Tom Udall on Energy & Oil

Democratic Jr Senator; previously Representative (NM-3)


Do it all, do it right

Tom's view on energy policy can be summed up in six words--do it all, do it right.

Doing it all will allow us to take control of our energy security and spur job growth through a clean energy economy. A sustainable American energy future requires a diverse portfolio, including more renewable sources like wind and solar, efficiency and conservation, along with traditional energy sources like natural gas, domestic oil, and nuclear power.

It also means facing the threat of global warming. As a member of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, Tom supported creating a system of clean energy incentives and limits on pollution--policies that can reduce foreign oil imports and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating nearly two million jobs and billions of dollars in energy savings.

Source: Vote-USA.org on 2020 New Mexico Senate race , Oct 25, 2014

Supports solar energy with heart & soul

Udall talked of traveling with [returing incumbent Republican Sen. Pete] Domenici to talk about energy policy and military bases in New Mexico. “I know the people are mad. I know they’re angry... and I intend to do something about it,” Udall said.

But Pearce later brought up an example that he said showed Udall declining to work in a bipartisan manner. He said he sent a letter to Udall, who supports solar energy, asking him to sign on to a bill that would set aside 6.4 million acres of public land in New Mexico for solar panels. Pearce said Udall refused to support it. “You couldn’t find it in your heart to sign on to that,” Pearce said.

Udall said he was not aware of the bill and criticized its timing. “Many bills he’s introduced are only in the Senate campaign, they don’t have anything to do with what he legislated in the previous five years. To me that really isn’t a bill to drop it in the middle of a Senate campaign. Show that your heart and soul is in it,” he told his rival.

Source: 2008 N.M. Senate Debate reported in Silver City Sun-News , Oct 19, 2008

Supports renewable electricity standard for public utilities

Pearce supports more domestic oil production and developing more nuclear power facilities. However, he also said renewable energy should be part of a long-term energy plan. Pearce said he advocates drilling off the Florida coast and in Alaska, specifically, and said that officials at Sandia National Laboratories have told him the country is at least 30 years away from relying on solar and wind power.

Udall said he helped pass legislation in the House for a renewable electricity standard on public utilities of 20 percent by 2020, but it failed in the Senate by one vote. “One vote can make a difference,” he said.

Source: 2008 N.M. Senate debate report in N.M.Business-Weekly , Aug 22, 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 required)

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

Voted NO on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.