Property:League of Conservation Voters 2008 Senate Scorecard description

From OpenCongress Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

This is a property of type Text.


Pages using the property "League of Conservation Voters 2008 Senate Scorecard description"

Showing 20 pages using this property.

A

America's Climate Security Act of 2007 +Today, America faces the unprecedented challenges of confronting global warming as well as solving the current energy crisis. Both problems require a rapid transformation of our energy future to greater energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. Scientists warn that we only have a brief window to act in order to stave off the worst impacts of global warming, such as increases in hurricane intensity, forest fire frequency and intense rain storms. Global warming is endangering water supplies, public health, agriculture, infrastructure, our natural environment, and threatens to reduce the world’s economic output by up to 20 percent if left unchecked. In June, the Senate took up consideration of S. 2191, the Climate Security Act, comprehensive legislation to cut global warming pollution and drive rapid investment in the clean energy economy. The Climate Security Act would have reduced global warming pollution 17-19% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 57–63% below 2005 levels by 2050. Through a flexible market mechanism, the bill allowed major polluters to choose the most cost-efficient way to reduce pollution and buy pollution allowances to cover each ton of pollution that they continue to emit. The bill would have diversified America’s energy supply, ensured America leads the clean energy revolution, reduced our dependence on foreign oil and recharged America’s economy. Opponents of the Climate Security Act mounted a filibuster against it. On June 6, the Senate voted to continue the process towards the bill’s final passage. Six senators who couldn’t be at the vote entered statements into the record that they would have voted “yes” had they been present, bringing the total to 54 senators who spoke up for the need to advance serious legislation on global warming. Supporters included 10 senators who had not supported global warming legislation in prior votes (2003 and 2005).

C

Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 +The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (S. 2739) brought together 62 individual bills concerning lands and activities in over 30 states and the District of Columbia. The omnibus bill included a measure to designate the 106,000 acre Wild Sky Wilderness in Washington state to the National Wilderness Preservation System, added the Eightmile River in Connecticut to the Wild and Scenic River System, and authorized new protections for historic sites, national parks, and precious water resources.
Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008 +On June 10, during the heated debate over rising energy prices, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) tried to bring his bill, S. 3044, the Consumer First Energy Act, to the Senate floor for debate. He proposed a package that attempted to reverse the harm imposed by eight years of Bush Administration pro-oil policies by attacking the root causes of high energy prices, providing price relief to American consumers, and supporting investment in clean energy technologies. S. 3044 sought to roll back tax breaks for oil and gas companies and invest those taxpayer dollars in clean, renewable energy and consumer price protection. S. 3044 would implement a 25 percent windfall profits tax on the largest oil companies, protect consumers from price-gouging, and curb excessive market price speculation. The Consumer First Energy Act also included provisions to suspend government purchases of oil to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), and would have empowered the U.S. Attorney General to bring an enforcement action against any country or company that is colluding to set the price of oil.

