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Ron Paul on Energy & Oil

Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President


Develop energy independence; no crony handouts like Solyndra

President Obama remains committed to the same old system of debt, deficits, bailouts, and cronyism that created our economic problems. The President speaks of giving us energy independence from unstable nations, yet he refuses to allow the type of development needed to achieve this goal, while at the same time his administration hands out favors to the politically connected--those given to the likes of Solyndra, who fail to produce jobs or energy but succeed in ripping off the taxpayers.
Source: Response to 2012 State of the Union speech , Jan 24, 2012

No nuclear waste in Yucca Mt.; it's other states' garbage

Q: [to Gingrich]: Do you support opening the national nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain?

GINGRICH: We have to find a safe method of keeping nuclear waste in a very, very deep place that would be able to sustain 10,000 or 20,000 and 30,000 years of geological safety.

Q: Is Yucca Mountain that place?

GINGRICH: Most geologists believe that, in fact, Yucca Mountain is.

PAUL: I've opposed this. I approach it from a state's rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, "We're going to put our garbage in your state"? I think that's wrong. The government shouldn't be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. Nuclear energy is a good source of energy, but they still get subsidies. Then we as politicians and the bureaucrats get involved with which state's going to get stuck with the garbage. The more the free market handles this and the more you deal with property rights and no subsidies to any form of energy, the easier this problem would be solved.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

I can get you a gallon of gas for a silver dime

BACHMANN: [to Paul]: The day that Pres. Obama took office, gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Let's have a goal of bringing it down.

Q: Everybody would like $2 gas, but is it realistic for a president to promise that?

PAUL: I do want to address the subject of $2 oil or gasoline, because I can do it much better than that. I can get you a gallon of gasoline for a dime. You can buy a gallon of gasoline today for a silver dime. A silver dime is worth $3.50. It's all about inflation and too many regulations.

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

Absurd to let global bureaucrats try to manipulate climate

Regardless of whether one believes global warming is real, I seriously doubt the capacity of a global body made up of bureaucrats and scientists on the public payroll, when given the power to attempt a global climate manipulation, to cook up a workable plan with effects that cannot be discerned for twenty or more years. I've seen how government programs work. They aren't designed to last more than a single election cycle. The idea that government can plan weather patterns for decades strikes me as the height of absurdity. Building up fear and manipulating people into demanding that government save is how radical environmentalists operate. Cap and trade legislation will introduce a whole new product of CO2 permits that will be created and traded by the big financial interests bailed out after the crash, such as Goldman Sachs.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.133-136 , Apr 19, 2011

Big Oil profits ok; Big Oil subsidies are not

Q: Bush’s energy bill provided billions of dollars in tax breaks & subsidies to the oil companies with the goal of boosting domestic production at a time of record profits. Do you support that?

A: I don’t think the profits is the issue. The profits are okay if they’re legitimately earned in a free market. What I object to are subsidies to big corporations when we subsidize them and give them R&D money. I don’t think that should be that way. They should take it out of the funds that they earn.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

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.