October 26, 2007
Senator Inhofe delivered a speech more than two hours long on the Senate floor today revealing the very latest in peer-reviewed studies, analyses, and data error discoveries in global warming science. The new developments have prompted many scientists to declare that the scientific basis for fears of catastrophic man-made global warming are collapsing. Senator Inhofe also detailed how children have been impacted by climate propaganda from their schools, Hollywood and our pop culture. Further, Senator Inhofe exposed the painful economic realities of global warming cap-and-trade legislation.
"I agree with [former Vice President Al] Gore. Global warming may have reached a ‘tipping point,'" Senator Inhofe said in his speech today. "The man-made global warming fear machine crossed the ‘tipping point' in 2007. I am convinced that future climate historians will look back at 2007 as the year the global warming fears began crumbling. The situation we are in now is very similar to where we were in the late 1970's when coming ice age fears began to dismantle. We are currently witnessing an international awakening of scientists who are speaking out in opposition to former Vice President Al Gore, the United Nations, the Hollywood elitists and the media-driven "consensus" on man-made global warming."
Selected Speech Excerpts:
Senator Inhofe on Climate propaganda to Kids:
Hollywood activist Leonardo DiCaprio decided to toss objective scientific truth out the window in his new scarefest "The 11th Hour." DiCaprio refused to interview any scientists who disagreed with his dire vision of the future of the Earth. In fact, his film reportedly features physicist Stephen Hawking making the unchallenged assertion that "the worst-case scenario is that Earth would become like its sister planet, Venus, with a temperature of 250 [degrees] centigrade." I guess these "worst-case scenario's" pass for science in Hollywood these days. It also fits perfectly with DiCaprio's stated purpose of the film. DiCaprio said on May 20th of this year: "I want the public to be very scared by what they see. I want them to see a very bleak future." < > Children are now the number one target of the global warming fear campaign. DiCaprio announced his goal was to recruit young eco-activists to the cause. "We need to get kids young," DiCaprio said in a September 20 interview with USA Weekend. Hollywood activist Laurie David, Gore's co-producer of "An Inconvenient Truth" recently co-authored a children's global warming book with Cambria Gordon for Scholastic Books titled, The Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming. David has made it clear that her goal is to influence young minds with her new book when she recently wrote an open letter to her children stating: "We want you to grow up to be activists." Apparently, David and other activists are getting frustrated by the widespread skepticism on climate as reflected in both the U.S. and the UK according to the latest polls. It appears the alarmists are failing to convince adults to believe their increasingly shrill and scientifically unfounded rhetoric, so they have decided kids are an easier sell. < > And this agenda of indoctrination and fear aimed at children is having an impact. Nine year old Alyssa Luz-Ricca was quoted in the Washington Post on April 16, 2007 as saying: "I worry about [global warming] because I don't want to die." Unfortunately, children are hearing the scientifically unfounded doomsday message loud and clear. But the message kids are receiving is not a scientific one, it is a political message designed to create fear, nervousness and ultimately recruit them to liberal activism.
Senator Inhofe on how many on the Left have become disenchanted with global warming activism:
The global warming scare machine is now so tenuous, that other liberal environmental scientists and activists are now joining [Geologist Dr. Robert] Giegengack and refuting the entire basis for man-made global warming concerns. Denis G. Rancourt Professor of Physics and an environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa, believes the global warming campaign does a disservice to the environmental movement. Rancourt wrote on February 27, 2007: "Promoting the global warming myth trains people to accept unverified, remote, and abstract dangers in the place of true problems that they can discover for themselves by becoming directly engaged in their workplace and by doing their own research and observations. It trains people to think lifestyle choices (in relation to CO2 emission) rather than to think activism in the sense of exerting an influence to change societal structures." Rancourt believes that global warming "will not become humankind's greatest threat until the sun has its next hiccup in a billion years or more in the very unlikely scenario that we are still around." He also noted that even if CO2 emissions were a grave threat, "government action and political will cannot measurably or significantly ameliorate global climate in the present world." Most significantly, however, Rancourt -- a committed left-wing activist and scientist -- believes environmentalists have been duped into promoting global warming as a crisis. Rancourt wrote: "I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized." "Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass," Rancourt added. < > Left-wing Professor David Noble of Canada's York University has joined the growing chorus of disenchanted liberal activists. Noble now believes that the movement has "hyped the global climate issue into an obsession." Noble wrote a May 8 essay entitled "The Corporate Climate Coup" which details how global warming has "hijacked" the environmental left and created a "corporate climate campaign" which has "diverted attention from the radical challenges of the global justice movement."
Senator Inhofe on how the poor will pay for symbolic climate measures:
What few Americans realize is that the impact of these policies would not be evenly distributed. The Congressional Budget Office recently looked at the approach taken by most global warming proposals in Congress - known as cap and trade - that would place a cap on carbon emissions, allocate how much everyone could emit, and then let them trade those emissions. Let me quote from the CBO report: "Regardless of how the allowances were distributed, most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would." Think about that. Even relatively modest bills would put enormous burdens on the poor. The poor already face energy costs much higher as a percentage of their income than wealthier Americans. While most Americans spend about 4 percent of their monthly budget on heating their homes or other energy needs, the poorest fifth of Americans spend 19 percent of their budget on energy. Why would we adopt policies which disproportionately force the poor and working class to shoulder the heaviest burdens through even higher energy costs?