E

Economic Recovery Act of 2008 +In recent years, oil companies have pressured government agencies to open up 1.9 million acres in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming to develop oil shale. Development of oil shale requires huge amounts of energy and water resources, a process that produces global warming emissions that far surpass those of conventional fossil fuels. Additionally, the viability of oil shale as an energy source and its further environmental impacts are uncertain. In 2007, Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Representatives John Salazar (D-CO) and Mark Udall (D-CO) worked to institute a 12-month moratorium on leasing lands for oil-shale development, a provision that passed both chambers of Congress and was eventually signed into law. Unfortunately, facing strong opposition to clean energy solutions, this year Congress passed a continuing budget resolution that let the oil shale moratorium expire. To address the growing economic crisis, Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) introduced S. 3604, an economic stimulus package. The bill included a provision to extend the moratorium on oil shale development for a second period of 12 months. In addition, the bill provided funding for energy and environment programs, including investments in public transportation, clean energy and energy efficiency, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and home weatherization. On September 26, the Senate rejected the motion to proceed by a 52-42 vote (Senate roll call vote 206). YES is the pro-environment vote.
Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008 +A broad coalition of businesses, construction companies, environmental organizations, investors, labor groups, trade associations and utilities agree that the single most effective measure to increase the use of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency is to extend and expand the present set of clean energy tax credits that are due to expire at the end of 2008. Energy experts maintain that extending the credits could save as many as 117,000 existing jobs and generate an additional $19 billion in domestic clean energy investment. On June 17, the Senate voted to move forward on H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, which had passed the House on May 21 by a margin of 263-160. This bill would have extended dozens of expired or soon-to-expire tax provisions for one year, including tax credits for research, investment in solar and fuel cells, and the production tax credit for wind and other renewable energy sources. The tax credits would be offset by closing various corporate loopholes. The majority of Senate Republicans maintained that there was no need to offset — pay for — extending existing tax credits, calling that move tantamount to a tax increase. In contrast, many conservative House Democrats insisted that all tax credits be fully paid for — a position the House leadership subsequently adopted.

F

FY 2009 U.S. federal budget +In 1981, Congress acted to protect America’s shores, beaches, and marine ecosystems by adopting a moratorium on oil and gas development in coastal waters. Congress has continued this protection every year since then. During Senate consideration of the Fiscal 2009 budget resolution, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) offered a motion to instruct conferees to insist that conference report language be adjusted to allow governors, with the concurrence of their state legislatures, to petition for allowing increased drilling along their beaches and shorelines. The moratorium on offshore drilling was later allowed to expire in the continuing budget resolution., The Congressional budget process begins once the President’s annual budget is submitted in February. At that time, Congress begins to develop its own budget plan that reflects its spending priorities. The federal budget resolution sets funding levels for the next fiscal year and sets forth budget totals for the next five years. Because the concurrent budget resolution determines the spending authority of House appropriation committees that then subdivide the amount among its subcommittees, the federal budget is a powerful tool for establishing national policy priorities. Programs that protect our air, water, climate, wildlife, parks, forest, refuges, and other public lands fall under the Interior-Environment Appropriation Committee. S. Con Res 70 marks the second year of reversing cuts to many important environmental and conservation programs that occurred for nearly a decade. The budget agreement provides $38.6 billion in FY 2009 discretionary spending for environment and natural resources programs. This funding level is $1.9 billion above the FY 2008 enacted level, and $3.9 billion over the President’s FY 2009 request. The resolution also provides $7.7 billion for energy programs in FY 2009, which is $2.8 billion above the President’s proposal. This is a major improvement over the years of depleting funding for important public lands and natural resource management.
Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007 +With global warming contributing to the severity of hurricanes, sea level rise, and flooding, it’s becoming increasingly imperative to discourage new development and rebuilding in environmentally sensitive shorelines, wetlands, lowlands, and barrier islands. Unfortunately, the availability of federally subsidized flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) often encourages risky development in flood-prone areas, putting people and communities in harm’s way. Following the catastrophic and unprecedented 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the U.S. Treasury debt of the NFIP grew to more than $17 billion, with annual interest exceeding three quarters of a billion dollars. With the program set to expire at the end of FY 2008, Congress began working to reform and extend the program another five years. During Senate consideration of H.R. 3121, the Senate’s version of the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) offered an amendment to greatly expand the scope of federal insurance offered to include coverage for wind damage from hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms. This means new federal subsidies and an expansion of taxpayer risk that would likely further spur risky and environmentally damaging development. On May 7, the amendment was defeated by a 19-74 vote (Senate roll call vote 117). NO is the pro-environment vote. The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill on September 27, 2007, which included provisions similar to the Wicker amendment. In the final days of the Congress, a House-Senate Conference was pending on the legislation., During consideration of S. 2284, the National Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered an amendment that would have opened the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, allowed oil and gas development in offshore coastal waters that have been protected by a federal moratorium since 1981, encouraged the use of high greenhouse gas intensive liquid coal technology, and promoted environmentally destructive oil shale mining on public lands. By unanimous consent, the Senate agreed that 60 votes would be required to pass the McConnell amendment. On May 13, the amendment failed by a vote of 42-56 (Senate roll call vote 123). NO is the pro-environment vote

