Jeff Merkley 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. Jeff Merkley voted in favor of ending oil subsidies.

Jeff Merkley 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. Jeff Merkley voted against approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Jeff Merkley 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. Jeff Merkley voted in favor of approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

Jeff Merkley 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. Jeff Merkley voted against the amendment and thus supported using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

Jeff Merkley voted against the amendment and thus supported using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

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-112; Bill Number-S 461; Polluter Pays Restoration Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code by reinstating until December 31, 2020, the Hazardous Substance Superfund financing rate and the corporate environmental income tax.

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.

User Comments