John Kerry on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Jan 30, 2011

Opposition to Offshore Drilling

In July of 2006, Senator Kerry 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.

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. John Kerry voted in favor of ending oil subsidies.

John Kerry 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. John Kerry voted against approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

John Kerry 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. John Kerry voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

John Kerry 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. John Kerry voted against the amendment and thus supported using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

John Kerry 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. John Kerry voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

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

John Kerry 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. John Kerry cast a "No Vote"

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. John Kerry voted in favor of the amendment.

John Kerry 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. John Kerry voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed ANWR drilling.

John Kerry 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. John Kerry voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

John Kerry voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

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-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 1618; Cellulosic Biofuel Tax Credit - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit for the production of a cellulosic biofuel.

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 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 737; Security and Freedom Enhancement Act of 2005 or the SAFE Act - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the USA PATRIOT ACT to place reasonable limitations on the use of surveillance and the issuance of search warrants, and for other purposes.

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

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 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-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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