A picture of Senator Dianne Feinstein
Dianne F.
Democrat CA

About Sen. Dianne
  • Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

    by Senator Dianne Feinstein

    Posted on 2013-01-31

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    FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mrs. Boxer): S. 197. A bill to authorize improvements to flood damage reduction facilities adjacent to the American and Sacramento Rivers near Sacramento, California, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.



    Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today to reintroduce the Natomas Basin Flood Protection Improvements Act of 2013.

    This legislation authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve the flood control infrastructure in the Sacramento area. The improvements will safeguard hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.

    There is a pressing need to improve levees in Sacramento.

    The Army Corps perpetually cites the city as one of our nation's most at-risk for severe flooding. A quick review of the Corps' National Levee Database will tell you why. Of the nearly 300 miles of levees within 10 miles of Sacramento the Corps has deemed 94 miles of levees, or 32 percent, ``unacceptable.'' An unacceptable designation means the levee is deficient to the point where it does not provide the protection it is supposed to.

    The Corps has deemed 29 miles of levees, only 10 percent, ``minimally acceptable.'' The Corps has yet to even review the remaining 172 miles, 58 percent.

    None of the 300 miles of levees within 10 miles of Sacramento received the passing grade of ``acceptable.'' But even in this high-risk city, there are priority areas. And the Natomas basin, which lies between the American and Sacramento rivers, is the top priority for Sacramento flood control.

    More than 100,000 people in the Natomas flood plain are at high or moderate risk of flooding.

    The vast majority of these homes would be inundated with more than 10 feet of water should a levee break.

    In some places, inundation levels would exceed 20 feet.

    The risks are clear. The Army Corps of Engineers estimates the damage from a single flood could top $7 billion.

    Recognizing the need to upgrade the Natomas levees, the Corps of Engineers completed a Chief's Report in December 2010 that identified $1.1 billion in essential levee improvements.

    According to the report, the principal levee modifications include the widening of 41.9 miles of existing levees; installation of about 34.8 miles of soil bentonite cutoff wall; installation of 8.3 miles of seepage berms, and bridge remediation on State Route 99.

    In addition, the report recommends the creation of 75 acres of canal habitat, 200 acres of marsh habitat, and 60 acres of woodland habitat to ensure the project complies with the Endangered Species Act.

    The cost of these improvements will be significant, but the burden will be shared.

    Understanding the urgency of this work, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, SAFCA, and the California Department of Water Resources have begun work on the levee. They have invested more than $400 million in the Natomas Basin project, far more than their share, and completed about 18 miles of the basin's 42 miles of levees.

    I want to recognize SAFCA and the people of Sacramento for this good work. They have done the right thing, moving ahead before the federal authorization, because people's lives and property are in danger.

    I am proud to say the people of Sacramento have really stepped up and contributed. On two occasions county voters approved special tax assessments to begin paying for the repairs on the levee system, first in 2007 and again in 2011.

    The most recent assessment passed overwhelmingly with 84.5 percent of voters supporting the measure.

    This kind of local commitment should be a model for the Nation. When such major vulnerabilities exist that threaten a community, it is imperative to act quickly.

    If the Sacramento levees fail, the results will be devastating Sacramento International Airport, which serves 4.4 million passengers per year and is the primary air-cargo hub for the region, will be largely underwater.

    Interstate 5, Interstate 80 and State Route 99 will be closed or restricted. These roads serve as freight arteries and facilitate the passage of more than 2,500 trucks per day.

    Access to the Port of West Sacramento, the city's primary seaport, will be jeopardized.

    Just months ago Super-storm Sandy slammed into the East Coast. The destruction in New York and New Jersey reminded us that unpredictable weather events can overwhelm our infrastructure with devastating consequences.

    But with well-placed timely investments, much of worst damage can be averted. That's why even during the worst economic downturns in a generation, Sacramento voters stood together and passed the local tax- measure to fund this critical project.

    We don't know when the next flood will occur, but we do know Sacramento has a well-documented history of catastrophic flooding.

    Record-breaking storms hit the region in 1956, 1964, 1986 and 1997.

    During the 1997 storm, levee failures in the nearby cities of Olivehurst, Arboga, Wilton, Manteca and Modesto caused mass evacuations and millions of dollars in damage.

    Going back even further, an even more devastating flood in 1861 occurred when the American River Levee failed. California's newly elected Governor, Leland Stanford, was forced to take a row-boat to his inauguration at the State Capitol. The flooding was so bad the state government was temporarily relocated to San Francisco.

    U.S. Geological Survey scientists now believe that the 1861 storm may have been an atmospheric river storm, or ``ARkStorm.'' These events, which occur every 200 to 400 years, can produce truly devastating floods.

    In 2011, the USGS conducted a study about the impacts of a large ARkStorm in California's Central Valley. The results were shocking.

    [[Page S442]] The storm would cause a 300 mile long, 20 mile wide flood zone across much of our nation's most productive agriculture lands. It would force the evacuation of 1.5 million residents and cause hundreds of landslides damaging roads, highways, and homes. The study estimates the cost to private homeowners and businesses would be $725 billion, nearly three times the cost of a major earthquake in the State.

    The bottom line is this: the infrastructure currently in place will not stand up to a storm of this magnitude.

    And the Natomas Basin Flood Protection Improvements Act of 2011 is one small step toward preparing for such a disaster.

    This legislation is nearly identical to the bill I introduced with my friend and colleague Senator Boxer, the Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, last Congress. The only change is that the current bill does not include language from the previous bill that specifically allowed ``credits'' for non-federal work on the project.

    This modification should not be interpreted to reflect a change my support for the work of the local entities; I believe they have done the right thing by beginning construction on this project, and I support them receiving credit for their work.

    Instead, the modification was included to comport with work being done by Chairwoman Boxer on the upcoming Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA. That bill will generically address non-Federal crediting provisions and I will work with Chairman Boxer to ensure that Sacramento can still receive credits for the work they have completed.

    I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

    Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.

    There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: S. 197 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Natomas Basin Flood Protection Improvements Act of 2013''.

    SEC. 2. PROJECT MODIFICATION, AMERICAN AND SACRAMENTO RIVERS, CALIFORNIA.

    The project for flood damage reduction, American and Sacramento Rivers, California, authorized by section 101(a)(1) of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-303; 110 Stat. 3662; 113 Stat. 319; 117 Stat. 1839; 121 Stat. 1947), is modified to authorize the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, to construct improvements to flood damage reduction facilities adjacent to the American and Sacramento Rivers in the vicinity of Sacramento, California, substantially in accordance with the report of the Chief of Engineers entitled ``American River Watershed (Common Features) Project, Natomas Basin, Sacramento and Sutter Counties, California'', and dated December 30, 2010, at an estimated total cost of $1,389,500,000, with an estimated Federal cost of $921,200,000 and an estimated non-Federal cost of $468,300,000.

    ______ By Mr. BEGICH: S. 199. A bill to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require that oil produced from Federal leases in certain Arctic waters be transported by pipeline to onshore facilities and to provide for the sharing of certain outer Continental Shelf revenues from areas in the Alaska Adjacent Zone; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

    Mr. BEGICH. Mr. President, I wish to speak about legislation I am introducing today that would restore basic fairness to how our Nation shares revenue from energy produced Federal waters.

    The Alaska Adjacent Zone Safe Oil Transport and Revenue Sharing Act would provide Alaskans with the same share of Federal bonus bid and royalty revenue, 37.5 percent, as residents of Gulf Coast States. This is about fairness and a fix that is long overdue. Alaskans deserve to be treated as well as residents of the Gulf Coast. We bear the risks and the responsibilities of offshore development. It is only fair that we share in the proceeds.

    Revenue sharing will provide funding for the State of Alaska, local governments and tribes to mitigate effects of development and provide support for public sector infrastructure required to both develop the resources and respond in terms of emergency.

    The measure distributes to Alaska 37.5 percent of the Federal bonus bids and royalty share from any energy development, fossil or renewable. Of that 37.5 percent; 25 percent is directed to local governments; 25 percent is directed to Alaska Native corporations; 10 percent is directed to tribal governments; and 40 percent is directed to the State of Alaska.

    Additionally, the Federal share is subdivided with 15 percent of the Federal royalties directed, without further appropriation, to the Land and Water Conservation Fund; and 7.5 percent directly to deficit reduction.

    In addition, this legislation requires oil produced in the Federal waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to be brought ashore by pipeline, a method that is safer than tanker transport and secures future throughput for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

    I am committed to putting in place all the pieces necessary to responsibly develop oil and gas from the Arctic Ocean. Beyond better permit coordination, that I have worked on in other legislation and with the administration, this includes more accurate marine science and the two main features of this bill: sharing revenue with the state and coastal communities as well as keeping Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, TAPS, flowing into the future.

    Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.

    There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: S. 199 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Alaska Adjacent Zone Safe Oil Transport and Revenue Sharing Act''.

    SEC. 2. PRODUCTION OF OIL FROM CERTAIN ARCTIC OFFSHORE LEASES.

    Section 5 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1334) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(k) Oil Transportation in Arctic Waters.--The Secretary shall-- ``(1) require that oil produced from Federal leases in Arctic waters in the Chukchi Sea planning area, Beaufort Sea planning area, or Hope Basin planning area be transported by pipeline to onshore facilities; and ``(2) provide for, and issue appropriate permits for, the transportation of oil from Federal leases in Arctic waters in preproduction phases (including exploration) by means other than pipeline.''.

    SEC. 3. REVENUE SHARING FROM AREAS IN ALASKA ADJACENT ZONE.

    Section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1344) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(i) Revenue Sharing From Areas in Alaska Adjacent Zone.-- ``(1) Definitions.--In this subsection: ``(A) Coastal political subdivision.--The term `coastal political subdivision' means a county-equivalent subdivision of the State all or part of which-- ``(i) lies within the coastal zone (as defined in section 304 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1453)); and ``(ii) the closest point of which is not more than 300 statute miles from the geographical center of any leased tract.

    ``(B) Distance.--The terms `distance' means minimum great circle distance.

    ``(C) Indian tribe.--The term `Indian tribe' means an Alaska Native entity recognized and eligible to receive services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the headquarters of which is located within 300 miles of the geographical center of a leased tract.

    ``(D) Leased tract.--The term `leased tract' means a tract leased under this Act for the purpose of drilling for, developing, and producing oil or natural gas resources.

    ``(E) Renewable energy.--The term `renewable energy' means solar, wind, ocean, current, wave, tidal, or geothermal energy.

    ``(F) State.--The term `State' means the State of Alaska.

    ``(2) Revenue sharing.--Subject to paragraphs (3), (4), and (5), effective beginning on the date of enactment of this subsection, the State shall, without further appropriation or action, receive 37.5 percent of all revenues derived from all rentals, royalties, bonus bids, and other sums due and payable to the United States from energy development in any area of the Alaska Adjacent Zone, including from all sources of renewable energy leased, developed, or produced in any area in the Alaska Adjacent Zone.

    ``(3) Allocation among coastal political subdivisions of the state.-- ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall pay 25 percent of any allocable share of the State, as determined under paragraph (2), directly to coastal political subdivisions.

    ``(B) Allocation.-- ``(i) In general.--For each leased tract used to calculate the allocation of the State, the Secretary shall pay the coastal political subdivisions within 300 miles of the geographical center of the leased tract based on [[Page S443]] the relative distance of the coastal political subdivisions from the leased tract in accordance with this subparagraph.

    ``(ii) Distances.--For each coastal political subdivision, the Secretary shall determine the distance between the point on the coastal political subdivision coastline closest to the geographical center of the leased tract and the geographical center of the tract.

    ``(iii) Payments.--The Secretary shall divide and allocate the qualified outer Continental Shelf revenues derived from the leased tract among coastal political subdivisions in amounts that are inversely proportional to the applicable distances determined under clause (ii).

