LCVVF Names Dean Heller to 2018 Dirty Dozen

Alyssa Roberts, 202-454-4573, aroberts@lcv.org

Betraying Nevadans who want a clean energy future, Heller has consistently sided with Trump & polluters

Las Vegas, Nevada – LCV Victory Fund announced today that Senator Dean Heller of Nevada has been named to its signature Dirty Dozen list. For over 20 years, the Dirty Dozen has featured some of the most anti-environment candidates running for office across the country. Heller earned his spot for being in the pocket of polluters, voting dozens of times in favor of the Big Oil and Big Polluter special interests that are contributing millions in support of his campaigns.

Heller’s voting record shows that he has consistently sided with polluters over Nevadans’ health, sinking to a zero percent score on LCV’s 2017 National Environmental Scorecard. Heller has voted for every single one of Congress’s environmental attacks since Trump took office — a staggering 26 votes against clean air, clean water, renewable energy and public lands.

“Dean Heller has betrayed the people of Nevada time and again,” said Pete Maysmith, LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President for Campaigns. “He routinely votes against Nevadans’ public health and environment, all while remaining in the back pocket of Big Oil, Big Polluters, and Donald Trump. That’s how Heller has earned a spot on this year’s Dirty Dozen, and come November, Nevadans will get their chance to say they’ve had enough.”

Heller’s supporters have attempted to portray him as a fighter for clean energy, going as far as calling him “Nevada’s clean energy champion” in a recent ad. But Heller’s record on solar isn’t as sunny as they make it seem — in Congress, Heller has supported billions in taxpayer handouts to fossil fuels while voting to end incentives and investments in clean energy.

“Dean Heller’s playbook is to say one thing to voters in Nevada, and go back to Washington to vote the other way,” said Robert Buntjer, Nevada Conservation League Board Chair. “He says he’ll stand up to Trump, and then he votes with him 92 percent of the time. He says he’ll protect our lands and health, and then he refuses to stand up to Trump’s attempt to shrink Gold Butte National Monument. He says he supports clean energy jobs, and then he votes to end investments in clean energy. His deception is just one of the many reasons he belongs on the Dirty Dozen.”

Heller also accepts support from groups advocating for the dangerous nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and praised Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, despite Kavanaugh writing a decision that allowed Yucca Mountain to move forward.

As a part of ongoing efforts to defeat Heller, LCV Victory Fund and USW Works are running a field program that will reach 106,000 voters through canvassing and direct mail in Henderson and the Las Vegas metro areas. That effort is through the joint New American Jobs Fund.

Members of the Dirty Dozen have consistently sided against the environment and — regardless of party affiliation — are running in races in which LCV Victory Fund has a serious chance to affect the outcome.

LCV Action Fund endorsed Congresswoman Jacky Rosen for Nevada’s Senate seat, citing her strong support of investing in clean energy and protecting Nevada’s parks and monuments.

Paid for by LCV Victory Fund, www.lcvvictoryfund.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

 

Dirty Dean’s Record:

Heller Wants To Make It Easier For Big Oil To Exploit Public Lands

Heller Sided With Big Oil On Prioritizing Drilling on Public Lands. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would expedite the applications to drill on America’s public lands and would limit the amount of public input in the decision-making process. Oil and gas companies now have more access to America’s public lands than they currently use and it makes no sense to limit public engagement. On January 22, the Senate rejected the Lee amendment by a vote of 51-47 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 17). [2015 Senate Vote #17]

 

Heller Voted At Least Four Times Against Extending Clean Energy Tax Credits

2015: Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry To Oppose Extending Clean Energy Tax Credits. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would express the sense of Congress that the Production Tax Credit should be renewed for five years. This tax incentive expired at the end of 2014 and is essential to the continued expansion of renewable energy sources like wind, and would create jobs, reduce pollution, and increase our energy independence. On January 28, the Senate rejected the Heitkamp amendment by a vote of 47-51 (Senate roll call vote 40). A five year extension and phase down of the Production Tax Credit was included in H.R. 2029, the FY16 spending deal, which President Obama signed into law on December 18. Dean Heller Voted NO. YES was the pro-environment position. [Senate Vote #40, 1/28/2015]

2014: Heller Voted Against Extending Tax Credits For Wind And Solar Energy.Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) offered a substitute amendment to H.R. 3474, the Hire More Heroes Act of 2014, which would extend dozens of tax incentives, including vital clean energy tax credits. The package of tax extenders, known collectively as the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act, would extend several energy efficiency incentives and the Production Tax Credit (PTC), which is particularly critical to the continued growth of wind energy. Clean energy tax credits like the PTC have a proven track record of increasing investment, decreasing costs, creating jobs, and reducing pollution. On May 15, the Senate rejected the motion to end debate and proceed to the EXPIRE Act by a vote of 53-40. Dean Heller voted NO. YES was the pro-environment position. [Senate Vote #157, 5/15/2014]

2012: Heller Voted Against Extending Tax Credits For Alternative And Renewable Energy, Paid For By Repealing Tax Breaks For The Five Largest Oil Companies.In March 2012, Heller 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 on a motion to end debate on the bill, which failed 51 to 47; the motion required 60 votes to pass. [Senate Vote 63, 3/29/12; Evansville Courier and Press, 4/1/12; Congressional Actions, S. 2204]

