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Hillary Clinton on Energy & Oil

Secretary of State; previously Democratic Senator (NY)


Get tough with energy speculators and with OPEC cartel

Q: You’ve said you want to get tough with OPEC. But what does it mean when you have members of OPEC like Ahmadinejad of Iran or Hugo Chavez of Venezuela? How do you plan on getting tough with them?

A: Well, I actually have a four-part program that I would put into effect were I president today to deal with these rising gas prices. I would go after the energy traders and speculators. I would close the “Enron loophole.” I voted to quit filling up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. I have advocated a gas tax holiday that is paid for, out of the record profits of the oil companies. And it’s an enormous burden on people who drive any considerable distance.

Q: But what kind of leverage do you have on OPEC?

A: Nine countries that are members of OPEC are members of the WTO, where they have agreed to certain rules that I believe OPEC by definition violates. Also, we have never used antitrust laws in our country to really go at the heart of what is a monopoly cartel.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , May 18, 2008

Gas tax holiday, paid for by windfall oil tax

Q: You’ve proposed to have a holiday on the gas tax. And you would pay for it by having a windfall profit tax on ExxonMobil and some of the other big oil companies. Are you not going to believe in what economists say, since none endorsed this proposal?

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , May 18, 2008

GovWatch: Gas tax holiday saves $8B; but that’s 64 cents/day

Hillary Clinton’s plan is for a three month gas holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Obama says the idea is simply an election day “gimmick”; Clinton claims her plan will save hard-working American families $8 billion a year. An examination of the fine print in the latest round of TV ads shows that both sides have been stretching the facts.

The Clinton TV ad says her plan would “save families $8 billion” then adds derisively, “Barack Obama says that’s just pennies.” $8 billion is accurate in total, but most economists believe that only a portion of the 18.4 cents a gallon tax would revert to consumers in the event of a tax holiday. The net benefit to consumers would be between 9 and 12 cents per gallon.

The average American family of four consumes 2000 gallons of gasoline a year, or 5.4 gallons a day. Clinton’s proposal would save such a family between 48 and 64 cents a day. This figure is comparable with the estimate of 30 cents per day per driver that Obama claimed.

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis , May 6, 2008

Investigate gas price manipulation; add windfall profits tax

Q: What are you going to do about gas prices? $4 a gallon is killing truckers.

A: #1, we are going to investigate these gas prices. The federal government has tools that this administration will not use, in the Federal Trade Commission, because I believe there is market manipulation going on, particularly among energy traders. We’ve seen this movie before, in Enron, and we’ve got to get to the bottom to make sure we’re not being taken advantage of. #2, I would quit putting oil into the Strategi Petroleum Reserve and I would release some to help drive the price down globally. And #3, if there is any kind of gas tax moratorium, as some people are now proposing--

Q: Like John McCain.

A:--like John McCain, and some Democrats, frankly. What I would like to see us do is, if we have $4 gas, then we should have a windfall profits tax on these outrageous oil company profits, and put that money back into the highway trust fund, so that we don’t lose out on repair & construction & rebuilding.

Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary , Apr 16, 2008

FactCheck: Yes, FTC is investigating gas price manipulation

Clinton said she believes “market manipulation” is a factor in the rise of fuel prices but offered no evidence to support that. Clinton said, “We are going to investigate these gas prices. The federal government has certain tools that this administration will not use, in the Federal Trade Commission and other ways, through the Justice Department, because I believe there is market manipulation going on, particularly among energy traders.”

In an article we posted when John Edwards raised this issue, we noted that the FTC has repeatedly looked into allegations of market manipulation and fixing of gasoline prices. So far, it has found nothing to prosecute, not even in the post-Hurricane Katrina gas price spikes.

The FTC isn’t sitting on its hands as prices shoot skyward, at least according to information on its Web site. It monitors retail gas prices in 360 U.S. cities, to look for suspicious pricing. But the FTC does not disclose its ongoing investigations.

Source: FactCheck.org analysis of 2008 Philadelphia primary debate , Apr 16, 2008

Cap-and-trade as president; compact fluorescents at home

Q: Can we address global poverty and climate change without changing our standard of living?

