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Paul Wellstone on Energy & Oil


Against Arctic drilling.

[Early in his Senate career] came his successful effort to save the Arctic wildlife from oil drilling.
Source: www.wellstone2000.com/wellbio.html 12/31/98 Dec 31, 1998

Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds.

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Murkowski Amendment No. 31323; To create jobs for Americans, to reduce dependence on foreign sources of crude oil and energy, to strengthen the economic self determination of the Inupiat Eskimos and to promote national security. Would allow gas and oil development in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if the president certifies to Congress that production in the area is in the nation's security and economic interests (qwhich Prsident Bush would). If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. A yea vote for this bill was one in favor of drilling in the reserve. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture.
Bill S.517 ; vote number 2002-71 on Apr 18, 2002

Voted NO on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months.

Levin Amendment No. 2997; To provide alternative provisions to better encourage increased use of alternative fueled and hybrid vehicles. Vote to pass an amendment that would remove the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard (CAFE) and instead establish a new automobile efficiency standard in 15 months. Congress could veto any CAFE increase and would be allowed to increase the standard if no changes are made with 15 months. The bill would overhaul the nation's energy policies by restructuring the electricity system and providing for $16 billion in energy-related tax incentives.
Bill S.517 ; vote number 2002-47 on Mar 13, 2002

Voted NO on preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling.

Vote to preserve language in the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Framework that assumes $1.2 billion in revenue from oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] in Alaska.
Bill S Con Res 101 ; vote number 2000-58 on Apr 6, 2000

Voted YES on ending discussion of CAFE fuel efficiency standards.

Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Bryan (D-NV) introduced a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate towards ending CAFE Standards. Senator Gorton motioned to table this amendment. [A YES vote is considered pro-business].
Status: Amdt Rejected Y)40; N)55; NV)4
Reference: Gorton Amdt # 1677; Bill H.R. 2084 ; vote number 1999-275 on Sep 15, 1999

Voted NO on defunding renewable and solar energy.

In June of 1999, Senator Jeffords (R-VT) was prepared to offer an amendment which would have added $62 million to the Energy Department solar and renewable energy programs. This action was blocked by Senator Reid (D-NV).
Status: Motion Agreed to Y)60; N)39; NV)1
Reference: Motion to table the recommital; Bill S. 1186 ; vote number 1999-171 on Jun 16, 1999

Voted NO on approving a nuclear waste repository.

Approval of the interim nuclear waste repository.
Status: Bill Passed Y)65; N)34; NV)1
Reference: Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1997; Bill S. 104 ; vote number 1997-42 on Apr 15, 1997

Voted YES on do not require ethanol in gasoline.

Funding a mandated percentage of market share for the use of ethanol in gasoline, to be funded b reducing NASA budget b $39 million..
Status: Table Motion Agreed to Y)50; N)50; VP decided YES
Reference: Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1995; Bill H.R. 4624 ; vote number 1994-255 on Aug 3, 1994

Regulate wholesale electricity & gas prices.

Wellstone adopted the Progressive Caucus Position Paper:

The Problem

Escalating energy costs have almost no correlation with supply and demand. Adequate capacity to supply our current energy needs is and has always been plentiful within the energy markets. Newly formed deregulated energy companies are creating an artificial shortage and reaping tremendous profits while doing so.

The Progressive Caucus Solution: Wholesale Cost-based Pricing with Refunds

In the 1930s, wholesale electricity prices and wholesale natural gas prices were regulated, and the regulations provided for refunds if unjust or unreasonable rates were found. Since the late 1970s, these laws have been methodically dismantled leaving little federal price regulations to protect consumers. However, energy prices are easily manipulated as production and delivery systems are complex. Cost-based rates for wholesale electricity, natural gas, heating oil should be established to protect consumers from unjust and unfair prices. Cost based rates allow utilities to recover the cost of their investment and operations while also allowing a reasonable profit. This is not a price capó FERC sets prices based on a specific, professional rationale. Establishing cost-based rates ensure adequate supply is available and removes the profit incentive from shorting the market. The rates should be set retroactively to the beginning of 2000. Refunds will be issued to families and businesses who have racked up incredible debt in 2000 and 2001, paying the unreasonable and unjust charges that the energy producers, generators and wholesalers inflicted.
Source: Progressive Caucus' Consumer Energy Rate Relief Act 01-CPC1 on Mar 16, 2001

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