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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 21, 2015 3:30pm-5:31pm EST

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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 54. the nays are 45. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment the amendment is not agreed to. ms. murkowski: move to reconsider.
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the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number number69 offered by the senator from illinois, mr. durbin. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, this is the petcoke amendment. there are communities in this nation chicago detroit long beach, california, and it may be coming to you soon. petcoke is the by-product of canadian tar sands refinery. this pipeline will generate 15,000 tons a day of petcoke that has to be stored. we're asking that it be stored responsibly so that it doesn't blow through towns and neighborhoods that you represent and establish standards for that purpose. it can still be used legitimately for many products but let's make sure that it doesn't cause respiratory
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problems for the people we represent. ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president when canadian oil sands are refined, they produce petroleum coke which is this high-energy mostly carbon coal-like substance, but it does have economic value. it can be used for fuel, it can be used for smelting, it can be used for producing dry cell batteries, other purposes. the e.p.a.'s own web site states -- and this is from their web site -- patrol petroleum coke itself has a low level of toxicity and there's no evidence of carcinogenic effects. also there are no environmental effects associated with petcoke files. e.p.a.'s words are "they are essentially inert." i listen to the comments of my colleague from illinois, appreciate the concerns that those in neighborhoods have but i think it is important that we recognize that we are not trying
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to skip the science we're not trying to add regulations for the transport and storage of something that is apparently not hazardous, according to the e.p.a. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. [inaudible] is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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1kw4r50eu6r7b8g9sdz w4r5e6b9sd utd 12k # #s. the presiding officer: often this vote the yeas are 41. the nays are 58. flps requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendments, the amendment is not agreed to.
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under the previous order there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment 41 offered by the senator from pennsylvania, mr. toomey. ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. ms. murkowski: before we proceed to hear on the sponsor of this amendment, i will remind senators that these are ten minutes votes and it would be good. we've got four more we need to do and so it would be good if we could stick to our ten minutes. mr. toomey: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: i want to thank senators casey and hatch for joining me in this amendment. for almost 200 years we've been mining coal in pennsylvania. some of it came out of the ground -- mr. roberts: mr. president the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from pennsylvania.
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mr. toomey: the unsuitable coal has been piled up for decades. it forms mountains. pennsylvania alone has two billion tons and 180,000 acres of contaminated land. these mountains of coal poison our water. they poison our air when they spontaneously combust and burn sometimes for over a year. we're losing pollutants with no control whatsoever. we have an industry that is solving this problem systematically turning this coal into electric power. senators casey and hatch and i have an amendment that will allow this cleanup to continue, to exempt these 19 power plants from the particularly onerous regulations in utility mact and from the cross-air pollution regulations. a vote in favor of this amendment is a vote to continue to clean up this environmental disaster that we have on our hands, and i would be very grateful for members' support. thank you. ms. murkowski: mr. president? mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: in speaking in opposition to the toomey
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amendment, it is an attack on the clean air act. i want to speak in favor of making sure that we are doing everything that the supreme court said we need to do, which is to enforce the clean air act. and while my colleague is making a point, i don't know why we should give some power plants in pennsylvania an exemption to the clean air act. obviously there are businesses all across america that have to comply with environmental laws. and by voting against this amendment, we can continue to fight against these pollution issues and to make sure that special interests aren't getting another narrow carveout in this legislation. so i would ask my colleagues to make sure that we're not creating a special exemption for the murkry and air toxic -- the mercury and air toxic standards in the clean air act and vote against this amendment. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the question is on the toomey amendment. is there a sufficient second? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: there appears to be. the senator from west virginia.
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matsch is -- mr. manchin: is there any time remaining? the presiding officer: all time is expired. the yeas and nays have been ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber who wish to vote or change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 54, the nays are 45. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment the amendment is not agreed to. under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 29 offered by the senator from rhode island, mr. whitehouse.
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mr. whitehouse: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. whitehouse: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president thank you. colleagues i almost hate to use my minute because i am so eager to hear what is said during the minute that our energy chairman will follow me with, but i'm hoping that after many years of darkness and blockade, this vote can be a first little beam of light through the wall that will allow us to at least start having an honest conversation about what carbon pollution is doing to our climate and to our oceans. this is a matter of vital consequence to my home state the ocean state my home, rhode island and to many of yours as well. i hope this is a place where we can get together and have a strong positive vote that sends
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a signal that this senate at this time in our history is ready to deal with reality. thank you very much. ms. murkowski: mr. president mr. president, i would yield the minute on our side to the senator from oklahoma. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president i ask for order in the senate. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. inhofe: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that i be added as a cosponsor to the whitehouse amendment. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. inhofe: mr. president. mr. president, climate is changing and climate has always changed and always will. there is archaeological evidence of that, there is biblical evidence of that, there is historical evidence of that. it will always change. the hopes is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change climate. man can't change climate. i ask my colleagues to vote for the whitehouse-inhofe amendment.
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the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i would like to recognize and thank the cosponsors on my side of the aisle, senator sanders senator manchin and senator leahy. so senator inhofe and i are not alone on this bill. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? the question is on the amendment. there appears to be a sufficient second. the yeas and nays have been ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator wish to vote or change their vote? on this vote the yeas are 98. the nays are 1.