A: I believe there is so much we can do that would not demonstrably undermine our standard of living, but it would give us the opportunity to set an example an to be a model. There are simple steps any one of us can take--turning off lights when one leaves a room, unplugging appliances, changing to compact fluorescent bulbs--my husband and I have done that & we feel like we’re making a small contribution to limiting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. I hope that, as president, I can model that and lead that effort so that people don’t feel so threatened by the changes we’re talking about when it comes to dealing with global warming. And we can do more. Now there’s so much that I have to do as president with the cap-and-trade system, with moving away from our dependence on foreign oil, but I’m going to look for ways that will cushion the costs on middle class and working and poor people.

Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College , Apr 13, 2008

$650 for help with energy bills to those who can’t afford it

Q: How much money would your stimulus plan put in the pockets of the average citizen?

A: We have to stimulate the economy. I began calling for some kind of economic action plan back at the beginning of December. I have a package of $110 billion; $70 billion of that would go towards dealing with the mortgage crisis. I would have a moratorium on home foreclosures for 90 days to try to help families work it out so that they don’t lose their homes. I want to have an interest rate freeze for 5 years. Then, I think we need to give people about $650, if they qualify--which will be millions of people--to help pay their energy bills this winter. There are so many people on fixed incomes and working people who are not going to be able to afford the spike in energy costs. And then we will have money for rebates, but let’s make them the right rebates. A lot of our seniors on fixed incomes don’t pay income taxes. But that doesn’t mean they’re immune from the energy costs.

Source: 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate , Jan 21, 2008

FactCheck: Oil & gas giveaways stripped from final 2005 Bill

Obama and Clinton dueled over the 2005 energy bill, but Clinton repeated her misleading claims. Clinton said, “It’s well accepted that the 2005 energy bill was the Dick Cheney lobbyist energy bill. It was written by lobbyists. It was championed by Dick Cheney. It wasn’t just the green light that it gave to more nuclear power. It had enormous giveaways to the oil and gas industries.”

While it’s true that Republican lawmakers had once considered large tax breaks for oil and gas companies in the bill, the biggest of them had been stripped out of the bill by the time it passed.

It’s true that the Energy Policy Act contained $14.3 billion in tax breaks, but most went to electric utilities for such things as incentives for new transmission lines & “clean coal” facilities, and also for incentives for alternative fuels research and subsidies for energy efficient cars and homes.

The bill did give $2.6 billion in tax breaks for oil companies, but those were offset by $2.9 billion in tax increases.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas , Jan 16, 2008

Investigate & move toward energy efficiency and conservation

We do have enough money in LIHEAP to help consumers pay their bills. We should have a crash program on weatherization to help to drive those bills down. We need to do more to investigate, and we might even have to look at the strategic petroleum reserve, which the Bush administration has been filling up beyond any expectation of need for the short term. We also have to have a serious move toward energy efficiency and conservation. We need to get people to be more conscious to do it for themselves.
Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University , Oct 30, 2007

Opposes Yucca Mountain; earthquake fault goes under it

Q: Would you rule out expanding nuclear power?

A: No, but it would not be one of the options that I favor, unless, number one, the cost can get down for the construction and operation; number two, that we have a viable solution for the nuclear waste. I voted against Yucca Mountain. I’ve spoken out against Yucca Mountain. I think that recently the discovery--there’s an earthquake fault going under the proposed site at Yucca Mountain--certainly validates my opposition. So there are a lot of very difficult questions. But we’re going to have to look at the entire energy profile, in order to determine how we’re going to move away from our dependence upon carbon-based fuels. And I will look at everything, but there are some tough questions you’d have to answer with respect to nuclear.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College , Sep 6, 2007

Led delegation, with McCain, to see effects of polar warming

Virtually the entire Senate voted for a resolution opposing the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty even before I could submit it for ratification.

All that changed after 9/11 and the Iraqi War. With oil prices soaring and mounting evidence of the destructive impacts of climate change, everyone began to take the issue more seriously. Sen. John McCain and Hillary led delegations of more skeptical senators to northern Norway and Alaska to see the already clear impact of warming for themselves. Other countries proved that clean efficient energy use could be profitable. While the US government was condemning Kyoto as a threat to growth, the United Kingdom determined to beat its Kyoto reduction target by 25% to 50%, and in so doing created enough good jobs to enjoy something we Americans didn't--rising wages and declining inequality. Germany is now the number one producer of wind energy, and Japan leads the world in the production and installation of solar panels.

