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Entries in Energy Policy (211)

Friday
Jul112014

Smith For US Senate - Sign the Petition! We Can't Afford to Pay More at the Gas Pump! 

Sign the Petition!
We Can’t Afford to Pay More at the Pump!

Bedford (July 10, 2014)- Join Senator Smith in Calling on Jeanne Shaheen & Scott Brown to renounce their support for a federal gas tax hike.

On June 9th, the Portsmouth Herald reported that Senator Jeanne Shaheen expressed her support for a federal gas tax hike at a June 8th meeting with transportation officials in Portsmouth.

A Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) article dated September 15, 2012 reports that then-Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) said that he would be "open to discussion of a gas tax hike..."

Granite Staters cannot afford to pay more at the pump!

Sign the petition and join with me in calling on Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown to renounce their support of a gas tax hike! The petition may be found here:

Petition Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown to Join Senator Bob Smith in Opposing Federal Tax Hike on Gasoline

Sincerely,

Senator Bob

# # #

Monday
Jun302014

NH GOP - KUSTER AND SHEA-PORTER VOTE AGAINST LOWERING GAS PRICES FOR WORKING FAMILIES 

Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn today released the following statement on Congresswomen Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter voting against commonsense, bipartisan legislation that lowers gas prices for working families. With gas prices at a six-year high, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act will provide relief at the pump and help create jobs:

 

"Congresswomen Kuster and Shea-Porter are wildly out of touch with the needs of New Hampshire, and their vote lowering gas prices during the busiest driving season of theyear hurts the working class families who are already struggling. Instead of standing up for their constituents, Rep Kuster and Rep Shea-Porter are taking orders from the liberal specials interests that are bankrolling their campaigns. It's time to replace both of them with responsible Republicans who will put New Hampshire residents first."

 

BACKGROUND

 

Congresswomen Kuster and Shea-Porter vote no on H R 4899 Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act (On Passage: H R 4899 Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act, Open Congress, Accessed 6/27/2014)

 

The Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel and America That Works Act (H.R. 4899) would open new areas to energy exploration and development on our vast onshore and offshore federal lands.  The bill reverses the Obama Administration's policies that have driven federal oil production down six percent and federal natural gas down 28 percent since the president took office.  Currently, the U.S. is experiencing an energy boom on state and private lands - where natural gas production is up 33 percent and oil is up 61 percent since 2009. This is a testament to broken federal lands policy, part of which this bill seeks to fix.

Thursday
Jun262014

Garcia For Congress - ICYMI: Gary Lambert’s Not a Leader, He's a Follower 

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Hi all -- in case you missed it, the below article came out today on Gary Lambert's history of "progressive" energy policies and his involvement in Building America’s Future, "an organization dedicated to a larger government that invests taxpayer dollars in infrastructure."

Tom

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Gary Lambert’s Not a Leader, He’s a Follower


Does New Hampshire Second (NH02) US House Candidate Gary Lambert Even Know What He Stands For?

As a candidate for the US House, former state senator Gary Lambert fails to offer the voters of the New Hampshire Second a clear and concise message about where he stands on many issues; most notably cap-and-trade and reducing the size of government.

In 2011, the New Hampshire Journal interviewed Lambert, who was elected in 2010, and asked him what he was enjoying most about being a state senator; he replied:

"Well I’ve really enjoyed being on Energy and Natural Resources Committee. That’s one of the committees I wanted to be on. I’m really passionate about energy and natural resources. To have an impact on that, there are only five senators on that committee like most committees; and I’ve really enjoyed working on that and dealing with those issues."

Watch the video of the Lambert’s entire response.
 

Lambert voted like a progressive on energy and natural resources

Let’s examine Lambert’s “passion for energy and natural resources”, by looking at his voting record to see how it squares with his commitment to smaller government, and the interests of the people of the Granite State.

First, Lambert voted against HB 519, which would have repealed New Hampshire’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade program. This vote clearly favored bigger government and special interests, and ignored the negative consequence of skyrocketing energy costs for New Hampshire residents.

