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Senate Proceeding on Mar 30th, 2011 :: 6:16:05 to 6:42:30
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Chuck Grassley

6:15:57 to 6:16:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: you're not in the real world. and so i think it's perfectly legitimate to bring up issues about the tax code, but in the sense of reform of the tax code, not as an isolated amendment to some other bill for the simple reason that if you do that with our complexity of our tax code,

Chuck Grassley

6:16:05 to 6:42:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

6:16:18 to 6:16:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: reforming in that way, every senator attempt to go do that would be growing a long graybeard for the years it would take to do it piecemeal, but hopefully we can get it done sometime in the context of tax reform and tax simplification and flat tax or fair tax, and also with the corporation tax. and also the motives of bringing

Chuck Grassley

6:16:42 to 6:17:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: up things about subsidies for energy. a perfectly legitimate subject to bring up, but it ought to be brought up in the context of national energy policy because i believe senator coburn is just like me. he feels that if you're going to have a growing economy, you've got to have a -- a growth in the

Chuck Grassley

6:17:03 to 6:17:24( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: use of energy except for possible conservation. if you're going to do more for more people, then you're going to have to have an increase in the use of energy. so it's in that vein that i state my opposition to the coburn amendment. senator coburn's amendment would

Chuck Grassley

6:17:25 to 6:17:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: raise tax on domestic energy production by repealing an incentive for the use of home-grown renewable ethanol. i'm astonished that given our current situation, there are some who would prefer less domestic energy production.

Chuck Grassley

6:17:46 to 6:18:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: you know, with conflicts in the middle east and crude oil over over $100 a barrel. we should be on the same side. and i have always considered myself on the same side as senator coburn on energy issues. we should all be on the side of more domestically produced

Chuck Grassley

6:18:09 to 6:18:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: energy, and that would be nuclear energy, it would be alternative energy, it would be drill here and drill now, because the tremendous cost of america's dependence on foreign oil has never been more clear than when you have the conflicts and the revolutions going on in

Chuck Grassley

6:18:30 to 6:18:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: oil-producing regions of the world now in the pleased and northern africa. so we have this threat, and in light of that threat, we should have an energy policy that i would say -- quote -- unquote -- all of the above, you don't pick and choose.

Chuck Grassley

6:18:52 to 6:19:13( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i support drilling here and drilling now. i support renewable energy. i support conservation, both what might be mandated by public policy as well as personal conservation, and i think people that know me know that i have a

Chuck Grassley

6:19:14 to 6:19:36( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: reputation for conservation for several reasons. maybe energy conservation, but also it leaves more money in your pocket, and i also support nuclear energy. so i believe it's very counterproductive for senators from big oil country to single out energy that comes from

Chuck Grassley

6:19:37 to 6:19:58( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: american agriculture, renewable energy. home-grown energy. not import. i didn't pick this fight. i support energy from all sources. i support traditional oil and gas, and more of it from here.

Chuck Grassley

6:19:59 to 6:20:19( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i held 21 meetings in 20 different counties monday through thursday last year through the recess. there wasn't a one of them that didn't say how come we aren't making more use of our own energy. they didn't say that we import import $730 million a day of oil.

Chuck Grassley

6:20:20 to 6:20:40( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: but i told them. and it emphasized their point. why ship $730 million every day overseas to parts of the world where they use the money to train terrorists to kill us?

Chuck Grassley

6:20:41 to 6:21:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and of course, american taxpayers, american taxpayers. with tax incentives have been supporting oil and gas for over 100 years.