2008: Heller Voted Against Extending Tax Credits For Wind And Solar Energy. In February 2008, Heller voted against a bill that would [have], according to Congressional Quarterly, “extend[ed] and create[ed] several tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable-energy production, including a new tax credit for plug-in hybrid vehicles. It would [have] extend[ed] expiring tax credits for wind and solar energy and authorize $5.6 billion in tax-credit bonds to finance renewable energy and energy conservation efforts. To offset the costs, the bill would [have] eliminate[d] or reduce[d] the manufacturing tax deduction for oil and gas companies. It also would [have] change[d] the way oil and gas companies calculate[d] foreign oil and gas income.” The vote was on passage of a bill. The bill passed the House by a vote of 236 to 184. The bill was referred to the Senate and no subsequent action was taken. [House Vote 84, 2/27/08; Congressional Quarterly, 2/27/08; Congressional Actions,H.R. 5351]

 

Heller Voted To Slash Funding For Programs Working On New Energy Storage Technologies

Heller Voted For The Paul Ryan Budget, Which Cut Funding For Research And Development Of Clean Energy Technology. In May 2011, Heller 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 2012 to 2021. According to the House Budget Committee, “This budget would continue funding essential government missions, including energy security and basic research and development, while paring back duplicative spending and non-core functions, such as applied and commercial research or development projects best left to the private sector. This budget would continue funding essential government missions, including energy security and basic research and development, while paring back spending in areas of duplication or non-core functions, such as applied and commercial research or development projects best left to the private sector. Ultimately, the best energy policy is one that encourages robust competition and innovation to ensure the American people an affordable and stable supply of energy. This budget would roll back federal intervention and expensive corporate-welfare funding directed to the president’s allied industries.” The vote was on a motion to proceed to consider the House-passed budget resolution, which the Senate rejected by a vote of 40 to 57. [Senate Vote 77, 5/25/11; House Budget Committee, 4/5/11; Congressional Actions, H. Con. Res. 34]

Critics Claimed The Budget Would Eliminate Funding For R&D Programs Working On Battery Technology. According to Grist, “The federal government invested seed money beginning in 2009 to launch such an industry here. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) observed that federal policies on batteries alone ‘have attracted 17 [battery] companies who are projected to create 63,000 jobs.’ But Ryan’s budget will nearly eliminate funding for this and other R&D programs that can lead to advances in battery technology. It also eliminates loan guarantees that can help manufacturing plants get built in the United States, and ignores investments to build a battery-charging infrastructure essential to expand the market for electric vehicles and reduce oil use.” [Grist, 8/13/12]

2011: Heller Voted To Cut Funding For Energy Efficiency And Renewable-Energy Programs By $70 Million. In February 2011, Heller voted for an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] decrease[d] funding for energy efficiency and renewable-energy programs at the Energy Department by $70 million.” The vote was on agreeing to the amendment, which the House rejected by a vote of 137 to 293. [House Vote 58, 2/16/11; Congressional Quarterly, 2/16/11; Congressional Actions, H. Amdt. 36; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1]

Heller Voted Against Tax Credit Bonds To Finance Renewable Energy And Energy Conservation Efforts. In February 2008, Heller voted against a bill that would [have], according to Congressional Quarterly, “extend[ed] and create[ed] several tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable-energy production, including a new tax credit for plug-in hybrid vehicles. It would [have] extend[ed] expiring tax credits for wind and solar energy and authorize $5.6 billion in tax-credit bonds to finance renewable energy and energy conservation efforts. To offset the costs, the bill would [have] eliminate[d] or reduce[d] the manufacturing tax deduction for oil and gas companies. It also would [have] change[d] the way oil and gas companies calculate[d] foreign oil and gas income.” The vote was on passage of a bill. The bill passed the House by a vote of 236 to 184. The bill was referred to the Senate and no subsequent action was taken. [House Vote 84, 2/27/08; Congressional Quarterly, 2/27/08; Congressional Actions, H.R. 5351]

2016: Heller Opposed Increased Funding For The Department of Energy Program Working On Breakthroughs In Clean Energy. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) offered an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which would increase funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, an important Department of Energy research program intended to spur transformational breakthroughs in energy technologies. Additional funding for this program could help the United States lead in the clean energy transformation. On January 28, the Senate approved the Schatz amendment by a vote of 55-37 (Senate roll call vote 9). S. 2012 passed the Senate and moved to conference with a House-passed energy bill, but did not become law. [2016 Senate Vote #9]

2011: Heller Voted Against Increasing Funding For the Advanced Research Projects Agency At The Energy Department At The Expense Of Fossil Energy Research. In February 2011, Heller voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] increase[d] funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at the Energy Department by $20 million and decrease[d] funding for fossil energy research and development at the department by an equal amount.” The House rejected the amendment by a vote of 159 to 273. [House Vote 56, 2/16/11; Congressional Quarterly, 2/16/11; Congressional Actions, H. Amdt. 32; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1]

ARPA-E Is Working On Grid-Scale Electricity Storage Technology.According to a list of program descriptions under the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy website: “The CHARGES program, short for “Cycling Hardware to Analyze and Ready Grid-Scale Electricity Storage,” establishes two sites where ARPA-E-funded battery technologies will be tested under conditions designed to represent not just today’s applications, but also the demands of tomorrow’s electric power system. The program will establish realistic duty cycles for storage devices on a microgrid, and test them in both a controlled environment and under realistic microgrid operating conditions. The objective of the CHARGES program is to accelerate the commercialization of electrochemical energy storage systems developed in current and past ARPA-E-funded research efforts. The program aims to help ARPA-E-funded battery development teams improve their storage technologies to deliver substantial economic benefit under real-world conditions, both now and in the future.” [ARPA-E programs list accessed 6/18/2018]

