Mark Warner on Energy & Oil
Democratic Jr Senator; previously Governor
Gillespie dodged Warner's question at first, but when pressed again on his climate change beliefs, Gillespie said he thinks there is evidence to support it. Gillespie added, "Norfolk is dealing with rising sea levels but people can debate what contributes to that or not." Still, Gillespie said he thinks the administration's new carbon pollution rules "go too far."
Warner wasn't as quick to attack the new standards. Warner, a pro-coal Democrat, said he is for an all-of-the-above approach to energy, but thinks the U.S. needs to use cleaner sources to offset coal plants built in developing countries.
WARNER: My position is that Congress should lift the moratorium on offshore drilling and leave that decision to the states. I don’t believe we should be drilling in ANWR. Because Congress set it aside as a pristine area and similar to Senator McCain’s position, I see the dangers. But where I disagree with Jim is that this is somehow the silver bullet. America has 3% of the world’s oil and we use 25% of the world’s oil. Drilling alone isn’t going to solve the whole problem. Investing in alternative energy is going to provide more immediate relief.
REALITY: Governor Warner’s veto message on the 2005 offshore drilling ban called on the state to monitor “federal developments on domestic energy production,” as part of a larger state study. Warner vetoed the bill because it encroached on the role of the Governor to direct the activities of the Virginia Liaison Office and directed the Commonwealth to advocate for federal legislation that has yet to be introduced. [Warner Veto Message, 3/29/05]
In January 2006, a study prepared for Governor Warner and state legislators “recommended that Virginia allow offshore exploration for natural gas and oil deposits but take precautions to protect the environment.” The study “suggested that drilling take place at least 50 miles from the coast and that no pipelines or other equipment be placed ashore.” [Washington Post, 4/6/06]
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 required)
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R, SC): The climate change proposal that was in the President's budget would create a massive tax increase on anybody who uses energy, and that would be every American middle-class family, which already has a tough time getting by. This [amendment creates a procedure to block] any bill that would raise the cost of energy on our middle-class families who are struggling to get by. I ask the Senate to rally around this concept. We can deal with climate change without passing a $3,000-per-household energy tax on the families of America who are having a hard time paying their bills.
Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.
Sec. 202 is amended by inserting at the end the following: "The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget shall not revise the allocations in this resolution if the legislation is reported from any committee pursuant to sec. 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974."
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R, SC): This idea to most people of a debate about reconciliation probably is mind-numbing and not very interesting. But there is a process in the Congress where you can take legislation and basically put it on a fast track. It is subject to 50 votes.
The whole idea of the Senate kind of cooling things down has served the country well. In that regard, to end debate you need 60 votes. If 41 Senators are opposed to a piece of legislation, strongly enough to come to the floor every day and talk about it, that legislation doesn't go anywhere. If you took climate change and health care, two very controversial, big-ticket items, and put them on the reconciliation track, you would basically be doing a lot of damage to the role of the Senate in a constitutional democracy.
Senator Byrd, who is one of the smartest people to ever serve in the Senate about rules and parliamentary aspects of the Senate, said that to put climate change and health care reform in reconciliation is like "a freight train through Congress" and is "an outrage that must be resisted." Senator Conrad said: "I don't believe reconciliation was ever intended for this purpose."
I think both of them are right. Under the law, you cannot put Social Security into reconciliation because we know how controversial and difficult that is. I come here in support of the Johanns amendment that rejects that idea.
Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.
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AR: Cotton(R,incumbent) vs.Harrington(L) vs.
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Senate Votes (analysis)
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