State of Washington Archives: on Energy & Oil


Dave Freudenthal: Nation's first state excise tax on wind energy production

A proposal in Wyoming to impose the nation's first state excise tax on wind energy production is generating debate over how the state should handle the arrival of massive wind farms to its wind-swept plains and plateaus. Gov. Dave Freudenthal made the wind energy tax a centerpiece of his legislative agenda, drawing surprise and alarm from some in the state's fledgling wind industry.

Freudenthal said wind can be a beneficial industry for Wyoming, but doesn't deserve special treatment. "It can help keep people in agriculture. It can help people have jobs, and hopefully it can lead to some manufacturing facilities in the state," he said. "Having said all that, they are not entitled to a free ride."

"I appreciate the fact that people can say it has great environmental benefits, but that's people who don't live next to them, or whose wildlife habitat isn't being disrupted, or the bird population isn't being affected, or whose view isn't being altered," Freudenthal said.

Source: Matt Joyce in Washington Post Feb 14, 2010

Jim Gilmore: Favors drilling ANWR and also drilling offshore

Gilmore tried to distinguish his energy policy from Warner’s by insisting the Democrat would oppose offshore drilling. Warner has said he would be in favor of allowing states to explore the possibility of drilling off their shores. He said “we need more drilling off the coast.” However, the candidates continue to differ on drilling in the ANWR: Gilmore favors it, while Warner opposes the practice.
Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate in The Washington Times Sep 19, 2008

Mark Warner: Opposes drilling ANWR; but OK to drill offshore

Gilmore tried to distinguish his energy policy from Warner’s by insisting the Democrat would oppose offshore drilling. Warner has said he would be in favor of allowing states to explore the possibility of drilling off their shores. He said “we need more drilling off the coast.” However, the candidates continue to differ on drilling in the ANWR: Gilmore favors it, while Warner opposes the practice.
Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate in The Washington Times Sep 19, 2008

Barack Obama: GovWatch: $150B for electric car batteries & new technology

McCain released a Web ad saying that Obama opposes “innovation” in general and “the electric car” in particular. The claim is based solely on Obama’s dismissal of McCain’s proposal to award a $300 million prize for development of a battery package capabl of powering electric cars. Obama called McCain’s approach a gimmick, but Obama was criticizing McCain for not going far enough.

Obama said, “I commend McCain for his desire to accelerate the search for a battery that can power the cars of the future. But I don’t think a $300 million prize is enough. When John F. Kennedy decided that we were going to put a man on the moon, he didn’t put a bounty out for some rocket scientist to win--he put the full resources of the US government behind the project and called on the ingenuity and innovation of the American people.“

And far from saying ”no to innovation,“ Obama has proposed spending $150 billion over 10 years to develop a variety of new energy technologies.

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 26, 2008

Barack Obama: GovWatch: Supports nuclear power if it’s clean & safe

McCain released a Web ad entitled “Dr. No” that portrays Obama as saying “no to clean, safe, nuclear energy.” That’s false. Obama has said he’s open to building new nuclear plants if they are clean & safe.

McCain bases his claim on a partial quote from Obama on Dec. 30, 2007. Obama said, “I start off with the premise that nuclear energy is not optimal. I am not a nuclear energy proponent.” If that was all Obama said it would not make him an opponent of nuclear power, of course. But Obama went on to say, “There is no perfect energy source. Everything has some problems right now. We haven’t found it yet. Now I trust in our ingenuity. I have not ruled out nuclear as part of that [$150 billion proposed energy research] package, but only so far as it is clean and safe.”

Furthermore, the energy plan Obama released in October 2007 said: “It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power from the table.”

