tv [untitled] March 23, 2012 1:30am-2:00am EDT
anyway, right now the president is in oklahoma and he's standing in the middle of an oil field talking about the virtues of fossil fuel. the -- it's kind of interesting that he's doing that, that his budgets that he's put forward have been very punitive to that industry. he's made the statement how expensative would be. his agenda is one that has specifically increased the price of gas at the pump and the energy in our homes. and, remember, as president obama himself said that his policies would necessarily skyrocket. those were his words. and that's true and that's what's happened. now the global warming movement has collapsed. i can see why president obama is trying to associate himself with oil and gas development in oklahoma. as cnn, you ought to listen to this, madam chair. cnn wrote a piece about cushing, oklahoma. right at the convergence of our
pipelines. it's about 30 miles west of my hometown. it said, quote, the place is booming. there's a shortage of workers around. i mean, we know nationally there's actually a shortage of engineers and oil workers and skilled and unskilled labor. petroleum engineers graduating from school can earn upwards of $90,000. what is oklahoma's secret? we're developing our own resources. oklahoma has over 83,000 producing wells and 43,000 producing natural gas wells. oklahoma city university found in 2009 that oklahoma oil and gas industry supports 30,000 -- 300,000 jobs. contributes to the state's economy every year. the unemployment rate is cons t consistently much lower than the national average. their biggest problem up there is finding workers. and it happens.
herald ham who has been a witness twice before this committee from enid, oklahoma is up there right now in those shale deposits. there is no unemployment in that area. and so this is significant. now i really think with the president's campaign going, he wants to take credit today for part of the keystone pipeline that will be constructed from cushing, oklahoma, to port arthur, texas. i'd like to remind everyone -- i don't have to remind everyone. everyone knows it was the president unilaterally that stopped the excel pipeline. particularly that area going through nebraska. and it happens that his authority does not allow him to do the same thing to the south. and, therefore, he's there making his statements about how friendly he is to oil and gas. but even as president obama stands in the oil field, pretending to support this
pipeline, he continues full force with his efforts to regulate fossil fuels, spearheaded in large by your agency. his epa is moving forward with an unprecedented barrage of expensive rules from greenhouse gas regulation to hydraulic fracturing to utility -- with the express purpose of eliminating fossil fuels. you know, i just want to make sure i have in the record the specific things he's done in his -- attempted to do, unsuccessfully in his budgets over the last four years would be to the percentage depletion. the section 199 and the expensing of intangible drilling costs. those are things that would have been very damaging to the industry. so right now, in a minute we'll get a copy of his speech he's made and perhaps we'll still be in session. let me also say, madam chairman, that once again, not your fault, mine or anyone else's, but this
coincides with the armed services committee. so i'll be going back and forth. >> okay. since senator went over 30 seconds, i'm going to take 30 seconds to say this. president obama has always endorsed and all of the above strategy when it comes to energy. this is not the energy committee. it's the environment committee. but i feel i want to put this in the record. we've had more domestic drilling to the point where in 2011, american oil production reached the highest level in a decade. and gas production -- the importation of oil has gone down every single year since president obama took office. and natural gas is at an all-time high in terms of production. so all this talk about how the president is against this is incorrect. and he is for an all the above strategy. he may not want to drill in places where it hurts the fishing economy, the recreation
economy, but he sure is showing by facts, not since yesterday, and not since gas prices went up, but since he came in that he is going to move forward. so i really do think the facts belie my dear friends comments. i really do. and we'll move on. since you went over by 30 seconds -- >> that's exactly the same thing that our -- >> i didn't go over, but i'm happy -- >> rachel maddow -- >> i'm happy to give you 30 seconds more. >> and i was saying in spite of -- that's why we agree on that. we agree that in spite of all of his punitive things he has tried to do, which i've already said in my opening statement, fortunately, a lot of these shale deposits in areas where the marcellus is up in pennsylvania and new york, places -- people think normally it's all out west, but it's not. we've had tremendous opportunity s and in spite of his policies
we've increased our production and will continue to do so. if we can just get all of the politicians out of the way, we'd be able to be totally independent of the middle east, not only in a matter of years but a matter of months. >> we have 2% of the world's -- >> no, that's not true. >> -- proven supplies. we're not going to go off on this. >> i can't leave it at that, though, because that's not true. >> we're not going to do this. you raised -- >> the largest -- >> senator inhofe, my dear friend. >> the reserves of any country in the world. >> i just want to say this is not the energy committee. you used your time to slam our president and i take offense at it. and i will tell you right now if he is so punitive, why are the oil companies making more money than ever before in history? record profits they are singing in the board room. and we're going to move off this and we're going to go to senator lautenbe
