Kay Bailey Hutchison on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Nov 03, 2010

Summary

Senator Hutchison has been a vocal opponent of the cap-and-trade legislation which passed the House. She referred to the legislation as a $3.6 trillion dollar tax hike, and a job killer for Texas. Senator Hutchison has also been an outspoken critic of the use of an endangerment finding to allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases, calling it a bureaucratic power grab. Despite this opposition, Senator Hutchison appears to believe in man-made global warming and has sponsored legislation to create an office of Weather Mitigation Research.

Senator Hutchison supports expanded drilling for oil and natural gas in the shallow water, outer continental shelf, and on land in places such as ANWR. She opposed the executive order moratorium on new offshore rigs and supported President Obama's removal of the order. She has opposed the President's moratorium on drilling which was put in place during and after the Deep water Horizon accident. 

Senator Hutchison has also been supportive of expanded nuclear power usage and two new reactors in south Texas. She has stated that America is on the verge of a Renaissance in nuclear power with Texas poised to lead in that field. In 2008, she called the Democrats energy plan a "no energy plan" as if did not include new drilling or new nuclear facilities. 

Senator Hutchison has opposed the mandate to increase ethanol subsidies yearly, noting that using corn for fuel drives up the cost of food. 

 

Opposition to Cap-and-Trade

In August of 2009, Senator Hutchison released a "capital comment" article that discussed her opposition to the cap-and-trade program being considered in the House and some comments on what America should be doing with carbon sequestering and other technologies. 

 

Hutchison-Bond Tax Report

In October of 2009, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting a report which had recently been published showing the results of a panel that recently concluded that the legislation was nothing more than a $3.6 trillion gas tax.

  

The Democratic No-Energy Plan

In June of 2008, Senator Hutchison released a press statement claiming that the plan put forth by the Democrats did nothing to obtain new energy sources.

 

Support for Expanded Nuclear Power

In September of 2007, Senator Hutchison noted her support for a new permit application to build a nuclear reactor in south Texas in a press release.

In August of 2008, Senator Hutchison issued a "capital comment" where she states her support for expanded nuclear power usage and supports two new reactors in Texas.

 

Support for Expanded Drilling

In June of 2008, Senator Hutchison appeared on Fox News and noted the need for expanded drilling to relieve the cost of gas.

In July of 2008, during the height of gas prices, Senator Hutchison appeared on CNBC and spoke about the need for expanded drilling to alleviate oil prices. She spoke on numerous other shows concerning this same position. She also issued a press statement calling for an end on the moratorium for offshore drilling. President Bush had recently announced his decision to lift the executive order induced moratorium and Senator Hutchison called upon Congress to follow suit.

In April of 2009, Senator Hutchison spoke on the Senate floor about an amendment that she and others had sponsored to increase outer continental shelf oil drilling.

 

 

Opposition to Ethanol Mandate Increases

In May and June of 2008, Senator Hutchison appeared on CNBC and "Mad Money" and spoke about her belief in the need to stop expanded funding for ethanol production from corn and the unintended consequences of such legislation.

 

Opposition to the Moratorium and Support for ANWR Drilling

In June of 2010, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her belief that a moratorium on offshore drilling would be detrimental to the economy of Texas and the Gulf Coast.

In that same statement, Senator Hutchison noted that one solution to our energy needs would be expanded drilling on land. This included drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR).

 

 

Opposition to Endangerment Finding and EPA Regulation

In February of 2010, Senator Hutchison released a "capital comment" where she noted the President's recent trip to Copenhagen and his issuance of an endangerment finding on greenhouse gases and the use of the EPA to regulate these gases.

In June of 2010, Senator Hutchison spoke on the Senator floor about her opposition to allowing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases and the detrimental affects it would have on the economy.

 

 

Weather Mitigation Agency

In March of 2009, Senator Hutchison introduced legislation to establish an office of Weather Mitigation Research. 

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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the legislationt to end oil subsidies.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline project.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against approving presidential waiver to the Keystone pipeline.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed using reconciliation to pass cap-and-trade.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the amendment.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the amendment and thus supported ANWR drilling.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the amendment and thus supported 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the amendment to open up ANWR to 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 2787; Western Hemisphere Energy Security Act of 2006 - Cosponsor

A bill to permit United States persons to participate in the exploration for and the extraction of hydrocarbon resources from any portion of a foreign maritime exclusive economic zone that is contiguous to the exclusive economic zone of the United States, and for other purposes.

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.

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