Amy Klobuchar on Energy & Oil

DFL Sr Senator (MN); Democratic presidential contender


Fracking is ok as a transitional fuel

Q: You're not on the same page on a total ban of fracking. You call it a transitional fuel. But scientists are sounding this alarm now. Do you take these warnings that maybe fracking is a step backwards, not a transition?

KLOBUCHAR: I have made it very clear that we have to review all of the permits that are out there right now for natural gas and then make decisions on each one of them and then not grant new ones until we make sure that it's safe. But it is a transitional fuel.

Source: MSNBC's 9th Democrat primary debate, in Las Vegas , Feb 19, 2020

Money from energy savings should go back to working class

One, get back into that international climate change agreement. Two, clean power rules, bring those back. And the president can do this herself without Congress, as well as the gas mileage standard. But when it comes to putting a price on carbon, we have to make sure that that money goes back directly as dividends to the people that are going to need help for paying their bills. Otherwise, we're not going to pass it.
Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada , Feb 19, 2020

Reverse Trump climate rollbacks and put a price on carbon

We need to get back into the International Climate Change Agreement. I will do that on day one. On day two, bring back the clean power rules, on day three, the gas mileage standards. I see the governor of California who has been working so hard to get those done, defied every step of the way by the Trump administration. Then introduce legislation to put a price on carbon and build a bridge to the next century, which means we must upgrade buildings and building standards.
Source: Newshour/Politico/PBS December Democratic primary debate , Dec 19, 2019

Show how investment in climate change will benefit Midwest

The way we take on climate change is by talking about what's happening in the Midwest. What we are seeing there is unprecedented flooding. We're seeing a 50% increase in home insurance. We have to make clear that money is going to come back to those areas where jobs are going to change and to make them whole with their energy bills. When you make the case like that, you bring in the Midwestern votes, and the best way to do it is by putting someone from the Midwest at the top of the ticket.
Source: Newshour/Politico/PBS December Democratic primary debate , Dec 19, 2019

Our mission: solve climate crisis, without harming economy

Q: In a recent interview on climate change and coal, you said it doesn't make sense to "get rid of all these industries or do this in a few years." Talk about the timing.

KLOBUCHAR: The timing is to make this our mission, like landing on the moon, or the Civil Rights movement where our country came together and said we're going to solve something. And when do you that, you get the new technology and the new results. I was being honest, I don't think we can phase it out in a few years. To me that's like 2 or 3 or 4 years. Right? You have to do it over a period of time, you have to be aware of where people are working and how are you going to do this in a way that keeps our economy going and keeps our economy strong. There is an old Ojibway saying that "great leaders should make decisions not for this generation but for seven generations from now." [We should] put that money into R&D and work with the private sector, perfect the storage for energy, the sooner we can do this, the better.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

No all-out ban on fracking; we need a transition

Q: You have not joined some of your colleagues who are calling for an all out ban on fracking. Why?

KLOBUCHAR: Because I see natural gas as a transitional fuel. It is better than oil, but it's not nearly as good as wind and solar. However, you have situations where you have dangerous fracking that shouldn't be happening. So as president in my first 100 days, I will review every fracking permit there is and decide which ones should be allowed to be continued and which ones are too dangerous. Then you go from there. And as you put a price on carbon, you will see less of this going on--because once you put rules of the road in place, it's going to become less economically feasible for that kind of fuel. I remember only a few years ago we were celebrating work of the Obama administration for natural gas-fueled buses. Why? It was better than the old kind of buses. So you have to see this as a transition as we move ahead to a better and cleaner environment.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

Carbon neutral is goal; nuclear/coal during transition

Q: What defines safe nuclear power and clean coal? Don't they sound like oxymorons?

A: We have to go to carbon neutral by no later than 2050. With nuclear I would look at all the plants we have right now. It is about 20% of our energy and it doesn't emit carbon. I would look at those plants and make sure they're safe and figure out what upgrades we have to make, but I wouldn't expand nuclear unless we can find safe storage. I wouldn't allow for building of new coal plants. What we're as we phase out coal plants is how we can make them better for the environment.

Q: How do we get to carbon neutrality?

A: Being part of the international climate change agreement again, to have some clout and leverage with our allies will make a big difference. The thing which is really exciting is putting incentives out there for farmers to do things that will reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. That's things like planting winter cover crops. As president I would expand it greatly.

Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary) , Sep 4, 2019

Energy efficiency is low-hanging fruit

Q: Our least expensive, fastest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to simply use less energy in our daily lives. What plans do you have for getting U.S. citizens and businesses to change their behavior?

