Jeb ‘Lose the Primary to Win General’ Bush Reverses Position on Yucca Mountain

Shot: May 13, 2015: Bush Opposes Yucca Mountain
“The ex-Florida governor told reporters after a Reno town hall meeting Wednesday he believes a high-level nuclear waste repository should be built only where the state and local communities have reached a consensus that they want it there.”

Chaser: Nov. 2006: Bush Supported Yucca Mountain
“But he has had a position in the past: He was for it.
 …
 “The group [CASEnergy Coalition] was led by ex-New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, but Bush was consistently  listed as a member. The coalition consistently pushed for the dump to be accelerated.
 …
 “What’s more, those emails Bush recently released show he was fully briefed on Yucca Mountain during this time, so he shouldn;t have a reason to study it now. Team Jeb knew as far back as 2002 how controversial the issue was, as an aide advised him in an email.
 … 
“Bush can’t avoid his past on the […]

Read more after the jump.

Romney and Ernst: Trying to Take The Wind Out of Iowa’s Economy

Mitt Romney, twice the loser of the Iowa presidential caucus, is visiting the Hawkeye state to lend a hand to extreme Tea Party Senate candidate Joni Ernst. While Romney may signify the face of the GOP establishment, he and Tea Partier Ernst share the extreme position of railing against the wind energy tax credits that are crucial to Iowa’s economy. In 2012, Romney voiced his opposition to renewing wind energy tax credits, joking that they were unnecessary because “you can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.” An Iowa paper editorialized that Romney’s stance was disappointing, and wind energy industry executives warned that letting the credits expire could kill 3000 Iowa jobs.

Fast forward to the 2014 Senate race: Joni Ernst has similarly called for an end to wind energy subsidies. Unsurprisingly, Ernst’s position is the same as the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, who have railed against the same wind subsidies in Iowa–and who she recently thanked on facebook for pouring money into the race.

Romney, Ernst and the Koch brothers: partners in extreme ideology. Bad for Iowa.

Supporting research after the jump.

Scott Brown’s Rough Week

Scott Brown has had a rough week. The former Massachusetts senator-turned-Fox News commentator-turned-New Hampshire senate hopeful has had a rocky introduction to the Granite State. As he said, “Do I have the best credentials? Probably not. ‘Cause, you know, whatever.”

Well things got even worse this week when it came to light that Brown had been lobbying Republican senators to kill Jeanne Shaheen’s bipartisan energy bill–which would have created jobs and protected the environment–to deprive his opponent of the accomplishment. Classy. Even Sen. Ayotte voted for the bill, despite Brown’s personal appeal, because in her words, “I just did what I thought was best based on my state.”

And the week didn’t get any better for Scott Brown. But don’t take our word for it, just check out the headlines:

Kelly Ayotte Says She Ignored Scott Brown’s Wishes For The Good Of New Hampshire

Ryan Grim, Huffington Post

Teamsters say Scott Brown lied to their face

James Pindell, WMUR

Midterm campaigning gets in the way of energy policy

Stephanie Condon, CBS News

And the week didn't get any better for Scott Brown. But don't take our word for it, just check out these headlines after the jump.

VIDEO: Whose side is Cuccinelli on?

What if out-of-state companies siphoned natural gas from your property, but refused to pay you the money you were due.

Now imagine how you’d feel if the Attorney General’s office, who you thought would be on your side, was secretly helping those companies fight your claims in court. Searching for answers, you open the newspaper to find out that one of the companies in question had donated more than $100,000 to the campaign of that same Attorney General — who still claimed there was “nothing wrong” with with secretly aiding those out-of-state firms. And on top of all that, the AG fought to keep the whole episode a secret and refused to let a state investigator take a look at his personal involvement. 

Read more after the jump.

Mitt Romney’s Five-Point Plan

Energy Independence

Romney’s Five Point Plan Included North American Energy Independence. According to The Los Angeles Times, “Achieve North American energy independence by increasing access to domestic fossil fuels, streamlining regulations and the permitting process, drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and approving the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada. ‘No. 1, we’re going to take advantage of our energy, and that’s going to create millions of jobs.’” [The Los Angeles Times, 9/15/12]

Romney Supports Ideas Similar To President Obama

Romney And Obama Had Similar Energy Plans Favoring Expanding Drilling And Natural Gas Development. According to The Washington Post, “Here are some of the highlights of the energy positions of Mitt Romney and President Obama. There are similarities. Both candidates favor expanded oil and gas drilling and support the development of natural gas resources, even with the use of controversial hydraulic fracturing techniques. Obama says he favors an ‘all of the above’ strategy and wants to further reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil. Romney says he would aim for ‘North American energy independence,’ leaning heavily on increased imports from Canada and higher U.S. output.” [The Washington Post, 9/11/12]

