Barbara Boxer on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Jan 30, 2011

Summary

Senator Boxer believes in man-made global warming.  She has stated that carbon pollution leading to global warming will be the leading cause of conflict in the next 20 years.  Senator Boxer strongly supports a cap-and-trade bill that she believes will create jobs.  In 2008, Senator Boxer was the sponsor of a cap and trade system in the Senate.

Senator Boxer opposes offshore drilling and since the gulf tragedy, has helped to introduce legislation intended to permanently ban offshore drilling along the west coast.

When evidence was presented to Senator Boxer that man-made global warming cannot be proven, Senator Boxer attacked the credibility of the NASA scientist in question.  When evidence was brought forth in the form of email and computer data that the University of East Anglia had falsified data to prove the existence of global warming, Senator Boxer called for a criminal investigation into the source of the data.

 

Cap and Trade

Senator Boxer is chairwoman of the energy committee, and any legislation dealing with carbon emissions or a cap and trade system would go through that committee.  In 2008, Senator Boxer was the primary sponsor of S 3036 the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008.  The legislation sought to establish a system to allocate a given amount of carbon emissions to businesses and then another system to allow those allocations to be traded between companies who use too many and companies that use fewer than their allocation.  This is a cap and trade system where the amount of carbon used by a business is legally capped, and then the government allows the company to purchase offsets or trade for the additional carbon.  A tax is also imposed on additional usage and other carbon producing activities.

Many people feel that the additional tax and overhead created by this type of legislation would act to prevent companies from hiring new people and purchasing new equipment.  Senator Boxer addressed this issue on the Senate floor in 2008 when she stated that a recession was the right time to enact the legislation and that it was the first piece of legislation.

 

Although the 2008 did not pass the Senate, Senator Boxer stated in February of 2009 that congress would again attempt to enact such legislation.  She outline a six point plan for the legislation.

  • A commitment to reducing emissions to levels guided by science to avoid global warming
  • Setting enforceable short- and long-term emissions targets
  • Establishing a carbon market
  • Investing in clean technology
  • Supporting efforts by local and state governments to deal with climate change
  • Supporting developing nations

 

Opposition to Drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf

In July of 2006, Senator Boxer joined with numerous other Senators to propose an amendment that would ban offshore drilling in the outer continental shelf until 2022. Their intentions are noted in a letter to Senate Majority leader Frist.

 

Climate-Gate

In late 2009, hackers retrieved and published emails from the University of East Anglia in which top scientists openly discussed the need for, and methods of manipulating data to show climate change. Several representatives called for reviews of the emails and evidence prior to passing any legislation which would be based in part on this research. In response to these requests, Senator Boxer (the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee) stated that she was more interested in prosecuting the people who hacked into the systems to retrieve the emails than investigating the fraudulent scientific data.

 

Carbon Dioxide is greatest threat

On the floor of the senate, Barbara Boxer stated the following:

 

Global Warming hearings

In July of 2008, Roy Spencer testified before the Senate energy subcommittee.  Mr. Spencer is a former NASA scientist who investigated global warming and believes that man-made global warming cannot be proven and can actually be disproved.  For six minutes he describes that he kept his skepticism quiet during the Clinton administration and describes that current data does not verify global warming.  He concludes that the theory that man-made global warming will fade in the coming years.

When he finishes, Senator Boxer states that he has been cited by Rush Limbaugh.  She seems to state that this somehow shows that Mr. Spencer's conclusions are invalid.  Senator Boxer is the chair of the committee.

 

Permanent Ban on Offshore Drilling

In May of 2010, Barbara Boxer along with several other Senators and Congressmen from the west coast, introduced legislation that would ensure that no new leases are issued to drill for oil along the west coast.  From the Orange County Register:

 

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. Barbara Boxer voted in favor of ending oil subsidies.

Barbara Boxer voted in favor of ending 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. Barbara Boxer voted against approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Barbara Boxer voted against 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. Barbara Boxer voted in favor of approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

Barbara Boxer voted in favor of 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. Barbara Boxer voted against the amendment and thus supported using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

Barbara Boxer voted against the amendment and thus supported 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. Barbara Boxer voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Barbara Boxer 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. Barbara Boxer 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. Barbara Boxer voted against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Barbara Boxer voted against 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. Barbara Boxer voted in favor of the amendment.

Barbara Boxer voted in favor of 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. Barbara Boxer voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed ANWR drilling.