Chuck Grassley

6:21:03 to 6:21:27( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: so the attack on home-grown energy is really remarkable, isn't it? we shouldn't be fighting each other over domestic energy sources. we should be fighting opec and foreign dictators and oil sheiks that hold our economy hostage. and you see it right now because of the anxiety about what's

Chuck Grassley

6:21:28 to 6:21:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: going on in libya. raising the price of gasoline 75 the author of the amendment has argued that the production of clean home-grown ethanol is fiscally irresponsible. it's important to rember that the incentive exists to help producers of ethanol to compete

Chuck Grassley

6:21:51 to 6:22:13( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: with the oil industry. you're so often here in this town, we have to have a level playing field. and rember, the oil industry has been well supported by the federal treasury for more than a century. oil was discovered in 1859. i don't know how many years later there were tax incentives for the production of oil, but it's been a long, long time.

Chuck Grassley

6:22:14 to 6:22:34( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: president obama in his budget request for 2012 has advocated repealing a dozen or so subsidies to big oil. he's argued that a century-old industry no longer needs tax breaks. with oil prices at $100 a barrel and record profits being made,

Chuck Grassley

6:22:35 to 6:22:55( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: some could certainly question why this industry needs any taxpayer subsidy at all. president obama's proposal would repeal a $44 billion in oil and gas subsidies over a ten-year period of time. i would like to remind my colleagues of a debate that we had last summer on an amendment offered by the distinguished

Chuck Grassley

6:22:56 to 6:23:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: senator from vermont, senator sanders. the amendment he offered would have, among other things, repealed about $35 billion of tax subsidies enjoyed by the oil and gas industry. opponents of the sanders' amendm the oil and gas subsidies would reduce domestic energy

Chuck Grassley

6:23:18 to 6:23:38( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: production and drive up our dependence upon foreign oil. well, we don't want to do that, do we? now, opponents also argued that it would cost u.s. jobs, and we also argued that it would increase prices at the pump for consumers, something you don't want to do when you're in a recession.

Chuck Grassley

6:23:39 to 6:23:59( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i tend to agree with these arguments in regard to the help that the federal treasury gives to oil companies, and all of my republican colleagues and more than one-third of the democrats did as well, but a repeal of the ethanol tax incentive is a tax

Chuck Grassley

6:24:00 to 6:24:22( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: increase as well that will surely be passed on to the american consumer. no different for ethanol in your gas tank than gasoline in your gas tank. if you take subsidies off of oil, it raises the price of gasoline. if of ethanol, it raises the price

Chuck Grassley

6:24:23 to 6:24:43( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of ethanol. i know that removing incentives for oil and gas will have the same impact as removing incentives for ethanol. we'll get less domestically produced ethanol. it will cost u.s. jobs. it will increase our dependence upon foreign oil.

Chuck Grassley

6:24:44 to 6:25:04( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: it will increase the price at the pump for the american consumer. we're already dependent upon foreign sources for more than 60% of our oil needs. why do my colleagues at this time want to foreign energy dependence when we can produce it right here at home?

Chuck Grassley

6:25:05 to 6:25:25( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: clean burning, environmentally good. so i'd like to ask my colleagues who voted against repealing oil and gas subsidies but support repealing incentives for renewable fuels, why do you have this inconsistency? where are the amendments for fiscal -- from fiscal

Chuck Grassley

6:25:26 to 6:25:47( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: conservatives and deficit hawks to repeal the oil and gas subsidies? the fact is it's intellectually inconsistent to say that increasing taxes on ethanol is justified but that it's irresponsible to do the very same thing on oil and gas production.

Chuck Grassley

6:25:48 to 6:26:10( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: if tax incentives lead to more domestic energy production and good-paying jobs, why are only incentives for oil and gas so important in accomplishing that goal it's even more ridiculous to claim that the 30-year-old ethanol industry is mature and thus no longer needs the support

Chuck Grassley

6:26:11 to 6:26:32( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of the taxpayers while the century-old oil industry still receives $35 billion in taxpayers' support. regardless, i don't believe that we should be raising taxes on any type of energy production or

Chuck Grassley

6:26:33 to 6:26:55( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: on any individual, particularly during a weak economy. the senator from oklahoma insists that because the renewable fuel is required to be used, then somehow it doesn't need an incentive. but with oil prices at $100 a barrel, oil companies are doing everything they can to extract