Source: Giving, by Bill Clinton, p.154-155 , Sep 4, 2007

Invest in alternative energy; jobs that won’t be outsourced

We’ve got to have a source of new jobs. That’s why we’ve got to invest in energy. We can create millions of new jobs if we go toward renewable energy. Those are not jobs that will be outsourced.
Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum , Aug 7, 2007

End Big Oil tax break; $50 billion for strategic energy fund

I have proposed a strategic energy fund that I would fund by taking away the tax break for the oil companies, which have gotten much greater under Bush and Cheney. And we could spend about $50 billion doing what America does best. It’s time we start acting like Americans again. We can solve these problems if we focus on innovation and technology. Alternative forms of energy are important. So is fuel efficiency for cars and so is energy efficiency for buildings.
Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC , Jul 23, 2007

Agnostic about nuclear power until waste & cost issue solved

Q: What about nuclear power as an alternative energy source?

A: I’m agnostic about nuclear power. Until we figure out what we’re going to do with the waste and the cost, it’s very hard to see nuclear as a part of our future. But that’s where American technology comes in. Let’s figure out what we’re going to do about the waste and the cost if we think nuclear should be a part of the solution.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC , Jul 23, 2007

FactCheck: There was no Big Oil tax break under Bush-Cheney

Clinton wrongly claimed that the Bush-Cheney administration had increased tax breaks for the oil industry:
CLINTON: First of all, I have proposed a strategic energy fund that I would fund by taking away the tax break for the oil companies, which have gotten much greater under Bush and Cheney.
Actually, the highly publicized energy bill the president signed in 2005 raised taxes slightly on the oil industry as a whole. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provided about $2.6 billion of tax cuts for the oil and gas industry, plus $2.9 billion of tax increases, for a net tax increase on the industry of nearly $300 million over 11 years.

It’s true that many generous subsidies were proposed and debated, but those were stripped out before the bill was passed. The final bill contained $14.3 billion in tax breaks, but the bulk of the cuts went to electric utilities, and nuclear, and also to alternative fuels research and subsidies for energy-efficiency--not to the oil industry.

Source: FactCheck on 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate , Jul 23, 2007

Energy Independence 2020: $50B for Strategic Energy Fund

In Dec. 2005, Hillary hooked up with an alliance of environmentalists and unions to help unveil a new Democratic plan, “Energy Independence 2020.”

[In a speech introducing the plan,] after praising solar power and wind technology, Hillary turned her attention to her villains--the oil companies--and discussed the legislation she hoped to pass that would force them to change their ways. Unless they diversified away from fossil fuels and into preferred, renewable technologies, her bill would require that they be assessed heavy windfall-profits taxes. This new revenue source, estimated at $50 billion, would finance a government energy fund that invested in innovative energy research.

Hillary introduced her promised legislation to create a federal “Strategic Energy Fund” financed by oil company taxes. But her energy bill, while music to the ears of the Left, overreached her colleagues. Hillary could not find another senator to cosponsor her bill.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.279-283 , Jun 8, 2007

Extensive funding into alternative energy

At a Sept. 2005 global warming conference, Hillary told the audience there had been an “absence of leadership” by the Bush administration on climate change. She offered her own solution: “I would advocate a much more concerted effort on our government’s part to fund an extensive research project into alternative forms of energy.”

The next day there was a plenary session on global warming. The marquee attraction was Al Gore. Hillary and Gore had vied for Bill’s attention during his presidency, and that rivalry had only intensified after the Clintons left the White House. Bill privately told confidants that he believed that if Hillary emerged as the likely Democratic presidential nominee, Gore would enter as a left-of-Hillary alternative.

One month later, Hillary unveiled a comprehensive clean-energy plan, along the lines she had mentioned at the conference. She suffered the same fate as Gore: Nobody paid attention.