Senator Inhofe on Kyoto style attempts to control global temperatures:
First, going on a carbon diet would do nothing to avert climate change. After the U.S. signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, Al Gore's own scientist, Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, calculated that Kyoto would reduce emissions by only 0.07 degrees Celsius by the year 2050. That's all. 0.07 degrees. And that's if the United States had ratified Kyoto and the other signatories met their targets. But we didn't and they won't. Of the 15 original EU countries, only two are on track to meet their targets. And even one of those, Britain, has started increasing its emissions again, not decreasing. Similar calculations have been done to estimate other climate bills. The Climate Change Stewardship Act that was defeated 38-60 last year would have only reduced temperatures by 0.029 degrees Celsius, and another bill modeled on the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP) report would have only reduced temperatures by 0.008 degrees Celsius. That's right - 0.008 degrees Celsius, or less than one percent of one degree.
Senator Inhofe on new scientific developments:
We have witnessed Antarctic ice GROW to record levels since satellite monitoring began in the 1970's. We have witnessed NASA temperature data errors that have made 1934 -- not 1998 -- the hottest year on record in the U.S. We have seen global averages temperatures flat line since 1998 and the Southern Hemisphere cool in recent years." (...) Current temperatures in Greenland -- a poster boy for climate alarmists - are COOLER than the temperatures there in the 1930's and 1940's, according to multiple peer-reviewed studies. Yes, you heard me correctly. Greenland has COOLED since the 1940's! A fact the media and global warming activists conceal. Greenland reached its highest temperatures in 1941, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the June 2006 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research. And, keep in mind that 80% of man-made CO2 came AFTER these high temperatures. How inconvenient that the two poster children of alarmism - Greenland and Antarctica -- trumpeted by Al Gore and the climate fear mongers, have decided not to cooperate with computer model driven fears.
Senator Inhofe on the challenges of controlling emissions:
Many times I have heard that America is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide and thus is the problem. But that is no longer true. Earlier this year, China surpassed the United States as the world's largest emitter of carbon. Only 6 years ago, it was estimated that China's emissions would still lag those of the United States in 2040. China's emissions growth is explosive and climbing upward. Just to put things in perspective, the United States did not build a single new coal-fired power plant in the last 15 years up to 2006, although there are now some efforts underway to change that. In comparison, according to the New York Times, "China last year built 117 government-approved coal-fired power plants - a rate of roughly one every three days, according to official figures." We won't complete that many in the next decade. India's emission increases are not far behind China, and Brazil is not far behind them. The fact is that if these countries do not curb their rapidly accelerating emissions growth, then embracing a carbon diet and sluggish economic growth by developed countries will accomplish nothing. Moreover, many of the carbon reductions achieved through lost manufacturing jobs in developed countries are simply emitted elsewhere as jobs are created to make the same product in countries that do not ration energy. The U.S. emissions as a measure of productivity are far lower than China's. Cement manufacturing is a perfect example. Every job sent there will increase emissions, not lower them.
Senator Inhofe on the path forward:
So what's the path forward? I categorically will oppose legislation or initiatives that will devastate our economy as well as those that will cost jobs simply to make symbolic gestures purely to start us down the ruinous economic path of energy rationing. I believe such measures will be defeated because the approach is politically unsustainable. We are seeing the first signs of that in Europe right now. Even if the alarmists were right on the science - which they are not - their command-and-control approaches sow the seeds of their own failure. As long as their policies put national economies in the cross-hairs, they will stoke the fires of opposition and eventually collapse of their own weight. Stabilizing emissions can not happen in 20, 40, or even 60 years because our world's infrastructure is built on fossil fuels and it will continue to be so for a long time to come - the power plants and other facilities being built now and in the future will emit carbon for a half century after they're completed. Quite simply, the technology does not exist to cost-effectively power the world without emitting carbon dioxide. And I and many others who reject climate alarmism or ineffective yet expensive solutions will block efforts to implement mandatory carbon restrictions. I find it unfortunate that so many politicians and climate advocates focus on trying to resurrect a mandatory carbon cap policy in the face of its demonstrated failure in practice in the countries that have adopted it. In the process, they are ignoring the best path forward. There is only one approach so far that I know of that will work - it is the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Why? Because this approach serves multiple purposes - it will reduce air pollution, expand our energy supply, increase trade, and along with these other goals, reduce greenhouse gases as a byproduct. Others might put this list together differently in terms of priority, but my point is that the Asia-Pacific Partnership meets the criteria for success - it is a politically and economically sustainable path forward that addresses multiple issues in the context of their relation to other issues. Perhaps other approaches in the future will meet these criteria as well, but the APP is currently the only one that does.
Senator Inhofe on how scientific studies reveal climate changes on Earth lie well within the bounds of natural climate variability:
"A June 29, 2007 paper by Gerd Burger of Berlin's Institute of Meteorology in the peer-reviewed Science Magazine challenged a 2006 study that claimed the 20th century had been unusually warm. Ivy League geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, the chair of Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, noted in May 2007 that extremely long geologic timescales reveal that "only about 5% of that time has been characterized by conditions on Earth that were so cold that the poles could support masses of permanent ice." Giegengack added: "For most of Earth's history, the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has rarely been cooler."