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under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment the amendment is agreed to. under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 87 as modified, offered by the senator from north dakota, mr. hoeven. the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. who yields time? ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president we have an amendment before us, a side-by-side to the amendment that has been offered by the senator from hawaii. and what we do within this side-by-side is effectively lay out findings contained within the administration's e.i.s. that
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outlines the environmental impact of a keystone x.l. pipeline recognizing that the impact to the environment will be less if this line is actually constructive. we further go into a sense of the senate that acknowledges again, after the vote that we just had that climate is real and that there is an impact. with that, i would recommend that folks look at the language that has been introduced. i will be supporting the hoeven amendment. mrs. boxer: mr. president? mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president we're about to vote on something that i think will be recorded as a breakthrough moment in the climate debate. for the first time we will go on record saying the following:
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climate change is real, and human activity contributes to climate change. what a breath of fresh air this amendment is, and i urge an "aye" vote very strongly. now, the front part of the amendment, the front part of the amendment accurately quotes the e.i.s. parts of which a lot of us agree with and parts of which we don't. let it be known the parts we don't agree with are under review by various agencies, but this is accurate. this is a quote from the current e.i.s. you're not voting to endorse the e.i.s. you're just voting to acknowledge that that's what it says. but you are voting on original language written by mr. hoeven, senator hoeven that says climate change is real and -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mrs. boxer: i urge an "aye" vote. the presiding officer: the question is on the hoeven amendment as modified. ms. murkowski: i ask for the
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yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 59, the nays are 40. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment although, the amendment is not agreed to. without objection. under the previous order there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 58 offered by snrom the senator from hawaii mr. schatz. mr. schatz: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from washington.
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ms. cantwell: we need the senate in order for the senator from hawaii. mr. schatz: mr. president? the presiding officer: senators, please take your conversations out of the well. the senate will be in order. the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: my colleague from hawaii. the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. mr. schatz: mr. president? thank you, mr. president. this has been a surprisingly productive day in the senate on the issue of our climate debate and i know there's been a lot of consternation and discussion but that's a good thing. we have one final amendment to consider today and it simplily takes a portion of the language -- simply takes a portion of the language for the e.i.s. for the keystone x.l. and adopts it. that language says in summary that climate change is real and that climate change is caused by human -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. schatz: that language simply states that climate change is real, that climate change is charged by humans and principally by carbon pollution. so the simple vote in front of
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us is, do you agree with the factual evidence? will you concede to the facts? we have an opportunity to set a new chapter in this climate debate. today has been good progress. and so i urge my colleagues for a big bipartisan vote on this amendment.i yield the floor. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: who yields time? opposition? ms. murkowski: mr. president yield back. i would urge colleagues to -- excuse me, mr. president. i would urge colleagues to oppose the schatz amendment. there is a distinct difference between this amendment and what we just previously considered in the sense of the congress that would refer that human activity significantly contributes to climate change and the issue of the word of degrees. and i would suggest to colleagues that that inclusion
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of that word is sufficient to merit a "no" vote at this time. the presiding officer: the yeas having been requested, is there a sufficient second? there appears to be a sufficient second. the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 50, the nays are 49.
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under the previous order requiring 60 vote for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to. ms. murkowski: move to reconsider. nor senator lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president at this time -- the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: thank you mr. president. at this time i know senators are interested in coming to the floor and offering amendments. we have been discussing here on this side again a process forward. earlier in the day senator fischer had been working on an amendment that she has agreed to modify. i understand that the other side has a side-by-side that they would ask for consideration on. i know that the senator from louisiana will be here to the floor to speak to an amendment that he would like and that there are a couple on the other
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side of the aisle as well. there will be no more -- there will be no more votes today on these amendments, but again given the interest in this subject, i would encourage members to come down and speak to their amendments and what we would like to do is figure out that process to get a series of amendments pending. ms. cantwell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: the senator from -- i thank the senator from alaska for working through this process and the due diligence givegiven here. i think that we are very close to having the side-by-side language to everyone for review, and we can get the fischer and side-by-side figured out. i think as your colleagues and everyone else is talking about process, if we could get the next set of amendments at least offered by colleagues, that would give us a chance to then proceed on figuring out when the
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next votes r votes are. so, with that, if senator sanders wants to -- mr. sanders: thank you very much. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: let me thank senator murkowski and senator cantwell for working on a sensible process. and i ask to dps dispense with the reading and call up -- i ask consent to lay aside the current something -- amendments and call up amendment number -- ferraro is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report. -- the presiding officer: is thereisthere objection? without objection. the clerk will report. mr. sanders: plap? the clerk: mr. sanders for himself and others proposes an amendment numbered 24 to amendment number 2. after section 2 insert the followingfollowing:
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mr. sanders: mr. president i ask to dispense with the reading. the presiding officer: without objection. sand sand i wantmr. sanders: i want to applaud those senators, especially the republican senators, who i think for the very first time, a number of them stood up and said, climate change is real and climate change is caused by human activityies, and i think this is a significant step forward, and i think that in the months and years to come, more and more republicans will accept that position because that is the position of the scientific community. mr. president, what my amendment does is the in fact repeat what we heard today and what we voted on that climate change is real understand that it is caused by human activities, but it also has three other provisions in it. that that it says that climate change has already caused
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devastating problems in the united states and around the world. and i think it is hard to argue against that. whether it is drought in the united states and around the world, increased forest fires in the southwest of the united states flooding in the united states and all over the world rising sea levels and the damage that that does, or extreme weather conditions, it is very hard to argue that climate change has not caused severe, devastating problems in the united states already. and what this amendment also does it says that a brief window of opportunity exists before the united states and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm. and, again, that is what the scientific community is telling us. they're saying, damage is being done today. now it will only get worse in years to come. we have a brief window of
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opportunity to prevent really, really serious problems. and i would hope that my colleagues would support that provision. and, lastly, and what logically follows from the previous four positions, is the following: and that is that it is imperative that the united states transforms its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible. that doesn't mean you close down yoaferl-burning plant in america tomorrow. but it does mean that we move away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible. so i think in terms of this bill, we have already made some good progress. i would look for bipartisan support tomorrow so that the senate goes on record in supporting the

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