KLOBUCHAR: The former Energy Secretary always referred to energy efficiency as a low-hanging fruit. Putting really strict building standards in place to make these buildings as energy efficient as possible to reduce our carbon. Moving to electric cars and trucks. To do that of course, we need the grid and that's why my infrastructure plan is so focused on green infrastructure. There are numerous examples of what we can be doing to make energy efficiency, which I agree is this low-hanging fruit. You know why it's popular with the public? Whether it's increasing the gas mileage standards and then eventually moving to electric cars, or the building standards, or the appliance standards--it's popular because if people save money they really like

Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary) , Sep 4, 2019

Would rejoin climate pact & propose new legislation

Climate change isn't happening 100 years from now. It's happening right now, and that's why as your president on day one I would get us back into the international climate change agreement. That's day 1. On day 2 and day 3, I would bring back the clean power rules that the Obama administration worked out that will make a big dent in this. I will bring back the gas mileage standards that they just left. I would propose sweeping legislations for green buildings and new ideas and we need to do this.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: 5 candidates back-to-back , Apr 22, 2019

Open to carbon tax, but without increased prices

Q: As president, would you keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement and commit to more ambitious targets in 2020?

Her campaign didn't answer this question, but Ms. Klobuchar said at a CNN town hall-style event: "I will, as first day as the president, sign us back into the international climate change agreement. That is on Day 1."

Q: Do you support a federal carbon tax? If so, at what price per ton, and how do you envision the proceeds being used?

Ms. Klobuchar's campaign said she was open to a carbon tax but would not support one that increased prices for lower- and middle-income Americans. It did not provide an on-the-record quote.

Q: Would you restore Obama-era climate change regulations that the Trump administration has reversed, like the Clean Power Plan, methane limits and vehicle emissions standards?

Ms. Klobuchar's campaign confirmed that she would restore the Clean Power Plan and gas mileage standards, but did not provide an on-the-record quote.

Source: 2019 "Meet the Candidates" (NY Times.com) , Apr 18, 2019

Green New Deal is aspirational; don't over-promise

Sen. Amy Klobuchar placed herself firmly in the center lane of the Democratic primary, calling popular progressive policy platforms "aspirational," and declining to fully commit to them. The Minnesota Democrat called the Green New Deal "aspirational" -- pitching herself as pragmatic Midwesterner who won't over-promise liberal policies to primary voters.

On climate change, Klobuchar said she believes that "we can get close" to the Green New Deal, but that she doesn't "think we're going to get rid of entire industries in the U.S."

"We need to get this debate going, and this is put out there as an aspiration in that something we need to move toward," she said. "Do I think we can cross every 'T' and dot every 'I' in 10 years? Actually, I think that would be very difficult to do."

She also looked ahead to the potential legislation, acknowledging that "there are going to be compromises" and "it's not going to look exactly like that," she said.

Source: Politico.com on 2020 Democratic primary hopefuls , Feb 18, 2019

Green New Deal opens discussion on climate change

The Green New Deal is so important for our country [despite disagreements] on exactly how and when it will work. This is a discussion that we must have as a country.

I will, as first day as the president, sign us back into the international climate change agreement. I will also bring back the clean power rules that the Trump administration left on the cutting room floor. I will also bring back the gas mileage standards and then propose sweeping legislation to upgrade our infrastructure.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 18, 2019

Rejoin Paris climate deal; meet UN goals

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 10, 2019

2007: increased gas-mileage standards

It's important to acknowledge that sometimes government functions exactly as it should. I can think of several times during my years in the Senate when we worked successfully on important, long-term issues. They took a lot of work and victory was never certain. In 2007, for example, we increased the gas-mileage standards for the first time since 1984. I was part of the bipartisan group that worked to change those standards, and it was a great moment when we succeeded.
Source: The Senator Next Door, by Amy Klobuchar, p.263 , Aug 24, 2015

Invest in homegrown, renewable energy sources

I will fight to expand incentives for investment in homegrown, renewable energy sources and technology. While the recently passed energy bill includes a number of provisions that will help promote homegrown Minnesota energy, I believe we need to do more. Here in Minnesota, we have the ability to produce a wide variety of homegrown energy, including ethanol, biodiesel, wind, solar and biomass. This will be a huge source of jobs in Minnesota for decades to come.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues” , Jan 18, 2006

Gas gouging penalty against oil companies

I will fight to stop price gouging by oil companies. In early Sept., I called for a “gas gouging penalty” against oil companies that were gouging American consumers at the gas pump even before Hurricane Katrina. Oil companies were already enjoying record profits, with double-digit increases each quarter. It violates our basic principle of fair play when major oil companies can gouge consumers?not only hurting ordinary families, but also harming other businesses that see their own costs go up dramatically
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues” , Jan 18, 2006

National strategy to address global warming

I will fight for a national strategy to address global warming and reduce greenhouse gases by developing renewable sources of fuel and by setting energy efficiency and emission standards that protect our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I will fight to expand incentives to encourage greater investment in renewable energy resources and technology. This is good for the nation and it’s good for Minnesota.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues” , Jan 18, 2006

Sign on to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Klobuchar co-sponsored signing on to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Source: S.RES.30/H.CON.RES.104 07-SR30 on Jan 16, 2007

50% clean and carbon free electricity by 2030.

