Jim DeMint on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Dec 14, 2010

Summary

Senator DeMint has stated that while there is no question that the planet is warming, the science which shows that the warming is man-made is questionable. He states that the US should still pursue measures that clean the air and water through pollution reduction. 

Although expressing support for cleaner energy, Senator DeMint strongly opposes cap-and-trade legislation calling it a scheme which would cost jobs and increase energy costs for all Americans. At a 2007 speech, he stated that real science was beginning to win over the political correctness which was leading to cap-and-trade. He opposes CAFE standards and has stated that the measures are driven more by politics than by a true reduction in fuel consumption. When the climate-gate scandal broke, Senator DeMint called for investigations into the matter and stated that the American people deserve to know that federal scientific funding is not being used to distort science to reach a political end.

Senator DeMint is a strong supporter of expanded exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas. Senator DeMint supports drilling in ANWR and states that it would supply 4.5% of our energy needs for 30 years. He supports drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and notes that we did not get into the energy problem overnight and the problem will not be solved overnight. Senator DeMint was supportive of President Obama's allowing the ban on offshore drilling to expire and heralded it as energy independence day for America. He introduced the Drill Now Act in 2009 which would have permanently ended the offshore drilling ban, expedited the leasing process, ensured a 50/50 state revenue sharing plan, and expedited judicial review of environmental lawsuits.

Senator DeMint supports the use of any and all energy sources. He supports the creation of numerous nuclear power facilities and the storage of waste at the Yucca mountain facility. He has stated that the facility has been studied for more than 20 years and we’ve poured billions of dollars into it. He stated in a press release that nuclear power is comparable in price to coal and hydroelectric energy, but nuclear plants are not subject to large swings in fuel prices and nuclear power can produce electricity at any time it is needed.

Although he supports nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and clean coal, Senator DeMint opposes ethanol mandates. He called the mandates a perfect example of the broken system in Washington.

 

Press Statement - ANWR

In March of 2005, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting a recent vote to open up ANWR to drilling and oil exploration. Senator DeMint notes his support for drilling.

 

Press Statements - Yucca Mountain

In March of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for the use of the Yucca mountain facility to store nuclear waste.

In June of 2008, Senator DeMint released another press statement noting his support for Yucca mountain's application for authorization to build a repository at the facility.

 

Press Statement - Gulf Exploration

In August of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for exploration for oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Global Warming

In a 2007 interview, Senator DeMint stated that there was no question that the planet was warming, but that the science which shows that it is man-made is questionable. He states that we should still push for cleaning up the air.

 

Press Statement - Ethanol Mandates

In May of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting a letter that he and 23 other Senators had sent to the EPA asking them to review ethanol subsidies and mandates. He stated that the mandates raised food prices and showed little benefit.

 

Drill More Now; Pay Less Later

In June of 2008, Senator DeMint wrote an op-ed titled "Drill More Now; Pay Less Later." In that writing, Senator DeMint expresses his support for oil and natural gas exploration and drilling in off shore locations, in ANWR, and the Green River Basin that runs through Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. He stated that Congress was burying its head in the sand on domestic energy exploration. He asked the Congress to end the long-standing ban on deep-sea oil and gas exploration.

Senator DeMint issued a video address noting his support for expanded domestic drilling and his support for drilling in the US and drilling now.

 

Press Statement - Deep Sea Drilling

In June of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opinion that that ban on deep water oil drilling needed to be ended.

 

Support for Nuclear Energy

In July of 2008, Senator DeMint issued an op-ed noting his support for the expansion of nuclear energy as one facet of the solution to the nation's energy crisis.

 

Energy Freedom Day

In September of 2008, Senator DeMint wrote an op-ed which noted the end of a ban on offshore drilling and the possibility of expanded drilling in the wake of that ban ending. He spoke on the Senate floor about energy freedom day in July of 2008.

In August of 2008, Senator DeMint spoke in a NewsMax interview about the oil drilling moratorium ban.

 

Drill Now Act

In October of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting legislation that he had introduced called the Drill Now Act. 

Senator DeMint appeared on Fox News and spoke about the Drill Now Act and Energy Freedom Day.

 

 

Press Statement - Obama Administration Delaying Drilling

In February of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting that the Obama administration had decided to delay a public comment portion of an energy plan another 6 months.

 

Press Statement - CAFE Standards

In May of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opinion that the CAFE standards were being driven by politics and not science.

 

Press Statement - Investigate Climategate

In December of 2009, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting a letter that he and 5 other Congressmen signed to ask congress to investigate climate-gate.

 

NWO Speech

In 2007, at an NWO speech, Senator DeMint stated that he was working to kill the cap-and-trade legislation and that the Republicans were working to separate real science from political correctness.

 

Press Statement - Lifting the Drilling Ban

In March of 2010, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for President Obama's decision to remove a ban on drilling.

 

Campaign Video

As part of 2010 election campaign, Senator DeMint made a series of videos to explain his positions on a number of issues. For energy, Senator DeMint explained his support for the use of all available methods of generating energy and his opposition to the cap-and-trade legislation.

 

2010 Re-Election Website Statements

 

 

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. Jim DeMint voted against the legislationt to end oil subsidies.

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

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

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint cast a "No Vote"

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. Jim DeMint voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

Jim DeMint voted against 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. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint voted against the amendment.

Jim DeMint voted against the amendment.

 

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 570; No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Deems the Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2010-2015 issued by the Secretary of the Interior approved as a final oil and gas leasing program under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). Deems the Secretary to have issued a final environmental impact statement for the program under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Directs the Secretary to conduct a lease sale in each outer Continental Shelf (OCS) planning area for which there is a commercial interest in purchasing federal oil and gas production leases.

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