Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, it is a little bit humorous to me that we are talking about extending unemployment benefits in the midst of one of the most intense cold fronts in American history. I saw one newscaster yesterday who said: If you are under 40, you have not seen this stuff before. It has to make everyone question--and I am going to tie this together--whether global warming was ever real.
While I know the leftwing media is giving me a hard time for talking about my opposition to the administration's global warming policies when it gets cold outside, I think it is important to point out two things. No. 1, the administration is intentionally ignoring the most recent science around global warming, and No. 2, global warming policies costing between $300 billion and $400 billion a year, along with the rest of the EPA's environmental regulations, are resulting in millions of job losses.
We are talking about extending unemployment benefits, yet it is really jobs we need, and the jobs are being robbed from us by the overregulation that is taking place in the Environmental Protection Agency, and of course, the crown jewel of all of those is cap and trade. When I say $300 billion to $400 billion a year, that would constitute the largest tax increase in American history.
I find that sometimes when we are talking about these large numbers--and I am sure the Presiding Officer agrees with this--it is hard to relate that to everyday people, to our own States, and to how it affects our families. So at the end of each year I get the total number of families in my State of Oklahoma who filed a Federal tax return and I do the math. In this case, it would cost about $3,000 for each family in my State of Oklahoma to pay this tax, this cap-and-trade tax that supposedly will stop us from having global warming.
It is interesting that people now realize this would not stop it. Even if we did something in the United States, it wouldn't affect overall emissions of CO
2, and that is what we are talking about. That is what makes global warming so important to mention as we debate the extension of unemployment benefits.
If we want to improve our employment figures, what we need to do is stop the onslaught of environmental regulations that have come out during this Obama Presidency.
First, let's talk about the global warming issue. It is interesting that we have often seen global warming related to events affected by unseasonable or unusually cold weather. Often, this has occurred whenever Al Gore has been involved in an event. Let me give a couple of examples. In January of 2004, Al Gore held a global warming rally in New York City. It turned out to be what would go down as one of the coldest days in the history of New York City. Three years later, in October of 2007, Al Gore gave a big global warming speech at Harvard University, and it coincided with temperatures that nearly broke Boston's 125-year-old temperature record.
In March of 2009, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was snowed out of a global warming rally in Washington, DC. Because of all the snow, her plane wasn't able to land and they had to cancel her appearance at the event.
A year later, in March of 2010, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee had to cancel a hearing entitled ``Global Warming Impacts in the United States'' due to a major snowstorm. At that time, I was the ranking member of that committee, and they were all geared up, ready to have this big hearing, and they couldn't do it because of a major snowstorm. That was in 2010. So this has been going on now every year going back to 2010.
Just last year, in July of 2013, a cruise liner that was chartered to discuss the impact of global warming planned to sail through the Northwest Passage of the Arctic but got stuck because the passage was full of ice. Now, more on that in a minute. In that same month, Al Gore had an event in Chicago training people about global warming but was greeted with the coldest temperatures in 30 years.
A lot of folks, even in the last day, have said that just because there are cold temperatures does not mean global warming has stopped. Most alarmists will, however, correct you that it's no longer global warming, but instead, climate change. Increases in temperature still matter. In a November 2013 Executive order, the President implemented new climate change policies--very expensive ones; large tax increases--stating that ``excessively high temperatures'' are ``already'' harming natural resources, economies, and public health nationwide. In other words, he's implementing his climate change policies because of rising temperatures, otherwise known as global warming.
So temperatures falling and really cold days do matter. It does matter when the ice caps are growing and temperature increases pause for 15 years. And that is what has happened for the last 15 years. If global warming is not happening, then there is no need for the ensuing policies--whether you call it global warming or anything else.
Monday was a cold day. At one point, the temperature average in the country was 12.8 degrees. In Chicago, it was 16 degrees below zero. That broke the record that was set way back in 1884, when it was 14 degrees below zero. This made Chicago colder than even the South Pole at the same moment, where it was only 11 degrees below zero.
Just this week, down at the South Pole, a number of ships were stuck in the ice, even though it is in the middle of the summer down there. This was all over the news, and for good reason.
On November 27, a research expedition to gauge the effect of global warming on Antarctica began.
