation

Particular attention should be paid to reforming the regulatory structure of the nuclear industry. The current structure is both extraordinarily cumbersome and restrictive in scope. For instance, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is equipped to review only one kind of reactor design, a limitation that dampens competition, stifles innovation, and drives up prices. Yet even review of that single design can stretch on interminably. Seventeen applications for 26 units are now pending before the NRC. It is little surprise, then, that the United States has not issued a permit to construct a single new nuclear plant for more than three decades. Compare that to France, where fifteen plants were built during the same period, or China, which has begun construction on ten plants in the last ten years. As president, Mitt Romney will seek to streamline NRC procedures so that licensing decisions for any reactors to be built with an approved design on or adjacent to an existing site are completed within two years. And he will expand NRC capabilities so that the agency is able to review and approve several types of certified reactor designs in a way that ensures safety and reliability.

INCREASING PRODUCTION

Inventory Our Nation’s Resources

The United States is blessed with a cornucopia of carbon-based energy resources. Developing them has been a pathway to prosperity for the nation in the past and offers similar promise for the future. Yet we do not even know the extent of our blessings. Surveys and inventories of resource deposits are decades out of date—when they have even been done at all. As a result, we have only a partial picture of the opportunities available to us. A Romney administration will conduct a comprehensive survey of our untapped resources so that policymakers and developers have a full picture from which to work.

Explore and Develop Our Oil Reserves

Under the robust and efficient regulatory framework just described, a Romney administration will permit drilling wherever it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns. This includes the Gulf of Mexico, both the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelves, Western lands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and off the Alaska coast. And it includes not only conventional reserves, but more recently discovered shale oil deposits as well. When the drilling is done off-shore, the adjacent states should be entitled to a reasonable share of the revenue, just as they are now from on-shore production. Expanding energy production on this scale would bring lower prices, greater reliability of supply, and jobs, jobs, and jobs.

Partner with Our Neighbors

Canada and Mexico are also home to enormous oil reserves, and the United States should work in close partnership with them to develop those resources. Both countries are steadfast allies, well positioned to bring their resources to market with the same stability and reliability of domestically produced energy. American participation in the development of our neighbors’ resources also holds the promise of jobs for American workers. We are already heavily involved in Canadian production and Mexico has recently begun reaching out to foreign partners. As president, Mitt Romney will seek to promote those relationshps. In addition to ensuring rapid progress on the Keystone XL Pipeline, a Romney administration will pave the way for the construction of additional pipelines that can accommodate the expected growth in Canadian supply of oil and natural gas in the coming years.

Extract Shale Gas

Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. Recent discoveries suggest that the United States may have a 100-year supply beneath our land. Extracting this gas requires “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing, coupled for these purposes with horizontal drilling), and will also entail significant investments in pipelines and associated infrastructure to distribute the greater volumes of gas. While fracking requires regulation just like any other energy-extraction practice, the EPA in a Romney administration will not pursue overly aggressive interventions designed to discourage fracking altogether. States have carefully and effectively regulated the process for decades, and the recent industry agreement to disclose the composition of chemicals used in the fracking process is another welcome step in the right direction. Of critical importance: the environmental impact of fracking should not be considered in the abstract, but rather evaluated in comparison to the impact of utilizing the fuels that natural gas displaces, including coal.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Government has a role to play in innovation in the energy industry. History shows that the United States has moved forward in astonishing ways thanks to national investment in basic research and advanced technology. However, we should not be in the business of steering investment toward particular politically favored approaches. That is a recipe for both time and money wasted on projects that do not bring us dividends. The failure of windmills and solar plants to become economically viable or make a significant contribution to our energy supply is a prime example.

Focus on Basic Research

There is a place for government investment when time horizons are too long, risks too high, and rewards too uncertain to attract private capital. However, much of our existing energy R&D budget has been devoted to loan guarantees, cash grants, and tax incentives for projects that might have gone forward anyway. As president, Mitt Romney will redirect clean energy spending towards basic research. Government funding should be focused on research and development of new energy technologies and on initial demonstration projects that establish the feasibility of discoveries. This approach offers the best opportunity to promote innovation without distorting the market.

Design Long-Term Funding Sources Free from Politics

From the perspective of creating new jobs and strengthening our economy, the main line of policy should be directed toward technologies that will replace imported oil with domestically produced fuels or electric power. Mitt Romney believes the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) model—ensuring longterm, non-political sources of funding for a wide variety of competing, earlystage technologies—holds the most potential for achieving significant advances in the energy sector. Investment should be channeled through programs, such as “ARPA-E,” that seek to replicate DARPA’s success in energy-related fields.

---

Energy policy is critical to our country’s economic future. We have the natural resources to succeed. Even more important, we have scientific and engineering talent that is unsurpassed the world over. What we’ve lacked is a clear recognition that tying up our resources and shackling our enterprises is costing us dearly in every important arena. The bad news is that self-defeating policies have left us less secure as a country and weakened our economy. The good news is: we can change.

 

Rick Perry

Summary

The energy policy of the state of Texas possesses the Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS requires companies that sell electricity to retail customers to support renewable energy generation. This is accomplished in two steps. First, the state establishes that a set amount of electricity be generated through renewable resources - the portfolio standard. Then, the standard requires that each provider obtain new renewable energy capacity based on the their market share of energy sales times the renewable capacity goal. For example, a competitive retailer with 10 percent of the Texas retail electricity sales in 2009 would be required to obtain 200 megawatts of renewable energy capacity. If a company does not posses renewable energy sources, it can purchase credits from other companies.

This RPS program was started in in 1999 and mandated that Texas power generators collectively generate 2,000 megawatts (MW) of additional renewable energy by 2009. This goal was met by 2005 and Governor Perry supported and signed legislation to set new goals of 5,880 MW by 2015 and 10,000 MW in 2025. Under this program and others, Texas has become the largest wind power generating state in the nation.

To assist in distributing this power to the state, Governor Perry organized a private-public partnership with electricitry companies. Those companies committed $10 billion to wind power generation and the state's Public Utilities Commission agreed to assist in the construction of transmission lines from the windy western planes to the cities.

Early in his career, Rick Perry was state chairman for Senator Al Gore's 1988 presidential campaign. At the time, Senator Gore was already an outspoken environmentalist and promoting many of the green policies seen today. Governor Perry has credited that experience with prompting his change the next year to the Republican party. By 2007, Governor Perry was mocking VP Gore's policies and opinions on global warming an carbon dioxide.

Governor Perry is not only critical of Vice President Gore's views, but has stated that there is no evidence of man-made global warming. He has been a strong and vocal opponent of cap-and-trade policies as unnecessary and harmful to the economy. He has been a vocal opponent of the regulation of greenhouse gases through the EPA and their backing of findings by the IPCC that greenhouse gases represent a danger to Texas. 

Despite opposing man-made global warming, Governor Perry has not only greatly expanded the Renewable Portfolio Standard, he pledged $10 billion in funds to wind energy in 2006. He has also pushed for clean air buses and other activities to reduce pollution.

Governor Perry has been supportive of coal factories and signed an executive order in 2005 to expedite the permit process for new coal electricity facilities.

Although he supports all alternative forms of energy, Governor Perry has spoken out against ethanol mandates. He partially blames the mandate for increased food prices. He applied for a 50% waiver from the mandate, which was later denied.

 

Support for Senator Gore's Presidency

Al Gore was elected to the House of Representatives in 1978 where he served three terms until winning the Senate Seat from Tennessee in 1984. In 1986, Congressman Gore held the first  held Congressional hearings on climate change. Senator Gore’s reputation on environment issues was so solidified by 1988 that the first President Bush (Sr) took to the habit of calling him "ozone man".

In that same year (1988), Senator Gore sought but not obtain the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. During that time, Rick Perry served as state chairman of Senator Gore’s presidential campaign. At the time, Rick Perry was a Democratic State Senator.

 

Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard

The Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires companies that sell electricity to retail customers to support renewable energy generation. This is accomplished in two steps. First, the state establishes that a set amount of electricity be generated through renewable resources - the portfolio standard. Then, the standard requires that each provider obtain new renewable energy capacity based on the their market share of energy sales times the renewable capacity goal. For example, a competitive retailer with 10 percent of the Texas retail electricity sales in 2009 would be required to obtain 200 megawatts of renewable energy capacity.

This program was started in in 1999 through Texas States Senate Bill 7. It stated that qualifying renewable energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, tidal energy, and biomass. At the time, the portfolio mandated that Texas power generators collectively generate 2,000 megawatts (MW) of additional renewable energy by 2009.

 

SB20

In 2005, Texas passed SB20. This legislation increased the state's total renewable-energy mandate to 5,880 MW by 2015 and a target of 10,000 MW in 2025. This was due in part to Texas meeting it's 2009 goal in 2005. Senate Bill 20 requires that about 5 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2015 and sets a goal of 10 percent by 2025. The bill also requires that 500 megawatts be produced by renewable sources other than wind, such as biomass and solar power. Governor Perry signed in the increased mandate into law, and on August 1, 2005 released a statement praising the legislation.

The more we can rely on wind, water and sunlight to power our homes and businesses, the less dependent we will be on foreign oil and the better our economy will be in the long run because of greater stability. And by taking steps now to reduce pollution we can ensure that the Texas of tomorrow is one where our children are free to live safer, healthier and happier lives.

 

Renewable Energy Credits

The RPS provides for a Renewable Energy Credit (REC) trading program. To meet the RPS targets, utility companies may buy or trade RECs. One REC represents one megawatt-hour of qualified renewable energy that is generated and metered in Texas.

The renewable energy capacity required by the electricity sellers can be provided directly or through the REC market. If a utility earns extra credits, it can sell the credits to utilities who need credits to meet the RPS requirements. This enables electricity providers that do not own or purchase enough renewable energy capacity to purchase credits instead of capacity.

RECs are issued quarterly, based on meter readings. The REC market is administered by ERCOT, the Texas electric grid operator. Penalties for non-compliance with the RPS requirements are enforced by the PUCT. The PUCT has the authority to cap the price of RECs and may suspend the standard if necessary to protect the reliability and operation of the grid.

 

Clean Air and Fuel for Buses

In June of 2002, Governor Perry directed the department of Transportation for Texas to take appropriate measures to move a portion of the bus fleet to cleaner burning diesel fuels, and to move a portion of the fleet to zero emission vehicles.

Clean Air Press Conference
* Note: Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Tuesday, June 04, 2002 • Austin, Texas • Speech

Six months ago, I asked my staff, the staff at the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, and the staff at Texas Department of Transportation to develop an action plan to further address air quality in Southeast Texas and the other urban areas of our state.

In 1999, I worked to help pass Senate Bill 7, which established incentives for clean energy and mandated reductions in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from power plants, including grandfathered power plants.

Last session the Legislature passed and I signed into law two bills designed to strengthen environmental protection in Texas and to make our air cleaner.

