Richard Lugar on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : May 01, 2012

Summary

Senator Lugar supports policies to address the threat of man-made global warming. However, he also supports an all-of-the-above approach to energy usage coupled with subsidies and loan guarantees to encourage ethanol and other clean energy technologies.

In 2008, Senator Lugar supported the creation of an International Clean Technology Deployment Fund. This fund would be administered by a board that would award funds to nations that take on their own climate change commitments, either through an international agreement with the US as a party or by abiding by binding national policies as established by the board. The funds would go to provide clean coal technologoes such as solar and clean coal to developing nations. The distribution of funding would require prior Congressional notification.

The need to address climate change, and more specifically resource management, on a global level is something that Senator Lugar addressed many times is legislation. He has sponsored or co-sponsored numerous pieces of legislation addressing the need for the US to enter into international committments to address climare change and to use the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to define the threat posed by climate change. This includes the creation of a Western Hemisphere Energy Industry Group to enforce a carbon trading system, and working within the UN framework to enforce climate standards on developing nations.

To help address both climare change and energy independence, Senator Lugar supports subsidies for ethanol and other clean energy technologies. Beginning in 2007, Senator Lugar helped establish funds to study the feasiblility of moving ethanol via a pipeline. He then helped lead a movement to alter the tax code so that ethanol pipeline construction, management, and transportation was treated just as oil. In 2008, Senator Lugar moved forward with establishing a Clean Energy Delpoyment fund to provide loan guarantees to alternative energy projects. A subgroup of the Department of energy would use these funds to help promote projects that may prove too riskly for investors. One project was a bioethanol refinery.

In 2008, Senator Lugar supported a carbon trading scheme, calling it a good idea for energy independence, the environment, and food supplies. However, Senator Lugar opposed the 2009 attempt to establish a cap-and-trade scheme in the US and voted against the legislation. He also opposed the finding by the EPA that greenhouse gases were an endangerment and co-sponsored legislation against the finding.

While Senator Lugar has not been vocal on drilling, his voting record supports it. He voted in favor of drilling in ANWR, and has supported the recent Keystone pipeline project.

Senator Lugar has also proposed a specific energy plan called the Practical Energy and Climate Plan Act of 2010. This legislation would raise CAFE standards for all vehicles by 4% each year, reducing the consumption of fuel. The plan would also require an electric utility to obtain no less than 15% of the base quantity of electricity it sells to consumers from diverse energy for 2015-2019, 20% for 2020-2024, 25% for 2025-2029, 30% for 2030-2049, and 50% for 2050. A guzzler tax is placed on high fuel usage vehicles, and loan guarantees and other programs are established for nuclear and other alternative energy.

 

Oil and Renewable Energy Expenses

In July of 2008, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting the differences between what the US spends to import oil and what it spends to invest in alternative energy. In the statement, Senator Lugar noted that oil imports accounted for 2/3 of the trade deficit that month. Senator Lugar then goes on the note his history of stressing the strategic importance of energy security and the economic and security risks of dependence on oil. As a solution, Senator Lugar proposes legislation to  promote sustainable energy production and use, incentives for renewable fuels like cellulosic ethanol and E85, increased fuel economy in cars, and clean coal.

 

International Clean Technology Deployment Fund

In July of 2008, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his support for legislation to create an International Clean Technology Development Fund. The purpose of this fund is to provide clean energy technologies such as solar and clean coal to developing nations, specifically to combat climate change. Senator Lugar is quoted in the release as stating that an international fund is necessary to bridge the gap in climate change negotiations and convince developing nations to develop clean technology as opposed to coal and oil. Money from the international fund would be controlled by a separate board and given only to countries that take on their own climate change commitments, either through an international agreement to which the United States is a party, or by taking on what the Board certifies as sufficient binding national policies and measures. The distribution of funding would require prior Congressional notification.

 

Ethanol Pipeline

In July of 2008, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his legislation to create an ethanol pipeline. Within the statement, Senator Lugar asserts that the country is lacking the infrastructure to most efficiently transport these liquid fuels to population centers in the East and elsewhere.