Then, when presented with an opportunity to reevaluate his position on RGGI, he doubled down on his original position in dramatic fashion. Republicans needed just one more vote to override the governor’s veto and repeal the RGGI, but Senator Lambert cast the deciding vote on SB 154 to uphold the veto and leave the onerous RGGI in place.

So despite a high-profile opportunity to acknowledge that his position had evolved, or that he’d had a change of heart, or that he’d been presented with irrefutable evidence of the damaging impact of the RGGI, Gary Lambert stood his ground, which just happened to be the same territory occupied by progressives.


Lambert voted to increase government spending

The other thing Lambert enjoyed early in his term was joining Michael Bloomberg, Ed Rendell and a host of others in Building America’s Future, an organization dedicated to a larger government that invests taxpayer dollars in infrastructure.

Lambert remains a member to this day, where the co-chairs are now Bloomberg, Rendell and Barack Obama’s former Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood.

You can sum up the Building America’s Future message with this quote from AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumpka:

"Federal investment in infrastructure is the necessary catalyst for future economic growth and to enable the private sector to effectively compete in the global economy. This investment is long overdue."

Of course by “investment” they really mean “spending,” so clearly this is an organization dedicated to increasing the size of government, and Lambert didn’t just join, he worked hard to help Building America’s Future achieve that mission by voting for big government spending multiple times.

He voted against HB 218, which would have repealed the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority. The NHRTA was established in 2007 to study and oversee the development of a commuter and passenger rail in New Hampshire. It is estimated that developing a rail system in New Hampshire would cost over $300 million initially, and between $8 million and $10 million a year to maintain. The bill to repeal the NHRTA was passed by both the Senate and the House but vetoed by the Governor. It then fell short of the votes necessary for a veto override.

By voting against repeal, Lambert ignored common sense and his stated commitment to trim excess spending, and instead actively supported government expansion.

He also voted against HB 540, which would have required vehicle inspections every two years, instead of annually. Supporters of the bill maintained that it would save the people of New Hampshire $11 million per year and would eliminate unnecessary government waste. They also claimed that annual inspections have been ineffective and unnecessary because they have no positive impact on auto safety. Finally, they pointed out that 30 other states don’t even mandate auto inspection.

But despite supporters’ best efforts, the bill passed in the House, but was deemed inexpedient to the legislature in the Senate, again thanks in part to Lambert’s vote.

Lambert then went on to vote against HB 629, which would have repealed the uninsured health care database. In doing so, he voted to protect an intrusive, costly, and dangerous system that placed an unnecessary burden on hospitals, and captured the social security numbers of patients in a government database without their knowledge or approval. He once again ignored patient interests and privacy rights while simultaneously showing his true colors as a defender of big government spending.

Are these votes consistent with the motto, “Live Free or Die?” We think not.

In fact, these votes are far more aligned with a progressive agenda that embraces, even extols, increasing spending at taxpayer expense (ostensibly for their own good, of course).

Five votes, five chances to demonstrate clearly that he stood with conservatives, and Granite Staters, and he failed miserably. On the contrary, his voting record made an irrefutable statement that his “passion” is for opposing the very ideals and New Hampshire constituents he claims to champion.

Today, just three years later, Lambert is a candidate for the GOP nomination in the Second Congressional District desperate to make up for his votes with hollow words and actions. In what appears to be a very hastily completed form, Lambert has signed a pledge from Americans for Prosperity denouncing support for climate change legislation like RGGI and cap-and-trade.

Following that, his campaign whisked out a press release with the following statement:

"Today, I promise the people of the 2nd District that I will not support any climate change legislation that raises taxes,” said Lambert. “New Hampshire has some of the highest energy prices in the country and right now, working families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. One of the worst things government could do at a time like this is restrict energy production and increase costs. And yet, that’s exactly what President Obama has done. Instead of more government regulation and red-tape, we need an all-of-the-above American energy strategy in order to remain competitive globally and create jobs domestically.”

We notice a couple of problems with all this: first, Lambert himself created those restrictions in production and increases in costs when he cast his aforementioned votes; second, AFP has not pushed this pledge at all in this election cycle.

