tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 5, 2011 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 2681 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to provide additional time for the administrator of the environmental protection agency to issue achievable standards for cement manufacturing facilities, and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, and the gentlelady from california, mrs. capps, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky.
mr. whitfield: thank you, mr. chairman. at this time i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. whitfield: there's been a lot of discussion in the one minutes this morning about the importance of passing the obama jobs bill. i would like to remind everyone today that the bailouts, the stimulus packages, all have exceeded $2 trillion in the spending of taxpayer money. and despite the expenditure of all of that money, the unemployment rate in america is still well over 9%, even though it was suggested that with the spending of the stimulus money unemployment would be brought down to less than 8%. i would also remind everyone that within the last three days the department of energy shoved out the door approximately $5 billion in loan guarantees for
so-called green energy projects without, in my view, the necessary time to clearly evaluate the loans that were being made. and we have proof of this because of the -- in the solyndra case, the taxpayer has to spend $538 million because that company went bankrupt. now in the obama jobs bill they are asking for another approximately $500 billion to be spent to create jobs. well, the reason that we are here today is that if you talk to any businesspeople today, large or small, they will tell you that the reason jobs are not being created in america is because of uncertainty. the un-- uncertainty about health care regulations, not knowing what they are going to be, already 8,700 pages in new regulation vs. been written. the uncertainty created by the
new financial regulations that increase the capital requirements for loans to be made changes the appraisal process, that has created great uncertainty. but most important, the uncertainty created by this aggressive environmental protection agency. this administrator has been the most aggressive in issuing new regulations in the history of the e.p.a. we all are committed to a clean air that allows for healthful living in america, but we also want to use common sense, particularly at this time, when our economy is struggling. and so when you issue new regulations that create additional obstacles for job creation, that is a major problem. i noticed today for example in "the hill" magazine, senate democrats buck obama on jobs
plan. so they have the same concerns that we do. so today we are bringing to the floor h.r. 2681, referred to as the cement sector regulatory relief act, which basically says to e.p.a. about their recently issued cement regulatory items, we want you to go back and revisit this bill because evidence shows that 20,000 jobs are add jeopardy, 18% of cement plants in america may very well be closed because of this regulation. so we are simply asking e.p.a. in this legislation to go back, revisit this rule, issue a final rule within 15 months after the passage of this legislation, give the affected industry up to five years to comply with the new regulations because in doing
so we are going to reduce the loss of jobs which is critical at this time of our nation's history. now, i would also like to say that this legislation introduced by the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. sullivan, has bipartisan support. if you look at the sponsors and co-sponsors, you will see a lot of democratic co-sponsors of his legislation. i would also say to you that there are over 29 national association and construction groups that support this legislation led by the american road and transportation builders association, the associated general contractors of america, the international brotherhood of boilermakers, iron shipbuilders, black smith forgers and helpers, international association of bridge, structural, ornamental, and reinforcing iron workers, united brotherhood of carpenters and joiners of america, labors international union of north america, and the international
union of operating engineers. so you have businesses, labor unions all supporting this commonsense legislation simply directing e.p.a. to do a more careful analysis before they fully implement this hard-hitting regulation. that would close 18% of the cement plants in america. we believe that this can be done and still clearly protect the health of the american people as well as the clean air that we now have in this great country. and with that, i would retain the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from california. america online mr. chairman, i claim the time for our side. mr. waxman: at this point i yield five minutes to the very distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee on energy, the gentleman from illinois, mr. rush. the chair: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for five minutes. mr. rush: i want to thank the
ranking member on the full committee and i want to commend him on his outstanding work not only on this particular matter but in most of the issues that come before this congress as relates to not only the us but the american people. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong, strong opposition to this bill, h.r. 2681. i call it the dirty cement solution bill. -- pollution bill. let's be perfectly clear, mr. speaker. this bill is and this measure is not about jobs. for the chairman of the subcommittee, my friend, to try to persuade members of this body that this is about jobs, i think that it's the worst kind of policy.
jobs not only is a useful cue nard, but this is not about -- cunard, but this is not about jobs, this is about an industry that is singular in its being eliminated or being not under the as you -- auspicious of the clean air act and by an industry that is unique because it doesn't have to adhere to any of the provisions of the clean air act. and it's about time that this industry be with other industries in this nation to come under the auspicious and the standards of the clean air act. they are the second largest mercury emitting source. before the e.p.a. issued it's
2010 rule, these emissions remain essentially unrestrained due to the lack of control for cement releasing mercury into the atmosphere. h.r. 2681 will roll back the clean air standards by revoking three clean air act rules regarding the only national limits on emissions since its mercury from cement kills in -- kill -- kilns. this bill would also require e.p.a. to propose and finalize replacement rules that would allow for more pollution than the law currently permits. . this bill is intended to significantly change how e.p.a. thinks with standards when issuing the alternative rules.