Source: Her Way, by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta, p.276-277 , Jun 8, 2007

Will make big oil fund alternative energy research

The other day the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits and I want to put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to find alternative smart energy, alternatives and technologies that will begin to actually move us toward the direction of independence!
Source: Speech at Democratic National Committee winter meeting , Feb 2, 2007

$50B strategic energy fund from taxing oil companies

Amidst rising gas prices in June 2006, Clinton declared that US energy independence was “absolutely feasible” providing Congress created a “federal legal framework that encourages people to make the right decisions.”

In May 2006, Clinton unveiled a proposal for a “virtual revolution” in energy, to decrease the use of foreign oil by 8 million barrels a day by 2025. The plan called for the creation of a $50 billion “strategic energy fund” by increasing taxes on oil companies. Clinton also suggested the government force oil firms to invest in unproven, renewable fuels like ethanol.

Clinton, in short, sought to reallocate money from fuel that consumers do buy (oil) to fuel that they don’t buy (renewables). Clinton’s plan was consistent with her tenacious opposition to any measure allowing oil companies to increase domestic drilling [both in ANWR and off the US coast].

Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p. 62-63 , Oct 11, 2006

Remove energy dependence on countries who would harm us

An important thing to do is to have a new energy policy so that we are not dependent upon regimes that are going to undermine our security, our economy and our environment.
Source: Annual 2006 Take Back America Conference , Jun 14, 2006

Need to move toward energy efficiency and conservation

The economy is slipping toward a recession. The unemployment figures hitting 5%, the $100 a barrel oil this week, the fall of the dollar. There’s a lot of pressures on middle-class families, and the kind of costs that they have to keep up with have all gone up astronomically. The energy costs for the typical family in New Hampshire since Bush has been president have tripled. That’s far beyond what the costs of the tax cut that they got from Bush. What we’ve got to do is use energy as an opportunity to actually jump-start economic recovery. We need to quickly move toward energy efficiency. We should require the utilities to begin to work for energy efficiency and conservation. We need a weatherization and low-income heating emergency program that is helping families to cover their costs, and look at how doing what is right about energy is not only good for our security and good for the fight against global warming, but it will be essential in dealing with the economic challenges that we face.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate , Jan 6, 2006

Supports oil reserve release & fund conservation

Q: Do you support conserving energy?

A: I’ve spoken about an energy policy that would include conservation tax credits that the Republicans have blocked. The administration has put forth an energy policy that we couldn’t get through that Republican leadership that my opponent is part of. We need a new Congress. I was pleased when the president did release some oil from the reserve. So we have work to do and it needs to be led by Democrats who understand that we shouldn’t be beholden to big oil.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan , Oct 8, 2000


Hillary Clinton on Voting Record

Ratify Kyoto; more mass transit

As Senator, I will work for New York to get its fair share of federal mass transit funds and to increase the amount of money that goes to transit funds. And, I will vote to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to bring all nations together to address global warming and build a better future for us all.
Source: www.hillary2000.org, “Environment” , Sep 9, 2000

Voted YES on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies.

Creating Long-term Energy Alternatives for the Nation (CLEAN) Act

Proponents support voting YES because:

This legislation seeks to end the unwarranted tax breaks & subsidies which have been lavished on Big Oil over the last several years, at a time of record prices at the gas pump and record oil industry profits. Big Oil is hitting the American taxpayer not once, not twice, but three times. They are hitting them at the pump, they are hitting them through the Tax Code, and they are hitting them with royalty holidays put into oil in 1995 and again in 2005.

It is time to vote for the integrity of America's resources, to vote for the end of corporate welfare, to vote for a new era in the management of our public energy resources.

Opponents support voting NO because:

I am wearing this red shirt today, because this shirt is the color of the bill that we are debating, communist red. It is a taking. It will go to court, and it should be decided in court.

This bill will increase the competitive edge of foreign oil imported to this country. If the problem is foreign oil, why increase taxes and make it harder to produce American oil and gas? That makes no sense. We should insert taxes on all foreign oil imported. That would raise your money for renewable resources. But what we are doing here today is taxing our domestic oil. We are raising dollars supposedly for renewable resources, yet we are still burning fossil fuels.
Status: Bill passed Bill passed, 65-27

Reference: Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation (CLEAN); Bill H.R.6 ; vote number 2007-226 on Jun 21, 2007

Voted YES on making oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal.

