Facing a tough reelection challenge from Governor Maggie Hassan, perennial Big Oil ally and beneficiary Kelly Ayotte is making herself out to be an environmentalist by touting her support for the Obama administration’s proposal to cap power plants’ carbon pollution levels.
That sounds nice, but Kelly Ayotte’s history tells a rather different story. Ayotte’s actively voted against closing tax loopholes for oil companies, and she’s voted for delaying the implementation of EPA emissions rules. Kelly Ayotte’s refused to support extending tax credits for wind energy — and she’s even voted to slash funding for alternative energy research and development.
Such is not the record of someone who believes, “It’s so important that we protect New Hampshire’s beautiful environment,” as she claimed in statement Sunday.
Not one week ago, Kelly Ayotte was a beneficiary of a New York City fundraiser hosted by environmental protection and clean energy-opponent David Koch. And this summer alone, Charles and David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity spent $1.2 million in New Hampshire on Ayotte’s behalf.
There’s a reason out-of-state industrial interests are throwing money behind Kelly Ayotte — and it’s not because they think she has an earnest desire to protect the environment. When it comes to energy and environmental issues, Kelly Ayotte votes with Koch interests 94% of the time.
But to hear Kelly Ayotte tell it, those days are long behind her: Last week was last week — this week, she can’t get enough of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
It’s political expediency — and it’s not in good faith.
Ryan Plan Research And Development Cuts
2013: Ayotte Voted For Cutting Funding For Research And Development Of Alternative Energy Sources As Part Of The FY 2014 Ryan Budget. In March 2013, Ayotte voted for cutting funding for research and development of alternative energy sources, as part of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget resolution covering fiscal years 2014 to 2023. According to the House Budget Committee, “The budget provides sufficient funding for essential projects, like energy security and basic research and development. But it pares back spending in areas of duplication and non-core functions, like applied and commercial research and development projects best left to the private sector.” The vote was on the House Republicans’ fiscal year 2014 budget resolution, which Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray offered as a substitute amendment to the Senate’s fiscal year 2014 budget resolution. The Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 40 to 59. [Senate Vote 46, 3/21/13; House Budget Committee, 3/12/13]
2012: Ayotte Voted For An Amendment To Delay Implementation of EPA Emissions Rules For Industrial Boilers. In 2012 Ayotte voted for delaying an EPA regulation that, according to Congressional Quarterly would “delay the implementation of EPA emissions standards for industrial boilers and grant the agency 15 months to propose new rules.” The vote was on an amendment to the MAP-21 transportation authorization bill that reauthorized federal transportation programs. The amendment failed by a vote of 52 to 42, it required 60 votes to pass under a unanimous consent agreement. [Senate Vote 30, 3/8/12; Senate Action,3/7/12; Congressional Quarterly, 3/8/12]
- Opponents Claimed That The Amendment Changed The Standards For Hazardous Materials.According to the Congressional Record, Sen. Barbara Boxer said that “this amendment, which has been called the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, would forever change the current standards allowed for mercury, arsenic, lead, chromium, benzene, toxic soot, and other dangerous pollutants. So it not only delays a rule that is critical – and I will tell my colleagues the numbers of lives that will be saved because of it – but it changes the standards for these toxins forever.” [Congressional Record, 3/8/12]
2011: Ayotte Voted For A Bill Delaying Implementation Of The EPA’s Boiler MACT Rules.In November 2011, Ayotte voted for delaying an EPA rule known as the boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) rule. The vote was on the Long-Term Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011 that, according to WUSA, “included language from S. 1392, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, which requires EPA to rewrite rules released earlier this year for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for major sources such as refineries and area sources such as hospitals and prisons. The standards set hazardous air pollution limits for new and existing industrial and commercial boilers.” The bill – which addressed appropriations rescissions, emissions standards, regulatory oversight and delay, and transportation funding – was rejected by the Senate by a vote of 47 to 53. [Senate Vote 196, 11/3/11; WUSA, 11/4/11; Congressional Record, 11/3/11]
