Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Which U.S. congressional candidates support ending the $12b/yr taxpayer subsidies to fossil fuel industry?

Positions of our district's House and Senate candidates and incumbents (and their opponents), in response to queries by email and web form:  (last edited 2012-05-25 pm)

(These fossil fuel subsidies are unpopular with voters of all parties, according to a national survey in fall 2011, and as of a 2009 Bloomberg article,  the IEA's World Energy Outlook said Fossil Fuel Subsidies [are] Six Times ...[greater than those for] Renewable Energy.)

Our candidates who are in favor of the "End Polluter Welfare Act" that turns off the fossil-fuels subsidy spigot include:
* Jim Reed - says that while he has not read the "End Polluter Welfare Act" bill, "I supported ending subsidies to the petroleum industry."
* David Levitt - says "Yes, I will absolutely support it."
* Mike Strimling, who "would certainly support the proposal in its general outline", taking care to "ensure that any broad changes in economic incentives are phased in over a period of years."
* Colleen Fernald - says "I will work to end all dirty fuel subsidies, (oil, gas, coal, nuclear), and provide incentives to the truly clean energy sector."
* Nathan Arrowsmith - says "yes"
* Jack Uppal (running against rep. Tom McClintock)  - says "I am generally in favor of dropping subsidies for fossil fuel companies"
* Marsha Feinland - says "I certainly would support it."
* Diane Stewart - says "Yes I would support a bill to eliminate taxpayer-funded subsidies to fossil fuel industries."
* Nachum Shifren - says "yes"
* Stiglich - "I am in favor of ending all subsidies"; then said "Yes..absolutely" to followup Q " if a bill ends only  subsidies to the fossil fuel industry (& doesn't end other subsidies) would you vote for it?"

No position / decline to state:
* Ali (via spokesman)
* Ramirez ( too busy; "visit my website or follow me on Twitter"; "I fully support the stated platform of the Republican Party")

* Oxley - While "no I cannot support the Sanders/Ellis bill as it is currently written without a more thorough review and being able to ask the authors some questions myself" ("I have concerns with the way that [the bill] is presented." ), "I would support ending subsides to fossel fuel companies."

Against the bill:
* Oscar Braun ("No, I would not support...")
* Dennis Jackson ("I believe the Sanders-Ellison Bill is a continuation of ...misguided policies..."; "all subsidies should be reviewed"; "am against the federal government picking which industries will receive support or be punished"; on hypothetical bill to reduce f.f. subsidies to the level of subsidies to renewables, says he'd need to understand reasons for subsidies.)
Dirk Konopik (basically, "I would make an educated decision" (paraphrased; akin to Jackson))
Likely against it: 
* Michael Dacquisto (in response to the position Qs below, he said "I would not be in favor of singling out the oil industry and cutting its subsidies")
Gloria ("The functionality and relationship between the EPA and Department of
Energy bring to light that the bill will not work...")
* Tom McClintock (our incumbent Rep, who redistricting will take from us). T.M. aide/spokesman Igor Birman said "Rather than dealing with hypotheticals, [McClintock's] approach is very simple: no subsidies for any form of energy generation, but they must be removed at once without government picking winners and losers."  I then asked whether T.M. would support a [hypothetical] bill that reduced the (roughly 6x larger) subsidies to fossil fuels  to match those for renewables but didn't eliminate subsidies entirely, but did not get an answer to this question.

I'm awaiting responses or clarifications from:

Some candidates are responding that they oppose all energy (and/or other) subsidies. I then ask them two followup questions:
1. How they'd vote on a bill that only addressed fossil fuel subsidies leaving other subsidies untouched, and
2. How they'd vote on a (hypothetical) bill that reduced fossil fuel subsidies to put them on a par with subsidies to renewables, rectifying the existing imbalance.

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