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Senate Proceeding 03-15-11 on Mar 15th, 2011 :: 3:37:20 to 3:49:40
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John Rockefeller

3:37:16 to 3:37:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. rockefeller: mr. president, i have comments that i want to make on 1099 which are at variance with the distinguished senator from nebraska, but i will hold that for another moment. i think it's well known that in

John Rockefeller

3:37:20 to 3:49:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Rockefeller

John Rockefeller

3:37:37 to 3:37:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: west virginia we have had our problems with e.p.a., and i have an amendment which would say for a period of two years that they would not have the power to enforce their laws on stationary sources, i.e. power plants, but it lasts for two years and then

John Rockefeller

3:37:58 to 3:38:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: it stops. what is my reason for doing that? i will offer this amendment. my reason for that is this i want to give us the time to come up with a good carbon sequestration bill and also give us the time to come up with an energy policy, since if my amendment were to pass, since

John Rockefeller

3:38:19 to 3:38:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: it's two years from the date of passage, that does give us the time if it is the will of the congress to have an energy policy. if it is not, then that, of course, is quite a different matter. but i -- i simply cannot support and will not support the mcconnell amendment which

John Rockefeller

3:38:41 to 3:39:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: calls for a complete ee -- ee mass cue laition -- emasculation of e.p.a. forever. i don't understand this type of thinking. i understand we're in a very difficult situation, a post-election period where people have very, very strong ideas, let's get rid of government and let's size everything down and get rid of all of these people who have

John Rockefeller

3:39:02 to 3:39:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: been giving us trouble. i think we have to be mature in the way we approach these problems, and i don't think by saying that e.p.a. created by president nixon in 1972 shall virtually cease to exist with respect to any effect on greenhouse gases at all forever. the concept of doing something

John Rockefeller

3:39:26 to 3:39:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: forever is to me a very risky thing just on its face. it doesn't usually make any sense, whether it's health care or energy policy or any other kind of policy to make a law which has to do with regulation and then say you can't regulate forever.

John Rockefeller

3:39:47 to 3:40:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: i mean, if you did that to the consumer product safety commission. we have discovered that -- that children, the little models they use for crash tests are not, in fact, big enough, little children aren't big enough. they were created a number of years ago and kids are much bigger now, and so we have to change, and that's -- the commerce committee is working on this.

John Rockefeller

3:40:08 to 3:40:31( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: we have to change the size of the little dummies they put in these seats to crash test them to see what happens to them. because kids are larger. and so if you had made a rule that this was to last forever under the original circumstance, obviously that would hurt our children and create discomfort

John Rockefeller

3:40:32 to 3:40:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and sadness. the environmental protection agency is not a frivolous agency. it is created to -- yes, to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, and i have been saying to the west virginia coal association, which for the most

John Rockefeller

3:40:55 to 3:41:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: part doesn't believe in climate science. they don't believe there is a climate problem. and i have been saying to them for a number of years that that's wrong, in my judgment. there is a science -- the science is true, the science is unequivocally true, and that -- that there is a price to carbon

John Rockefeller

3:41:16 to 3:41:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: in their future. i said this a couple of months ago, there is a price to carbon in their future. you can't simply carry on business the way you're doing it now and avoiding any sense of responsibility and be called a mature corporation or a mature

John Rockefeller

3:41:38 to 3:41:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: person in this country or mature public servant. i -- i understand the fervor of the senator from oklahoma, the senator from kentucky and others who put up this amendment for a permanent ban on any regulation

John Rockefeller

3:42:00 to 3:42:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: of carbon dioxide or any other of these areas, but in the process, of course, what they say, therefore, is that the e.p.a. can no longer regulate cafe standards, and that is, you know, how many miles per hour. if you look at the private

John Rockefeller

3:42:22 to 3:42:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: sector, there is a drive and a kind of competion now to increase and raise the level of corporate fuel standards, average fuel standards emissions, and that's as it should be. that's a natural product of free enterprise competion. but to say that e.p.a. -- what

John Rockefeller

3:42:44 to 3:43:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: if there were a backslide and what if the big three and a number of others say this isn't worth us -- you know, there is nobody regulating us so we don't have to do anything about it, and so they would slip backwards and then create a much more emission-charged climate. i can't abide by that.

John Rockefeller

3:43:05 to 3:43:27( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: i can't believe that that's sensible government. i can't believe that in the theological drive to make government small, to make government disappear, to make health care disappear, to make all kinds of things disappear so that we can all be happy again

John Rockefeller

3:43:28 to 3:43:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: as we were in the 1910's and 1950's, i guess. like doesn't work like that, mr. president, and legislation should not work like that. we should approach it thoughtfully, with a long view as well as a short view. the short view says oh, i have to be mad at e.p.a., and i am, because they have done things in

John Rockefeller

3:43:51 to 3:44:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: west virginia which i think are wrong and should be changed, but i would never for a moment consider saying that they should forever be banned from having anything to do with climate change policies or cafe standards. it just doesn't make any sense.

