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LCV Statement on Senator Marco Rubio's Energy Speech

Contact: Seth Stein, (202) 454-4573 or

September 2, 2015  

Washington, DC – In response to Senator Marco Rubio’s speech outlining his energy plan, LCV Vice President of Campaigns Daniel J. Weiss issued the following statement:

“Marco Rubio’s energy plan sounds like a wish list of big polluter priorities. He would dismantle public health safeguards, putting our families’ well-being at risk to protect polluters’ profits.  Sen. Rubio willfully misleads the American people about the Clean Power Plan, which allows each state to develop the best plan for their residents and businesses, while protecting public health, creating jobs, and combatting climate change. Our poll of Republican primary voters found that they want presidential candidates to propose clean energy plans that boost investments and cut pollution.  Sen. Rubio’s plan ignores these desires, instead relying on vague references to environmental concerns while undermining safeguards.”




2012: Sen. Rubio Voted To Preserve Federal Subsidies For The Largest Oil Companies, Instead Of Investing In Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, And Deficit Reduction. In March 2012, Sen. Rubio voted against a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on S. 2204, the Repeal Big Oil Subsidies Act , which would close tax loopholes for the nation’s largest oil companies and direct the savings toward investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, and deficit reduction. Massive oil companies reported profits of nearly $1 trillion during the past decade … Using some of these savings, the bill would extend for an additional year tax incentives for electric vehicles, cellulosic biofuels, energy-efficient homes and appliances, and numerous forms of clean energy. The remaining savings from repealing Big Oil’s subsidies — nearly $11 billion — would be put towards reducing the deficit. The cloture motion was rejected 51-47, with 60 votes required for passage.  [S 2204, Vote 63, 3/29/12; LCV 2012 Scorecard, Vote 63]

2011: Sen. Rubio Voted To Preserve Oil Subsidies For The Biggest Polluters. In May 2011, Sen. Rubio voted against a motion to proceed to consider S. 940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act , which would close tax loopholes for oil companies. According lead author  Sen. Robert  Menendez’s (D-NJ), “All savings realized as the result of the bill's elimination of the tax breaks and other subsidies currently going to the major integrated oil companies are devoted to deficit reduction.”. The motion was rejected 52-48, with 60 votes required for passage.  [S 940, Vote 72, 5/17/11; LCV 2011 Scorecard, Vote 72; Sen. Menendez Press Release, 5/10/11]


The Clean Power Plan, The First-Ever National Effort To Limit Carbon Pollution From Power Plants. The Clean Power Plan is the “first-ever national standards that address carbon pollution from power plants.” It “cuts significant amounts of power plant carbon pollution and the pollutants that cause the soot and smog that harm health.”  [EPA Fact Sheet, 8/3/15]

Clean Power Plan Empowers Each State To Reduce Carbon Pollution By Creating And Implementing Its Own Plan. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan “provides guidelines for the development, submittal and implementation of state plans that establish standards of performance or other measures for affected EGUs in order to implement the interim and final CO2 emission performance rates. States must develop and implement plans that ensure the power plants in their state – either individually, together, or in combination with other measures – achieve the equivalent, in terms of either or rate or mass, of the interim CO2 performance rates between 2022 and 2029, and the final CO2 emission performance rates for their state by 2030.

“In developing its plan, each state will have the flexibility to select the measures it prefers in order to achieve the CO2 emission performance rates for its affected plants or meet the equivalent statewide rate- or mass-based CO2 goal. States will also have the ability to shape their own emissions reduction pathways over the 2022-29 period. The final rule also gives states the option to work with other states on multi-state approaches, including emissions trading, that allow their power plants to integrate their interconnected operations within their operating systems and their opportunities to address carbon pollution. The flexibility of the rule allows states to reduce costs to consumers, minimize stranded assets and spur private investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and businesses.”  [EPA Fact Sheet, 8/3/15]

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Could Help Avoid Up To 3,600 Premature Deaths And 90,000 Asthma Attacks In Children. Thanks to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, “by 2030, emissions of sulfur dioxide from power plants will be 90 percent lower compared to 2005 levels, and emissions of nitrogen oxides will be 72 percent lower.” Every year, the Clean Power Plan will “protect public health,” including 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks, and 300,000 missed work days and school days.  [EPA Fact Sheet, 8/3/15]

Clean Power Plan Will Reduce The Average American Family’s Electricity Bill. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan will “reduce energy waste and improve efficiency” and is expected to cut average electricity bills by 7 percent. In other words, “by 2030, the average American family will save $7 on their electric bill every month.”  [EPA Fact Sheet, 8/3/15]

Clean Power Plan Is Built On Sound Legal And Scientific Foundation. In 2009, EPA determined – and courts upheld – that greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans' health and welfare by leading to long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects on human health and the environment. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most prevalent greenhouse gas pollutant, accounting for nearly three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions and 82 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions … Overwhelmingly, the best scientists in the world, relying on troves of data and millions of measurements collected over the course of decades on land, in air and water, at sea and from space, are telling us that our activities are causing climate change. Because greenhouse gas pollution threatens public health and welfare, EPA is using the authorities available under the Clean Air Act to regulate sources of these pollutants.”  [EPA Fact Sheet, 8/3/15]

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