Key Vote: H.R. 3055 Amendments

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In voting on amendments to H.R. 3055, the American Energy Alliance urges all members to support amendments #135, #143, #147, and #158, and oppose amendments #54, #128, #132, and #176.

NO on amendments #54, #128, #132, and #176: All these amendments seek to obstruct or prevent development of our domestic energy resources located in offshore federal waters. Domestic energy production creates jobs and economic growth, provides revenue to federal and state governments, and reduces our need for imports. Congress should not be preemptively blocking possible future development.

YES on amendment #158 (Graves): Regarding the same issue as the above amendments, this amendment would strike the bill’s harmful language which unreasonably interferes with development of domestic energy resources.

YES on amendment #135 (Duncan): While the administration has withdrawn and replaced the Clean Power Plan, prohibiting funding would prevent efforts to revive the regulation through litigation.

YES on amendment #143 (Duncan): Developing the energy resources located in a small part of ANWR is long overdue and the decision of Congress to authorize that development should not be revisited.

YES on amendment #147 (Mullin): While the administration is working to fix the unnecessary and harmfully restrictive methane rule, prohibiting funding would prevent efforts to revive this regulation through litigation.

AEA urges all members to support free markets and affordable energy with the above votes.  Should a vote on any of these amendments occur, AEA will include it in its American Energy Scorecard.

The Art of the Push Poll

WASHINGTON – As you may have seen, there’s a new poll out from Frank Luntz and the Climate Leadership Council that purports to show widespread GOP support for a carbon tax. Here’s what The Hill reported:

“Prominent GOP pollster Frank Luntz is warning Republican lawmakers that the public’s views on climate change are shifting and that ignoring the issue could cost them important votes at the ballot box.

In a memo circulated to Republican congressional offices on Wednesday, Luntz Global Partners warned that 58 percent of Americans, as well as 58 percent of GOP voters under the age of 40, are more concerned about climate change than they were just one year ago…Luntz Global conducted the online poll of 1,000 voters on behalf of the Climate Leadership Council, which is promoting its own carbon tax and dividend plan. The survey found that GOP voters supported the plan by a 2-1 margin.”

We’ve got some serious doubts.

For starters, check out the wording here: 

“Business and environmental leaders are proposing a bipartisan climate solution that charges fossil fuel companies for their carbon emissions and gives all the money directly to the American people through a quarterly check. This new climate solution is called ‘Carbon Dividends’, because all households would receive a quarterly cash payment as part of an effort to solve climate change. Would you support or oppose this plan?”

In layman’s terms, they’re asking: “Would you like fossil fuel companies to send you a big wad of cash?”

For more, read the full response from AEA President Tom Pyle.

For media inquiries, please contact Jordan McGillis
[email protected]

The Art of the Push Poll

As everyone in Washington knows, public opinion polls are political instruments. While we would all like to believe that polls give us a window into the minds of voting Americans, the truth is somewhat murkier. Most operatives in this town employ two types of polls. The first type is a genuine attempt to gauge public opinion on ideas, policies, and terminology. But that type of poll is usually kept closer to the vest. The typical poll that public ultimately lays its eyes on—often through the lens of the news media—serves a different purpose. Lobbying groups use the second poll in an attempt to frame public discourse in their favor. In the swamp, we call this a push poll. 

The recent Climate Leadership Council (CLC) carbon tax poll conducted by Frank Luntz is a perfect illustration. To the uninitiated reader, Miranda Green’s coverage in The Hill would give the impression that President Trump and the Republicans in Congress who almost unanimously oppose a carbon tax are on an island, detached from their constituencies. “Luntz Global conducted the online poll of 1,000 voters on behalf of the Climate Leadership Council, which is promoting its own carbon tax and dividend plan,” Green wrote. “The survey found that GOP voters supported the plan by a 2-1 margin.”

