Search Form
Now choose a category »

Public Statements

The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act--Motion to Proceed--Continued

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, today I want to expose a far-left environmental agenda that is being imposed upon the Department of Defense by President Obama and a lot of his allies, and it comes at the same time that the Obama administration is focusing on dramatically reduced cuts in the military.

As ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, stopping the radical global warming agenda, as well as President Obama's devastating cuts to our military, have been my top priorities, and that is all I have been talking about for the last couple of months. I have had a growing concern about how President Obama's global warming agenda is harming our military, but the remarks recently made by Secretary Panetta have led me to come and make a few statements.

First, let me say this about Secretary Panetta: I served with him for 5 years in the House, and a number of years ago he and I became very close friends. In fact, I rejoiced when he was nominated and we confirmed him as Secretary of Defense. So I was extremely disappointed to see that he was wasting his valuable time perpetrating the President's global warming fantasies and his war on affordable energy, which occurred, no less, at a gathering of radical environmentalists. That is where the statement was made. Secretary Panetta said:

In the 21st century, reality is that there are environmental threats that constitute threats to our national security.

He also vowed that the Pentagon would take a leading role in shifting the way the United States uses its energy. Every talking point Secretary Panetta used in his speech, from rising sea levels to severe droughts to the so-called plight of the polar bear, all of these--I will not go into them one at a time--these all came out of Al Gore's science fiction movie, and they have all been totally rebuked.

In reality, it is President Obama's war on affordable energy that is having a dramatic impact on our national security, a war that is further depleting an already stretched military budget and putting our troops at risk.

Secretary Panetta made another revealing statement in justifying the President's green agenda. This was about two editions ago in the Hill magazine:

As oil prices continue to skyrocket, the department `now [faces] a shortfall exceeding $3 billion of higher-than-expected fuel costs this year,' according to Panetta. In order to dig its way out of that financial hole, DOD has no choice but to look to alternative fuel technologies. Pentagon officials plan to invest more than $1 billion into developing those technologies in fiscal year 2013.

I might add, that is $1 billion that would otherwise be spent on defending America. That is right, energy prices have skyrocketed, we understand that--precisely because of the politics of this administration. Remember, they have openly admitted this.

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said:

[S]omehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.

We all know why he made that statement. That was way back in 2008.

It was Obama's statement that said under his cap and trade--which is what they have been talking about--``electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket.''

Now, because domestic energy prices have skyrocketed under his administration, just as they wanted them to do, Secretary Panetta wants the military to go green. Instead of spending scarce resources greening the military, the commonsense solution is simple--to begin developing our own vast supply of energy resources.

Secretary Panetta's comments came just 2 weeks before the Senate Armed Services Committee is to begin the markup of this coming year's Defense authorization bill. So I will be taking this opportunity to work with my colleagues on the committee to put the spotlight on President Obama's forcing his costly green agenda on the Department of Defense while he is taking down the budget for the defense. I look forward to introducing a number of amendments that will put a stop to this nonsense and help ensure that Secretary Panetta has the tools he needs. I can assure you--because I know him well--this is a script this came off of.

As part of that effort, I am also releasing a document put together by the Congressional Research Service that puts a pricetag on how much the Federal Government provides global warming policies, and I will be discussing this.

With President Obama running for reelection and pretending to be for an ``all of the above'' energy approach, Secretary Panetta's comments are surprising. But they are still also illuminating. President Panetta's commitment of $1 billion for alternative fuels makes clear that despite the President's recent change in rhetoric for his reelection campaign, he remains fully determined to implement his all-out attack on traditional American energy development, and the military is one place where he can force that experiment. We are talking about a green experiment using our military.

To show just how egregious this whole thing is, let me spend just a second documenting how badly President Obama wants to take down the military for the benefit of his green agenda. Over the past 4 years, DOD has been forced to drastically cut its personnel, the number of brigade combat teams, tactical fighters, and airlift capabilities. It is eliminating or postponing programs such as the C 27, the Global Hawk Block 30, the C 130 avionics modernization package, which we desperately need, and the advancement of the F 35. These are programs we have had on the drawing board, and it is very important we carry these through to fruition.

Even more concerning, these cuts could go even deeper. Because the subcommittee failed to report legislation last fall--and we all remember this--that would have reduced the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, the Pentagon's budget could be cut by an additional

$495 billion between 2013 and 2021. That is very interesting because during that period of time we are talking about two things--not just degrading the military, but over the next 10 years taking $ 1/2 trillion out. If sequestration should come in that would be another $ 1/2 trillion, and everyone realizes that would be devastating to the military.

Secretary Panetta has rightly warned us that such drastic cuts would be a threat to national security. He said:

Unfortunately, while large cuts are being imposed, the threats to national security would not be reduced. As a result, we would have to formulate a new security strategy that accepted substantial risk of not meeting our defense needs. A sequestration budget is not one I could recommend.

That is a quote by Secretary Panetta.

General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, weighed in also and said:

The impact of the sequestration is not only in its magnitude. It's in what it does ..... we lose control. And as we lose control, we will become out of balance, and we will not have the military this nation needs.

When they talk about accepting risk, we are talking about lives. That is what that means; risk equals lives. What are you willing to do for this green agenda?

