Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Jul 14th, 2010 :: 7:35:15 to 7:42:50
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Amy Klobuchar

7:35:05 to 7:35:26( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the objection. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, as you well know, it has been three months since the deepwater horizon oil rig exploded in a massive fireball, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others.

Amy Klobuchar

7:35:15 to 7:42:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar

7:35:27 to 7:35:47( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: but the extent of this tragedy is still beyond comprehension for everyone in this country. since then, as we all know, as much as 50,000 barrels of oil per day has fwed into the gulf of mexico. at that rate, the exxon valdez

Amy Klobuchar

7:35:48 to 7:36:08( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: disaster in alaska has been duplicated every four days. i don't think when this started anyone thought that was possible. there are many resources down there, as we know. it was slow going at first, but now we see for than 6,800 vessels, 117 aircraft, three million feet of boom and more than 45,000 personnel.

Amy Klobuchar

7:36:09 to 7:36:29( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: in may, i went on an aerial tour of the spill while i was in new orleans. i saw firsthand the miles and miles of oil slick covering the gulf, threatening the livelihoods of millions of people on the gulf coast as well as some of our nation's most precious wildlife. now, our priorities are clear, mr. president. first, we have to plug this

Amy Klobuchar

7:36:30 to 7:36:50( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: well, and we know there are some efforts under way as we speak as well as a long-termlan of pushing some cement in there that we know may not be completed until mid august. the second is that b.p. and other responsibilities must pay so that the taxpayers of our state of minnesota as well as states across the country are not on the hook. the $20 billion that the

Amy Klobuchar

7:36:51 to 7:37:11( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: president and others negotiated with b.p. was a very strong start, because as we know what happened with the exxon valdez, 20 years later, 20 yearsater, a lot of those families still hadn't bothen their money. 8,000 of the plaintiffs and fishermen died before they got their money in that case. third, we need to figure out what happened again so this never happens.

Amy Klobuchar

7:37:12 to 7:37:32( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: and fourth, we need to reform the agencies that were supposed to be the watchdogs but turned out to be the lap dogs and redouble our efforts to diversify the energy supply. i have focused on addressing this disaster because i believe we owe it to the taxpayers and because this disaster has devastated the resources that belong to all americans.

Amy Klobuchar

7:37:33 to 7:37:55( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: now as we environmental disaster in our nation's history, we can't lose sit of a piece of it that i don't think has gotten enough attention. why? because we haven't really seen it play out yet. we have seen the wildlife that's down this right now, we have seen the pelicans drenched with oil, hbling on the beaches, we'v seen all that, but what we

Amy Klobuchar

7:37:56 to 7:38:17( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: have not seen yet, and we have no idea the extent of the problem yet, but what we have not seen is what's going to happen to the 13 million, the 13 million migratory birds, waterfowl, coming from minnesot coming from wisconsin that winter in the gulf coast in those marshes. now, at first no one understandably focused on the

Amy Klobuchar

7:38:18 to 7:38:39( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: unsettling proposition of millions of birds that live in the gulf every fall and winter will be faced with toxic shorelines, toxic marshes, but the oil laps up on the shores, we have to face this unacceptable but real problem right now. as you know in our state we know that summer has arrived when we hear the loon calls from our 10,000 lakes.

Amy Klobuchar

7:38:40 to 7:39:01( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: minnesota is home to half million ducks and the largest population of loons in the continental united states. hunting and wildlife is part of our heritage but it's also an important part of our economy. waterfowl hunting contributes to the economic activity in minnesota every year and minnesota has the third highest birding participation rate of

Amy Klobuchar

7:39:02 to 7:39:23( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: all states at 3% or about 1.5 million people. the u.s. fish and wildlife service is heading up the natural resources damage and restoration program which will come up with an estimate of restoration costs that will be sent to b.p. for them to pay to help clean up the shorelines, the estuaries and the marshes. additionally, the new escrow account that has been created

Amy Klobuchar

7:39:24 to 7:39:44( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: will help ensure that the claims process for individuals and businesses run smoothly and efficiently and will also help ensure that claims by governments, state, local and tribal that are submitted to b.p. will not be delayed by a slow cims process. but while the united national incident command is doing all it can to stop the leak, it's

Amy Klobuchar

7:39:45 to 7:40:06( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: important that we simultaneously do all that we can to protect the habitat of the birds and the ducks in the gulf that support our hunting and birding economy in this country. in just a few weeks, millions of birds will begin to migrate south from canada, from great plains and parts of the midwest. they will fly hundreds or even

Amy Klobuchar

7:40:07 to 7:40:27( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: thousands of miles to the gulf coast where they spend their winters. now, rember, all we have seen so far is just the birds that live down there in the heat. think of when all the birds go down there. this is what they're going to find. they're going to find beaches that used to have beach balls are now filled with tar balls, and mostly so many of them go to

Amy Klobuchar

7:40:28 to 7:40:48( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the marshes, the wetlands, and the oil is starting to creep into those marshes. we can't really put up a sign for those birds that says hey, go to mexico instead. therare naturally other places they could go, but guess what? they can't read. nor are we going to be able to put some big net up to stop them from flying to those places. what i have talked to people,

Amy Klobuchar

7:40:49 to 7:41:10( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: experts on this from ducks unlimited and other places. these birds don't have the instinct to avoid those oily areas. they are just going to plow right back in to where they went last winter. that is why a bipartisan group ofenators join me in sending a letter to secretary salazar to ensure that proper attention and coordination is also made with

Amy Klobuchar

7:41:11 to 7:41:31( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the u.s. fish and wildlife and conservation organizations who are working to protect the habitat of migratory birds. i'm pleased that just this week the nationa incident command announced the launch of a new website,, dedicated to providing the american people with clear and accessible information and resources related to the b.p.

Amy Klobuchar

7:41:32 to 7:41:53( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: oil spill response and recovery. it's also important that as we focus on stopping this terrible leak, we also prepare for the serious and imminent threats to the birds and wildlife that play a critical role in the regional gulf economies and to the more distant regional economies in places like minnesota and wisconsin. mr. president, in just aew weeks, we must be ready for the

Amy Klobuchar

7:41:54 to 7:42:14( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: mass influx of ducks and birds in the gulf region. if we fail to prepare, countless unsuspecting birds, wildlife, will not return to minnesota and our ecosystem and economies will feel the impact, not just in minnesota but throughout the country, not just in louisiana, not just in florida.

Amy Klobuchar

7:42:15 to 7:42:35( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: it will spread, and we will continue to push with the recovery efforts to make sure that there is adequate focus on this important issue. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum.

Amy Klobuchar

7:42:36 to 7:42:41( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the presiding officer: the clerk

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