Romney Supports Ideas Benefitting Wealthy Oil Companies

Central Part Of Romney’s Energy Plan Is Deregulating Oil And Gas Industry. According to Huffington Post, “A central part of the plan is taking the power to permit and license new onshore drilling on federal lands out of the hands of the federal government and putting it into the hands of the states. That means that states like Alaska or North Dakota, which is enjoying a massive oil boom under the current regulatory regime, would be able to allow drilling on federal lands with no oversight from Washington. North Dakota stands out, in particular, as it is where Romney’s top energy adviser, oil billionaire Harold Hamm, is making his fortune. Hamm, whose stump speech is only three words, ‘Beat Barack Obama,’ has given $985,000 to Restore Our Future and raised money for the Romney campaign. He would profit greatly from this change in policy as his company, Continental Resources, would be freed to drill beyond the Bakken fields in North Dakota using techniques including hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling.” [Huffington Post, 8/24/12]

Improve Education

Romney’s Five Point Plan Included Improving Education Through School Choice And Changing Teacher Hiring. According to The Los Angeles Times, “Improve education and job training, in part by increasing school choice and changing the way teachers are hired and evaluated. ‘We’ve got fix our schools…. It’s time for us to put the kids and the parents and the teachers first, and the teachers union behind.’” [The Los Angeles Times, 9/15/12]

Romney Deferred Education Funds To States For Private School Vouchers

Romney’s Education Policy Gave Federal Funds To States But Did Not Force Or Encourage Them To Expand School Choice. According to a Time op-ed, “Romney and other Republicans know they’re using a great talking point when they complain that the President is against allowing poor kids in Washington’s beleaguered public schools to attend better schools, especially when Obama’s own kids attend a highly-regarded private school in the city. But as policy, Romney’s blueprint is pretty weak soup because it doesn’t force — or even do much to encourage — states to expand choice. It merely says that federal dollars will defer to states and cities that decide to allow private-school vouchers.” [Time, Op-Ed, 6/14/12]

Romney’s Education Policy Was Similar To “Pro-Voucher” Report From The Hoover Institution. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Romney’s policy seems closely inspired by a pro-voucher report issued in February by the conservative Hoover Institution. Five of eight members of a task force that produced the report are among the 19 education advisers the Romney campaign named last month. Once thought to be moribund, the voucher movement was revived by gains Republicans made in the 2010 midterm elections. Fourteen states since then have introduced or expanded private school vouchers, according to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.” [The New York Times, 6/11/12]

Romney’s Open-Enrollment Mandate For School Districts Were More Burdensome Than No Child Left Behind

Romney’s Open-Enrollment Requirement Had “Massive” Loophole Because Transfer Student Capacity Could Not Be Easily Verified. According to a Time op-ed, “There’s a massive loophole that lets everyone off the hook. The one tantalizing part of Romney’s proposal is his requirement for states to adopt open-enrollment policies that disregard school-district boundaries for public schools. That would be a big deal for poor parents. Open enrollment in theory would give inner-city kids and other kids stuck with lousy school options the chance to attend better public schools elsewhere. But there are two problems. First, as my former colleague, Erin Dillon, showed in a 2008 Education Sector analysis, there are just not enough good schools within a reasonable distance for these kids to commute to. Romney’s proposal also leaves a loophole wide enough to render the open-enrollment provision meaningless because it hinges on schools having sufficient ‘capacity’ to accept transfer students. That’s the same hazard that doomed No Child Left Behind’s public-school choice provisions. Don’t want students transferring in? Then make sure you have no capacity, a metric that is difficult to verify.” [Time, Op-Ed, 6/14/12]

Romney’s Open-Enrollment Policy Would Require A “More Invasive Mandate” On States Than No Child Left Behind. According to a Time op-ed, “And in case you slept through the last several years, Republicans are against heavy-handed federal intervention in schools right now. They want to scrap the 10-year-old No Child law, which merely required states to come up with school accountability systems. It’s politically inconceivable that a President Romney would replace that law with a much more invasive mandate on states to essentially scrap school district boundaries and have a federal hand in deciding which students get to attend which schools.” [Time, Op-Ed, 6/14/12]

Read the full report after the jump.

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Ryan And Energy

Ryan Plan Would Cut Alternative Energy While Protecting Tax Breaks And Subsidies For The Oil And Gas Industry

Ryan Plan Protects Subsidies And Tax Breaks For Big Oil

The Ryan Plan Protected Tax Breaks For The Oil Industry. According to an article by Newsweek’s White House Correspondent Daniel Stone, “When House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the GOP blueprint for cutting government spending, he asked Americans to make sacrifices on everything from Medicare to education, while preserving lucrative tax subsidies for the booming oil, mining and energy industries.” [Newsweek/The Daily Beast, 6/17/11]

