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Al Franken on Energy & Oil

DFL Jr Senator (MN)


Tax credits for wind-power, not for oil companies

The candidates also agreed that the country must work toward energy independence, with Coleman citing wind-power tax credits and other initiatives he helped pass in Congress, and Franken and Barkley criticizing him for voting for a bill that included tax credits for oil companies.

Turning to Coleman, Franken said: “There was no reason to do that to get wind credits unless you had senators who took money from big oil companies.”

Source: 2008 MN Senate Debate reported in Star Tribune , Oct 17, 2008

Supports cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases

Q: Do you support caps on greenhouse gas emissions?

A: Yes. Setting up a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases is a crucial step we need to reduce the overall level of emissions. As a senator, I will fight for legislation to put these limits in place. Conservation, renewable sources of energy, and the development of new green technologies will also be vital. Minnesota businesses are leading the world in renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, and creating jobs in the process.

Source: Citizens for Global Solutions: 2008 Senate questionnaire , Sep 9, 2008

US failed to lead by refusing to sign onto the Kyoto accords

Q: Do you support U.S. participation in binding international climate agreements?

A: Yes. It is an absolute scandal that we have failed to lead on this issue by refusing to sign onto the Kyoto accords. We have to lead going forward--and we have to make sure we bring China and India with us. Domestic limits on carbon emissions would be a step toward the US doing our part to halt and reverse global warming. We also need a successor agreement to Kyoto in which all of the industrial powers commit to taking action. But we can’t postpone US action until such an international accord is reached. At the same time as we’re working with others to set the agenda for negotiations, we need to take our own urgent steps.

Source: Citizens for Global Solutions: 2008 Senate questionnaire , Sep 9, 2008

Investing in renewable energy is win-win-win-win-win

Investing in renewable energy is win-win-win-win-win. It’ll pay off in so many ways:
  1. We’ll dramatically improve our environment.
  2. We’ll finally be taking steps to address global warming.
  3. We’ll make our nation more secure and less dependent on an uncertain global fuel economy.
  4. We’ll revitalize our manufacturing sector. We should be making wind turbines, and we should be putting them up all over Minnesota.
  5. We’ll create high-tech, high-paying jobs in conservation and R&D.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.AlFranken.com, “Issues” , Mar 9, 2008

Apollo project for renewable energy development

We need a new “Apollo project”--this time to fundamentally change our energy policy and end our reliance on foreign oil. This “Apollo project” should provide financial support for research into new forms of renewable energy and development of currently-identified sources to make them more efficient. Of course I’m talking about corn ethanol. But I’m also talking about cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels. I’m talking about solar power. And I’m talking about wind power. We live in a windy stat
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.AlFranken.com, “Issues” , Mar 9, 2008

Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Congressional Summary:To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change. The Clean Air Act is amended by adding a section entitled, "No Regulation of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases". In this section, the term 'greenhouse gas' means any of the following:
  1. Water vapor
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Methane
  4. Nitrous oxide
  5. Sulfur hexafluoride
  6. Hydrofluorocarbons
  7. Perfluorocarbons
  8. Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to regulation to address climate change.
The definition of the term 'air pollutant' does not include a greenhouse gas, except for purposes of addressing concerns other than climate change.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Sen. McConnell, R-KY]: The White House is trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA. It is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices. But it is perfectly consistent with the current Energy Secretary's previously stated desire to get gas prices in the US up to where they are in Europe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Sen. Lautenberg, D-NJ]:We hear the message that has been going around: Let's get rid of the EPA's ability to regulate. Who are they to tell us what businesses can do? Thank goodness that in this democratic society in which we live, there are rules and regulations to keep us as a civilized nation. The Supreme Court and scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency agreed that the Clean Air Act is a tool we must use to stop dangerous pollution. This amendment, it is very clear, favors one group--the business community. The Republican tea party politicians say: "Just ignore the Supreme Court. Ignore the scientists. We know better." They want to reward the polluters by crippling EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act.
Status: Failed 50-50 (3/5

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill Am183 to S.49 ; vote number 11-SV054 on Apr 6, 2011

Other candidates on Energy & Oil: Al Franken on other issues:
MN Gubernatorial:
Mark Dayton
MN Senatorial:
Amy Klobuchar
Jim Abeler
Mike McFadden

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Page last updated: Apr 17, 2014