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John Kerry on Energy & Oil

Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President


The Kyoto Treaty was flawed but could be fixed

BUSH: Had we joined the Kyoto Treaty it would have cost America a lot of jobs. It's one of these deals where in order to be popular in the halls of Europe you sign a treaty. There's a better way to do it. The quality of air is cleaner since I've been the president of the US. And we'll continue to spend money on research and development, because I truly believe that's the way to get from how we live today to being able to live a standard of living that we're accustomed to and being able to protect our environment better, the use of technologies.

KERRY: The Kyoto Treaty was flawed. I was in Kyoto and I was part of that; I know what happened. But Bush didn't try to fix it, he just declared it dead, ladies and gentlemen. And we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years. You wonder why it is that people don't like us in some parts of the world. You just say, Hey, we don't agree with you, good-bye. Bush's done nothing to try to fix it. I will.

Source: [Xref Bush] Second Bush-Kerry Debate, in St. Louis MO Oct 8, 2004

No American should be held hostage to our oil dependence

We value an America forever independent of Mideast oil. What does it mean for our economy and national security when we only have 3% of the world's oil reserves, yet we rely on foreign countries for 53 percent of what we consume? We will rely on our own ingenuity and innovation, not the Saudi royal family. We will invest in new technologies and alternative fuels and the cars of the future so that no young American in uniform will ever be held hostage to our dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 29, 2004

Encourage fuel efficient cars & use reserves in short-term

Kerry says he would spend $10 billion over 10 years on new plants to manufacture more fuel efficient vehicles. He also would offer up to a $4,000 tax credit for people who buy advanced technology vehicles that get better mileage. Kerry wants to divert oil being used to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the short term and bring it to market to bring down prices. And his administration would demand that oil-producing nations increase supply.
Source: CNN.com May 25, 2004

No nuclear waste dump in Nevada's Yucca Mountain

Nevadans understand better than anyone why so many Americans don't trust Bush. In 2000, candidate Bush promised not to ship nuclear waste to your state unless scientifically deemed safe. But after the election, President Bush caved to special interests and broke his promise to Nevada, and he has been doing his best to turn this state into a nuclear waste dump ever since.

That's a pattern Bush has repeated time after time: on issue after issue, George W. Bush keeps saying one thing to the people, and then doing another big favor for the special interests. As my friends in Nevada can tell you, I have stood time and time again with Nevada families to stop George W. Bush from turning this state into a nuclear waste dump. As your President, I'll continue that fight for Nevada - and you'll have the White House working for your top priority, instead of selling you out to the special interests.

Source: Press release, "Nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain" Feb 13, 2004

Raise CAFE standard to 36 mpg by 2015

Q: Would you increase the required automobile fleet average of 27.5 mpg; and SUVs and pickups averaging 20.7 mpg?

A: I support updating CAFE standards to 36 miles per gallon by 2015. This proposal will reduce America's dependence on oil by saving 2 million barrels of oil per day -- almost as much as we currently import from the Persian Gulf. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, smog and ozone pollution.

Source: Associated Press policy Q&A, "Fuel Efficiency" Jan 25, 2004

Ban MBTE and sue companies who make it

Q: MTBE in gasoline is linked to water pollution, but adding ethanol is costly. How would you balance between the environment and the economy, as it pertains to MTBE?

KERRY: It needs to be banned, taken out. And the companies that have put it in need to be held responsible for it. One- sixth of the lakes of New Hampshire are polluted with MBTE. Now, Tom DeLay and his friends in Congress have been busy protecting those companies from their responsibility, trying to give them liability immunity for what they've done. This is the worst environmental administration that I've ever seen in all my time in public life. They're going backward on clean air, backward on clean water, backward on forest policy.

As president, I will balance between jobs and the economy, but I'm not going to give people a phony choice that says, "It's either the jobs or the economy." Cleaning up the environment is jobs. And we're going to create 500,000 of them for Americans in the first years.

Source: Democratic 2004 Primary Debate at St. Anselm College Jan 22, 2004

20% renewable energy by 2020

Q: How would you get the US to become more self-reliant for our energy needs?