Voting YES would amend the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. It would be a violation for any foreign state:
  1. to limit the production or distribution of oil & natural gas;
  2. to set or maintain the price of oil & natural gas; or
  3. to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for oil & natural gas;
  4. when such collective action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price, or distribution of oil & natural gas in the US.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Our NOPEC bill will authorize filing suit against nations that participate in a conspiracy to limit the supply, or fix the price, of oil. In addition, it will specify that the doctrines of sovereign immunity do not exempt nations that participate in oil cartels from basic antitrust law.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

No one likes OPEC. But this amendment, in my opinion, would make bad law. The Framers of the Constitution wisely assigned responsibility for formulating foreign policy and conducting foreign relations to the President and to the Congress, not to the law courts.

The amendment before us has its roots in a lawsuit filed by the labor union nearly 30 years ago. The union at that time charged OPEC with price fixing in violation of our antitrust laws. The trial court dismissed the case on the ground that OPEC members are sovereign nations and are immune from suit. Adopting the amendment will undoubtedly be very popular, but it is also very unwise.

In addition, we here in the Senate ought to consider how enactment of this amendment might affect our relations with OPEC members. What will be the international repercussions when the US starts awarding judgments against foreign nations and attaching their assets in this country? Will other nations start to view our trade policies--such as our nuclear trade restrictions--as violations of their antitrust laws?

Reference: NOPEC Amendment to CLEAN Energy Act; Bill S.Amdt.1519 to H.R.6 ; vote number 2007-215 on Jun 19, 2007

Voted YES on factoring global warming into federal project planning.

Amendment would require the consideration of global climate change, in planning, feasibility studies, & general reevaluation reports. Would require accounting for the costs & benefits from the impacts of global climate change on flood, storm, and drought risks; potential future impacts of global climate change-related weather events, such as increased hurricane activity, intensity, storm surge, sea level rise, and associated flooding; & employs nonstructural approaches and design modifications to avoid or prevent impacts to streams, wetlands, and floodplains that provide natural flood and storm buffers.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

It just seems logical that we ask the Corps of Engineers to include in their analyses, judgments about the potential impact of global climate change. All this amendment seeks to do, as a matter of common sense, is to ask the Army Corps of Engineers to factor climate change into their future plans. Secondly, we are making a statement here to finally recognize the reality of what is happening with respect to climate change.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

The same people today who are saying we are all going to die from global warming, just back in the middle 1970s were saying another ice age is coming and we are all going to die. Which way do you want it?

If a surge of anthropogenic gases--this CO2, methane, or whatever it is--were causing a warming period, then around 1945 we would have a warming period because in the middle 1940s we had the greatest increase in greenhouse gases. But what happened? It did not precipitate a warming period.

Peer reviewed evidence shows that the sun has actually been driving the temperature change. You don't have to be a scientist to know that the Sun can have something to do with climate change.

Implementing Kyoto would reduce the average annual household income nearly $2,700, at a time when the cost of all goods would rise sharply.

Reference: Kerry Amendment; Bill S.Amdt.1094 to H.R.1495 ; vote number 2007-166 on May 15, 2007

Voted YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR.

To remove the establishment of an oil and gas leasing program in the Alaskan Coastal Plain. The original bill allows for an oil and gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Voteing YES on this amendment would remove that section, hence barring leasing in ANWR.
Reference: Bar Oil and Gas Leasing amendment; Bill S Amdt 2358 to S 1932 ; vote number 2005-288 on Nov 3, 2005

Voted YES on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas.

To provide for appropriations for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Vote on a motion to waive the Budget Act in order to adopt an amendment that appropriates federal funds for the LIHEAP program. A 3/5th vote is required to amand a budget bi
Reference: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program appropriation; Bill S.AMDT.2033 to HR 2863 ; vote number 2005-250 on Oct 5, 2005

Voted YES on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%).

