Sam Brownback on Environment
Republican Sr Senator (KS)
Stewardship for water resources to lengthen useful life
With most natural resources, we aren't just taking them to use for today. We are borrowing them from the future. We are going to continue implementing action items in the Long Term Vision for Kansas Water. The first Local
Enhanced Management Area has been in operation for three years and has reduced water use by roughly 20 percent, and maintained their net income. That should extend the useful life of the Ogallala in that area by 25 years.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Kansas legislature
, Jan 12, 2016
Disapproved of Labor Department’s ergonomic rules
The Club for Growth supports more sensible government regulation, and less government regulation overall, as a critical step toward increasing freedom and growth in the marketplace. Sen. Brownback’s record on regulation is generally pro-growth with just
a few exceptions. He has often demonstrated his respect for the self-regulation of the marketplace and his general aversion to burdensome regulatory measures. These votes include:
Source: Club for Growth, “Second Presidential White Paper”
, Feb 2, 2007
Voted for a resolution expressing congressional disapproval of ergonomic rules submitted by the Department of Labor (Roll Call #15, 03/06/01)
- Voted against banning drilling in ANWR (Roll Call #52, 03/16/05)
- Voted to prohibit an increase in
CAFE standards (Roll Call vote #48, 03/13/02)
- Voted against a bill that would require greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 2000 levels by 2010 (Roll Call #420, 10/30/03)
Scored 0% on Humane Society Scorecard on animal protection
The Humane Society 109th Congress Scorecard on animal protection issues scored Brownback 0 out of 100, based on:
Source: Humane Society 109th Congress Scorecard, www.fund.org
, Jan 31, 2007
- Brownback did not co-sponsor the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S.1915): To bar slaughtering horses for human consumption. Bill had 3
- Brownback voted against the Horse Slaughter Amendment (9/20/2005): to stop export of horses for slaughter.
- Brownback did not co-sponsor the Animal Fighting Prohibition Act (S.382): To criminalize dogfighting & cockfighting. The bill
had 51 cosponsors & passed unanimously on 4/28/2005.
- Brownback did not co-sponsor the Downed Animal Protection Act (S.1779): to ban “downed” (unable to walk to slaughter) cattle, pigs & sheep in human food. Bill had 26 cosponsors.
- Brownback did not
sign the Funding Letter to the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee: seeking funds for the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, & federal animal fighting law. The letter was cosigned by 44 senators & sent on 5/25/2006.
Voted YES on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program.
Congressional Summary:Emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. OBEY (D, WI-7): The cash for clunkers program has proven even more wildly popular than its strongest supporters had predicted. Just last month, Congress passed the program, which provided up to $4,500 if you trade in your old gas guzzler for a new car that gets better mileage. That was done in the hopes of spurring some new car sales and encouraging people to be a little more environmentally friendly. We provided $1 billion in the supplemental to get it going, enough for about 250,000 sales--which was just about exhausted in one week. This bill transfers $2 billion from the Department of Energy's Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program, which doesn't expect to award funding until late next year.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LEWIS (R, CA-41):
In the majority's haste to slam legislation with no time for consideration or amendments, we are now seeing the effects of such shortsighted martial law tactics.
Senator Feinstein tried to negotiate some changes to improve the program but was told that it was this way or the highway. Not one hearing on the Cash for Clunkers program, not one hearing on how the first billion dollars has been spent, not one hearing on how much money the program will need to get through the fiscal year.
Many of my colleagues will say, This is a great program, and it is necessary for the revitalization of the car industry. I'm not really going to argue with those goals. However, are we sure this program is working like it's supposed to? I don't think so. This program has only been up and running 1 week. If that is how the government is going to handle billion-dollar programs affecting all Americans, I ask, Whatever will we do if the administration takes control of our health care system?
Reference: Cash for Clunkers bill;
Bill H.R. 3435
; vote number 2009-S270
on Aug 6, 2009
Voted YES on prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land.
