Robert Casey on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Nov 02, 2012

Summary

Senator Casey is a strong believer in man-made global warming and addressing it through cap-and-trade and other programs.

Superfund Equity and Megasite Remediation Act

In 2007, Senator Casey put forth the Superfund Equity and Megasite Remediation Act of 2007. That legislation would reinstate the 'polluters pay' principle and would also create a specific fund to clean up megasites. Specifically, the legislation would reinstate the polluter-pays tax, and increase it by 50% a year for 5 years to fund the clean up of "megasites" (sites that cost more the $50 million to remediate) with a new Megasites Cleanup and High Risk Sites Account. The bill also requires EPA to make an annual report to Congress and update the number of Superfund sites, response actions at each site, and estimated clean up costs for each site.

Energy Security And Oil Company Accountability Act

To address the fact that oil companies were making record profits and not investing in alternative technologies, Senator Casey introduced the Energy Security and Oil Company Accountability Act in April of 2007. He stated that the purpose of the bill was to recoup some of the skyrocketing corporate profits of the big oil companies, invest in alternative energy sources, and ease the burden of low income Americans at the pump. The legislation accomplished this by creating the National Energy Security Research and Investment Reserve which funds biofuels research and biofuels infrastructure projects. The Reserve is paid for by closing the Last In, First Out (LIFO) tax loophole, closing the Foreign Tax Credits loophole, repealing the provision that provides royalty reductions for shallow water production at certain depths, repealing the provision that provides royalty relief for deep water production, repealing the provision that provides royalty suspension offshore of Alaska, and repealing the tax credit for amortization of geological and geophysical expenditures 7 years. In addition to the fund, the legislation would tax excess profits of major integrated oil companies at a rate of 50% of the profits that they make off the portion of oil priced above $50 per barrel. The funds generated are used for the Low Income Transportation Energy Assistance Program (LITEAP) which helps pay for gasoline, diesel, or mass transit expenses. Like LIHEAP each state would get a pot of money to distribute to low-income families with a cap of $1,500 per individual or $2,500 per family.

Climate Change Worker Assistance Program

In October of 2007, Senator Casey put forth legislation to create an assistance program for workers that may lose their jobs as a result of cap-and-trade programs and pay for their education in new industries. He stated that he came from a state with a lot of coal and a lot of manufacturing, and while we have a moral obligation to slow, stop and reverse our contribution to global warming, we can do this in a way that protects workers and creates new manufacturing jobs.

Call for Action on Global Warming

In February of 2008, Senator Casey called for action on global warming. He noted his co-sponsorship of the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade program and stated that reducing global warming is one of the biggest challenges we face and one with ramifications that spread all the way down to the quality of life for our families and for future generations.

Consumer First Energy Act

In June of 2008, Senator Casey spoke on the Senate floor about short and long term methods to reduce the cost of gas. In the short term, Senator Casey called for legislation such as the Consumer First Energy Act to end rampant speculation and provide transparency to the system. He also called for ending tax breaks for big oil and implementing a windfall profits tax to address long term costs.

In discussing the problems driving up the cost of gas, Senator Casey stated that there were five facts that most people were not aware of: the percent of America's recoverable oil reserves already open for drilling--79 percent; America has 3 percent of the world's oil reservesyet we consume 25 percent of the world's oil; oil companies already have access to 45.5 million acres of Federal land to drill for oil and natural gas; oil companies are only drilling on 21 percent of the leases they currently have offshore in Federal waters, and oil companies have refused to invest in refining capacity.

Climate Security Act of 2008

In June of 2008, Senator Casey supported the Climate Security Act of 2008 and the cap-and-trade program it created. Senator Casey stated that the bill recognized the best of the American spirit by confronting global warming challenges with American innovation. He also stated that the bill was a good opportunity for the American people to confront the crisis of global warming, but also to create jobs, to build a stronger economy, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and to do something very significant on the question of what happens to our planet. He also stated that Americans have called on Congress to take action and to prevent global warming, and they are willing to do a lot of the hard work to implement a national program to secure our collective future.