House Bill 2912 eliminated the loophole that has allowed grandfathered industries to avoid meeting the more stringent air quality standards of the Texas Clean Air Act for three decades.

And Senate Bill 5 created the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan to provide incentives for purchases of low-emission and alternative-fuel vehicles, as well as retrofitting diesel engines and buying efficient household equipment. This legislation was designed to lower emissions across the state. Unfortunately, a federal court threw out key provisions that funded this important initiative.

Since that time, I have been working with key state officials to develop new measures to help clean up the air.

We are here today to announce a strong and effective program to begin improving air quality in the Houston Area.

It is crucial that individual citizens, community leaders, and corporate executives understand not only the serious environmental challenges we face, but also the cost of failure.

Failing to meet clean air standards will not only undermine public health, it could halt all our highway construction in the Houston area.

The current State Implementation Plan for clean air identifies general categories of actions which we intend to take over the next six years to the meet federal standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency. But I believe there needs to be more effort to convert our good intentions into action.

That is why I have ordered the following actions:

Effective immediately, the Texas Department of Transportation will begin burning emulsified diesel fuel in 75% of its fleet located in the Houston District.

By January 2003, TxDOT will develop rules stipulating that all contractors working on Southeast Texas projects use emulsified diesel in all off road equipment.

Emulsified diesel fuel is cooler burning, and results in lower emissions.

We expect these actions will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions among TxDOT vehicles by at least 19 percent.

These actions will also remove at least 5.8 tons daily of nitrogen oxide from the air we breathe in the Houston area. And we are going to confirm these results with sound science to provide proof that we are reducing air pollution.

Today I am also asking the leaders of cities, counties, school districts, and transit authorities to consider adopting the same air quality improvement actions as TxDOT.

If everyone cooperates, we could remove at least an additional 12 tons of nitrogen oxide from the air in Southeast Texas.

Such efforts not only will mean healthier Texans, but it will also give the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission more flexibility to address less effective means of meeting air quality standards.

Emulsified diesel will cost more initially. But the cost of these actions is small compared to the cost of increased health care, delayed transportation improvements, and restricted economic growth.

This is just the first step. I have also asked TxDOT to develop a plan to:

Convert as much of its fleet as is practical to zero emissions systems – such as gas-electric hybrid vehicles, fuel cells and compressed natural gas – and purchase for off road application the lowest exhaust emission engines available.

I have asked TXDOT to develop a financial assistance package for local governments to help with the unexpected higher cost of using emulsified diesel, converting to more emissions efficient engines, and purchasing new emissions efficient equipment. TxDOT will use federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds to underwrite the cost of this financial assistance package.

I have asked the leaders of cities, counties, school districts, and transit authorities to examine their plan for air quality mitigation projects currently in place but behind schedule, and to redirect any available funds toward the purchase of emulsified diesel fuel and emissions efficient equipment. (can we merge this in the earlier statement about asking them to play ball?)

Finally, I have asked TxDOT to take the lead in forming an air quality working group to include local government leaders, other state agency executives, and federal agency executives to meet monthly to identify and implement additional actions to address air quality.

With these steps, I am confident that Texas will continue to improve the health and quality of life of all Texans, protect our highway transportation projects and ensure continued economic vitality.

Governor Directs TxDOT to Start Using Cleaner Diesel Fuel in Houston District Fleet
Tuesday, June 04, 2002 • Press Release

HOUSTON – Gov. Rick Perry today directed the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to immediately begin using cleaner diesel fuel in 75 percent of its Houston district fleet to help improve air quality in Southeast Texas.

The directive is one of a series of moves outlined by the governor to strengthen the state’s plan to bring the Houston region into compliance with federal ozone standards by 2007.

“With these steps, I am confident that Texas will continue to improve the health and quality of life of all Texans, protect our highway transportation projects and ensure continued economic vitality,” Perry said.

The governor also directed TxDOT to establish rules by January stipulating all contractors working on Southeast Texas projects to use cleaner burning emulsified diesel fuel in off-road equipment.

Perry said switching to emulsified diesel fuel would remove about 5.8 tons of nitrogen oxide, a major component of air pollution, from the air each day. That would amount to a reduction in emissions of at least 19 percent.

“Emulsified diesel will cost more initially,” Perry said. “But the cost of these actions is small compared to the cost of increased health care, delayed transportation improvements and restricted economic growth.”

Perry said the actions were developed after he asked his staff, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation to examine ways to improve air quality in Southeast Texas and other urban areas in the state. Other actions announced by Perry include:

Requiring TxDOT to develop a plan to convert as much of its fleet as is practical to zero emissions systems, such as gas-electric hybrid vehicles and compressed natural gas, and purchase off-road equipment with the lowest emission engines available.

Urging cities, counties, school districts and transit authorities to adopt the new guidelines set out for TxDOT. The governor also directed TxDOT to collect data about the cost, emissions and efficiency of using emulsified diesel fuel versus fuels used by the rest of the TxDOT fleet and provide that information to local officials in urban areas.

Directing TxDOT to develop a financial assistance package to help local governments start using cleaner diesel fuels, convert to more efficient engines and purchase emissions efficient equipment. TxDOT will use federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds to pay for the program.

“If everyone cooperates, we could remove at least an additional 12 tons of nitrogen oxide daily from the air in Southeast Texas,” Perry said. “Such efforts not only will mean healthier Texans but will also give the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission more flexibility to address less effective means of meeting air quality standards.”

The governor also directed TxDOT to form an air quality work group that includes local, state and federal officials to identify and implement additional actions to improve air quality.

“I need citizens, community leaders and corporate executives to understand both the serious challenge we face and the cost of failure,” Perry said. “Failing to meet clean air standards will not only undermine public health, it could halt all our highway construction in the Houston area.”

Air pollution poses a threat to people with respiratory problems and can worsen heart disease, lung cancer and asthma. Texas also could face the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for transportation projects if the state fails to meet the 2007 deadline for achieving compliance with federal ozone standards.

 

Executive Order - Coal Plants

On October 27, 2005 Governor Perry signed an executive order which contained a provision to fast track permits for coal power plants.

RP49 – Relating to an electric customer education choice campaign, electric conservation by state agencies, and diversity of energy supply.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 • Executive Order

BY THE
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
Executive Department
Austin, Texas
October 27, 2005
WHEREAS, the State of Texas is committed to a strong and robust retail electric market where customers have their choice of providers offering the best product at the most competitive price; and
WHEREAS, it is critically important that electric customers are aware that they may enjoy the benefits of electric competition without experiencing a disruption in their electric service; and
WHEREAS, The State of Texas is committed to containing the cost expended by state agencies for energy; and
WHEREAS, production of electricity is highly dependent on the use of natural gas; and
WHEREAS, because the cost of natural gas has increased by more than 300 percent in the past five years, the cost of electricity has also increased dramatically; and
WHEREAS, due to population increases, the energy demand in the State of Texas is expected to increase 31 percent by the year 2025; and

WHEREAS, the State of Texas is blessed with vast and untapped sources of energy that can be used to diversify and stabilize the cost of energy to the people of Texas;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Perry, Governor of the State of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following:

Electric Customer Education Campaign.The Public Utility Commission ("PUC") shall administer a public education campaign to make customers aware of retail electric choice.

The PUC shall have the sole discretion to determine the focus of the campaign, which shall emphasize that service will remain reliable if customers switch to a competitive retail electric provider.

The Electric Customer Education Choice Campaign ("Campaign") shall begin no earlier than January 1, 2006.

The Campaign shall be funded by private dollars. The PUC shall ensure that those funds are used for the benefit of the public.

State Agency Energy Savings Program.Each state agency shall develop a plan for conserving energy and shall set a percentage goal for reducing its usage of electricity, gasoline, and natural gas.

Each state agency shall submit the energy conservation plan to the Office of the Governor and the Legislative Budget Board no later than December 1, 2005.

Each state agency shall report back to the Office of the Governor and the Legislative Budget Board with goals achieved, and ideas for additional savings on a quarterly basis. The first quarterly report shall be due no later than April 1, 2006.

Each state agency shall post its report in a conspicuous place on its internet site for public inspection.

Diversity of Energy Supply.In order to encourage diversity of energy supply, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ("Commission") shall apply the full resources of the agency to prioritize and expedite the processing of environmental permit applications that are protective of the public health and environment and propose to use Texas’ natural resources to generate electrical power.

The Commission shall coordinate with national, state, and local agencies as needed at its discretion in order to avoid any delays in the permit issuance.

The Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings ("SOAH"), shall hold a preliminary hearing no later than one week after the required 30 day public notice for any electric generating facility that has been issued a draft permit by the Commission.

SOAH shall designate parties as provided by law and shall set a schedule that returns a proposal for decision to the Commission in no more than six consecutive months from the date of the referral.
The Commission shall require immediate notice to be provided within 48 hours of referral, including direct referral to SOAH.

The Commission shall give priority to a proposal for decision issued by SOAH as described above and shall consider this proposal for decision at its earliest agenda meeting, as allowed by law.

The Commission and SOAH are requested to explain any delays that may result in a failure to comply with this order on a monthly basis to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

This executive order supersedes all previous orders in conflict or inconsistent with its terms and shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding Governor.
Given under my hand this the 27th day of October, 2005.
RICK PERRY
Governor
ATTESTED BY:
ROGER WILLIAMS
Secretary of State

 

Historic Investment in Wind Power

In September and October of 2006, Governor Perry issued two press statements noting a historic investment of $10 billion in wind power projects to assist in mechanisms to transport the energy from the western production areas to the cities. He notes that wind power is a zero-emission power source, and that for every 1000 megawatts generated by new wind sources, we will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by six million tons over the next 20 years.

Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks Regarding Wind Energy
* Note: Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Friday, September 29, 2006 • Speech

Thank you Dean (Dean Orsak, SMU Engineering). I am delighted to be on the SMU campus in this state-of-the-art engineering building that is clean and green.

This is a landmark day as the State of Texas partners with private industry to make an historic investment of more than $10 billion in new wind energy infrastructure that will diversify our energy production, clean up our air, and help Texas surpass our renewable energy goals. When I say we are partnering with the private sector, I mean it in the best sense of the word: private companies are putting up all the money instead of taxpayers, and the State of Texas will ensure we build the transmission capacity needed to deliver this zero-emission power source to Texans’ homes. For every 1000 megawatts generated by new wind sources, we will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by six million tons over the next 20 years.

Let me talk about the source of this power for a moment. Texas is blessed with an abundant supply of wind energy, and that’s not even counting all the hot air my opponents’ have been generating. West Texas and the gulf coast are a fertile source of wind energy. And the great thing about wind energy is that the costs are very small once you have paid for putting the turbine in the ground. Unlike oil, you don’t run out at a certain location over time. As the companies with me today invest billions of dollars in wind energy infrastructure, the Public Utility Commission is committed to building the transmission lines needed over the next few years to capture this green power and get it to the market. Wind energy infrastructure is also less disruptive to landowners because it allows for concurrent use. In other words, putting up a wind turbine doesn’t stop a rancher from grazing cattle.

