Ron Wyden on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Jan 30, 2011

Summary

Senator Ron Wyden believes in man-made global warming. He supports cap-and-trade legislation and pressed to have Oregons forests credited as offsetting measures in cap-and-trade legislation. He has also pushed to have the EPA regulate the Benzene content of the air in Oregon.

Senator Wyden also opposes drilling in the outer continental shelf and in 2006 supported a ban to last until 2022.

While in office, he voted to use reconciliation to push through cap-and-trade legislation, and in favor of conisdering global warming in government planning.

 

Opposition to Drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf

In July of 2006, Senator Wyden 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.

 

Use of forests to offset climate change

Oregon's large forests offset a great deal of carbon. Senator Wyden stated that Oregon should receive some form of credits for this offset in the cap-and-trade legislation.

 

Benzene

Oregon gets a great deal of it's gasoline from Alaska, and the oil there is high in benzene. The EPA does not regulate benzene, but it is dispensed into the air when burned in cars. Senator Wyden placed a hold on an Obama appointment and eventually, the EPA agreed to regulate the gas. Senator Wyden's office released the following press statement.

 

 

Statements on Official Website

 

 

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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of ending oil subsidies.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted against approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted against the amendment and thus supported using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

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

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of the amendment.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed ANWR drilling.

Ron Wyden 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. Ron Wyden voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Ron Wyden 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 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-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 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 2191; America's Climate Security Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases, and for other purposes.

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.

References

[1] Website: Backwoods Joe Article: Federal Forests could be Tasked with Fighting Global Warming Author: COLLIN Accessed on: 07/21/2010

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