OPEC and Arms

In April of 2008, Senator Casey participated in a letter calling on the Bush Administration to use its leverage with the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil supplies or risk Congress holding up multi-million dollar arms deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC members.

Copenhagen Summit

In early 2009, Senator Casey supported attendance and participation in the Copenhagen Summit. He stated as it stands today, the U.S. is being behind the power curve when it comes to addressing global warming and that the US had spent much of the last eight years thinking up reasons why we couldn’t act and excuses for ignoring our role in a global crisis. He supported the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. 

Food and Climate Change

 In 2008, Senator Casey introduced an amendment to urge the Senate to acknowledge that reduced crop harvests and the resulting food shortages are another potential impact of global warming. He stated that the longer we wait to address the problem of global warming, the more severe floods and drought conditions become that can threaten crop harvests around the world. He refered to the global food crisis as a humanitarian crisis and a threat to our national security.

Responsible Use of Coal Act

In 2009, Senator Casey introduced the Responsible Use of Coal Act to spur research, development and deployment of new technology to reduce global warming pollution. The legislation would promote the commercial demonstration and early deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, promote the continued research and development of advanced CCS and advanced coal-based power generation technologies in order to drive down costs, increase performance and foster innovation, and promote the export of U.S. CCS technologies to those countries, such as China and India, that also rely on coal as their dominant energy source.

Carbon Storage Stewardship Trust Fund Act

 In July of 2009, Senator Casey put forth the Carbon Storage Stewardship Trust Fund Act to remove a major barrier to private investment in carbon capture and storage. The purpose of this Act was to create a program for managing the financial risk, or liability, of the long-term storage of CO2. The legislation would require private liability insurance for geological storage facility construction, and for carbon dioxide transport, injection, well plugging, site abandonment and post-closure monitoring, establish a Federal trust fund from fees paid for by commercial carbon dioxide storage facility operators that will be used to pay for claims for damages made after storage facility stewardship is transferred to Federal government, establish a Federal program to certify closure of commercial facilities and subsequent transfer of liability for long term stewardship to the Federal government, convey post-closure liability for long-term stewardship of stored carbon dioxide to the Federal government or State upon receipt of certificate of closure, and provide for prompt and orderly compensation for damages or harm from the transport, injection and storage of carbon dioxide in geological storage units.

A Level Playing Field

In 2009, Senator Casey signed onto a letter with several other Senators calling on any cap-and-trade scheme to ensure a level playing field for the US. He called on short-term transition assistance in the form of rebates provided to energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries, negotiating objectives requiring any international agreement to address manufacturing competiveness, effective means to measure, monitor, verify, and hold countries accountable for emissions reductions, and policies that promote investments in energy efficient and clean technology manufacturing and help the sector retool for the clean energy economy.

In addition, he supported a longer-term border adjustment mechanism as a vital part of a package to prevent the relocation of carbon emissions and industries if other major carbon emitting countries fail to commit to an international agreement requiring commensurate action on climate change. He added that a border adjustment mechanism is critical to ensuring that climate change legislation will be trade neutral and environmentally effective.

SEAM Act

In 2010, Senator Casey supported the SEAM Act. That legislation would provide a 30 percent credit for domestic companies for investments in new, expanded, or reequipped clean energy manufacturing projects. 

Fracking

In 2010, Senator Casey supported the FRAC Act. He stated that natural gas development has the potential to create Pennsylvania jobs, strengthen our State’s economy, and reduce our dependence on foreign energy. The FRAC Act would require that hydraulic fracturing be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Senator Casey stated that this would ensure that a consistent set of Federally enforceable regulatory requirements are applied to the development of our natural gas resources. The FRAC Act would also require that the natural gas industry provide complete disclosure of the chemical composition of its hydraulic fracturing materials to ensure that if drinking water supplies, surface waters, or human health are compromised, the public and first responders will know exactly with what they are dealing. He stated that this was a simple matter of citizens having a right to know about any risks in their community.