I am proud of our state’s commitment to renewable energy production. We are on the leading edge of developing renewable sources of energy and a more diversified energy economy which is key to keeping costs down. Earlier this summer Texas surpassed California as the nation’s leader in wind generation capacity. We have spent more than $300 million on clean technologies as part of the TERP program, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by 75,000 tons. And we are a finalist for the world’s first near-zero emissions coal power plant. This announcement also bodes well for the growth of the Texas economy. Over the last three years we have added 650,000 jobs, transformed a record budget deficit into a record budget surplus, and attracted more business expansions and relocations than any state in the nation. With this $10 billion announcement, the economic ripple will be more like a tidal wave as these companies pour millions of dollars into wages and salaries for Texas workers.

Today’s announcement is an important chapter in our continuing commitment to cleaning our air and diversifying our energy supply. In fact, this cheaper form of energy could reduce energy costs by as much as $5 billion over the next ten years as we reduce our dependence on natural gas. This is a monumental investment that will make our air cleaner and our people healthier. To discuss this commitment further is the chairman of the PUC, Paul Hudson.

Perry Announces Major Energy Diversification Plan

Private Sector to Invest $10 Billion; PUC to Construct Transmission Lines
Monday, October 02, 2006 • Press Release

DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry today announced a major public-private initiative to further diversify the state’s energy supply by expanding wind-generated energy.

“This is a landmark day as the State of Texas partners with private industry to make a historic investment of more than $10 billion in new wind energy infrastructure that will diversify our energy production, clean up our air and help Texas surpass our renewable energy goals,” Perry said.

Private companies have agreed to the capital investments in wind energy generation while the Public Utility Commission directs the construction of additional transmission lines to capture and deliver the zero-emission power.

“I am proud of our state’s commitment to renewable energy production,” Perry said. “We are on the leading edge of developing renewable sources of energy and a more diversified energy economy which is key to keeping costs down.”

Perry, who was joined at the announcement by executives of several companies that have committed to building wind energy infrastructure, emphasized the benefits wind energy has on the environment.

For every 1000 megawatts generated by new wind sources, Texas will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by six million tons over the next 20 years.

Perry also noted that the announcement bodes well for further growth of the Texas economy.

“Over the past three years we have added 650,000 jobs, transformed a record budget deficit into a record budget surplus, and attracted more business expansions and relocations than any state in the nation,” Perry said.

“With this $10 billion announcement, the economic ripple will be more like a tidal wave as these companies pour millions of dollars into wages and salaries for Texas workers.”

Texas has abundant wind energy, particularly in West Texas and along the gulf cost. In 2001 Texas added more wind power capacity than all other states combined, and earlier this summer Texas surpassed California as the nation’s leader in wind generation capacity.

The planned expansion of wind-generated energy builds on initiatives Perry developed in 2003 with the creation of the Texas Energy Planning Council. The council was charged with developing a long-term energy plan for the state, including exploring alternative and renewable sources of energy. The council’s report, issued in December 2004, recommended that by 2025, 10 percent of the state’s power needs come from renewable sources and that the PUC takes steps to overcome transmission obstacles that limit the development of renewable energy sources.

“This is a monumental investment that will make our air cleaner and our people healthier,” Perry said. 

 

Global Warming Bandwagon

In September of 2007, Governor Perry spoke to a group of California Republicans. He mocked Vice President Gore's views on global warming and referred to the issue as a bandwagon that people were jumping off of daily.

I've heard Al Gore talk about man-made global warming so much that I'm starting to think that his mouth is the leading source of all that supposedly deadly carbon dioxide.

Virtually every day another scientist leaves the global warming bandwagon. ... But you won't read about that in the press because they have already invested in one side of the story. I'm not saying we shouldn't be good stewards of our environment. We should. I am just saying when politics hijack science, it quells true scientific debate and can have dire consequences for our future.

 

Opposition to Ethanol Mandate

Governor Perry opposes the federal ethanol mandate. He has stated that the grain based fuel mandate is partly to blame for the rising food prices due to the pressure placed on corn prices and cattle feed prices. In April of 2008 he asked the Environmental protection agency for a 50% waiver from the fuel requirement. In August of that year, the EPA denied that request. In May of 2008, he wrote an editorial discussing his views on ethanol.

Federal Ethanol Mandate Hurts Texans
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 • Austin, Texas • Editorial

Texas plays a vital role in both feeding and fueling our country. We are the number one beef-producing state and a top ten producer of our nation’s poultry, egg and dairy goods. Our state is also a leading contributor to the nation’s domestic fuel supply, working hard to reduce America’s dependence on foreign fuel. Our state’s public and private sector are investing considerable resources into researching, developing and providing incentives for renewable fuel production. But we can only do so much under the current restrictions.

The high price of corn is hitting Texans at the grocery checkout and making things tough on our livestock industry. I believe the high price of corn is due in large part to a federally mandated increase in the amount of corn-based ethanol that is blended into our nation’s fuel supply. Some simple math can explain the problem: more corn for ethanol means less corn for our kitchen tables and less feed for our livestock.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that this year 30 to 35 percent of our nation’s corn supply will be siphoned away for ethanol production, and the problem will only get worse. This year’s renewable fuel standard (RFS) mandates that nine billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be blended into fuel supply regardless of market forces. It will further require 15 billion gallons to be produced by 2015.

Escalating corn prices are proof that this arbitrary government standard is artificially inflating prices instead of allowing free-market forces to work. Before this well-intentioned but misguided mandate was established in 2005 (and later expanded in 2007), a bushel of corn cost roughly $2. Today, that cost has tripled to nearly $6. Multiply that by the billions of bushels needed to feed our families and our livestock and you can easily see why global food prices have increased 83 percent over the past three years. If costs continue their upward acceleration, our livestock industry will continue to suffer and faces permanent damage in the very near future.

We need relief and we need it now.

Last month I asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a 50 percent waiver from the grain-based RFS mandate. So far, Washington is listening: the EPA recently opened a comment period to allow input from all stakeholders. I sincerely hope that the voices of our congressional and state delegations will be joined with all impacted Texans in a unified request for this waiver before our economy suffers further harm. Although many factors play into increasing feed and food prices, a partial waiver from the RFS mandate is the quickest, most effective way to bring relief to our farmers, ranchers and consumers.

The mandate is not just hurting Texas. The impact of this errant policy is showing around the world, providing a grim preview of what the future may hold if changes are not made. While Texans are financially strained at the grocery store, other countries have experienced food riots unlike any seen in the last 30 years. Something that strains our robust economy can be a death blow to less stable economies in other countries.

If we think that the federal government’s short-sighted policies toward energy exploration and fuel refining have played a key role in the current fuel crisis, why would they be any better when regulating the allocation of a key agricultural staple like corn? If you think it’s bad for foreign countries to control our fuel, imagine what it would be like if they control our food supplies.

Beyond the issue of inflated costs, the federal mandate raises another important issue: government interference in the free market. No matter how well-intentioned, any government mandate that benefits one industry to the detriment of millions of consumers is bad policy. Our state’s robust economy is largely due to the free-market policies we have in place, including lower taxes, a reasonable regulatory climate and limitations on runaway litigation.

Those approaches and innovative Texas businesses should be trusted to solve our current energy challenges. Non-food bioproducts such as algae, switchgrass, jatropha and camelina are promising energy alternatives that have no impact on food production and the environment. Algae, in particular, can produce significantly more biofuel per acre - by a factor of 10 or more - than any other available source, and has strong potential to produce both diesel and jet fuel. In fact, a $4 million grant was recently awarded through our Texas Emerging Technology Fund to Texas AgriLife Research at Texas A&M University to further develop this technology.

I can only imagine the progress that would be made in such areas if we could focus on the acceleration of other biofuel production technology that takes up less land, requires fewer resources and is ultimately more cost efficient.

The immediate issue at stake is how to alleviate the financial strain Texas’ families and livestock industry face due to increased food prices. A waiver of RFS levels is the best way to reduce those costs before permanent damage is done to both our state and nation. I hope you’ll join me in pressing Washington for this waiver.

 

Cap-and-Trade Could Harm Texas Economy

In June of 2009, Governor Perry issued a press statement noting his views that a cap-and-trade program could severely harm the Texas economy.

Gov. Perry: Cap and Trade Could Severely Hurt Texas' Economy
Hosts roundtable with state, industry leaders
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 • Austin, Texas • Press Release

Gov. Rick Perry today stated his concern about the impact of proposed cap and trade legislation and possible regulation of CO2 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Texas’ energy industry and economy. The governor hosted a roundtable discussion with state and industry leaders to discuss their concerns about the proposed regulations.

“The threat to our energy industry and economy as a whole comes from the Waxman-Markey energy bill, which emphasizes cap and trade agreements and would end up being the largest tax increase in the history of our country. Equally as concerning are the EPA’s efforts to have CO2 identified as a toxic substance, naming it and other natural gases such as methane a threat to public health,” Gov. Perry said. “We are in trouble if a federal agency is free to impose burdensome regulations in a way that harms family farms, job-creating factories and even large buildings such as hospitals and churches. These two key factors have serious implications for our state, economy, and citizens, who will have to stretch their dollars to pay more for energy in a time of tight budgets for no clear benefit to public health.”

Implementing these regulations would cripple Texas’ energy sector, irreparably damaging both the state and national economies and severely impacting national oil and gas supplies. Texas’ energy industry fuels the nation, supplying 20 percent of the nation’s oil production, one-fourth of the nation’s natural gas production, a quarter of the nation’s refining capacity, and nearly 60 percent of the nation’s chemical manufacturing. The Texas energy industry employs nearly 375,000 Texans with $35 billion in total wages.

The governor noted that the federal government is conducting hearings on the regulations, none of which are in the south or near Texas, the nation’s energy capitol. Rather than adopting the EPA’s suggestion to make traditional energy sources more expensive, Gov. Perry has proposed making alternative energy technologies less expensive, thereby encouraging widespread commercial use and removing barriers to innovation and competition. Modernizing the national energy grid to support wind and solar energy transmission, facilitating investments in the development of carbon capture and sequestration technologies, and removing barriers to investment in nuclear generation would reduce carbon emissions while encouraging competitiveness, innovation and growth in alternative energy sources.

Diversifying the state’s energy portfolio remains a priority for Gov. Perry. Texas has already installed more wind power than any other state and all but three countries, and provided new transmission lines that will move more than 18,000 megawatts across the state- more than all other states current capacity combined. Texas has also attracted more than 9,000 megawatts of energy from the development of next generation nuclear power plants. The state is also looking to add new clean coal plants which will capture and sequester carbon dioxide emissions or use the carbon dioxide to increase production from Texas oil fields.

