GOP House Energy Action Team Is Dirty Energy Dream Team

GOP House Energy Action Team Is Dirty Energy Dream Team
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Earlier this month, House Republicans formed the House Energy Action Team, or “HEAT.” 26 GOP members of Congress joined the group, whose stated mission to is to reduce American dependence on foreign oil and reduce gasoline prices for American consumers.

On the surface, the group’s intentions seem reasonable, but a comprehensive analysis by DeSmogBlog shows that the members of HEAT are using their positions to promote the use of oil and other dirty fossil fuels, rather than promoting the development and use of clean renewable fuel sources.

Among the initiatives that the group took up first are three bills that would expand offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico – an area that will be dealing with the effects of the BP oil disaster for years to come. This combination of bills would end the Obama Administration’s moratorium on new drilling in the Gulf, as well as expedite the leasing process for new drilling permits.

Republican members of HEAT also voted in favor of H.R. 1 earlier this year, which would reduce funding for alternative energy research, as well as strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

ThinkProgress compiled a list of the campaign contributions each member of HEAT has received over the course of their careers (which total more than $4 million for all members combined.) It is important to note that all but one of these members voted against repealing the $4 billion in subsidies that the oil industry receives every year. The members are listed below with their career contributions from the oil and gas industry, as well as their positions and proposals on energy and environment throughout their careers:

Kevin McCarthy (R – CA): Career total of $142,350 from the oil and gas industry. Founder of the House Energy Action Team. McCarthy has supported legislation that would allow former military bases to be turned into oil refineries, voted in favor of legislation that would increase the production and development of shale oil, voted to open ANWR for oil drilling, voted to expand offshore oil drilling in deep water, voted against funding for alternative energy research and development, voted against ending oil subsidies, and voted against tax credits for energy conservation.

Peter Roskam (R – IL): Career total of $153,265 from the oil and gas industry. Co-chairman of HEAT. Voted against increasing vehicle fuel economy; Proposed the Energy VISION Act, which would increase offshore drilling, open ANWR for drilling, and open up more American lands for oil shale exploration; Voted against tax credits for renewable energy; Voted NO on limiting CO2 emissions; Voted to ban greenhouse gases from the Clean Air Act rules.

Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): Career total of $170,143 from the oil and gas industry. Refers to cap and trade as a “scheme.” Voted against restricting CO2 emissions, and voted to strip the EPA of the authority to do sotax incentives for renewable energy development; Voted in favor of creating new oil refineries and expediting the permitting process of new refineries; Voted against removing oil industry subsidies.

Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): Career total of $343,045 from the oil and gas industry. Claims the EPA is a “job killer”, as are limits placed on greenhouse gas emissions; Voted against the offshore drilling moratorium; Voted in favor of oil and gas drilling in ANWRVoted against alternative fuel tax incentives; Introduced the Protect America’s Energy and Manufacturing Jobs Act of 2011, which would prohibit the Obama Administration’s regulation of carbon.

Mike Conaway (R-TX): Career total of $678,818 from the oil and gas industry. Voted against protecting endangered speciesANWRSteve Scalise (R-LA): Career total of $139,135 from the oil and gas industry. Voted against tax credits for energy conservationCO2 emissions; Calls for an end to the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases.

Greg Walden (R-OR): Career total of $182,500 from the oil and gas industry. Voted against implementation of the Kyoto Protocol; Voted in favor of creating new oil refineries; Voted against enforcing limits on CO2against raising fuel economy standards; Voted against tax incentives for renewable energy; In favor of ANWR drilling.

Rick Berg (R-ND): Career total of $114,311 from the oil and gas industry. Supports oil drilling and expanded mining ventures in his home state of North Dakota; Supports developing new nuclear power plants in North America; Does support renewable energy tax credits.

Jeff Denham (R-CA): Career total of $24,400 from the oil and gas industry. Pledged to vote against any tax increase that would be used to combat global climate change.

Cory Gardner (R-CO): Career total of $171,324 from the oil and gas industry. Claims that cap and trade policies will have no impact on global climate change; Signed the GOP’s “Contract From America,” which calls for an increase in domestic and offshore drilling in the United States.

Doc Hastings (R-WA): Career total of $161,804 from the oil and gas industry. Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources; Voted to expedite “forest thinning” projects to clear cut American forests; Voted against protecting endangered species; Voted against limiting carbon emissions; Voted against tax incentives for renewable energy programs; Voted against increasing vehicle fuel economy; Voted in favor of creating new oil refineries and expediting the permitting process; In favor of increased oil drilling on American soil and in American waters; Voted in favor of drilling in ANWR.

Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA): Career total of $26,600 from the oil and gas industry. Refused to answer any questions on whether she supports climate change legislation during the 2010 election, the cycle in which she was elected. As of May 2011, she has not signed onto any legislation supporting or against environmental issues.