To prohibit the involuntary acquisition of farmland & grazing land by government for parks, open space, or similar purposes. Exceptions include takings for use by:
- public utility
- road or other right of way
- an aqueduct or pipeline
- a prison or hospital
- national disaster
Proponents support voting YES because:
Sen. CRAIG: "Eminent domain was elevated greatly as an issue following a highly controversial 2005 Supreme Court decision known as Kelo vs. The City of New London. Since that decision, we as a nation have allowed state & local governments to utilize eminent domain to force landowners to yield their property to private development. Farmers and ranchers in particular have become vulnerable to state and local governments taking their property for economic development or open space designations. My amendment is a very targeted amendment. It addresses only cases in which private working agricultural land is taken and turned into public open space."
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Sen. HARKIN: This amendment doesn't reach the Kelo decision [because Kelo was about taking open space for private development]. Under this amendment they can still do that.
CRAIG. Oh, I disagree totally. We reach a portion of Kelo that is now most frequently impacting farms and ranches, and that is open space for open space.
HARKIN. The amendment has the Federal Government telling a local government what it can and cannot do within its own jurisdiction.
Letter from the National Conference of State Legislatures & US Conference of Mayors:
"This amendment is not only ill-advised, but it is also unconstitutional [because it] preempts state & local land use laws. The 5th Amendment expressly permits the taking of private property for public use provided just compensation is provided to the owner. The power of eminent domain has always been, and should remain, a state and local power."
Reference: Craig Amendment to Farm Bill Extension Act;
Bill S.Amdt. 3640 to H.R. 2419
; vote number 2007-429
on Dec 13, 2007
Voted NO on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations.
A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 15, 2005, relating to the removal of coal- and oil-fired electric generating units from the list of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule:
Reference: EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule;
Bill S J Res 20
; vote number 2005-225
on Sep 13, 2005
- Limits smokestack emissions in a two-phase program founded on a market based capping system
- Calls for the first cap to limit mercury emissions to 38 tons in 2010
- Requires the second and final cap to begin in 2018 and stay fix at 15 tons
Voted YES on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior.
Vote to confirm the nomination of Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. [Ms. Norton generally favors conservative or libertarian stances on the environment.]
Bill Confirmation vote
; vote number 2001-6
on Jan 30, 2001
Voted NO on more funding for forest roads and fish habitat.
The Bryan Amdt (D-NV) offered an amendment to raise funding levels for Forest Service road maintenance and wildlife and fisheries habitat management programs. Senator Craig (R-ID) motioned to table this amendment. [A YES vote is considered pro-business].
Status: Table Motion Agreed to Y)54; N)43; NV)3
Reference: Motion to table Bryan Amdt. #1588;
Bill H.R. 2466
; vote number 1999-272
on Sep 14, 1999
Voted YES on transportation demo projects.
McCain amendment to the transportation reauthorization bill (S. 1173) would require that funding for demonstration projects be covered by their respective state allocations instead of being funded individually in the transportation bill.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: McCain Amdt #1726;
Bill S. 1173
; vote number 1998-29
on Mar 12, 1998
Voted YES on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests.
Vote on an amendment to cut the $47.4 million provided for Forest Service road construction by $10 million, and to eliminate the purchaser credit program [which provides credits to timber companies to offset what they owe the government].
; vote number 1997-242
on Sep 17, 1997
Rated 0% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes.
Brownback scores 0% by the LCV on environmental issues
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is the political voice of the national environmental movement and the only organization devoted full-time to shaping a pro-environment Congress and White House. We run tough and effective campaigns to defeat anti-environment candidates, and support those leaders who stand up for a clean, healthy future for America. Through our National Environmental Scorecard and Presidential Report Card we hold Congress and the Administration accountable for their actions on the environment. Through regional offices, we build coalitions, promote grassroots power, and train the next generation of environmental leaders.
The 2003 National Environmental Scorecard provides objective, factual information about the environmental voting records of all Members of the first session of the 108th Congress. This Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which Members of Congress should be graded. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including environmental health and safety protections, resource conservation, and spending for environmental programs. Scores are calculated by dividing the number of pro-environment votes by the total number of votes scored. The votes included in this Scorecard presented Members of Congress with a real choice on protecting the environment and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. Except in rare circumstances, the Scorecard excludes consensus action on the environment and issues on which no recorded votes occurred.
Source: LCV website 03n-LCV on Dec 31, 2003
Promote conservation of rare felids & canids.