The governor was joined by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, Public Utility Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Bryan Shaw and representatives from industry leaders from across the state for the discussion.

 

The EPA and Greenhouse Gases

In December of 2009, the EPA ruled that carbon dioxide was a danger to the environment. This action was immediately opposed by Governor Perry. On December 7, Governor Perry stated that it was unconscionable that unelected bureaucrats at the EPA have declared carbon dioxide a public danger despite a lack of scientific evidence to support their ruling. Two days later, Governor Perry sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking her to withdraw the ruling. On February 16, 2010 Governor Perry announced that the state of Texas was filing suit in federal court to prevent the implementation of the policy stating that it painted a target on the backs of Texans and was in violation of the tenth amendment. On March 10, 2010 Governor Perry sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to oppose the EPA regulation of carbon dioxide, and in May of 2010, Governor Perry spoke about these issues while speaking about the economy of Texas.

In June of 2010, Governor Perry stated that the endangerment ruling would circumvent the progress Texas was making on air quality and harm the Texas economy. In late June of 2010, Governor Perry moved forward with a federal suit against the EPA's over-ruling of a 16 year old clean air act in Texas to enforce the carbon dioxide endangerment finding.  

Statement by Gov. Rick Perry Regarding EPA Ruling on Carbon Dioxide
Monday, December 07, 2009 • Austin, Texas • Press Release

Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ruling on the danger of carbon dioxide:

“It is unconscionable that unelected bureaucrats at the EPA have declared carbon dioxide a public danger despite a lack of scientific evidence to support their ruling. This action should be of grave concern to all Americans, especially Texans, in light of the recent “Climategate” scandal, which uncovered data had been manipulated and destroyed in order to falsely show a preordained result.

“We have already seen a sweeping expansion of federal authority, federal takeovers and federal spending under the Obama Administration. Today’s ruling continues a pattern of aggressive federal encroachment into every farm, business, church and household in America.

“EPA’s own data shows that Texas’ carbon dioxide emissions have fallen more than any other state this decade due in large part to a regulatory environment that has encouraged the use of alternative sources of energy and cleaner power generation through flexible and science based permitting and monitoring. The federal government should be following Texas’ model of innovation and competition, not burdensome and costly mandates.”

Gov. Perry Urges EPA to Withdraw Ruling on Danger of Carbon Dioxide
Washington Making the American Dream Harder to Realize
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 • La Porte, Texas • Press Release

Gov. Rick Perry today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to withdraw the EPA’s recent ruling on the danger of carbon dioxide, especially in light of the recent “Climategate” scandal, which uncovered data had been manipulated and destroyed in order to falsely show a preordained result. The governor was also joined in La Porte today by state officials and energy industry leaders to highlight the negative implications of Washington’s continued intrusion into the lives of Texans by sacrificing jobs, negatively impacting our energy industry and compromising our economic strength as they pursue one-size-fits all energy regulations.

"The unelected bureaucrats at the EPA have effectively and unilaterally ended any honest debate on this vital issue," Gov. Perry said. "A cap and tax system would force Texans to bear more than their share of negative effects, including an average increase in annual living costs of approximately $1,200 per household and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. I’m a firm believer that Washington’s one-size-fits all approaches don’t work, whether you’re talking energy policies, health care reform or economic development."

Meanwhile, the governor noted that Texas has reduced carbon emission levels more than just about every other state in the country while expanding our economy and managing a growing state population, and without the sweeping mandates and draconian punishments that Washington applies to just about every challenge.

This week, the EPA declared carbon dioxide a public danger despite a lack of scientific evidence to support the ruling. In fact, EPA leadership has previously admitted that the job-killing, high-cost regulations associated with this declaration would neither lower world-wide carbon levels, nor affect global temperatures. Additionally, this ruling coincided with the opening day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and comes just weeks after the leak of emails from leading environmental researchers indicating the manipulation of data used to support the theory of global warming.

“Allowing politics to hijack science is not just a scandal because it exposes hypocrisy, but because it impacts the real lives of 24 million Texans,” said Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. “Our family farms, small businesses, friends and neighbors who pave roads and generate power, single moms and working Texas families will all be hit by a Copenhagen Climate Tax ordered upon us by the United Nations, or an EPA-generated regulatory scheme that will have the same negative impact without the consent of Congress.”

Implementing the regulations associated with proposed federal legislation such as the Waxman-Markey or Kerry-Boxer bills would amount to the single largest tax increase in U.S. history, significantly increasing the cost of living for all Texas families. These bills would also cripple Texas’ energy sector, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and irreparably damaging both the state and national economies and severely impacting national oil and gas supplies. In fact, the legislation includes funds to pay displaced workers in the energy and manufacturing fields, underwrite their healthcare and provide for job retraining for up to three years. Other provisions will also reduce the chance of home ownership for many Americans by creating a nationalized building code that could ultimately price some new homebuyers out of the market entirely.

“As I have said consistently, CO2 regulations will impose great costs on Texas and Texans, without any guarantee of a measurable environmental benefit,” said TCEQ Chairman Bryan Shaw. “Whether you look at the startling comments contained in the ‘Climategate’ documents or the greatly scaled back goals of the Copenhagen global warming summit, it is abundantly clear that the science of global warming is far from settled.”

Rather than adopting misguided legislation or allowing the EPA to overly regulate every sector of the economy, Gov. Perry has proposed the federal government follow Texas’ lead by making alternative energy technologies less expensive, thereby encouraging widespread commercial use and removing barriers to innovation and competition. Modernizing the national energy grid to support wind and solar energy transmission, facilitating investments in the development of carbon capture and sequestration, and removing barriers to investment in nuclear generation would reduce carbon emissions while encouraging competitiveness, innovation and growth in alternative energy sources.

“The Texas way generates results. Cap and trade or EPA regulation will cost trillions with no guarantee of results, except lost jobs and higher electricity prices,” said PUC Chairman Barry Simtherman. “Texas’ rational energy policy has resulted in the development of more than 30,000 megawatts of clean burning natural gas generation and more than 9000 megawatts of wind energy. We did this to diversify and secure our energy supplies and lower electricity prices, but it had the side effect of decreasing CO2 emissions from the power sector more than any other state since 2004.”

Diversifying the state’s energy portfolio remains a priority for Gov. Perry. Texas has already installed more wind power than any other state and all but four countries, and is developing new transmission lines that will move more than 18,000 megawatts across the state – nearly as much as all other states’ current capacity combined. Texas has attracted more than 9,000 megawatts of energy from the development of next generation nuclear power plants. The state is also looking to add new clean coal plants, which will capture and sequester carbon dioxide emissions or use carbon dioxide to increase production from Texas oil fields.

Texas Takes Legal Action Against Federal Government Over EPA CO2 Mandates
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 • Austin, Texas

Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today announced that the state is taking legal action in the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.

“Texas is aggressively seeking its future in alternative energy through incentives and innovation, not mandates and overreaching regulation,” Gov. Perry said. “The EPA’s misguided plan paints a big target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers and the hundreds of thousands of Texans they employ. This legal action is being taken to protect the Texas economy and the jobs that go with it, as well as defend Texas’ freedom to continue our successful environmental strategies free from federal overreach.” 

In July of 2009, the EPA denied a petition put forth by Texas to challenge the findings of endangerment from the emission of greenhouse gases. Governor Perry released a press statement noting his disappointment at the ruling.

Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on the EPA’s Denial of Texas Petition
Thursday, July 29, 2010 • Austin, Texas

Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the EPA's denial of a Texas petition challenging the EPA's 2009 endangerment finding for greenhouse gases, which would lead to further mandates and regulations on Texas businesses and place Texas jobs at risk:

"I'm disappointed, but hardly surprised, given this administration's ongoing disregard for Texas air quality successes and Texas jobs. The State of Texas will continue to fight this federal overreach by unelected bureaucrats through appropriate legal action, which I hope will allow us to continue our effective environmental programs while protecting countless Texas jobs."

 

Statements on 2010 Campaign Website

Issues - 10th Amendment and the Fighting Intrusive Washington Policies

Folks in Washington should take a closer look at the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which clearly states the preeminence of states’ rights in the structure of our country. The time has come to assert those rights, and remind the federal government that it was created to serve states, not the other way around. Left unchecked, Washington will continue digging our country into a hole of debt, increased government intrusion and the loss of personal liberty.

Cap and Trade. Gov. Perry has actively opposed the cap-and-trade legislation pending before the U.S. Senate and already passed by the House of Representatives. As states learn more about the devastating impact this bill will have on their state and citizens – from job losses, raising energy prices, and increased taxes on goods and services Texans depend upon – Texans need to urge their Senators to vote against what would be the largest tax increase on Americans in history, including an average increase in annual living costs of approximately $1,200 per Texas household.

Rather than adopting misguided legislation or allowing the EPA to overly regulate every sector of the economy, Gov. Perry has proposed the federal government follow Texas’ lead by utilizing incentives to make alternative energy technologies less expensive and removing barriers to innovation and competition. Modernizing the national energy grid to support wind and solar energy transmission, facilitating investments in the development of carbon capture and sequestration, and removing barriers to investment in nuclear generation would reduce carbon emissions while encouraging competitiveness, innovation and growth in alternative energy sources. Texas’ efforts have made it the largest wind energy producer in the nation and all but four other countries, and a leader in other clean energy sources including solar, biofuels, nuclear and clean coal. At the same time, Texas has reduced carbon emission levels more than any other state except Louisiana and more than any other nation except Germany.

Gov. Perry on the Environment and Natural Resources

Under Gov. Perry, Texas is moving aggressively to create a diverse portfolio of energy sources, including renewable, natural gas, coal and nuclear power to meet the needs of our growing population in an eco-sensitive manner. Texas is a national leader in reducing emissions and known pollutants and advancing renewable energy sources. Texas has done so while balancing the need for environmental improvements with fostering economic growth, new investment and job creation.

  • Renewable Energy. Texas has installed more wind power than any other state, and more than all but four other countries. We are also a leader in solar, biofuel, clean coal and nuclear efforts. Texas continues to foster new, clean energy technology by using market incentives and stable regulation, not costly mandates and taxes.
  • The Texas Emissions Reduction Plan. In lieu of sweeping federal mandates, Gov. Perry authorized an incentive-driven Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, which has reduced ozone levels in Texas cities by 22 percent since its adoption.

 

The Western Debate

In October of 2011, Governor Perry participated in the Western Debate in Las Vegas. He speaks about his support for energy indepence through increased exploration. He also stated that he opposed the Yucca mountain project for waste depository.

COOPER: We've been talking about Herman Cain's plan. Let's talk about Governor Romney's plan.

Governor Perry, you have said that Governor Romney was an abject failure at creating jobs when he was governor of Massachusetts. If you've read his 59-point plan, has it changed your mind?