A: We have to encourage the use of hybrid vehicles and invest in research and development. We have to set a goal by 2020 that 20 percent of our energy will come from renewable fuels. I am going to create an energy efficient trust fund to look for news sources of energy and we are going to create tens of thousands of jobs doing that. We can't drill our way out of this.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A Nov 7, 2003

Drilling for oil doesn't gain energy independence

To some extent, [my proposed energy independence] Apollo Project would involve redeploying resources from the failed energy policies of the past and present. At present we spend $1.8 billion in subsidies to the oil and gas industries while investing only $24 million in federal venture capital for alternative energy sources. And the Bush administration seeks to accelerate this trend by moving heaven and most of all earth to expand oil drilling in some of our most sensitive environments. All this drilling won't produce significant quantities of oil for many years, so we will remain dependent on a global oil market whose prices are controlled-and often manipulated-by a handful of countries, lending permanent instability to our economy.
Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 85-86 Oct 1, 2003

Apollo project approach to energy independence

A smart energy policy can reflect a smart economic policy. We can work toward energy independence not only from foreign energy sources but from environmentally damaging sources as well-in a way that calls on the best of our creative and entrepreneurial spirit and improves both our quality of life and our national security.

In the 1960's President Kennedy challenged America to conquer space and land on the moon within a decade. It's time for comparable Apollo Project approach to energy independence, with a focused effort that relies on public-private partnerships and creates millions of new jobs. For Americans who work in engineering, design, and industry, the growth of wind, solar, and geothermal energy would spark a surge in production and jobs. And since developing new energy technology requires research and path-breaking applications, we can create thousands of high-paying jobs in those areas as well. Americans can take the lead, or we can let Germans and Japanese dominate this new industry.

Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 85-86 Oct 1, 2003

Dismissal of Kyoto indicative of Bush's unilateralism

There have been periods in our history when it didn't much matter if we had a president who was inclined toward fostering international relations or commanded a lot of personal respect in other countries. This is emphatically not one of those times. It is hard to think of a modern presidency so reflexively and systematically marked by rejection of diplomacy, international cooperation, and other building blocks for collective security as that of George W. Bush.

The first sign of indifference was the summary rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on Global Climate Change. the handiwork of dozens of countries acting under U.S. leadership for a decade. Kyoto could and should have been improved; instead, it was dismissed by the Bush government out of hand. This was followed by the United States' refusal to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, another product of long years of American leadership. Both rejections came in the president's first year in office.

Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 48-9 Oct 1, 2003

ANWR won't provide any oil for 20 years

Q: On one hand you say there is a national security need to reduce dependence imported oil, while on the other hand you oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska?

KERRY: The Arctic Wildlife Refuge won't provide a drop of oil for 20 years. And the total amount of oil, if it were to come through at the level that some people in the oil industry predict, will amount to about a 1% to 2% reduction in the total dependency of the United States on oil.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Invent our way out of oil dependency-don't drill our way out

We only have 3% of the world's oil reserves. There is no physical way for the US to drill its way out of this problem. We have to invent our way out of this problem. The sooner that we commit America to the science & discovery of renewable alternatives, the better off America will be, the better our health will be, the more effective our economy would be, the better our national security will be, and the better world citizen we will be. We need to commit ourselves to energy independence now.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Invest in advancing secure forms of energy instead of oil

Q: What is your view on our dependence on fossil fuels?

A: Today we have an energy policy of big oil, by big oil, and for big oil. With common-sense investments in advancing and speeding breakthroughs, we can harness the natural world around us to light and power the world we live in with secure forms of energy at reasonable costs for a modern economy. I recently unveiled a plan to increase America's security and improve the environment, by ending our dependence on foreign oil within 10 years.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Create new energy sources to end Mideast dependency

We must invest again in America and put our ingenuity to work to unclog our highways, to build a modern transportation network we can be proud of. We must harness the creative genius of our entrepreneurs, laboratories and universities to create the energy sources of the future, to liberate us from dependence on Middle East oil and do all of this while protecting our precious resources like the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
Source: Speech at Massachusetts Democratic Convention May 31, 2002


John Kerry on Voting Record

FactCheck: No, Kerry never voted for a 50-cent gas tax hike

BUSH_CHENEY CLAIM: "Kerry supported a 50-cent a gallon tax hike for gasoline."

CNN FACT CHECK:Kerry has never sponsored or voted for any legislation to raise gas taxes by 50 cents per gallon, although an extensive search did reveal one 1994 article in which he is said to have voiced support for the idea in general. In 1993, Sen. Charles Robb of Virginia introduced legislation that proposed phasing in a 50-cent increase, but Kerry did not vote for or co-sponsor this bill.

Source: CNN FactCheck on statements by Bush and Kerry: Oct 29, 2004

Led effort to try to raise fuel efficiency standards

KERRY [to Gephardt]: I led an effort in 2002 to raise fuel efficiency standards in the country. And just yesterday, they reported they are at a 22 year low. You're the one member of Congress here who doesn't support raising fuel efficiency standards. How do we get to energy independence when 50% or more of our fuel is in oil for transportation? How are we going to break out without raising fuel efficiency?