Amendment to improve the energy security of the United States and reduce United States dependence on foreign oil imports by 40% by 2025. The amendment seeks to reduce usage by 7.6 million barrels of oil a day, out of a total usage of 20 million barrels of oil a day. The bill without amendment seeks to reduce usage by 1 million barrels of oil a day. Opponents of the amendment said, "It would be disruptive of jobs if you set a 78 mile per gallon CAFÉ standard for cars, a 185-percent increase; a 60 mile per gallon standard for trucks, light trucks, a 174-percent increase. [The unamended version] is more in keeping with President Kennedy's "man on the Moon" goal. [The amended version] is a "man or woman on Mars" goal, and maybe we will get there one day, but it is unrealistic today."
Reference: Energy Policy Act of 2005; Bill S.Amdt. 784 to H.R. 6 ; vote number 2005-140 on Jun 16, 2005

Voted YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would strike a provision in the concurrent resolution that recognizes revenue from oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The amendment says: "To ensure that legislation that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, other federal lands, and the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling receives full consideration and debate in the Senate under regular order, rather than being fast-tracked under reconciliation procedures; to ensure that receipts from such drilling destined for the federal treasury are fairly shared with local jurisdictions; and does not occur unless prohibitions against the export of Alaskan oil are enacted."
Reference: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge anti-drilling Amendment; Bill S AMDT 168 to S.Con.Res. 18 ; vote number 2005-52 on Mar 16, 2005

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.
Reference: 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].
Reference: 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.
Reference: 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.
Reference: Bill S.517 ; vote number 2002-47 on Mar 13, 2002

Supports tradable emissions permits for greenhouse gases.

Clinton adopted 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 efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy.

Clinton 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

Establish greenhouse gas tradeable allowances.

Clinton co-sponsored establishing greenhouse gas tradeable allowances

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to provide for a program of scientific research on abrupt climate change, to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the US by establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances, to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the US and reduce dependence upon foreign oil, and ensure benefits to consumers from the trading in such allowances.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. McCAIN: This bill is designed to begin a meaningful and shared effort among the emission-producing sectors of our country to address the world's greatest environmental challenge--climate change.

The National Academy of Sciences reported, "temperatures are, in fact, rising." The overwhelming body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is real, that it is happening as we speak.

Terrible things are happening at the poles, which will have global implications. Amplified global warming, rising sea levels, and potential alterations in ocean circulation patterns are among the global concerns.

The International Climate Change Task Force recommended that "all developed countries introduce mandatory cap-and-trade systems for carbon emissions and construct them to allow for future integration into a single global market." That is already being done in Europe as we speak, which is the substance of this legislation.

If we do not move on this issue, our children and grandchildren are going to pay an incredibly heavy price because this crisis is upon us, only we do not see its visible aspects in all of its enormity. We have done relatively nothing besides gather additional data and make reports. That is what the US national policy is today: gather information and make reports. I would argue that is a pretty heavy burden to lay on future generations of Americans.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; never came to a vote.

Source: Climate Stewardship Act (S.342/H.R.759) 05-S0342 on Feb 10, 2005

Require public notification when nuclear releases occur.

Clinton co-sponsored requiring public notification when nuclear releases occur

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to require atomic energy plants to notify the Atomic Energy Commission, and the State and county in which a facility is located, whenever there is an unplanned release of fission products in excess of allowable limits.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. OBAMA: It was recently announced by Exelon Nuclear that an environmental monitoring program discovered higher than normal concentrations of tritium in the groundwater near their Nuclear Generating Station. Indications are that this tritium plume is the result of an accidental radioactive wastewater release that occurred approximately 6 to 8 years ago. Community residents did not receive full or immediate notification of this contamination.

I was surprised to learn, that while Federal law requires notification immediately upon a "declared emergency," Federal law does not require notification of any other accidental, unplanned, or unintentional radioactive substance releases that may occur if those releases do not immediately rise to a public health or safety threat. And while those incidents must be documented with the NRC and made available to the public, accessing that information is contingent upon the public actually knowing that these incidents ever occurred.

When radioactive substances are released into the environment outside of normal operating procedures, notifying State and local officials should not be a courtesy; it should be the law.

It is reasonable--and realistic--for nuclear power to remain on the table for consideration. Illinois has 11 nuclear power plants--the most of any state. The people of Illinois--and all residents who live near nuclear power plants--have a right to know when actions are taken that might affect their safety and well-being.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar; never came to a vote.

Source: Nuclear Release Notice Act (S.2348/H.R.4825) 06-S2348 on Mar 1, 2006

Rated 100% by the CAF, indicating support for energy independence.