Senator Lugar asserts that a provision in the tax code is effectively blocking Publicly Traded Partnerships (PTP) – that build and operate most liquid pipelines – from moving forward because by law, PTPs are supposed to earn 90 percent of their income from the exploration, transportation, storage, or marketing of depletable natural resources, including oil, gas, and coal, but not renewable fuels. The proposed legislation would change the tax code to state that PTPs can earn “qualified” income from the transport, storage, or marketing of any renewable liquid fuel approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Senator Lugar had previously supported legislation to fund the study of the feasibility of moving ethanol via a pipeline.

 

Support for Carbon Credits

In July of 2008, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his support for carbon credits. Specifically, Senator Lugar welcomes the head of the Chicago Climate Exchange to his farm in Indiana. Senator Lugar then notes the effects of his farm on reducing carbon in the atmosphere. In the statement, Senator Lugar also supports a carbon trading scheme, calling it a good idea to combat food demand, climate change, and fuel costs.

 

The Dual Fuel Automobile Act of 2008

In September of 2008, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his support for legislation to increase the number of flex fuel vehicles. Specifically, the legislation calls for 50 percent of all light-duty vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States to be dual fuel automobiles by 2011 and 90 percent of all light-duty vehicles manufactured for U.S. sales by 2013.

 

Oil and Poverty

In November of 2008, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his belief that the international community should do more to address the issues of poverty and oil. In the statement, Senator Lugar notes a recent report noting the coruption that is associated with poor countries that find oil reserves. He asserts that forcing these companies to be more transparent with their funds will deter corruption and force the revenue to be more beneficial to the people of that country.

 

Cellulosic Ethanol

In January of 2009, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his support for Cellulosic Ethanol. Specfically, Senator Lugar notes his support for programs to provide loan guarantees through the Department of Energy to support a wide array of clean energy technologies. This includes a Biorefinery Assistance Program.

 

21st Century Energy Technology Deployment Act

In May of 2009, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his support for the 21st Century Energy Technology Deployment Act. This legislation would create a Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) within the Department of Energy that would provide various types of credit to support deployment of clean energy technologies including loans, loan guarantees and other credit enhancements as well as secondary market support to develop products such as clean energy-backed bonds that would allow less expensive lending in the private sector. The administration would specifically target technologies that are perceived as too risky by commercial lenders.

 

Response to EPA Ruling

In May of 2009, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his opposition to an EPA ruling on greenhouse gases. He notes a letter sent to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson in which he states that it is unfathomable to uniquely apply a life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions standard to ethanol was “highly speculative and imperfect” Senator Lugar asserted that the ruling will further entrench U.S. dependency on foreign oil and stunt rural economic development.

 

Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act

In August of 2009, Senator Lugar released a press statement noting his support for the Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act. The legislation created a “fuel performance rebate” that would be awared to those who purchased a vehicle with standards above the CAFE standards.

 

Energy and Climate Plan

In March of 2010, Senator Lugar came out with a plan called the Practical Energy and Climate Plan, S. 3464. That month his office released a press statement noting his recently released energy and climate plan. The next month, he gave a press conference discussing the highlights of his plan. In this conference, he calls the cap-and-trade plans out of touch with American desires and insufficient at accomplishing their stated goals.

 

2012 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 Lugar voted against the legislationt to end oil subsidies.

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

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

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

Richard Lugar 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 Lugar voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Richard Lugar 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 Lugar voted in favor of the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

Richard Lugar voted in favor of the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

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

Richard Lugar 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 Lugar voted against the amendment.

