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Public Statements

Nomination of John W. Degravelles to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Louisiana

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. INHOFE. Later this week we are going to have the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy come to our Environment and Public Works Committee to testify about the greenhouse gas rule being developed for existing fleets of powerplants. We know what the rule is for the new powerplants; this is for the existing.

In light of that, it is important to point out that the Senate has been debating global warming for well over a decade, actually around 14 years. The first cap-and-trade bill the Senate debated was when Republicans were in the majority. I was chairman at that time of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The first bill was the McCain-Lieberman bill which would have set CO2 limits on all utilities that emit at least 10,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year. That was defeated October 30, 2003, by a vote of 43 to 55. That was when I was all alone. Actually, everyone thought eventually something was going to pass and they were all afraid of the issue.

Now times have dramatically changed. Since that time we have had other bills come up. In 2005 we had the same bill by the same authors. It was defeated even at that time by a wider range.

Then in 2008 the Lieberman-Warner bill came up, and it failed also. That was actually when the Republicans had lost the majority. So even with the Democrats as the majority, they were not able to get it through.

Most recently, we debated the Waxman and Markey bill of 2009 which said emissions to facilities over 25,000 tons a year. That bill passed the House, but it was never brought to the Senate for a vote because they knew it would fail.

Each of these bills had one thing in common: Their cost was enormous. We found out--and there was testimony quite some time ago--that if we were to pass cap-and-trade, the cost would be in the area of $300 billion to $400 billion a year.

I do calculations every time I hear a large number and I go back. In my State of Oklahoma, I calculate the number of families who actually file Federal tax returns and do the math. That would cost each family in Oklahoma about $3,000 a year. We know it doesn't make any difference, because the testimony of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, Lisa Jackson, who was appointed by President Obama, said in response to my question on the public record that even if we were to pass something it would not have the effect of reducing CO2 emissions worldwide, because this isn't where the problem is. The problem is in China and other places.

Since this time--and it is not me saying this--Nature magazine, The Economist, and even the IPCC--the IPCC is the United Nations; they are the ones who started this--they admit for the past 15 years there has been no increase in global temperatures. Meanwhile, the CO2 emissions have increased a lot. So obviously it is not warming and that is going back into a normal cycle.

Unfortunately, this hasn't deterred the President from making global warming a key part of domestic policy. What he could not have accomplished through legislation he is now doing through regulations at the EPA, but the American people don't want anything to do with this.

I can remember when the polls were something like the No. 1 or No. 2 issue. The last Gallup poll, this past week, had it as No. 14 out of 15 issues. The Pew Research Center--53 percent of Americans, when asked about the cause of global warming, said they don't believe there is enough evidence to blame human anthropogenic gases or to believe that it is caused by natural variation.

This problem explains why it is difficult for Tom Steyer. On the floor I showed his picture and read the comments he had made. He is raising $100 million to put into campaigns. He has already put up $50 million and has been unable to raise anything close to the next $50 million. So people are not rallying to pour money into this lost cause.

The international community is starting to give up too. I was with the Secretary of Defense of Australia last night, and he was one of them who was very strongly in opposition to the cap-and-trade they adopted in Australia and they have now, as of 1 month ago, repealed it. If you look at other countries, and not only Australia but others that were believing this at one time, are dropping off. So the Australian people should thank the Prime Minister.

It is my hope we will be able to protect the American people from the senseless global warming policies in the United States.

Tomorrow we are going to have a committee hearing, and the momentum has actually gone from the other side.

I yield the floor and I suggest the absence of a quorum.


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