Executive Sessionby Senator James M. Inhofe
Posted on 2014-01-06
INHOFE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order
for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The Senator from Oklahoma.
Global Warming Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I think we are going to have a lot of discussions on the floor concerning a number of things that happened in the last couple of weeks, not the least of which is what is going on in Antarctica right now, and the fact that some people had to be lifted out of there.
It is kind of interesting, and I don't want anyone to misunderstand me and think that I am reviving a lot of the previous interest concerning the issue of global warming for any reason other than the fact that right now, after it has been determined, without any doubt, that the House and Senate would never pass anything like cap and trade, the President is attempting to do through regulation what he could not do through legislation. What I am concerned about is the expense, and in a minute I will talk about the cost of these issues.
We have a real serious problem in this country. People are concerned about the spending and about what is happening with our military. They are concerned about a lot of issues, but the cost of the overregulation that has taken place in our society is overlooked quite often.
If you ask anyone associated with the farm bureau or anyone in the agricultural community what their major problem is, they will tell you it is the overregulation by the Environmental Protection Agency that is really making it difficult for them to survive. It is the same thing with manufacturers, producers, and others. When we look at the crown jewel of all regulations, it is cap and trade. Cap and trade would constitute the largest tax increase in the history of this country.
I think it is kind of interesting that what is happening right now up in the Antarctic is something that has been happening for quite a long period of time. While there has been a concerted effort of people who believe that global warming is taking place and that we are all going to die, and all of that, at the same time the evidence out there is almost laughable.
In January of 2004, when Al Gore held a global warming rally in New York City, I remember that it was one of the coldest days in New York City in its history. In March of 2007, a Capitol Hill media briefing on the Senate climate bill was canceled due to a snowstorm. In April of 2007, global warming rallies were greeted by unseasonable snow, and as a result several of them were canceled. In October of 2007, Gore's global warming speech at Harvard University coincided with temperatures that nearly broke a 125-year temperature record. In October of 2007, the British House of Commons held a marathon debate on global warming during London's first October snowfall since 1932.
In December 2008, Al Gore spoke to an audience in Milan, Italy--by the way, I attended that meeting--about global warming, and outside it was snowing, which is a rare event for that area. Snow and freezing rain also struck Rome, Naples, Palermo, and Sicily.
A lot of people are not aware that among those who were responsible for the whole global warming movement was the United Nations. It was an effort--I will not go into it now unless it becomes appropriate and I have more time to talk about it. But the United Nations has one big party every year--usually in December--and it is what we call the global warming party. It is where all the countries come to attend, and they have all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink. It is the biggest party of the year.
I can remember going to one of these annual parties when there was someone from Benin, which is a Sub-Saharan African country. I went up to this person and said: You can't tell me you believe all this stuff. The whole idea was to have the 192 countries that go to this party every year believe global warming is taking place, and we are all going to have to stop doing things to try to preclude it from happening, and that would destroy our economies. His response was: Oh, no, but this is the biggest party of the year.
That took place, as I said, in Milan, Italy in 2008. I always remember that one because they had my picture on telephone poles saying ``Wanted.'' I saved several of those and brought them back to the United States so I could distribute it to the people who were enjoying it quite a bit. Anyway, the meeting in Milan was about global warming. Yet there were records set on snowfall and freezing rain.
In March of 2009, Nancy Pelosi--at that time she was the Speaker of the House--had a big global warming rally that was supposed to be the largest one that had ever taken place in this country, and it was snowed out.
In February of 2010, the Senate EPW, Environment and Public Works Committee--at that time I was the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee--had a hearing entitled ``The Global Warming Impacts, Including Public Health, in the United States,'' and it was canceled due to a major snowstorm. This goes on and on.
One thing that is not on the list, which should be on this list, is what happened in Copenhagen in 2009, and that was the annual party of the United Nations. I remember it so well because people were trying to go over there and say that the United States of America was going to pass cap and trade, and that we would encourage all of them to do it. I am going from memory now, but I am quite sure that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and John Kerry were all there. At that time, John Kerry was a Member of the Senate. All of them assured these people--these 191 countries--that we were going to pass cap and trade.
I went all the way over and all the way back to spend 3 hours on the ground--and I have to say it was probably the most enjoyable 3 hours I ever spent--to tell them that under no circumstance was the United States going to pass the largest tax increase in history based on trying to stop--something they were calling at that time--global warming. The 191 countries which attended that meeting had one thing in common, and that was that they all hated me.
Nonetheless, I was telling them the truth, and they tried to pass it again and again. There probably aren't 35 votes in the Senate right now that would vote for a cap-and-trade bill which would constitute the largest tax increase in the history of this country.
All of that had taken place over a long period of time, and now we are up to 2013 and 2014. In November, President Obama issued an executive order on climate change stating ``excessively high temperatures'' are ``already'' harming natural resources, economies, and public health nationwide.
I guess if you say something long enough, sooner or later people are going to believe it because they assume if the President says it, it must be true.
On January 6, AccuWeather issued a warning that a ``blast of arctic air will deliver some of the coldest weather in 20 years'' to the midsection of the United States.
Meteorologist Ryan Maue of Florida said about the historic cold outbreak: ``If you're under 40 [years old], you've not seen this stuff before.'' The National Weather Service reported that the temperature at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport hit 16 degrees below zero on January 6, breaking the negative 14-degree record in 1884. This makes Chicago colder than the South Pole where it was 11 degrees below zero. The average temperature in the United States on January 6 was 12.8 degrees.
I say all of this because this is kind of a predicate to what is happening [[Page S10]] now. On November 27, the research expedition to gauge the effect of climate change on Antarctica began. This was in the news today.
On December 24, the day before Christmas, a Russian ship carrying climate scientists, journalists, tourists, and crew members for the expedition became trapped in deep ice up to 10-feet thick. An Australian icebreaker was sent to rescue the ship, but on December 30 efforts were suspended due to bad weather.
On January 2, a Chinese icebreaker--and here come the Chinese now-- called the Xue Long, sent a helicopter that airlifted 52 passengers from the Russian ship to safety to the Australian icebreaker. The Chinese vessel is now also stuck in ice along with the Russian vessel. There are 22 Russian crew members who are still on board the Russian ship, and an unreported number of crew members remain on the Chinese ship.
On January 5, the U.S. Coast Guard was called to assist the ships which were stuck in the Antarctic.
That is what is happening today. Let's go back and relive a little bit of history when I was under a lot of criticism because I was opposed to assertions by Al Gore which the New York Times said might arguably be the first environmental billionaire.
In December 2008, Gore said, ``The entire North Polarized cap will disappear in five years.'' It is 5 years later, and it hasn't disappeared yet. In fact, we have been reading about it.
On December 13, the BBC reported that the Arctic ice cap coverage is ``close to 50% more than in the corresponding period of 2012,'' which means it has increased by 50 percent over this period of time. That means it is increasing by 50 percent over this period of time. This is the same icecap Al Gore said was going to disappear 5 years ago.
President Obama, in May of this last year: ``The climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago.'' To contrast with The Economist, they said: ``Over the past 15 years, air temperatures on the Earth's surface have been flat. . . . '' Gina McCarthy, recently sworn in as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said: ``Extreme weather events are proof enough for me to show why action is necessary.'' We are talking about action on CO
According to preliminary reports, 2013 turned out to be one of the least extreme weather years on record, which is right after she made that statement. But the one I enjoyed so much was--I have a lot of respect for Gina's predecessor, Lisa Jackson. Lisa Jackson came in as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and I remember her very well because I asked her the question--keep in mind she was appointed by President Obama. Her job is to make people think global warming is taking place and all of these extreme things are going to happen. I asked her the question: In the event that we did the action-- at that time, there were two or three cap-and-trade bills offered in the House and in the Senate. So I said: Let's assume one of these bills passes. Would this reduce CO
So by their own admission, even if we were to sustain the economic disaster we would have to have in the event we passed one of these bills, it would not impact or reduce the levels of CO
The other recent study--15 year pause--from Nature magazine, said: For this period, [1998-2012], the observed trend of [temperatures] is . . . not significantly different from zero [and] suggests a temporary `hiatus' in global warming.
This is a publication that was kind of leading the charge at one time.
So we see these things that are happening and we see that even though, time and time again, just the reverse is true, that we are going through this thing--I always have to go from memory when I go back. I remember the earlier years of this, some 12 years ago when they were looking at the Kyoto treaty. We remember the Kyoto treaty, I say to the Presiding Officer, which was an agreement we would sign on to-- an international treaty, the Kyoto treaty--and we would agree to reduce all the CO
Now, $300 billion to $400 billion a year, yes, that would constitute the largest tax increase. I took this to my State of Oklahoma. I did my calculation as I always do. I get the number of people who file Federal tax returns and have them pay taxes and it would be about $3,000 a year per family. Yet, by their own admission, as Lisa Jackson said, it would not reduce overall temperatures, even if one believes that is a problem, which I don't.
Anyway, the cost--Charles River came along with a very similar cost-- $350 billion a year. So with all of those costs, we wanted to look at it and see if, in fact, the science was there, and we determined it was not.
If we look at the regulations at the EPA right now--the National Association of Manufacturers has a cumulative impact study, not including ozone or the greenhouse gases, of $630 billion annually and some 9 million jobs lost. As per the regulations for ozone, 77 counties would be out of attainment in my State of Oklahoma and 7 million jobs lost. That is all of our counties. That means we would have job losses in all of those. Utility MACT, that cost is $100 billion, and that has already been implemented. That affected all the coal States in a major way. The Boiler MACT cost would be $63 billion. I mentioned the BLM. The hydraulic fracking regulations would cost about $100,000 per well. That is an increase everyone else would have to pay in terms of producing right now. Greenhouse gas costs would be between $300 billion and $400 billion, as I mentioned before.
If we just take these regulations--the list is a lot longer than that, but this is a huge issue. This is the major problem we are having with the economy right now. Nobody seems to understand it. No one seems to care. I think that a time to bring this up as an issue is right now because of what is happening, what has been publicized recently, so it is our intention to continue to do that.
This has been a relentless 4\1/2\-, 5-year war the President has on fossil fuels. It is not just coal, but it is coal, oil, gas, and other fossil fuels. The sad part of this is we could be completely independent from all other countries--certainly from the Middle East-- from any other country in terms of supplying our own energy in this country. All we would have to do is do the same thing--allow drilling exploration on Federal public lands as we are doing throughout the country. Right now, we have had a 40-percent surge, increase, in exploration and in production in this country, and at the same time we have had a 40-percent increase overall. That is on State land and on private land. We have had a reduction on Federal land. So we have an exclusion to the problem there, and I think one of the things we can do to help people understand is to let them know that what they have been listening to--what the EPA has been telling our people, what our kids are learning in school on global warming--people are now realizing this is something that is not factual.
We are so inundated right now with problems. We have problems in Afghanistan. We have problems with our foreign policy in the Middle East. We are all concerned about the problems around the world. The area people [[Page S11]] aren't talking about is the cost of overregulation in America that is doing probably as much damage as all the rest of the problems are doing at this time.
So I only wish to submit for the Record that some things are happening today that I think the American people need to look at. I think those statements made, which I will come to the floor and talk about later on, from 10 years ago are now becoming a reality.
With that, I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.