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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]

Ryan Plan Cuts Alternative Energy

The FY2013 Ryan Plan Slashed Funding For Energy Research And Eliminated 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]

Ryan’s 2012 Budget Eliminated Clean Energy Research And Development Spending. According to the New York Times, “A long-term Republican budget plan released this week by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin calls for drastic cuts in federal spending on energy research and development and for the outright elimination of subsidies and tax breaks for wind, solar power and other alternative energy technologies. The plan ‘rolls back expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy, calling instead for a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation and exploration,’ Mr. Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee, wrote on Monday in The Wall Street Journal.” [New York Times, 4/6/11]

CAP: Ryan Plan Would Spend Only 20% Of Previous Year Funding On Clean Energy. According to the Center for American Progress, “Instead of ending Big Oil tax breaks, Rep. Ryan’s proposed FY 2013 budget would slash funding for investments in clean energy research, development, deployment, and commercialization, along with other energy programs. The plan calls for a $3 billion cut in energy programs in FY 2013 alone. From 2013 to 2017 the Ryan budget would spend a paltry total of $150 million over these five years on these programs—which is barely 20 percent of what was invested in only 2012.” [Center for American Progress, Issues, 3/20/12]

The Ryan Plan Cut Funding For “Uncompetitive Energy” By $7 Billion Compared To President’s Budget. According to the New York Times, “Under the Republican plan, overall discretionary funding for energy programs would fall to about $1 billion per year. President Obama’s 2012 budget, meanwhile, would provide about $8 billion to support clean energy research and deployment. Mr. Ryan’s proposal calls specifically for ‘eliminating welfare for energy companies.’ The proposal does not include details on which subsidies would be curtailed, but its references to ‘uncompetitive’ energy sources clearly point to wind and solar power, which typically generate electricity at a premium to fossil fuels like coal.” [New York Times, 4/6/11]

Ryan Voted Against Alternative Energy Funding

Ryan Voted Against The American Clean Energy And Security Legislation To Create Clean Energy Jobs. According to a Capital Times editorial, “The American Clean Energy and Security legislation that was backed by the Obama administration and congressional Democratic leaders as a centerpiece of the drive to address climate change was approved late last week by the U.S. House. Congressman Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who was a primary architect of the bill, called its passage a ‘decisive and historic action to promote America’s energy security and to create millions of clean energy jobs that will drive our economic recovery and long-term growth.’ But the House endorsement was anything but enthusiastic. The bill earned just 219 votes in its favor to 212 against, with three members not voting…Opposing it were 168 Republicans (including Wisconsinites Paul Ryan, Tom Petri and James Sensenbrenner) and a notable 44 Democrats.” [The Capital Times, Editorial, 6/30/09]

Ryan Voted Against New Renewable Energy Standards For Utilities And Appliances. In 2007, Ryan voted against comprehensive energy legislation that would require electric utilities to produce at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 and direct the Energy Department to set new energy efficiency standards for appliances and building construction. The bill would raise automobile fuel-efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and require increased use of renewable energy sources to generate electricity. Democrats characterized the legislation as “a new direction” in U.S. energy policy away from dependence on fossil fuels. The motion was agreed to 235-181. [Roll Call 1140, H 6, 12/06/2007; Congressional Quarterly; Associated Press, 12/06/07]

Ryan Voted Against Tax Incentives For Renewable Energy. In 2008, Ryan voted against a bill that would extend expiring tax provisions through 2009. Specifically, the bill would provide tax incentives for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects, and investment in renewable energy. These tax incentives would be offset by prohibiting individuals from understating foreign oil and gas extraction income in the calculation of foreign tax credits, freezing the deduction amount for oil and gas companies and prohibiting individuals who work for certain offshore corporations to defer tax on compensations. The bill passed 257-166. [Roll Call 649, H 7060, 09/26/2008; Congressional Quarterly]

Ryan Voted Against Plan To Increase Energy Independence, Promote Renewables. In 2007, Ryan voted against legislation to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, develop innovative new technologies, reduce carbon emissions, create green jobs, protect consumers, increase clean renewable energy production, and modernize our energy infrastructure. The bill set new efficiency standards for appliances, lighting and buildings, and create new programs to research infrastructure and delivery of alternative fuels. The bill also required oil and natural gas producers who did not pay royalties on leased federal land under existing law to either agree to renegotiate their leases or pay a new fee. In addition, the bill expanded an existing federal program to promote the capture and storage of carbon dioxide and set a goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by federal agencies by 2050. The bill also required utilities, starting in 2010, to produce at least 2.75 percent of electricity from renewable sources, with percentages rising each year to 15 percent by 2020. The bill passed 241-172. [Roll Call 832, H 3221, 08/04/2007; Congressional Quarterly; www.speaker.gov]

Ryan Voted For Protecting Oil and Gas Subsidies

Ryan Voted To Protect Oil Companies Over Renewable Energies. In 2008, Ryan voted against the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act. The legislation comprehensively invested resources into wind, solar, and geothermal energy systems. Furthermore, it extended tax credits to producers of cleaner burning bio-diesel and cellulosic alcohol based fuels. The legislation also eliminated a manufacturing tax deduction for larger oil and gas companies. The bill passed, 236-182. [Roll Call 84, H 5351, 02/27/2008; Release, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, 2/27/08]