J

Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 +In another in a series of Senate attempts to break the logjam over the clean energy tax package, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, crafted yet another version of the tax credits. While the package largely followed along earlier versions by extending dozens of expired or soon-to-be expiring tax provisions for one year, it also contained additional provisions for new renewable clean energy technologies such as marine and hydrokinetic and an $8 billion boost to the Highway Trust Fund. To offset the cost, the bill would change certain tax rules for stock brokers and deferred compensation, delay the foreign tax credit, and increase the estimated tax payment from certain corporations. On July 30, this effort also failed to reach the 60 vote threshold by a vote of 51-43 (Senate roll call vote 192). YES is the pro-environment vote. Congress finally extended the tax credits in early October.

U

U.S. Senate record vote 101, 110th Congress, Session 2 +The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (S. 2739) brought together 62 individual bills concerning lands and activities in over 30 states and the District of Columbia. The omnibus bill included a measure to designate the 106,000 acre Wild Sky Wilderness in Washington state to the National Wilderness Preservation System, added the Eightmile River in Connecticut to the Wild and Scenic River System, and authorized new protections for historic sites, national parks, and precious water resources.
U.S. Senate record vote 117, 110th Congress, Session 2 +With global warming contributing to the severity of hurricanes, sea level rise, and flooding, it’s becoming increasingly imperative to discourage new development and rebuilding in environmentally sensitive shorelines, wetlands, lowlands, and barrier islands. Unfortunately, the availability of federally subsidized flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) often encourages risky development in flood-prone areas, putting people and communities in harm’s way. Following the catastrophic and unprecedented 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the U.S. Treasury debt of the NFIP grew to more than $17 billion, with annual interest exceeding three quarters of a billion dollars. With the program set to expire at the end of FY 2008, Congress began working to reform and extend the program another five years. During Senate consideration of H.R. 3121, the Senate’s version of the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) offered an amendment to greatly expand the scope of federal insurance offered to include coverage for wind damage from hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms. This means new federal subsidies and an expansion of taxpayer risk that would likely further spur risky and environmentally damaging development. On May 7, the amendment was defeated by a 19-74 vote (Senate roll call vote 117). NO is the pro-environment vote. The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill on September 27, 2007, which included provisions similar to the Wicker amendment. In the final days of the Congress, a House-Senate Conference was pending on the legislation.
U.S. Senate record vote 123, 110th Congress, Session 2 +During consideration of S. 2284, the National Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered an amendment that would have opened the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, allowed oil and gas development in offshore coastal waters that have been protected by a federal moratorium since 1981, encouraged the use of high greenhouse gas intensive liquid coal technology, and promoted environmentally destructive oil shale mining on public lands. By unanimous consent, the Senate agreed that 60 votes would be required to pass the McConnell amendment. On May 13, the amendment failed by a vote of 42-56 (Senate roll call vote 123). NO is the pro-environment vote
U.S. Senate record vote 134, 110th Congress, Session 1 +In 1981, Congress acted to protect America’s shores, beaches, and marine ecosystems by adopting a moratorium on oil and gas development in coastal waters. Congress has continued this protection every year since then. During Senate consideration of the Fiscal 2009 budget resolution, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) offered a motion to instruct conferees to insist that conference report language be adjusted to allow governors, with the concurrence of their state legislatures, to petition for allowing increased drilling along their beaches and shorelines. The moratorium on offshore drilling was later allowed to expire in the continuing budget resolution.