Inhofe on how fear is being driven by unproven and un-testable computer model fears of the future:
Even the New York Times has been forced to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that the Earth is currently well within natural climate variation. This inconvenient reality means that all the warming doomsayers have to back up their climate fears are unproven computer models predicting future doom. Of course, you can't prove a prediction of the climate in 2100 wrong today, which reduces the models to speculating on what ‘could' ‘might' ‘may' happen 50 or 100 years from now. But prominent UN scientists have publicly questioned the reliability of climate models. In a candid statement, IPCC scientist Dr. Jim Renwick-a lead author of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report-publicly admitted that climate models may not be so reliable after all. Renwick stated in June: "Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don't expect to do terrifically well." Let me repeat: a UN scientist admitted, "Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable." Also in June, another high-profile UN IPCC lead author, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, echoed Renwick's sentiments about climate models by referring to them as nothing more than "story lines." A leading scientific skeptic, Meteorologist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, recently took the critique of climate computer models one step further. Tennekes said in February 2007, "I am of the opinion that most scientists engaged in the design, development, and tuning of climate models are in fact software engineers. They are unlicensed, hence unqualified to sell their products to society."
Senator Inhofe debunks "More CO2 = A Warmer World" simplicity:
Scientists and peer-reviewed studies are increasingly revealing that catastrophic climate fears of rising CO2 are simply unsustainable. In May 2007, the "father of meteorology" Dr. Reid Bryson, the founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at University of Wisconsin, dismissed fears of rising CO2 bluntly saying: "You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide." Bryson has been identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world. Climatologist Dr. Ball recently explained that one of the reasons climate models are failing is because they overestimate the warming effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. Ball described how CO2's warming impact diminishes. "Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint," Ball explained in June 2007. Environmental economist Dennis Avery, co-author with climate scientist Dr. Fred Singer of the new book "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years," explained how much impact CO2 has had on temperatures. "The earth has warmed only a net 0.2 degrees C of net warming since 1940. Human-emitted CO2 gets the blame for only half of that-or 0.1 degree C of warming over 65 years! We've had no warming at all since 1998. Remember, too, that each added unit of CO2 has less impact on the climate. The first 40 parts per million (ppm) of human-emitted CO2 added to the atmosphere in the 1940s had as much climate impact as the next 360 ppm," Avery wrote in August. Avery and Singer's book details how solar activity is linked to Earth's natural temperature cycles. < > [Dr. Robert] Giegengack said: "[Gore] claims that temperature increases solely because more CO2 in the atmosphere traps the sun's heat. That's just wrong ... It's a natural interplay." He continued, "It's hard for us to say that CO2 drives temperature. It's easier to say temperature drives CO2." "The driving mechanism is exactly the opposite of what Al Gore claims, both in his film and in that book. It's the temperature that, through those 650,000 years, controlled the CO2; not the CO2 that controlled the temperature," he added.
Senator Inhofe debunks the so-called "consensus":
The notion of a "consensus" is carefully manufactured for political, financial and ideological purposes. < > Key components of the manufactured "consensus" fade under scrutiny. We often hear how the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) issued statements endorsing the so-called "consensus" view that man is driving global warming. But what you don't hear is that both the NAS and AMS never allowed member scientists to directly vote on these climate statements. Essentially, only two dozen or so members on the governing boards of these institutions produced the "consensus" statements. It appears that the governing boards of these organizations caved in to pressure from those promoting the politically correct view of UN and Gore-inspired science. The Canadian Academy of Sciences reportedly endorsed a "consensus" global warming statement that was never even approved by its governing board. Rank-and-file scientists are now openly rebelling. James Spann, a certified meteorologist with the AMS, openly defied the organization when he said in January that he does "not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype." < > There are frequently claims that the UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers is the voice of hundreds or even thousands of the world's top scientists. But such claims do not hold up to even the lightest scrutiny. According to the Associated Press, during the IPCC Summary for Policymakers meeting in April 2007, only 52 scientists participated. The April 9, 2007 AP article by Seth Borenstein reported: "Diplomats from 115 countries and 52 scientists hashed out the most comprehensive and gloomiest warning yet about the possible effects of global warming, from increased flooding, hunger, drought and diseases to the extinction of species." Many of the so-called "hundreds" of scientists who have been affiliated with the UN as "expert reviewers" are in fact climate skeptics. Skeptics like Virginia State Climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels, Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy, New Zealand climate researcher Dr. Vincent Gray, former head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo, Tom V. Segalstad, and MIT's Dr. Richard Lindzen have served as IPCC "expert reviewers" but were not involved in writing the alarmist Summary for Policymakers.
Senator Inhofe on the UN IPCC process:
The UN allowed a Greenpeace activist to co-author a key economic report in 2007. Left unreported by most of the media was the fact that Bill Hare, an advisor to Greenpeace, was a lead co- author of a key economic report in the IPCC's 4th Assessment. Not surprisingly, the Greenpeace co-authored report predicted a gloomy future for our planet unless we follow the UN's policy prescriptions. The UN IPCC's own guidelines explicitly state that the scientific reports have to be "change[d]" to "ensure consistency with" the politically motivated Summary for Policymakers. In addition, the IPCC more closely resembles a political party's convention platform battle - not a scientific process. During an IPCC Summary for Policymakers process, political delegates and international bureaucrats squabble over the specific wording of a phase or assertion. Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, served as a UN IPCC lead author in 2001 for the 3rd assessment report and detailed how he personally witnessed UN scientists attempting to distort the science for political purposes. "I was at the table with three Europeans, and we were having lunch. And they were talking about their role as lead authors. And they were talking about how they were trying to make the report so dramatic that the United States would just have to sign that Kyoto Protocol," Christy told CNN on May 2, 2007. Former Colorado State Climatologist Roger Pielke Sr. also detailed the corruption of the UN IPCC process on September 1, 2007: "The same individuals who are doing primary research in the role of humans on the climate system are then permitted to lead the [IPCC] assessment! There should be an outcry on this obvious conflict of interest, but to date either few recognize this conflict, or see that since the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda, they chose to ignore this conflict. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow," Pielke explained. He added: "We need recognition among the scientific community, the media, and policymakers that the IPCC process is obviously a real conflict of interest, and this has resulted in a significantly flawed report." Politics appears to be the fuel that runs the UN IPCC process from the scientists to the bureaucrats to the delegates and all the way to many of the world leaders involved in it. And another key to the motivation of the UN was explained by former French President Jacques Chirac in 2000: Chirac said Kyoto represents "the first component of an authentic global governance."
Senator Inhofe on Polar Bears:
The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, whereas in the 1950s and 1960s, estimates were as low as 5,000-10,000 bears. We currently have an estimated four or five times more polar bears than 50 years ago. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain noted that the polar bear populations ‘may now be near historic highs.' Top biologists and wildlife experts are dismissing unproven computer model concerns for polar bears. In 2006, Canadian biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor, the director of wildlife research with the Arctic government of Nunavut, dismissed these fears with evidence based data on Canada's polar bear populations. "Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present," Taylor said, noting that Canada is home to two-thirds of the world's polar bears. He added: "It is just silly to predict the demise of polar bears in 25 years based on media-assisted hysteria." In September, Taylor further debunked the latest report hyping fears of future polar bear extinctions. "I think it's naive and presumptuous," Taylor said, referring to a recent report by the U.S. government warning that computer models predict a dire future for the bears due to projected ice loss. Taylor also debunked the notion that less sea ice means less polar bears by pointing out that southern regions of the bears' home with low levels of ice are seeing booming bear populations. He noted that in the warmer southern Canadian region of the Davis Strait with lower levels of ice, a new survey will reveal that bear populations have grown from an estimated 850 bears to an estimated 3000 bears. And, despite the lower levels of ice, some of the bears measured in this region are among the biggest ever on record. "Davis Strait is crawling with polar bears. It's not safe to camp there. They're fat. The mothers have cubs. The cubs are in good shape," he said, according to a September 14, 2007 article. He added: "That's not theory. That's not based on a model. That's observation of reality." Other biologists are equally dismissive of these computer model based fears. Biologist Josef Reichholf, who heads the Vertebrates Department at the National Zoological Collection in Munich, rejected climate fears and asserted any potential global warming may be beneficial to both humans and animals. In a May 8, 2007 interview, Reichholf asked: "How did the polar bear survive the last warm period?"
Reichholf also debunked the entire notion that a warmer world will lead to mass species extinctions. "Warming temperatures promote biodiversity," Reichholf explained. "The number of species increases exponentially from the regions near the poles across the moderate latitudes and to the equator. To put it succinctly, the warmer a region is, the more diverse are its species," he added.
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Senator Inhofe September 25, 20076 Speech: HOT & COLD MEDIA SPIN CYCLE: A CHALLENGE TO JOURNALISTS WHO COVER GLOBAL WARMING
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October 24, 2006
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for holding this hearing today on S.2191. This is a much needed hearing in what should be the beginning of the process of looking at the bill, examining it in-depth, hearing from a wide-variety of stakeholders. But that process is getting short-changed. And the full Senate and the American people will be short-changed as well.
Senator Boxer has been reported in the press as saying her goal is to complete Committee action on this bill before her trip to Bali. I would ask Chairman Boxer to repudiate that idea and publicly state that her goal is to get the legislation right, not legislate for a public relations deadline.
When this Committee considered the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990, the Subcommittee and full Committee heard from over 60 witnesses from a vast cross-section of America during a series of legislative hearings examining the bill.
When we considered Clear Skies, we heard from dozens of witnesses examining the bill over a period of two years. We conducted staff briefings which all Committee staff were invited to participate. We obtained analyses from EPA and the Energy Information Administration. Even through this, members of this Committee complained EPA hadn't done enough analysis to allow them to understand the implications of the bill.
Yet for this bill, the entire extent of the process prior to a Subcommittee markup is to have one legislative hearing at which only one witness with grave concerns is invited. It also appears that the full Committee process will be truncated - that there will be an attempt to create the appearance of process, but no cooperation in providing Committee Members the opportunity to examine the substance of the bill.
In fact, it appears that no analysis of the massive impacts that this bill will impose on the U.S. economy has been conducted. Nor do we have an analysis of what this bill will achieve in terms of reducing global concentrations and, consequently, global temperatures - in short, the benefits. I fear the bill is all pain and no gain.