PERRY: Well, here's the nine that we need to get focused on. And it's not 999, it's not 59. It's that 9 percent unemployment in this country. And that's where we've got to get focused in America, is how to create an environment where the men and women get back to work.

It's the reason I laid out a plan, Newt, this last week to get this energy that's under our feet. We've got 300 years of resources right under our feet in this country. Yet we've got an administration that is blockading our ability to bring that to the surface, whether it's our petroleum, our natural gas, or our coal. And 1.2 million jobs could be put to work.

Americans who are sitting out there listening to this conversation tonight, somebody wants someone on this stage to say: Listen, we got an idea here how to get you to work and take care of your family and have the dignity of a job. And that's exactly what I did with my plan, laid it out where Americans understand we don't have to wait on OPEC anymore. We don't have to let them hold us hostage. America's got the energy. Let's have American energy independence.

...

PERRY: Well, let me address Herman's issue that he just talked about.

COOPER: Actually, I'd rather you answer that question.

PERRY: I understand that. You get to ask the questions, I get to answer like I want to. And Herman talked about --

COOPER: That's actually a response, that's not an answer, but go ahead.

PERRY: -- the issue of how we get this country back working. And truly, the plan that I laid out last week, where we talk about the energy industry and this treasure trove that we have under this country, and we need to recognize that the administration that we have today is blocking mining that could be going on in the state of Nevada. I talked to Brian Sandoval before I came in here today. You have an administration that is killing jobs because they want to move us to a green energy. You have a secretary of energy who has basically said he wants to see gas prices up close to the European model. The president himself said electricity rates are necessarily going to skyrocket.

That's what we've got to stop. That's the reason we got to have a president of the United States that understands that if you get Americans working, and it addresses these issues that we have in this country, then the fastest way to do it is open up these federal --

COOPER: Time.

PERRY: -- plants, to pull back those regulations, and get America working again.

...

COOPER: Governor Perry?

PERRY: You know, from time to time, Mitt and I don't agree. But on this one, he's hit it, the nail, right on the head. And I'll just add that when you think about France, who gets over 70 percent of their energy from nuclear power, the idea that they deal with this issue, that their glassification, and that the innovation -- and, Congressman Paul, you're correct when it comes to allowing the states to compete with each other. That is the answer to this.

We need to have a -- a -- a discussion in -- in this country about our 10th Amendment and the appropriateness of it, as it's been eroded by Washington, D.C., for all these many years, whether it's health care, whether it's education, or whether it's dealing with energy. We don't need to be subsidizing energy in any form or fashion, allow the states to make the decision. And some state out there will see the economic issue, and they will have it in their state.

 

Statements on Official Website

Energy

More than perhaps any other state, Texas is associated with energy production. From images of oil-soaked wildcatters watching gushers come in to sprawling fields of wind turbines, Texas has been a national leader in energy production and innovation. Gov. Perry has worked diligently to ensure our state’s energy resources can accommodate the needs of our rapidly-growing population and spur greater prosperity.

 

Expansion of Renewable Energy

Summary of Achievement

Texas is a world leader in wind power, with more wind power installed than any other state and all but four other countries. The state has also made a commitment to modernizing its transmission grid to enable the movement of more than 18,000 megawatts of wind power from West Texas to the major population centers in the eastern and central parts of the state. Texas has also invested more than $1 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund to support solar energy manufacturing and has invested more than $4.5 million from the Emerging Technology Fund to support the commercialization of the next generation of solar energy technologies.

The Challenge

As one of the fastest growing states and healthiest economies in the country, Texas must continue to meet its growing demand for electricity. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) forecasts that peak demand will grow at approximately two percent per year between now and 2025, requiring almost a 50 percent increase in generation capacity by that date. Texas is also highly dependent on natural gas-fired electric generation can also lead to higher electricity prices during periods of volatility in natural gas prices.

Action / Initiative

The Governor has made diversifying the energy mix of Texas’ electricity market one of his major priorities, and renewable energy, in conjunction with the next generation of cleaner coal plants, energy efficiency, and new nuclear plants, plays a key role in that diversification. Fostering the renewable energy industry in Texas has led to reduced reliance on natural gas generation as well as tremendous economic development opportunities in the rural areas of our state.

Senate Bill 20, signed by Governor Perry in 2005, contained a critical commitment to expand the state’s transmission grid in order to maximize the ability to move wind power from West Texas to the rest of the state. This unique commitment has provided needed certainty to renewable energy developers and, in conjunction with Texas’ abundant wind resources, competitive marketplace for electricity, and stable regulatory structure, has made Texas the easiest state to develop renewable energy.
Texas has also utilized its economic development tools to provide incentives for companies to locate solar manufacturing in the state and commercialize the next generation of solar energy technologies. Texas also expects to add several large solar and biomass electric generation facilities in the coming years. As a result, Texas is home to the two largest wind farms in the world, the Roscoe Wind Farm (781 megawatts) and the Horse Hollow wind farm (750 megawatts).

The Outcome

Governor Perry has created an environment conducive to the development of renewable energy. Renewable companies continue to move to Texas, investing billions of dollars in capital. Texas is also successfully diversifying its portfolio of electric generation facilities.

 

Implementation of Competition in Energy Market

Summary of Achievement

In 2002, Texas’ wholesale energy generation and retail electric markets fully opened to competition. A competitive market has increased consumer options and improved quality of service, as well as facilitated the development of alternative energy sources.

The Challenge

Prior to 1995, the State of Texas regulated its energy industry. Consumers bore the entire risk for development of new generation capacity. The regulated market was slow to react to changes in prices or demand and limited innovation and efficiency, and falling generation reserve margins in the late 1990s threatened Texas’ economic success.

Action / Initiative

In 1995, the Legislature introduced competition into the wholesale generation market, and it followed in 2002 with opening the retail electric market. The electric market in Texas is seen as one of the most successful examples of a competitive market in the world.

The Outcome

Texans in the competitive areas of the state currently have their choice than 20 retail electricity providers, dozens of choices of pricing plans, and more options to buy renewable energy than anywhere else in the country. Most Texans in the competitive areas of the state have choices of products that are cheaper than the last electricity prices consumers paid under regulation.

More than 120 power plants have been built in the state since 1995, adding more than 43,000 megawatts of new capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of wind power. Another 21 plants are under construction, and more than 27,000 megawatts are under development, including more new nuclear plants than any other state – over 9,000 megawatts.

While electricity prices in Texas are highly influenced by natural gas prices, new efficient power plants and efforts to diversify the state’s energy mix through adding wind power and non-natural gas generation has resulted in electricity prices rising less than the price of natural gas.

 

Increasing Energy Efficiency

Summary of Achievement

New, energy-efficient technology increases the ability of consumers to decrease their energy expense. Lower energy use decreases the need for all or a portion of the additional generation resources. Texas has provided incentives for energy efficiency and currently meets at least 20% of its growth in energy demand from energy efficiency, including building more Energy Star rated homes than any other state.

The Challenge

As one of the fastest growing states and healthiest economies in the country, Texas must continue to meet its growing demand for electricity. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) forecasts that peak demand will grow at approximately two percent per year between now and 2025, requiring almost a 50 percent increase in generation capacity by that date. Texas is also highly dependent on natural gas-fired electric generation can also lead to higher electricity prices during periods of volatility in natural gas prices.

Action / Initiative

In 2007, Governor Perry signed HB 3693, comprehensive energy efficiency legislation, into law. This legislation provides incentives and tax credits for utilities and consumers to build energy efficient homes, retrofit old buildings, replace inefficient air conditioners and lighting systems, and other steps to reduce help consumers reduce their energy costs.

The Outcome

Texas’ energy efficiency programs have been ranked among the most cost-effective in the nation, and Texas continues to expand the use of new energy efficiency technology to help meet the energy needs of our growing economy.

 

Opposing Harmful Cap & Trade Legislation

Summary of Achievement
During his tenure in office, Gov. Perry has presided over one of the largest expansions of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the history of Texas, as well as dramatic expansions in Texas’ natural gas production. Texas has proven that it is possible to foster new, renewable energy technologies without devastating the traditional energy industry.

The Challenge
Unfortunately, the federal government doesn’t understand this, and is embarking on radical attempts to intervene in energy markets and pick winners among the variety of energy technologies. Legislative monstrosities like the Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer cap and trade bills are being debated, and unelected bureaucrats at the EPA are threatening to impose draconian new regulations on Texas businesses, farms and families. If successful, these efforts would devastate the Texas economy, raise energy prices, result in the single largest tax increase in American history, and make our nation less secure and more dependent on foreign sources of oil.

Action / Initiative
Governor Perry established an advisory panel comprised of the leaders of Texas’ state agencies that oversee energy and environmental regulations in the state. In coordination with this panel, Governor Perry filed comments with the EPA strongly urging the agency against regulating greenhouse gases under the Federal Clean Air Act, due to the devastating impact it would have on the Texas economy and energy industry.

The Outcome
The federal government has not yet acted on any of these potentially disastrous plans. Governor Perry will continue to call attention to the damage they could do to the state and federal economies.

According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, the damage could be extensive:

  • By 2035, electricity prices in Texas will rise by $1,726 per year for the average residential customer.
  • By 2035, gasoline prices will rise by $1.28 per gallon (not b/c of supply demand issues, but essentially taxes).
  • Gross State Product will decline $11 billion as soon as 2012 and by $44 billion in 2035.
  • In 2012, 128,000 jobs will be lost and accelerating after 2020 to nearly 200,000 by 2035.

Texas A&M Agricultural and Food Policy Center

Even with generous assumptions of the ability for farms to earn “CO2 offsets” that businesses can purchase in lieu of cutting emissions, 23 out of 26 representative Texas farms in their study were worse off under cap-and-trade.
All rice farms, dairies, and ranches modeled were worse off. Six out of seven cotton operations were worse off in all cases, with one operation being very slightly better off under one scenario. 6 out of eight feedgrain/oilseed operations were worse off, in some cases substantially.

National Black Chamber of Commerce/API/CRA International

  • Loss of 181,000 jobs by 2015, accelerating to 341,000 by 2030.
  • Household purchasing power falls by $1,430 by 2015 and nearly $1,800 by 2030 per household.
  • Gross state product falls by 0.5% by 2015 and 1.6% by 2030.
  • Electricity prices rise by 1.7 cents per kWh ($204 per year for average residential customer) by 2015 and 4.5 cents per kwh ($540 per year) by 2030.
  • State taxes fall by $1.1 billion by 2015 and more than $2 billion per year by 2030

National Association of Manufacturers/American Council for Capital Formation/SAIC

  • Loss of 196,000 jobs by 2030.
  • Decline in disposable income of $1,103 per household by 2030.
  • Reduction in Gross State Product of $5 billion by 2020 and $41 billion by 2030.
  • Increase in electricity prices of 10% by 2020 and 54% by 2030.
  • Increase in gasoline prices of 11% by 2020 and 26% by 2030.
  • By 2030, low income customers will spend more than 21% of their income on energy, up from 17% with no cap and trade bill.