 

Oil & Gas Interests Have Invested Heavily In Support Of Dean Heller

Heller Got $532,400 In Contributions From The Oil And Gas Industry. According to campaign contribution records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Dean Heller has received $532,400 in contributions from the Oil and Gas industry. [Opensecrets.org accessed 6/18/2018]

The American Chemistry Council Has Spent $1,529,078 In Support Of Heller. According to campaign finance records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, The American Chemistry Council has spent $1,529,078 supporting Dean Heller in the 2018 election cycle. [Opensecrets.org accessed 6/18/2018]

American Chemistry Council Represents Big Oil Companies Through Petrochemical Subsidiaries. Many of the American Chemistry Council’s member companies are petrochemical divisions of major oil companies, such as BP Lubricants USA, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, Occidental Chemical Corporation, and Shell Chemical. [American Chemistry Council member list accessed 8/16/2018]

The Koch Brothers’ Political Network Spent $814,101 On Heller In His 2012 Election:

Committee Type 2012 Total
60 Plus Assn 501c $1,783
Americans for Tax Reform 501c $320,514
National Fedn of Independent Business 501c $2,304
US Chamber of Commerce 501c $489,500
Total   $814,101

Sources: Open Secrets NV Senate 2012 Outside Spending; Open Secrets, The Koch Network: A Cartological Guide, 1/7/2014

Koch Industries Is An “Oil, Chemical And Consumer Products Company.” “For instance, during presentations in late June in Vail, Colo., at the latest installment of the twice-a-year gatherings of major donors sponsored by the Koch brothers’ privately owned oil, chemical and consumer products company, Koch operatives signaled they ‘are going to focus a great deal on the presidential race,’ according to someone who attended the meeting.” [Politico, 10/10/11]

Koch Industries Has Spent Millions Lobbying To Protect Tax Breaks For Oil And Gas. [Reuters, 4/6/11]

 

Heller Refused To Recognize Humans Contribute To Climate Change And Refused To Take Action To Address It

Heller Said The Impact From Humans On Climate Change Is “Up For Debate.” According to Politico, “For Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), voting in favor of the measure was easy. ‘There always has been [climate change], there always will be,’ he said, but the impact from humans is ‘up for debate.’” [Politico, 1/25/15]

2015: Heller Voted Against Reducing Carbon Pollution In Response To Human-Caused Climate Change. In March 2015, Heller voted against an amendment to the Senate’s FY 2016 budget resolution that, according to The Hill, would have “called on lawmakers to recognize that climate change is real and caused by human activity. The amendment also called on Congress to take action to cut carbon pollution.” The Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 49 to 50. [Senate Vote 89, 3/25/15; The Hill, 3/25/15; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 777; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11]

2015: Heller Voted Against Agreeing That The U.S. Energy System Must Quickly Move From Fossil Fuels To Sustainable, Efficient Energy To Prevent “Irreparable Harm” To The Earth From Human-Caused Climate Change. In January 2015, Heller voted against an amendment that, according to the Congressional Record, stated, “It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that—(1) climate change is real; (2) climate change is caused by human activities; (3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world; (4) a brief window of opportunity exists before the United States and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm; and (5) it is imperative that the United States transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible.” The vote was on a motion to table the proposed amendment to the Senate’s version of legislation directing the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, such that a vote for the motion was effectively a vote against the amendment. The Senate agreed to the motion by a vote of 56 to 42, killing the amendment. [Senate Vote 16, 1/22/15; Congressional Record, 1/21/15; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 24; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 2; Congressional Actions, S. 1]

2015: Heller Voted Against Agreeing That “Climate Change Is Real,” That It “Is Caused By Human Activities,” And That The U.S. Must Back Research And Development Of “Clean Fossil Fuel Technology.” In January 2015, Heller voted against an amendment that, according to the Congressional Record, stated, “It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community and a growing number of top national security experts, economists, and others that—(1) climate change is real; (2) climate change is caused by human activities; (3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world; (4) the Energy Information Administration projects that fossil fuels will continue to produce 68 percent of the electricity in the United States through 2040; and (5) it is imperative that the United States invest in research and development for clean fossil fuel technology.” The vote was on a motion to table the proposed amendment to the Senate’s version of legislation directing the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, so that a vote for the motion was, in effect, a vote against the amendment. The Senate agreed to the motion by a vote of 53 to 46, killing the amendment. [Senate Vote 15, 1/22/15; Congressional Record, 1/22/15; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 99; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 2; Congressional Actions, S. 1]

2015: Heller Voted Against Stating That “Human Activity Significantly Contributes To Climate Change.” In January 2015, Heller voted against an amendment that, according to the Congressional Record, stated that “it is the sense of Congress that—(1) climate change is real; and (2) human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” The Senate rejected the proposed amendment to its version of legislation that directed the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline by a vote of 50 to 49; it needed 60 votes to be adopted. [Senate Vote 12, 1/21/15; Congressional Record, 1/20/15; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 58; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 2; Congressional Actions, S. 1]

