Robert Menendez on Energy & Oil

Democratic Jr Senator; previously Representative (NJ-13)


World must cut greenhouse gas emissions, or reject science

Q: Consider human activity the major factor driving climate change? Limit or tax production of greenhouse gases? Support US participation in Paris Climate Accord despite President Trump's withdrawal?

Robert Hugin (R): Mixed. "Climate change is real. Humans play a role." Also gave $500,000 to Heritage Foundation, which rejects the significance of human-caused climate change & opposes regulations to address it. Says Paris Accord "unfairly balanced." Didn't support it as written.

Robert Menendez (D): Yes. "[W]e, as a global community, have to cut our greenhouse gas emissions & the US must be at the forefront of that effort." Called withdrawal from Paris Accord a rejection of science.

Q: Support government subsidies or support for renewables?

Hugin: Mixed. Supports research in areas like battery technology, but not direct subsidies that pick winners & losers.

Menendez: Yes. Has supported expanding renewable energy credits by cutting oil company tax breaks.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on New Jersey Senate race , Oct 9, 2018

Past due time to ratify the Kyoto Protocol

Q: What role should the US play in the Kyoto Treaty?

KEAN: While our nation needs to address greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, I have reservations about the Kyoto Protocol, particularly because it allows India and China, two of the world’s fastest developing nations as well as the top emitters in greenhouse gasses, to pollute the environment without any penalty. However, I am pleased that our states and cities have begun phased implement of Kyoto targets, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

MENENDEZ: Global warming is more than a mere “inconvenient truth” and a threat to our environment, economy and lives. It is the issue that will define our generation’s success. It’s past due for America to finally ratify the Kyoto Protocol--a starting point for the international community to begin addressing this worldwide problem. Sadly, Kean fails to mention national standards to combat climate change--because Kean holds stock in Big Oil and takes their campaign contributions.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate (X-ref Kean) , Sep 24, 2006

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 required)

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.