But even a cursory skim of the language presented to respondents by Luntz Global reveals a very different story. Here’s the exact wording of the question upon which the claim of two to one Republican support for a carbon tax is based: 

“Business and environmental leaders are proposing a bipartisan climate solution that charges fossil fuel companies for their carbon emissions and gives all the money directly to the American people through a quarterly check. This new climate solution is called ‘Carbon Dividends’, because all households would receive a quarterly cash payment as part of an effort to solve climate change. Would you support or oppose this plan?”

In layman’s terms, the question asks: “Would you like fossil fuel companies to send you a big wad of cash?”

Lo and behold, CLC got the answer they were looking for. All things being equal, most people love getting something for nothing.

But as cross-partisan polling has consistently shown, when the carbon tax is put into context people like the sounds of it a whole lot less. The Climate Leadership Council knows this—and almost certainly has their own private polling as confirmation—which is why they go to such great lengths to hide the ball with their claims that “companies” will bear the burden of the tax (despite the obvious implication for prices), that the money will be sent “directly” to the American people (despite the need for a new bureaucracy to administer the scheme), and that it’s a “dividend” (despite having no relationship to investment or wealth creation).

Two key factors tend to pull the legs out from the carbon tax’s popularity when it’s put into context.

The first is prioritization. Climate change simply isn’t something most people are losing sleep over. MWR Strategies, our trusted polling partner, has never had more than 4 percent of voters identify the environment as one of their top two issues. And climate change is only a portion of that already miniscule sliver. If you want more neutral verification, look to Gallup, which asked more than 1000 adults in each of six different surveys between January and July of 2018 to identify their most important issue. Based on the reported results, not a single respondent out of more than 6,000 respondents said climate change was their top concern.

The second factor is what we call willingness to pay. As a memo on the carbon tax from MWR Strategies explains, “when people are aware that this is a tax, one that they will pay at the pump, in the electricity bills, and for home heating, their enthusiasm vanishes.”

When asked questions such as “how much are you willing to pay each year to address global warming?” and “how much are you willing to pay to reduce the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels?” voters don’t look nearly as keen on climate change action as the CLC push poll wants us to think. Median responses to these questions have yielded a range from $2 to $50 annually. And over 40 percent of likely voters consistently respond that they are willing to pay exactly $0.

It should be clear by this point, but if the American people had an appetite for a carbon tax, the Climate Leadership Council wouldn’t need to jump through its contrived linguistic hoops to show it.

Key Vote: H.R. 2740 Appropriations Minibus Amendments

In voting on amendments to H.R. 2740, the American Energy Alliance urges the following votes: in Part 1 of the Rule, support amendments #81, #83, #91 and #94; in Part 2 of the Rule, support amendment #89, and oppose amendments #83 and #108.

Amendments to Division D: State and Foreign Operations:

YES on Amendments #81, 83, and #94: US tax dollars should not fund UN bodies that seek to impose higher energy costs across the globe. These unaccountable international organizations threaten free markets and affordable energy worldwide.

YES on Amendment #91 (Palmer): The Paris Agreement was and remains a bad deal for the United States.  Without Congressional approval, the previous administration sought to shackle the US to economically harmful targets while allowing most of the rest of the world to do nothing. The decision to withdraw is correct and should be allowed to proceed.

Amendments to Division E: Energy and Water

YES on Amendment #89 (Mullin): The social cost of carbon calculation is entirely notional and cannot be justified on scientific or economic grounds. During the creation process, the social cost of carbon models and calculations were manipulated to reach a desired end goal. The social cost of carbon designed by the previous administration should be discarded.

NO on Amendment #83 (Castor): The previous administration’s last minute decision to extend efficiency requirements to additional lighting was an unlawful overreach. The current administration is correct to reconsider that regulatory decision.

NO on Amendment #90 (Huffman): Like any other proposed project, the environmental assessment for the Pebble Mine should be allowed to continue according to established regulatory procedures.

AEA urges all members to support free markets and affordable energy with the above votes.  Should a vote on any of these amendments occur, AEA will include it in its American Energy Scorecard.

