Richard Shelby on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Jul 07, 2010

Summary

Senator Shelby does not state his views on man-made global warming, but does make references to the need to act on climate change.  He supported lifting the ban on offshore drilling in 2008, and has asked the President to remove the moratorium on shallow-water drilling which was put in place in response to the BP oil disaster.

Senator Shelby strongly opposes a cap-and-trade system as detrimental to the economy. He supports the use of biomass, nuclear, and wood chip fuels.

 

Opposition to oil moratorium

In response to the BP oil disaster in the gulf, President Obama issued a moratorium on offshore drilling.  On May 21 2010, Senator Shelby was cited as signing onto a letter written to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar which asks that the moratorium be lifted on shallow water rigs.  The letter states that up to 57 shallow water rigs may be rendered unusable if they remain unused for a long period of time.

 

Support for offshore drilling

In September of 2008, Senator Shelby's office released the following statement concerning the recently lifted ban on offshore drilling. 

 

In 2006, Senator Shelby's office release a press statement covering a speech that he made to Huntsville business leaders.  The release stated that Senator Shelby said the following about drilling and nuclear energy.

 

2010 Re-Election Campaign Website Statements

 

  

Voting Record

Oil Company and Alternative Energy Subsidies

On March 29, 2012 the Senate voted on a cloture motion on legislation to end subsidies to oil companies and to continue subsidies in alternative energy that are scheduled to end. Specifically, the bill would have ended or limited subsidies to oil and natural gas companies while extending subsides for wind companies and biofuel companies. The legislation failed to pass a cloture motion through a mostly party line vote. Richard Shelby voted against the legislationt to end oil subsidies.

Richard Shelby voted against the legislationt to end oil subsidies.

Keystone Pipeline Approval

In March of 2012, the Senate voted on an amendment proposed by Senator Hoeven to approve the Keystone pipeline project. The amendment passed 56-42 with the support of all Republicans and 1/5 of the Democrats. Richard Shelby voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Richard Shelby voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Keystone Pipeline - Presidential Waiver

In March of 2012, the Senate voted on an amendment proposed by Senator Wyden to prohibit oil produced in Canada and transported in any part of the Keystone pipeline from being exported unless the President waived the provision. The amendment failed 33-65 with the opposition of all Republicans and 2/5 of the Democrats. Richard Shelby voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

Richard Shelby voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

Cap and Trade

Cap and Trade is the name given to a government program to issue carbon credits to all companies. The company is limited to using only the amount of carbon issued to them by the government (the cap). If a company uses more, it can purchase additional carbon offsets from a company that has not used all their credits, or it can purchase credits from compainies which perform carbon offsets such as planting trees (the trade). The legislation passed the house but not enough senators supported the legislation to end a filibuster in the Senate. To prevent Senate Democrats from using a reconciliation technique to pass the bill with only 50 votes, Senate Republicans introduced an amendment stating oppositon to the use of reconciliation for cap and trade. The amendment passed with the support of all Republicans and about 2/3 of the Democrats. Richard Shelby voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

Richard Shelby voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008

In September of 2008, The US Senate 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'); echo(' in May of 2008, and passed the Senate with widespread support in a 93-2 vote. Richard Shelby voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Richard Shelby voted in favor of 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 and passed the Senate in June. In the House, the bill was supported by almost all Democrats and opposed by a majority of Republicans. After passing the House, the bill got the support of most Democrats and roughly half of the Republicans, passing in a 65-27 vote. Richard Shelby cast a "No Vote"

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. Richard Shelby voted in favor of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Richard Shelby 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. Richard Shelby voted against the amendment.

Richard Shelby 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. Richard Shelby voted against the amendment and thus supported ANWR drilling.

Richard Shelby 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. Richard Shelby voted in favor of the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Richard Shelby voted in favor of the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S J Res 26; Disapproving of the finding that greenhouse gases are an endangerment - Cosponsor

Disapproves the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 15, 2009, relating to the endangerment finding and the cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 570; No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Deems the Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2010-2015 issued by the Secretary of the Interior approved as a final oil and gas leasing program under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). Deems the Secretary to have issued a final environmental impact statement for the program under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Directs the Secretary to conduct a lease sale in each outer Continental Shelf (OCS) planning area for which there is a commercial interest in purchasing federal oil and gas production leases.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 3711; Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 - Cosponsor

A bill to enhance the energy independence and security of the United States by providing for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes.

Session-106; Bill Number-S 880; Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act - Cosponsor

An Act to amend the Clean Air Act to remove flammable fuels from the list of substances with respect to which reporting and other activities are required under the risk management plan program, and for other purposes.

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