lautenberg. >> thank you very much. thanks. i didn't want anyone to hear what i was going to say. not that i would pick sides h e here. pick on somebody your own size. >> your time has expired. >> i have 45 seconds more. serious business here. thanks, madam chairman, for holding this hearing. and it's hard to believe, but we are essentially friends on this committee. and i hope that we'll continue to be after this hearing. politicians talk a lot about how congress needs to balance its
budget the same way everyday americans do. they sit at their kitchen table, plan their household budget, crunching the numbers to see what they can or can't afford. but no american would try to balance their family's budget by cutting out money batteries for the smoke detector or putting off getting new brakes for the family car. it would be just a congress to sacrifice the public's health and safety in the name of fiscal austerity. yet that's precisely what our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have proposed when they say we should cut thetion agency's budget. the epa performs critical service to our country and enforces the laws that keep the air our children breathe and the water they drink clean. administrator lisa jackson has provided able leadership for the
agency. and we miss her in new jersey when she headed the department of environmental protection. did such a great job and thank goodness it's carrying forward in her task here. we're very proud of your work. over the last year we've seen epa take important steps to protect the health of the families and restore our environment. after years of the delay by polluters and their allies, epa finally finalized new pollution standards that ll and toxic air pollution. these standards will prevent asthma attacks, heart attacks and even premature deaths. they'll also protect children from mercury, brain poison for children that can cause developmental problems and learning disabilities. the epa also worked with the d.o.t. to set new auto pollution and fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. by nearly doubling the performance of our vehicles, these standards will cut america's oil dependence, clear
our air and save consumers money at the gas pump. but despite its record of success, the epa is once again under attack. for example, some senators have launched efforts to subvert the epa's ability to carry out the clean air act. i think what they ought to do if they are opposed to improving the clean air act, maybe poll their constituents and ask for the homes that have an asmatic person in that household. ask them how they feel about saving some dough on the backs of their kids. my family will never forget an asthma attack that took my sister's life. she was a school board meeting, tried to get to the res piraltior she had in her car. collapsed in the parking lot and died three days later at the age of 52. and i have a grandson who has asthma.
and when my daughter takes him to play ball or whatever sports he's engaged in, she first checks to see where the nearest emergency facility is. so it's serious stuff. and we ought to stop playing games with this. since it became law in 1970, the clean air act has protected our health and the environment from the dangers of toxic air pollution. in 2010 alone. it prevented more than 160,000 premature deaths and more than 1.7 million child respiratory illnesses. these are more than just statistics. just like administrator jackson. i have family members, as i mentioned, that suffer from asthma. our families know that asthma is a serious disease that can mean life or death. and its growth in our population is enormous. the clean air act economic benefits are also clear. when air pollution is severe, health care costs soar and productivity plunges.
businesses know oom es know emp can't breathe are employees who can't work. gutting it will do nothing to help our economic recovery or to close our budget deficit. we have to fix the budget challenge but no american would balance their household budget by skimping on their family's safety, and congress shouldn't be putting austerity above public health. i applaud the epa for making responsible choices in the budget, although i am concerned about some cuts such as the elimination of the grant funding. i look forward to hearing from administrator jackson about this budget and about how this committee can help the epa continue its vital public mission. >> thank you, senator. senator sessions? >> thank you very much. it's good to be with you.
as ranking member of the budget committee, i know how tight our spending is. you do important work, but you have to be accountable like every other agency. and i know you would agree with that. and we expect a smart, cost effective actions out of your agency. "the washington post" had their pinocchio honesty report, and they quote president obama saying if we went to your house and we went to the mall and put up those rigs everywhere, we'd still only have 2% of the world's known oil reserves. "the washington post" says, quote, that's simply wrong. the president is on an energy tour this week. and on wednesday, he once again made this claim. we hope he finally drops this specious logics from his speaking points. twro pinocchios. the budget picture of 2013 would be the fifth consecutive year of a trillion-dollar deficit.