On December 24, 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, the Xue Long, sent out a helicopter that airlifted 52 passengers from the Russian ship to safety on the Australian icebreaker.
The Chinese vessel is now also stuck in the ice along with the Russian vessel. Twenty-two Russian crew members are still on board the Russian ship, and an unreported number of crew members remain on the Chinese ship.
On January 5, the Coast Guard--that is us; we came to the rescue--called to assist the ships that are stuck in the Antarctic. Our icebreaker ship is called the Polar Star.
Just a few months ago the journal Nature--that is a well-respected publication on environmental science--they published an article that said over the last 15 years ``the observed [temperature] trend is ..... not significantly different from zero [and] suggests a temporary `hiatus' in global warming.'' This is not something that is appreciated by the Obama administration. What they are saying is--and this was the Journal--that it had stopped. In fact, I along with some of my colleagues, have asked the President for the data backing up his claims that warming is actually happening faster now than previously expected. Considering the most recent data, those statements have not been true. No models predicted there would be a fifteen year pause in global warming, but the President hasn't yet fully responded to our inquiry. Let's go back. When you look back in history, and you look at these cycles, you have to come to the conclusion that God is still up there.
I have this from memory, and I think I will get this right. From 1895--they had a cold spell that came in, and that is when they said another ice age is coming. That lasted until 1918. In 1918, that all changed, and all of a sudden it started getting warmer, and that is when the term ``global warming'' first came out. So from 1918 to 1945 it was a warming period that we went through. Then, in 1945, it changed and another ice age was coming that everyone was concerned about. That lasted from 1945 to 1975.
Then, in 1975--and this is interesting because in 1975 we got into this time period we are talking about now; and that is, they were saying that global warming is coming upon us.
Well, what is happening now--and these people have an awful lot of their time and resources and reputation at stake here--it is now to the point where that has reversed and we are going into another one of these cycles.
The interesting thing about 1945 is that 1945 was the year where the greatest surge in CO
2 emissions happened. It was during that year. That was right after World War II. That precipitated not a warming period but a cooling period.
In December of 2008, Al Gore said:
The entire North Polarized cap will disappear in five years.
The North Polar cap is the Arctic ice cap.
Well, we are now 5 years later when, as Al Gore said, it should all be melted by now. The deadline was December of 2013, Arctic ice is actually doing pretty well. Just last month, the BBC reported that the Arctic Ice Cap coverage is ``close to 50% more than in the corresponding period in 2012.'' In other words, in 1 year it increased by 50 percent. This is the very ice cap that Al Gore said would be gone by now. So contrary to what Al Gore predicted, the ice cap did not disappear last year; it grew.
In May of 2006, Al Gore said in his movie ``An Inconvenient Truth'' that the Antarctic Ice Cap melt could result in a 20-foot increase in sea levels.
You contrast that with the frozen global warming
expedition down there this week and a September 2013 report in the Washington Post that Antarctic Sea Ice has hit a 35-year high this past year.
Now, these things--people do not seem to stop and think. These were predictions that were made. This is the same Al Gore where there was an article in the New York Times saying that arguably he is the world's first environmental billionaire, and all these things people were saying were gospel truth. Now we know they are not, but nobody talks about it. The media does not talk about it. When you put it all together, it is impossible not to sit back and wonder: If there is this evidence that the temperatures are actually getting colder, should we really pursue cap and trade and other similar regulations and policies that will cost the economy $300 billion to $400 billion a year to implement? In light of our high unemployment levels--and that is what we are talking about today; we are talking about extending unemployment insurance--I do not think so. That is what we are here talking about anyway: unemployment numbers.
To help remedy the problem, I am submitting two amendments. The first one I want to talk about is amendment No. 2615.
The EPA has systematically distorted the true impact of its regulations on job creation by using incomplete analyses to assess the effects of its rules on employment. They have even published that many of their regulations will result in net job creation.
EPA's costly regulations, as any reasonable person knows, actually reduce business profitability and cause actual job losses. New mandates and requirements do not help the economy add jobs.
For example, the EPA estimated that its 2011 Utility MACT--that was passed. MACT means ``maximum achievable control technology.'' In other words, we come along in all of our great wisdom up here and we pass a law saying how much emissions can take place, and yet there is no technology that will accommodate that.
