Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — 

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced several energy-related amendments to the Energy Saving and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S. 1392), also known as the Shaheen-Portman bill, including:

  1. (Amendment #1887) An amendment to eliminate a wasteful Department of Energy (DOE) loan program. Secretary Moniz recently suggested that he will revive the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, which has already cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Of the five ATVM loan recipients, one has gone bankrupt and the fledgling luxury carmaker, Fisker Automotive, is struggling to repay its $192 million ATVM loan. Thune’s amendment would permanently end the ATVM program and save taxpayers from paying for more of President Obama’s bad green energy bets.

“From Fisker and Vehicle Production Group, to the Chinese-owned A123, this administration should not be making questionable investments with the American public’s hard-earned money.” said Thune. “My amendment would protect taxpayers from the Obama administration’s risky investments by eliminating the ATVM program.”

  1. (Amendment #1888) An amendment to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from collecting and distributing agriculture producer information. Earlier this year, the EPA released the personal information of approximately 80,000 farmers and ranchers - including approximately 500 South Dakota agricultural operations - to three extreme environmental organizations. The data release included home phone numbers, personal email addresses, employee contact information, home addresses, GPS coordinates, number of livestock, and other personal information. Thune’s amendment would prohibit the EPA from establishing a searchable online database of agriculture producer personal information, and would also prohibit the EPA from releasing personal information of agriculture producers. 

“The EPA’s complete disregard for the privacy and the safety of our farmers and ranchers is unacceptable,” said Thune. “The agency’s actions threatened the health and safety of agriculture producers and their families, and have further increased the credibility gap between the American public and the administration. My amendment would put an end to the EPA’s irresponsible release of Americans’ personal information.”

  1. (Amendment #1891) An amendment to ensure accountability from the EPA. The EPA continues to enact aggressive regulations that will significantly harm the economy. Many of these regulations impose billions of dollars of regulatory costs on energy producers, which are often passed on to consumers. Thune’s amendment would require Congress to vote on any EPA regulation that has a projected cost of more than $1 billion, which would likely apply to EPA’s most costly and controversial rules, including ozone regulations and greenhouse gas regulations on new and existing power plants.
  1. (Amendment #1889) An amendment to prevent EPA regulations on existing coal plants if those regulations destroy jobs. This summer, President Obama announced that the EPA would pursue regulations of greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. This will lead to higher energy costs, fewer jobs, and a less reliable supply of electricity. Thune’s amendment would prohibit the EPA from finalizing greenhouse gas regulations on existing power plants if those regulations would directly or indirectly destroy jobs or raise energy prices according to the DOE and Government Accountability Office (GAO).
  1. (Amendment #1890) An amendment to prevent Tier 3 gasoline regulations if the regulations raise gasoline prices. The EPA has proposed new Tier 3 gasoline regulations that are projected to increase the cost of a gallon of gasoline by 6 to 9 cents per gallon. Final Tier 3 regulations are expected by the end of the year. Thune’s amendment would prohibit the EPA from finalizing the Tier 3 standards if those regulations would increase the cost of gasoline according to the DOE and GAO. 
  1. (Amendment #1892) An amendment to ensure oil and gas production from federal lands keeps pace with production from private lands. The administration continues to slow walk lease sales and drilling permits on both onshore and offshore federal areas. As a result, oil and gas production from federal areas has remained stagnant while production from private lands has increased in response to advances in technology and market conditions. Thune’s amendment would establish a national production goal for increased oil and gas production from federal areas (onshore and offshore) over the next 30 years that is equivalent to the 30-year percentage increase from non-federal areas as projected by the Energy Information Administration. The Department of Interior would be required to make available lease areas and issue drilling permits at a pace that would achieve the federal production target over a 30-year period.
“The Obama administration continues to promote costly policies and implement burdensome regulations that limit the amount and increase the cost of oil and natural gas production,” said Thune. “My amendments prevent the federal government from placing burdensome regulations on energy producers that increase the cost of energy and destroy jobs. Congress and the administration should be pursuing policies that increase domestic energy production to increase jobs and lower costs.”