Claire McCaskill on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Oct 17, 2012

Summary

Senator McCaskill believes in man-made global warming and in enacting legislation to curtail greenhouse gas emissions as long as that legislation is not harmful to the economy. She is vocal in the need to remove tax incentives from oil and gas companies.

Setting and Example

In 2007, President Bush altered previous executive orders requiring that the US government reduce petroleum usage by 20 percent in five years to only 16 percent in that time. Senator McCaskill teamed up with Senator Harkin in sending a letter to President Bush asking that he hold fast to the previous committment and increase enforcement mechanisms.

Oil Companies, Taxes, and Prices

In 2007, Senator McCaskil co-sponsored legislation to completely ban gas price gouging and give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the ability to investigate and fine companies found guilty of such actions. The bill would also give the president the authority to declare a national energy emergency when shortages of gas supplies threaten to hurt the welfare or economic well-being of Americans.

That same year, Senator McCaskill noted that Americans were paying record prices to the most profitable companies in the universe. She called upon Congress to end $9 billion in tax breaks to those oil companies and enact policies to give people an alternative.

In 2008, Senator McCaskil supported the Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act of 2008, which was intended to end excessive speculation levels in the oil markets that were playing a role in increasing gas prices. That legislation would close a loophole by treating oil traders using foreign markets as if they were trading in the U.S. for regulatory purposes, eliminate manipulation and excessive speculation by defining legitimate hedge trading and requiring CFTC to impose reasonable speculative limits on non-legitimate trading, increase transparency by giving the CFTC the authority to collect data on large over-the-counter traders, and provide an authorization allowing the CFTC to hire at least an additional 100 employees to improve and increase oversight, regulation and enforcement of energy derivatives markets.

In 2011, Senator McCaskill supported the Offshore Production and Safety Act. In supporting this legislation, she stated that there are two ways to spend money in Washington: one, through the appropriations process; the other is through tax goodies. She stated that these goodies are called tax expenditures and urged Congress to remove incetives for the real estate industry, charitable donations, and the oil industry. She stated that rising gas prices were not the result of slowing oil production from restricted drilling but the intentional slowing of the refinery process to drive up gas prices.

The following year, Senator McCaskill supported the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act of 2012. In supporting the legislation, she noted that the federal government was in desperate need of money and the oil companies were the most profitable in the world and that this made it unrealistic to provide tax credits or subsidies to the oil companies.

Alternative Energy

In 2008, Senator McCaskill touted that passage of legislation to provide tax credits for the production and investment in wind, solar, geothermal power, and biofuels, and provide a tax credit for the purchase of electric plug-in vehicles.

Climate Change

Senator McCaskill states on her campaign website that man-made emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, have contributed to a change in global climate patterns. She states that this is evident in the increased flooding and drought periods, as well as an increase in the number of days of extreme hot and cold temperatures.

 

Setting an Example

In April of 2007, Senator McCaskill released a press statement noting her belief that the US should set a better example on reducing oil dependence.

 

Laws on Gas Price Gouging

In May of 2007, Senator McCaskill released a press statement noting her support for legislation to create price gouging laws.

 

Last Stop on Oil Company Express

In May of 2007, Senator McCaskill released a press statement noting a column she wrote dealing with oil companies and Congress.

 

Earth Day Statement

In April of 2008, Senator McCaskill released a press statement noting the passage of Earth Day. 

 

Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act of 2008

In July of 2008, Senator McCaskill released a press statement noting her support for the Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act of 2008. 

 

Tax Credits and Alternative Energy

In September of 2008, Senator McCaskill released a press statement noting her support for extending tax credits for alternative energy.

 

Offshore Production and Safety Act

In May of 2011, Senator McCaskill spoke on the Senate floor on the subject of repealing tax subsidies for oil companies as part of the Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011.

 

Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies

In March of 2012, Senator McCaskill spoke on the Senate floor about the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act of 2012. She stated that she supported the legislation and that these companies had the money that the US needed.

 

Official 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. Claire McCaskill voted in favor of ending oil subsidies.

Claire McCaskill 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. Claire McCaskill voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Claire McCaskill 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. Claire McCaskill voted in favor of approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

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

Claire McCaskill 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. Claire McCaskill voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Claire McCaskill 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. Claire McCaskill voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

Claire McCaskill voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

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-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.

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