2015: Heller Voted Against Reducing Carbon Pollution In Response To Human-Caused Climate Change. In March 2015, Heller voted against an amendment to the Senate’s FY 2016 budget resolution that, according to The Hill, would have “called on lawmakers to recognize that climate change is real and caused by human activity. The amendment also called on Congress to take action to cut carbon pollution.” The Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 49 to 50. [Senate Vote 89, 3/25/15; The Hill, 3/25/15; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 777; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11]

2015: Heller Voted Against Agreeing That The U.S. Energy System Must Quickly Move From Fossil Fuels To Sustainable, Efficient Energy To Prevent “Irreparable Harm” To The Earth From Human-Caused Climate Change. In January 2015, Heller voted against an amendment that, according to the Congressional Record, stated, “It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that—(1) climate change is real; (2) climate change is caused by human activities; (3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world; (4) a brief window of opportunity exists before the United States and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm; and (5) it is imperative that the United States transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible.” The vote was on a motion to table the proposed amendment to the Senate’s version of legislation directing the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, such that a vote for the motion was effectively a vote against the amendment. The Senate agreed to the motion by a vote of 56 to 42, killing the amendment. [Senate Vote 16, 1/22/15; Congressional Record, 1/21/15; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 24; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 2; Congressional Actions, S. 1]

 

His Voting Record Says It All: Heller Has Consistently Sided With Big Oil Special Interests On Capitol Hill

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Climate Change Science. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which expresses the sense of Congress that climate change is real and that man-made pollution is a significant contributor to climate change. 2014 and 2015 were the two hottest years on record, and this amendment references the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other scientific institutions. On January 21, the Senate rejected the Schatz amendment by a vote of 50-49 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 12). [2015 Senate Vote #12]

Heller Sided With Big Oil On Prioritizing Drilling on Public Lands. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would expedite the applications to drill on America’s public lands and would limit the amount of public input in the decision-making process. Oil and gas companies now have more access to America’s public lands than they currently use and it makes no sense to limit public engagement. On January 22, the Senate rejected the Lee amendment by a vote of 51-47 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 17). [2015 Senate Vote #17]

Heller Sided With Big Oil Against Forcing Tar Sands Polluters to Pay for Spills.Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would close a tax code loophole that exempts tar sands producers from paying into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Without this fix, taxpayers are on the hook to pay for tar sands spill clean-ups like the ongoing $1.2 billion effort in Kalamazoo, Michigan. On January 22, the Senate rejected the Wyden amendment by a vote of 50-47 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 19). [2015 Senate Vote #19]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On International Climate Action.Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which undermines the United States’ ability to encourage other countries to address climate change and would be a significant setback in the global fight against climate change. The Blunt amendment seeks to undermine the November 2014 U.S.-China announcement that demonstrated both countries’ commitment to tackling this challenge and builds momentum toward a global solution to the climate crisis. On January 22, the Senate rejected the Blunt amendment by a vote of 51-46 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 20). [2015 Senate Vote #20]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Exports. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would undermine the Department of Energy’s role in approving applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG). The Cruz amendment interferes with the department’s ability to consider LNG exports’ wide range of potential impacts, including negative impacts on American consumers, health, and the environment. On January 28, the Senate rejected the Cruz amendment by a vote of 53-45 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 34). [2015 Senate Vote #34]

Heller Sided With Big Oil On Prairie-Chicken Protections. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would delist the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The Moran amendment subverts the science-based process the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uses to determine the population viability of various species and removes protections deemed necessary for the prairie chicken’s survival. On January 28, the Senate rejected the Moran amendment by a vote of 54-44 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 35). [2015 Senate Vote #35]

 

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Clean Energy Tax Credits. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would express the sense of Congress that the Production Tax Credit should be renewed for five years. This tax incentive expired at the end of 2014 and is essential to the continued expansion of renewable energy sources like wind, and would create jobs, reduce pollution, and increase our energy independence. On January 28, the Senate rejected the Heitkamp amendment by a vote of 47-51 (Senate roll call vote 40). A five year extension and phase down of the Production Tax Credit was included in H.R. 2029, the FY16 spending deal, which President Obama signed into law on December 18. [2015 Senate Vote #40]

Heller Sided With Big Oil On The Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline (KXL). Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) sponsored S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would automatically approve this dangerous pipeline, transporting the world’s dirtiest oil through the American heartland to an international shipping port on the Gulf Coast where it would be exported. Keystone XL would lead to a significant expansion of tar sands development, unleashing massive amounts of carbon pollution and threatening surrounding communities, ecosystems, and watersheds including the Ogallala aquifer, which provides drinking water for millions of Americans. Despite these threats, Keystone XL would create just 35 permanent jobs and would not enhance American energy independence. S.1 would short circuit the federal approval process, eliminating the State Department’s ability to assess whether the pipeline is in the national interest, and diminishing the president’s authority to ultimately approve or reject the project. On January 29, the Senate approved S.1 by a vote of 62-36 (Senate roll call vote 49). Following House passage of this bill, President Obama vetoed S. 1 on February 24. On March 4, the Senate failed to override the veto by a vote of 62-37 (67 votes needed for override; Senate roll call vote 68). On November 6, President Obama rejected TransCanada’s permit application to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, citing concerns about its climate impact. [2015 Senate Vote #49]