New Survey Results Find Voters (Still) Don’t Favor EV Subsidies

WASHINGTON – The American Energy Alliance today released the results of a series of surveys that examined the sentiments of likely voters about tax credits for electric vehicles. The surveys were administered to 800 likely voters statewide in each of nine states (MOPAIAKYGASCNCCO, and OH). The margin of error for the results in each state is 3.5%.

• The findings include: Voters don’t think they should pay for other people’s car purchases. In every state, overwhelming majorities (typically three-quarters of respondents) said that while electric cars might be a good choice for some, those purchases should not be paid for by other consumers.

• Voter’s sentiments about paying for others’ electric vehicles are especially sharp when they learn that those who purchase electric vehicles are, for the most, wealthy and/or from California.

•There is almost no willingness to pay for electric vehicle car purchases. When asked how much individuals would be willing to pay each year to support the purchase of electric vehicles by other consumers, the most popular answer in each state (usually more than two-thirds of respondents) was “nothing”.

•As always, few voters (usually less than 1/5) trust the federal government to make decisions about what kinds of cars should be subsidized or mandated.

Read the Topline Survey Results

Thomas Pyle, President of AEA said:  

“Voters in key swing states understand that they shouldn’t be required to pay for someone else’s electric vehicle. Senators and Representatives from the nine states where we conducted this survey should know that support for an expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit might make Elon Musk and Mary Barra happy, but it will not sit well with their constituents.”

Michael McKenna, who conducted the surveys, said: 

“Elected officials who are concerned about voter opinion should probably think twice before expanding favorable tax treatment for electric vehicles. Voters in each state we examined are very skeptical of them.”

For media inquiries, please contact Erin Amsberry
[email protected]
202.621.2955

New Survey Results Find Voters (Still) Don’t Favor EV Subsidies

The American Energy Alliance released the results of surveys that examine the sentiments of likely voters about tax credits for electric vehicles. The surveys were administered to 800 likely voters statewide in each of nine states (MO, PA, IA, KY, GA, SC, NC, CO, and OH). The margin of error for the results in each state is 3.5%.

The findings include: 

  • Voters don’t think they should pay for other people’s car purchases. In every state, overwhelming majorities (typically three-quarters of respondents) said that while electric cars might be a good choice for some, those purchases should not be paid for by other consumers.
     
  • Voters’ sentiments about paying for others’ electric vehicles are especially sharp when they learn that those who purchase electric vehicles are, for the most, wealthy and/or from California.
     
  • There is almost no willingness to pay for electric vehicle car purchases. When asked how much they would be willing to pay each year to support the purchase of electric vehicles by other consumers, the most popular answer in each state (usually more than two-thirds of respondents) was “nothing.”
     
  • As always, few voters (usually less than 1/5) trust the federal government to make decisions about what kinds of cars should be subsidized or mandated.

Read the survey results for each state:

A Step Towards More Accurate Cost-Benefit Analysis

WASHINGTON – This afternoon, EPA Administrator Wheeler signed a memo directing agency leadership to develop rules for consideration in outlining the proper use of benefit-cost considerations to be applied to future rulemakings. 

AEA President Tom Pyle made the following statement in response:

“EPA Administrator Wheeler’s directive to write new rules for the consideration of cost-benefit analysis is a welcomed and appreciated move as this analysis lays the foundation for all regulatory proposals. This effort will make strides towards more accurate appraisal of the real world implications of regulations and future rulemakings. Previous administrations have often gamed these calculations in order to reach whatever conclusion they desired. We hope the Trump administration’s forthcoming rule will help cut down on the worst abuses.”

Trump Admin. Right to Cut California’s Failed Rail Funds

WASHINGTON – Today the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the termination of $928 million in federal funding conditionally granted to California to build a high-speed rail. FRA stated that the funds were terminated after California “abandoned its original vision” and ” failed to make reasonable progress” on the project.

