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Harold Ford on Energy & Oil

Former Democratic Representative (TN-9, 1997-2007)


Grow our way to energy independence, while drilling Alaska

Q: Are you for drilling in Alaska?

FORD: We need energy independence. We can’t win a war on terror if you pay for both sides of the war at the same time. That’s what we’re doing. We have the capacity & ingenuity to grow our way out of these challenges. I have a lot of confidence in farmers to grow our way out of it, & in laboratories to use nuclear energy & coal in new ways. Our oil dependence is environmentally hazardous; it’s a drag on the economy; and it keeps young men facing the prospect of going overseas to defend an untenable appetite for oil. I know we can break our habit and find new ways to fuel our cars & power our homes. My campaign chairman is a farmer. His campaign chairman runs a big ol’ oil company.

Q: Do you support drilling in Alaska?

FORD: I do.

CORKER: I strongly support biofuel. My campaign chairman runs a retail operation, the largest seller of ethanol and biodiesel in Tennessee.

FORD: If my campaign chairman were in big oil, I’d be trying to explain it away too.

Source: 2006 TN Senate debate, at University of Chattanooga Oct 10, 2006

We need an energy policy that reduces Mideast oil

Ford said the US needs a new energy policy. “Four years and five months after 9/11, we still have essentially the same energy strategy we had before,” said Ford: buying oil from the Middle East. “We pay more for the oil, and we’re buying more of it,” he said. There’s also the constant risk that money spent in the Middle East will wind up in the hands of terrorists.
Source: Campaign website, www.haroldfordjr.com, press release Jan 20, 2006

Voted NO on authorizing construction of new oil refineries.

To expedite the construction of new refining capacity in the United States, to provide reliable and affordable energy for the American people, and for other purposes including:
Reference: Gasoline for Americas Security Act; Bill HR 3893 ; vote number 2005-519 on Oct 7, 2005

Voted NO on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy.

Vote to pass a bill that would put into practice a comprehensive national policy for energy conservation, research and development. The bill would authorize o $25.7 billion tax break over a 10-year period. The tax breaks would include $11.9 billion to promote oil and gas production, $2.5 billion for "clean coal" programs, $2.2 billion in incentives for alternative motor vehicles, and $1.8 billion for the electric power industry and other businesses. A natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be authorized an $18 billion loan guarantee. It would add to the requirement that gasoline sold in the United States contain a specified volume of ethanol. Makers of the gasoline additive MTBE would be protected from liability. They would be required though to cease production of the additive by 2015. Reliability standards would be imposed for electricity transmissions networks, through this bill. The bill would also ease the restrictions on utility ownership and mergers.
Reference: Energy Policy Act of 2004; Bill HR 4503 ; vote number 2004-241 on Jun 15, 2004

Voted NO on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy.

Energy Omnibus bill: Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would put into practice a comprehensive national policy for energy conservation, research and development. The bill would authorize a $25.7 billion tax break over a 10-year period. The tax breaks would include $11.9 billion to promote oil and gas production, $2.5 billion for "clean coal" programs, $2.2 billion in incentives for alternative motor vehicles, and $1.8 billion for the electric power industry and other businesses. A natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be authorized an $18 billion loan guarantee. The bill would call for producers of Ethanol to double their output. Makers of the gasoline additive MTBE would be protected from liability. They would be required though to cease production of the additive by 2015. Reliability standards would be imposed for electricity transmissions networks, through this bill. The bill would also ease the restrictions on utility ownership and mergers.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Tauzin, R-LA; Bill HR.6 ; vote number 2003-630 on Nov 18, 2003

Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels.

Require a combined corporate average fuel efficiency [CAFE] standard for passenger automobiles and light trucks, including sport utility vehicles, of 26 mpg in 2005 and of 27.5 mpg in 2007. It also would offer incentives for alternative fuel vehicles.
Bill HR 4 ; vote number 2001-311 on Aug 1, 2001

Voted YES on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR.

Amendment to maintain the current prohibition on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by striking language opening the reserve up to development.
Bill HR 4 ; vote number 2001-317 on Aug 1, 2001

Voted YES on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol.

