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James I.
Republican OK

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  • Climate Change

    by Senator James M. Inhofe

    Posted on 2013-01-22

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    INHOFE. Mr. President, yesterday President Obama made a beautiful speech. I think everyone agrees that he is a very persuasive speaker. Although I didn't agree with anything he said, it was said beautifully.

    I want to read one part of his speech because I don't want to get it wrong. He said: We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations . . . The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition. We must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries. We must claim its promise. That's how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure.

    That is a direct quote which came out of the President's speech, and it has a lot of little subliminal things in there that people did not pick up on, but I did.

    One is--and they talked about that--we must show the leadership. That is because of all the things they try to do to damage the economy, to destroy the economy, in terms of the cap-and-trade agenda. And all of that are things that other countries are just waiting for us to do. It is not that we are going to provide the leadership, and all of a sudden China is going to say: Hey, they are doing it, so maybe we ought to do it. China, instead, is sitting back hoping that will happen in this country, so they can have all the jobs that are chased away from our manufacturing base.

    There are a few sentences the President dedicated to global warming, and the rest of his speech could be labeled as a liberal laundry list. And I think everyone was expecting that.

    I was not surprised that the President decided to do this. All during the campaign and during the weeks since the election, the President's extreme environmental base has been very vocal with their frustrations.

    A lot of them go back and say: At one time, Mr. President, you had the White House and you had the House and you had the Senate, and yet you did not even try to get this stuff done. They are talking about, of course, the cap-and-trade system. In fact, there is one good reason he did not get it done, and that is because the votes just are not there.

    They want the President to immediately regulate hydraulic fracturing, officially reject the permit for the Keystone pipeline, advance the regulatory powers of the EPA to cut CO2 emissions, use all of his political capital to push a legislative fix to climate change, and to kill America's oil and gas industry.

    That is what was expected of him. And now, since he does not have to run for reelection, you are going to get a lot more than you did before. So that should make them happy. But it is a lot more rhetoric and not a lot more action.

    Studies done during the most recent debate--and that would have been the Waxman-Markey bill; that was the cap-and-trade bill just a couple years ago that they had; I think that might have been the last one we had--the estimates--this is interesting--going all the way back to the Kyoto treaty, they said, the cost, if you try to do cap and trade, is going to be between $300 billion and $400 billion a year. Well, that is between $300 billion and $400 billion a year.

    I do something in my State of Oklahoma, and I suggest that the Presiding Officer may do this in his State of West Virginia. Every year I get the figures on how many families there are in my State of Oklahoma who file a Federal tax return and actually pay Federal taxes. Then I do the math. The way it works out, if you are talking about $400 billion a year--and I have not had one person argue with that figure that I have been using for over 10 years now--but if you do the math, that means for each person in my State of Oklahoma, it would cost them about $3,000 a year to do it. The interesting part of this is, you do not really accomplish anything by doing it.

    This same agenda at the EPA, under authority he is claiming is under the Clean Water Act, has to be something we are going to talk about. And I do not have any hesitation in doing that.

    Bills such as the Waxman-Markey bill--and I believe Senator Boxer and several others have had bills--the cost of that being of some $400 billion a year, would affect industries and emitters of CO2 that emit 25,000 tons of CO2 or more a year--25,000 tons. That would truly be just the big emitters. However, the effort of this administration--since they cannot get it passed through legislation--is to do it through regulation under the Clean Air Act.

    The Clean Air Act is specific. And the Clean Air Act goes after anyone who emits at least 250 tons of CO2. So stop and think about that because it is very difficult to try to evaluate it and determine just how much it would cost. The regulations they have would force these facilities to receive--anyone who is regulated under this-- EPA construction permits, rehabilitation permits, monitoring devices, and install unnecessary and costly technology to reduce CO2 emissions without any corresponding benefits. This would give the EPA a hand in everything.

    The cost of this is so great that it cannot be calculated. Stop and think about this. If the Waxman-Markey bill--or any of the other pieces of legislation that were called cap-and-trade regulations--were passed, that would regulate only those 25,000 tons or more of emissions. However, the Clean Air Act is 250 tons. So 25,000 tons would be $400 billion a year. How much would it be for just 250 tons? That means every [[Page S35]] university, every school, every hospital would be subject to the regulation. That is something they have been attempting to do for a long time.

    I have to say, there are a lot of appointees of President Obama whom I do not like at all. One I do like--and I am sorry she is not staying--is Lisa Jackson. Lisa Jackson was the Director appointed by President Obama to be the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. I found one thing really curious about her. While she is very liberal philosophically, she does not lie. That is all I can really ask of people.

    I can remember in this case, when they finally gave up--this is just 2 years go. They finally gave up and said: We are not going to be able to pass any kind of a bill for cap and trade, but we are going to go to Copenhagen and tell them we are going to do it another way. If we cannot get a bill passed, we will do it through regulation.

    To do it through regulation instead of legislation--this is kind of in the weeds--you have to have an endangerment finding. That is what the law says. So Lisa Jackson was before our committee, and I asked her a question. I said: Madam Administrator, tomorrow I am going to leave for Copenhagen to be the one-man truth squad--because everybody has been over there lying to these other countries saying we are going to pass something over here--and I have a feeling that once I leave town, you are going to have an endangerment finding and do this through regulation. I could see her kind of smiling. I said: When you do that, the regulation that you have is going to have to be based on science. That is what the law says. What science are you going to use? Her answer was: Well, we will use mostly the United Nations IPCC.

    A lot of people do not realize--I wrote a whole book about this--this thing all started way back 12 years ago, and it was a thing by the United Nations. They formed the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They are the ones who came up with all this stuff. So she said it is going to be on the IPCC.