Ryan’s Budget Plan Would Not Cut Tax Breaks For Oil Companies. According to the New York Times, “Other energy incentives may go unchallenged, however. Questioned on Fox News on Sunday by Chris Wallace on whether multibillion-dollar subsidies for oil and gas companies would also be eliminated, Mr. Ryan did not give a direct answer. ‘Do you eliminate tax breaks?’ Mr. Wallace asked. ‘Do you bring in new revenue by eliminating, for instance, tax breaks for oil companies?’ ‘The problem with our deficit is not because Americans are taxed too little — the problem with our deficit is because Washington spends too much money,’ Mr. Ryan responded. ‘So we’re not going to go down the path of raising taxes on people.’” [New York Times, 4/6/11]

CAP: Ryan’s Plan Ignored That Clean Energy Funding Received $6 Billion While $500 Billion In Subsidies Went To The Oil And Gas Industry. According to the Center for American Progress, “Cutting funds for clean energy investments to rely on ‘greater revenue generation through prosperity, and market based solutions’ also ignores the 100 years of federal support for oil production. According to an analysis by DBL Investors, the oil and gas industry received nearly $500 billion in subsidies over the past 90 years, while investments in renewable technologies were limited to $6 billion. Rep. Ryan’s proposed budget also disregards the economic benefits of a clean energy future to middle-class families. In addition to creating new industries and jobs, clean energy sources that rely on homegrown wind, solar, geothermal energy, or efficiency will insulate Americans from rising and volatile energy prices.” [Center for American Progress, Issues, 3/20/12]

CAP: Ryan’s Plan Preserved “Huge Giveaways” To The Oil Industry. According to the Center for American Progress, “The latest House Republican budget plan asks low-income and middle-class Americans to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while simultaneously delivering massive tax breaks to the richest 1 percent and preserving huge giveaways to Big Oil. It’s a recipe for repeating the mistakes of the Bush administration, during which middle-class incomes stagnated and only the privileged few enjoyed enormous gains.” [Center for American Progress, Issues, 3/20/12]

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And Energy

Romney Opposed Wind Energy Tax Credit Benefitting Iowan Farmers

Romney Opposed Renewing Wind Energy Tax Credits Set To Expire Despite Program’s Popularity In Iowa. According to Talking Points Memo, “The Romney campaign on Monday signaled the Republican nominee is against renewing a tax break for wind energy, a potentially dangerous position since the program is popular in the swing state of Iowa, reports the Des Moines Register. The position distinguishes Romney from President Obama who wishes to extend the tax credit and says it has saved jobs in Iowa. It also puts Romney at odds with some Iowa Republicans who support the tax break. ‘He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,’ Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, told the Register Monday. ‘Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results.’” [Talking Points Memo, 7/31/12]

Gov. Branstad Said Wind Energy Tax Credits Proceeded Obama And The Stimulus And Made A Difference. According to Radio Iowa, “The Romney campaign is running a TV ad in Iowa which suggests part of the 2009 economic stimulus package sent taxpayer dollars to ‘windmills from China.’ ‘I understand why they are very critical of the whole thing that was done by the Obama Administration with regard to the stimulus and some of the money that was wasted on Solyndra and some of these green energy projects didn’t make sense,’ Branstad said. ‘The tax credit, however, is a much different thing and it way proceeded Obama and it was actually something that Senator Grassley authored and has made a real difference over time.’” [Radio Iowa, 8/2/12]

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney’s Record On Energy

Romney Supported The Ryan Budget Cutting Funding For Alternative Energy And Maintaining Tax Breaks And Subsidies For The Oil Industry

Romney Endorsed The FY2013 Ryan Plan Which Would Slash Funding For Energy Research And Eliminate Federal Subsidies For Alternative Energy Firms. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Last week, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled a new Republican budget proposal that Romney and other GOP candidates quickly endorsed. Ryan’s budget would eliminate federal subsidies and tax breaks for alternative energy firms and would slash funding for energy research.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/25/12]

Read more after the jump.

MEMO: What you need to know about Deb Fischer

Thanks to the more than $250,000 investment from billionaire Joe Rickett’s super PAC, Deb Fischer won a surprising last-person-standing victory in Nebraska’s Republican senate primary. But now Nebraskans are left wondering: who is their Republican nominee? As an untested, unknown, unscrutinized candidate, Deb Fischer didn’t “win” on Tuesday, her opponents lost. But now that she will be the Republican standard bearer in the most high profile race in the state, her record, votes, and positions will be thoroughly vetted by voters.

While no means exhaustive, below is a quick primer on what you need to know about Deb Fischer.

Read more after the jump.

Journal Inquirer: McMahon Has Stake In Oil Pipeline Plan She Supports

On March 31, 2012, the Journal Inquirer reported:

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Linda McMahon — a champion of the Keystone oil pipeline project — owns shares worth as much as $437,000 in nine of Canada’s largest oil-sands producers and six other Canadian companies that could profit from the business of moving crude from Alberta to U.S. refineries.

Read more after the jump.