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Mark Udall on Energy & Oil

Democratic Representative (CO-2)


We need comprehensive plan, not just oil & gas development

SCHAFFER: The dramatic increase in revenue for the federal government right now is partially a function of the dramatic increase in energy prices. The energy industry’s marginal profit rate is taxed, and the windfall is raked in by the federal government That’s one of the possible motivations why people in Washington, like Mark, have fought to drive energy prices up, that this pays off government.

UDALL: That’s laughable. Congressman Schaffer’s an oil and gas executive. Of course he’s going to take the side of the oil and gas industry. If you want maintenance of the existing energy policy we have in this country, which is focused on oil and gas development of fossil fuels, then you ought to hire Schaffer. If you want a comprehensive plan, if you want to throw the kitchen sink at this where we take a fresh look at nuclear and we develop clean coal supplies and we invest deeply in renewables and in conservation, we also drill responsibly, I’m going to be the senator that’s going to pursue that.

Source: 2008 Colorado Senate Debate on Meet the Press , Sep 28, 2008

Cap on greenhouse gases as part of comprehensive new treaty

Q: Do you support caps on greenhouse gas emissions?

A: Yes, I believe instituting caps on greenhouse gases is one essential piece to a comprehensive strategy at addressing the human contribution to global climate change.

Q: Do you support U.S. participation in binding international climate agreements?

A: Yes, an effective response to global climate change is going to require an international commitment, and the United States must lead international efforts to negotiate a comprehensive new treaty for stabilizing and then reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. I do not believe we can effectively lead a global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions without our making the commitment to do so. However, any agreement must be realistic and fair to all parties, including the United States.

Source: Citizens for Global Solutions: 2008 Senate questionnaire , Sep 9, 2008

We must pass legislation to limit carbon emissions

Q: What is your policy to address global climate change?

A: Our climate is changing and human activity is contributing to it. I believe that we must pass legislation to limit carbon emissions. I am a cosponsor of HR 620, the Climate Stewardship Act, which would create a cap-and-trade system to lower carbon emissions. We must put all options on the table, including energy efficiency, conservation, and increasing fuel economy standards, to address this challenge. And we must continue to invest in science to better understand our climate system. I authored the Global Change Research and Data Act (HR 906) to update and reorient federal climate change research.

Q: What policies would you support to meet the demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?

A: I support a comprehensive energy plan that includes responsible onshore and offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, expanding nuclear power, and expediting new alternative-fuel vehicles.

Source: 2008 Senate questionnaire by SEA & 18 science organizations , Sep 9, 2008

Immediate response to global climate change

I believe that it is time for universal acknowledgment of what is already the scientific and public consensus--global climate change is occurring and human activity is a primary contributor to that change. The problem presents a major environmental challenge that requires an immediate response from our state and national government.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.markudall.com, “Issues” , Mar 2, 2008

Being green is MAKING green

Colorado is home to a vibrant & expanding business community. We are a leader in the aerospace industry. Our other leading industries--agriculture, air transportation, technology, outdoor recreation--continue to grow & will remain competitive if we are smart about our tax & investment policies. Colorado is also deeply involved in the exploding renewable energy industry. “Being green” is MAKING green ($) as the renewable energy industry gains momentum & creates more jobs & business opportunities.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.markudall.com, “Issues” , Mar 2, 2008

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 NO on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.