David Adam Smith on Energy & Oil
Democratic Representative (WA-9)
Voted NO on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.
- Makes available for leasing, in the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program, outer Continental Shelf areas that are estimated to contain more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil; or are estimated to contain more than 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
- Makes the production goal for the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program an increase by 2027 in daily production of at least 3 million barrels of oil, and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
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:
Reference: Reversing Pres. Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act;
; vote number 11-HV320
on May 12, 2011
[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.
Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
Congressional Summary:Amends the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from promulgating any regulation the emission of a greenhouse gas (GHG) to address climate change.Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
- Excludes GHGs from the definition of "air pollutant" for purposes of addressing climate change.
- Exempts from such prohibition existing regulations on fuel efficiency, research, or CO2 monitoring.
- Repeals and makes ineffective other rules and actions concerning GHGs.
[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:
Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act;
; vote number 11-HV249
on Apr 7, 2011
[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.
Voted YES 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:
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.
- issuing, trading, and verifying renewable electricity credits; and
- prescribing standards to define and measure electricity savings from energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.
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;
; vote number 2009-H477
on Jun 26, 2009
Voted YES on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets.
Congressional Summary:Extends the tax credit for producing electricity from renewable resources:
- (1) through 2009 for wind facilities; and
- (2) through FY2011 for closed and open-loop biomass, geothermal, small irrigation power, landfill gas, trash combustion, and hydropower facilities.
- Includes marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy as a renewable resource for purposes of such tax credit.
- Includes cellulosic biofuel within the definition of "biomass ethanol plant property" for purposes of bonus depreciation.
- Allows a new tax credit for the production of qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.
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;
; vote number 2008-H649
on Sep 26, 2008
Voted YES 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.
- TITLE I--ENERGY TAX INCENTIVES
- Sec. 102. Production credit for electricity produced from marine renewables.
- Sec. 104. Credit for residential energy efficient property.
- Sec. 106. New clean renewable energy bonds.
- Part II--Carbon Mitigation Provisions
- Sec. 112. Expansion and modification of coal gasification investment credit.
- Sec. 115. Carbon audit of the tax code.
- Sec. 121. Inclusion of cellulosic biofuel in bonus depreciation for biomass ethanol plant property.
- Sec. 122.
Credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel.
- Sec. 124. Credit for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.
- Sec. 127. Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters.
- Sec. 146. Qualified green building and sustainable design projects.
Opponents argument for voting NAY: Sen. SPECTER: H.R. 6049 would revive important tax provisions that expired at the end of 2007 and extend provisions that are set to expire at the end of 2008. I support extension of the R&D tax credit, the renewable energy tax incentives, and many other important provisions in this package.
Despite the positive elements of this legislation, the main sticking point is whether temporary extensions of tax relief should be offset with permanent tax increases elsewhere. The White House issued a statement recommending a Presidential veto of this bill in its current form. [Vote NAY to] allow the Senate to work its will and pass legislation that can be quickly signed by the President.
Reference: Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act;
; vote number 2008-344
on May 21, 2008
Voted YES on tax incentives for renewable energy.
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008:
- Production Incentives: Extends through 2011 the tax credit for the production of electricity from renewable resources (e.g., wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower).
- Extends through 2016 the energy tax credit for investment in solar energy and fuel cell property.
- Allows a new tax credit for the production of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
- Extends through 2010 the tax credits for biodiesel (including agri-biodiesel)
- Allows an alcohol fuels tax credit for the production of qualified cellulosic alcohol fuel.
- Denies the tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production of oil, gas, or any related products.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Rep. MATSUI: Today's debate is about investing in renewable energy, which will chart a new direction for our country's energy policy. This bill restores balance to our energy policy after years of a
tax structure that favors huge oil companies. Today's legislation will transfer some of the massive profits enjoyed by these oil companies and invest them in renewable resources that will power our economy in the future.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Rep. SMITH of Texas: I oppose H.R. 5351. While it is well and good to encourage alternative energy development, Congress should not do so by damaging our domestic oil and gas industry. In 2006 all renewable energy sources provided only 6% of the US domestic energy supply. In contrast, oil and natural gas provided 58% of our domestic energy supply. The numbers don't lie. Oil and natural gas fuel our economy and sustain our way of life.
Furthermore, almost 2 million Americans are directly employed in the oil and natural gas industry. Punishing one of our Nation's most important industries does not constitute a national energy policy.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Bill passed House, 236-182
Reference: Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act;
; vote number 08-HR5351
on Feb 12, 2008
Voted NO on authorizing construction of new oil refineries.
To expedite the construction of new refining capacity in the United States, to provide reliable and affordable energy for the American people, and for other purposes including:
Reference: Gasoline for Americas Security Act;
Bill HR 3893
; vote number 2005-519
on Oct 7, 2005
- Authorizing the President to designate sites on Federal land for construction of new oil refineries, including at least three on closed military bases
- Allowing the Secretary of Energy to enter into contracts with non-Federal entities to construct or restore new refineries that use crude oil or coal to produce gasoline or other fuel
- Establishing a program to encourage carpools by giving grants to states and to evaluate the use of the Internet to link riders with carpools, assist employers establish carpool programs, and market existing programs
- Authorizing any facility to use biomass debris as fuel if it meets certain standards, such as resulting from a major disaster
- $2.5 million to create an education campaign about gasoline conservation
Voted NO on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy.