ushtd the president's 2013 budget, annual federal spending reaches $44,000 per household in 2022. and federal debt reaches $200,000 per household by 2022. as the size of the federal government grows, the middle class is being squeezed from all directions. real wages are declining. food and energy prices are rising. job prospects remain scarce. but one area has received extraordinary increases in funding. and that's the environmental protection agency. and my constituents ask me frequently why is epa so much involved now in impacting our lives like we've never seen it before and i've heard complaints to a degree administrator jackson that i've never heard since i've been in washington. the answer, since taking office,
president obama has had epa operating at a surged budget. since 2009, epa has received $12 billion more in funding than the 2008 base line levels would have allowed. in fact, when it took office, administration and the democratic-controlled congress gave epa a 100% increase in its budget in one year counting the stimulus. the money came, as i said, as a policy decision from the administration. unfortunately this rapid increase has led to problems in waste. epa spent over $1 million for example on a large square, 27,000-square-foot green roof at the top of the world wildlife fund headquarters in d.c. in 2010, epa received a 38%
budget increase of a 2008 levels and every year since they've been funded well above that baseline. what are the priorities? i'm concerned about how the money is being allocated. epa's budget says their number one priority is climate change. they are asking for at least $32 million in increased funding for climate change protection. in fact, epa plans to spend $140 million more on their regulations and management programs. that means we should expect to see more costly mandates from washington. they also plan to increase their spending on epa regulators and scientists. at the same time, epa plans to cut spending to the states by $257 million. the state partnerships are important, and they do play a major role in how we conduct our efforts to improve our
environment. you also plan cuts for brownfield's redevelopment. i was disappointed your agency would ask for $15 million in increased funding for enforcement efforts while just this week the supreme court ruled 9-0 in the sacic case that epa had abused its authorities. the tsunami of costly regulations are driving up energy prices and are hindering economic growth. the environmental protection agency's utility map cross state air rule, coal ash rule, cooling water intake rule, rules on farmers and regulation of pesticides, taking that away from states, would together impose a significant burden on our economy and a result in multiple complaints to me from
my constituents that these rules are not realistic. they are being imposed too fast and that the costs exceed the benefits. $21 billion in annual costs on the u.s. economy would be imposed by these new regulations. that's annual cost. that's about half of the highway bill we worked so hard to try to find the money to support. so epa declares their rules will only result in a 3% increase in electricity rates, but it looks like it may be as much as 10% to 20%. madam chairman, thank you for the opportunity to have this hearing. all of us are going to have to tighten our budget, and i encourage epa to do the same. and i believe you need to be held accountable in each program analyzed aggressively to see if they justify the taxpayers' dollars being invested in it. thank you. >> senator sessions, thank you. senator whitehouse.
>> thank you madam chair. i'd like to welcome administrator jackson back to our committee. i have some concerns about the beach protection budget that we can discuss as the budget process moves forward. very, very important to rhode island. and i wanted to mention what's very important to rhode island is there would be proper enforcement of the clean air act. we are a down wind state on a bright summer day, you drive into work and the drive time radio is often saying that today is a bad air day. and infants should stay indoors and seniors should stay indoors and people should not have engaged in vigorous outdoor activity. all because of toxic emissions that are being dropped on to us by midwestern coal plants and power plants. so that sentiment has been echoed. the american lung association
has just done a poll that shows 73% of americans understand that you can have solid clean air standards and a strong economy. that they go together. 78% of independent voters agreed. 68% of republicans agreed with that. the polls show that 72% of americans supported your prot s protections on carbon emissions for power plants. i know you get a lot of static here in d.c. about what you are doing. this is a unique place where special interest, particularly polluting special interest, have a disproportionate voice. but in the down wind states, and among the general american population, we are in accord with you. we are counting on you. so i think -- and i'll close by mentioning a show that i watched when i got home last night on the nova science program about what is happening in the -- at
the poles in theant arctic and arctic regions. and once again, we have a situation in which washington is disconnected from the real world. my theory is it's disconnected by special interest money. by polluting special interest money from the real world. and so the facts of what we are doing with our carbon pollution to our oceans and to our atmosphere are being manipulated and propagandaized. but i believe that out there in the real world where people are looking at real facts, where they are not under the shadow of special interest, people have strong support for your efforts to get our carbon pollution under control and i urge you to continue to stand strong and appreciate very much that you have stood strong and anything we can do to make sure we have your back on that, i'm