Chuck Grassley

6:26:56 to 6:27:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: more oil from the ground. there isn't a mandate to use oil, but it has a 100-year monopoly on our transportation infrastructure, so essentially it is a mandate. when there is little competition to oil and it's enormously profitable, you'll see those reports next week, wouldn't --

Chuck Grassley

6:27:18 to 6:27:38( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: wouldn't the sponsor argue that the necessary incentives exist to produce it without additional taxpayer support, if you wanted to be consistent? oil essentially does have a mandate, as i just said. the economics of oil production are clearly in favor of the producer, not the consumer.

Chuck Grassley

6:27:39 to 6:28:00( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: why do they need taxpayer support? it's also important to understand the hidden costs of our dependence upon foreign oil. we had a peer review paper published in 2010 concluding that quote. somewhere -- let me say

Chuck Grassley

6:28:01 to 6:28:22( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: parenthetically, and then i will quote, somewhere between between $27 billion and is 30 billion is the leeway. $27 billion to $137 billion is spent annually by the u.s. military to protect -- for protection of middle east maritime oil transit routes and oil infrastructure, with an average of $84 billion a year,

Chuck Grassley

6:28:23 to 6:28:43( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: end of quote. this is an $84 billion in american treasury money spent on the defense of shipping lanes to quench our thirst for foreign oil. it's not reflected in the price at the pump. it's a hidden cost, and that hidden cost is paid by the very

Chuck Grassley

6:28:44 to 6:29:05( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: same people who support the military, our navy, the american taxpayers. milton copulus, an advisor to president ronald reagan and a veteran of the heritage foundation, testified before congress in 2006 on this very issue. he testified that the hidden costs of imported oil is

Chuck Grassley

6:29:06 to 6:29:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: equivalent to adding $8.35 to the price of a gallon of gasoline from the persian gulf. there is no hidden u.s. military cost attributed to homegrown ethanol. do you understand that? you don't have to have the navy of the united states keeping shipping lanes open for the

Chuck Grassley

6:29:30 to 6:29:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: ethanol that you burn in your car. no subsidy of $8.35 a gallon for ethanol like there is for oil, according to the heritage foundation. so, let's have a debate on ethanol, but let's debate it in the context of a comprehensive energy plan.

Chuck Grassley

6:29:51 to 6:30:11( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: this debate should include the subsidies for all energy production. you don't pick out one versus others. i mean what's unique about the subsidy for ethanol? but you also have from grain biodiesel. when's that going to come up? you have a subsidy for wind

Chuck Grassley

6:30:12 to 6:30:32( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: energy i. know it because i got that legislated 18 years ago. subsidy for solar. subsidy for biomass. subsidy for geothermal. subsidy for nuclear energy. why just ethanol at this point? but i said at the beginning the

Chuck Grassley

6:30:33 to 6:30:55( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: legitimacy of talking about energy subsidies -- oil, alternative energy, nuclear energy, conservation, legitimate, but don't pick one out. what are you going to do about all of the rest of them? are you going to take a subsidy a day? take wind tomorrow?

Chuck Grassley

6:30:56 to 6:31:16( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: take solar tomorrow or the next day? well, if you -- there's a context to do this in. we all say we need a national energy policy. these things have to be discussed in the context of a national energy policy. nearly every type of energy gets

Chuck Grassley

6:31:17 to 6:31:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: some market-distorting subsidy from the federal government. you can say that's not right. but do you want alternative energy or don't you want alternative energy? you want renewable energy or don't you want renewable energy? do you think you'd have an ethanol industry today if there hadn't been a tax incentive a long time ago? no. what about all the people that

Chuck Grassley

6:31:42 to 6:32:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: say, well, we shouldn't be using corn or grain, a food product, for fuel. we ought to be eating it. well, they say you ought to use corn stover, you ought to use wood chips, you ought to use