    ``(4) Allocation among regional corporations.-- ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall pay 25 percent of any allocable share of the State, as determined under this subsection, directly to certain Regional Corporations established under section 7(a) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1606(a)).

    ``(B) Allocation.-- ``(i) In general.--For each leased tract used to calculate the allocation of the State, the Secretary shall pay the Regional Corporations, after determining those Native villages within the region of the Regional Corporation which are within 300 miles of the geographical center of the leased tract based on the relative distance of such villages from the leased tract, in accordance with this paragraph.

    ``(ii) Distances.--For each such village, the Secretary shall determine the distance between the point in the village closest to the geographical center of the leased tract and the geographical center of the tract.

    ``(iii) Payments.--The Secretary shall divide and allocate the qualified outer Continental Shelf revenues derived from the leased tract among the qualifying Regional Corporations in amounts that are inversely proportional to the distances of all of the Native villages within each qualifying region.

    ``(iv) Revenues.--All revenues received by each Regional Corporation under clause (iii) shall be-- ``(I) treated by the Regional Corporation as revenue subject to the distribution requirements of section 7(i)(1)(A) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1606(i)(1)(A)); and ``(II) divided annually by the Regional Corporation among all 12 Regional Corporations in accordance with section 7(i) of that Act.

    ``(v) Further distribution to village corporations.--A Regional Corporation receiving revenues under clause (iii) or (iv)(II) shall further distribute 50 percent of the revenues received to the Village Corporations in the region and the class of stockholders who are not residents of those villages in accordance with section 7(j) of that Act (43 U.S.C. 1606(j)).

    ``(5) Allocation among indian tribes.-- ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall pay 10 percent of any allocable share of the State, as determined under this subsection, directly to Indian tribes.

    ``(B) Allocation.-- ``(i) In general.--For each leased tract used to calculate the allocation of the State, the Secretary shall pay Indian tribes based on the relative distance of the headquarters of the Indian tribes from the leased tract, in accordance with this subparagraph.

    ``(ii) Distances.--For each Indian tribe, the Secretary shall determine the distance between the location of the headquarters of the Indian tribe and the geographical center of the tract.

    ``(iii) Payments.--The Secretary shall divide and allocate the qualified outer Continental Shelf revenues derived from the leased tract among the Indian tribes in amounts that are inversely proportional to the distances described in clause (ii).

    ``(6) Conservation royalty.--After making distributions under paragraph (2) and section 31, the Secretary shall, without further appropriation or action, distribute a conservation royalty equal to 15 percent of Federal royalty revenues derived from an area leased under this subsection from all areas leased under this subsection for any year, into the land and water conservation fund established under section 2 of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l-5) to provide financial assistance to States under section 6 of that Act (16 U.S.C. 460l-8).

    ``(7) Deficit reduction.--After making distributions in accordance with paragraph (2) and in accordance with section 31, the Secretary shall, without further appropriation or action, distribute an amount equal to 7.5 percent of Federal royalty revenues derived from an area leased under this subsection from all areas leased under this subsection for any year, into direct Federal deficit reduction.''.

    SEC. 4. IMPOSITION OF EXCISE TAX ON BITUMEN TRANSPORTED INTO THE UNITED STATES.

    (a) In General.--Subsection (a) of section 4612 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended-- (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and natural gasoline'' and inserting ``, natural gasoline, and bitumen'', and (2) by inserting at the end the following new paragraph: ``(10) Bitumen.--The term `bitumen' includes diluted bitumen, bituminous mixtures, or any oil manufactured from bitumen or a bituminous mixture.''.

    (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall apply to oil and petroleum products received or entered after December 31, 2013.

    ______ By Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Corker, Mr. Johanns, Mr. Lee, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Vitter, Mr. Wicker, Mrs. Fischer, Mr. Hatch, and Mr. Enzi): S. 202. A bill to expand the use of E-Verify, to hold employers accountable, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

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