University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology

  • Texas could lose as many as 270,000 jobs by 2015 and 400,000 by 2030.
  • Gross State Product declines by as much as $70 billion by 2030.

ERCOT Study
Annual increase in wholesale power costs of approximately $10 billion, or $27 per month ($324 per year) for a residential customer by 2013.
Due to carbon dioxide emissions limits, there will likely be an increase in the demand for and the price of natural gas. At a higher gas price of $10 per MMBtu annual power costs would increase by $20 billion, or $54 per month (or $648 per year) for a residential customer by 2013.
While reductions in energy use due to higher prices and increased wind power already under development in Texas may reduce the impacts of the cap and trade bill, they would not completely offset the impact.

 

Jon Huntsman

Summary

Governor Huntsman believes in man-made global warming and supports efforts to limit emissions with the purpose of addressing climate change through cap-and-trade and other mechanisms. As Governor of Utah, Huntsman signed the state onto the Western Climate Initiative. This group of states and provinces has the goal of establishing a price for carbon emission through a cap-and-trade system. Governor Huntsman touted bringing the state into this agreement in 2008 by noting that few other Republicans would have taken such a step.

Outside the WCI, Governor Huntsman embraced the values of a cap-and-trade system. In a 2008 debate, Governor Huntsman stated that carbon emissions led to polluted skys and climate change adn the only way to limit the emission of carbon was to put a cost on emitting it, and the best way to that was a cap-and-trade system.

During the 2012 election cycle, Governor Huntsman has backed off from promoting the absoluteness of climate change and has simply stated that a majority of scientists state that man-made global warming is real and he relies on scientific experts. He has stated that his views on cap-and-trade have not changed, but that economic realities have made the implementation of such a program infeasible.

Governor Huntsman has also stated that it would not be effective for the US to limit its carbon emission while other emittors such as China were not limiting their carbon emissions. 

 

Western Climate Initiative

In May of 2007, Governor Huntsman signed Utah onto the Western Climate Initiative. The Western Climate Initiative is a set of states and provinces in Canada, the US, and Mexico that have agreed to limit their carbon emissions. The official website for the WCI characterizes itself as follow:

A Comprehensive Initiative

The WCI Partner jurisdictions have developed a comprehensive initiative to reduce regional GHG emissions to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and spur investment in and development of clean-energy technologies, create green jobs, and protect public health. The WCI Partner jurisdictions’ plan includes the following elements:

Using the power of the market

The central component of the comprehensive WCI strategy is a flexible, market-based, regional cap-and-trade program that caps greenhouse gas emissions and uses tradable permits to incent development of renewable and lower-polluting energy sources. The Design for the WCI Regional Program, released on July 27, 2010, provides a roadmap to inform the WCI Partner jurisdictions as they implement the cap-and-trade program in their jurisdictions. Those expected to implement the program when it begins in January 2012 comprise approximately two-thirds of total emissions in the WCI jurisdictions—a critical mass and a robust market for achieving significant GHG emissions reductions. When fully implemented in 2015, this comprehensive program will cover nearly 90 percent of the GHG emissions in WCI states and provinces.

Encouraging reductions throughout the economy

To reduce compliance costs and encourage emissions reductions, WCI Partner jurisdictions will issue offsets that represent a reduction or removal of one metric ton of CO2e and meet all recommended offset criteria. Offsets provide a flexible mechanism that reduces the cost of a cap-and-trade program by introducing a broader range of reduction opportunities, and reward emissions reductions in sectors such as forestry and agriculture that are not covered by emissions caps.

Advancing core policies and programs to speed the transition to a clean energy economy

The WCI Partner jurisdictions are also working together on core policies and programs that provide additional opportunities to address climate change and achieve related co-benefits of increased energy efficiency, increased renewable energy generation, improved air quality and reduced water pollution, job growth, and increased provincial, state and local revenue.

The WCI Partner jurisdictions’ comprehensive strategy is good for the environment and good for the economy. A recently-updated Analysis indicates that the WCI approach can reduce regional GHG emissions to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and realize a cost savings through increased efficiencies and reduced fuel consumption. These results underscore that mitigation of GHG emissions and the move to a clean-energy economy is affordable, and can be achieved without negatively impacting the regional economy, and are consistent with other recent state and federal analyses of climate mitigation programs.

 

First Gubernatorial Debate

In June of 2008, Governor Huntsman participated in a Gubernatorial Debate on KUED and discussed his support of the "Western Initiative" for climate change legislation and measure to ensure renewable energy standards.

HUNTSMAN: "What other Republican ever would have embraced the western climate initiative? Recognizing climate change for what it is, embracing a cap and trade proposal, embracing a renewable portfolio standard, embracing standards for carbon emissions for the region and for the state. We have a goal for the state, by the way."

 

Second Gubernatorial Debate

In October of 2008, Governor Huntsman talks about his support for the "Western Initiative," his views on carbon pollution and climate change, and his support for cap-and-trade during a gubernatorial debate on KCPW.

Moderator: Governor, to the dismay of conservatives in the state legislature, you recently signed Utah on to the "Western Climate Initiative." Eventually, this will include a carbon emissions cap-and-trade program that some legislators believe could lead to higher utility costs and stifle business growth. How do you balance protection of the environment with protection of the economy, especially in these hard economic times?

Governor Huntsman: We have to make sure that we recognize a couple of important facts as we go forward. One of the facts of life for Utah will be that a very important engine of growth for us through the years will be the new innovations and technologies, and capital equipment surronding a new energy economy, a green energy economy. Things like carbon capture and sequestration.

Barack Obama talked about last night clean coal. How do you get clean coal? You get clean coal through carbon capture and sequestration, and the leading institute now doing this is at the University of Utah. Five to seven years from now when we're talking about power plants that are built the traditional way, they're going to have to employ these types of technology.

But in order to get to the heart and soul of carbon emission, which is a problem, because it leads to polluted skys, and air quality problems, and climate change, we must put a value on carbon. Until we put a value on carbon, we're never going to be able to get serious about dealing with climate change longer term.

Now, putting a value on carbon either suggests getting a carbon tax or going to a cap-and-trade system underway. We as western governors, and as the head of the Western Governors Association I am doing my best as the leader of this group to develop a comprehensive energy program that we are going to turn over to the next President of the United States, which will include issues of affordability, issues of energy independence, and issues of sustainability. When I speak about sustainability, I talk about a cap-and-trade system.

 

Time-Swampland

In May of 2011, Governor Huntsman was interviewed by Time Magazine for the Swampland section. He was asked about his previous support for cap-and-trade and his views on the environment. He noted that if 90% of oncologists were telling the world that something caused cancer, no one would question it.

You also believe in climate change, right?

This is an issue that ought to be answered by the scientific community; I’m not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them. I respect science and the professionals behind the science so I tend to think it’s better left to the science community – though we can debate what that means for the energy and transportation sectors.

Matt [David, Huntsman’s communications director,] says you’ve changed your mind about cap-and-trade.

Cap-and-trade ideas aren’t working; it hasn’t worked, and our economy’s in a different place than five years ago. Much of this discussion happened before the bottom fell out of the economy, and until it comes back, this isn’t the moment.

Will it ever be the moment, though? The environment never takes priority because it never seems like something has to be addressed this quarter or else, but if you look at what’s happening to our planet…

If anyone knows about the need to clean up the planet, we do; we’ve been living somewhere [Beijing] where you feel like you’re killing your kids sending them out to school every day. But putting additional burdens on the pillars of growth right now is counter-productive. If we have a lost decade, then nothing else matters. Ask Japan about that.

 

George Stephanopoulis Interview

In May of 2011, Governor Huntsman was interviewed by George Stephanopoulis. He is asked about his previous support for cap-and-trade.

George Stephanopoulos: You invited the voters at that first event to look at your record. And by (UNINTEL) record, we see someone who supported civil unions for gay couples, supported having the children of illegal immigrants be able to pay in-state tuition in your state, supported cap and trade in the past as an energy policy. Every single one of those could be a big problem in the Republican primary. How do you deal with it?

Jon Huntsman: Well, first of all, I don't change on my positions. The circumstances change, like on cap and trade, for example. You know, today our focus -- although we all care about the environment, today our number one priority's the economy -- and we should not be doing anything that stands in the way of economic growth. And that which is going to move us forward in terms of expanding our economic base and creating jobs, period. That's not to say that all the while, you won't have people who are creating and innovating new approaches to dealing with emissions. That's going to continue.

George Stephanopoulos: But back in 2008, November of 2008, the beginning of the emissions, you said that dealing with those emissions was either going to take cap and trade or a carbon tax. Is that still true?

Jon Huntsman: And that was exactly what CEOs were saying, and that's exactly what all the experts were saying, and that's exactly what a whole lot of governors are saying at that point. The economy collapsed. We can no longer focus on that debate as aggressively as we did in years past. But that debate will continue because people care about the environment. But I suspect that the end point it's going to look a lot different than that original proposal. And we also have to remember, George, that this is an international challenge.

If we come up with our own approach, and if the Chinese who are now the largest emitters in the world don't go up with their own, if the Indians don't come up with their own, we're all downstream. And if we unilaterally disarmed, we're disadvantaged economically. That point comes home loud and clear when you're living in Beijing, the most polluted city in the world. And you step outside and say this is a huge challenge. And all of this gunk, all of these emissions, they're going somewhere. And everyone's downstream these days. It's got to be an international fix. 

 

Wall Street Journal Interview

In June of 2011, Governor Huntsman was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and discussed his views on the need for energy independence and natural gas in relation to alternative energy. The text below is directly from the article and some of Governor Huntsman's statements are paraphrased.

Mr. Huntsman says, "Our priorities need to revolve around ensuring that we have a competitive environment that speaks to the attraction and aggregation of capital, the deployment of capital." To that end, he cites three policy goals: tax reform, regulatory reform, "and I want to mention a third I think is going to be extremely important for our economy long-term, and that's energy independence. It's a low hanging fruit." What comes next isn't quite what one expects. He's talking about natural gas.

"Everybody wants more sun, everybody wants to use more wind," for which they had special zones in sunny, windy Utah. "But it's going to take years and years to perfect those technologies and distribution systems. We're going to need a transitional product to get us from here to the decades of the future when these things will be more viable. I can't think of a better product than natural gas."

He thinks the recent natural gas finds in the U.S. "completely change how we operate and how we view our economy. I believe this is just revolutionary." He favors drilling to get it. "Why not take advantage of something we control, when it's derived from our reserves, it employs our people and enhances our economic base?"

He qualifies the "energy independence" goal: "Look, we're never going to be totally energy independent. You can talk in those terms but we're always going to be accessing raw materials from elsewhere in the world. But we can do better than 60% of imported oil."

