Rob Simmons on Energy & Oil
Former Republican Representative (CT-2, 2001-2007)
Voted YES on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore.
Vote to amend a bill providing for exploration & production of mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf. The underlying bill revises the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act's guidelines for natural gas lease administration. Voting YES on the amendment would maintain the 25-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling in environmentally sensitive areas offshore. Voting NO on the amendment would lift the 25-year moratorium, and establish incentives to renegotiate existing leases that fail to include market-based price caps.
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.
Reference: Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act;
Bill H R 4761
; vote number 2006-354
on Jun 29, 2006
Voted YES on scheduling permitting for new oil refinieries.
Voting YES would allow floor debate on H.R.5254, the Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act, which provides for the following:
- The EPA, upon the request of a state governor, shall provide scheduling and financial assistance relevant to consideration of federal refinery authorizations.
- The President shall designate at least three closed military installations as potentially suitable for the construction of a refinery.
- Requires that at least one such site be designated as potentially suitable for construction of a refinery to refine biomass in order to produce biofuel.
Proponents of the resolution say:
- Over the last several years, we have seen gasoline prices increase steadily
- In the last 24 years, our refinery capacity has dropped from 19 million barrels a day to less than 17 million barrels a day.
- We must make build new refineries to meet our current demand and to prevent a loss of capacity due to another hurricane, or a terrorist attack
Opponents of the resolution say:
Reference: Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act;
Bill HR 5254 resolution H RES 842
; vote number 2006-228
on Jun 7, 2006
- $3 a gallon gas is a problem, but so is global warming, and so is our dependence on fossil fuels.
- Unfortunately, this bill represents another missed opportunity for strategic long-term national energy policy.
- There have been no new refineries built in the US since 1976, but there has not been one convincing example of a situation where the permitting process prevented construction of a refinery.
- We should reduce demand by promoting energy conservation and fuel efficient forms of transportation, and work to develop renewable sources of fuel.
- Taken together, these will help America move towards energy independence. And we are going to stop providing subsidies to companies that are making record profits.
Voted YES 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
- Authorizing the President to designate sites on Federal land for construction of new oil refineries, including at least three on closed military bases
- Allowing the Secretary of Energy to enter into contracts with non-Federal entities to construct or restore new refineries that use crude oil or coal to produce gasoline or other fuel
- Establishing a program to encourage carpools by giving grants to states and to evaluate the use of the Internet to link riders with carpools, assist employers establish carpool programs, and market existing programs
- Authorizing any facility to use biomass debris as fuel if it meets certain standards, such as resulting from a major disaster
- $2.5 million to create an education campaign about gasoline conservation
Voted YES 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 YES 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;
; 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
Establish greenhouse gas tradeable allowances.
Simmons 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
Supports immediate reductions in greenhouse gases.
Simmons adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership issue stance:
The Republican Main Street Partnership supports the goal of immediate, near-term reductions in greenhouse gases, and would move toward this goal by providing strong incentives that have minimal adverse impact on the economy, and to continue to apply our best scientific minds to developing a better understanding of the long-term nature of climate change and the means to cope with it.
Two objectives should be accomplished:
With regard to global warming, the Republican Main Street Partnership recognizes that a longer debate over the proper U.S. role in implementing the Kyoto Protocol should and will occur. In so doing, we hope to bolster our scientific understanding of the problem and perhaps, in turn, provide immediate incentives for communities and corporations to act in their own and the nation's best interests in reducing emissions. We are strongly committed to acting on the emerging consensus for progress and constructive change, and maintaining America's ability to lead the world in the critical area of environmental protection.
Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Issue Paper: Environment 98-RMSP2 on Sep 9, 1998
- create an "early action crediting system" to provide assurances to companies that actions taken now to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will be recognized and credited in the eventual system of emissions reductions standards that will be developed; and
- commit the necessary resources to national and international scientific efforts to better understand the cause and effect of global climate change.
Page last updated: Oct 29, 2010