Vote to pass a bill that would put into practice a comprehensive national policy for energy conservation, research and development. The bill would authorize o $25.7 billion tax break over a 10-year period. The tax breaks would include $11.9 billion to promote oil and gas production, $2.5 billion for "clean coal" programs, $2.2 billion in incentives for alternative motor vehicles, and $1.8 billion for the electric power industry and other businesses. A natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be authorized an $18 billion loan guarantee. It would add to the requirement that gasoline sold in the United States contain a specified volume of ethanol. Makers of the gasoline additive MTBE would be protected from liability. They would be required though to cease production of the additive by 2015. Reliability standards would be imposed for electricity transmissions networks, through this bill. The bill would also ease the restrictions on utility ownership and mergers.
Reference: Energy Policy Act of 2004;
Bill HR 4503
; vote number 2004-241
on Jun 15, 2004
Voted NO on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy.
Energy Omnibus bill: Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would put into practice a comprehensive national policy for energy conservation, research and development. The bill would authorize a $25.7 billion tax break over a 10-year period. The tax breaks would include $11.9 billion to promote oil and gas production, $2.5 billion for "clean coal" programs, $2.2 billion in incentives for alternative motor vehicles, and $1.8 billion for the electric power industry and other businesses. A natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be authorized an $18 billion loan guarantee. The bill would call for producers of Ethanol to double their output. Makers of the gasoline additive MTBE would be protected from liability. They would be required though to cease production of the additive by 2015. Reliability standards would be imposed for electricity transmissions networks, through this bill. The bill would also ease the restrictions on utility ownership and mergers.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Tauzin, R-LA;
; vote number 2003-630
on Nov 18, 2003
Voted YES on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels.
Require a combined corporate average fuel efficiency [CAFE] standard for passenger automobiles and light trucks, including sport utility vehicles, of 26 mpg in 2005 and of 27.5 mpg in 2007. It also would offer incentives for alternative fuel vehicles.
Bill HR 4
; vote number 2001-311
on Aug 1, 2001
Voted YES on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR.
Amendment to maintain the current prohibition on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by striking language opening the reserve up to development.
Bill HR 4
; vote number 2001-317
on Aug 1, 2001
Voted YES on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol.
Vote on an amendment that would allow the implementation of the portions of the Kyoto climate change treaty that are already allowed under law. The Kyoto protocol of 1997, which aims to reduce emissions of certain greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, has not been ratified by the United States. The amendment would allow federal agencies, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to implement procedures already allowed under law that are also part of the Kyoto accord before the treaty is ratified by Congress.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Olver, D-MA;
Bill HR 4690
; vote number 2000-323
on Jun 26, 2000
Supports tradable emissions permits for greenhouse gases.
Smith 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.
Goals for 2010
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC10 on Aug 1, 2000
- Create a domestic emissions trading system to reduce greenhouse gases by 10 percent.
- Promote innovative agreements for community and regional partnerships to achieve national environmental goals and standards through local strategies.
- End government subsidies for sprawl.
Rated 100% by the CAF, indicating support for energy independence.
Smith 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):
- 0% - 30%: opposition of energy independence (approx. 206 members)
- 30% - 70%: mixed record on energy independence (approx. 77 members)
- 70%-100%: support for energy independence (approx. 183 members)
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
Sign on to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Smith co-sponsored signing on to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Source: S.RES.30/H.CON.RES.104 07-SR30 on Jan 16, 2007
- Whereas there is a scientific consensus that the continued buildup of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threatens the stability of the global climate;
- Whereas there are significant long-term risks to the economy and the environment of the US from the temperature increases and climatic disruptions that are projected to result from increased greenhouse gas concentrations;
- Whereas the US has the largest economy in the world and is also the largest emitter of greenhouse gases;
- Whereas reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the levels necessary to avoid serious climatic disruption requires the introduction of new energy technologies and other climate-friendly technologies;
- Whereas the development and sale of climate-friendly technologies in the US and internationally present economic opportunities for workers and businesses in the United States;
- Whereas President Bush, in the State of the Union Address given in
January 2006, called on the US to reduce its 'addiction' to oil and focus its attention on developing cleaner, renewable, and sustainable energy sources;
- Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that the United States should act to reduce the health, environmental, economic, and national security risks posed by global climate change and foster sustained economic growth through a new generation of technologies
- by participating in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and leading efforts in other international fora,
- with the objective of securing United States participation in binding agreements that establish mitigation commitments by all countries that are major emitters of greenhouse gases;
- establish flexible international mechanisms to minimize the cost of efforts by participating countries; and
- achieve a significant long-term reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.
Let states define stricter-than-federal emission standards.
Smith 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
Page last updated: Jan 25, 2017