Subsidies for energy? "I don't like subsidies. I'd like to see us phase out all subsidies. Maybe a nudge in terms of a tax incentive like we did in Utah to convert cars to natural gas." A great enthusiast of natural-gas-powered vehicles, Mr. Huntsman argues that his tax credit for them was a huge success in Utah: "They were in demand in such numbers that car dealers couldn't find any more natural-gas cars for sale in the U.S."

 

Reagan Debate

In September of 2011, Governor Huntsman participated in the Republican debate at the Reagan Library. He spoke about the additional costs of gasoline outside of the price that consumers pay at the pump and stated that the true cost of a gallon of gas was more like $13 dollars a gallon. He also stated that it was anti-science to go against 90% of climate scientists.

HARRIS: Governor Huntsman, everybody would like $2 gas, but is it realistic for a president to promise that?

HUNTSMAN: Of course not. We live in -- we live in the free- market economy. I'm not sure that dictating prices is going to get you anywhere.

But let's face the reality of where we are. This is a perfect example of where presidential leadership matters. To have a president who would actually walk out from behind the TelePrompTer, get out of the way, speak from your heart and soul, just tell us about...

(APPLAUSE)

... just tell us about where you want this country to go, in terms of what we have in such great abundance, tell us where we think we can find that which we have and convert it into jobs and expanding our industrial base, and reminding the American people that they're not paying $4 per gallon for gas. When you add up the cost of troop deployments, when you add up the cost of keeping the sea lanes open for the importation of imported oil, the bulk and distribution and terminaling costs (ph), it's $13 a gallon, so says the Milken Institute. And I say the American people have had enough. We need a president who's going to provide a little bit of leadership in getting us some direction and opening up the opportunities.  

...

HARRIS: Governor Huntsman, I'd like to get to you. I've got a question. Your chief political adviser has been quoted very prominently as describing the Republican Party as "a bunch of cranks," and said your opponents on the stage "make a buffet of crazy and inane comments." I'm sure that's insulting to some of these people up here.

We're now here face to face. Tell us which one of these people are saying crazy or inane things.

HUNTSMAN: Well, I'm sure you have John Weaver's telephone number. You can go ahead and give him a call.

HARRIS: OK.

HUNTSMAN: But let me just say --

HARRIS: Well -- hand on. Let's follow up on that, because you speak for yourself.

You yourself have said the party is in danger of becoming anti- science. Who on this stage is anti-science?

HUNTSMAN: Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy. We've got to win voters.

We've got to do what I did as governor, when I was re-elected. We reached out and we brought in independents. I got independents. I got conservative Democrats. If we're going to win in 2012, we've got to make sure that we have somebody who can win based upon numbers of the math that will get us there. And by making comments that basically don't reflect the reality of the situation, we turn people off.

Number two, we've got to have somebody who can lead. This president was successful in getting elected. He can't lead this country. He can't even lead his own party.

I'm here to tell you: I can get elected. I can bring the numbers together to make this successful in 2012. And I can lead based upon where I've been as governor.

 

Fox News / Google Debate

On September 22, 2011 Governor Huntsman participated in the Fox News / Google debate. He spoke there about his support for natural gas and subsidization of certain renewable energy products.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Bret, thank you. Good evening, candidates.

Governor Huntsman, in Utah, you offered millions of dollars in tax credits to promote clean energy. In June you said that as president you would subsidize natural gas companies. How is that different from the Obama administration, which gave the solar panel company Solyndra a half-a-billion dollars in federal loan guarantees, and as we all know, that company ended up bankrupt, and we taxpayers ended up on the hook?

FORMER GOV. JON HUNTSMAN, R-UTAH: Chris, first of all, it's an honor to be here in Orlando, home of my wife, the greatest human being I've known in 28 years.

We've learned some important lessons as this economy has spun out of control. We have some hard decisions to make. And we're not going to fix the problem. We're not going to be able to bring our people together in America until we fix the economy.

I'm convinced that part of the divide that we're experiencing in the United States, which is unprecedented, it's unnatural, and it's un-American, is because we're divided economically, too few jobs, too few opportunities.

We have learned that subsidies don't work and that we can no longer afford them. I believe that we can move toward renewable energy, but we're going to have to have a bridge product. Everybody wants to draw from the sun and draw from the wind, and I'm here to tell you that eventually that will make sense, but today the economics don't work.

We need something like natural gas. I've put forward an energy independence program, along with tax reform and regulatory reform. Just by drawing from natural gas, for example, you're looking at 500,000 to 1 million jobs over the next five years. It is ours, it's affordable, it has important national security implications, and we should begin the conversion process.

WALLACE: But just a 30-second follow-up, sir. In June, you told the New Hampshire Union Leader as president you would subsidies the natural gas industry.

HUNTSMAN: I would be willing to begin an effort, so long as there was a rapid phase-out. I do not like subsidies. I do not like long-term subsidies. But if there was some sort of way to get the ball rolling with a -- with a -- with a quick phase-out, I would be in favor of that.

 

RedState Interview

In December of 2011, Governor Huntsman was interviewed by RedState.com and discussed his previous statements concerning global warming and cap-and-trade.

Q. You had a tweet, I guess at the beginning of your campaign that said something to the effect of, that you believed the scientists on global warming, you know, “call me crazy,” I’m sure you probably remember the one I’m talking about. Would you retract that tweet if you had the opportunity now?

A. Uh, no, I wouldn’t redo anything that I’ve done. I, you know, I’ve made decisions at the time based on issues that were playing out and, uh, I don’t play the woulda, shoulda, coulda game. Uh, I make decisions based on discussions, or policy issues that were being deliberated at the time, and made a decision based on that. And so, I’ll let history decide whether that was a good thing to do, but it was from my heart. It was from who I am, and therefore I don’t regret it.

Q. With respect to how you would govern as President, in respect to global warming, would you permit your EPA to implement a cap-and-trade policy without authorization from Congress?

A. Uh, absolutely not. I’m not going to unilaterally disarm this country. Uh, cap and trade policies were derived from the Clean Air Act where they were actually based on free market principles in the 1970s. That’s what attracted some of us to the idea, that’s what attracted a lot of CEOs and a lot of experts to the idea. But it became, morphed into a tax [garbled]. But it wasn’t [garbled] unilaterally disarm this country or in any way hobble our economic prospects by putting in place a cap and trade program. While other countries are not willing to [garbled] the question [connection lost]
 

 

2012 Campaign Website Statements

TIME TO COMPETE
An American Jobs Plan

Energy Independence

50 years ago, President Eisenhower warned we should import no more than 20 percent of our oil; today we import 60 percent. Every year America sends more than $300 billion overseas for oil – much of it to unstable and unfriendly regimes. This threatens our national and economic security. 10 of the last 11 recessions were preceded by sharp spikes in the price of oil.

Governor Huntsman is proposing an "all of the above" policy, with two main elements:

First, we must expedite the review and approval of safe and environmentally-sound energy projects, including the development of North American oil and gas reserves; oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska; shale gas and oil in the U.S.; and Canadian oil sands.

Second, we must eliminate subsidies and regulations that support foreign oil and inhibit clean, domestic alternatives such as natural gas, biofuels and coal-to-liquid fuel.

America is drowning in competitive energy supplies from domestic sources. We must employ those resources, or risk allowing foreign nations to control our energy future.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE PROPOSALS

Producing Our Own Energy Future

Streamline Approval for New Energy Production
America can and should produce more oil right here at home. There is no reason drilling cannot be safely conducted in the Gulf, across the states and in Alaska.

The current Administration is pursuing regulations that will hinder domestic energy development and cost thousands of jobs. Regulations and approvals for new wells and pipelines need to be streamlined and directed to "move at the speed of business."

The federal government's commitment to safety and the environment must no longer be distorted into a prohibition against American energy security. President Reagan created a mechanism for the swift resolution of regulatory delays without sacrificing safety concerns. The same must be duplicated again.

Break Down Barriers Blocking the Full and Safe Deployment of Fracking
A new technique for recovering previously inaccessible gas – combining hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") with high-technology horizontal drilling – has the potential to increase America's domestic production by 25 percent.

Critics are attacking fracking, but the practice has been used on more than one million currently producing wells – more than 35,000 per year – using a technology that has been perfected over 60 years. Because of fracking, the United States surpassed Russia as the world's leading producer of natural gas.

Federal guidelines regulating its application need to recognize the economic benefits and value of enhancing America's energy independence, while also weighing environmental concerns.

Embrace Emerging Technologies Like Coal-to-Liquid Fuel
Coal is one of America's most abundant energy resources and the mainstay of many communities. America has enough coal reserves to supply us for 300 years at current consumption. Yet in recent years, government regulations and litigation have attacked coal from every possible angle, destroying critical jobs and closing access to this critical domestic energy source.

Converting coal into a liquid fuel will alleviate our dependence on foreign oil while maintaining jobs and local economies, but this technology is not yet deployed. We must eliminate barriers to its full deployment.

Look North
Our dependence on foreign oil didn't develop overnight, and it won't end overnight. As a bridge, we must look north to Canada.

America imports twice as much oil from Canada as we do from Saudi Arabia, and our northern neighbor is increasing production every day. There are 170 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Alberta's oil sands deposits – more reserves than in all of Iraq.

However, lawsuits and legislation in the United States are attempting to block access to this resource from our neighbor and friend.

Others see the potential in these fields. China wants to invest in Canada's oil infrastructure. Meanwhile, the United States government is dithering over a pipeline's proposal to ship Canadian oil to the United States.

The federal government needs to assure Canada that American consumers are ready and willing to purchase the production of Alberta's oil sands. Every barrel from a friend is one less from a foe.

Eliminate Subsidies to Level The Playing Field for Domestic Fuels

Much attention has been paid, rightly, to the federal government's improper role in using subsidies to favor one energy resource over others. America's energy future must be based on a level playing field. But the playing field cannot be level so long as federal regulation erects or reinforces barriers to entry, which prevent a competitive market for competing fuels.

Ensure That Our Transportation Fuel Markets are Competitive
The current system of transportation fuels is essentially closed to newer competition because of (1) gasoline's near-monopoly in the distribution network for light-duty vehicles, and diesel's near- monopoly for heavy-duty vehicles; and (2) numerous regulatory barriers to entry.

Accordingly, to create a truly competitive energy market, the federal government must:

Commence expedited review of the transportation fuel distribution network by both the Federal Trade Commission and Senate Judiciary Committee (the concentration of distribution ownership is similar to the broadcast network domination in the early 1970s, which triggered market-opening FCC rules and an antitrust consent decree).

Eliminate all regulatory barriers to entry for competing fuels, and create a level playing field that allows competing fuels full access to the distribution grid.
Ensure open markets for natural gas and other alternative fuels in order to stabilize prices and provide a predictable investment environment.

Eliminate Regulations Preventing Energy Innovations and Competitive Transportation Fuels From Reaching Market

End the Regulatory Roadblocks Against Competitive Fuels Like Natural Gas
America has more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil. Yet on August 9th, the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency issued fuel efficiency rules that effectively bar heavy-duty vehicles – which consume 20% of our oil imports – from converting to natural gas.