Klobuchar co-sponsored H.Res.637/S.Res.386

Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030 for the purposes of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, growing our economy, increasing our shared prosperity, improving public health, and preserving our national security.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should--
  1. Establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030; and
  2. Enact legislation to accelerate the transition to clean energy to meet this goal.
Source: Resolution for 50% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2030 16-SRes386 on Mar 3, 2016

Green New Deal: 10-year national mobilization.

Klobuchar signed the Resolution on Green New Deal

This resolution calls for the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of:

The resolution calls for accomplishment of these goals through a 10-year national mobilization effort. The resolution also enumerates the goals and projects of the mobilization effort, including:
  • building smart power grids (i.e., power grids that enable customers to reduce their power use during peak demand periods);
  • upgrading all existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency;
  • removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors;
  • cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;
  • ensuring businesspersons are free from unfair competition; and
  • providing higher education, high-quality health care, and affordable, safe, and adequate housing to all.

    Opposing argument from the Cato Institute, 2/24/2019: While reasonable people can disagree on some aspects of the Green New Deal`s proposals, one fact is uncontroversial: the US cannot afford them. The Green New Deal would likely cost upwards of $6.6 trillion per year. The federal government should look for cheaper ways to address problems like climate change. Instead of the Green New Deal, the federal government could adopt a revenue??neutral carbon tax to decrease emissions without exacerbating the fiscal imbalance. Economists from across the political spectrum support carbon taxation as the most cost??effective way to address climate change. And a carbon tax would be most effective if uniformly adopted by other countries, too.

    Source: H.Res.109/S.Res.59 19-HR0109 on Feb 7, 2019

    Designate sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness.

    Klobuchar co-sponsored designating sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, DESIGNATION OF PORTION OF ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AS WILDERNESS.

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 is amended by adding at the end the following:

    Designation of Certain Land as Wilderness- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska comprising approximately 1,559,538 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled `Arctic National Wildlife Refuge--1002 Area. Alternative E--Wilderness Designation, October 28, 1991` and available for inspection in the offices of the Secretary, is designated as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System under the Wilderness Act`.

    Source: ANWR Wilderness Act (S.2316 ) 2007-S2316 on Nov 7, 2007

    Let states define stricter-than-federal emission standards.

    Klobuchar co-sponsored allowing states to define stricter emission standards

    A bill to permit California and other States to effectively control greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, and for other purposes. Amends the Clean Air Act to approve the application of the state of California for a waiver of federal preemption of its motor vehicle emission standards.

    Source: Reducing Global Warming from Vehicles Act (S.2555&H.R.5560) 2008-S2555 on Jan 24, 2008

    Sponsored bill to assist rural electric renewable energy.

    Klobuchar sponsored Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act

    Congressional Summary:This bill requires the Department of Energy to award grants to assist rural electric cooperatives with identifying, evaluating, and designing energy storage and microgrid projects that rely on renewable energy. (A microgrid is a group of interconnected energy resources that acts as a single controllable entity and that can disconnect from the grid to operate in island mode.)

    SciPol statement in support: HR4447 would establish a microgrid grant and technical assistance program for rural electric cooperatives. Rural electric cooperatives are non-profit consumer-owned electric cooperatives that came into being in the 1930s to serve the needs of rural areas otherwise ignored by investor-owned (for-profit) utilities. Most rural electric power is still provided by rural electric co-ops.

    Trump`s Statement of Administration Policy (against): HR 4447 would implement a top-down approach that undermines the Administration`s deregulatory agenda. HR 4447 would lead to higher energy costs and discourage innovation. It would create a `green bank` that would subsidize projects similar to wellknown failures like Solyndra. Finally, HR 4447 would interfere with our own energy destiny free from the reins of the Paris Climate Accord and international organizations that ignore the clear lessons that have led to American energy independence.

    Common Dreams (against): Over 100 groups--including major environmental, climate and progressive organizations--oppose HR 4447. The heaviest burdens of the climate crisis fall on low-income communities and communities of color. `We applaud the environmental justice measures in this bill, but cannot support legislation that extends our country`s reliance upon fossil fuels,` said the Executive Director of the Progressive Democrats of America.

    Legislative outcome: Passed House 220-185-24, Roll #206 on Sep. 24, 2020.

