Barbara Boxer on Energy & Oil

Democratic Jr Senator (CA)


Global warming means future devastating effects

President Obama was clearly moving away from the catastrophe rhetoric. Several Democrats still hadn't let go of the idea of preventing bad weather by acts of Congress. Even in the same opening statement where Senator Boxer headlined with green jobs, she mentioned toward the end of the "devastating effects that will come in the future if we do not take action to cut global warming pollution. Droughts, floods, fires, loss of species, damage to agriculture, worsening air pollution and more." Senator Debbie Stabenow also hadn't let go of the catastrophe, saying in August 2009, "Climate change is very real. Global warming creates volatility. I feel it when I'm flying. The storms are more volatile. We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes."
Source: The Greatest Hoax, by James Inhofe, p.111 , Feb 28, 2012

Work with China on global warming, but California leads

Fiorina: I believe AB 32 [funding green energy R&D] is a bad idea because to deal with global warming requires a serious global solution. Scientists agree that a single state--or a single nation--acting alone can have no impact on global warming. I would immediately engage in serious bilateral discussions with China, a nation that uses more coal than we do, but also that researches more into clean coal.

Q: Senator Boxer, you said that if California doesn't take the lead, then China and others will. But doesn't Ms. Fiorina have a point when she says that the global approach would be more effective?

Boxer: Our president has met with China; they've reached some tentative agreements. The fact is, we have to act. California is not a state that sits around and lets anybody else lead. That's why I so strongly oppose Prop 23 [which would block AB 32]. It is shocking to me to see someone try to get to the US Senate from California, who would turn her back on the environment.

Source: 2010 CA Senate general election Debate on KPCC , Sep 29, 2010

Prop. 23: California clean energy policy creates jobs here

Fiorina criticized Boxer's efforts to pass federal legislation that would have cut greenhouse gas emissions through a program of emission permits. Boxer's bill, Fiorina said, "was completely the wrong track" and would have cost "trillions of dollars in lost economic output [and] millions of jobs."

But Fiorina declined to take a position on Proposition 23, the November ballot measure that would suspend California's landmark global warming law until unemployment drops to 5.5% or lower for four consecutive quarters.

Boxer seized on her opponent's reticence, using it as an excuse to return to Fiorina's record at HP: "If you can't take a stand on Prop. 23 I don't know what you will take a stand on," Boxer said. "If we overturn California's clean energy policies that's going to mean that China takes the lead away from us with solar, that Germany takes the lead away from us with wind. I want those jobs created here in America."

Source: Los Angeles Times coverage of 2010 CA Senate Debate , Sep 2, 2010

Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Congressional Summary:To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change. The Clean Air Act is amended by adding a section entitled, "No Regulation of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases". In this section, the term 'greenhouse gas' means any of the following:
  1. Water vapor
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Methane
  4. Nitrous oxide
  5. Sulfur hexafluoride
  6. Hydrofluorocarbons
  7. Perfluorocarbons
  8. Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to regulation to address climate change.
The definition of the term 'air pollutant' does not include a greenhouse gas, except for purposes of addressing concerns other than climate change.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Sen. McConnell, R-KY]: The White House is trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA. It is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices. But it is perfectly consistent with the current Energy Secretary's previously stated desire to get gas prices in the US up to where they are in Europe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Sen. Lautenberg, D-NJ]:We hear the message that has been going around: Let's get rid of the EPA's ability to regulate. Who are they to tell us what businesses can do? Thank goodness that in this democratic society in which we live, there are rules and regulations to keep us as a civilized nation. The Supreme Court and scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency agreed that the Clean Air Act is a tool we must use to stop dangerous pollution. This amendment, it is very clear, favors one group--the business community. The Republican tea party politicians say: "Just ignore the Supreme Court. Ignore the scientists. We know better." They want to reward the polluters by crippling EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act.
Status: Failed 50-50 (3/5

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill Am183 to S.49 ; vote number 11-SV054 on Apr 6, 2011

Voted NO on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.