U.S. Senate record vote 142, 110th Congress, Session 2 +The Congressional budget process begins once the President’s annual budget is submitted in February. At that time, Congress begins to develop its own budget plan that reflects its spending priorities. The federal budget resolution sets funding levels for the next fiscal year and sets forth budget totals for the next five years. Because the concurrent budget resolution determines the spending authority of House appropriation committees that then subdivide the amount among its subcommittees, the federal budget is a powerful tool for establishing national policy priorities. Programs that protect our air, water, climate, wildlife, parks, forest, refuges, and other public lands fall under the Interior-Environment Appropriation Committee. S. Con Res 70 marks the second year of reversing cuts to many important environmental and conservation programs that occurred for nearly a decade. The budget agreement provides $38.6 billion in FY 2009 discretionary spending for environment and natural resources programs. This funding level is $1.9 billion above the FY 2008 enacted level, and $3.9 billion over the President’s FY 2009 request. The resolution also provides $7.7 billion for energy programs in FY 2009, which is $2.8 billion above the President’s proposal. This is a major improvement over the years of depleting funding for important public lands and natural resource management.
U.S. Senate record vote 145, 110th Congress, Session 2 +Today, America faces the unprecedented challenges of confronting global warming as well as solving the current energy crisis. Both problems require a rapid transformation of our energy future to greater energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. Scientists warn that we only have a brief window to act in order to stave off the worst impacts of global warming, such as increases in hurricane intensity, forest fire frequency and intense rain storms. Global warming is endangering water supplies, public health, agriculture, infrastructure, our natural environment, and threatens to reduce the world’s economic output by up to 20 percent if left unchecked. In June, the Senate took up consideration of S. 2191, the Climate Security Act, comprehensive legislation to cut global warming pollution and drive rapid investment in the clean energy economy. The Climate Security Act would have reduced global warming pollution 17-19% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 57–63% below 2005 levels by 2050. Through a flexible market mechanism, the bill allowed major polluters to choose the most cost-efficient way to reduce pollution and buy pollution allowances to cover each ton of pollution that they continue to emit. The bill would have diversified America’s energy supply, ensured America leads the clean energy revolution, reduced our dependence on foreign oil and recharged America’s economy. Opponents of the Climate Security Act mounted a filibuster against it. On June 6, the Senate voted to continue the process towards the bill’s final passage. Six senators who couldn’t be at the vote entered statements into the record that they would have voted “yes” had they been present, bringing the total to 54 senators who spoke up for the need to advance serious legislation on global warming. Supporters included 10 senators who had not supported global warming legislation in prior votes (2003 and 2005).
U.S. Senate record vote 146, 110th Congress, Session 2 +On June 10, during the heated debate over rising energy prices, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) tried to bring his bill, S. 3044, the Consumer First Energy Act, to the Senate floor for debate. He proposed a package that attempted to reverse the harm imposed by eight years of Bush Administration pro-oil policies by attacking the root causes of high energy prices, providing price relief to American consumers, and supporting investment in clean energy technologies. S. 3044 sought to roll back tax breaks for oil and gas companies and invest those taxpayer dollars in clean, renewable energy and consumer price protection. S. 3044 would implement a 25 percent windfall profits tax on the largest oil companies, protect consumers from price-gouging, and curb excessive market price speculation. The Consumer First Energy Act also included provisions to suspend government purchases of oil to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), and would have empowered the U.S. Attorney General to bring an enforcement action against any country or company that is colluding to set the price of oil.
U.S. Senate record vote 150, 110th Congress, Session 2 +A broad coalition of businesses, construction companies, environmental organizations, investors, labor groups, trade associations and utilities agree that the single most effective measure to increase the use of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency is to extend and expand the present set of clean energy tax credits that are due to expire at the end of 2008. Energy experts maintain that extending the credits could save as many as 117,000 existing jobs and generate an additional $19 billion in domestic clean energy investment. On June 17, the Senate voted to move forward on H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, which had passed the House on May 21 by a margin of 263-160. This bill would have extended dozens of expired or soon-to-expire tax provisions for one year, including tax credits for research, investment in solar and fuel cells, and the production tax credit for wind and other renewable energy sources. The tax credits would be offset by closing various corporate loopholes. The majority of Senate Republicans maintained that there was no need to offset — pay for — extending existing tax credits, calling that move tantamount to a tax increase. In contrast, many conservative House Democrats insisted that all tax credits be fully paid for — a position the House leadership subsequently adopted.