AEA President Tom Pyle made the following statement in response:

“America should be thankful to have a president who will protect taxpayers by stopping wasteful government spending when he sees it. President Trump and Secretary Chao did Americans a favor by cutting off the nearly $1 billion federal grant to California to build the high-speed train to nowhere. 

The rail costs were exorbitant and irresponsible and wouldn’t have gone to benefit average Americans. Just like the Green New Deal, if this liberal train wreck derailed in liberal California, there’s no chance it’ll work anywhere else. Gov. Newsom should own up to the cost overruns and delays, and return the $2.5 billion California previously received back to American taxpayers.”


For media inquiries, please contact Erin Amsberry
[email protected]

Free Market Coalition to Congress: No Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Expansion

WASHINGTON – Today, a coalition of 34 organizations, led by the American Energy Alliance, sent a letter to several members of Congress expressing their unified opposition to any effort to expand the electric vehicle tax credit.

The coalition includes the Texas Public Policy Foundation, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and 30 others stating that expanding the tax credit would be fiscally reckless. The coalition believes that electric vehicles, like all other products in the marketplace, should succeed or fail on their merits, without unnecessary government intervention forcing wealth transfer between states. Other points communicated in the letter include:

Subsidies for electric vehicles are unpopular. As shown in recent polling, 67% of voters believe they should not be forced to subsidize electric vehicle purchases. 

Subsidies for electric vehicles overwhelmingly benefit the rich.  A recent study from the Pacific Research Institue found that 79% of electric vehicle tax credits were claimed by households with an adjusted gross income of more than $100,000 a year.

Expanding the electric vehicle tax credit will be a net harm to consumers. A recent study from NERA economists found that extending the tax credit reduces total personal income of all U.S. households by $7 billion in 2020 and $12 billion in 2035.

Read the full letter and view the signers here

AEA President Tom Pyle made the following statement:

“Extending the tax loophole for electric vehicles helps rich people, Californians, companies that already don’t pay taxes, and China, which owns many of the resources required to build and operate these vehicles.  The loophole disproportionally transfers money from middle class taxpayers to rich people, mostly from California.  It hurts the working class, people who buy cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs, and those American companies not seeking to expand the loophole for their own benefit. We are proud to have over thirty organizations stand with us to tell Congress that a vote to expand the electric vehicle tax loophole is a vote against American families and workers.  It is just that simple.”

Mandy Gunasekara, former Trump EPA Official and Founder of Energy 45 made the following statement: 

“In 2017, 128 electric vehicles were sold in Mississippi, compared to the nearly 95,000 electric vehicles sold in California.  A system that forces hardworking Mississippians to subsidize wealthy Californians ability to drive around in luxury electric vehicles is simply unfair.”

AEA Supports Interior’s Reasoned Well Control Rule

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of the Interior released the final Well Control Rule from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement with implications for well operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. The revisions to the original Well Control Rule are intended to make operations safer and smarter while removing unnecessary regulatory burdens.

In response, AEA president Thomas Pyle made the following statement:

“American ingenuity and technological advancement has led the way in unlocking U.S. natural resources both onshore and offshore and has turned the U.S. into a world leader in energy production. This achievement has benefited our nation greatly, leading to cheaper energy prices for American families and enabling our way of life. President Obama used the Deepwater Horizon tragedy as an excuse to go beyond the necessary and responsible precautions and instead imposed draconian regulations in an effort to stop offshore production altogether. Today’s action by Interior to revise the Obama rule will help ensure both environmental protection and economic vitality in the Outer Continental Shelf for years to come.

The green lobby is predictably trying to mislead the public about the efficacy of this rule. Written entirely by career officials in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, this rule balances the need to implement important safeguards as well as streamline regulations to ensure maximum efficiency in an area of paramount importance for the U.S. economy. This rule provides regulatory certainty, incorporates necessary safety precautions, and will enable the U.S. to remain a world leader in energy development and innovation. Once again, we applaud President Trump for putting the energy needs of American families first and implementing a plan to ensure both environmental protection and energy dominance for years to come.”

For media inquiries, please contact Erin Amsberry

[email protected]