Ben Nelson 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. Ben Nelson voted against the legislationt to end oil subsidies.

Ben Nelson 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. Ben Nelson voted against approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Ben Nelson 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. Ben Nelson voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

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

Ben Nelson 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. Ben Nelson voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

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

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

Ben Nelson 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. Ben Nelson voted in favor of the amendment.

Ben Nelson 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. Ben Nelson voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed ANWR drilling.

Ben Nelson 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. Ben Nelson voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Ben Nelson voted against 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 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 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.

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