So the EPA estimated that its 2011 Utility MACT--that is the one that passed; it was passed into law--rule would create 46,000 temporary construction jobs and 8,000 net new permanent jobs. By contrast, a private study conducted by NERA Economic Consulting that examined the ``whole-economy'' impact of the rule--and we are talking about the Utility MACT; that is what put coal out of business in a lot of the United States--the study estimated that the rule would have a negative impact on worker incomes equivalent to 180,000 to 215,000 lost jobs in 2015, and the negative worker impact would persist at the level of 50,000 to 85,000 such ``job-equivalents'' annually.
The EPA estimated its Cross State Air Pollution rule would create 700 jobs a year. By contrast, the same NERA study estimated the rule would eliminate 34,000 jobs from 2013 through 2037.
It lets you know that the EPA is controlled by the President, and they are there to fortify anything he says, even though we have studies to show just the opposite is true.
The EPA also estimated its Industrial Boiler MACT rule--every manufacturer has a boiler, so this affects all manufacturers--would create 2,200 jobs a year. By contrast, NERA, in their study, estimated the rule would eliminate 28,000 jobs each year from 2013 to 2037.
In addition to those examples, the National Association of Manufacturers did a study that determined the cumulative impact of EPA's regulations is $630 billion annually and totals about 9 million jobs lost. That did not even include the cap-and-trade regulations, which would cost another $300 billion to $400 billion per year.
The EPA has not yet fully studied or disclosed the impact of these rules, but we know it is going to be very expensive.
If we really want to do something about unemployment numbers in this Nation, we need to hit the brakes on EPA's regulations. Let's do not worry about extending the time of unemployment compensation, unemployment insurance; let's do something about the costly regulations.
I think everybody knows some of the disasters that are taking place in the country. They are aware of ObamaCare. They are aware of what he is doing to the military. They are aware of the excessive spending that has come from his budgets. But nobody talks about the regulations, which really exceed the cost of supporting greater national debt.
So my amendment does this by prohibiting the EPA from making any of its new regulations final until it complies with requirements under the Clean Air Act's section 321.
Section 321 was put into the Clean Air Act back in 1977, and it was supposed to require the Federal Government to state what the job impact would be as a result of the various regulations it pursued. How many times has the EPA conducted this study? Not once. So that amendment would help reduce the impact of EPA's rules on job loss.
My second amendment would actually help create jobs. It is really kind of unrelated, but since I am talking about two amendments that are very significant now and would help resolve our jobs problem to a great extent, I will talk about amendment No. 2605. It would help us take advantage of our vast domestic oil and gas resources.
We have seen huge increases in oil and gas development in recent years due to the advancements in precision drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and other technologies. These technologies have unlocked the shale revolution and, because of this, official government estimates now predict that we will become completely energy sufficient by 2035.
What they will not tell you is that this could happen a lot faster. Right now, 83 percent of Federal lands are currently off limits to oil and gas developers. There is not a good reason for this. It is just the administration preventing us from having more jobs and energy independence.
You have to keep in mind, we now and then hear people from the Obama administration saying: Well, wait a minute, during the last 4 years or 5 years, the production has increased by some 40 percent. But that is all on State property and on private land. On Federal land, it has actually decreased by about 15 percent because of the war against fossil fuels that has taken place out of the White House.
So the amendment I am offering would give these resources to the States to unlock and develop on their own. The assumption here is the States should be in a better position to know what they want to do with these regulations in their own State and any damage that might come to the environment--let them make that decision instead of the Federal Government doing it.
A recent report by the Institute for Energy Research estimated that if we completely developed these off-limits Federal resources, it would create 2 1/2 million jobs and generate $14.4 trillion in economic activity. But it would also help us achieve energy independence by 2024, 11 years sooner than it would otherwise.
So if we want to create jobs, this is how we can do it. We should embrace our energy future and aggressively expand production. If we want fewer people to lose their jobs in the future, we should prevent the EPA's regulations from moving forward, at least until they fully study the impact the rules will have on job losses.
We have been trying to do this now for a long period of time, to determine what these costs are. When the American people find out, in terms of the dollars of cost and the jobs that are lost with excessive regulation, they will come and let their feeling be known, certainly at election time.
I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.