John Cornyn on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Nov 08, 2010

Summary

Since coming into office, Senator Cornyn has been a vocal supporter of increased exploration of oil and natural gas. He supports expanded exploration and drilling offshore, in the outer continental shelf, and in ANWR. He has also called for an increased ability to refine the oil and gas that is extracted. He has stated that reliance on foreign is a national security issue.

Senator Cornyn has also expressed support for expanded alternative energy. Specifically, he has voiced support for biodiesel being developed in Texas, and stated that expanded oil and gas drilling should be a bridge to a future dominated by clean energy. He has cited clean coal technologies as one of those alternative areas of research to be developed, as well as nuclear, solar, and wind.

Senator Cornyn was a vocal opponent of the cap-and-trade system which passed the House and was discussed in the Senate. He opposed the findings by the EPA that greenhouse gases represented a danger to the US, and opposed regulation of those gases by the EPA. He was critical of public institutions such as NASA that carried climate change research at taxpayer expense, but then refused to divulge the data used to arrive at their conclusions.

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, a moratorium was put in place against offshore drilling. Senator Cornyn was critical of this moratorium and referred to it as "job-killing". He was highly supportive of rulings that found it unconstitutional and urged the administration to issue permits.

 

Reasonable Exploration

In March of 2003, Senator Cornyn released a press statement calling for "reasonable exploration" for oil and natural gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

 

The Need to Produce More Energy

In June of 2007, Senator Cornyn released a statement noting that the solution to America's energy problem was to expand the ability to refine oil and the ability to obtain oil.

 

Clean Energy Must be Focus of Policy

In August of 2007, Senator Cornyn released a press statement stating that clean and renewable energy should be the focus of future energy bills.

 

Failure to Address Energy Needs

In April of 2008, Senator Cornyn released a press statement blaming the lack of action by the Democratic Congress to increase domestic energy production for the rise in gas prices.

 

Freezing the Ethanol Mandate

In May of 2008, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his belief that ethanol mandates should be frozen and not automatically raised every year. In August of that year, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his disappointment that the mandate was not frozen.

 

Dependence on Foreign Oil is National Security Threat

In June of 2008, Senator Cornyn released a press statement stating his belief that the dependence of the US on foreign oil was a national security threat.

 

Opposition to Energy Tax

In June of 2008, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his opposition to an energy tax, which was the Senate version of cap-and-trade.

 

Importance of Investing in Clean Energy

In October of 2008, Senator Cornyn released a press statement declaring his support for investing in clean energy alternatives.

 

EPA Endangerment Findings

In December of 2009, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his opposition to a recent endangerment finding by the EPA that greenhouse gases threaten the health and welfare of the American people.

 

Release of Climate Data

In December of 2009, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting a letter that he had sent to the Office of Government Information Services asking that federal officials comply with open records request for global warming research.

 

Support for Expanded Drilling

In March of 2010, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his support for a recently announced decision by President Obama to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.

 

Opposition to Drilling Moratorium

In June of 2010, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his opposition to a drilling moratorium put in place by President Obama in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.

In July of 2010, Senator Cornyn introduced legislation to end the moratorium. He referred to the moratorium as "job killing".

In October of 2010, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his support for the Obama administrations decision to end the moratorium and expressed caution that the permitting process should not take too long. 

 

Official Website Statements

 

Campaign 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. John Cornyn voted against the legislationt to end oil subsidies.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

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

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted against the amendment.

John Cornyn voted against 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. John Cornyn voted against the amendment and thus supported ANWR drilling.

John Cornyn voted against the amendment and thus supported ANWR 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 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.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 2973; American Energy Production Act of 2008 - Cosponsor

Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permit projected lines of states adjacent to the subsoil and seabed of the outer Continental Shelf to be used for oil and gas preleasing and leasing activities. Authorizes the governor of a state with a new producing area within the offshore administrative boundaries beyond the submerged land of the state to petition the Secretary of Energy to make new producing areas available for oil and gas leasing. Sets forth a lease sales program for oil and gas development within the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 3711; Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 - Cosponsor

A bill to enhance the energy independence and security of the United States by providing for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes.

User Comments