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Joseph Lieberman on Energy & Oil

Democratic Jr Senator (CT), ran for V.P. with Gore, ran for president 2004


Raise CAFE standard from 27.5 mpg to 40, including SUVs

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

A: My 'Declaration of Energy Independence' calls for CAFE standards to be set at a level that will save 2 million barrels of oil per day by 2015. According to estimates provided during last year's energy debate, this would require CAFE standards to be raised to 40 miles per gallon. In addition, the fuel efficiency standards should apply to SUVs as well as to passenger automobiles.

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

Support Alaskan Natural Gas Pipeline; opposes drilling ANWR

Q: What is your stance on the Alaskan Natural Gas Pipeline and ANWR? Is there a substantial need to develop new energy sources?

A: Leading America to energy independence in an important national goal and I have a full plan for doing that which you can find on my Web site www.joe2004.com. In specific response, I have long opposed [drilling for oil in] ANWR and do support the Alaskan Natural Gas Pipeline.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A Nov 3, 2003

Accept some American responsibility for global warming

Q: What would you do as president to move ahead with an effective and internationally acceptable policy response to address global climate change?

A: John McCain and I were very pleased by the 44 votes we got for the anti-global warming legislation. The Bush administration and more conservative business interests fought hard against our Climate Stewardship Act. Our proposal is a moderate first step toward accepting some American responsibility for global warming.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A Nov 3, 2003

Declaration of Energy Independence

The OPEC decision to cut the supply of oil shows that even George Bush's buddies in OPEC have lost confidence in his economic plans, because they based that cut in supply on a projected cut and demand because they see America in a jobless recovery. It's going to take a Democratic president to begin to create jobs again. One of the ways we're going to do it with a declaration of real energy independence, so no matter how strong we are, we can't have our strength be compromised by the countries in OPEC.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Raise mileage standard to 40 mpg

I am for increasing the average fuel efficiency of our vehicles to 40 miles a gallon. That's critical. I'm for investing billions of dollars in creating new, alternative renewable energy technologies and giving tax credits to people who buy them. We can get together and make ourselves energy-independent and stronger economically.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Destroying pristine ANWR not worth 6 months of oil

CHENEY [to Lieberman]: We support the moratorium on drilling off the coast of California, but there are places where we ought to develop those resources. The Arctic National Wildlife Reserve is one of them. It’s right next to Prudhoe Bay. The infrastructure is there to be able to deliver that product to market. We think we can do it, given today’s technology, in a way that will not damage the environment, will not permanently mar the countryside at all. We’re looking for balance with respect to environmental policy and energy policy.

LIEBERMAN: I’m against drilling in the Arctic refuge. This is one of the most beautiful, pristine places that the good Lord has created on Earth. It’s just not worth it to do that for what seems to be the possibility of six months worth of oil 7 to 12 years from now. That’s not much of a response to the immediate problem that gasoline consumers & home heating oil customers are facing this winter. There are more resources within the US that we can develop.

Source: Vice-presidential debate Oct 5, 2000

Save 3 mpg and we conserve same as drilling Alaska

In the last eight years, drilling for gas on federal lands has gone up 60%, and it’s been done in an environmentally protective way. But the answer [for oil shortages] is new technology. If we can get three miles more per gallon from our cars, we’ll get a million--we’ll save a million barrels of oil a day, which is exactly what the Alaskan refuge would produce. The choice to me is clear. We’ve got to develop fuel cells, alternative energy. We’ve got to encourage people to conserve and to be efficient.
Source: Vice-presidential debate Oct 5, 2000

Incentives for business to reduce greenhouse emissions

The US should be a world leader in tempering global climate change through a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Lieberman supports the Credit for Voluntary Reductions Act, which establishes new incentives to encourage businesses to make investments that improve efficiency and reduce pollution. He also pushed for funding for clean energy programs and stridently opposed efforts to attach anti-environmental riders to spending bills.
Source: Senate web site, “Issue Focus: Environment” Aug 7, 2000

Kyoto Protocol should include China

On environmental issues, Lieberman supported the Clinton position at the Kyoto air pollution conference but said China has to be part of the solution. He co-sponored the Clean Air Act of 1990 and supports an EPA project to allow companies greater flexibility to achieve specific pollution control goals.
Source: Almanac of American Politics 2000 (Barone & Ujifusa) Jan 1, 2000

Clean Energy: deregulate electricity & reduce pollutants

The Clean Energy Act would slash air pollution from older polluting power plants, maintain and increase investments in clean energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. The Clean Energy Act ends the pollution exemption for old power plants currently grandfathered in under the Clean Air Act. It would reduce emissions of the full range of pollutants that damage human health and the global environment. It requires increased investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, and it gives consumers the information and ability to choose clean sources of power in a deregulated marketplace. “Electricity deregulation carries the promise of enormous benefits for the consumer - mainly in reduced electric bills - which I strongly support,” Lieberman said. “But deregulation can also cause adverse environmental and public health consequences if we don’t do it right.
Source: Press Release, “Clean Energy Act” Jul 14, 1999

Climate change is bilingual, for business & for enviros

The threat of climate change is not an abstraction or the object of a science fiction writer’s overactive imagination; it is, unfortunately, all too real. The research shows convincingly that global warming is on the rise, and with it the likelihood that the world will be put at risk in our children’s lifetime. We have all unfortunately done too little to attack the underlying problem, the escalating emissions of greenhouse gases, which threaten our health, our safety, and our homes.

[My] proposed legislation is not just bipartisan but bilingual, speaking in terms that we hope that the combatants on both sides of the global warming wars can understand and embrace. Already its inventive, market-oriented approach has managed to bring together key segments of the business community and the environmental movement. This bill will begin to break the logjam, spurring the nation’s energy, agriculture and forestry industries to begin taking tangible steps to limit the accumulation of greenhouse gases.

Source: Senate statement, “Early Action” Mar 4, 1999

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.

Lieberman 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

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

Lieberman 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.

Lieberman 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: Joseph Lieberman 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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Energy/Oil
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts