Written by Joshua Culling of Americans for Tax Reform, reprinted here with permission
Brown’s legacy: Less domestic energy, slower job creation, higher energy prices in Ohio and across the country.
Gas prices are on the rise again in Ohio, squeezing family budgets even tighter as the economy fights headwinds from D.C. in its attempt to recover. It’s time to take a hard look at Sen. Sherrod Brown’s long record of opposing energy policies that promote job creation and affordable energy across the country.
Here’s a breakdown of Sherrod Brown’s votes for the radical environmental lobby, and against American families and job creators:
Keystone Pipeline: Not only did Brown vote against approval of the Keystone XL pipeline; he voted for an amendment that would have prohibited the export of crude oil transported by the Keystone Pipeline. The pipeline would have promoted job creation, energy security, and economic growth in general.
Offshore Drilling: Brown voted against the Offshore Production & Safety Act Of 2011 – which would have restored American offshore energy production, improved safety and required bureaucrats to process permits efficiently. He also specifically voted against offshore drilling in Virginia – which his Democrat Virginia colleagues supported. In 2006 when he was in the House, Brown voted against a bill that would have authorized leases for oil and gas exploration, development and production in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Last week’s unemployment numbers reveal an economy still struggling and Americans who’ve just given up. As we’ve noted in the past, unemployment has been further hindered by the Administration’s ban on offshore energy production.
Cap-and-Trade: Brown supported Cap-and-Trade, which would cap greenhouse gases nationwide, and voted for a bill to allow discretionary spending for a cap-and-trade program. The Heritage Foundation estimated that Lieberman-Warner would cost Ohio 111,697 manufacturing jobs, diminish Ohio’s GDP $3.897 billion and decrease the personal incomes of Ohioans $4.326 billion by 2030; in addition, they found that Ohioans would pay an additional $345 (20%) for gasoline by 2025.
Tax Hiking: Brown voted to raise taxes on oil companies – which would be passed on to consumers. In a March 2011 report, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) found that Brown and the Democrats’ proposed energy tax hikes would “make oil and natural gas more expensive for U.S. consumers.” And in 2007, Brown was one of eight freshman Democratic senators who introduced legislation that would “impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and revoke some government subsidies.” Of course, Brown has also attempted to raise taxes on consumers, too, as he voted for a federal budget in 1993 that included a 4.3-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax increase.
Given that Ohio had the eighth largest crude oil refining capacity in the nation in 2011, the policies he endorses are all the more insulting. In 2010, Ohio ranked fifth in the nation in energy consumption by the industrial sector; in 2011, Ohio ranked third in manufacturing employment, with 5.4 percent of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Brown’s war on energy is curious given Ohio’s potential energy production boom and the ripple effects it will have throughout the state’s manufacturing economy. But his allies in Washington have little interest in the job creation and economic growth to be realized through a vibrant energy and manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, he stands with the environmental lobby in Washington, rather than with his constituents back home.