Richard Burr on Energy & Oil

Sr Senator; previously Republican Rep (NC-5)


Ending offshore drilling leads to economic disaster

The candidates had differences on offshore oil drilling. Marshall said lawmakers like Burr had allowed deepwater drilling despite the "disastrous" risks that are now apparent. The well gushing into the Gulf is a deepwater well. Marshall said she opposes drilling off North Carolina's coast.

Burr said oil companies had been forced to go into the riskier territory because they were "chased" away from land drilling and shallow water drilling. He said officials need to ensure that deepwater drilling is saf before quickly allowing it to continue. President Obama's administration had imposed a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but a federal judge struck it down. The government is appealing that decision.

But ending such drilling entirely, Burr said, would lead to economic disaster."You'll have no economic growth," he said. "You'll have no job expansion. You'll have a contraction like you've never dreamed of."

Source: Sun-News coverage of 2010 N.C. Senate debate , Jun 26, 2010

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.