Lynn Jenkins (R-KS): Career total of $119,600 from the oil and gas industry. Claims that the rise in gasoline and oil prices since 2008 are the result of “excessive regulations” by Democrats; In favor of creating new oil refineries and increasing offshore oil drilling and drilling in ANWRban greenhouse gases from the Clean Air Act.

Devin Nunes (R-CA): Career total of $138,000 from the oil and gas industry. Sponsored the American-Made Energy Freedom Act of 2006, which would create a trust fund to be used to develop alternative energy. However, this trust fund would be funded by profits from deep ocean drilling and expanded mainland oil drilling. Voted against limits on carbon emissions; Voted against providing tax incentives for alternative energy development; Voted against the offshore drilling moratorium; Voted no on criminalizing OPECVoted to expedite “forest thinning” projects for clear cutting.

Alan Nunnelee (R-MS): Career total of $55,050 from the oil and gas industry. Called for the creation of an American energy plan that relied on “clean coal,” increased domestic drilling, as well as increased offshore oil drilling; Pledged to vote against any tax increases to be used for curbing climate change.

Pete Olson (R-TX): Career total of $246,750 from the oil and gas industry. In favor of increased domestic and offshore oil drilling; Against regulating greenhouse gas emissions; Claims cap and trade programs would have no impact on global climate change.

Ben Quayle (R-AZ): Career total of $42,200 from the oil and gas industry. Claims that cap and trade policies will stifle economic growth in American and send American jobs overseas; Signed the pledge to vote against any tax increases that would be used to fund climate change prevention programs. Was also a partner at the law firm of Schulte, Roth, & Zabel, who are currently defending Bernie Madoff and other white collar criminals.

Martha Roby (R-AL): Career total of $14,500 from the oil and gas industry. First-term congresswoman; Signed the GOP pledge to vote against any tax increase to be used for curbing global climate change.

Phil Roe (R-TN): Career total of $23,700 from the oil and gas industry. Supports increased domestic oil production, including offshore and mainland drilling, as well as the continued development of “clean coal.”

Steve Womack (R-AR): Career total of $15,719 from the oil and gas industry. First-term congressman; Signed onto the GOP’s pledge to vote against any tax increases that would be used to curb global climate change.

Jeff Duncan (R-SC): Career total of $15,000 from the oil and gas industry. Endorsed by the Club for Growth, a conservative group that has fought viciously against climate change legislation. Duncan opposes any new regulations aimed at reducing emissions and combatting climate change; Signed onto the GOP pledge to vote against any tax increases that would curb global climate change.

Jason Chaffetz (R-UT): Career total of $30,000 from the oil and gas industry. Favors developing habitats of endangered species for commercial use; Voted against regulating CO2 emissions; Wants to ban greenhouse gases from the Clean Air Act; Signed the no tax pledge to vote against tax increases to be used to combat climate change; Wants to ban the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases; In favor of increased domestic and offshore drilling in America; Claims cap and trade programs will have no effect on climate change.

Bill Flores (R-TX): Career total of $212,528 from the oil and gas industry. Former CEO of Phoenix Exploration Company, an oil and natural gas exploration firm; Supports increased offshore and domestic oil drilling; Signed the GOP’s pledge to vote against tax increases that would be used to combat climate change; Claims that cap and trade will have no impact on climate change.

Virginia Foxx (R-NC): Career total of $58,450 from the oil and gas industry. Voted against environmental education grantsVoted against regulating CO2 emissionsEPA regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

John Shimkus (R-IL): Career total of $275,761 from the oil and gas industry. Does not believe that humans cause climate change, and says that regulating CO2 emissions would take away valuable “plant food;” Voted against renewable energy tax creditsANWRexpediting “forest thinning” projects.

Fred Upton (R-MI): Career total of $262,850 from the oil and gas industry. Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce; Wants to strip the EPA of the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; Voted against providing tax credits for alternative energyreduce the liability for corporations who contribute to or create hazardous waste sites.

Bill Johnson (R-OH): Career total of $5,250 from the oil and gas industry. First-term congressman. Signed the GOP pledge to vote against tax increases that would be used to combat climate change; Supports increased domestic drilling and “clean coal;” Says that cap and trade will harm our economy and result in the loss of American jobs.

Mike Pompeo (R-KS): Career total of $250,156 from the oil and gas industry. Serves on the board of trustees for the Kansas Policy Institute, which was founded by David and Charles Koch; Wants to strip the EPA of the authority to regulate greenhouse gases; Signed the GOP pledge to vote against any tax increase that would be used to combat climate change.

GOP House Energy Action Team Is Dirty Energy Dream Team

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine, and his articles have appeared on The Huffington Post, Alternet, and The Progressive Magazine. He has worked for the Ring of Fire radio program with hosts Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Mike Papantonio, and Sam Seder since August 2004, and is currently the co-host and producer of the program. He also currently serves as the co-host of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV, a daily program airing nightly at 8:30pm eastern. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009.  Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced.

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