Vote on an amendment that would allow the implementation of the portions of the Kyoto climate change treaty that are already allowed under law. The Kyoto protocol of 1997, which aims to reduce emissions of certain greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, has not been ratified by the United States. The amendment would allow federal agencies, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to implement procedures already allowed under law that are also part of the Kyoto accord before the treaty is ratified by Congress.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Olver, D-MA; Bill HR 4690 ; vote number 2000-323 on Jun 26, 2000

Supports tradable emissions permits for greenhouse gases.

Ford adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Modernize Environmental Policies
National environmental policies, mostly developed in the 1970s, have been remarkably successful in improving the quality of our air and water. But we face a new set of environmental challenges for which the old strategy of centralized, command-and-control regulation is no longer effective.

The old regime of prohibitions and fines levied on polluters is not well equipped to tackle problems such as climate change, contamination of water from such sources as farm and suburban runoff, loss of open lands, and sprawl. Without relaxing our determination to maintain and enforce mandatory national standards for environmental quality, it is time to create more effective, efficient, and flexible ways of achieving those standards.

For example, a system of tradable emissions permits would give factories, power plants, and other sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases a powerful incentive not only to meet but to exceed environmental standards. Decisions about solving local environmental problems should be shifted from Washington to communities, without weakening national standards. Finally, to empower citizens and communities to make sound decisions, government should invest in improving the quality and availability of information about environmental conditions.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC10 on Aug 1, 2000

Balance fossil fuels and viable renewable energy.

Ford adopted the Blue Dog Coalition press release:

Blue Dogs believe in a balanced energy plan that expands our energy supply by promoting a diverse energy mix. As a country blessed with a diverse energy portfolio of traditional fossil fuels and viable renewable energy sources, we believe it is critical to promote a forward-looking, market-based, and balanced national energy strategy. We must encourage research and development in new energy technologies that promote the greatest level of conservation at home, in business, and in industry. Reducing national energy intensity through energy efficient applications can save consumers and business billions in extra energy costs while also reducing polluting emissions. Pursuing these collective goals will strengthen our energy security, diversify our energy mix, and provide Americans with reliable and affordable energy sources.

Source: Blue Dog Coalition press release 01-BDC1 on Jul 10, 2001

Preserve Alaska's ANWR instead of drilling it.

Ford co-sponsored the Morris K. Udall Arctic Wilderness Act:

Title: To preserve the Arctic coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present and future generations of Americans.

Summary: Designates specified lands within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness and components of the National Wilderness Preservation System [which would preclude oil exploration and drilling].

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR770 on Feb 28, 2001

Establish greenhouse gas tradeable allowances.

Ford co-sponsored establishing greenhouse gas tradeable allowances

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to provide for a program of scientific research on abrupt climate change, to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the US by establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances, to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the US and reduce dependence upon foreign oil, and ensure benefits to consumers from the trading in such allowances.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. McCAIN: This bill is designed to begin a meaningful and shared effort among the emission-producing sectors of our country to address the world's greatest environmental challenge--climate change.

The National Academy of Sciences reported, "temperatures are, in fact, rising." The overwhelming body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is real, that it is happening as we speak.

Terrible things are happening at the poles, which will have global implications. Amplified global warming, rising sea levels, and potential alterations in ocean circulation patterns are among the global concerns.

The International Climate Change Task Force recommended that "all developed countries introduce mandatory cap-and-trade systems for carbon emissions and construct them to allow for future integration into a single global market." That is already being done in Europe as we speak, which is the substance of this legislation.

If we do not move on this issue, our children and grandchildren are going to pay an incredibly heavy price because this crisis is upon us, only we do not see its visible aspects in all of its enormity. We have done relatively nothing besides gather additional data and make reports. That is what the US national policy is today: gather information and make reports. I would argue that is a pretty heavy burden to lay on future generations of Americans.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; never came to a vote.

Source: Climate Stewardship Act (S.342/H.R.759) 05-S0342 on Feb 10, 2005

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Energy & Oil: Harold Ford on other issues:
TN Gubernatorial:
Bill Haslam
TN Senatorial:
Bob Corker
Lamar Alexander

Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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Page last updated: Mar 09, 2011