Mike Johanns on Energy & Oil

Secretary of Agriculture; previously Republican NE Governor


New corn genetics brings 40% yield increase & more ethanol

Johanns claimed Kleeb was quoted as saying that “corn based ethanol will not be a part of our future.” Johanns noted that new breakthroughs in corn genetics will soon bring a 40% increase in the yield of dryland corn, making corn-based ethanol even more viable.

Kleeb claimed he was misquoted and has “always been a supporter of ethanol.” However, he believes the country also needs to develop other “green” energy solutions, such as solar, wind and other technologies such as cellulosic ethanol production

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate debate reported on DomesticFuel.com , Aug 24, 2008

Opposes Warner-Lieberman Climate Security Act

Republican Mike Johanns, Democrat Scott Kleeb and Green Party candidate Steve Larrick all discussed the important issues of energy, climate change and renewable fuels - although most of the sparks flew between Johanns and Kleeb. The biggest clash between the two came over the proposed Warner-Lieberman Climate Security Act, which Johanns opposes and Kleeb supports.
Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate debate reported on DomesticFuel.com , Aug 24, 2008

Expand domestic oil production; reduce refinery regulations

As Secretary of Agriculture I made expanding renewable fuels a priority not just because it is important for Nebraska, but for our nation’s long term energy health. I also support expanding domestic oil production, and streamlining the onerous refinery regulations that are squeezing the gas supply and driving up costs for consumers. Increasing our domestic energy supply and crop-grown fuels make economic sense and are strategically important for our nation.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, mikejohanns2008.com, “Issues” , Mar 2, 2008

Voted YES 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 YES on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.