Heller Sided With Big Oil On The Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline (KXL) Veto Override. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) sponsored S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would automatically approve this dangerous pipeline, transporting the world’s dirtiest oil through the American heartland to an international shipping port on the Gulf Coast where it would be exported. Keystone XL would lead to a significant expansion of tar sands development, unleashing massive amounts of carbon pollution and threatening surrounding communities, ecosystems, and watersheds including the Ogallala aquifer, which provides drinking water for millions of Americans. Despite these threats, Keystone XL would create just 35 permanent jobs and would not enhance American energy independence. S.1 would short circuit the federal approval process, eliminating the State Department’s ability to assess whether the pipeline is in the national interest, and diminishing the president’s authority to ultimately approve or reject the project. On January 29, the Senate approved S.1 by a vote of 62-36 (Senate roll call vote 49). Following House passage of this bill, President Obama vetoed S. 1 on February 24. On March 4, the Senate failed to override the veto by a vote of 62-37 (67 votes needed for override; Senate roll call vote 68). On November 6, President Obama rejected TransCanada’s permit application to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, citing concerns about its climate impact. [2015 Senate Vote #68]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Climate Change Science Education. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) offered an amendment to S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, which would establish a K-12 climate change education grant program. Participating states would compete for grants in order to create climate change science and solutions curriculum, teacher trainings, and to achieve sustainable building standards. On July 15, the Senate rejected the Markey amendment by a vote of 44-53 (Senate roll call vote 238). [2015 Senate Vote #238]

Heller Sided With Polluters On An Extreme Attack on Carbon Pollution Limits for New Power Plants (CRA). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sponsored S.J. Res. 23, the Congressional Review Act “Resolution of Disapproval” that would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon pollution standards for new and modified power plants. S.J. Res. 23 is an extreme measure would permanently block these clean air protections, putting our health at risk and slowing our country’s transition to an economy powered by clean energy. On November 17, the Senate approved S.J. Res. 23 by a vote of 52-46 (Senate roll call vote 307). Following its passage in the House, President Obama vetoed S.J. Res. 24 on December 18. [2015 Senate Vote #307]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Clean Energy Funding. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) offered an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which would increase funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, an important Department of Energy research program intended to spur transformational breakthroughs in energy technologies. Additional funding for this program could help the United States lead in the clean energy transformation. On January 28, the Senate approved the Schatz amendment by a vote of 55-37 (Senate roll call vote 9). S. 2012 passed the Senate and moved to conference with a House-passed energy bill, but did not become law. [2016 Senate Vote #9]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Energy Efficiency. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) offered an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which would establish a national energy efficiency resource standard based on successful programs in Minnesota that require electricity and natural gas providers to meet annual targets for cutting energy use in homes and businesses. Energy efficiency saves consumers money while reducing the public health and environmental risks of pollution. This amendment would also send a clear market signal that would spur research and development of energy efficient technologies. On February 2, the Senate rejected the Franken amendment by a vote of 43-52 (Senate roll call vote 11). [2016 Senate Vote #11]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Fast Tracking Natural Gas Pipelines. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) offered an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which would set strict, arbitrary deadlines for the review of natural gas pipelines on federal and tribal lands. This amendment undermines the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by promoting accelerated construction of pipelines and other components of natural gas production at the cost of the environmental reviews that NEPA established to identify serious safety and environmental risks. On February 2, the Senate rejected the Barrasso amendment by a vote of 52-43 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 12). [2016 Senate Vote #12]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Taxpayer Handouts for Fossil Fuel Companies. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) offered an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which would phase out fossil fuel subsidies for coal and some of the largest producers of oil and gas over a four-year period, the same time period over which Congress recently decided to phase out tax credits for solar and wind. The fossil fuel subsidies phased out by this amendment represent billions of dollars of taxpayer handouts for a mature and highly-polluting industry. On February 2, the Senate rejected the Schatz amendment by a vote of 45-50 (Senate roll call vote 14). [2016 Senate Vote #14]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On A Wind Energy Transmission Line.Senator John Boozman (R-AR) offered an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which would require additional studies before proceeding with the construction of a 700-mile electricity transmission project that would bring wind energy from the Great Plains to the southeast. The project, known as the Plains and Eastern Clean Line project, would provide much-needed transmission capacity to our outdated grid and has already been approved under a process created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. On April 19, the Senate rejected the Boozman amendment by a vote of 42-55 (Senate roll call vote 51). [2016 Senate Vote #51]

Heller Sided With The Fossil Fuel Industry On Victory Bonds for Clean Energy.Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) offered an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which would require the secretary of the Treasury to develop a plan to issue Clean Energy Victory Bonds. These bonds would aim to raise as much as $50 billion and would be used to finance clean energy projects, including wind, solar, advanced vehicles, and fuel cells. Rapid deployment of clean energy technology is the best way to fight climate change. On April 19, the Senate rejected the Udall amendment by a vote of 50-47 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 52). [2016 Senate Vote #52]

Heller Sided With Big Oil On Revenue Sharing for Offshore Drilling. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) sponsored S. 3110, the American Energy and Conservation Act of 2016, which would expand revenue sharing from offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, which creates incentives for additional offshore drilling that damages our climate and coastal communities, businesses, and ecosystems. Offshore drilling inevitably leads to oil spills, which puts at risk coastal communities’ robust tourism and commercial and recreational fishing industries, as well as critically important wildlife, while impeding America’s transition to clean energy. Revenue sharing also siphons revenues away from the Treasury and directs them to a handful of states at a time when we are struggling to address our nation’s fiscal challenges. On November 17, the Senate rejected a motion to end debate and proceed to S. 3110 by a vote of 51-47 (60 votes were needed to end debate; Senate roll call vote 153). [2016 Senate Vote #153]