Every passing day brings more questions than answers. I have here a short preliminary list of questions about the rationale of various provisions and requests for clarification, which I request be made part of the record. This bill was released only last week, and we have had little time to analyze this bill and to hear from stakeholders, who themselves are just beginning to understand how it will affect them. I hope you will answer these questions and others that will be forthcoming before moving forward with a markup.
My concern is also with the fundamental construction of this bill. Our nation is headed for an energy crisis in the next few years. Just last week, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) announced its annual 2007 Long-Term Reliability Assessment, and found that unless additional resources are brought into service, some areas could fall below their target capacity margins within two or three years. Over the next 10 years, we are expected to increase our need for electricity demand by 18% -- or 135,000 megawatts. Over that same timeframe, our committed capacity will grow by only 8%, or 77,000 megawatts. This bill will worsen the problem.
We do not know how expensive this bill will be, but we know it will cost more than McCain-Lieberman, which itself increases gasoline and electricity prices by 22 percent cuts production in 33 out of 35 sectors of the U.S. economy.
As Senator McCain's spokesperson, Melissa Shuffield is quoted yesterday as saying in an article discussing his decision not to co-sponsor the bill:
"We can't effectively reduce our emissions without including nuclear energy, which is more efficient than the technologies in the bill."
Senator McCain and I may differ on the need for climate legislation, but his point is hard to ignore. If nuclear is not part of the path forward, how do you plan to reduce emissions?
As we will hear in testimony from one of our witnesses today, Mr. Paul Ciccio, the unfortunate answer is that this bill will cause massive fuel switching to natural gas, driving industrial users out of the country.
There are many areas of this bill to criticize, such as the creation of what is essentially a new carbon Federal Reserve board completely insulated from oversight, the manipulation of its provisions to send money to certain states for no real reason other than to gain votes, and of course, its completely unrealistic targets and timetables. But I do not have time now to go through them all.
At its core, this bill, like all cap and trade bills, tries to obscure the real costs to our economy and the number of jobs we will send to China and other countries. And based on the experience of the Kyoto Protocol, it will not work. It is a far more honest approach to simply propose a tax. Unlike this bill, it would at least work, and would be far less harmful to the economy. It may not help companies wanting windfall profits, but it would do less harm to American families.
Senator Inhofe Questions about Lieberman-Warner Bill
(S.1291 "America's Climate Security Act of 2007")
S.1291 was introduced on October 18, 2007. Based on an initial review of the bill through October 23, 2007, below are a small number of preliminary questions that require clarification or explanation regarding the construction the bill's provisions. Upon further review and after an opportunity for stakeholders to comment, additional questions are expected to be raised.
1. Regarding the overall costs and benefits of the bill:
a. Has the bill been modeled by an econometric modeling firm?
b. Has a request been made to the Energy Information Administration or other federal governmental entity to model the bill?
c. If a request has been made from any entity, who is conducting the analysis and when is a response anticipated?
2. For Section 1201:
a. What is the basis for selecting a 2012 cap of 5.2 billion metric tons considering that total U.S greenhouse gas emissions are greater than 7 billion tons? (Section 1201(d).
b. In response to a Bingaman-Specter request July 26, 2007, on October 1, 2007, EPA presented has an analysis of the global CO2 impacts of several senate climate change bills. This analysis suggests that very stringent early phase reductions are projected to have marginal environmental improvements over climate bills with more gradual reductions during the early phases. Was this analysis considered in the selection of the early phase reductions?
c. From where is it anticipated that the early phase reductions will come from in terms of sectors and emission source types?
d. In terms of emission reductions, what percentage is anticipated to come from fuel switching, and what percentage from installation of new or replacement technologies?
e. One oft-repeated approach to emissions reductions is to "slow, stop, and reverse." Are the emissions targets chosen consistent with this approach?
3. For coverage under the bill:
a. What is the basis for selecting three out of six sectors of the U.S. economy for coverage under the bill?
b. Were the three sectors not covered because it would not be cost-effective to include them within the cap?
c. If cost-effectiveness was a criterion, what cost in dollars per metric ton that was used as a cutoff?
4. A "new entrant" is defined as a facility that commences operation on or after January 1, 2008. (Section 4(19))
a. What is the basis for selecting that date as the cutoff?
b. What is the rationale for requiring commencement of operations instead of commencement of construction as used in the Clean Air Act?
c. Has the difference in the number of qualifying facilities between these two definitions been evaluated?
5. For the definition of "facility":
a. What does "any activity... at a facility" mean?
b. Could this include coal mining operations or the transport of coal to a facility via train, truck, barge etc.?
c. Does the definition of "facility" to include "any activity or operation" also include fugitive emissions that are not under the direct control of the facility?
6. Under the bill, allowances can be borrowed for a period of up to 5 years. (Section 2302)
a. Why was 5 years considered an appropriate time limit?
b. Would 6 or more years provide more flexibility for sources that find it necessary to borrow allowances?
c. What considerations are more important than that additional flexibility that necessitate the more restrictive time period?
d. Since the allowances become increasingly scarce over time, which creates a sliding upward pressure on price, to what degree is it anticipated the borrowing mechanism will mitigate allowance price increases?
e. If future allowance prices exceed market prices for current allowances, will this mechanism be effective?
