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Ron Wyden on Energy & Oil

Democratic Sr Senator (OR)


Biomass is a clean energy source & a job machine

In his opening remarks, Huffman wasted no time linking Wyden to Oregon's long-term unemployment problems. "It is no coincidence that during (Wyden's) term, Oregon unemployment is above the national average," Huffman said.

The two went on to outline their plans to foster small businesses in the face of a lousy economy. Huffman said that he believes in a moratorium on new federal regulations on businesses, a payroll tax holiday and an extension of the Bush tax cuts would help small businesses survive the downturn. "I believe small business is the most important employer in this state," he said.

Wyden pointed to his bipartisan work on a bill to help small businesses finance equipment they need to grow and his support of biomass as a job machine that would greatly benefit Southern Oregon. Wyden criticized the Obama administration's lumping biomass in with fossil fuels in terms of pollutants. "(Biomass) is a clean energy source for our state," he said.

Source: Mail Tribune coverage of 2010 Oregon Senate debate , Oct 22, 2010

Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Congressional Summary:To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change. The Clean Air Act is amended by adding a section entitled, "No Regulation of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases". In this section, the term 'greenhouse gas' means any of the following:
  1. Water vapor
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Methane
  4. Nitrous oxide
  5. Sulfur hexafluoride
  6. Hydrofluorocarbons
  7. Perfluorocarbons
  8. Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to regulation to address climate change.
The definition of the term 'air pollutant' does not include a greenhouse gas, except for purposes of addressing concerns other than climate change.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Sen. McConnell, R-KY]: The White House is trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA. It is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices. But it is perfectly consistent with the current Energy Secretary's previously stated desire to get gas prices in the US up to where they are in Europe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Sen. Lautenberg, D-NJ]:We hear the message that has been going around: Let's get rid of the EPA's ability to regulate. Who are they to tell us what businesses can do? Thank goodness that in this democratic society in which we live, there are rules and regulations to keep us as a civilized nation. The Supreme Court and scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency agreed that the Clean Air Act is a tool we must use to stop dangerous pollution. This amendment, it is very clear, favors one group--the business community. The Republican tea party politicians say: "Just ignore the Supreme Court. Ignore the scientists. We know better." They want to reward the polluters by crippling EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act.
Status: Failed 50-50 (3/5

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill Am183 to S.49 ; vote number 11-SV054 on Apr 6, 2011

Voted YES on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.