Heller Sided With Big Oil On The Confirmation Of David Bernhardt For Deputy Secretary, Interior. The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of David Bernhardt to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI). DOI “protects and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities.” The position of Deputy Secretary is critical to protecting our treasured natural heritage for future generations, but Bernhardt puts our public lands, national monuments and parks, clean air and water, and wildlife at risk. His long history of lobbying for many of the industries, including oil and gas, mining, developers, and more, under DOI’s regulatory purview creates numerous conflicts of interest. Additionally, Bernhardt’s career is marked by many instances of fighting against federal environmental safeguards and proximity to ethics scandals during his previous tenure at DOI. Finally, during his confirmation hearing, Bernhardt would not commit to leading the agency to tackle the urgent challenge of climate change and the dangers it poses to our natural resources. These reasons should disqualify David Bernhardt from serving as the Deputy Secretary of DOI and being entrusted with protecting our invaluable natural heritage. On July 24, the Senate approved Bernhardt’s nomination by a vote of 53-43 (Senate roll call vote 166). [2017 Senate Vote #166]

Heller Sided With Polluters On Limiting Access to the Courts. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) offered an amendment to S. 1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would have a chilling effect on citizen enforcement of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), one of American’s most effective and important environmental laws that serves as a safety net for wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction. By subjecting ESA lawsuits to the Equal Access to Justice Act’s below-market cap on legal fees, this amendment would make it more difficult for citizens from across the political spectrum to obtain counsel and challenge illegal government actions. On January 21, the Senate rejected the Lee amendment by a vote of 54-45 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 7). [2015 Senate Vote #7]

Heller Sided With Polluters On An Attack on Clean Air Protections. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would exempt power plant units that burn “coal refuse” or waste from complying with certain clean air and public health protections required under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Communities living downwind from these plants would suffer negative health consequences, ranging from asthma attacks to premature deaths, were these clean air exemptions to become law. On January 21, the Senate rejected the Toomey amendment by a vote of 54-45 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 9). [2015 Senate Vote #9]

Heller Sided With Polluters On Fracking Drinking Water Loophole. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) offered an amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would close the “Halliburton Loophole,” a provision in the 2005 Energy Policy Act that exempted hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Gillibrand amendment is an important first step in ensuring the fracking process is subject to all of our major environmental laws, in order to protect our health, communities, and environment. On January 28, the Senate rejected the Gillibrand amendment by a vote of 35-63 (Senate roll call vote 41). [2015 Senate Vote #41]

Heller Sided With Polluters On Investor-State Dispute Settlement in Trade Agreements. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) offered an amendment to H.R. 1314, the Trade Act of 2015, which would prohibit the application of “fast track” authority, which allows for expedited congressional approval of international trade deals for any agreement that includes a provision allowing investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Investor-state dispute settlement is a mechanism that allows foreign corporations to challenge government policies and actions that companies claim harm their investments or profits, and these challenges take place in front of private trade tribunals. The use of ISDS has increased rapidly in recent years, and many of these cases have involved challenges to environment and clean energy policies. On May 22, the Senate rejected the Warren amendment by a vote of 39-60 (Senate roll call vote 188). [2015 Senate Vote #188]

Heller Sided With Polluters On Fast Track of Trade Agreements. Representative Patrick Meehan (R-PA) sponsored H.R. 1314, the Trade Act of 2015, which approves “fast track” trade promotion authority for international trade agreements. Fast track allows the administration to send already-signed international trade deals to Congress for an up or down vote with limited debate and no amendments, severely hampering Congress’ ability to ensure these agreements benefit communities and protect our environment. Given the scope of these massive agreements and their implications on environmental policies and protections around the world, Congress and the American public have a right to know what is in these deals before negotiations are finished. However, the fast track process established in H.R. 1314 severely lacks both accountability and transparency and does not result in the “race to the top” that is necessary to make real, enforceable progress on environmental and public health issues in these agreements. On May 22, the Senate passed H.R.1314 by a vote of 62-37 (Senate roll call vote 193). President Obama signed fast track authority into law on June 29. [2015 Senate Vote #193]

Heller Sided With Polluters On Gutting Clean Water Protections. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) sponsored S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, a radical assault on the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Rule, which protects the small streams and wetlands that feed into the drinking water of one in three Americans. S. 1140 would block implementation of the current Clean Water Rule and would require the agencies to re-propose another rule, forcing them to go back to the drawing board, repeating processes and soliciting input that they have already received, a waste of time and taxpayer money. In addition, this bill would also severely narrow and undermine the Clean Water Act itself by arbitrarily defining which waterways deserve protection without any basis in science or recognition of the important role of headwaters and seasonal and rain-dependent waters on downstream water quality. On November 3, the Senate rejected the motion to end debate and proceed to S. 1140 by a vote of 57-41 (60 votes were needed to invoke cloture; Senate roll call vote 295). [2015 Senate Vote #295]

Heller Sided With Polluters On An Extreme Assault on Clean Water Rule (CRA).Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) sponsored S.J. Res. 22, the Congressional Review Act “Resolution of Disapproval,” which would void the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Rule that protects the small streams and wetlands that feed into the drinking water of 117 million Americans. Not only would this obscure and radical measure vacate the current rule, it would also prohibit the agencies from developing any “substantially similar” rule in the future, keeping the unworkable status quo in place leaving our streams, wetlands, lakes, and rivers vulnerable to pollution for generations to come. On November 4, the Senate approved S.J. Res. 22 by a vote of 53-44 (Senate roll call vote 297). President Obama vetoed S.J. Res. 22 on January 20, 2016. [2015 Senate Vote #297