7. The bill seems to indicate that the interest rate on borrowed allowances is 10%. (Section 2302) Is the interest compounded annually?
8. Under certain conditions, the bill allows covered facilities to satisfy up to 15% of its allowance submission requirement with allowances or credits from foreign GHG trading markets. (Section 2501) One of these conditions is that the foreign government's program be of "comparable stringency" to the U.S. program. (Section 2502(b)(2)).
a. What criteria would EPA use in determining whether the emission caps, for example, of another country are "comparable" to those of a U.S program?
b. Would this "comparable stringency" be based on regulatory requirements or on compliance?
9. Under Section 2603, a Carbon Market Efficiency Board shall carry out one or more of six "cost relief measures" if the board determines that the emissions allowance market "poses a significant harm to the economy of the United States."
a. Would the board be empowered under the bill to provide cost relief measures if the economy of a region or an individual state faced significant economic harm?
b. What criteria would the board use to make a significant harm determination?
c. How would the board determine which measures and the precise extent of those measures that would be adequate to mitigate significant economic harm?
d. How would the board coordinate its activities with the Federal Reserve board in decision-making to relieve inflationary pressures on the economy, and which would be lead as between them in decision-making?
e. What allowance price is contemplated to pose significant risk of harm to the economy?
f. Is it contemplated that the CMEB will provide the same level of certainty for investors in advanced technologies as a tax or safety valve?
10. Section 3402 requires EPA to allocate extra allowances to states that enact statewide GHG reduction targets that are more stringent than the targets established under the bill.
a. What is the basis for providing an explicit inducement for states to adopt more stringent requirements?
b. Could this lead to inconsistencies among state programs that reduce the potential cost-effectiveness of a nationwide program?
c. What is the basis for an allocation level of 2% of the allowances for this purpose?
11. Section 3501 allocates 10% of the allowance account annually to load serving entities, which are overseen by state regulatory bodies. Section 3503(c)(3) prohibits the exercise of certain prerogatives on the part of these state regulatory bodies such as requiring the filing of rate cases in order to pass through the credit from the sale of allowances. What is the purpose of this provision?
12. Title III, Subtitle F provides bonus allowances for carbon capture and geological sequestration projects. Section 3604 limits these bonus allowances to the first ten years of operation. What is the basis for limiting the incentive to ten years?
13. Title II, Subtitle D states that domestic offsets have to be permanent. What exactly does that term mean in terms of biologic sequestration?
a. What are the anticipated impacts to food prices associated with providing incentives to farmers to convert cropland to grassland or rangeland?
b. What would be the impact of such incentives to production of ethanol and the cost of ethanol?
14. Section 3903(b) distributes allowances to rural electric cooperatives equal to their 2006 emissions. What is the basis for giving preferential treatment to rural electric cooperatives?
15. Regarding Section 1103(d):
a. What methods are facilities contemplated to employ to determine complete and accurate data for the years 2004 through 2007 where no data was collected or readily available?
b. Also for Section 1103(d), how are facilities that currently do not have monitoring systems in place going to be able to submit quarterly data starting in 2008?
c. Is the $25,000 per day for each violation going to apply these facilities for these time periods?
d. What is the process, and who is the authority, for determining what constitutes complete and accurate data for these time periods?
16. Based on EPA's 2005 U.S. greenhouse gas inventory, the electric generating sector accounted for 46% of the proposed 2012 cap level of 5.2 billion metric tons. Between allocations to generators and load serving entities, the bill allocates 30% of the total allowances to that sector, and reducing the sector's subsequently. What is the rationale for this differential treatment of the electric sector?
17. The allowance allocation to electric generating units in the first year of the program represents approximately 44% of that sector's 2005 emissions based on EPA's inventory. Electric demand is anticipated to increase, and reducing emissions by replacing current plants with lower or non-emitting plants will take years to achieve. Based on this, does the bill contemplate some mechanism, or set of mechanisms, whereby emissions will be reduced during this timeframe or allowances will be available, or will allowances have to be purchased?
a. If purchased, have preliminary cost estimates to electric generators and their customers been calculated?
b. At least one preliminary estimate indicates that the cost of allowances alone could be close to $500 for average households in the early years for some generators. Have cost estimates of electricity price increases to households through the purchase of allowances been calculated or modeled?
18. Section 3803 allocates 3 percent of allowances to projects in other countries for forest carbon activities.
a. What is the projected subsidy to other countries under this provision?
b. China's carbon dioxide emissions now exceed that of the United States and are projected to increase. Will China or other countries whose emissions eclipse those of the United States in the future be eligible for these allocations?
19. Regarding Section 8001:
a. This Section calls for a national assessment of carbon dioxide storage capacity. Presumably, this assessment would determine whether the US has sufficient capacity to geologically sequester the carbon dioxide that would have to be captured to comply with the bill. Absent the results of this survey which has not been undertaken yet, what is the basis for assuming the U.S has adequate storage capacity?
b. How do you envision the program addressing the long term oversight of the carbon storage sites?
c. This Section provides EPA with the legal authority to develop a permitting program for carbon storage through the Safe Drinking Water Act's Underground Injection Control program. Long term monitoring and particularly in the west, property rights, are just two of the several issues that will need to taken into consideration under any regulatory regime.
i. Is the bill's approach sufficient to address these issues?
ii. Should there be a statutory role for the states?