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 26, 2008

Barack Obama: GovWatch: Opposes Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste storage

McCain portrays Obama as saying “no to clean, safe, nuclear energy.” That’s false. But there’s no question that McCain is a much bigger advocate of nuclear power than Obama, who has taken a more guarded position. McCain has said that he’d work to bring 45 new nuclear power plants online by 2030, with the eventual goal of building 100 new nuclear plants. Obama has criticized that, highlighting his opposition to long-term storage of nuclear waste at the federal government’s Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. “He wants to build 45 new nuclear reactors when they don’t have a plan to store the waste anywhere besides right here,” Obama said on June 25. McCain supports going ahead with the Yucca Mountain plan.

Obama’s 2007 plan promised that he “will also lead federal efforts to look for a safe, long-term disposal solution based on objective, scientific analysis.” It’s inaccurate to cast Obama as an opponent, and McCain goes too far when he portrays Obama as saying “no” to nuclear.

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 26, 2008

John McCain: GovWatch: No, Obama supported $150B in energy innovation

McCain released a Web ad that distorts Obama’s positions on clean-energy innovation and nuclear power. The ad portrays Obama as saying “no” to energy “innovation” and to “the electric car.” In fact, Obama proposed a $150 billion program of research into wide variety of clean-energy technologies.

The ad also has Obama saying “no” to “clean, safe nuclear energy.” In fact, Obama has said, “I have not ruled out nuclear... but only [would support it] so far as it is clean and safe.”

The most glaringly inaccurate claim in the ad is that Obama opposes “innovation” in general and “the electric car” in particular. The claim is based solely on Obama’s dismissal of McCain’s proposal to award a $300 million prize for development of a battery package capable of powering plug-in hybrids or electric cars at a fraction of current costs. Obama called McCain’s approach a gimmick, but it’s not true that he opposes innovation or electric-powered cars. In fact, Obama was criticizing McCain for not going far enough.

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 26, 2008

John McCain: GovWatch: Build 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030

McCain portrays Obama as saying “no to clean, safe, nuclear energy.” That’s false. But there’s no question that McCain is a much bigger advocate of nuclear power than Obama, who has taken a more guarded position. McCain has said that he’d work to bring 45 new nuclear power plants online by 2030, with the eventual goal of building 100 new nuclear plants. Obama has criticized that, highlighting his opposition to long-term storage of nuclear waste at the federal government’s Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. “He wants to build 45 new nuclear reactors when they don’t have a plan to store the waste anywhere besides right here,” Obama said on June 25. McCain supports going ahead with the Yucca Mountain plan.

Obama’s 2007 plan promised that he “will also lead federal efforts to look for a safe, long-term disposal solution based on objective, scientific analysis.” It’s inaccurate to cast Obama as an opponent, and McCain goes too far when he portrays Obama as saying “no” to nuclear.

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 26, 2008

John McCain: End moratorium on offshore oil drilling

McCain has spent the week focusing on energy policy, making some surprising, and inaccurate, statements. Among them:McCain certainly has the right to change his opinion on policy options. But the facts are more in line with his earlier statement that drilling would not offer short-term relief for energy prices.
Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 20, 2008

John McCain: GovWatch: Yes, his cap-and-trade bill is mandatory

McCain denies that he favors “mandatory” limits on greenhouse gas emissions, even though a government-imposed limit is central to the “cap and trade” legislation that he favors and has sponsored.

The 2003 bill he sponsored jointly with Sen. Joe Lieberman laid out a cap-and-trade system, which would require utilities and other industries to limit emissions. Yet McCain has been soft-pedaling the “cap” part of the equation. In several recent appearances, he has denied that his plan contains any mandates.

Without a mandatory cap there would be little incentive for companies to participate in the buying and selling of credits. The whole idea depends on the government setting a firm ceiling for emissions.

We’ll leave it to you to judge whether McCain uses a different definition of the word “mandate” than most people. But we’ll let McCain have the last word. From his Web site: “Climate Policy Should Be Built On Scientifically-Sound, Mandatory Emission Reduction Targets & Timetables.”