Heller Sided With Polluters On An Extreme Attack on Carbon Pollution Limits for Existing Power Plants (CRA). Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) sponsored S.J. Res. 24, the Congressional Review Act “Resolution of Disapproval” that would permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan established the first national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants—our nation’s single largest source of the pollution fueling climate change. S.J. Res. 24 is an extreme measure that would block the biggest step our country has ever taken to address climate change, threatening our health and our future. S.J. Res. 24 would also prohibit the EPA from ever developing “substantially similar” standards in the future. On November 17, the Senate approved S.J. Res. 24 by a vote of 52-46 (Senate roll call vote 306). Following its passage in the House, President Obama vetoed S.J. Res. 24 on December 18. [2015 Senate Vote #306]

Heller Sided With Polluters On An Extreme Attack on Clean Water Protections (CRA). Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) sponsored S.J. Res. 22, a Congressional Review Act “Resolution of Disapproval,” which would void the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Rule that protects the small streams and wetlands that feed into the drinking water of 117 million people in this country. Not only would this radical legislative tool vacate the current rule, it would also prohibit the agencies from developing any “substantially similar” rule in the future, keeping the unworkable status quo in place. This could prevent the agencies from ever issuing rules that establish Clean Water Act protections for the waters covered by the Clean Water Rule, leaving our streams, wetlands, lakes, and rivers vulnerable to pollution for generations to come. On January 19, President Obama vetoed S.J. Res. 22. On January 21, the Senate rejected the motion to end debate and proceed to the S.J. Res. 22 veto override by a vote of 52-40 (60 votes were needed to invoke cloture; Senate roll call vote 5). [2016 Senate Vote #5]

Heller Sided With Polluters On Limiting Public Safeguards. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) offered an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which would require federal agencies to eliminate a public protection with equal or greater compliance costs before adopting a new one. The Sullivan amendment adopts an extreme and unwise “cut-go” approach to rulemaking, drastically limiting the government’s ability to quickly respond to emerging public health threats and catastrophes like the drinking water crisis that unfolded in Flint, Michigan. On February 2, the Senate rejected the Sullivan amendment by a vote of 49-46 (Senate roll call vote 13). [2016 Senate Vote #13]

Heller Sided With Polluters On An Attack on the Clean Water Rule. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) offered an amendment to H.R. 2028, the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017, which would prohibit the use of funds for implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Rule, which protects the small streams and wetlands that feed into the drinking water of 117 million people in the United States. On April 21, the Senate rejected the Hoeven amendment by a vote of 56-42 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 57). [2016 Senate Vote #57]

Heller Sided With Polluters On The Confirmation of Rex Tillerson As Secretary of State. The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of Rex Tillerson to serve as Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is tasked with carrying out the President’s foreign policy and plays a key role in shaping international climate policy. Tillerson previously served as CEO of ExxonMobil, where he opposed policies to take action on climate change and supported efforts to drill for oil in the Arctic. Tillerson’s deep ties to ExxonMobil bring unprecedented conflicts of interest and concerns over corporate influence in our government. On February 1, the Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State by a vote of 56-43 (Senate roll call vote 36). [2017 Senate Vote #36]

Heller Sided With Polluters On An Extreme Assault on Stream Protection Rule (CRA). Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH) sponsored H.J. Res. 38, the Congressional Review Act “Resolution of Disapproval” of the Stream Protection Rule, which would threaten the drinking water and public health of communities living near coal mining operations by permanently blocking the Department of Interior’s recently finalized Stream Protection Rule. This important rule sets out commonsense requirements for coal mining that will better protect ground water, surface water, and ecosystems from toxic coal mining waste, which has been linked to increased rates of cancer, birth defects, and other health problems in nearby communities. The rule will protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, sets up new requirements for water quality monitoring and restoration, and generally compels coal mining companies to reduce their impact on the surrounding environment. The Congressional Review Act, an extreme legislative tool, would not only overturn the current rule, but would prohibit the Department of Interior from ever issuing “substantially similar” regulations in the future that reduce the harmful impacts of coal mining, decimating the health and environment of everyone who lives near or downstream from these operations. On February 2, the Senate approved H.J. Res. 38 by a vote of 54-45 (Senate roll call vote 43). [2017 Senate Vote #43]

 

Heller Sided With Polluters On The Confirmation Of Jeff Sessions As Attorney General. The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General of the United States. The Attorney General is responsible for defending and enforcing laws that ensure justice, safety, health and wellness for all Americans. Senator Sessions publicly denies the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is real and caused by human activity and he has repeatedly questioned the need for safeguards from the Environmental Protection Agency, calling them unwarranted. Senator Sessions was rejected by the Senate for a federal judgeship in 1986 over concerns about prejudice and overt racism. Senator Sessions supports strict voter ID laws that restrict access to the ballot. Senator Sessions’ record makes it clear that he will not be an arbiter of justice and truth for all Americans and will not defend the laws that protect the health of Americans. On February 8, the Senate approved Sessions’ nomination by a vote of 52-47 (Senate roll call vote 59). [2017 Senate Vote #59]

