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Michele Bachmann on Energy & Oil

Republican Representative (MN-6)


Turn down thermostat & build synfuel plants

Back in the 70s, I remember being appalled by Carter's energy policy; he was going on TV, telling us to turn the thermostat down and wear sweaters, and he also wanted the government to build giant "synfuel" plants. These proposals struck me as either unnecessary sacrifice or an unnecessary boondoggle. After all, I had seen for myself the natural abundance of Alaska--although little did I know, as yet, about the untapped energy supplies abounding in the lower 48, both underground and offshore.

Meanwhile, as day follows night, Carter's bad policies were leading to bad results. In the late seventies, America was suffering from a severe gasoline shortage, all the worse because the it was government created. Like so many other Americans, I remember sitting in my Rambler in a gas line for more than an hour, only to see the station owner come out and put up a "no gas" sign right in front of me--he had run out. The bureaucrats simply weren't allowing him enough gas.

Source: Core of Conviction, by Michele Bachmann, p. 65 , Nov 21, 2011

Tap the natural abundance of Alaska and the lower 48

Back in the 70s, Marcus and I had both voted for Jimmy Carter, but it didn't take long for us to become disillusioned. I remember being appalled by Carter's energy policy; he was telling us to turn the thermostat down & build giant "synfuel" plants. These proposals struck me as either unnecessary sacrifice or an unnecessary boondoggle. After all, I had seen for myself the natural abundance of Alaska--although little did I know, as yet, about the untapped energy supplies abounding in the lower 48, bo underground and offshore.

Meanwhile, as day follows night, Carter's bad policies were leading to bad results. In the late seventies, America was suffering from a severe gasoline shortage, all the worse because it was government created. Like so many other Americans, I remember sitting in my Rambler in a gas line for more than an hour, only to see the station owner come out and put up a "no gas" sign right in front of me--he had run out. The bureaucrats simply weren't allowing him enough gas.

Source: Core of Conviction, by Michele Bachmann, p. 65 , Nov 21, 2011

Climate science is unknowable, and riddled with corruption

The Obama administration has declared war on carbon dioxide. Its "experts" say we need to block Co2 in order to save the penguins. I might note, of course, that Co2 is what makes plants grow, so surely it can't be all bad. Moreover, the whole science of "climate change" is ultimately unknown, scarcely even knowable--as well as riddled with its own academic corruption, as in the "climate-gate" fiasco. And so it would be supremely foolish to legislate caps on carbon. Let's ask ourselves this question: If the problem is too much carbon, then why is the answer taxing ourselves to give more money to the government?

Yet in 2009, as the economy worsened, the Obama administration chose to push its "cap-and-trade" plan. It was touted as a way to save penguins and polar bears, but what it really would have done, if put into place and enforced, is create a new Enron-like carbon-speculation scheme, to the delight of insider wheeler-dealers.

Source: Core of Conviction, by Michele Bachmann, p.163 , Nov 21, 2011

Goal is to keep gas prices low, like $1.79 a gallon

Energy is one of the greatest opportunities for job creation that we have in the United States. We just learned today that if the federal government would pull back on all of the regulatory restrictions on American energy production, we could see 1.2 million jobs created in the United States.

We could also see created over 50 percent more American energy production. And we could also see $800 billion more revenue coming into the United States government.

Don't forget the day that President Obama took office, gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. It's entirely possible for us to get back to inexpensive energy.

The problem is, energy is too high. Let's have a goal of bringing it down because every time gasoline increases 10 cents a gallon, that's $14 billion in economic activity that every American has taken out of their pockets. This is a great solution, and this is the place to start with American job creation.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

I opposed cap-and-trade, including Lightbulb Choice Act

Q: There's an expression "Minnesota Nice." And some people believe that both of you have tested it in recent weeks. Gov. Pawlenty said you have no accomplishments in Congress?

BACHMANN: When you were governor in Minnesota you implemented cap and trade in our state and you praised the unconstitutional individual mandates and called for requiring all people in our state to purchase health insurance. You said the era of small government was over. That sounds more like Barack Obama, if you ask me. During my time in the US Congress I have fought all of these unconstitutional measures as well as Barack Obama.

Q: Isn't that about the worst thing you can say about a fellow Republican, that he reminds you of Barack Obama?

