Ron Paul on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Dec 12, 2011

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Campaign Website Statements

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements

 

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.

References

[1] Website: Grist.org Article: An interview with Ron Paul about his presidential platform on energy and the environment Author: Amanda Little Accessed on: 03/28/2011

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