Gary Peters on Energy & Oil


AdWatch: Yes, I own petcoke stock, but I can still speak out

The Terri Lynn Land for Senate campaign launched the web ad, "Sides", which exposes Gary Peters' record of playing both sides on the issue of petcoke (Petroleum coke). A transcript:
Source: PacWatch: Land press release for 2014 Michigan Senate race , Sep 2, 2014

Proudly voted to invest in renewable energy sources

Gary Peters is running on an aggressive climate change agenda. The climate policies he has embraced align with those championed by billionaire Tom Steyer, who has pledged to support Gary Peters' campaign.

Steyer, a former hedge fund manager turned green evangelist, says he plans to raise up to $100 million during the midterm elections for candidates who stand strong on climate change. Steyer's NextGen Climate Action is pouring $2.6 million to support Gary Peters.

Studies show that cap and trade would have killed Michigan jobs. In supporting cap and trade, Peters "proudly" stands by what would have been the biggest tax in American history: his congressional website says he "proudly voted for" the Waxman-Markey bill, more commonly referred to as cap and trade legislation. "In 2009, I proudly voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act to invest in renewable energy sources, reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions and lay the groundwork for a clean energy economy."

Source: PacWatch: Land press release for 2014 Michigan Senate race , Sep 2, 2014

Cap and trade is an option we need to look at

Peters has dodged questions about cap-and-trade [sidestepping the specific policy debate but citing a larger discussion about the need to address climate change]:

HOST [of a radio call-in show in August]: "Congressman, are you a cap and trade fan?"

PETERS: "I think cap and trade is an option we need to look at. It has been successful in other areas. We saw that in acid rain, when we had to mitigate acid rain, a cap and trade program actually reduced acid rain emissions while doing it in a very cost effective way. You've seen some programs similar to that in New England now, actually when it comes to carbon emissions, that have reduced carbon emissions while the New England economy is doing very well. So it's certainly something on the table that we have to take a look at as we reduce carbon emissions. But there is not a specific proposal before us right now to comment, but I think it's important to make sure we are looking at all of the market based solutions."

Source: PacWatch: Land press release for 2014 Michigan Senate race , Sep 2, 2014

FactCheck: Mich. gets back more in gas tax than it collects

An ad from the Land campaign says, "Every Michigan driver knows our roads are a mess. On Congressman Gary Peters' watch, Michigan gas taxes are siphoned off by Washington instead of staying here and being spent on Michigan's crumbling roads."

That sure makes it seem like Michigan is getting back less in highway funding than its residents pay in gasoline taxes. But in 2012, Michigan received $1.03 in highway funding for every $1 in federal highway gasoline taxes collected in the state. Michigan's return on investment was even better in 2010, when the state received $1.30 in highway funding for every $1 it collected; and $1.20 for every $1 in 2011.

There is a caveat, however. The federal dollars "cannot be used for routine maintenance such as filling potholes or removing snow." Land's ad specifically shows images of potholes, and it's true that the state cannot spend federal money to fix them. Every state tacks on its own gasoline tax, which can be used on routine maintenance.

Source: FactCheck.org PacWatch on 2014 Michigan Senate debate , Aug 29, 2014

Voted NO on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Young, R-AK]: The Americans suffering from $4 a gallon gas today must feel like they're experiencing a sense of deja vu. In 2008, when gasoline prices reached a record high of $4.11 per gallon, the public outcry forced Congress to act. That fall, Congress lifted the offshore drilling ban that had been in place for decades. Three years later, most Americans would likely be shocked to learn that no energy development has happened in these new areas.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Markey, D-MA]. In the first 3 months of this year, Exxon-Mobil made $10 billion off of the American consumer; Shell made $8 billion; BP made $7 billion. So what are these companies asking for? These companies are now asking that we open up the beaches of California, Florida & New England to drill for oil. People who live near those beaches don't want oil coming in the way it did in the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, those oil companies are centered down in the Gulf of Mexico. People are concerned because those companies have blocked any new safety reforms that would protect against another catastrophic spill. We have to oppose this bill because, first of all, they already have 60 million acres of American land that they haven't drilled on yet, which has about 11 billion barrels of oil underneath it and an equivalent amount of natural gas. This bill is just a giveaway to Exxon-Mobil and Shell.

Reference: Reversing Pres. Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act; Bill H.1231 ; vote number 11-HV320 on May 12, 2011

Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Upton, R-MI]: This legislation will remove the biggest regulatory threat to the American economy. This is a threat imposed not by Congress, but entirely by the Obama EPA. This administration wanted a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gases, but Congress said no. So beginning in early 2009, EPA began putting together a house of cards to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide. The agency began with automobiles, declaring that their emissions endangered public health. That single endangerment finding has since been used by EPA to launch an unparalleled onslaught. The result, two years later, is a series of regulations that will ultimately affect every citizen, every industry, really every aspect of our economy and way of life.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill is a direct assault on the Clean Air Act. Its premise is that climate change is a hoax and carbon pollution does not endanger health and welfare. But climate change is real. It is caused by pollution, and it is a serious threat to our health and welfare. We need to confront these realities. American families count on the EPA to keep our air and water clean. But this bill has politicians overruling the experts at EPA, and it exempts our biggest polluters from regulation. If this bill is enacted, the EPA's ability to control dangerous carbon pollution will be gutted.

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill H.910 ; vote number 11-HV249 on Apr 7, 2011

Voted YES on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution.

Congressional Summary:Requires utilities to supply an increasing percentage of their demand from a combination of energy efficiency savings and renewable energy (6% in 2012, 9.5% in 2014, 13% in 2016, 16.5% in 2018, and 20% in 2021). Provides for:
  1. issuing, trading, and verifying renewable electricity credits; and
  2. prescribing standards to define and measure electricity savings from energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.
Amends the Clean Air Act (CAA) to set forth a national strategy to address barriers to the commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. ED MARKEY (D, MA-7): For the first time in the history of our country, we will put enforceable limits on global warming pollution. At its core, however, this is a jobs bill. It will create millions of new, clean-energy jobs in whole new industries with incentives to drive competition in the energy marketplace. It sets ambitious and achievable standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass so that by 2020, 20% of America's energy will be clean.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BOB GOODLATTE (R, VA-6): I agree that this bill has very important consequences, but those consequences are devastating for the future of the economy of this country. It's a fantasy that this legislation will turn down the thermostat of the world by reducing CO2 gas emissions when China & India & other nations are pumping more CO2 gas into the atmosphere all the time. We would be far better served with legislation that devotes itself to developing new technologies before we slam the door on our traditional sources of energy like coal and oil and and nuclear power. We support the effort for energy efficiency. We do not support this kind of suicide for the American economy. Unfortunately, cap and trade legislation would only further cripple our economy.

Reference: American Clean Energy and Security Act; Bill H.R.2454 ; vote number 2009-H477 on Jun 26, 2009

Other candidates on Energy & Oil: Gary Peters on other issues:
MI Gubernatorial:
Jennifer Granholm
Mark Schauer
Rick Snyder
MI Senatorial:
Debbie Stabenow
Matt Wiedenhoeft
Terri Lynn Land

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Retiring in 2014 election:

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
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AR: Pryor(D) vs.Cotton(R) vs.Swaney(G) vs.LaFrance(L)
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Page last updated: Jan 01, 2015