In fact, AFP State Director, Greg Moore, said:

“It’s still on our website which is no doubt where Gary saw it. We aren’t pushing it this year frankly because there is no appetite on Capitol Hill these days for a carbon tax even from the far left. From our perspective we are glad he signed it, but it doesn’t change his record of voting in favor of RGGI and against blocking low carbon fuel standards.”

Furthermore, Gary Lambert has not renounced his membership in Building America’s Future and his association with the likes of Michael Bloomberg, Ed Rendell and Ray LaHood.

Does the Lambert campaign really believe this obvious attempt to obfuscate his record will resonate with voters? The voters may not have spoken yet, but one of New Hampshire’s largest newspapers has weighed in, and they seem to see through the ruse.

The Union Leader recently opined:

Gary Lambert, running for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 2nd District, last week signed Americans for Prosperity’s pledge not to support any energy policy that results in increased revenue to the government.

This is the same Gary Lambert who, as a state senator, voted for RGGI, which raises energy prices so the government can distribute the extra money to energy conservation projects the government likes.

When New Hampshire had a chance to remove itself from this wealth redistribution scheme, Lambert was one of the Republicans who voted to keep us in it.

In 2011, Lambert defended RGGI, saying the increased electricity costs were justified. He made the same defense in an interview with The Telegraph of Nashua last September. Now he repudiates that position, which he has held for years.

What a difference running in a competitive primary can make in a candidate’s views.

We would add that actions speak far louder than words; that Lambert’s recent actions are political posturing, at best, and a poor attempt to deceive the voters, at worst. Even if we were to write it off to a confused or mixed message, his voting record carries more weight than a defunct pledge and a press release.

New Hampshire voters can’t risk their futures on a candidate like Gary Lambert. He is far too willing to say whatever he must to get elected, and that is hazardous, even potentially devastating, to their best interests. For a case in point, look no further than Annie Kuster’s first-term in the US House.

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Follow Marilinda on Facebook or Twitter!

Friday
Jun202014

NRSC - What They're Saying About Shaheen's Pro-Energy Amendment Dodge 

June 19, 2014

Good afternoon - 

The Senate Majority has provided a perfect case study to completely undermine Senator Jeanne Shaheen's claim that she is pro-American energy development while still supporting and empowering Harry Reid. It turns out that both statements cannot be true. 

Roll Call reported that, "Late Wednesday, the Appropriations Committee decided not to move forward as scheduled with Thursday’s markup of the bill that funds the Energy Department, as well as water development projects. The move avoids a potentially problematic vote for Senate Democrats and the Obama administration that could have stopped the Environmental Protection Agency’s bid to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants — regulations that have the affect of targeting pollution from coal." In other words, Democrats yesterday delayed the hearing to avoid being forced to vote on an amendment to protect Granite Staters from electricity price hikes and job losses caused by the new EPA regulations. Why? Because Harry Reid runs the Senate thanks to Jeanne Shaheen. 

“Jeanne Shaheen’s mere presence in the Senate allows Barack Obama and Harry Reid to execute an extreme, anti-energy agenda that hurts New Hampshire,” said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. “Jeanne Shaheen cannot be both pro-energy development and pro-Harry Reid; one claim undermines the other. Shaheen's failure to fight against these harmful EPA regulations proves that instead of fighting to help New Hampshire, Shaheen again has prioritized the liberal Obama agenda."

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT SHAHEEN'S/DEMOCRATS' PRO-ENERGY AMENDMENT DODGE

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: "Apparently fearing that the top Senate Republican might score a political win, Democrats for the second time in a week cancelled a preliminary vote on a major spending bill. At issue was an amendment by Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell that would have allowed the Kentucky Republican and Appropriations panel member to successfully go to bat for his state's coal industry as the spending panel was to consider on Thursday a measure funding the Energy Department and other agencies." (AP, "Senate Democrats scuttle a vote on spending bill," 06/18/14)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: "McConnell's amendment appeared on track to prevail. It is aimed at blocking any new government rules on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. He's made his opposition to what he calls the Obama administration's "war on coal" a centerpiece in his own re-election bid. Mikulski's decision to call off the vote on the underlying energy and water appropriations measure came a week after she cancelled debate on a huge measure that would also have forced endangered Democrats to vote on politically poisonous amendments regarding the implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law." (AP, "Senate Democrats scuttle a vote on spending bill," 06/18/14)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: "More interesting was the decision to block a panel vote on McConnell's pro-coal amendment. The Appropriations panel is stocked with Democratic red state supporters of the energy industry like Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska, both of whom face difficult elections this fall." (AP, "Senate Democrats scuttle a vote on spending bill," 06/18/14)