Brownback co-sponsored promoting conservation of rare felids & canids
To assist in the conservation of rare felids and rare canids by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of nations within the range of rare felid and rare canid populations and projects of persons with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of rare felid and rare canid populations. Congress finds the following:
Source: Great Cats and Rare Canids Act (H.R.1464) 07-H1464 on Mar 9, 2007
- Many wild populations of felids and canids, once considered common, are in decline, and many have declined to the point that their long-term survival in the wild is in serious jeopardy.
- Of the 37 wild felid species worldwide, all are currently recognized as species in need of protection. Of the 35 wild canid species worldwide, nearly 50% are recognized as in need of such protection.
- In addition to their intrinsic value, felids and canids are important aesthetic, economic, and ecological global resources that need to be conserved.
Large felids and canids are considered both keystone and indicator species. Healthy populations of these species act as an important indicator of the integrity of entire ecosystems.
- Rare felids and rare canids face an array of threats, including loss of habitat and natural prey, intentional and unintentional takings by humans, disease transmission, and a vast number of other threats. These threats need to be addressed in a coordinated fashion.
- The purposes of this Act are to provide financial resources and to foster international cooperation (1) to restore and perpetuate healthy populations of rare felids and rare canids in the wild; and (2) to assist in the conservation of rare felid and rare canid populations worldwide.
- Related bills: H.R.1913, S.1033
Allow critical feeding on Conservation Reserves.
Brownback co-sponsored allowing critical feeding on Conservation Reserves
A BILL to require the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out conservation reserve program notice CRP-598, entitled the 'Voluntary Modification of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Contract for Critical Feed Use'.
BACKGROUND: USDA announced that certain acreage enrolled in CRP would be available for hay and forage after the ending of the primary nesting season. Beginning June 2, 2008, CRP participants may request to voluntarily modify CRP contracts for critical feed use, such as haying and grazing. The increased demand for commodities and resulting higher prices has impacted the livestock industry.
Implement conservation reserve program notice CRP-598:
Source: Voluntary Modification of CRP (S3337/HR6533) 08-S3337 on Jul 25, 2008
- to modify conservation reserve program contracts of producers and operators; and
- to allow harvesting or grazing on agricultural lands enrolled in the conservation reserve.
Make tax deduction permanent for conservation easements.
Brownback signed H.R.1831 & S.812
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent the tax deduction for charitable contributions by individuals and corporations of real property interests for conservation purposes. Known in the Senate as the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act of 2009.
Source: Conservation Easement Incentive Act 09-HR1831 on Mar 31, 2009
Keystone XL Pipeline fundamental to economic prosperity.
Brownback signed Letter from Governors in US and Canada to Pres. Obama
Dear Mr. President,
We respectfully urge you to move forward on the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The energy relationship between the US and Canada is vital to the future of both our countries.
We consider the Keystone XL Pipeline fundamentally important to the future economic prosperity of both the US and Canada.
Source: Letter from Governors 13-KeyXL-G on Jan 17, 2013
- Crucial to US energy security: With the pipeline, US imports from Canada could reach twice what is currently imported from the Persian Gulf.
- Thousands of jobs: The pipeline project is expected to create thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs and generate tax revenues in local economies along the pipeline route.
- Efficient and reliable: We are committed to responsible stewardship of our shared environment. Pipelines remain the most efficient method of transporting large volumes of crude oil, but we also recognize the need to take the measures necessary to protect the environment and public health and safety.
Fund projects for international conservation of cranes.
Brownback signed Crane Conservation Act
A bill to assist in the conservation of cranes by supporting and providing, through projects of persons and organizations with expertise in crane conservation, financial resources for the conservation programs of countries the activities of which directly or indirectly affect cranes and the ecosystem of cranes.
Requires the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance for approved projects relating to the conservation of cranes, using amounts in the Crane Conservation Fund established by this Act. Allows a project proposal to be submitted by:
- any wildlife management authority of a country located in the African, Asian, European, or North American range of a species of crane that carries out at least one activity that affects crane populations;
- the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; and
- any person or organization with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of cranes.
Source: S.197&HR388 2009-S197 on Jan 9, 2009
- Establishes the Crane Conservation Fund in the Multinational Species Conservation Fund.
- Authorizes the Secretary to convene an advisory group representing public and private organizations actively involved in the conservation of cranes to assist in carrying out this Act.