The remarks by the top DOD officials make Panetta's recent global warming speech at odds with solving our military's budget problems. Even as Secretary Panetta expresses concern about the impact of these cuts on national security, he is openly supporting President Obama's forcing DOD to expend large amounts of scarce resources on expensive alternative fuels. This doesn't make any sense, and that is why I believe Secretary Panetta's global warming remarks were written by someone in the White House to appease the radical left and not Secretary Panetta. I am absolutely convinced of that. After seeing how severe these cuts to DOD would be, how could anyone justify this so-called greening of the military?

Consider, for example, the Navy's plan to sail its Green Fleet, a strike group powered by alternative fuels, by 2016. The success of this Green Fleet is predicated upon biofuel--much of it algae based--becoming practical and affordable. So they are assuming that is going to happen, which I don't think it is going to happen.

In 2009 the Department of the Navy paid $424 a gallon for 20,000 gallons of biodiesel made from algae, which would set a record for all-time cost of fuel. That is per gallon--and that is when it was on the market for $4 a gallon--and it is $424 a gallon.

In December 2011 the Navy purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuel for $12 million, which works out to be about $26 a gallon. This purchase is part of a larger deal in which the Navy has pledged taxpayer funds of $170 million as their share of a $510 million effort to construct or retrofit biofuel refineries in order to create a commercially viable market. This biofuel will be mixed with conventional fuels by a 50 50 ratio to yield a blend that will cost roughly $15 a gallon--roughly four times what we should have to be spending.

Keep in mind this is at the same time we are rejecting systems that were in our plans, and have been for a long period. And as if the services are not already stressed by serious budget cuts, the Secretary of the Navy also directed the Navy and Marine Corps to produce or consume one gigawatt of new renewable energy to power naval installations across the country.

Everyone agrees energy efficiency in the military is a worthy goal. In fact, I have been a strong supporter of the DOD's alternative energy solutions that are affordable and make sense, including the initiatives on nonalgae biofuels and natural gas. In fact, in my State of Oklahoma we are working, through the major universities and the Noble Foundation and others to take that leadership role. But forcing our military to take money away from core programs in order to invest in unproven technologies as part of a failed cap-and-trade agenda is not only wrong, it is reckless.

I am not alone in saying this. My good friend, Senator McCain agrees with me on this point. Just last month Senator McCain criticized earmarks for alternative energy research in the Defense appropriations bill which cost the taxpayers $120 million. Senator McCain said:

We're talking about cutting the Army by 100,000 people, the Marines by 80,000 people, and yet we now have our armed services in the business of advanced alternative energy research? The role of the armed forces in the United States is not to engage in energy research. The job of energy research should be in the Energy Department, not taking it out of Defense Department funds.

That is where it belongs, and I agree with Senator McCain's statement.

The CRS report is significant. Largely due to my concern about green spending in the military, I recently asked the CRS to figure out how much money--how much of taxpayers' dollars--is actually being used to advance the green agenda. The amount came out that since 2008, $68.4 billion has been used to advance a green agenda.

Just to name a few options, if we didn't do that, we could add $12.1 billion to maintain DOD procurement at fiscal levels of 2012 and allow our military to continue to modernize its fleet of ships, its aircraft, and its ground vehicles. We could avoid a delay in the Ohio-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Replacement Program, and it goes on and on, which I will have as a part of the Record.

Instead of funding these priorities, the Department of Defense has been forced to spend valuable resources on research relating to climate change and renewable energy.

In the stimulus package, each branch of the Armed Services and the Pentagon itself was given $75 million, for a total of $300 million, to research, develop, test, and evaluate projects that advance energy-efficiency programs. In total, since 2008, DOD has spent at least $4 billion on climate change and energy-efficient activities. The same $4 billion could have been used to purchase 30 brandnew F 35 Joint Strike Fighters, 28 new F 22 Raptors, or completely pay for the C 130 Aviation Modernization Program that we have been working on for a long period of time.

Now, just for a minute I will turn to the argument that President Obama and the far left have been using to justify this mission to go green. They always say we need a transition away from fossil fuels. One thing we do know--and it is a fact, and I don't think there is anyone out there who is disagreeing or arguing with this--we have more recoverable reserves in oil, gas, and coal than any other country in the world.

When you stop and think what we have been talking about on this war that this administration has had on fossil fuels, it has been that on domestic energy.

One thing, if people understand, there is not a person in this body or anyone else I have found in America who did not learn back in elementary school days about supply and demand. We have all this vast supply but the government will not let us develop our own supply. It is ludicrous. We are the only country in the world where that is a problem.

In addition to the fact that we cannot use our resources, develop our own resources, we keep hearing over and over what people are saying: If we were to even open our public lands to development, to drilling and to producing, it would take 10 years before that would reach the pump.

I know my time is real short here so I am having to shortcut this, but I am talking to one of the top guys producing today, Harold Hamm. He is from Oklahoma. He actually is up in North Dakota right now and he is doing incredible things, developing shale and developing gas and oil to run this country.

I asked him a question. I said: I am going to use your name in quoting. How long would it take, if you were set up in New Mexico and all of sudden they would lift the ban, in order for that to reach the pump? Do you know what his answer was? He said: Seventy days. It would take 2 months to get the first barrel of oil up and then 10 days to go through the refining process and reach the pumps.

It is supply and demand. We have that. We should not be using our military to advance the green agenda by this President.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top