Tom Harkin on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : May 06, 2010

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. Tom Harkin voted in favor of ending oil subsidies.

Tom Harkin 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. Tom Harkin voted against approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Tom Harkin 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. Tom Harkin voted in favor of approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

Tom Harkin 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. Tom Harkin voted against the amendment and thus supported using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

Tom Harkin 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. Tom Harkin voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

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

Tom Harkin 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. Tom Harkin voted against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Tom Harkin 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. Tom Harkin voted in favor of the amendment.

Tom Harkin 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. Tom Harkin voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed ANWR drilling.

Tom Harkin 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. Tom Harkin voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Tom Harkin 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-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 3231; GREEN Jobs Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Grow Renewable Energy from Ethanol Naturally Jobs Act of 2010 or the GREEN Jobs Act of 2010 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2015 the income and excise tax credits for alcohol used as fuel, the cellulosic biofuel producer tax credit, and the reduced credit for ethanol blenders. Amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to extend until 2016 the additional tariff on ethyl alcohol blends (ethanol) used as fuel.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 2191; America's Climate Security Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases, 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-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-110; Bill Number-S 1324; National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Amends the Clean Air Act to revise the renewable fuel standard for FY2009-FY2012. Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to: (1) establish a fuel emission baseline; (2) identify qualifying low-carbon transportation fuels; (3) establish a low-carbon fuel certification and marketing process; and (4) require each obligated party to reduce the average lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy of the aggregate quantity of fuels introduced into commerce to specified levels by not later than January 1, 2010, through the use of low-carbon fuels and improvements in the production of conventional fuels. Requires the average lifecycle GHG emissions of the aggregate quantity for 2012 to be at least 3% below the 2007 average should emission limitation regulations not be promulgated.Authorizes an obligated party to apply to the Administrator to receive a temporary suspension of the requirement to comply with such regulations if events outside of the control of the party could lead or have led to disruptions in the transportation fuel supply.Permits obligated parties to receive credits for achieving greater reductions in lifecycle GHG emission of the fuel produced, distributed, or imported than are required.

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