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 20, 2008

John McCain: GovWatch: Favors wind & solar in ad; favors nuclear in bills

McCain released a new ad this week in which the imagery in the ad of solar technology and windmills might lead viewers to draw some false conclusions about McCain’s energy policy. McCain has been less than enthusiastic about the development of wind and solar energy. McCain’s favored source of alternative energy, nuclear reactors, did not make the cut for visuals--there are no shots of a cooling tower in the ad. His own climate change bill provides billions to help nuclear power. Yet, while McCain has mentioned solar and wind on the campaign trail, the energy plan on his Web site leaves them out, while specifying his support for nuclear power.

McCain said in an Oct. 1, 2007, interview: “I’m not one who believes that we need to subsidize things. The wind industry is doing fine, the solar industry is doing fine. In the ‘70s, we gave too many subsidies and too much help, and we had substandard products sold to the American people, which then made them disenchanted with solar for a long time.”

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 20, 2008

John McCain: GovWatch: Gas tax cut goes to oil companies, not consumers

Back in April, McCain proposed lifting the federal gas tax for the summer to give drivers a break from skyrocketing prices. Then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton soon followed suit. But as we said then, it’s unlikely that the “gas-tax holiday” would mean lower prices at the pump. Because the supply of oil will still be tight, increased demand is likely to drive the cost right back up--except that the oil companies will get to keep the 18.4 cents per gallon that would normally go to th federal Highway Trust Fund.

In early May, more than 300 economists, including several Nobel laureates, issued a statement opposing the proposal because, among other reasons, “waiving the gas tax would generate major profits for oil companies rather than significantly lowering prices for consumers.”

The view of hundreds of economists from across the political spectrum hasn’t stopped McCain from promising voters that “in the short term, I can give you some relief” by repealing the tax.

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 20, 2008

Hillary Clinton: GovWatch: Gas tax holiday saves $8B; but that’s 64 cents/day

Hillary Clinton’s plan is for a three month gas holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Obama says the idea is simply an election day “gimmick”; Clinton claims her plan will save hard-working American families $8 billion a year. An examination of the fine print in the latest round of TV ads shows that both sides have been stretching the facts.

The Clinton TV ad says her plan would “save families $8 billion” then adds derisively, “Barack Obama says that’s just pennies.” $8 billion is accurate in total, but most economists believe that only a portion of the 18.4 cents a gallon tax would revert to consumers in the event of a tax holiday. The net benefit to consumers would be between 9 and 12 cents per gallon.

The average American family of four consumes 2000 gallons of gasoline a year, or 5.4 gallons a day. Clinton’s proposal would save such a family between 48 and 64 cents a day. This figure is comparable with the estimate of 30 cents per day per driver that Obama claimed.

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis May 6, 2008

Barack Obama: Stop sending $800M a day to Mideast dictators for oil

We can stop sending $800 million a day to Middle East dictators for oil that’s a danger to our planet and a drag on our economy, and we can start using renewable fuels that are grown right in Iowa and Illinois, and we can help our car companies use technology we already have to start churning our cars that use less oil. But none of this will come to pass until we do what everyone in this room knows what we must do and end this war in Iraq.
Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Jim Gilmore: Energy independence nuclear, additional drilling & biomass

Let’s make sure that we address energy independence. It’s frustrating that our nation’s greatness is held hostage by people overseas who control our natural resources and don’t have the national interests of the US at heart. Let’s draw all people behind all different kinds of resources: nuclear; additional drilling; biomass; ethanol; all the different areas; and additional conservation. The American people have to understand that it is in the national interest that is at stake in energy independence.
Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

George W. Bush: Use ANWR fees for alternative energy and home oil help

[Under Bush’s plan for drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], the federal government would get up-front fees from oil companies that wanted to bid to explore the refuge, and eventually get royalties from oil and gas that was found. Bush said he would direct part of this money to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program-perhaps as much as $1 billion over 10 years, Bush said. We would also start a Royalties for Conservation Fund, which would use money from Arctic drilling to “protect the environment and develop alternative energy sources,” including wind and solar power. He said that could total $1.2 billion over 10 years.