Ryan Voted Against Energy Bill That Would Eliminate Or Reduce Tax Breaks For Major Oil Companies. In 2007, Ryan voted against comprehensive energy legislation that would raise automobile fuel-efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and require increased use of renewable energy sources to generate electricity. Democrats characterized the legislation as “a new direction” in U.S. energy policy away from dependence on fossil fuels. The bill would boost corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards by 40 percent, to an industry average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, the first such action since 1975, when Congress first enacted the federal auto fuel economy requirements. The bill would expand the use of ethanol sevenfold to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022 with 21 billion gallons coming from cellulosic feedstock such as wood chips and prairie grass. The bill would require electric utilities to produce at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 and direct the Energy Department to set new energy efficiency standards for appliances and building construction. It also would eliminate or reduce $13 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for the five major oil and gas companies to be used for tax incentives for development of renewable energy sources like ethanol from grasses and wood chips and biodiesel and for energy efficiency programs and conservation. The motion was agreed to 235-181 [Roll Call 1140, H 6, 12/06/2007; Congressional Quarterly; AP, 12/06/07]

Ryan Voted To Protect Oil Companies Over Green Energy Sources. In 2007, Ryan voted against a bill to authorize $16.1 billion in energy-related tax provisions, including new tax credit bonds to encourage energy efficiency in residential property and more production of “clean” energy. The bill authorized $3.6 billion in bonds for state and local governments to fund energy conservation efforts. The costs of the bill were offset primarily by reducing current tax benefits for oil and gas companies. The bill also raised taxes on the oil and gas industry and used the proceeds to extend and expand tax breaks for renewable energy, hybrid cars and energy-efficient buildings and appliances. In addition, the bill created a $6 billion “green bond fund” that would help local and state governments build energy-efficient projects. The bill passed 221-189. [Roll Call 835, H 2776, 08/04/2007; Congressional Quarterly]

Ryan Voted Against Ending Tax Breaks For Oil Companies. On January 18, 2007, Ryan voted against the bill that would limit tax benefits and require royalty payments from certain oil and gas companies. According to the Washington Post, the bill “would roll back billions of dollars worth of oil drilling incentives, raise billions more by boosting federal royalties paid by oil and gas companies for offshore production, and plow the money into new tax breaks for renewable energy sources.” [Roll Call 40, H 6, 01/18/2007; Washington Post 01/04/2007]

Ryan Supported Billions In Handouts To Big Oil And Energy Corporations. In 2005, Ryan voted in favor of the House version of an energy bill that reflected President Bush’s energy priorities. The bill included $8.1 billion in energy tax breaks and several billion in other subsidies, including $2 billion to increase research into drilling for oil and gas in extremely deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The bill included $2 billion to makers of the gasoline additive MTBE to help them defray the cost of phasing out the product, which contaminates drinking water. The House bill also would give MTBE makers, including major oil companies and refiners, protection against product liability lawsuits stemming from the water contamination. The bill passed 249-183. Note: Ryan was not in office to vote on the conference report. [Roll Call 132, H 6, 04/21/2005; AP, 4/22/05]

Ryan Opposed Efforts To Prevent Gas Price Gouging

Ryan Voted Against The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act. On June 24, 2008 Ryan voted against prohibiting price gouging for fuels in areas experiencing an energy emergency, set civil and criminal penalties for such price gouging, and permit states to bring lawsuits against retailers for price gouging. Congressional Quarterly Weekly reported that “the House earlier in the week rejected, 276-146, a bill (HR 6346) aimed at retail gasoline price gouging. That measure, which also did not get the two-thirds needed, came to the floor June 24. It would have authorized the Federal Trade Commission to impose fines and other punishments for ‘unconscionably excessive’ prices for motor fuels during a presidentially declared “energy emergency,” and was similar to a measure (HR 1252) the House passed last year and to language the Senate included in broader energy legislation.” [Roll Call 448, H 6346, 06/24/2008; Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 6/29/08]

Ryan Opposed Giving The Federal Trade Commission Power To Define Price Gouging And Impose Civil Penalties On Offending Companies. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Members on Oct. 7 rejected, 199 for and 222 against, a Democratic amendment to HR 3893 (above) empowering the Federal Trade Commission to legally define price gouging at the gasoline pump and impose civil penalties on companies of up to three times the amount of ill-gotten profits. A yes vote backed the amendment.” Ryan voted no. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, 10/9/05]

Ryan Opposed Tougher Action Against Price Gouging By Oil And Gas Industry During Energy Emergencies. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Voting 195 for and 226 against, members on Sept. 28 rejected a Democratic bid for tougher federal action against any price gouging by the oil and gas industry during energy emergencies. The motion sought to authorize the Federal Trade Commission to legally define the practice, followed by more vigorous enforcement by agencies such as the Department of Energy. This occurred during debate on a bill (HR 3402, later passed) authorizing $94 billion for Department of Justice operations and programs in fiscal 2006-2010. A yes vote backed FTC rulemaking to define energy price gouging.” Ryan voted no. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, 10/2/05]