BACHMANN: The policies that the governor advocated for were cap and trade. When it came to cap and trade, I fought it with everything that was in me, including introducing the Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act so people could all purchase the lightbulb of their choice.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Young, R-AK]: The Americans suffering from $4 a gallon gas today must feel like they're experiencing a sense of deja vu. In 2008, when gasoline prices reached a record high of $4.11 per gallon, the public outcry forced Congress to act. That fall, Congress lifted the offshore drilling ban that had been in place for decades. Three years later, most Americans would likely be shocked to learn that no energy development has happened in these new areas.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Markey, D-MA]. In the first 3 months of this year, Exxon-Mobil made $10 billion off of the American consumer; Shell made $8 billion; BP made $7 billion. So what are these companies asking for? These companies are now asking that we open up the beaches of California, Florida & New England to drill for oil. People who live near those beaches don't want oil coming in the way it did in the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, those oil companies are centered down in the Gulf of Mexico. People are concerned because those companies have blocked any new safety reforms that would protect against another catastrophic spill. We have to oppose this bill because, first of all, they already have 60 million acres of American land that they haven't drilled on yet, which has about 11 billion barrels of oil underneath it and an equivalent amount of natural gas. This bill is just a giveaway to Exxon-Mobil and Shell.

Reference: Reversing Pres. Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act; Bill H.1231 ; vote number 11-HV320 on May 12, 2011

Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Upton, R-MI]: This legislation will remove the biggest regulatory threat to the American economy. This is a threat imposed not by Congress, but entirely by the Obama EPA. This administration wanted a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gases, but Congress said no. So beginning in early 2009, EPA began putting together a house of cards to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide. The agency began with automobiles, declaring that their emissions endangered public health. That single endangerment finding has since been used by EPA to launch an unparalleled onslaught. The result, two years later, is a series of regulations that will ultimately affect every citizen, every industry, really every aspect of our economy and way of life.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill is a direct assault on the Clean Air Act. Its premise is that climate change is a hoax and carbon pollution does not endanger health and welfare. But climate change is real. It is caused by pollution, and it is a serious threat to our health and welfare. We need to confront these realities. American families count on the EPA to keep our air and water clean. But this bill has politicians overruling the experts at EPA, and it exempts our biggest polluters from regulation. If this bill is enacted, the EPA's ability to control dangerous carbon pollution will be gutted.

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill H.910 ; vote number 11-HV249 on Apr 7, 2011

Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution.

Congressional Summary:Requires utilities to supply an increasing percentage of their demand from a combination of energy efficiency savings and renewable energy (6% in 2012, 9.5% in 2014, 13% in 2016, 16.5% in 2018, and 20% in 2021). Provides for:
  1. issuing, trading, and verifying renewable electricity credits; and
  2. prescribing standards to define and measure electricity savings from energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.
Amends the Clean Air Act (CAA) to set forth a national strategy to address barriers to the commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. ED MARKEY (D, MA-7): For the first time in the history of our country, we will put enforceable limits on global warming pollution. At its core, however, this is a jobs bill. It will create millions of new, clean-energy jobs in whole new industries with incentives to drive competition in the energy marketplace. It sets ambitious and achievable standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass so that by 2020, 20% of America's energy will be clean.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BOB GOODLATTE (R, VA-6): I agree that this bill has very important consequences, but those consequences are devastating for the future of the economy of this country. It's a fantasy that this legislation will turn down the thermostat of the world by reducing CO2 gas emissions when China & India & other nations are pumping more CO2 gas into the atmosphere all the time. We would be far better served with legislation that devotes itself to developing new technologies before we slam the door on our traditional sources of energy like coal and oil and and nuclear power. We support the effort for energy efficiency. We do not support this kind of suicide for the American economy. Unfortunately, cap and trade legislation would only further cripple our economy.

Reference: American Clean Energy and Security Act; Bill H.R.2454 ; vote number 2009-H477 on Jun 26, 2009

Voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets.

Congressional Summary:Extends the tax credit for producing electricity from renewable resources:

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. RICHARD NEAL (D, MA-2): This bill contains extensions of popular tax incentives that expired at the end of last year. This needs to get under way. The R&D tax credit is important. This bill includes a number of popular and forward-thinking incentives for energy efficiency. This is a very balanced bill which does no harm to the Federal Treasury. It asks that hedge fund managers pay a bit more, and it delays an international tax break that hasn't gone into effect yet. It is responsible legislation.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DAVE CAMP (R, MI-4): We are conducting another purely political exercise on a tax bill that is doomed in the other body because of our House majority's insistence on adhering to the misguided PAYGO rules. The Senate acted on a bipartisan basis to find common ground on this issue. They approved a comprehensive tax relief package containing extenders provisions that are not fully offset, as many Democrats would prefer, but contain more offsets than Republicans would like. Why is this our only option? Because the Senate, which has labored long and hard to develop that compromise, has indicated in no uncertain terms that it is not going to reconsider these issues again this year.

[The bill was killed in the Senate].

Reference: Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act; Bill H.R.7060 ; vote number 2008-H649 on Sep 26, 2008

Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation.

OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This bill passed the House but was killed in the Senate on a rejected Cloture Motion, Senate rollcall #150

Congressional Summary: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide Tax incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, and to provide individual income tax relief.