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Steve Pearce on Energy & Oil

Republican Representative (NM-2)


Set aside 6.4M acres in New Mexico for solar panels

Udall talked of traveling with [returing incumbent Republican Sen. Pete] Domenici to talk about energy policy and military bases in New Mexico. “I know the people are mad. I know they’re angry... and I intend to do something about it,” Udall said.

But Pearce later brought up an example that he said showed Udall declining to work in a bipartisan manner. He said he sent a letter to Udall, who supports solar energy, asking him to sign on to a bill that would set aside 6.4 million acres of public land in New Mexico for solar panels. Pearce said Udall refused to support it. “You couldn’t find it in your heart to sign on to that,” Pearce said.

Udall said he was not aware of the bill and criticized its timing. “Many bills he’s introduced are only in the Senate campaign, they don’t have anything to do with what he legislated in the previous five years. To me that really isn’t a bill to drop it in the middle of a Senate campaign. Show that your heart and soul is in it,” he told his rival.

Source: 2008 N.M. Senate Debate reported in Silver City Sun-News , Oct 19, 2008

More domestic oil production & more nuclear power

Pearce supports more domestic oil production and developing more nuclear power facilities. However, he also said renewable energy should be part of a long-term energy plan. Pearce said he advocates drilling off the Florida coast and in Alaska, specifically, and said that officials at Sandia National Laboratories have told him the country is at least 30 years away from relying on solar and wind power.

Udall said he helped pass legislation in the House for a renewable electricity standard on public utilities of 20 percent by 2020, but it failed in the Senate by one vote. “One vote can make a difference,” he said.

Source: [Xref Udall] 2008 N.M. Senate debate , Aug 22, 2008

Nuclear energy is cheap, clean and ready now

I have been a consistent advocate for developing renewable energy such as solar, wind, and biofuel. Still, even significant advancements in renewables will not replace our reliance on traditional sources of energy such as oil and natural gas. That’s why I have fought for technologies that make the production of energy from these sources cleaner and more efficient. Nuclear power must be a part of America’s energy future. Nuclear energy is cheap, clean and ready now.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.peopleforpearce.com , Aug 12, 2008

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 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.