U.S. Senate record vote 187, 110th Congress, Session 2 +As energy prices continue to skyrocket, residential customers will likely bear a record burden this winter. Increasing costs will particularly impact low-income families as they struggle to balance their heating needs with those of food, shelter and other basic necessities. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced S. 3186, which provides $2.5 billion in emergency spending for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which gives low-income families an essential lifeline during the cold winter months. In addition to alleviating energy costs, this funding would help low-income families insulate and weatherize their homes, thus saving energy and decreasing their vulnerability to a continued upward trend in energy costs. On July 26, the Senate rejected the motion by a vote of 50-35 (Senate roll call vote 187), as it failed to reach the 60 vote threshold needed to end debate and move to an up or down vote. YES is the pro-environment vote.
U.S. Senate record vote 192, 110th Congress, Session 2 +In another in a series of Senate attempts to break the logjam over the clean energy tax package, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, crafted yet another version of the tax credits. While the package largely followed along earlier versions by extending dozens of expired or soon-to-be expiring tax provisions for one year, it also contained additional provisions for new renewable clean energy technologies such as marine and hydrokinetic and an $8 billion boost to the Highway Trust Fund. To offset the cost, the bill would change certain tax rules for stock brokers and deferred compensation, delay the foreign tax credit, and increase the estimated tax payment from certain corporations. On July 30, this effort also failed to reach the 60 vote threshold by a vote of 51-43 (Senate roll call vote 192). YES is the pro-environment vote. Congress finally extended the tax credits in early October.
U.S. Senate record vote 206, 110th Congress, Session 2 +In recent years, oil companies have pressured government agencies to open up 1.9 million acres in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming to develop oil shale. Development of oil shale requires huge amounts of energy and water resources, a process that produces global warming emissions that far surpass those of conventional fossil fuels. Additionally, the viability of oil shale as an energy source and its further environmental impacts are uncertain. In 2007, Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Representatives John Salazar (D-CO) and Mark Udall (D-CO) worked to institute a 12-month moratorium on leasing lands for oil-shale development, a provision that passed both chambers of Congress and was eventually signed into law. Unfortunately, facing strong opposition to clean energy solutions, this year Congress passed a continuing budget resolution that let the oil shale moratorium expire. To address the growing economic crisis, Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) introduced S. 3604, an economic stimulus package. The bill included a provision to extend the moratorium on oil shale development for a second period of 12 months. In addition, the bill provided funding for energy and environment programs, including investments in public transportation, clean energy and energy efficiency, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and home weatherization. On September 26, the Senate rejected the motion to proceed by a 52-42 vote (Senate roll call vote 206). YES is the pro-environment vote.

W

Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act of 2008 +As energy prices continue to skyrocket, residential customers will likely bear a record burden this winter. Increasing costs will particularly impact low-income families as they struggle to balance their heating needs with those of food, shelter and other basic necessities. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced S. 3186, which provides $2.5 billion in emergency spending for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which gives low-income families an essential lifeline during the cold winter months. In addition to alleviating energy costs, this funding would help low-income families insulate and weatherize their homes, thus saving energy and decreasing their vulnerability to a continued upward trend in energy costs. On July 26, the Senate rejected the motion by a vote of 50-35 (Senate roll call vote 187), as it failed to reach the 60 vote threshold needed to end debate and move to an up or down vote. YES is the pro-environment vote.
Toolbox