GEPHARDT: I agree that we need to do it. However, we need to put together an energy program that includes an increase in the CAFE standards, but also includes setting a 10-year goal of not only mileage requirements and pollution requirements, but also moves us to hybrid cars in the interim and hydrogen fuel cells in the long-term. I would put the auto companies, the oil companies and the environmental groups at a table and I would work out a 10-year plan. I'd call it an Apollo 2 program, and I believe we could pass it, have everybody committed to it and get this done for the country.

Source: [X-ref to Gephardt] Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

Voted NO on Bush Administration Energy Policy.

Vote to pass a bill would overhaul the nation's energy policies, reorganize the electricity system and make available approximately $15 billion in energy-related tax incentives. It also would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to establish a new CAFE standard within 15 months to two years. It would support the use of alternative energy and call for utilities to increase their dependence on renewable fuels.
Reference: Energy Policy Act of 2003; Bill HR 6 ; vote number 2003-317 on Jul 31, 2003

Voted YES on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010.

Dorgan Amdt. No. 865; To require that the hydrogen commercialization plan of the Department of Energy include a description of activities to support certain hydrogen technology deployment goals. Part of S 14 Energy Omnibus bill; this vote would pass an amendment that would call for the Department of Energy to set targets and timelines to maintain the production of 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010, and 2.5 million vehicles annually by 2020. It also would call for the department to set targets for the sale of hydrogen at fueling stations. The bill would require the Energy secretary to submit a yearly progress report to Congress.
Bill S.14 ; vote number 2003-212 on Jun 10, 2003

Voted YES on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill.

Boxer Amdt. No. 272.; To prevent consideration of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a fast-track budget reconciliation bill. S Con Res 23 Budget resolution FY2004: Vote to pass an amendment that would strike (remove) language in the resolution that would permit oil drilling and exploration in part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. [Voting No favors drilling for oil in ANWR].
Bill SConRes 23 ; vote number 2003-59 on Mar 19, 2003

Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds.

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Murkowski Amendment No. 31323; To create jobs for Americans, to reduce dependence on foreign sources of crude oil and energy, to strengthen the economic self determination of the Inupiat Eskimos and to promote national security. Would allow gas and oil development in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if the president certifies to Congress that production in the area is in the nation's security and economic interests (qwhich Prsident Bush would). If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. A yea vote for this bill was one in favor of drilling in the reserve. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture.
Bill S.517 ; vote number 2002-71 on Apr 18, 2002

Voted NO on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months.

Levin Amendment No. 2997; To provide alternative provisions to better encourage increased use of alternative fueled and hybrid vehicles. Vote to pass an amendment that would remove the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard (CAFE) and instead establish a new automobile efficiency standard in 15 months. Congress could veto any CAFE increase and would be allowed to increase the standard if no changes are made with 15 months. The bill would overhaul the nation's energy policies by restructuring the electricity system and providing for $16 billion in energy-related tax incentives.
Bill S.517 ; vote number 2002-47 on Mar 13, 2002

Voted NO on preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling.

Vote to preserve language in the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Framework that assumes $1.2 billion in revenue from oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] in Alaska.
Bill S Con Res 101 ; vote number 2000-58 on Apr 6, 2000

Voted YES on ending discussion of CAFE fuel efficiency standards.

Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Bryan (D-NV) introduced a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate towards ending CAFE Standards. Senator Gorton motioned to table this amendment. [A YES vote is considered pro-business].
Status: Amdt Rejected Y)40; N)55; NV)4
Reference: Gorton Amdt # 1677; Bill H.R. 2084 ; vote number 1999-275 on Sep 15, 1999

Voted NO on defunding renewable and solar energy.

In June of 1999, Senator Jeffords (R-VT) was prepared to offer an amendment which would have added $62 million to the Energy Department solar and renewable energy programs. This action was blocked by Senator Reid (D-NV).
Status: Motion Agreed to Y)60; N)39; NV)1
Reference: Motion to table the recommital; Bill S. 1186 ; vote number 1999-171 on Jun 16, 1999

Voted NO on approving a nuclear waste repository.

Approval of the interim nuclear waste repository.
Status: Bill Passed Y)65; N)34; NV)1
Reference: Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1997; Bill S. 104 ; vote number 1997-42 on Apr 15, 1997

Voted NO on do not require ethanol in gasoline.