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

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

Richard Lugar 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 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-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 1018; Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act - Cosponsor

A bill to address security risks posed by global climate change and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 2025; Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act - Cosponsor

A bill to promote the national security and stability of the United States economy by reducing the dependence of the United States on oil through the use of alternative fuels and new technology, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 3694; Fuel Economy Reform Act - Cosponsor

A bill to increase fuel economy standards for automobiles, and for other purposes.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3464; Practical Energy and Climate Plan Act of 2010 - Prime Sponsor

Revises the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards by requiring at least a 4% annual increase in the average fuel economy level beginning in model year 2017. Sets a large number of statutes for fleet vehicle and dual fuel vehicles.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 954; World Bank International Development Association Replenishment Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the International Financial Institutions Act to direct the Secretary of the Treasury to seek to ensure that multilateral development banks: (1) implement greenhouse gas accounting in analyzing the benefits and costs of individual projects; and (2) expand their climate change mitigation activities. Expresses the sense of Congress that implementing greenhouse gas accounting includes: (1) calculating net greenhouse gas flows; (2) establishing uniform, publicly available calculation techniques; (3) measuring individual project emissions; (4) considering global social costs when evaluating the economic cost benefit of projects; and (5) performing greenhouse gas accounting for each project. Directs the Secretary to instruct the U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank to: (1) urge the Bank to help countries build capacity to investigate and punish corruption and crime in a manner consistent with well-established law enforcement and judicial norms; and (2) enhance programs that improve recipient countries' ability to prevent and prosecute fraud and corruption. Directs the Secretary to seek to ensure that multilateral development banks: (1) evaluate the development impact of selected bank projects and financing operations; and (2) use random assignment when feasible in conducting such evaluations. Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) multilateral development banks should evaluate the development impact of selected bank projects and financing operations; (2) such evaluations should focus on building a body of research-proven approaches that have sustained impacts on important development outcomes and use random assignment when feasible; and (3) multilateral development banks should issue an annual report or similar publication.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 1007; United States-Brazil Energy Cooperation Pact of 2007 - Prime Sponsor

A bill to direct the Secretary of State to work with the Government of Brazil and other foreign governments to develop partnerships that will strengthen diplomatic relations and energy security by accelerating the development of biofuels production, research, and infrastructure to alleviate poverty, create jobs, and increase income, while improving energy security and protecting the environment. These partnerships include establishing a Western Hemisphere Energy Industry Group and a carbon trading system.

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-110; Bill Number-S 133; American Fuels Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Establishes in the Executive Office of the President the Office of Energy Security to oversee all federal energy security programs, including coordination of all federal agency efforts to assist the United States in achieving full energy independence. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide: (1) a tax credit, against both ordinary and alternative minimum tax, for production of qualified flexible fuel motor vehicles; and (2) an alternative fuel retail sales credit. Amends the Clayton Act and the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act to prohibit restrictions on the installation of alternative fuel pumps within fuel franchise documents. Amends the Clean Air Act to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate regulations to ensure that diesel sold or introduced into commerce in the United States, on an annual average basis, contains specified percentages of alternative diesel fuel. Sets forth a credit program for the generation of diesel fuel. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow an excise tax credit for: (1) production of cellulosic biomass ethanol; and (2) qualifying ethanol blending and processing equipment. Amends the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPA) to treat a medium or heavy duty hybrid vehicle as an alternative fueled vehicle. Sets a deadline by which: (1) any federal property with at least one fuel refueling station must include at least one alternative fuel refueling station; and (2) any alternative fuel refueling station on federally-owned property must permit full public access for the purpose of refueling using alternative fuel. Amends federal transportation law to require that any bus purchased with funds from the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund to be a clean fuel bus. Amends armed forces law governing energy-related procurement to direct the Secretary of Defense to develop a strategy to use fuel produced from domestically produced fuel using starch, sugar, cellulosic biomass, plant or animal oils, or thermal chemical conversion, thermal depolymerization, or thermal conversion processes (covered fuel). Authorizes the Secretary to enter into contracts to: (1) develop and operate covered fuel production facilities; and (2) provide for construction or capital modification of such facilities. Amends the EPA to include among alternative fueled vehicles any vehicle propelled by electric drive transportation, engine dominant hybrid electric, or plug-in hybrid technology.

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. - Prime Sponsor

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-106; Bill Number-S 2982; International Carbon Sequestration Incentive Act - Cosponsor

A bill to enhance international conservation, to promote the role of carbon sequestration as a means of slowing the building of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and to reward and encourage voluntary, pro-active environmental efforts on the issue of global climate change.

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