Barbara Boxer voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed 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. Barbara Boxer voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Barbara Boxer voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-S 45; Offshoring Prevention Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to include in foreign base company income, for purposes of determining the foreign trade income of controlled foreign corporations, imported property income. Defines "imported property income" as, with certain exceptions, income attributable to property manufactured outside of the United States and imported for sale into the United States. Provides for a separate application of limitations on the foreign tax credit for imported property income.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3816; Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) exempt from employment taxes for a 24-month period employers who hire a employee who replaces another employee who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and who performs similar duties overseas; (2) deny any tax deduction, deduction for loss, or tax credit for the cost of an American jobs offshoring transaction (defined as any transaction in which a taxpayer reduces or eliminates the operation of a trade or business in connection with the start-up or expansion of such trade or business outside the United States); and (3) eliminate the deferral of tax on income of a controlled foreign corporation attributable to property imported into the United States by such corporation or a related person, except for property exported before substantial use in the United States and for agricultural commodities not grown in the United States in commercially marketable quantities.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 33; A bill to designate a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness - Cosponsor

Amends the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to designate a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System under the Wilderness Act.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 5; Cleaner, Greener, and Smarter Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Calls for the enactment of legislation to improve the economy and the security of the United States by reducing U.S. dependence on foreign and unsustainable energy sources and the risks of global warming by: (1) making and encouraging significant investments in green job creation and clean energy across the economy; (2) diversifying and rapidly expanding the use of secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly energy supplies and technologies; (3) transforming U.S. infrastructure to make the infrastructure sustainable and the United States more competitive globally, including transmission grid modernization and transportation sector electrification; (4) requiring reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the United States and achieving reductions in emissions of GHGs abroad; (5) protecting consumers from volatile energy prices through better market oversight and enhanced energy efficiency standards and incentives; and (6) eliminating wasteful and unnecessary tax breaks and giveaways that fail to move the United States toward a more competitive and cleaner energy future.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 271; Fuel Reduction using Electrons to End Dependence on the Mid-East (FREEDOM) Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) allow an election to expense the cost of manufacturing property for producing plug-in electric drive motor vehicles and components; (2) increase the number of such vehicles eligible for a tax credit; (3) allow a five-year recovery period for the depreciation of smart meters and smart grid systems; and (4) increase the rate of the tax credit for alternative fuel vehicle refueling property and the maximum credit amount for commercial refueling property.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3973; Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reauthorize and extend funding for FY2012-FY2016 a grant program for reducing diesel emissions. Authorizes the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to: (1) provide contracts and rebates to eligible entities to achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions; and (2) support rebate programs administered by states that are designed to achieve such reductions.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3460; 10 Million Solar Roofs Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Directs the Secretary of Energy (DOE) to establish a program under which the Secretary shall provide competitive grants to states, Indian tribes, and local governments to provide rebates, loans, or other incentives to eligible participants for the purchase and installation of solar energy systems for properties located in the United States. Requires the Secretary to implement criteria for awarding such grants that: (1) provides the maximum leverage of federal funds; (2) provides for the maximum deployment of solar energy; (3) ensures that grants are awarded to a diversity of geographic locations and recipients with different population sizes; (4) provides no less than 2% of the funds available to Indian tribes and consortia of Indian tribes; and (5) provides a preference for grant recipients that have established and maintained, or that agree to commit to establish and maintain, standards and policies to overcome barriers to distributed generation (including interconnection and net metering).

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3816; Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) exempt from employment taxes for a 24-month period employers who hire a employee who replaces another employee who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and who performs similar duties overseas; (2) deny any tax deduction, deduction for loss, or tax credit for the cost of an American jobs offshoring transaction (defined as any transaction in which a taxpayer reduces or eliminates the operation of a trade or business in connection with the start-up or expansion of such trade or business outside the United States); and (3) eliminate the deferral of tax on income of a controlled foreign corporation attributable to property imported into the United States by such corporation or a related person, except for property exported before substantial use in the United States and for agricultural commodities not grown in the United States in commercially marketable quantities.

Session-110; Bill Number-S Res 30; Climate Change and International Commitments - Cosponsor

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the need for the United States to address global climate change through the negotiation of fair and effective international commitments.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 2555; Reducing Global Warming Pollution from Vehicles Act of 2008 - Prime Sponsor

Amends the Clean Air Act to approve the application of the state of California for a waiver of federal preemption of its motor vehicle emission standards.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 309; Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 357; CAFE Standards and Price Gouging - Ten and Ten Fuel Economy Act - Cosponsor

A bill to improve passenger automobile fuel economy and safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 879; No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007 or NOPEC - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Sherman Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 555; No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2005 or NOPEC - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Sherman Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal.