interested in doing. very important to rhode island as a down wind state to have clean air for our citizens. thank you very much, madam chair. >> thank you senator. senator barraso. >> the obama administration officials regularly try to justify their excessive red tape by citing misleading and incomplete health statistics. meanwhile, they completely ignore how these exact same regulations destroy jobs and destroy communities. when americans lose their jobs, their health and the health of their children suffers. these are the findings of a new minority report that i am releasing today as ranking member of the subcommittee of clean air and nuclear safety. the report is entitled "red tape: making americans sick." a new report on the health impacts of high unemployment. this is a comprehensive report and it contains expert testimony before this committee. and the best scientific medical research from institutions such as johns hopkins, columbia, yale
and others. this key medical research and testimony details the public health consequences of joblessness. and the joblessness is caused as a result from the cumulative impact of the epa's ongoing regulations. specifically, these impacts from joblessness will increase the likelihood of hospital visits, increase the likelihood of illnesses and premature deaths in communities. this joblessness will raise health care costs, will raise questions about the claimed health savings of the epa's regulations. and these regulations through this impact hurt children's health and hurt families' well-beings. as detailed in this report, this committee has heard some of these findings before. dr. harvey brenner of johns hopkins university testified before this committee on june 15th and he warned that, quote, the unemployment rate is well established as a risk factor for
elevated illnesses and mortality rates in epidemiological studies performed since the early 1980s. it is true that studies as far back as 1985 have warned of the health impacts of unemployment. a study published that year in the american journal of public health by dr. margaret lynn found that, quote, after unemployment, symptoms of sematization which includes pain, a whole bunch of different symptoms, also depression and anxiety, were significantly greater in the unemployed than in the employed. more recent studies include yale researcher dr. william galo who released a study in 20 06 78 and that found that results suggest that the true cost of late career unemployment exceed financial deprivation and include substantial health consequences. unemployment's health impact on children is also discussed in the report.
the national center for health statistics has found that children in poor families were four times as likely to be in fair or poor health as children in families that were not poor. the research in the report speaks for itself. the concern about unemployment's impact on public health is a concern for at least one former obama white house official. as reported in "the new york times" on november 17th of last year, white house chief of staff william daley asked one interest group lobbying for stricter epa rules, an interest group lobbying the administration for even stricter epa rules, mr. daley said, quote, what are the health impacts of unemployment? i and my colleagues in congress have urged the epa to seriously consider the cumulative impacts of their rules and how they negatively impact jobs, families, children and the
elderly. finally on tuesday, the obama administration made a surprising announcement in that regard. the white house announced a new policy on studying cumulative impacts. now finally, after much of the damage has been done to employment and public health, the obama administration now wants to find out what is happening across the united states because of their rules. well, here's the answer. their rules, closing power plants, shut doung factories, raising gasoline and electricity prices, costing jobs, they all cost jobs and they make people less healthy as stated in this report. so i will release this report, red tape, making americans sick. a new report on the health impacts of high unemployment. studies show epa rules cost americans their jobs and their health. i'd recommend it to every person who works at the environmental protection agency. thank you madam chairwoman.
>> thank you, i look forward to reading it. we have a majority report called "a strong epa protects our health and promotes economic growth." and the executive summary points out that since the passage of the clean water act, the clean air act, the safe drinking water act super fund and many of these -- most of these signed by republican presidents are gross domestic product has risen by 207%, and it remains the large nest the world. i find it rather amazing that one small agency would be blamed for all the troubles we're going through. if anyone cares about jobs, have the house ask speaker boehner to bring up the bipartisan transportation bill. 3 million jobs are at stake. so this committee has a great role in definitely creating jobs through this transportation bill which i'm so proud is bipartisan. and we'll call on senator udall.
thank you, madam chair and welcome administrator jackson. great to have you here again. and i wanted to talk to you about a couple of issues in the questioning. but i thought i would highlight at the beginning here the fact that the president just visited new mexico and oklahoma on an energy trip promoting his all of the above energy strategy where he is saying that all of our energy sources should be developed. and new mexico, we have an area rich in oil and gas called the permian basin which is having an extraordinary boom at this time, and he highlighted by his visit to new mexico that boom that was going on in the increase of oil production in the united states. in fact, i think he went to oklahoma following new mexico, and there was a problem there with pipelines not being able to get supply out. and he issued an executive order to move that along.
>> they're working hard to do everything they can. and it seems to me that we're seeing from republicans a lot of change in position. especially mitt romney. in 2006, governor romney said, and this is a direct quote. i'm very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay. and the new public covered it in an article just recently here that i'd like to submit for the record, madam chair. it's -- the title of the article is when romney liked high gas prices. and, in fact, it highlighted that he was very much for a lot of the plants that president obama has put forward today. on this issue of gas prices i would note the associad