The agencies did this even after conceding that "more alternative-fueled vehicles on the road would arguably displace petroleum-fueled vehicles, and thereby increase both U.S. energy and national security by reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil."

Gov. Huntsman supports the repeal of these rules and others, which increase our reliance on foreign oil and discourage domestic job growth.

Spur Investment in Modernizing Our Power Grid
Federal regulations are hindering America's conversion to a fully modern "smart grid" system – something badly needed if the next generation, for example, chooses to charge electric vehicles in their garages at night.

Encourage State-Based Solutions
Methods of energy production vary greatly across the fifty states. The Northwest has world-class hydropower facilities, California leads the nation in geothermal, and more than 15 percent of Iowa's energy generation comes from wind. Despite this diversity, EPA rules prohibit states from coming up with their own ways to reduce pollution at the lowest cost to local businesses.

For example, EPA should revive state authority to allow centrally-fueled fleets to convert to cleaner alternative fuels to help meet our air quality standards at much lower cost to consumers.

Force Washington To Face Facts
The federal government is responsible for reducing obstacles to competitive markets that ensure a level playing field. Washington must base its energy policy on sound science, transparent government, and thorough public debate.

 

ENERGY SECURITY

To create jobs and strengthen national security, America must end the scourge of our addiction to foreign oil. 50 years ago President Eisenhower warned we should import no more than 20 percent of our oil; today we import 60 percent, much of it from unstable and unfriendly regimes.

America is drowning in energy resources, yet every year we send $300 billion – half our trade deficit – overseas for oil. That money should be going to American energy suppliers to create American jobs. Moreover, 10 of the last 11 recessions were preceded by sharp spikes in oil prices. When oil prices rise, and motorists and truckers have no choice but to pay more at the pump, it depresses economic growth. Today oil remains in the high 80’s despite a global recession. Imagine where prices will be when the global economy recovers.

Energy security can no longer be a catchphrase; it will be a driving force behind Governor Huntsman’s administration. He proposes an “all of the above” energy policy, with two main elements.

Breaking Oil's Monopoly: we must break oil’s monopoly and create a truly level playing field for competing transportation fuels to enter the marketplace. This includes eliminating the subsidies and regulations that support foreign oil and inhibit domestic alternatives such as compressed natural gas (CNG), electricity, biofuels, and coal-to-liquids, which are not price-controlled by OPEC. Energy security, as Winston Churchill once said, “lies in variety and variety alone.”

Increasing Domestic Energy Production: to end OPEC’s pricing and supply power and create jobs, we must increase the production of domestic energy sources. This includes expediting the process for reviewing and approving safe, environmentally sound energy projects, including the development of North American oil and gas reserves; oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska; shale gas and oil in the U.S.; and Canadian oil sands. Such an effort will dramatically lower our trade deficit and will grow our domestic manufacturing sector.

These reforms will not just promote national security; they will create American jobs. The current administration is pursuing regulatory policies that will effectively stop construction and prevent thousands of new jobs. At the same time, government has erected barriers to harnessing cheap, domestic supplies of energy. By removing those barriers and shifting our regulatory policy, we will build the foundation of affordable energy upon which American industry—especially manufacturing and transportation sectors––can grow.

The nation is drowning in competitive energy supplies from domestic sources. We must employ those resources, or risk allowing foreign nations to control our energy future.

 

BREAKING OIL’S MONOPOLY AND CREATING A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

Much attention has been paid, rightly, to the federal government’s improper role in using subsidies to favor one energy resource over others. America’s energy future must be based on a level playing field.

But the playing field cannot be level so long as federal regulation erects or reinforces barriers to entry, which prevent a competitive market for competing fuels. Governor Huntsman’s energy plan will:

  • Ensure That Our Transportation Fuel Markets are Competitivern
    • The current system of transportation fuels is essentially closed to newer competition, because of (1) gasoline’s near-monopoly in the distribution network for light-duty vehicles, and diesel’s near-monopoly for heavy duty vehicles; and (2) numerous regulatory barriers to entry.
    • Accordingly, to create a truly competitive energy market, the federal government must:rn
      • Commence an expedited review of the transportation fuel distribution network by both the Federal Trade Commission and Senate Judiciary Committee (the concentration of distribution ownership is similar to the broadcast network domination in the early 1970s, which triggered market-opening FCC rules and an antitrust consent decree).
      • Eliminate all regulatory barriers to entry for competing fuels, and create a level playing field that allows competing fuels full access to the distribution grid.
      • The federal government needs to ensure open markets for natural gas and other alternative fuels in order to stabilize prices and provide a predictable investment environment.
  • End the Regulatory Roadblocks Against Competitive Transportation Fuelsrn
    • On August 9th, the EPA and DOT issued joint fuel efficiency rules that will bar heavy duty vehicles—which consume 20% of our oil imports—from shifting from petroleum to natural gas. The agencies did this even after conceding that “more alternative-fueled vehicles on the road would arguably displace petroleum-fueled vehicles, and thereby increase both U.S. energy and national security by reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.”
  • Spur Investment in Modernizing Our Power Gridrn
    • Federal regulations are not expediting America’s conversion to a fully modern “smart grid” system – something badly needed if the next generation, for example, chooses to charge electric vehicles in their garages at night.
    • In addition, completing new transmission lines to capture renewables from wind and solar would create thousands of new jobs.
    • We must move forward with a smart grid but be aware of the security demands required from the increased vulnerability to cyber attack inherent in such a grid.
  • Invest in Basic Researchrn
    • The United States must prioritize long-term investment in research that can result in technical breakthroughs leading to the disruptive technologies that we need. This will mean continued support for non-commercial research at the Department of Energy, such as ARPA-E, the DOE’s version of DARPA, in order to pursue basic research not funded by the private sector.
    • We must not confuse pure research with often rent-seeking industrial policy such as the president’s fling with a specific technology like Solyndra.
    • We need a significant increase in federal funding for non-commercial basic research at our research universities.
    • The federal government should set up large prizes in the tradition of the famed longitude prize to better leverage private sector resources in supporting non-commercial research.
  • Encourage State-Based Solutionsrn
    • Methods of energy production vary greatly across the fifty states. The Northwest has world-class hydropower facilities, California leads the nation in geothermal, and more than 15 percent of Iowa’s energy generation comes from wind.
    • Despite this diversity, EPA rules prohibit states from coming up with their own ways to reduce pollution at the lowest cost to local businesses.
    • For example, EPA should revive state authority to allow centrally fueled fleets to convert to cleaner alternative fuels to help meet our air quality standards at much lower cost to consumers.
  • Nuclear Energyrn
    • Today nuclear energy generates approximately 20 percent of our electrical power – we should strive to increase its contribution.
    • Washington should begin to move forward with the next generation of nuclear technology including small modular reactors. Outside of meeting our own domestic demand, this will allow American firms to once again become competitive in a sector we once led.
    • We must resolve the storage issue by getting a politicized Washington out of the way and letting states move forward with locally driven plans for safe storage of nuclear waste.
  • Force Washington To Face Factsrn
    • The federal government is responsible for reducing obstacles to competitive markets that ensure a level playing field.
    • Washington must base its energy policy on sound science, transparent government, and thorough public debate.

 

INCREASING DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION

  • Streamline Approval for New Productionrn
    • America can produce energy safely and cleanly. The federal government’s commitment to safety and the environment must no longer be distorted into a prohibition against American energy security.
    • Many people are unaware that the United States is the world’s third largest oil producer. America can, and should, produce more oil right here at home. There is no reason drilling cannot be safely conducted in the Gulf, across the states, and in Alaska. Yet with only 3 percent of the world’s proven petroleum reserves, oil can’t solve all of our energy problems.
    • Every barrel of oil we drill at home is one less we have to import, but development of gas and oil reserves in the U.S. is severely hampered by a barrage of duplicative and dilatory hurdles. The result has been long-term delays and mounting barriers standing between us and future energy independence.
    • Every “homegrown” barrel of oil, cubic foot of natural gas, barrel of biofuel, or megawatt of power creates American jobs. And the money earned by American energy suppliers can be spent in American stores, saved in American banks, and invested in American communities and business.
    • Regulations and approvals for new wells and pipelines need to be streamlined and directed to ‘move at the speed of business.’ President Reagan created a mechanism for the swift resolution of regulatory delays without sacrificing safety concerns. The same must be duplicated again.
  • Removing Barriers to Emerging Technologiesrn
    • Oil and Gas “Fracking”
    • A new technique for recovering previously inaccessible gas—combining hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) with high-technology horizontal drilling—has the potential to increase America’s domestic production by 25 percent. Fracking has been widely used to access vast natural gas deposits, with a high degree of success. Because of fracking, the United States surpassed Russia as the world’s leading producer of natural gas.
    • Critics are now attacking fracking, but the practice has now been used on more than 1 million currently producing wells- more than 35,000 per year- using a technology that has been perfected over 60 years.
    • “Fracking” has the potential to significantly increase domestic energy production while creating jobs at home. Federal guidelines regulating its application need to recognize the economic benefits and the value of enhancing America’s energy independence while weighing environmental concerns at the same time.
  • Coal to Liquid Fuel (CTL)rn
    • Coal is one of America’s most abundant natural energy resources and the mainstay of many communities across the country. America has enough proven coal reserves to supply us for 300 years at current consumption. Yet in recent years government regulations and litigation have attacked coal from every possible angle, destroying critical jobs and closing access to this critical domestic energy source.
    • Converting coal into a liquid fuel would allow coal to be utilized as an alternative to foreign oil in transportation applications while maintaining jobs and local economies, but this technology is not yet deployed.
    • CTL could help alleviate our transportation infrastructure’s dependence on foreign oil, especially in regional markets in coal-producing states and strategic applications, such as with the U.S. military.
  • Look North: An Energy Security Strategy Supported By Our Allies, Not Our Adversariesrn
    • America imports twice as much oil from Canada as we do from Saudi Arabia, and our northern neighbor is increasing production every day. Under current economic conditions, there are 170 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Alberta’s oil sands deposits – more reserves than in all of Iraq. However, lawsuits and legislation in the United States are attempting to block access to this resource from our neighbor and friend.
    • The United States is the largest consumer of oil produced from Canada’s oil sands, but others see the potential in these fields. China wants to invest in Canada’s oil infrastructure and to use that infrastructure to supply China with more oil. Meanwhile, the United States government dithers over a pipeline’s proposal to ship Canadian oil to the United States.
    • The federal government needs to assure Canada that American consumers are ready and willing to purchase the production of Alberta’s oil sands. Governor Huntsman will stand firmly behind the Keystone pipeline, creating thousands of American jobs while reducing our dependence on overseas imports. Every barrel from a friend is one less from a foe.

 

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