- The Provision Aimed To Eliminate Rules On Industrial Boilers And Incinerators That Reduce Mercury, Lead And Other Hazardous Air Pollution.According to a speech on the Senate floor by Sen. Barbara Boxer, “Let’s talk about one of the rules they want to cut back: industrial boilers and incinerators. This bill, called a jobs bill, would halt an EPA rule issued in February 2011 to reduce toxic air pollution. What do I mean? Toxic means it is toxic to our health; it will hurt us. People will die from toxic air pollution. People do die from toxic air pollution. The toxins the boilers and incinerators rule would reduce include mercury, lead, and other hazardous air pollution released by boilers and incinerators.” [Congressional Record, 11/3/11]
Tax Breaks For Oil Companies
2012: Ayotte Voted Against Repealing $24 Billion In Tax Breaks For The Five Largest Oil Companies To Fund Extension Of Alternative Energy Tax Credits. In March 2012, Ayotte effectively voted against a bill that would, according to the Evansville Courier and Press, “end several tax breaks worth $24 billion over ten years for the five largest oil companies: BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell. More than half of the savings would be allocated to deficit reduction, with the remaining $11 billion used for tax credits to promote natural gas and propane as vehicle fuels, make U.S. homes more energy-efficient and spur the production of renewable and alternative fuels to reduce U.S. consumption of fossil fuels.” The vote was a motion to end debate on the bill, which failed 51 to 47. [Senate Vote 63, 3/29/12; Evansville Courier and Press, 4/1/12]
2011: Ayotte Voted Against Closing Tax Loopholes Used By Five Largest Oil Companies. In May 2011, Ayotte voted against a bill that would, according to the Associated Press, “repeal about $2 billion a year in tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies, a Democratic response to $4-a-gallon gasoline.” The vote was on the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill and needed 60 votes to pass; the motion was defeated by a vote of 52 to 48. [Senate Vote 72, 5/17/11; Associated Press, 5/17/11]
- Bill Would Repeal Five Tax Provisions For Large Oil Companies.According to the CRS summary of the bill, it would have “[a]mend[ed] the Internal Revenue Code to deny to oil companies with gross receipts in excess of $1 billion in a taxable year and an average daily worldwide production of crude oil of at least 500,000 barrels a year: (1) a foreign tax credit if such company is a dual capacity taxpayer, as defined by this Act; (2) the tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production of oil, natural gas, or primary products thereof; (3) the tax deduction for intangible drilling and development costs; (4) the percentage depletion allowance for oil and gas wells; and (5) the tax deduction for qualified tertiary injectant expenses.” [CRS Summary of S. 940, 5/10/11]
- Tax Changes In Bill Would Raise About $1.2 Billion In Revenue In 2012, Less Than Five Percent Of Total Oil Industry Earnings.According to the Congressional Research Service, “The five provisions, taken together, are expected to raise approximately $1.2 billion in 2012. For the calendar year 2010, the revenues of the five largest oil companies were approximately $1.5 trillion with additional revenues accruing to the non-majors. The net incomes, after tax, of these five companies totaled over $76 billion with additional earnings accruing to the non-majors. The total expected tax revenues are only 5% of the earnings of the five largest firms in the industry and a smaller percentage of the total industry. [CRS Memo To Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 5/11/11]
2015: Ayotte Voted Against Calling For Congress To Extend Tax Credit For Wind Power Producers Through The Beginning Of 2020. In January 2015, Ayotte voted against an amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] express[ed] the sense of Congress that the production tax credit should be extended until Jan. 1, 2020 for facilities that use wind energy technology for electricity.” The Senate rejected the proposed amendment to the Senate’s version of legislation directing the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline by a vote of 47 to 51. [Senate Vote 40, 1/28/15; Congressional Actions, S. 1; Congressional Quarterly, 1/28/15]
Published: Oct 27, 2015