Mitch McConnell on Energy & Oil

Republican Sr Senator (KY)


Supported withdrawal from Paris climate agreement

Q: Tax or regulate greenhouse emissions and support renewable energy?

Mitch McConnell: No. Supported withdrawal from Paris climate agreement, saying it would "handcuff" the U.S. economy; opposed Obama's Clean Power Plan. Refused to extend solar and wind subsidies.

Amy McGrath: Yes to renewables; unclear on regulation. Invest in infrastructure to support alternatives to coal jobs. Expanded solar and wind will reduce electricity costs and "bring energy-related jobs."

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Kentucky Senate race , Oct 10, 2020

I blocked the passage of Obama's cap-and-trade

[McConnell said at a debate]: "Secretary Grimes, if I may, Congress didn't pass what the president's doing [on coal]. We defeated it, when your party controlled both the House and the Senate by large majorities."

Grimes blamed McConnell for lost coal jobs, but he fired back that he was actually able to block the passage of cap-and-trade legislation when Democrats had a super majority of 60 votes in the Senate and it was a top presidential priority. He suggested that Obama is using executive orders because of his deft maneuvering in the Senate.

The challenge for McConnell is making sure that the swing voters left in this race do not see him as part of the problem in Washington.McConnell says he's not a scientist and doesn't know for sure if global warming is a problem. Grimes said, "I recognize, unlike Sen. McConnell, the realities of climate change, but I do believe we have to take a balanced approach."

Source: Politico.com on 2014 Kentucky Senate debate , Oct 14, 2014

AdWatch: Fights EPA regulation on coal production

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is running an ad this week backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., highlighting his challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency over regulations on coal production.

"A fighter who never lets Kentucky down," the Chamber says of McConnell in the ad that is airing now through Dec. 12 at a cost of $181,500, according to the latest report from the FEC.

Source: Huffington Post AdWatch on 2014 Kentucky Senate race , Dec 5, 2013

Find more, use less: drill ANWR & off coast

The first phase of the 2008 general election campaign focused almost exclusively on energy policy. As gasoline prices soared to near $4/gallon in Kentucky, McConnell chanted the mantra of "find more, use less," and offered a plan for doing just that. Designed to put both national Democrats and Lunsford in a bind by calling for things Kentuckians wanted but liberals abhorred, it included oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, expanded drilling off US coasts, and expanded support for coal. It quickly became apparent that the energy issue was a loser for Lunsford.
Source: Republican Leader, by John Dyche, p.221 , Sep 15, 2010

Supports coal-to-liquid fuels, nuclear tech, & electric cars

Republican incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell touched on the debate over domestic oil drilling, which has been a hot-button issue in the campaign for US Senate. “In order to solve this problem, we have to do everything. We have to both find more and use less,” said McConnell, the Senate’s top-ranking Republican. McConnell also mentioned coal-to-liquid fuels, nuclear technology and even electric cars. “We’re not too many years away from the time when we’ll be plugging in our cars and trucks for the night,“ he said.

Bruce Lunsford said his energy plan includes expanded drilling, alternative fuels and drawing from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve to lower gas prices. Lunsford said Republicans are pushing for expanded drilling because it is favored by the oil industry. ”What the Republicans have done led by Mitch McConnell is they have been industry-driven for every solution, because that’s who butters their bread,“ Lunsford said.

Source: 2008 Kentucky Senate debate reported by AP, in Forbes Mag. , Sep 6, 2008

Has clout to implement GOP solutions for high gas prices

Throughout the forum, McConnell returned over and over to three themes--energy, clout and what he said was Lunsford’s allegiance to the AFL-CIO. He said the labor organization is diametrically opposed to the interests of the farm bureau.

McConnell said that Republicans have the best solutions for high gas prices and that as Senate minority leader he can get more done than a freshman Democrat. And he said that the labor unions supporting Lunsford would control him in Washington. “I’m not there to do the bidding of organized labor like my opponent,” McConnell said. “If they deliver for him, believe me, he’ll deliver for them.”

Afterward, Lunsford said that he has met with the AFL-CIO and other labor groups and that he has no problem with any of the issues they asked him to support. But he said he isn’t under the union’s thumb. “I don’t think I’ll be a puppet for anyone,” he said.

Source: 2008 Kentucky Senate debate reported in Courier-Journal , Aug 21, 2008

Gas Price Reduction Act: drill offshore; harness oil shale

$4 a gallon gas is more than a temporary inconvenience. High prices are hurting American families and threatening American jobs.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is leading the fight to “find more and use less” by authoring the Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008, which will:

  1. increase offshore oil exploration
  2. harness the untapped potential of oil shale
  3. encourage development of electric cars and trucks, and
  4. strengthen our ability to prevent speculators from driving up the price of gas.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.teammitch.com , Aug 20, 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 required)

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.