Ben Ray Lujan on Energy & Oil
Invest in and expand renewable energy projects
Our energy sector is a major driver of economic opportunities in New Mexico. We must aggressively invest in an energy sector that expands renewable energy projects. We have an opportunity to lead the country in renewable
energy production and hire thousands of New Mexicans in the process. This is not an investment we can afford not to make in our state.
Source: 2020 New Mexico Senate campaign website BenRayLujan .com
, Jul 8, 2020
Highest-ranking co-sponsor of the Green New Deal
Highest-ranking co-sponsor of the Green New Deal--a bold effort to transition the United States to a clean energy future, take decisive actions to combat the climate crisis, and promote environmental justice. Championed the Clean Energy Standard Act,
legislation that will put the United States on a path toward net-zero emissions by the 2050s, increase the production of renewable resources by more than 25 percentage points, and prevent 30,000 premature deaths from air pollution in the U.S.
Source: 2020 New Mexico Senate campaign website BenRayLujan .com
, Jul 8, 2020
Shift $ from oil company tax breaks to renewable development
As a Public Regulation Commissioner, I have worked extensively to expand the use of renewable energy and make New Mexico a leader in renewable energy. our country must aggressively pursue renewable energy production. We must shift the billions of dollars
in tax breaks for oil companies to renewable energy development, including solar and wind. We can also promote net metering, allowing individuals and businesses to produce renewable energy in their homes.
Source: 2008 House campaign website, www.benrlujan.com, “Issues”
, Nov 4, 2008
Voted NO on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.
- Makes available for leasing, in the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program, outer Continental Shelf areas that are estimated to contain more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil; or are estimated to contain more than 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
- Makes the production goal for the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program an increase by 2027 in daily production of at least 3 million barrels of oil, and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
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:
Reference: Reversing Pres. Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act;
; vote number 11-HV320
on May 12, 2011
[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.
Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
Congressional Summary:Amends the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from promulgating any regulation the emission of a greenhouse gas (GHG) to address climate change.Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
- Excludes GHGs from the definition of "air pollutant" for purposes of addressing climate change.
- Exempts from such prohibition existing regulations on fuel efficiency, research, or CO2 monitoring.
- Repeals and makes ineffective other rules and actions concerning GHGs.
[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:
Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act;
; vote number 11-HV249
on Apr 7, 2011
[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.
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:
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.
- issuing, trading, and verifying renewable electricity credits; and
- prescribing standards to define and measure electricity savings from energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.
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;
; vote number 2009-H477
on Jun 26, 2009
Voted YES on banning offshore oil drilling in Gulf of Mexico.
Lujan voted YEA Interior & Environment Agencies Appropriations
Congressional Summary: House amendment to H.R. 5538, the Interior & Environment Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2017. This amendment would prohibit funds to be used to research, investigate, or study offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Heritage Foundation recommends voting NO: (7/13/2016): The Gulf of Mexico continues to be a very important asset for our energy future and it continues to produce significant amounts of oil and natural gas. Yet the Eastern Gulf of Mexico has not participated to this point despite its significant potential. A 2014 Heritage Foundation report said: "Excessive regulations and bureaucratic inefficiencies have stymied oil production and prevented the full effects of the energy boom." This amendment would block any potential progress that could take place by preventing the necessary work that would need to be prepared in the East Gulf for potential lease sales and eventual
Sierra Club recommends voting YES: (1/12/1974): The Sierra Club believes that no offshore petroleum exploration should occur unless and until the following conditions are met:
- Strengthen the Coastal Zone Management System.
- Lease sales should be prohibited in areas that possess:
- High seismic activity
- Fragile or unstable geological structures
- Proximity to particularly diverse or productive marine ecosystems, or marine sanctuaries
- Where visual impact of offshore structures would significantly reduce aesthetic values
- Where the risks are unusually high.
- Petroleum exploration and production must be subject to automatic, heavy fines for all oil spills regardless of cause.
- The Sierra Club opposes leasing of lands beyond 200 meters depth until international agreements [define] ownership of sea floor resources.
Legislative outcome: Failed House 185 to 243 (no Senate vote).
Source: Congressional vote 16-H5538B on Jul 13, 2016
50% clean and carbon free electricity by 2030.
Lujan co-sponsored H.Res.637/S.Res.386
Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030 for the purposes of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, growing our economy, increasing our shared prosperity, improving public health, and preserving our national security.
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should--
- Whereas failing to act on climate change will have a devastating impact on our Nation's economy, costing us billions of dollars in lost GDP;
- Whereas extreme weather, intensified by climate change, has already cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year in recovery efforts, and this will only continue if climate change is left unaddressed;
- Whereas climate change will have devastating public health implications, including increased asthma attacks and exacerbation of other respiratory diseases, especially in vulnerable populations;
Whereas inaction on climate change will disproportionately impact communities of color and exacerbate existing economic inequalities;
- Whereas the transition to a clean energy economy is feasible with existing technology;
- Whereas the transition to clean energy will create millions of jobs and will increase our country's GDP and increase disposable household income;
Source: Resolution for 50% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2030 16-HRes637 on Mar 3, 2016
- Establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030; and
- Enact legislation to accelerate the transition to clean energy to meet this goal.
Green New Deal: 10-year national mobilization.
Lujan co-sponsored the Resolution on Green New Deal
This resolution calls for the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of:
The resolution calls for accomplishment of these goals through a 10-year national mobilization effort. The resolution also enumerates the goals and projects of the mobilization effort, including:building smart power grids (i.e., power grids that enable customers to reduce their power use during peak demand periods);upgrading all existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency;removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors;
cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;ensuring businesspersons are free from unfair competition; andproviding higher education, high-quality health care, and affordable, safe, and adequate housing to all.
- achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;
- establishing millions of high-wage jobs and ensuring economic security for all;
- investing in infrastructure and industry;
- securing clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all; and
- promoting justice and equality.
Opposing argument from the Cato Institute, 2/24/2019: While reasonable people can disagree on some aspects of the Green New Deal's proposals, one fact is uncontroversial: the US cannot afford them. The Green New Deal would likely cost upwards of $6.6 trillion per year. The federal government should look for cheaper ways to address problems like climate change. Instead of the Green New Deal, the federal government could adopt a revenue??neutral carbon tax to decrease emissions without exacerbating the fiscal imbalance. Economists from across the political spectrum support carbon taxation as the most cost??effective way to address climate change. And a carbon tax would be most effective if uniformly adopted by other countries, too.
Source: H.Res.109/S.Res.59 19-HR0109 on Feb 7, 2019
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Page last updated: Nov 24, 2020