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Pat Toomey on Energy & Oil

Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (PA-15)


End ethanol subsidy but don't raise taxes

In the spring of 2011, I decided to set up a choice for any Republicans who wanted to defend tax earmarks by forcing a vote on eliminating the ethanol tax earmark. When Grover Norquist [President of ATR, the American for Tax Reform] once again called my proposal a "tax increase," I sent him a letter instructing him to drop his support of tax earmarks.

My amendment won handily on a bipartisan vote of 73 to 27 margin. Democrats had been persuaded by senators like Dianne Feinstein who argued [against government intervention].Meanwhile, nearly all Republicans who had signed Norquists's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," which Norquist had decided to interpret inappropriately, joined me in supporting genuine tax reform.

Even freshman fiscal hawk Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA), who called the pledge a useful tool in uniting Republicans, acknowledged having "subtle" differences with Norquist. "I am not interested in raising taxes," he said. "But I am interested in ending ethanol subsidies."

Source: The Debt Bomb, by Sen. Tom Coburn, p.248-50 , Apr 17, 2012

We need oil from deep water wells despite the Gulf spill

In keeping with his general hostility toward big government, Toomey is skeptical of proposals to expand federal oversight of drilling in the Marcellus Shale fields. He opposes open-ended moratoriums on new ocean drilling, arguing that the nation needs the oil from deep water wells and that the Gulf spill, however disastrous and worthy of investigation, is an exception to a track record of generally safe operations by the industry.

Sestak has endorsed legislation that would bring Marcellus Shale drilling under the oversight of the Safe Drinking Water Act. He has echoed Pres. Obama's call for a strict moratorium on offshore drilling.

Those issues have provided ammunition for persistent sniping: "Toomey sides with Big Oil in the wake of BP disaster," Sestak charged in a press statements. "On energy, Sestak to the left of many Democrats," a Toomey statement contended.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette coverage of 2010 PA Senate Debates , Jun 14, 2010

Increase domestic supply instead of cap-and-trade

Toomey is a sharp critic of the cap-and-trade bill supported by his opponent, contending that it would have disastrous consequences for Pennsylvania businesses. Sestak championed the House version of cap-and-trade legislation designed to use market force to increase the costs of carbon emissions.

Toomey claims Sestak's voting record is more liberal than the views of his state on energy as on other issues. On cap and trade, for example, Toomey notes that four of Sestak's colleagues in the House Democratic delegation voted against the bill. All of those Democratic "no" votes came from districts carried by Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential race.

In Congress and later as president of the Club for Growth, Toomey argued that a major solution to the nation's energy problems was in increasing the supply of domestically produced oil, whether from the ocean floor or from such currently protected areas as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette coverage of 2010 PA Senate Debates , Jun 14, 2010

Global warming exists, but not necessarily due to humans

Unlike some conservative figures, Toomey acknowledges that global warming exists but he is an agnostic on the crucial question of whether it is a product of human activity. "There's no question that the Earth's surface temperature has increased," he said in a statement. "There is much debate in the scientific community as to the precise sources of global warming. There is no doubt that the proposed cap-and-trade 'solution' would do nothing to stop global warming but would be devastating to jobs and the economy in Pennsylvania."

Sestak said global warming is principally man-made, citing a series of scientific findings on the matter.

The opponents split this week on a closely watched Senate bill that would have stripped the EPA of the ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

Sestak's campaign said he would have opposed the measure. Toomey supported the bill, calling the EPA's regulatory proposals a back-door effort to institute a cap-and-trade system, which is stalled in the Senate.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette coverage of 2010 PA Senate Debates , Jun 14, 2010

Drill ANWR; drill offshore; drill Marcellus Shale

Pat believes that protecting our environment is critically important. But he also knows it is possible to harness America's natural resources without doing harm to it. For example, Pat voted in the House of Representatives to allow drilling in a small part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Pat also supports allowing Americans to drill for oil in the Outer Continental Shelf and to develop the vast oil shale reserves in America's western states. Other sources of energy include natural gas in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale and the production of nuclear power. The Marcellus Shale is the largest unconventional natural gas reserve in the world and nuclear power is a low-carbon form of energy production that has been proven to be safe, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly. These policy changes alone would go a long way towards lowering energy prices and achieving the goal of energy independence.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, toomeyforsenate.com, "Issues" , Dec 25, 2009

Voted YES 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

Voted YES 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 YES 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; Bill HR.6 ; vote number 2003-630 on Nov 18, 2003

Voted NO 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 NO 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 NO 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

Opposes passage of Cap-and-Trade energy legislation.

Toomey opposes the F2A survey question on cap-and-trade

Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The Faith2Action survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Passage of Cap-and-Trade Energy Legislation'

Source: Faith2Action Survey 10-FF-q18 on Sep 19, 2010

Other candidates on Energy & Oil: Pat Toomey on other issues:
PA Gubernatorial:
Allyson Schwartz
Mark Critz
Michael Nutter
Tom Corbett
Tom Wolf
PA Senatorial:
Bob Casey

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Page last updated: Aug 11, 2014