20. Subtitle G, Section 4702(b)(1)(F) stipulates money is available for adaptation activities in accordance with recovery plans for threatened and endangered species.
a. Does the bill envision that all existing recovery plans will be rewritten to address all climate change related effects?
i. If so, will the monies in the adaptation fund be available to FWS to re-write the recovery plans or will FWS have to bear that cost from other monies?
b. Within Subtitle G, how do does the bill contemplate FWS will prioritize species to receive adaptation funds?
i. Is it based on their overall threatened or endangered status or the degree to which they are affected by climate change?
ii. Are plants and animals not affected by climate change eligible for these funds?
iii. How does the Department of Interior distinguish those ecological processes that are due to man-made climate change from those that due to normal species development and evolution?
October 25, 2007
Thank you Mr. Chairman. As a member of both Environment and Public Works and Commerce Committees, the Chair is well aware of the jurisdictional distinction between the two Committees when it comes to safety issues. EPW does the "hard side" or bricks and mortar and Commerce does the "soft side" or behavioral side. Thus, the issue of reducing drunk driving falls largely in the Commerce Committee's purview as they have sole jurisdiction of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and drunk driving incentive grant program. Nonetheless, I welcome a discussion of the effectiveness of the nation's drunk driving programs in preparation for reauthorization of SAFETEA.
More often than not, when discussing transportation issues we focus on problems with funding, congestion and the physical state of our infrastructure; but equally important is safety while driving on our nation's roads. As Chairman of this Committee during the development of SAFETEA, I made safety a priority. A hallmark of SAFETEA is a comprehensive and unprecedented new core program focusing solely on addressing safety problem areas.
States must develop comprehensive safety plans that address their biggest safety hot spots. The Highway Safety Improvement Program, or H-Sip, targets funding to the greatest problem areas. As we get closer to reauthorization, I hope that as the Subcommittee Chair on safety issues, you will be scheduling oversight hearings on H-Sip so we can see how well the new safety core program is working. In fact, I have GAO examining that program as we speak.
While I applaud and support efforts to get drunk drivers off the roads, I have opposed and will continue to oppose efforts to achieve this through federal mandates or sanctions. As a former Mayor and State Legislator, I know that Washington does not have all the answers and certainly does not always have the right ones. States know best what is appropriate for them. The closer government is to the people the better the results.
SAFETEA provided $500 million in grants to encourage States to adopt and implement effective programs to reduce drunk driving. States are actively taking advantage of the incentives Congress has put in place. I am sure my colleagues would agree that it is far more effective to work with states and allow them to determine what works best in their case rather than dictating a one size fits all legislative prescription.
TEA-21 directed States to implement a 1 year hard suspension for repeat offenders, using the threat of reduced federal highway funds if they failed to comply. This one size fits all federal prescription had the effect of derailing efforts to develop interlock technologies, and handicapped State's ability to put in place their own effective drunk driving laws. This well intentioned federal mandate set States up for failure, and denied judges the flexibility needed to most effectively sentence repeat offenders on a case by case basis.
Prior to TEA-21, many States were implementing their own repeat offender sentencing guidelines, using interlock technologies and other initiatives tailored to their needs, including my own State of Oklahoma. But all efforts stopped after the TEA21 mandate because States did not want to risk losing out on federal dollars for not following the new federal drunk driving mandate.
A SAFETEA technical corrections bill that would allow states more flexibility with their drunk driving laws by amending the existing repeat offender provision was approved twice by both this Committee and the full House. While the final bill awaits further Senate action, I think the message is clear, both Chambers recognize that leaving this decision to States is optimal. It is also important to note that this provision changes a previous mandate that we now recognize as being ineffective. I see this as proof of my point that Washington does not know best and should not impose its will on states.
The loss of life, especially due to a drunk driver, is not only tragic but unacceptable. However, to continue the practice of holding state transportation funds hostage while we force them to adopt federally imposed, one-size fits all solutions to combat drunk driving, should not be the answer. Each state has the right, and frankly the responsibility, to implement appropriate laws that meet the needs if its citizens. Mr. Chairman, while you and I differ on how to achieve the desired result, we both agree combating drunk driving must be a national priority. I look forward to working with you on this and other issues as we begin to think about reauthorization of SAFETEA.
I look forward to the testimony and of The Honorable Michael R. Fields, a criminal court judge who deals with DUI cases everyday and can provide a unique insight on this issue from a local level.
I want to welcome all our witnesses today and thank them for taking time out of their schedules to share with us their ideas on how to most effectively address drunk driving at the federal level.
October 23, 2007
Madame Chairman, I am concerned that this Committee is not focusing on what it should - to deliberate legislation. We have had hearing after hearing after hearing on what people think about global warming or what might happen if we have global warming. But little on what will happen if we legislate global warming. As of October 23rd, we have not had a single legislative hearing on any of the major bills.