John Rockefeller

3:44:13 to 3:44:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: it's embarrassing. it's embarrassing. that's not a favor to the people of west virginia. what that means is that -- that the companies, coal companies and power companies that are looking at all of this, they will just start walking away from coal very quickly. this will be also true in

John Rockefeller

3:44:34 to 3:44:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: pennsylvania, the home of the presiding officer. natural gas is beginning to take over large parts of our electric power industry. that's happened in north carolina and ohio, probably a little bit in -- in pennsylvania, yes, a little bit in west virginia.

John Rockefeller

3:44:56 to 3:45:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: marcellus shale is just a boundless pool of gas and it lies up and down the appalachian spine. and companies are beginning to switch away from coal to natural gas. now, you can either -- if you don't care about coal miners and you don't care about coal companies, but particularly coal miners, they're not responsible for any of this.

John Rockefeller

3:45:19 to 3:45:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: they just dig the coal that god put in the earth a billion years ago. they did it. and then it's shipped by trail, by truck or by rail or in some fashion, by barge, after to a power company. the power companies are the ones that have to make a decision how are they going to burn it. are they going to burn it cleaner?

John Rockefeller

3:45:40 to 3:46:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: well, two power companies -- two companies in west virginia, american electric power, has conducted an experiment in new haven, which is one of our large -- actually is the largest plant, i believe, power plant in the country, and they have picked out 18% of all their emissions and they have applied

John Rockefeller

3:46:02 to 3:46:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: carbon capture and sequestration to that 18% and that 18% of the flue gas emissions have gone from whatever carbon content down to about 10% of carbon con kent.

John Rockefeller

3:46:23 to 3:46:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: that's call clean coal. we talk about coal on this floor. everybody assumes that skoal already dirty. well, coal is dirty when it's taken out of the ground and nothing happens to it. but with all the science and technology that we have available, carbon capture and sequestration is not only working to make that clean coal, therefore, highly competitive, much more competitive than

John Rockefeller

3:46:44 to 3:47:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: natural gas, which is 50% carbon monoxide, it makes it only 10% when you use these technologies. that's what my amendment, the two-year amendment, and then only two years, that's what it's meant to give us the time to do. and sensibly that's what we ought to be doing, if people cared about having an energy policy.

John Rockefeller

3:47:09 to 3:47:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the -- then there's nor plant, another plant, dowel chemical. dow chemical is not usually associated with thee kind of things. but they're running a clean coal burning demonstration using a slightly different technology also getting about 90% of the carbon out of the coal, which they use, the power from that, they use that. so don't tell me it can't be

John Rockefeller

3:47:31 to 3:47:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: done. just tell me that we don't have the technology to do it broadly enough. but if you're talking about a nation with a couple hundred years of coal left, don't -- i don't want to hear about dirty coal because that's not going to get anywhere. about clean coal, that can do a lot better than natural gas and do a lot better than a lot of

John Rockefeller

3:47:53 to 3:48:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: other alternative energies. what's going on in japan right now, i -- i shy away from the idea of saying, oh, well then we've got to stop ever building any nuclear power plant forever. i'm not a big fan of nuclear power but i don't think you make decisions like that, you don't maybe them out of emotion, you don't make them because there's a catastrophe in another country -- maybe there is, maybe there isn't, i haven't checked

John Rockefeller

3:48:15 to 3:48:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the news in four or five hours -- but that's 20% of all of our power in this country. so before we make that decision, let's be thoughtful about it. i think we ought to be thoughtful about this amendment, saying -- the mcconnell amendment saying forever and forever that the e.p.a. will be completely stripped away in

John Rockefeller

3:48:41 to 3:49:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: terms of any power for -- for -- for carbon monoxide, climate problems. and to boot -- plus anything else that creates carbon. it could be factories, any -- all kinds of things. they will be completely free of any kind of regulation. and i think that's wrong.

John Rockefeller

3:49:03 to 3:49:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: i think the regulation has to be put in place whi reasonable, which would be the purpose of my amendment for two years and then that would be it and then we'd see where we are then. but to do a permanent complete

John Rockefeller

3:49:24 to 3:49:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: emasculation of this, of the e.p.a., isn't what a mature body of legislators does, in my judgment. i, therefore, will vote against this amendment and will wait to see the result then do my amendment, which i think is much

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