ROLL CALL: Headline: "Democrats Ducking Vote on ‘War on Coal’ Amendment — for Now." (Roll Call, "Democrats Ducking Vote on ‘War on Coal’ Amendment — for Now," 06/18/14)

ROLL CALL:  "The war over the “war on coal” has been postponed after Democrats pushed off a second fiscal 2015 spending bill in the Senate... The move avoids a potentially problematic vote for Senate Democrats and the Obama administration that could have stopped the Environmental Protection Agency’s bid to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants — regulations that have the affect of targeting pollution from coal. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., crafted an amendment on the subject that he intended to offer to the Energy-Water appropriations bill. As noted previously, the breakdown of Democratic caucus members on the committee is such that he would have had a real chance to prevail." (Roll Call, "Democrats Ducking Vote on ‘War on Coal’ Amendment — for Now," 06/18/14)

THE HILL: "Senate Democrats canceled a scheduled Thursday Appropriations Committee markup that could have opened the door to an amendment to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest climate rules...The amendment was part of an effort against what Republicans are calling Obama’s “war on coal.” (The Hill, "Senate Dems cancel spending bill vote amid GOP threat on EPA rules," 06/19/14)

E&E NEWS: "The Senate Appropriations Committee last night suddenly abandoned plans to advance a $34 billion energy and water spending bill this morning. Republicans had been plotting to use the markup to force tough votes on controversial issues including the Obama administration's climate change and clean water regulations. The cancelation was announced around 8 p.m. last night, and an Appropriations Committee aide offered no explanation for the deviation." (E&E News, "Amid escalating political tension, Senate panel drops energy, water bill from markup agenda," 6/19/14)

TWEETS...

@nielslesniewski: Hmmm ... http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/mcconnell … MT @StewSays: Apparently #Senate Dems have cancelled yet another approps markup (energy and water)

@AriNatter: Senate Dems postpone planned Energy and Water Approps bill markup...comes as McConnell planned amendment to block EPA CO2 regs.

@DarrenGoode: Top Senate Approps Republican Richard Shelby criticizes delay of energy-water spending bill. "Regular order means ... taking tough votes."

@Ben_Geman: 1/2 The white-hot politics of the EPA climate and Clean Water Act rules are singeing the appropriations process in the Senate. #EPA

@Ben_Geman: 2/2 Energy & Water approps markup canceled in face of GOP amendments that would tempt conservative Dems, Qs remain on minibus floor amdts

@nielslesniewski: ICYMI: Senate Approps is punting the Energy-Water bill into "legislative purgatory." Avoids "war on coal" vote  http://roll.cl/1ykTYen

Thursday
Jun192014

NHDP - ICYMI: Brown Attack Deemed "Mostly False" 

PolitiFact: Brown Attack Deemed "Mostly False"


Our ruling

Brown’s campaign said that Shaheen voted for a measure that would have amounted to a new national energy tax.

The campaign cited Shaheen’s support for a 2013 amendment that would have established guidelines for any future carbon tax. They also pointed to Shaheen’s vote against legislation that would have made it harder to pass a carbon tax framework.

Shaheen’s campaign told us Shaheen has never supported a carbon tax, and we didn’t find any evidence to contradict that. One of her major legislative efforts, the Shaheen-Portman bill, focused on energy efficiency.

Brown has a point that Shaheen voted for a revenue plan offered by a carbon tax supporter and shrugged off a proposal from a carbon tax opponent. Still, neither of those positions is the same as voting for a new energy tax.

We rate this claim Mostly False.


Read the rest of the article here