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Cedric Richmond on Energy & Oil

 

 


Carbon neutrality by 2050 will require building coalitions

He also said that his ties to the energy industry shouldn't concern those who support Biden's ambition of carbon neutrality by 2050, which he shares. The big companies get it and are working toward that future too, Richmond pointed out. "It is going to take some bipartisan support, but also some coalitions, to protect our environment and to really battle climate change . the truth is everybody has some ideas, and I think everybody should be brought in."
Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune on 2021 OPE Confirmation Hearings , Dec 15, 2020

Staunch ally of state's oil, gas, chemical industries

Throughout his decade in Congress, Richmond has been a staunch ally of his state's oil, gas and chemicals industries -- breaking with Democratic leadership to vote with Republicans to approve permitting for the Keystone XL oil pipeline and repeal a ban on exporting crude oil.

Richmond's record has earned him a 76% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters, which tracks how many pro-environment votes members take. All but 12 House Democrats score above 80%.

Source: E&E News on O.P.E. Biden Cabinet , Nov 18, 2020

Supported fracking, 76% Conservation Voters lifetime rating

Richmond has repeatedly broken with his party on major climate and environmental votes. He voted against Democratic legislation to place pollution limits on fracking -- and he voted for GOP legislation to limit the Obama administration's authority to more stringently regulate the practice. Richmond has received a lifetime rating of 76% from the League of Conservation Voters, and he scored 46% in 2018 -- one of the lowest ratings of any Democrat in Congress.
Source: Jacobin magazine on Biden Cabinet , Nov 17, 2020

Voted NO on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.

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:
[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.

Reference: Reversing Pres. Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act; Bill H.1231 ; vote number 11-HV320 on May 12, 2011

Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[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:
[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.

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill H.910 ; vote number 11-HV249 on Apr 7, 2011

Voted YES on banning offshore oil drilling in Gulf of Mexico.

Richmond 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 production.

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:

Legislative outcome: Failed House 185 to 243 (no Senate vote).

Source: Congressional vote 16-H5538B on Jul 13, 2016

Voted YES to assist rural electric renewable energy.

Richmond voted YEA Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act

Congressional Summary:This bill requires the Department of Energy to award grants to assist rural electric cooperatives with identifying, evaluating, and designing energy storage and microgrid projects that rely on renewable energy. (A microgrid is a group of interconnected energy resources that acts as a single controllable entity and that can disconnect from the grid to operate in island mode.)

SciPol statement in support: HR4447 would establish a microgrid grant and technical assistance program for rural electric cooperatives. Rural electric cooperatives are non-profit consumer-owned electric cooperatives that came into being in the 1930s to serve the needs of rural areas otherwise ignored by investor-owned (for-profit) utilities. Most rural electric power is still provided by rural electric co-ops.

Trump's Statement of Administration Policy (against): HR 4447 would implement a top-down approach that undermines the Administration's deregulatory agenda. HR 4447 would lead to higher energy costs and discourage innovation. It would create a "green bank" that would subsidize projects similar to wellknown failures like Solyndra. Finally, HR 4447 would interfere with our own energy destiny free from the reins of the Paris Climate Accord and international organizations that ignore the clear lessons that have led to American energy independence.

Common Dreams (against): Over 100 groups--including major environmental, climate and progressive organizations--oppose HR 4447. The heaviest burdens of the climate crisis fall on low-income communities and communities of color. "We applaud the environmental justice measures in this bill, but cannot support legislation that extends our country's reliance upon fossil fuels," said the Executive Director of the Progressive Democrats of America.

Legislative outcome: Passed House 220-185-24, Roll #206 on Sep. 24, 2020.

Source: Congressional vote 20-HR4447 on Sep 20, 2019

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