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Public Statements

Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BILBRAY. I appreciate that.

Let's talk science, ladies and gentlemen. Everyone wants to talk about the threat of climate change, but no one wants to address the fact that what EPA has proposed, by the admission of the administrator, cannot even indicate what percentage of greenhouse gases those regulations could reduce. And not one scientist, not one expert in our committee, or I have seen anywhere else, has ever said what is being proposed by EPA, that is going to cost at least $200 million, will not avoid the problem of climate change. So the question is this, what are the American people getting for their $200 million.

Now, I'm sorry, some of us have worked on air pollution issues. I know the precursors to ozone. If they are saying that the problem is it's a precursor to ozone, believe me, it is so small and minute that those of us that are working in non-attainment areas never even gave a second glance at CO2. So don't talk about it being a health risk based on a precursor to ozone. Look at what we are getting for the money.

What we are actually talking about here is not allowing EPA to go out and implement programs that the administrator admits that she cannot tell us what the American people are going to get for their dollars.

If you want to do a study, then let's do a study on what would have to be done to address this issue the way that some of us think it should be addressed. But let's not say that somehow that by holding up a program that is admitted not to be able to deliver any tangible benefits, that holding up that program is somehow going be a threat to public health.

So let's just get back down to the real science, and that is no one in this establishment is talking about addressing the climate change issue. Some people are saying it doesn't exist and others are trying to sell an environmental placebo that makes you look good because you are doing something, but spends huge amounts of money, has a great impact, and does not address the problem and would not avoid the problem.

One thing we have got to make clear. Don't talk to me about incrementalism when we talk about climate change. You talked to the same scientists that you say are telling us about climate change, and they say if we don't get the job done within the next decade or two, forget about it. It's over with.

The fact is that climate change will happen. And, sadly, what I have seen in the last 2 years about this issue, I have come to the conclusion this body really should be talking about what we need to do to mitigate the impact, because you are not doing anything to avoid it, and we shouldn't tell the American people that we are.

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Mr. BILBRAY. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. I yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. BILBRAY. Madam Chair, I want to point out the comment was made about the precursor to ozone. Thirty years of air pollution regulations. Ask the South Coast Air Basin in Los Angeles. It never regulated CO2 as a precursor to ozone because it was so miniscule that there are so many other issues that are absolutely essential to address that you didn't even look at that.

And if you didn't think those of us in California, that we're working on air pollution, air quality, our county in San Diego went from ``severe'' down to ``serious'' because we were successful. And it wasn't chasing ozone. I mean, not chasing CO2. It was tracing true toxic emissions.

So when you talk about implementing these plans, understand you're talking about sacrificing efforts that are at true risk.

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Mr. BILBRAY. Let's be clear: We are not talking about greenhouse gases here because the regulations that have been proposed by the EPA do not address climate change. They don't address climate change. We are not talking climate change here. We are talking about EPA proposing regulations that admitted by the administrator does not have any projections of what reductions you will have here. Remember, the minimum that we need to do to address the threat of climate change is 17 percent within 9 years. So let's be up front. This is not about climate change.

This is about proposed regulations by a bureaucracy in a field of law that was never meant to address this issue at all. And I say that as somebody who worked for over a decade at implementation of the Clean Air Act. All I have to say to the colleague, with the problems that you are pointing out, they are legitimate issues. But what is being proposed as an answer to a problem has not only nothing to do with and will not affect climate change, but it also will not affect the issues that you have raised.

So in reality, your amendment is not germane because the issues that you are concerned about don't exist. Because when you do nothing, you can't change anything.

And the fact that it is keeping somebody from selling a placebo does not solve the problem, or it does not aggravate the problem. The fact is what has been proposed by EPA is a placebo under a law that was never meant to administer this.

So let's not be concerned about if the placebo is not available to the public somehow there may be a concern with these items. They are legitimate items. But the EPA and the underlying bill does not affect those issues.

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Mr. BILBRAY. Madam Chair, I regretfully rise in opposition, not because the intention of this amendment isn't appropriately placed, but the science doesn't reflect the concern that the gentleman has pointed out. I say that with the understanding that the science, not talking about the concern about climate change, but the lack of science behind the proposed regulations that EPA has even discussed. There is no one who has been before our committee, as the gentleman knows, that has said that the proposed changes that EPA is bringing forth today or in the future is going to address or solve the problem.

The fact is that the problems that the gentleman is concerned about may be out there somewhere, but no one is saying that what the EPA is doing is going to avoid those problems. So by not having the EPA implement a program that nobody in the scientific community says will address the problem doesn't mean that somehow this will de facto cause the problem to be implemented or not avoided.

Basically I guess it says, again, what is being proposed by the EPA is an agency that was not designed to address climate change, with plans that not only were not designed, and using a vehicle that was not designed regarding this problem, but by the own admission of the administrator does not even know, and can't give us even a slight percentage of what reduction we would have.

So I just have to say to my dear colleague from Illinois that I appreciate his concern, but his concern should not be us telling EPA not to implement rules that they admit will not address the problem and will not solve the problem. Our issue ought to be talking about how do we address those problems down the pike, because let's be very frank about it. The problems you are talking about are going to happen, and it is not because anyone on this side is denying the science; it is because people are trying to take advantage and exploit a crisis rather than address it.

I ask the gentleman again to be concerned but make sure that when you propose an action, let's make sure that those actions have a possibility of addressing the issues that you so sincerely are concerned about.

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Mr. BILBRAY. Madam Chair, I always enjoy my colleague Mike Doyle because I have a good friend, Mike Doyle, who was actually the first world champion surfer; so I always remind him of that connection.

But let me just say to my colleagues, I hope you're not under some illusion that China is even considering reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent within this decade. I hope you don't have that illusion.

But let's point out what we really need to address with this issue. You do not need a study, Congressman, about the impacts. Your State is sitting at 8 percent. My State is sitting at 12 percent unemployment. If you really want to see what happens if you're not careful about the impacts and the costs of going green, which we have, we've had a great breakthrough. Our air has been cleaned up a lot more. But there are challenges of going beyond that and going into things that are not cost effective.

Let me remind you, the great successes we've had with cleaning up our air in California is we always gave priority to those emissions that had the greatest health risk. We didn't go after one that wasn't even on the scale. CO2 is not even on the health risk scale.

Let me just give you a good example. I'm a big supporter of algae. Our scientists in California developed algae fuel. Our State institutions and our educational institutions had the scientists that developed the technology to be able to make fuel out of algae. But when it came time to produce it, when it came time to create the jobs, I hope the gentleman understands that our scientists had to leave the State and go to New Mexico, because our environmental regulations were such that it didn't allow us to implement our green revolution.

So, I hope all of those that are talking about a green revolution today are willing to take on the environmental, regulatory, and oversight problems that exist in implementation, because without casting those aside, you'll never see that revolution.

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Mr. BILBRAY. I apologize, but I have to say to the gentleman, you know, wood burning, under oxygen-deprived environment, is a terrible particulate pollutant. So I don't think anybody involved in air pollution issues would ever point out that wood burning is something we want to point to. It may be renewable--and I appreciate you saying that, and I think it's very good that you said that because I think we mix renewable with clean all the time. But there are those renewable sources that are very, very bad for the air pollution issue. I just wanted to make sure we went by and didn't point at that.

In California, we have actually tried to outlaw wood-burning stoves because of the problems with the air pollution and the toxin emissions that are caused by the particulate problem with it.

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