The energy proposals offered by Bush today, some of which are new and some of which he had unveiled earlier, total $7.1 billion over 10 years. Of that, $3.1 billion would come from new revenue, including royalties and bid fees.

Source: Mike Allen, Washington Post, p. A7 Oct 1, 2000

George W. Bush: Drill ANWR and leave only footprints

“Gore says he would rather protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge than gain the energy [from drilling for oil there],” Bush said. “But this is a false choice. We can do both-taking out energy, and leaving only footprints. Critics of increased exploration and production ignore the remarkable technological advances in the last 10 years that have dramatically decreased the environmental impact of oil and gas exploration.”
Source: Mike Allen, Washington Post, p. A7 Oct 1, 2000

George W. Bush: Bush questions Gore’s tax break for oil interests

Campaigning here in the Midwest battleground where gas costs are the highest in the nation, Bush accused Gore of backing a multimillion-dollar tax break for oil companies. Bush’s claims are a direct counterattack on Gore’s recent charges that the Texas governor is too close to Big Oil, and they made Bush sound more like a Democratic populist than a conservative Republican. Bush specifically attacked a part of the Gore plan calling for the extension of a moratorium on payment of royalties to the government for natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. “My opponent is giving major oil companies a huge tax break. I believe the royalties moratorium ought to happen when the price declines. We ought not have moratoriums when the price is high. I look forward to hearing his explanation on why big gas producers ought to be given a big tax break.”
Source: Terry M. Neal & Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post, p. A04 Jun 29, 2000

Al Gore: Gore calls for elimination of combustion engine

Standing in the heart of car country, Gore wholeheartedly embraced one of his most controversial environmental stands and pushed it one step further today, asserting the internal combustion engine could be eliminated before 2017. In his 1992 book “Earth in the Balance,” Gore described the internal combustion engine, used on most cars and trucks, as an outdated technology that is one of the main sources of carbon dioxide production and thus poses a “mortal threat” to society. Gore and other environmentalists argue that the release of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere contributes to global warming. In announcing a new government-corporate partnership aimed at developing more fuel-efficient trucks, Gore pitched his general belief that environmental protection can enhance the economy. “If we make the right investments, if we make the responsible choices, then we do not have to choose between the economy and the environment,” he said.
Source: Ceci Connolly and Ben White, Washington Post Apr 22, 2000

Dan Quayle: More research before we act on global warming

The idea of climate change caused by human beings is a theory, and a highly debatable one. There is no scientific consensus on the extent of the problem. In fact, there is no agreement on whether there is a problem at all. There’s even growing scientific opinion that global warming might have positive effects on our health and on our wealth. The bottom line is that we need more research.
Source: Speech to Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington DC Apr 21, 1999

Dan Quayle: Reducing greenhouse emissions hurts economy too much

The Kyoto protocol [to reduce global warming] would have a disastrous effect on our economy - especially energy-intensive sectors like agriculture - without doing anything to reduce the global volume of so-called “greenhouse gases.” The Department of Energy estimates that the Kyoto protocol could put a 4% drag on our GDP, enough wealth to hand every currently unemployed worker a check for $56,000. The Labor Department concludes that 1.2 million Americans will lose their jobs due to the Kyoto protocol
Source: Speech to Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington DC Apr 21, 1999

Dan Quayle: CAFE standards cost lives by shrinking cars

The CAFE standards for fuel efficiency [are intended] as a means of reducing gas emissions. Nice objective. But tighter CAFE standards also mean that more people die on the highways because cars get smaller and lighter. [I support] freezing the standards, [and I oppose] raising CAFE standards on sport utility vehicles. The last thing we should do is create more regulation that ends up costing lives.
Source: Speech to Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington DC Apr 21, 1999

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