Olympia Snowe on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Jan 31, 2011

Summary

Senator Snowe is believes in man made global warming. She has repeatedly stated that global warming is a fact, that the scientific evidence is undeniable, and that the effects can be seen everywhere. She has stated that global warming is the gravest threat to our environment, and ultimately, our health.

To combat the effects of global warming, Senator Snowe supports the implementation of a cap-and-trade system. She has introduced legislation in several congresses to achieve this goal, and has stated that the US needs to follow the example of Europe in enacting the program and making it mandatory for all American businesses. She has stated that without such legislation storms will brew stronger, sea levels will rise faster, and days will grow warmer for populations around the world. In moving towards a cap-and-trade system, Senator Snowe supported rulings that carbon dioxide presented a danger to the environment as a first step in establishing a cap-and-trade system. She stated that a new regulatory structure is the only way that we can assure that carbon emissions will be reduced in a manner that will be consistent with economic recovery and future economic growth, while protecting the environment and the public's health and quality of life.

In an effort to prod the federal government into action, Senator Snowe has supported allowing the states waivers from the clean air act to enact stricter standards within their states. She has also repeatedly supported increasing CAFE standards, including mandating a 35 mpg fuel economy standard for all automobiles less than 10,000lbs.

Senator Snowe opposes drilling for oil and gas in ANWR stating that drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not a long-term, responsible energy strategy. Senator Snowe has also opposed efforts to expand drilling into the outer continental shelf and called such policies misguided and dangerous.

 

 

NOAA Report

In August of 2004, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting a recent NOAA report claiming emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are the most plausible explanation for global warming over the past three decades.

In September of 2004, Senator Snowe released another press statement calling for action in response to the findings.

In November of that year, Senator Snowe released another statement where she called upon the US to take action to mitigate the climate change in the Arctic. 

 

Funding for Climate Change

In June of 2010, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her attempts to restore funding for climate change research being undertaken at a Maine research facility.

 

Cap and Trade Legislation

In July of 2004, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for legislation that would create a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gases.

In March of 2009, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for an EPA rule-making to establish a greenhouse gas registry. This is the first step in a cap-and-trade program.

In May of 2009, Senator Snowe issued a press statement supporting a cap-and-trade plan and stating that US should learn from the European experience.

 

Support for New G8 Group

In January of 2005, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for the creation of a new G8 group to address climate change.

In January of 2007, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting the fact that she was reintroducing the legislation into the new session of congress. 

 

Drilling in ANWR

In March of 2005, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her opposition to drilling in ANWR.

In November of 2005, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting legislation that she was cosponsoring which would remove language allowing drilling in ANWR. 

 

Support for Increased CAFE Standards

In April of 2005, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for increased CAFE standards.

In March of 2007, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her approval of a committee move to approve legislation the dramatically improved CAFE standards. 

 

Waivers to the Clean Air Act

In April of 2006, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for allowing states to receive waivers from the Clean Air Act to establish stricter emission standards. 

 

Climate Change Resolution

In June of 2006, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for a resolution calling for bring the US back to the table to negotiate on climate change.

 

Drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf

In July of 2006, Senator Snowe released a series of press statements noting her opposition to legislation which had recently passed the House and was being considered in the Senate that reopened the outer continental shelf to drilling. Senator Snowe supports a ban on drilling in the outer continental shelf be continued until 2022. In July of 2006, she issued a press statement noting her opposition to the legislation.

Senator Snowe also noted her vote against the legislation with a statement. At the end of the month, the Senator issued another statement noting a letter that she and other Senators had signed calling for a continuation of the ban on drilling in the outer continental shelf to be continued until 2022.

 

 Response to IPCC Report

In February of 2007, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for a recent IPCC report which linked global warming to the activities of man. 

 

Global Change Research Improvement Act of 2007

In November of 2007, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her cosponsorship of the Global Change Research Improvement act of 2007. 

 

Reaction to Endangerment Finding

In April of 2008, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting legislation that she was introducing to force the Bush administration to act on a supreme court ruling that called for the EPA to investigate the dangers of greenhouse gases.

In April of 2009, Senator Snowe released a statement expressing support for the EPA's finding that carbon dioxide represents a danger. 

 

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. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of ending oil subsidies.

Olympia Snowe 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. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Olympia Snowe 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. Olympia Snowe voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

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

Olympia Snowe 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. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

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

Olympia Snowe 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. Olympia Snowe voted against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Olympia Snowe 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. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the amendment.

Olympia Snowe 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. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed ANWR drilling.

Olympia Snowe 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. Olympia Snowe voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Olympia Snowe voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 204; No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

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. Denies a foreign state engaged in such conduct sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction or judgements of U.S. courts in any action brought to enforce this Act.States that no U.S. court shall decline, based on the act of state doctrine, to make a determination on the merits in an action brought under this Act.Authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action in U.S. district court to enforce this Act.Amends the federal judicial code to make an exception to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state in an action brought under this Act.

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 - Cosponsor

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 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 342; Climate Stewardship Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

A bill to provide for a program of scientific research on abrupt climate change, to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances, to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and reduce dependence upon foreign oil, and ensure benefits to consumers from the trading in such allowances.

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 1914; Cut Energy Bills at Home Act - Prime Sponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow individual taxpayers a tax credit for the cost of a qualified whole home energy efficiency retrofit for the purpose of reducing the energy use of the taxpayer's principal residence. Limits the amount of such credit to the lesser of $5,000 or 30% of the qualified home energy efficiency expenditures paid by the taxpayer to reduce residential energy use. Sets forth requirements for a qualified whole home energy efficiency retrofit, including design, testing, and documentation requirements. Terminates such credit after 2016. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a review process for home energy efficiency retrofits, including an estimate of usage of the tax credit and an analysis of the average actual energy use reductions.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 1399; Carbon Market Oversight Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Commodity Exchange Act to establish a market for the trading of greenhouse gases, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 1073; Clean Fuels and Vehicles Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to promote the use of fuels with low lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, to establish a greenhouse gas performance standard for motor vehicle fuels, to require a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, and for other purposes.

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