Funding a mandated percentage of market share for the use of ethanol in gasoline, to be funded b reducing NASA budget b $39 million..
Status: Table Motion Agreed to Y)50; N)50; VP decided YES
Reference: Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1995; Bill H.R. 4624 ; vote number 1994-255 on Aug 3, 1994

Supports tradable emissions permits for greenhouse gases.

Kerry signed the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Modernize Environmental Policies
National environmental policies, mostly developed in the 1970s, have been remarkably successful in improving the quality of our air and water. But we face a new set of environmental challenges for which the old strategy of centralized, command-and-control regulation is no longer effective.

The old regime of prohibitions and fines levied on polluters is not well equipped to tackle problems such as climate change, contamination of water from such sources as farm and suburban runoff, loss of open lands, and sprawl. Without relaxing our determination to maintain and enforce mandatory national standards for environmental quality, it is time to create more effective, efficient, and flexible ways of achieving those standards.

For example, a system of tradable emissions permits would give factories, power plants, and other sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases a powerful incentive not only to meet but to exceed environmental standards. Decisions about solving local environmental problems should be shifted from Washington to communities, without weakening national standards. Finally, to empower citizens and communities to make sound decisions, government should invest in improving the quality and availability of information about environmental conditions.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC10 on Aug 1, 2000

Include pickup trucks in CAFE; include hybrids in HOV lanes.

Kerry introduced the National Fuel Savings and Security Act

Source: Bill sponsored by 7 Senators 02-S1926 on Feb 8, 2002

Keep climate change in EPA "State of the Environment" report.

Kerry signed a letter from 7 Senators to the President

Dear President Bush:

We are deeply disturbed to read reports this morning that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House have decided to omit data and language pertaining to climate change from the Agency's upcoming "State of the Environment" report. We would like to know if this is true. [Note: The section on climate change was indeed omitted–Ed.]

According to these reports, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) made decisions to delete from the "State of the Environment" report scientifically sound, consensus-based conclusions about the human contributions to global warming that have been confirmed by the National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We would like to know why, and who within the Administration made this decision.

Perhaps most distressing are reports that Administration officials substituted into the report for the deleted language a reference to a study partially funded by the American Petroleum Institute that questions the National Research Council's conclusions. If true, this action brings into question the ability and authority of the EPA or any agency within this Administration to publish unbiased scientific reports. This would dramatically weaken both Congressional and public confidence in the Administration to allow credible, peer-reviewed study to prevail over political agenda. If these reports are accurate, your Administration has done a serious disservice not only to the hard-working professionals at the EPA, but also to the American people and our future.

We request all drafts of the report as well as comments prepared by the EPA, OMB, & CEQ. We request a list of all participants involved in review of the document, including all Administration officials and entities outside the Administration. Furthermore, we ask that appropriate actions be taken regarding those responsible for doctoring this report.

Source: Letter from 7 Senators to the President 03-SEN7 on Jun 19, 2003

Keep efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy.

Kerry signed a letter from 53 Senators to the President

Mr. President: A recent federal court decision regarding energy efficient air conditioners is a significant victory for consumers, for the environment, and for our nation's energy future. We respectfully request that you do not appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District (Natural Resources Defense Council et al v. Abraham, Docket 01-4102) affirmed that central air conditioners sold beginning in 2006 must be at least 30% more energy efficient than those available today.

Air conditioners are a necessary modern convenience but are also major users of electricity. On hot days, cooling homes and businesses is the largest category of electricity demand. Requiring air conditioners to be as energy efficient as possible will begin to reduce the stress on the electricity generation and transmission network and decrease the likelihood of blackouts that many regions of the country experience during warm weather conditions.

Air conditioners that meet the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating 13 standard will provide benefits for consumers, the environment, and the nation. The SEER 13 standard will alleviate the need for additional electricity production and transmission resulting in as many as 48 fewer power plants required by 2020. This standard will also result in less harmful air pollution being emitted into the atmosphere. Moreover, by 2020 power plant emissions of carbon dioxide will be 2.5 million tons lower as a result, and emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides will also be held down resulting in cleaner air and healthier citizens.

Finally, the higher standard can be expected to save businesses and residential consumers $1 billion per year in lower electricity bills. Lower electricity bills will recover the slightly higher purchase cost for the more efficient air conditioners in less than 18 months.

Source: Letter from 53 Senators to the President 04-SEN2 on Mar 19, 2004

Other candidates on Energy & Oil: John Kerry on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts