The term "National energy tax increase" means any legislation that the Congressional Budget Office would score as leading to an increase in the costs of producing, generating or consuming energy.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R, SC): The climate change proposal that was in the President's budget would create a massive tax increase on anybody who uses energy, and that would be every American middle-class family, which already has a tough time getting by. This [amendment creates a procedure to block] any bill that would raise the cost of energy on our middle-class families who are struggling to get by. I ask the Senate to rally around this concept. We can deal with climate change without passing a $3,000-per-household energy tax on the families of America who are having a hard time paying their bills.
Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.
Reference: Graham Amendment;
Bill S.Amdt.910 to S.Con.Res.13
; vote number 2009-S135
on Apr 2, 2009
Voted YES on requiring full Senate debate and vote on cap-and-trade.
Congressional Summary:AMENDMENT PURPOSE: To prohibit the use of reconciliation in the Senate for climate change legislation involving a cap and trade system.
Sec. 202 is amended by inserting at the end the following: "The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget shall not revise the allocations in this resolution if the legislation is reported from any committee pursuant to sec. 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974."
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R, SC): This idea to most people of a debate about reconciliation probably is mind-numbing and not very interesting. But there is a process in the Congress where you can take legislation and basically put it on a fast track. It is subject to 50 votes.
The whole idea of the Senate kind of cooling things down has served the country well. In that regard, to end debate you need 60 votes. If 41 Senators are opposed to a piece of legislation, strongly enough to come to the
floor every day and talk about it, that legislation doesn't go anywhere. If you took climate change and health care, two very controversial, big-ticket items, and put them on the reconciliation track, you would basically be doing a lot of damage to the role of the Senate in a constitutional democracy.
Senator Byrd, who is one of the smartest people to ever serve in the Senate about rules and parliamentary aspects of the Senate, said that to put climate change and health care reform in reconciliation is like "a freight train through Congress" and is "an outrage that must be resisted." Senator Conrad said: "I don't believe reconciliation was ever intended for this purpose."
I think both of them are right. Under the law, you cannot put Social Security into reconciliation because we know how controversial and difficult that is. I come here in support of the Johanns amendment that rejects that idea.
Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.
Reference: Johanns Amendment;
Bill S.Amdt.735 to S.Con.Res.13
; vote number 2009-S126
on Apr 1, 2009
Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation.
OnTheIssues.org Explanation:A "Cloture Motion" would end debate on the bill, and then allow a vote on passage. This motion failed (3/5ths of the Senators must vote YEA), based on objections of how the new incentives would be paid for.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.
Source: Gas Price Reduction Act (S.3202) 08-S3202 on Jun 26, 2008
- TITLE I--ENERGY TAX INCENTIVES
- Sec. 102. Production credit for electricity produced from marine renewables.
- Sec. 104. Credit for residential energy efficient property.
- Sec. 106. New clean renewable energy bonds.
- Part II--Carbon Mitigation Provisions
- Sec. 112. Expansion and modification of coal gasification investment credit.
- Sec. 115. Carbon audit of the tax code.
- Sec. 121. Inclusion of cellulosic biofuel in bonus depreciation for biomass ethanol plant property.
- Sec. 122.
Credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel.
- Sec. 124. Credit for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.
- Sec. 127. Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters.
- Sec. 146. Qualified green building and sustainable design projects.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.
Reference: Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act;
; vote number 2008-150
on Jun 17, 2008
Voted NO on addressing CO2 emissions without considering India & China.
OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This is a motion on an omnibus spending bill, sending instructions to the committee resolving differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Sen. Boxer introduced this motion, and Sen. DeMint introduced a counter-motion. Voting for the Boxer motion means you favor Boxer's method over DeMint's method, which means speeding up Congressional action on global warming.Opponents argument for voting NAY:Sen. DeMINT. When we are talking about trade agreements, there needs to be a level playing field. This motion would prevent Congress from passing any law with new mandates on greenhouse gas emissions that would harm the U.S. economy or result in job loss unless both China and India had the same mandates--in other words, if we had a level playing field. It is not going to help the environment in the United States or the world if we pass mandates that raise the cost of doing business in our country, if we create mandates that do not exist in
India or China.Proponents argument for voting YEA:Sen. BOXER. I rise to speak against the DeMint motion and in favor of the Boxer motion. The DeMint motion is a throwback to 10 years ago when everybody, including myself, was saying we better watch out and not do anything about global warming until the undeveloped world acts. We cannot do that anymore. This is a time when we need to stand up as the leading country in the world and say that we can fight global warming, and we can win this fight.
But what happens with the DeMint motion, he gives China and India a veto power over what we should be doing. Imagine saying we are not going to do anything about human rights until China acts. Why would we give up our chance to take the mantle of leadership and finally grab hold of this issue? I cannot look into the eyes of my grandchildren and tell them: Sorry, I am giving over my proxy to China & India, and I can't do anything about it.
Reference: Motion to Instruct Conferees (China-India) re: S.Con.Res.70;
Bill Motion to Instruct S.Con.Res70
; vote number 2008-132
on May 15, 2008
Voted NO on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR.
To remove the establishment of an oil and gas leasing program in the Alaskan Coastal Plain. The original bill allows for an oil and gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Voteing YES on this amendment would remove that section, hence barring leasing in ANWR.
Reference: Bar Oil and Gas Leasing amendment;
Bill S Amdt 2358 to S 1932
; vote number 2005-288
on Nov 3, 2005
Voted NO on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas.
To provide for appropriations for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Vote on a motion to waive the Budget Act in order to adopt an amendment that appropriates federal funds for the LIHEAP program. A 3/5th vote is required to amand a budget bi
Reference: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program appropriation;
Bill S.AMDT.2033 to HR 2863
; vote number 2005-250
on Oct 5, 2005
Voted NO on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%).
Amendment to improve the energy security of the United States and reduce United States dependence on foreign oil imports by 40% by 2025. The amendment seeks to reduce usage by 7.6 million barrels of oil a day, out of a total usage of 20 million barrels of oil a day. The bill without amendment seeks to reduce usage by 1 million barrels of oil a day. Opponents of the amendment said, "It would be disruptive of jobs if you set a 78 mile per gallon CAF… standard for cars, a 185-percent increase; a 60 mile per gallon standard for trucks, light trucks, a 174-percent increase. [The unamended version] is more in keeping with President Kennedy's "man on the Moon" goal. [The amended version] is a "man or woman on Mars" goal, and maybe we will get there one day, but it is unrealistic today."
Reference: Energy Policy Act of 2005;
Bill S.Amdt. 784 to H.R. 6
; vote number 2005-140
on Jun 16, 2005
Voted NO on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Vote to adopt an amendment that would strike a provision in the concurrent resolution that recognizes revenue from oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The amendment says: "To ensure that legislation that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, other federal lands, and the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling receives full consideration and debate in the Senate under regular order, rather than being fast-tracked under reconciliation procedures; to ensure that receipts from such drilling destined for the federal treasury are fairly shared with local jurisdictions; and does not occur unless prohibitions against the export of Alaskan oil are enacted."
Reference: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge anti-drilling Amendment;
Bill S AMDT 168 to S.Con.Res. 18
; vote number 2005-52
on Mar 16, 2005
Voted YES on Bush Administration Energy Policy.
Vote to pass a bill would overhaul the nation's energy policies, reorganize the electricity system and make available approximately $15 billion in energy-related tax incentives. It also would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to establish a new CAFE standard within 15 months to two years. It would support the use of alternative energy and call for utilities to increase their dependence on renewable fuels.
Reference: Energy Policy Act of 2003;
Bill HR 6
; vote number 2003-317
on Jul 31, 2003
Voted YES on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010.
Dorgan Amdt. No. 865; To require that the hydrogen commercialization plan of the Department of Energy include a description of activities to support certain hydrogen technology deployment goals. Part of S 14 Energy Omnibus bill; this vote would pass an amendment that would call for the Department of Energy to set targets and timelines to maintain the production of 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010, and 2.5 million vehicles annually by 2020. It also would call for the department to set targets for the sale of hydrogen at fueling stations. The bill would require the Energy secretary to submit a yearly progress report to Congress.
; vote number 2003-212
on Jun 10, 2003
Voted NO on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill.
Boxer Amdt. No. 272.; To prevent consideration of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a fast-track budget reconciliation bill. S Con Res 23 Budget resolution FY2004: Vote to pass an amendment that would strike (remove) language in the resolution that would permit oil drilling and exploration in part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. [Voting No favors drilling for oil in ANWR].
Bill SConRes 23
; vote number 2003-59
on Mar 19, 2003
Voted YES 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.
; vote number 2002-71
on Apr 18, 2002
Voted YES 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.
; vote number 2002-47
on Mar 13, 2002
Voted YES 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 NO 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 YES on approving a nuclear waste repository.
Approval of the interim nuclear waste repository. The repository would be located at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, with an integrated management system for storage and permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Voting YES would authorize the President with sole and unreviewable discretion to determine the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site.
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
Rated 17% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence.
Brownback scores 17% by CAF on energy issues
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 CAF scores as follows:
About the CAF (from their website, www.ourfuture.org):
- 0% - 30%: opposition of energy independence (approx. 206 members)
- 30% - 70%: mixed record on energy independence (approx. 77 members)
- 70%-100%: support for energy independence (approx. 183 members)
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.
Source: CAF "Energy Independence" Report 06n-CAF on Dec 31, 2006
Open the Outer Continental Shelf for oil & gas leasing.
Brownback co-sponsored opening the Outer Continental Shelf for oil & gas leasing
A bill to address record high gas prices at the pump, and for other purposes. The Gas Price Reduction Act amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to prescribe procedures for petition, by the governor of a state with a new producing area within the offshore administrative boundaries beyond the state's submerged land, to make the new producing area available for oil and gas leasing.
