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Sen. Claire McCaskill's anti-energy record


Posted by Chris Prandoni on Wednesday, October 31st, 2012, 9:47 AM PERMALINK


It’s amazing that Sen. Claire McCaskill thinks she can run as an “outsider” in this year’s Senate race. She can claim she’s mainstream and common sense all she wants, but her record tells a different story, as she’s been nothing but a loyal Democratic foot soldier in Washington. On energy in particular, she’s voted against Missouri over and over again.

McCaskill has repeatedly attempted to raise taxes on oil and gas producers – raising costs for energy companies, which would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. In a March 2011 report, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service found that McCaskill and the Democrats’ proposed energy tax hikes would “make oil and natural gas more expensive for U.S. consumers and likely increase foreign dependence.” Any person with common sense knows that will mean higher prices at the pump for consumers.

While she votes to hike taxes on oil companies, Sen. McCaskill unnecessarily constrains domestic production by simultaneously voting to prohibit offshore oil drilling. McCaskill has voted several times against offshore oil production – which would have restored American offshore energy production, improved safety and required bureaucrats to process permits efficiently. She opposed the Offshore Production & Safety Act of 2011, which would have opened up domestic sources of energy to drilling which would move us towards energy independence.

No employer in their right mind would want to do business in this kind of environment. As a result, the U.S. has fewer oil fields and refineries operating than it should, and when storms and hurricanes hit the country the little capacity that exists is tightened even more as facilities temporarily close.

Green Ambitions

McCaskill voted for cap-and-trade – despite calling the bill “the biggest giant earmark ever created on the planet” – but said “science shows the need to act against climate change.” The Heritage Foundation estimated that that bill would mean that Missourians would pay an additional $397 (20%) for gasoline by 2025 and that would cost the state 42,071 manufacturing jobs. The U.S. Treasury Department estimated that cap-and-trade would cost families up to $1761 extra in taxes per year. As she noted in a 2011 speech, “the good news is emissions are way down because of the recession” – so maybe a sluggish economy is what she’s going for, after all? That’s the only way to explain why she voted for a bill to allow discretionary spending for a cap-and-trade program.

She supported the Administration’s efforts to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and voted over and over against amendments to block the EPA from regulating CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Even the Missouri AFL-CIO president said these EPA regulations “will both threaten jobs and increase costs on energy consumers in Missouri.” Bear in mind, humans exhale carbon dioxide. From an economic standpoint, this policy is devastating – St. Louis’ Meramec power plant is older, and is likely to close because of these policies.

McCaskill may WANT to move us towards “green” energy solutions, but the fact of the matter is that wind, solar, and biofuels are still not viable without major subsidies and tax preferences from the government. Throwing money at “green energy” means these industries have no incentives to become competitive. In the meantime, Missourians still need to fuel their cars and power plants, and McCaskill is making both of those more expensive.

Missouri is an energy-intensive state, and last year it was ranked sixth in the nation in terms of coal usage. McCaskill’s plans would drive up the cost of energy both for homes and businesses, stretching many to the breaking point.

McCaskill has been nothing but hostile to traditional energy industries since she got to Washington, and she’s sacrificing the country’s best interests in the long-term by standing with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Missouri deserves the full picture – and a senator who will vote for its interests.

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