Heller Sided With Polluters On The Confirmation Of Mick Mulvaney As OMB Director. The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of Mick Mulvaney to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB is tasked with administering the President’s budget and overseeing the performance of federal agencies. Therefore the OMB has influence over environmental and public health safeguards and funding levels for environmental priorities. Mulvaney denies the scientific consensus on climate change and repeatedly voted against environmental safeguards as a Congressman, earning a 7% lifetime score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard. Mulvaney has also rejected the scientific consensus on other issues such as the link between the Zika virus and birth defects and has questioned the need for government funded scientific research. On February 16, the Senate confirmed Mick Mulvaney to be OMB Director by a vote of 51-49 (Senate roll call vote 68). [2017 Senate Vote #68]

Heller Sided With Polluters On The Confirmation Of Scott Pruitt EPA Administrator. The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment – our air, water, and land. In his role as the Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times to block efforts to cut carbon pollution and weaken safeguards for our air and water. Pruitt has repeatedly denied the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity, and he has extremely close ties to fossil fuel interests, which have donated more than $340,000 in campaign contributions to him during his political career. During his confirmation process, Pruitt refused repeated requests to turn over email correspondence between his Oklahoma Attorney General’s office and oil and gas companies. Pruitt fails the basic test of basing decisions on sound science and upholding our nation’s bedrock environmental and public health laws. On February 17, the Senate approved Pruitt’s nomination by a vote of 52-46 (Senate roll call vote 71). [2017 Senate Vote #71]

Heller Sided With Polluters On The Confirmation Of Rick Perry As Energy Secretary. The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of Rick Perry to serve as Secretary of the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy works to advance energy technology, including innovation for clean energy. As Governor of Texas, Perry appointed officials who denied climate science to key environmental positions and sought to fast-track permit applications for new coal power plants and repeatedly sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over proposed limits on carbon pollution. Perry has also denied the science of climate change and previously called for the elimination of the Department of Energy. On March 2, the Senate confirmed Rick Perry to be Secretary of the Department of Energy by a vote of 62-37 (Senate roll call vote 79). [2017 Senate Vote #79]

Heller Sided With Polluters On Blocking Local Input about Public Lands.Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) sponsored H.J. Res 44, the Congressional Review Act “Resolution of Disapproval” of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) “Planning 2.0” Rule. This legislation would repeal efforts to improve the management of public lands by increasing the participation of local stakeholders and engaging them earlier in the process. The “Planning 2.0” Rule would allow the BLM to approach the management of public lands in a more holistic way that considers conservation and outdoor recreation needs. The BLM is responsible for managing more than 245 million acres of public lands. Repealing this rule would result in the BLM reverting back to an outdated land management planning process that hasn’t been updated for over three decades. Additionally, the extreme legislative tactic of the Congressional Review Act would not only overturn the current rule but would prohibit the BLM from ever issuing a “substantially similar” rule. On March 7, the Senate approved H.J. Res 44 by a vote of 51-48 (Senate roll call vote 82). [2017 Senate Vote #82]

Heller Sided With Polluters On The Confirmation Of Justice Neil Gorsuch. The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices on the Supreme Court have an immense responsibility to protect the rights of the American people and to interpret the constitution without personal ideological influence. In the coming decade, the Supreme Court will tackle critical issues relating to voting rights and the environment that will have lasting impacts for generations to come. Gorsuch’s record reflects support for corporations at the expense of the public interest. His stance on the “Chevron doctrine” and demonstrated hostility towards the regulatory power of federal agencies could undermine the ability of the EPA Agency to enforce safeguards against polluters. On April 7, the Senate approved Gorsuch’s confirmation by a vote of 54-45 (Senate roll call vote 111). [2017 Senate Vote #111]

Heller Sided With Polluters On An Extreme Assault on Methane and Waste Prevention Rule (CRA). Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) sponsored H.J. Res. 36, the Congressional Review Act “Resolution of Disapproval” of the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, which would block efforts to reduce dangerous methane pollution released by the oil and gas industry on our public and tribal lands. The Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Rule establishes commonsense standards that require oil and gas companies to deploy readily available, cost-effective measures to reduce methane lost through venting, flaring, and leaks. The rule will help decrease the over $300 million in natural gas that is wasted each year from our public and tribal lands and provide up to $800 million in royalty revenues to states, tribes, and federal taxpayers over the next decade. Additionally, the Methane Rule will reduce the methane pollution that contributes to climate change as well as hazardous air pollutants that damage the health of local communities by contributing to increased asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments. The Congressional Review Act, an extreme legislative tool, would not only overturn the current rule, but would prohibit the Bureau of Land Management from ever issuing “substantially similar” regulations in the future to reduce methane pollution from the oil and gas industry on public and tribal lands. On May 10, the Senate rejected H.J. Res. 36 by a vote of 49-51 (Senate roll call vote 125). [2017 Senate Vote #125]

Heller Sided With Polluters On The Confirmation of Judge John K. Bush. The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of John K. Bush to the Sixth Circuit U.S Court of Appeals. Lower court judges have an immense responsibility to protect the rights of the American people and to interpret the constitution without personal ideological influence. It is the lower court judges who often serve as the final arbiter of justice. Unfortunately, Mr. Bush has a public record of supporting corporate money in politics, making racially discriminatory remarks, and questioning climate change. Mr. Bush’s record demonstrates that he lacks the temperate and impartiality required as a judge, which jeopardizes the independence of our courts. On July 20, the Senate confirmed Mr. Bush 51-47 (Senate Roll Call 164). [2017 Senate Vote #164]

 

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