    Source: H.R.4447/S.1183 20-HR4447 on Sep 20, 2019

    Other candidates on Energy & Oil: Amy Klobuchar on other issues:

    MN politicians
    MN Archives
    Senate races 2024:
    AZ: Kyrsten Sinema(I,incumbent)
    vs.Ruben Gallego(D)
    vs.Kari Lake(R)
    CA: Laphonza Butler(D,retiring)
    vs.Gail Lightfoot(L)
    vs.Steve Garvey(R)
    vs.Barbara Lee(D)
    vs.Katie Porter(D)
    vs.Adam Schiff(D)
    CT: Chris Murphy(D,incumbent)
    vs.Robert Hyde(R)
    DE: Tom Carper(D,retiring)
    vs.Eric Hansen(R)
    vs.Michael Katz(I)
    vs.Lisa Blunt Rochester(D)
    FL: Rick Scott(R,incumbent)
    vs.Debbie Mucarsel-Powell(D)
    HI: Mazie Hirono(D,incumbent)
    (No opponent yet)
    IN: Mike Braun(R,retiring)
    vs.Marc Carmichael(D)
    vs.Jim Banks(R)
    MA: Elizabeth Warren(D,incumbent)
    vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(R)
    MD: Ben Cardin(D,retiring)
    vs.Larry Hogan(R)
    vs.Robin Ficker(R)
    vs.Angela Alsobrooks(D)
    vs.David Trone(D)
    ME: Angus King(I,incumbent)
    vs.Demi Kouzounas(R)
    vs.David Costello(D)
    MI: Debbie Stabenow(D,retiring)
    vs.Leslie Love(D)
    vs.Peter Meijer(R)
    vs.James Craig(R)
    vs.Mike Rogers(R)
    vs.Elissa Slotkin(D)
    MN: Amy Klobuchar(DFL,incumbent)
    (No opponent yet)
    MO: Josh Hawley(R,incumbent)
    vs.Karla May(D)
    vs.Lucas Kunce(D)
    MS: Roger Wicker(R,incumbent)
    vs.Dan Eubanks(R)
    MT: Jon Tester(D,incumbent)
    vs.Brad Johnson(R)
    vs.Tim Sheehy(R)
    ND: Kevin Cramer(R,incumbent)
    vs.Katrina Christiansen(D)
    vs.Kelly Armstrong(R)
    vs.Katrina Christiansen(D)
    Kevin Cramer(R,incumbent)

    NE: Peter Ricketts(R,incumbent,2-year seat)
    vs.Preston Love(D)
    Deb Fischer(D,incumbent,6-year seat)
    (No opponent yet)
    NJ: Bob Menendez(D,incumbent)
    vs.Tammy Murphy(D)
    vs.Andy Kim(D)
    NM: Martin Heinrich(D,incumbent)
    (No opponent yet)
    NV: Jacky Rosen(D,incumbent)
    vs.Jim Marchant (R)
    vs.Sam Brown(R)
    NY: Kirsten Gillibrand(D,incumbent)
    vs.Josh Eisen(R)
    OH: Sherrod Brown(D,incumbent)
    vs.Frank LaRose(R)
    vs.Bernie Moreno(R)
    PA: Bob Casey(D,incumbent)
    vs.David McCormick(R)
    RI: Sheldon Whitehouse(D,incumbent)
    vs.Patricia Morgan(R)
    TN: Marsha Blackburn(R,incumbent)
    vs.Gloria Johnson(D)
    vs.Marquita Bradshaw(D)
    TX: Ted Cruz(R,incumbent)
    vs.David Costello(D)
    vs.Roland Gutierrez(D)
    vs.Carl Sherman(D)
    vs.Colin Allred(D)
    UT: Mitt Romney(R,retiring)
    vs.John Curtis(R)
    vs.Trent Staggs(R)
    vs.Brad Wilson(R)
    VA: Tim Kaine(D,incumbent)
    vs.Scott Parkinson(R)
    VT: Bernie Sanders(I,incumbent)
    vs.Gerald Malloy(R)
    WA: Maria Cantwell(D,incumbent)
    vs.Raul Garcia(R)
    WI: Tammy Baldwin(D,incumbent)
    vs.Phil Anderson(L)
    vs.Stacey Klein(R)
    WV: Joe Manchin III(D,retiring)
    vs.Don Blankenship(D)
    vs.Jim Justice(R)
    vs.Alex Mooney(R)
    WY: John Barrasso(R,incumbent)
    vs.Reid Rasner(R)
    Civil Rights
    Foreign Policy
    Free Trade
    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Homeland Security
    Social Security
    Tax Reform

    Other Senators
    Senate Votes (analysis)
    Bill Sponsorships
    Policy Reports
    Group Ratings

    Page last updated: Feb 16, 2024; copyright 1999-2022 Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org