Session-109; Bill Number-S J Res 5; A joint resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should demonstrate international leadership in reducing the health, environmental, and economic risks posed by climate change by: (1) reducing greenhouse gas emissions; (2) generating climate-friendly technologies; (3) participating in negotiations under the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change to achieve long-term reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions; and (4) supporting the establishment of a long-term objective to prevent the global average temperature from increasing by greater than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels.

Session-110; Bill Number-S Res 598; Developing Nations and Natural Resources - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) the government should fully use federal authorities, diplomatic agreements, and other appropriate mechanisms, including working with other donor nations, to identify global conservation goals, and increase funding for, global conservation strategies in order to help ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and protect biological diversity in terrestrial and marine environments of developing countries; and (2) federal efforts should reflect a recognition of the problem's urgency by annually reporting to the appropriate congressional committees regarding progress reports and action plans.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 506; High-Performance Green Buildings Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to improve efficiency in the Federal Government through the use of high-performance green buildings, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S Res 312; A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the need for the United States to address global climate change through the negotiation of fair and effective international commitments. - Cosponsor

xpresses the sense of the Senate that the United States should act to reduce risks posed by global climate change and to foster economic growth by: (1) participating in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and leading efforts in other international fora with the objective of securing U.S. participation in agreements that advance and protect U.S. interests, that establish mitigation commitments by all countries that are major emitters of greenhouse gases, that establish flexible international mechanisms to minimize the cost of efforts by participating countries, and that achieve a significant long-term reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions; and (2) establishing a bipartisan Senate observer group to monitor international negotiations on climate change and to ensure that the advice and consent function of the Senate is exercised to facilitate timely consideration of any applicable treaty.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 461; Polluter Pays Restoration Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code by reinstating until December 31, 2020, the Hazardous Substance Superfund financing rate and the corporate environmental income tax.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 587; Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act or the FRAC Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal the exemption from restrictions on underground injection of fluids or propping agents granted to hydraulic fracturing operations relating to oil and gas production activities under such Act. Requires: (1) state underground injection programs to direct a person conducting hydraulic fracturing operations to disclose to the state (or the Administrator if the Administrator has primary enforcement responsibility in such state) the chemicals intended for use in underground injections before the commencement of such operations and the chemicals actually used after the end of such operations; and (2) a state or the Administrator to make such disclosure available to the public. Requires the applicable person using hydraulic fracturing, when a medical emergency exists and the proprietary chemical formula of a chemical used in such hydraulic fracturing is necessary for medical treatment, to disclose such formula or the specific chemical identity of a trade secret chemical to the state, the Administrator, or the treating physician or nurse upon request, regardless of the existence of a written statement of need or a confidentiality agreement. Authorizes such person to require the execution of such statement and agreement as soon as practicable.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 940; Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) the President and Administration should be commended for recognizing the severity of high gas prices and for taking appropriate actions to help reduce gas prices; (2) Congress should take additional actions to complement the efforts of the President; (3) the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should contribute to the stabilization of world oil markets and prices and reduce the burden of high gasoline prices by using existing idle oil production capacity to compensate for any supply shortages; and (4) U.S. economic, environmental, and national security depend on a sustained effort to reduce and eventually eliminate the dependence of the United States on oil. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to deny to oil companies with gross receipts in excess of $1 billion in a taxable year and an average daily worldwide production of crude oil of at least 500,000 barrels a year: (1) a foreign tax credit if such company is a dual capacity taxpayer, as defined by this Act; (2) the tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production of oil, natural gas, or primary products thereof; (3) the tax deduction for intangible drilling and development costs; (4) the percentage depletion allowance for oil and gas wells; and (5) the tax deduction for qualified tertiary injectant expenses. Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to repeal the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to grant royalty relief (suspension of royalties) for natural gas production from deep wells and deep water oil and gas production in the Outer Continental Shelf. Dedicates any increased revenue generated by this Act to the reduction of a federal budget deficit or the public debt. Provides for compliance of the budgetary effects of this Act with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.

References

[1] Website: New York Times Article: Barbara Boxer Promises Cap-and-Trade Bill Author: NA Accessed on: 06/24/2010

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