Issue Position: Achieving Energy Independence
At public meetings Bob Schaffer has conducted across the state, Coloradans have made it clear they want to help lead America to a future of energy independence. It's a positive and necessary goal Bob believes can be achieved by taking a long-range, comprehensive approach.
Helping Colorado advance a freedom-based energy strategy means broadening the incentives, research and investment in renewable energy science, production, conservation and improved development of American-based conventional energy resources. This will provide greater energy security as we reduce our dependence on energy needs from potentially hostile countries.
A leader in innovative energy solutions, Bob's practical experience spans both public policy and real-world business. Colorado is blessed with abundant clean natural gas, oil and coal resources as well as being a robust producer of wind-generated electricity, solar power, crops and technologies used to create alternative fuels. Additional opportunities exist for geothermal, hydroelectric and nuclear production. Combined with world-leading research capabilities and an energy-savvy citizenry, Colorado can and should be a national leader in achieving energy independence.
Know the Difference:
-Supports lower gasoline prices.
-Supports America's energy economy first. (H.R. 4, RC Vote #320, 8/2/01)
-Schaffer supports expanded environmentally responsible energy harvest on Colorado's Roan Plateau as endorsed by Colorado's governor. (Denver Post, 3/19/08)
-Supports environmentally responsible U.S. off-shore energy production. (H.R. 2217, RC Vote # 181, 6/21/01)
-Supports environmentally responsible development of Alaska's proven oil deposits. (H.R. 4, RC Vote #317, 8/1/01)
-Supports increased conservation, incentives for alternative and renewable energy such as ethanol and solar as well as conventional energy sources from America. (H.R. 4, RC Vote #320, 8/2/01)
-Supports clean-coal technology along with Governor Ritter. (Governor Ritter Press Release, 2/23/08)
-Supports responsible rules to allow Colorado to develop oil shale.
-Supports increasing Colorado's share of royalty payments on oil & gas leases from federal land.
-Supports creating safe storage of spent nuclear fuel. (May 9, 2002; Rocky Mountain News 3/29/2008)
-Supports higher gasoline prices including a 50 cent per gallon federal gas tax increase. (Foster Natural Gas Report, 6/13/02)
-Supports American investments in Cuba's energy economy while opposing similar development of American energy. (H.R. 3182, Introduced 7/25/07)
-Udall opposed the plan for expanded energy production on top of the Roan Plateau. (H.R. 3221, RC Vote #832, 8/4/07; Boulder Daily Camera, 8/4/07)
-Opposes responsible U.S. off-shore production. (H.R. 2217, RC Vote # 181, 6/21/01)
-Opposes environmentally responsible development of Alaska's proven oil deposits. (H.R. 4, RC Vote #317, 8/1/01)
-Opposed the 2001 energy bill which improved conservation, provided incentives for alternative and renewable energy such as ethanol, solar and conventional energy sources. (H.R. 4, RC Vote #320, 8/2/01)
-Opposes clean coal technology. (H.R. 4503, RC Vote #241, 6/15/04)
-Supports delaying oil-shale production. (CQ Weekly, 4/28/08)
-Failed to protect Colorado's share of royalty payments on oil & gas leases from federal land. (H.R. 2764, RC Vote #1186, 12/19/07)
-Opposes creating safe storage of spent nuclear fuel. (May 9, 2002; Rocky Mountain News 3/29/2008)
Bob Schaffer's Vision for Achieving Energy Independence:
Bob has made several policy presentations to citizen groups and civic organizations throughout Colorado over the past year. The topic of energy independence is a frequent theme. Following are some of the ideas Bob has proposed on the campaign trail:
* End America's reliance on foreign oil. Bob supports a serious national goal of eliminating America's dependence on foreign energy sources, especially when it comes to reliance on countries that support terrorism and threaten America's security.
* Favor American energy. Developing more from America's domestic supplies of energy promotes American energy independence, hastens a national transformation to a renewable-energy economy, diminishes the influence of international oil cartels, creates more American jobs, generates more state and local tax revenues for schools and roads, and does more to protect the environment through better industry standards.
* Encourage renewable energy development. Bob believes American policy should encourage all promising renewable technologies thereby creating a race to the marketplace based upon the best science, research, financing and efficiency. The federal government should encourage research in renewable energy and support the development of sustainable alternatives that will succeed in the marketplace. An aggressive approach to renewable technology development is essential to leading America's conversion to an energy economy based on domestic renewable energy resources.
* Reduce high gasoline prices. Bob supports building new refineries and distribution infrastructure, expanding existing ones to better meet consumer demand and decrease consumer prices. This can be accomplished through streamlined regulations, more efficient permitting and a pro-independence attitude in Washington, D.C.
* Hold the line on steep gas-tax increases. Bob will not support proposals by Boulder Congressman Mark Udall and others in Washington, DC to raise the federal gasoline tax by 50 cents per gallon. This will punish American consumers and hurt Colorado's tourism industry.
* Address America's energy crisis for the long term. Bob supports efforts to empower American consumers by reducing the nation's dependency on foreign fuel suppliers. Additionally, Bob believes the Congress should work to implement policies that support a stronger dollar to help minimize the effects of speculators and ease the stranglehold of international oil cartels.
* Use the military to advance pro-independence fuel technologies and conservation. A new Defense Department position should be created to manage the military's overall energy needs. The U.S. Air Force, for example, uses about 2.6 billion gallons of jet fuel a year -- 10% of the domestic aviation fuel market. The entire military should be pushed to employ all manner of energy-saving measures, including using lighter metals, using hybrid engines - even shutting off lights and lowering thermostats at bases. To free up billions in research investments, Congress should allow long-term military contracts with alternative fuel suppliers, engine manufacturers and other alternative technology providers.
