Ron Paul on Energy & Oil
Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President
GINGRICH: We have to find a safe method of keeping nuclear waste in a very, very deep place that would be able to sustain 10,000 or 20,000 and 30,000 years of geological safety.
Q: Is Yucca Mountain that place?
GINGRICH: Most geologists believe that, in fact, Yucca Mountain is.
PAUL: I've opposed this. I approach it from a state's rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, "We're going to put our garbage in your state"? I think that's wrong. The government shouldn't be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. Nuclear energy is a good source of energy, but they still get subsidies. Then we as politicians and the bureaucrats get involved with which state's going to get stuck with the garbage. The more the free market handles this and the more you deal with property rights and no subsidies to any form of energy, the easier this problem would be solved.
Q: Everybody would like $2 gas, but is it realistic for a president to promise that?
PAUL: I do want to address the subject of $2 oil or gasoline, because I can do it much better than that. I can get you a gallon of gasoline for a dime. You can buy a gallon of gasoline today for a silver dime. A silver dime is worth $3.50. It's all about inflation and too many regulations.
A: I don’t think the profits is the issue. The profits are okay if they’re legitimately earned in a free market. What I object to are subsidies to big corporations when we subsidize them and give them R&D money. I don’t think that should be that way. They should take it out of the funds that they earn.
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill is a direct assault on the Clean Air Act. Its premise is that climate change is a hoax and carbon pollution does not endanger health and welfare. But climate change is real. It is caused by pollution, and it is a serious threat to our health and welfare. We need to confront these realities. American families count on the EPA to keep our air and water clean. But this bill has politicians overruling the experts at EPA, and it exempts our biggest polluters from regulation. If this bill is enacted, the EPA's ability to control dangerous carbon pollution will be gutted.
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.
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].
Congressional Summary: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide Tax incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, and to provide individual income tax relief.
Opponents argument for voting NAY: Sen. SPECTER: H.R. 6049 would revive important tax provisions that expired at the end of 2007 and extend provisions that are set to expire at the end of 2008. I support extension of the R&D tax credit, the renewable energy tax incentives, and many other important provisions in this package.
Despite the positive elements of this legislation, the main sticking point is whether temporary extensions of tax relief should be offset with permanent tax increases elsewhere. The White House issued a statement recommending a Presidential veto of this bill in its current form. [Vote NAY to] allow the Senate to work its will and pass legislation that can be quickly signed by the President.
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
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:
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.
Proponents support voting YES because:
This amendment would preserve the longstanding moratorium so important to coastal States. The amendment would also preserve the underlying bill's one redeeming feature, the renegotiating of the cash-cow leases now pouring billions of dollars into already stuffed oil industry coffers.
We have only 5% of the world's population, but 30% of the world's automobiles, and we produce 45% of the world's automotive carbon dioxide emissions. This addiction harms our environment, our economy and our national security. This underlying bill attempts to bribe coastal States into drilling off their shores by promising them a lot more money.
Opponents support voting NO because:
For 30 years, opponents of American energy have cloaked their arguments in an environmental apocalypse. They have tried to make the argument that no matter what we do, it will destroy the environment.
This amendment takes out all of the energy production. It is a callous disregard for the jobs that have been lost over the last 30 years of following an anti-energy policy. The people who work in oil and gas, their jobs are in the Middle East or Canada. We have exported their jobs. If this amendment passes, we are going to send the rest of them. We should know how important it is to create jobs in this country, to create clean natural gas in this country, so that it can be the bridge to the future.
[Supports a House resolution] to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the 1993 4.3-cent increases in highway motor fuel taxes.
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 CAF scores as follows:
The Campaign for America's Future (CAF) is a center for ideas and action that works to build an enduring majority for progressive change. The Campaign advances a progressive economic agenda and a vision of the future that works for the many, not simply the few. The Campaign is leading the fight for America's priorities--against privatization of Social Security, for investment in energy independence, good jobs and a sustainable economy, for an ethical and accountable Congress and for high quality public education.
About the CAF report, "Energy Independence: Record vs. Rhetoric":
Energy independence has surfaced as a defining issue in the current elections. Are most candidates and both parties truly committed? To help distinguish the demonstrated level of support for homegrown, clean energy alternatives, we examined the voting records of current U.S. Representatives and Senators on bills vital to promoting those interests. Key pieces of legislation included goals for independence, and subsidies for the development of alternatives compared to subsidies for drilling and digging. We then compared votes on these issues with campaign contributions from major oil interests. The results show strong inverse correlations between political contributions from big oil and votes for energy independence.
No Climate Tax Pledge: I pledge to the taxpayers of my state, and to the American people, that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.
Sponsoring organizations: Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEU); National Taxpayers Union (NTU); Institute for Liberty Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP is more than 1.6 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states. AFP has 31 state chapters and affiliates. More than 70,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org
Congressional Summary:Amends the Energy Conservation and Production Act to repeal provisions concerning the Department of Energy's weatherization assistance program for low-income persons to increase energy efficiency of dwellings.
Proponent's Comments (Rep. Chuck Fleischmann Press Release):Fleischmann said, "I have worked since day one to balance our budget and stop the 'tax, borrow, spend' mentality that has dominated Washington for far too long. I am glad to introduce legislation to end the Weatherization Assistance Program in order to save billions of dollars."
Other federal programs, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), are already in place to assist low-income households in managing energy costs. The Dept. of Energy's Inspector General conducted a review of this program concluding that weatherization work on homes was poorly administered and led to potentially harmful effects for home inhabitants.
Opponent's Comments (GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, Nov. 22, 2011):The purpose of the measure is to eliminate the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which provides free weatherization services for low-income households. The WAP has historically been ignored by politicians as a cost-cutting target because its annual budget was, at a few million dollars, relatively small. But its budget ballooned dramatically--to about $5 billion over three years--under the federal stimulus program.
The congressman says the WAP is dispensable because LIHEAP is already in place. Weatherization improvements, however, provide ongoing energy savings rather than one-time assistance with energy bills.
Fleischmann points to a DOE review that called the expanded program "poorly administered." But the main concern identified in that report was the sluggish rollout of services in many states, due to confusion over wage and other implementation requirements.
Congressional Summary of H.R.97:
Congressional Summary of H.R.153, "Ensuring Affordable Energy Act":
OnTheIssues Explanation:These two related bills exclude the EPA from taking on global warming by defining greenhouse gases as a "pollutant." These bills do not directly oppose regulating greenhouse gases nor cap-and-trade; either could still be accomplished by an act of Congress. Instead, they REQUIRE an act of Congress, rather than letting the President and the EPA bypass Congress by regulatory implementation instead of legislative implementation.
A Liberty Candidate will Defend the Great American Principles of Free Markets and Constitutional Government, [such as the views of] Peter Schiff, Senate 2010 candidate from Connecticut, on the Economy: "Strong fiscally conservative principles and beliefs that our economic recovery should be left to the free market through businesses and individuals--not the federal government."
And [such as the views of] Michael McPadden, Congress 2010 candidate from Virginia, on Energy: "I favor tax incentives for alternative energy, but I oppose subsidies, which has the effect of allowing the government to choose winners and losers. I favor tax incentives for research into finding cheaper liquefaction and gasification processes for coal. The private businesses that would be involved in the exploration and development of these American energy sources would also be creating real, high paying, permanent jobs for real Americans in real congressional districts."
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