Chuck Grassley

6:32:03 to 6:32:23( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: wood grass, other things that have cellulose in it and get your ethanol from that. you know what? i agree 100%. but how in the heck do you think you would ever get to producing ethanol out of corn -- i mean out of corn stover and wood chips and switch grass et cetera, et cetera, if you hadn't

Chuck Grassley

6:32:24 to 6:32:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: had 30 years of engineering to make ethanol out of grain, which you didn't do very efficiently 30 years ago, but now you do much more efficiently today. and so you've got to have the first generation for the second generation. well, i say an honest energy

Chuck Grassley

6:32:47 to 6:33:07( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: policy and debate should include ethanol, it should include subsidies for oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar, biomass. how in the heck do you think that we would ever get hydropower in the west if the taxpayers hadn't paid for the hoover dam?

Chuck Grassley

6:33:08 to 6:33:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: so it's hypocritical to put our economic and national security at risk by targeting ethanol while disregarding the subsidies for all other energy sources. and do you know the debate about alternative energy is a debate about our national security? because for this country, the

Chuck Grassley

6:33:30 to 6:33:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: number-one -- the number-one responsibility of the federal government is our national defense. and just think how weak our national defense is when you've got to depend upon oil coming from the middle east where there's revolution going on right now. wouldn't it be better for it to

Chuck Grassley

6:33:52 to 6:34:12( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: be domestically is is crude? why do you think the defense department right now and the aviation industry right now is putting money into research to develop alternative energies, including stuff that we call renewable? and even things that we don't know much about yet. ethanol from algae is an example, because our military

Chuck Grassley

6:34:13 to 6:34:34( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: leaders know you shouldn't be dependent on. and just think of the retired generals and admirals that are out here speaking every day of why we need alternative energy, and speaking very highly of ethanol. so i say it's hypocritical because it's got something to do with our national security, and

Chuck Grassley

6:34:35 to 6:34:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we ought to take an oath uphold -- we do take an oath to uphold the constitution and the national security is our number-one responsibility. because you know, state governments and local governments, they can't protect you from foreign intervention, people that want to kill you. only the federal government is qualified and has the power to do it, the constitutional power.

Chuck Grassley

6:34:57 to 6:35:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: but also to bring the resources together to get the job done. so repealing the ethanol tax incentive will raise taxes on producers, blenders and ultimately consumers for renewable fuel. this amendment is a gas tax increase of over 5 cents a gallon at the pump. i just don't see the logic in

Chuck Grassley

6:35:19 to 6:35:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: arguing for a gas tax increase when we have so many americans unemployed and underunemployed struggling just to barely make it from day to day. i know we all agree that we cannot and should not allow job-killing tax hikes during this time of economic recession

Chuck Grassley

6:35:40 to 6:36:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and, more importantly, that recession is going to stay as long as there's some uncertainty. and debates like this, should we be importing more oil, lend themselves to that uncertainty. unfortunately, those members who have called for ending the ethanol incentive have directly

Chuck Grassley

6:36:04 to 6:36:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: contradicted this pledge of not having tax hikes because a lapse in credit will raise taxes, cost over 100,000 u.s. jobs at a time of near 9% unemployment and increase our dependence upon foreign oil.

Chuck Grassley

6:36:27 to 6:36:49( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: there's a taxpayer watchdog group called americans for tax reform. consider repeal of this incentive to be a great big tax increase. americans for tax reform -- quote -- "repealing the ethanol credit is a corporate income tax increase." i agree. now is not the time to employ --

Chuck Grassley

6:36:50 to 6:37:10( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: impose a gas tax hike on the american people. now is not the time to send pink slips to ethanol-related jobs. ethanol currently accounts for 10% of our transportation fuel. a study concluded that the

Chuck Grassley

6:37:11 to 6:37:33( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: ethanol industry contributed $8.4 billion to the federal treasury in 2009, $3.4 billion more than the ethanol incentive. today the industry supports 400,000 u.s. jobs. that's why i support a homegrown renewable fuels industry. i'd like to conclude by asking my colleagues if we allow the