Clinton scores 100% by CAF on energy issues

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 CAF scores as follows:

About the CAF (from their website, www.ourfuture.org):

The Campaign for America's Future (CAF) is a center for ideas and action that works to build an enduring majority for progressive change. The Campaign advances a progressive economic agenda and a vision of the future that works for the many, not simply the few. The Campaign is leading the fight for America's priorities--against privatization of Social Security, for investment in energy independence, good jobs and a sustainable economy, for an ethical and accountable Congress and for high quality public education.

About the CAF report, "Energy Independence: Record vs. Rhetoric":

Energy independence has surfaced as a defining issue in the current elections. Are most candidates and both parties truly committed? To help distinguish the demonstrated level of support for homegrown, clean energy alternatives, we examined the voting records of current U.S. Representatives and Senators on bills vital to promoting those interests. Key pieces of legislation included goals for independence, and subsidies for the development of alternatives compared to subsidies for drilling and digging. We then compared votes on these issues with campaign contributions from major oil interests. The results show strong inverse correlations between political contributions from big oil and votes for energy independence.

Source: CAF "Energy Independence" Report 06n-CAF on Dec 31, 2006

Designate sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness.

Clinton co-sponsored designating sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, DESIGNATION OF PORTION OF ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AS WILDERNESS.

The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 is amended by adding at the end the following:

Designation of Certain Land as Wilderness- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska comprising approximately 1,559,538 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled 'Arctic National Wildlife Refuge--1002 Area. Alternative E--Wilderness Designation, October 28, 1991' and available for inspection in the offices of the Secretary, is designated as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System under the Wilderness Act'.

Source: ANWR Wilderness Act (S.2316 ) 2007-S2316 on Nov 7, 2007

Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025.

Clinton co-sponsored setting goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025

A resolution that it is the goal of the United States that, not later than January 1, 2025, the agricultural, forestry, and working land of the US should provide from renewable resources not less than 25% of the total energy consumed and continue to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed, and fiber. [Governors also signed letters of endorsement at www.25x25.org]

Rep. SALAZAR: "Our resolution establishes a national goal of producing 25% of America's energy from renewable sources--like solar, wind and biofuels--by 2025. The "25x'25" vision is widely endorsed, bold, and fully attainable. If implemented, it would dramatically improve our energy security, our economy, and our ability to protect the environment.

"I am pleased that more than 20 of my colleagues in the Senate, from both sides of the aisle, are cosponsoring this resolution. In addition, the "25x'25" vision has been endorsed by 22 current and former governors and several State legislatures across the country. The Big Three automobile manufacturers--Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors--are all behind "25x'25" So are many agricultural organizations, environmental groups, scientists, and businesses, ranging from the Natural Resources Defense Council to John Deere.

"These Americans understand that we cannot continue to import 60% of our oil from foreign countries, many of which are hostile to the US, if we aim to be strong and secure in the world. They know that we will have to build a clean energy economy if we are to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It is time for Congress to take a more active role in our clean energy future. Establishing a national goal--"25x'25" is the first step."

Source: 25x'25 Act (S.CON.RES.3 / H.CON.RES.25) 2007-SC03 on Jan 17, 2007

Let states define stricter-than-federal emission standards.

Clinton co-sponsored allowing states to define stricter emission standards

A bill to permit California and other States to effectively control greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, and for other purposes. Amends the Clean Air Act to approve the application of the state of California for a waiver of federal preemption of its motor vehicle emission standards.

Source: Reducing Global Warming from Vehicles Act (S.2555&H.R.5560) 2008-S2555 on Jan 24, 2008

Gas tax holiday for the summer.

Clinton sponsored suspending the highway fuel tax for the summer

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to suspend excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels between May 26, 2008, and September 1, 2008. Provides for reimbursement from the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund for any reduction in Trust Fund receipts resulting from such suspension.

    Expresses the policy of Congress that:
  1. consumers immediately receive the benefit of the reduction in taxes resulting from this Act; and
  2. transportation motor fuels producers and other dealers take necessary actions to reduce fuel prices to reflect such reduction in taxes.
Source: S.2890&S.2971 2008-S2890 on Apr 17, 2008

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