Repeals the prohibition against funding: (1) regulations regarding a commercial leasing program for oil shale resources on public lands; or (2) an oil shale lease sale.
Instructs the Secretary of Energy to: (1) expand and accelerate research and development efforts for advanced batteries; and (2) implement a direct loan program for up to 30% of the costs of advanced battery production.
- Expresses the sense of the Senate that the federal government should implement policies to increase federal purchases of plug-in electric drive vehicles.
- Report to Congress on the international regime for regulating trading in energy commodity futures and derivatives.
Signed the No Climate Tax Pledge by AFP.
Brownback signed the No Climate Tax Pledge
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.
Source: AFP website 10-AFP on Nov 2, 2010
Letter to Congress supporting renewable energy tax credit.
Brownback signed American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension
Congressional Summary:Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2016 the tax credit for electricity produced from wind, biomass, geothermal or solar energy, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities.
Proponent's Comments (Governor's Wind Energy Coalition letter of Nov. 15, 2011 signed by 23 governors):Although the tax credit for wind energy has long enjoyed bipartisan support, it is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Wind-related manufacturing is beginning to slow in our states because the credit has not yet been extended. If Congress pursues a last minute approach to the extension, the anticipated interruption of the credit's benefits will result in a significant loss of high-paying jobs in a growing sector of the economy.
We strongly urge Congress to adopt a more consistent and longer-term federal tax policy to support wind energy development, such as H.R. 3307.
The leading wind project developers and manufacturers are slowing their plans for 2013 and beyond due to the current uncertainty. The ripple effect of this slow down means reduced orders for turbines and decreased business for the hundreds of manufacturers who have entered the wind industry in our states. When Congress allowed the tax credit to expire in 1999, 2001, and 2003, the development of new wind installations dropped significantly, between 73% and 93%, and thousands of jobs were lost. Providing renewable energy tax credits in order to provide consistency with conventional energy tax credits is the right policy to move the nation forward in an energy sector that offers global export opportunities and the ability to modernize a segment of our electric production infrastructure.
Source: H.R.3307 11-H3307 on Nov 2, 2011
Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025.
Brownback co-sponsored setting goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025
A resolution that it is the goal of the United States that, not later than January 1, 2025, the agricultural, forestry, and working land of the US should provide from renewable resources not less than 25% of the total energy consumed and continue to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed, and fiber. [Governors also signed letters of endorsement at www.25x25.org]
Rep. SALAZAR: "Our resolution establishes a national goal of producing 25% of America's energy from renewable sources--like solar, wind and biofuels--by 2025. The "25x'25" vision is widely endorsed, bold, and fully attainable. If implemented, it would dramatically improve our energy security, our economy, and our ability to protect the environment.
"I am pleased that more than 20 of my colleagues in the Senate, from both sides of the aisle, are cosponsoring this resolution.
In addition, the "25x'25" vision has been endorsed by 22 current and former governors and several State legislatures across the country. The Big Three automobile manufacturers--Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors--are all behind "25x'25" So are many agricultural organizations, environmental groups, scientists, and businesses, ranging from the Natural Resources Defense Council to John Deere.
"These Americans understand that we cannot continue to import 60% of our oil from foreign countries, many of which are hostile to the US, if we aim to be strong and secure in the world. They know that we will have to build a clean energy economy if we are to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It is time for Congress to take a more active role in our clean energy future. Establishing a national goal--"25x'25" is the first step."
Source: 25x'25 Act (S.CON.RES.3 / H.CON.RES.25) 2007-SC03 on Jan 17, 2007
Allow horizontal drilling into Alaska's Coastal Plain.
Brownback signed No Surface Occupancy Western Arctic Energy Act
No Surface Occupancy Western Arctic Coastal Plain Domestic Energy Security Act: Authorizes exploration, leasing, development, and production of oil and gas from the Western Coastal Plain.
Source: S.503 2009-S503 on Feb 27, 2009
- Defines the Western Coastal Plain as the area of Coastal Plain: (1) that borders the land of Alaska to the west and Alaska offshore waters of the Beaufort Sea on the north; and (2) from which the Secretary of the Interior finds oil and gas can be produced through horizontal drilling or other subsurface technology from sites outside or underneath the Coastal Plain surface.
- Authorizes the Secretary to establish a competitive oil and gas leasing program that will result in an environmentally sound program for the exploration, development, and production of the oil and gas resources of the Western Coastal Plain.
Considers such program to be compatible with the purposes for which the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was established.
- Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish lease sale procedures; and (2) offer for lease those tracts the Secretary considers to have the greatest potential for the discovery of hydrocarbons.
- Prescribes a scheme for the allocation of revenues produced by bonus, rental, and royalty revenues from the federal oil and gas leasing and operations authorized under this Act, requiring 50% to be paid semiannually to the state of Alaska, and the remainder to designated federal entities.
Page last updated: Jul 26, 2017