 

Megasite Remediation

In April of 2007, Senator Casey released a press statement noting legislation that he was introducing to require that companies that pollute site are required to clean them up.

 

Energy Security And Oil Company Accountability Act

In April of 2007, Senator Casey released a press statement noting that he was introducing called the Energy Security And Oil Company Accountability Act.

  

The Climate Change Worker Assistance Program

In October of 2007, Senator Casey released a press statement noting his support for the America's Climate Security Act and an act to help workers displaced by the carbon limiting programs move to clean energy programs.

 

Call for Global Warming Action

In February of 2008, Senator Casey released a press statement noting a call for action on global warming.

 

The Price of Gas

In June of 2008, Senator Casey spoke on the Senate floor about the cost of gas and what could be done to lower the cost in both the short and long term.

 

Climate Security Act of 2008

In June of 2008, Senator Casey spoke on the Senate floor in support of the cap-and-trade legislation within the Climate Security Act of 2008 and the legislation to assist workers that were displaced by the program.

 

Cap-and-Trade

In October of 2009, Senator Casey was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Tribune and stated his support for cap-and-trade and used the phrase "climate change legislation" as a substitute for cap-and-trade.

 

OPEC Leverage

In April of 2008, Senator Casey released a press statement calling on the Bush administration to cut off arms sales to countries that are not producing their capacity in oil.

 

Copenhagen Summit

In January of 2009, Senator Casey released a press statement noting the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen and his beliefs on global warming.

 

Global Warming and Food Supply

In June of 2008, Senator Casey released a press statement urging the Senate to acknowledge that global warming is contributing to the food crisis.

 

The Responsible Use of Coal Act

In May of 2009, Senator Casey released a press statement noting his introduction of the Responsible Use of Coal Act.

 

Carbon Storage Stewardship Trust Fund Act of 2009

In July of 2009, Senator Casey released a press statement noting legislation he was introducing to spur private investment in the capture of carbon.

 

A Level US Playing Field

In August of 2009, Senator Casey released a press statement calling for language to be included in the climate change legislation to level the playing field for US companies. He notes a letter that he and numerous other Senators signed and sent to the President.

 

Security in Energy and Manufacturing Act (SEAM)

In May of 2010, Senator Casey released a press statement noting the SEAM Act that he was introducing.

 

Fracking

In July of 2010, Senator Casey released a press statement noting EPA meetings on the practice of fracking.

 

Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act

 

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. Robert Casey voted in favor of ending oil subsidies.

Robert Casey 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. Robert Casey voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Robert Casey 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. Robert Casey voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

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

Robert Casey 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. Robert Casey voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

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

Robert Casey voted in favor of 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-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 309; Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, and for other purposes.

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-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-112; Bill Number-S 587; Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act or the FRAC Act - Prime Sponsor

Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal the exemption from restrictions on underground injection of fluids or propping agents granted to hydraulic fracturing operations relating to oil and gas production activities under such Act. Requires: (1) state underground injection programs to direct a person conducting hydraulic fracturing operations to disclose to the state (or the Administrator if the Administrator has primary enforcement responsibility in such state) the chemicals intended for use in underground injections before the commencement of such operations and the chemicals actually used after the end of such operations; and (2) a state or the Administrator to make such disclosure available to the public. Requires the applicable person using hydraulic fracturing, when a medical emergency exists and the proprietary chemical formula of a chemical used in such hydraulic fracturing is necessary for medical treatment, to disclose such formula or the specific chemical identity of a trade secret chemical to the state, the Administrator, or the treating physician or nurse upon request, regardless of the existence of a written statement of need or a confidentiality agreement. Authorizes such person to require the execution of such statement and agreement as soon as practicable.

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