Tomorrow at the Subcommittee level, under the leadership of Chairman Lieberman, we will hold the first legislative hearing on a global warming bill. I commend Senators Warner and Lieberman for their hard work in crafting a bill and for holding tomorrow's legislative hearing. But tomorrow's hearing represents what should be the first step in the process, not the only step.
A single hearing that receives testimony from a single witness expressing concerns about the bill - held a mere six days after introduction - falls far short of a considered and deliberative process. There has been no time to analyze the text of this bill, or for members of the Committee to obtain input from stakeholders concerned about how the bill will impact them, or for economists to model its impacts on the competitiveness of the American economy.
Yet I understand there will be a markup next week of the bill. There is concern, Madame Chairman, that the full Committee examination will be even less substantive, even less deliberative. It is my hope that you will commit to conducting a thoughtful process similar to that which has been conducted in the past on major bills, providing us with specifics.
In addressing today's hearing, I will say that it appears the issue of health and global warming, like so many areas, has fallen prey to politics. Reducing issues such as malaria to a simple and naïve view that higher temperatures equal higher malaria rates is not only simple, but simply wrong. Temperatures are a factor, but it is also true that malaria can spread when and where it is relatively colder. According to Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute in testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee last year:
"The most catastrophic epidemic on record anywhere in the world occurred in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, with a peak incidence of 13 million cases per year, and 600,000 deaths."
More important than temperatures are preventative measures and economic standards of living, which - make no mistake - will be worsened by rash action to pass costly symbolic measures. As we will hear today, when you look beyond the rhetoric at the facts, malaria is very much a disease that we can greatly diminish or help flourish, depending on how we live and what policies we put into place.
The facts are this: malaria was nearly wiped out a few decades ago by the use of DDT. This is not disputed. The disease now claims one million lives or more every year - again, not disputed. Regardless of the science of DDT - and it appears it did not support a ban - selective spraying can greatly diminish cases of malaria. But it was only recently, after millions of deaths, that policies began to shift away from alarmism and toward a genuine concern for the people who were paying for that alarmism with their lives. Let us not repeat history here.
October 19, 2007
The Fall 2007 issue of the Energy Bar Association's newsletter, EBA Update, feautures an interview with U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe.
From the interview:
"Senator Inhofe is a longtime friend of the EBA and its sister organizations. The jointly sponsored FELJ/NELPI William O. Mogel Internship Program, under which two deserving Energy Law Journal Student Editorial Board Members from the University of Tulsa are selected each summer to work at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, began four years ago when he was its Chairman. Senator Inhofe is a strong advocate of the high-caliber Petroleum Engineering program at the University of Tulsa, and spoke glowingly to us about its ability to attract students world-wide. He is also the author of the widely-acclaimed, “Energy and the Environment: The Future of Natural Gas in America,” 26 ELJ 349 (2005), along with Frank Fannon, Legislative Counsel of the Committee, who we had the pleasure of meeting during our late September visit."
October 25, 2007
On Thursday, October 25, 2007, Senator Inhofe was a guest on the Glenn Beck Show on CNN Headline News to discuss his support of increasing nuclear energy. Click here to watch
The development of safe, clean and affordable nuclear energy future has long been a top priority for Senator Inhofe. Since joining the EPW Committee in 1995, he has worked closely with his EPW committee members to increase critical oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). As a result of the committee's vigilant oversight, the NRC has moved to a risk-based regulatory process that is more objective, efficient, and predictable.
Recently, Senator Inhofe welcomed the news of NRG's filing of the first nuclear reactor license application in nearly 30 years with the NRC for two new reactors at a plant in Texas. NRG's application is the first to be reviewed under NRC's new combined construction and operating license process. Senator Inhofe, as chairman of the EPW Committee in 2005, helped ensure passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT05) which included a suite of new reactor incentives.
Read more about Senator Inhofe's strong support of nuclear energy:
SENATOR INHOFE: NUCLEAR POWER USE MUST BE EXPANDED (THE HILL, SEPTEMBER 27, 2007)
A strong, robust nuclear industry must continue to play a growing part of our nation's energy future, both for the sake of national security and environmental progress. Nuclear energy is clean, reliable, cost-effective, and most important, increases our domestic energy supply. Expansion of nuclear energy in the United States requires confidence in our government. The American public must be able to trust that the government will protect public health, provide nuclear waste solutions and provide confidence to potential investors.
INHOFE: AMERICA'S ENERGY FUTURE NEEDS TO BE STABLE, DIVERSE AND AFFORDABLE (THE HILL, JUNE 27, 2007)
Democrats recently managed to pass legislation they labeled as a "green energy bill." The fact is that the bill lacks energy and the green will be the higher prices families will have to pay if it is signed into law. The Democrats' plan for our energy future is to force Americans to cut back on energy consumption at a time when Americans are starving for affordable energy.
TOP TEN DEMOCRAT ENERGY BILL FAILURES
The Democrats recently passed Senate Energy Bill will increase the price of gasoline, do nothing for supply and production, and impose new mandates on energy providers which will increase the cost of electricity for all consumers. The Democrats claim to want to reduce prices at the pump, claim to support energy independence and help lower income Americans, but this bill fails to meet any of those goals. In particular, low and fixed income Americans will be hit hardest with higher gas and electricity costs for at least the next decade. The bill fails to secure an American energy supply that is stable, diverse, and affordable.