* Redirect oil used to fill the national petroleum reserve. During times of high demand and high prices, the government should suspend filling the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve and instead sell excesses into the open market. This would lower the price of gasoline by an estimated 5 to 6 cents per gallon. Additionally, government should use the sales proceeds to reduce the deficit.
* Pursue clean-coal technology. Colorado's production of low-sulfur coal provides thousands of Colorado jobs, revenues for schools and provides Americans with more affordable electricity. Finding even cleaner and more efficient uses for coal should be a national goal.
* Extend renewable-energy tax credit. Bob supports a minimum five-year extension of renewable energy production tax credits. Constant congressional balking on tax-credit extensions unnecessarily limits private investments in renewable technologies. Extending the credits for longer periods of time will unleash billions of dollars of capital investment and make America more competitive.
* Encourage diverse ownership of renewable projects. Bob wants all renewable-energy tax credits to be of useable value for independent project developers, landowners and more-diverse power producers, not just large corporate utilities as is currently the case.
* Support nuclear energy production and waste recycling. Bob supports the current efforts underway to strengthen and expand America's clean nuclear-electricity production infrastructure. Nuclear energy, like wind and solar, dramatically reduces greenhouse-gas production.
* Allow oil-shale development to go forward. Congress should overturn the Udall moratorium that prevents final oil-shale development rules to be published. The Udall moratorium could cost Colorado and America billions in lost energy and taxable revenues. Additionally, it prolongs America's energy dependence on unstable countries.
* Support NREL and the Collaboratory. Bob supports increased funding for work being done at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden to help bring renewable energy technologies to the marketplace more quickly. Bob also supports the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, NREL in partnership with three research universities (CSU, CU-Boulder, and CSM), that provides unmatched research and development capabilities to make Colorado the "go to" place for economic development in clean and renewable energy technologies.
* Spur innovation. We can provide incentives for hydrogen and fuel cell technology as well as clean nuclear power.
* Utilize beetle-killed tree waste to produce energy. Federal policy should aggressively encourage private removal and use of trees lost to infestation and other vestiges of poor forest-management practices. An opportunity exists to use this biomass for distributed energy production providing economic incentives for Colorado's rural and mountain communities.
* Promote smart grid systems and advanced battery technology. Congress should utilize loan guarantees to speed the development and deployment of advanced energy storage systems including battery technologies and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and modernization of the U.S. electric power system as a "smart grid."
* Extend "Green-bonds" to promote conservation. Tax incentives designed to raise private capital for best conservation practices should be maintained and enhanced.
* Compete for green manufacturing. The United States has fallen behind other countries that aggressively work to attract renewable-energy manufacturing facilities. Germany, for example, provides huge advantages to those who set up operation there. Malaysia offers solar research and development firms 20 years of tax-free production. The U.S. needs to aggressively compete by promoting existing initiatives and innovative grants programs such as the Department of Energy's "Solar America Initiatives."
* Establish a pro-energy-independence tax policy. Bob believes federal tax policy should allow American energy producers, researchers, manufacturers and land owners to compete better in America by reducing government-imposed fixed costs of doing business wherever possible.
* Increase state revenues from federal energy leases. Bob will work to restore state revenues lost to the recent reduction in the share of royalty payments on oil & gas leases from federal land.
* Pursue other strategies for energy independence. Bob supports more strategies for energy independence - some may be added to this list at a later date. If you have further ideas on how to promote a cleaner, pro-American energy policy, please share them with Bob's campaign.
Bob Schaffer's Record on Achieving Energy Independence:
* For the past six years, Bob has worked in the private sector to expand American renewable energy, reduce oil and gas costs and improve efficiency in the marketplace.
* Bob supported the development of renewable energy including ethanol. (H.R. 2646, CQ Vote #371: October 5, 2001.)
* Bob supports Colorado's responsible energy-harvesting proposal for the Roan Plateau. (Denver Post, 3/19/08)
* Bob supports responsible U.S. off-shore energy development. (H.R. 2217, RC Vote # 181, 6/21/01)
* Bob supported federal legislation to increase conservation, provide incentives for alternative and renewable energy such as ethanol and solar as well as conventional energy sources here at home. (H.R. 4, RC Vote #320, 8/2/01)
* Bob supports clean-coal technology along with Governor Ritter. (Governor Ritter Press Release, 2/23/08)
* Bob helped pass legislation in 2000 to bolster CSU research into carbon sequestration -- the capturing and storage of carbon dioxide through advanced agricultural practices. (H.R. 2559, P.L. 106-224, 6/22/00)
* Bob sponsored legislation to overhaul the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to improve utility-pricing fairness, promote consumer interests and improve Colorado's energy management. (Senate Bill 93-18, 6/9/93)
* Bob supported many other proposals to promote America's energy independence and lower energy costs throughout the time he served in the Colorado State Senate, the U.S. House of Representative and in the private sector.
What Others Are Saying:
* "Our national security, economic prosperity, and environmental stewardship is more dependent than ever upon global energy solutions. Bob Schaffer has the energy background and understanding to provide the leadership necessary to provide an environmentally sensitive path to a clean and renewable energy future." -- Dr. Wade Troxell, Smart Grid Energy Expert and Fort Collins City Council Member
* "Schaffer may have helped in a small way to alleviate the world's energy supply squeeze." (Rocky Mountain News, 4/30/08)
* "If Schaffer sounds like an energy booster, he was a vice president for Aspect Energy LLC, an oil and renewable energy company, before launching his Senate race." (Pueblo Chieftain, 5/7/08)
* "So what would Schaffer do? Have Congress encourage the construction of more oil refineries and review what lands were being protected from drilling. He'd revive the nuclear power industry and encourage renewable energy sources, too." (Pueblo Chieftain, 5/7/08)