Russ Feingold on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Dec 15, 2010

Summary

Senator Feingold believes in man-made global warming. He has stated that global warming is real and must be addressed. He supports committing the US to 1990 levels by 2020, and then further after that. He supports committing the US to mitigating payments to third world countries to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions.

Senator Feingold supports the use of a cap-and-trade style system to curtail the use of fossil fuels, and has specifically cited support for the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, which had high requirements for energy efficiency and the "possibility" of a cap-and-trade system. He has stated that any such system must be fair to Wisconsin.

Senator Feingold has advanced the idea that part of the reason gas prices have increased was because oil companies were not drilling in all lands which they purchased leases on. He introduced legislation to state that companies must use the land they have leased to drill or lose them. He has introduced legislation to enforce this policy.

Senator Feingold opposes drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). He opposes offshore drilling.

 

Hearing on Global Warming

In January of 2007, Senator Feingold released a press statement noting statements that he had made at a Public Works Committee Hearing On Global Warming.

 

Global Warming in Planning

In May of 2007, Senator Feingold released a press statement noting his support for considering global warming in federal government planning.

 

Use It or Lose It on Oil Leases

In July of 2008, Senator Feingold introduced legislation to require that oil companies either drill on the land they are leasing or lose the permit to a competitor. He cited the lack of drilling as one cause of high oil prices.

In August of 2009, Senator Feingold introduced legislation known as the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act. 

 

The Road to Copenhagen

In January of 2009, Senator Feingold delivered the opening statements at a hearing on climate change to kick off the preparations for the global warming summit in Copenhagen.

  

Must Address Global Warming

In June of 2010, Senator Feingold addressed an amendment put forth by Senator Murkowski to address permits for oil rigs by stating that the amendment was a stalling tactic to prevent the addressing of climate change.

 

Statements on 2010 Re-Election Website - Energy

 

 

2010 Re-Election Website - Environment

 

 

Voting Record

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

Russ Feingold 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. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.

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

Russ Feingold 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. Russ Feingold voted against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

Russ Feingold 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. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the amendment.

Russ Feingold 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. Russ Feingold voted in favor of the amendment and thus opposed ANWR drilling.

Russ Feingold 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. Russ Feingold voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

Russ Feingold voted against the amendment to open up ANWR to drilling.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 204; No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Sherman Act to declare it to be illegal and a violation of the Act for any foreign state or instrumentality thereof to act collectively or in combination with any other foreign state or any other person, whether by cartel or any other association or form of cooperation or joint action, to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product (petroleum), to set or maintain the price of petroleum, or to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for petroleum, when such action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price, or distribution of petroleum in the United States. Denies a foreign state engaged in such conduct sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction or judgements of U.S. courts in any action brought to enforce this Act.States that no U.S. court shall decline, based on the act of state doctrine, to make a determination on the merits in an action brought under this Act.Authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action in U.S. district court to enforce this Act.Amends the federal judicial code to make an exception to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state in an action brought under this Act.

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 879; No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007 or NOPEC - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Sherman Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal.

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.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 737; Security and Freedom Enhancement Act of 2005 or the SAFE Act - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the USA PATRIOT ACT to place reasonable limitations on the use of surveillance and the issuance of search warrants, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-S Res 598; Developing Nations and Natural Resources - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) the government should fully use federal authorities, diplomatic agreements, and other appropriate mechanisms, including working with other donor nations, to identify global conservation goals, and increase funding for, global conservation strategies in order to help ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and protect biological diversity in terrestrial and marine environments of developing countries; and (2) federal efforts should reflect a recognition of the problem's urgency by annually reporting to the appropriate congressional committees regarding progress reports and action plans.

Session-109; Bill Number-S Res 312; 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. - Cosponsor

xpresses the sense of the Senate that the United States should act to reduce risks posed by global climate change and to foster economic growth by: (1) participating in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and leading efforts in other international fora with the objective of securing U.S. participation in agreements that advance and protect U.S. interests, that establish mitigation commitments by all countries that are major emitters of greenhouse gases, that establish flexible international mechanisms to minimize the cost of efforts by participating countries, and that achieve a significant long-term reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions; and (2) establishing a bipartisan Senate observer group to monitor international negotiations on climate change and to ensure that the advice and consent function of the Senate is exercised to facilitate timely consideration of any applicable treaty.

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