    Well, poetic justice. It could not have been done better if we had planned it, because it was not weeks after that, it was days after that, that what happened? Climategate. All of a sudden, they realized, through some leaked information, that the IPCC had been lying all those years.

    I will mention a couple things.

    The UK Telegraph said it is the ``worst scientific scandal of our generation.'' Clive Crook of the Financial Times said: ``The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.'' IPCC prominent physicist resigns because ``Climategate was a fraud on a scale I have never seen.'' Further, another U.N. scientist bails. U.N. IPCC coordinating author Dr. Phillip Lloyd calls out IPCC ``fraud.'' ``The result is not scientific.'' And the list goes on and on. Just stop and think about it. The UK Telegraph--one of the biggest publications in the UK--saying it is the ``worst scientific scandal of our generation.'' So we now know that was the science they were going to use. I will always be appreciative of Director Jackson for being totally honest in her response.

    But we can guess that would be devastating and cripple the Nation and bankrupt our economy. We know what would happen. The contrast here is stark. On one hand, you have the President saying he wants to control carbon for the sake of protecting our economy and, on the other hand, you have the President's EPA embarking on a regulatory crusade that potentially would be devastating to our economy and America.

    The President and the EPA have been working for 4 years to build a case to justify the need for Federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. A minute ago I listed all the things that were in his speech that I think would be devastating to the economy. One is hydraulic fracturing. I will bet you, 5 years ago, if you said hydraulic fracturing, people's eyes would glass over and they would not know what you were talking about. They all know now because hydraulic fracturing is a process that is used to get oil and gas out of tight formations. I know quite a bit about it because it all started in 1949 in my State of Oklahoma.

    In 1949, in Duncan, OK, we discovered that you could unlock these reserves using hydraulic fracturing. So it is something that has been used that way for over a million--a million--applications, and the States have been regulating it and doing so quite well. Everyone is satisfied with the way it has been regulated.

    There has never been a case--getting back to Lisa Jackson, I asked her a question in one of our committee hearings--and it was live with TV covering it--I said: Can you tell me and can you identify one case in a million--a million applications of hydraulic fracturing--one case where there has been groundwater contamination? She said she could not. So there has never been a confirmed, documented case of groundwater contamination because of hydraulic fracturing.

    Because of these facts, the only reason for EPA regulation of hydraulic fracturing is to significantly limit, if not ban, its use. It would kill the domestic oil and gas industry, which I believe, more often than not, that is exactly what they want.

    Well, in closing, the President's remarks yesterday were not surprising to me. But it did confirm the fact that this President is not interested in pursuing an agenda that would help the growing segments of the economy, such as the oil and gas industry.

    People talk about our reliance upon the Middle East and people who could become our enemies for oil and gas. All we have to do is produce our own, get the political obstacles out of the way, so we can be totally independent.

    I wish to mention two things President Obama has said. One, he says that oil and gas production during his administration--his 4 years--has boomed. This is true, but not in the public sector. It has done so because of hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and all these technologies that have been very successful and have worked. He has made the statement over and again that: Well, it would not do any good if we opened public lands for production because it would take 10 years before that would affect the supply and the cost of oil and gas.

    Well, there is a guy whose name is Harold Hamm. Harold Hamm is arguably the most successful independent oil man in America today. He is from Enid, OK. I called him because I was going to be on a very liberal TV show and knew they were going to ask this question. I called him so I could document an answer. The statement they were going to make was: Well, President Obama has said it would take 10 years for that, for oil to reach the pumps if you opened public lands. How long do you think it would take? So I called Harold Hamm. I said: Harold, you have to be accurate in responding to this question because I am going to use it on national TV tonight, and I am going to use your name. So I said: If you were to set up your rig in New Mexico and start drilling--you say: Go right now-- how long would it take for the first barrel you brought up to reach the pumps? Without hesitating, he said 70 days--not 10 years, 70 days. Then he went on and told me what would happen each day, how long it would take to go through the refining process and reach the pumps.

    So that is just one of the things that has been said over and over to make people believe it is true.

    Let me mention a couple of things in winding this down.

    Richard Lindzen is from MIT. Richard Lindzen is probably the foremost authority. No one has really questioned him in the past. His statement was: Regulating CO2 is a bureaucrat's dream. If you regulate CO2, you regulate life.

    That is exactly what it would be. Everyone would fall into that regulation.

    Getting back to why--I do not want people to sit around and worry about it--you are going to hear a lot of talk and the President is going to do all he can under regulations to try to do cap and trade. We found out--it took extensive research--that the President, in his first 4 years, has actually spent $68.4 billion on cap and trade, and that was not authorized.

    So he can do a lot of it through regulation, but it is not going to pass. The reason it is not going to pass is, as we have stated, the cost would be extensive. And what would be accomplished--again, going back to when I asked a question of the Administrator of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, in another [[Page S36]] hearing--I said, if we were to pass any of the regulations, any of the legislation, the Waxman-Markey legislation or any of the rest of them, would this reduce CO2 emissions worldwide? She said: No, it would not. She said: Because the problem is not here in the United States. The problem is in China, in India, in Mexico, and other places.

    So you can carry that argument even further. If we were to do this in just the United States, if you were one of those who really believes that CO2 emissions are causing all these problems--which I do not agree with--but if you really believe that, it still would not reduce them. It would actually have the effect of increasing them because as we chase away our manufacturing base--because we cannot generate the electricity to sustain it--where do they go? They go to countries such as China and India and Mexico and other countries where they have little or no emissions regulations.

    So with that, while it sounded real good yesterday in his speech, and I do have a great deal of respect for the President and his persuasive abilities, I want people to realize, those who are out there recognizing that we can become independent in our energy development in this country, that they are not going to be able to pass cap-and-trade any more now than they have failed to do so in the last 10 years.

    I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

    The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

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