Chuck Grassley

6:37:34 to 6:37:54( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: tax incentive to lapse, from where would we import an additional 10% of our oil? because there's a policy of this congress, don't drill in the united states. import it. the president was in brazil last week, i believe it was, saying, you know, president of brazil, you ought to drill off the shore

Chuck Grassley

6:37:55 to 6:38:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of brazil because we want to import oil from you. at the very same time we're slow at issuing permits so we can drill our own oil off of our own shoerbgs particularly in the gulf of mexico -- own shore, particularly in the gulf of mexico. where are we going to go?

Chuck Grassley

6:38:19 to 6:38:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: to the middle eastern oil sheikhs to give them money to train terrorists to kill us? or do we want to get it from hugo chavez who every day is saying something about how he hates america? he's taking position, the side of qadhafi right this very day against the revolutionaries of

Chuck Grassley

6:38:40 to 6:39:00( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: that country, the very people we're trying to help, bring a better life to those people there and stop genocide. i don't think we want to go to the middle east for our energy in our car or to hugo chavez. i'd prefer instead that we

Chuck Grassley

6:39:01 to 6:39:22( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: support renewable fuel produced right here at home rather than send our workers a pink slip. i'd prefer to decrease our dependence on hugo chavez, not increase that dependence on him. and i certainly don't support raising the tax on gasoline during this weak economy. let me say something that i said at the beginning, and then i'm going to yield the floor.

Chuck Grassley

6:39:23 to 6:39:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and that is that there's a context to talk about this. there's nothing illegitimate about anybody bringing up any tax incentive any time they want to about any law that's on the books, because they ought to be reviewed from time to time. but when it comes to energy

Chuck Grassley

6:39:46 to 6:40:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: policy at a time of $4 gas, at a taoeufpl anxiety -- at a time of anxiety about what's going on in libya, at a time we know people in this country want an energy policy, it ought to be talked about in the context of energy legislation. you should talk about subsidy as a generic subject, not just

Chuck Grassley

6:40:09 to 6:40:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: picking out ethanol or any other one just like some people here would like to pick out the subsidy for oil and end it, like the president has suggested in his budget. but we want to do it in the context of a national energy policy and a subsidy that's subsidy to oil, to all renewable

Chuck Grassley

6:40:30 to 6:40:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: energies -- and there's a dozen of them, i'll bet -- to conservation, and to nuclear energy. let's emphasize nuclear energy. when you're talking about a subsidy, do you think we'd have a single nuclear plant in the united states if 60 years ago the federal government, this

Chuck Grassley

6:40:52 to 6:41:13( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: congress hadn't passed the price-anderson act to set up federal support for indirect or direct, whatever it was that took that to get it going. and we had to reinstitute that in 2005 or we still wouldn't be considering any nuclear plants. so you do it in the context of a national energy policy.

Chuck Grassley

6:41:14 to 6:41:34( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: you do it in the context of subsidies on all sorts of energy, not just one of them. and if you're doing it for tax reform purposes, then it's got to be done in the context of overall tax reform. because just like i said, you start on this little tax incentive today and that little tax incentive tomorrow and that

Chuck Grassley

6:41:35 to 6:41:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: little tax incentive the next day, you'll be here as long as methuselah lived in order to get it all done. so, i hope that there will be some consideration of this in a generic way, not in the specific way of this amendment. and that's why i don't support the amendment at this time, but

Chuck Grassley

6:41:57 to 6:42:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i want people to know that i don't abhor the idea of talking about the ethanol tax credit or any other tax credit. but i want to talk about ending tax credits i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the

Chuck Grassley

6:42:19 to 6:42:31( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: senator from mr. paul: has morning business concluded? the presiding officer: the time for morning expired. mr. paul: i have a motion to

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