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Brad Ellsworth on Energy & Oil

Democrat


Supports nuclear, solar, & clean coal, but not cap-&-trade

The candidates were asked about clean energy and whether they could support incentives for biofuels and wind energy. Coats said the country needs to expand its use of natural gas and nuclear energy to become more independent and lower costs. "If we want clean energy and low cost energy, we need to develop nuclear power," something he said can be done safely.

But Coats said governments must be careful not to choose the winning and losing technologies by subsidizing selected options. "Government and subsidies and politics destroys the whole process," he said.

Ellsworth said the nation needs to invest in a whole range of energy options--including nuclear power, wind and solar, and clean-coal technology. But Ellsworth said opposes President Barack Obama's cap-and-trade energy bill, which he fears will lead to higher rates for Hoosier households and businesses.

Source: Louisville Courier-Transcript on 2010 Indiana Senate debate Oct 22, 2010

Cap-and-trade would put Hoosiers out of work

Coats and Ellsworth had a particularly testy exchange during a question about energy policy, even though both agreed there should be more investment in clean energy.

Ellsworth alleged Coats pushed for the cap-and-trade legislation aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions during his former role as a lobbyist. "Even though Mr. Coats comes back to Indiana and tells Hoosiers he's against the legislation and it would be devastating and a job killer, what if it would have passed, Mr. Coats?" Ellsworth said. "We would have put Americans and Hoosiers out of work based on your lobbying efforts."

Coats responded that Ellsworth was wrong but didn't elaborate.

Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 Indiana Senate debate Oct 22, 2010

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 YES 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 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 #150Congressional Summary:A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide Tax incen 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 project
    Reference: Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act; Bill HR6049 ; 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:

    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; Bill H.R.5351 ; vote number 08-HR5351 on Feb 12, 2008

    Voted YES on investing in homegrown biofuel.

    H.R.3221: New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act: Moving toward greater energy independence and security, developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, protecting consumers, increasing clean renewable energy production, modernizing our energy infrastructure, and providing tax incentives for the production of renewable energy and energy conservation.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    Rep. PELOSI: This bill makes the largest investment in homegrown biofuels in history. We know that America's farmers will fuel America's independence. We will send our energy dollars to middle America, not to the Middle East.

    Rep. TIERNEY: This bill incorporates the Green Jobs Act, which will make $120 million a year available to begin training workers in the clean energy sector. 35,000 people per year can benefit from vocational education for "green-collar jobs" that can provide living wages & upward mobility.

    Opponents recommend voting NO because:

    Rep. SHIMKUS: I'm upset about the bill because it has no coal provisions. What about coal-to-liquid jobs? Those are real jobs with great wages. Energy security? We have our soldiers deployed in the Middle East because it's an important national security interest. Why? We know why. Crude oil. How do we decrease that importance of the Persian Gulf region? We move to coal-to-liquid technologies. What is wrong with this bill? Everything. No soy diesel. No ethanol. No coal. Nothing on nuclear energy. No expansion. There is no supply in this bill. Defeat this bill.

    Rep. RAHALL: [This bill omits a] framework to sequester carbon dioxide to ensure the future use of coal in an environmentally responsible fashion. We can talk about biofuels all we want, but the fact is that coal produces half of our electricity for the foreseeable future. We must aggressively pursue technologies to capture and store the carbon dioxide.

    Reference: New Direction for Energy Independence; Bill HR3221 ; vote number 2007-0832 on Aug 4, 2007

    Voted YES on criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC.

    Amends the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to declare it to be illegal for any foreign states to act collectively to limit the US price or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product. Denies a foreign state engaged in such conduct sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of US courts

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    Gas prices have now reached an all-time record high, $3.27 a gallon, topping even the 1981 spike. This won't be the end of these skyrocketing price hikes either.

    OPEC oil exports represent 70% of all the oil traded internationally. For years now, OPEC's price-fixing conspiracy has unfairly driven up the price and cost of imported crude oil to satisfy the greed of oil exporters. We have long decried OPEC, but have done little or nothing to stop this. The time has come.

    This bill makes fixing oil prices or illegal under US law, just as it would be for any company engaging in the same conduct. It attempts to break up this cartel and subject these colluders and their anticompetitive practices to the antitrust scrutiny that they so richly deserve.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    Reference: No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC); Bill H R 2264 ; vote number 2007-398 on May 22, 2007

    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.

    Reference: Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation(CLEAN); Bill HR 6 ("First 100 hours") ; vote number 2007-040 on Jan 18, 2007

    Balance fossil fuels and viable renewable energy.

    Ellsworth adopted the Blue Dog Coalition press release:

    Blue Dogs believe in a balanced energy plan that expands our energy supply by promoting a diverse energy mix. As a country blessed with a diverse energy portfolio of traditional fossil fuels and viable renewable energy sources, we believe it is critical to promote a forward-looking, market-based, and balanced national energy strategy. We must encourage research and development in new energy technologies that promote the greatest level of conservation at home, in business, and in industry. Reducing national energy intensity through energy efficient applications can save consumers and business billions in extra energy costs while also reducing polluting emissions. Pursuing these collective goals will strengthen our energy security, diversify our energy mix, and provide Americans with reliable and affordable energy sources.

    Source: Blue Dog Coalition press release 01-BDC1 on Jul 10, 2001

    Include agricultural products in renewable fuels.

    Ellsworth signed Renewable Fuel Standard Improvement Act

    Source: H.R.2409 2009-H2409 on May 14, 2009

    Other candidates on Energy & Oil: Brad Ellsworth on other issues:
    IN Gubernatorial:
    Mitch Daniels
    IN Senatorial:
    Daniel Coats
    Richard Lugar

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    Page last updated: Nov 26, 2010