h.r. 2681 would indefinitely delay the reduction of hazardous pollutants by prohibiting e.p.a. from finalizing replacement rules prior to march, 2013, if bill were to be enacted at the end of this year. also, this bill does not include any statutory deadline for when polluters must reduce emissions, leaving the process ambiguous and open-ended. at the very least, this dirty cement pollution bill would postpone emission reductions from cement kilns until at least 2018, a four and one-half year
delay. in fact, the health safeguards from these standards are long, long, long, long overdue. e.p.a. just finalized standards for cement plants last year, making them 13 years overdue under the clean air act amendments of 1990. 13 years overdue, already were overdue 13 years. the science tells us that these dirty things can cause a variety of serious health events including cancer and respiratory and neurological impairments as well as preproductive problems -- reproductive problems. in particular, mercury can cause harm to pregnant women, unborn
babies and young children. by -- >> i yield the gentleman an additional one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional one minute. mr. rush: by damaging the developing nervous system which prevents childrens' ability to learn and to think. additionally, mercury emissions can also damage the environment by polluting our nation's lakes and streams and the seafood which we eat. in fact, e.p.a.'s stirments that h.r. 2681 will allow for thousands of additional premature deaths and premature heart attacks as well as tens of thousands of additional asthma attacks that could have been avoided. mr. speaker, the public health benefits from the reduction of air toxin emissions from cement
kilns have already been delayed long enough. now is the time. the radical republican majority cannot keep making excuses and exceptions for the largest industrial emitters of mercury in the u.s., cement plants and industrial boilers, while over 100 other industries have already controlled their toxin pollutants. i yield back and -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky. >> i know that we're going to be hearing a lot about mercury today and i would like to point out that it's been indicated that 98% of the mercury present in america today, air, land and so forth, comes from natural causes and from sources outside of the united states. mr. whitfield: and e.p.a. in its analysis of this cement regulation that they just issued did not assign any dollar value that would come from the reduction of mercury emissions.
so, i think that this is a red herring that our friends are bringing up on the other side. but at this point in time i'd like to recognize for a period of four minutes the gentleman, the author of this legislation, mr. sullivan of oklahoma. the chair: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for four minutes. mr. sullivan: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you, chairman whitfield. as we go around our districts and i go around my district in oklahoma, many people come up to me and say, john, -- what are you politicians in washington going to do to help this economy, what are you going to do to create jobs here in america? well, you know, we politicians don't create jobs. what we do do is we get in the way. and one of the things we can do to keep jobs in place and even foster new jobs is getting the heck out of the way with these burdensome, overregulations that are -- burdensome overregulations that are out there. the e.p.a. has gone rowing, wanting to shut down -- rogue, wanting to shut down 20% of our
cement plants. and president obama, when he came to the joint session here recently, said he wanted to build roads and bridges and infrastructure. well, i guess he wants to do that with imported chinese cement, not american-made cement. i rise today in strong support of h.r. 2681, the cement sector regulatory relief act of 2011. as house republicans move forward with a bold agenda to grow our economy and put americans back to work, one area that must be addressed is the issue of overregulation by the federal government. with our economy suffering and given that -- excuse me, 14 million americans are out of work, congress must implement federal policies that grow jobs. increase domestic manufacturing and restore the global economic
competitiveness of the united states. businesses make decisions on where to invest based upon a number of factors. but regulatory certainty ranks among the top factors which is why h.r. 2681, the cement sector regulatory relief act of 2011, is so important. i introduced this bipartisan legislation with my good friend and colleague, mike ross of arkansas, to protect american jobs. jobs that we are in danger of losing due to the obama administration's radical environmental regulatory agenda. the purpose of this legislation is to provide e.p.a. additional time to repropose and finalize its rules setting maximum achievable control technology and other standards for cement manufacturing plants so that the rules are both achievable and protect american jobs. specifically the e.p.a. would be required to repropose the cement mact rules 15 months after enactment of this legislation.
the bill will also extend the dates for compliance with the rules from three to five years to give our domestic cement manufacturing industry the time to comply with its rules. if e.p.a. cement mact rule is not revised, thousands of jobs will be lost due to cement plant closures and high construction costs. this rule alone threatens to shut down up to 20% of the nation's cement manufacturing plants in the next two years, sending thousands of jobs permanently overseas and driving up cement and construction costs across the country. additionally the portland cement association estimates it will cost $3.4 billion, half of the industry's annual revenues, to comply with e.p.a.'s current cement mact rule. does that make any sense? the e.p.a. cement rule also greatly impacts our nation's construction industry, where unemployment rates have hovered
between 16% and 20% nationally. without my legislation construction jobs losses would be further exacerbated with reduced supplies of cement being produced in the united states. the simple fact is cement is the backbone for the construction of our nation's buildings, roads, bridges and crucial water and wastewater treatment infrastructure. without further investment in cement capacity expansion, the united states will become increasingly dependent on foreign imports. additionally -- mr. whitfield: mr. chairman, i'd like to yield the gentleman an additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional one minute. >> thank you. it would also drive up costs of infrastructure projects and potentially limit the number of projects that may be undertaken. mr. sullivan: now some of the opponents of this commonsense, bipartisan legislation, including president obama, say this legislation weakens the clean air act. nothing could be further from the truth. h.r. 2681 does not change or modify any existing public
health protections. it simply directs the e.p.a. to establish regulations achievable and practiced by real world cement plants at a time of great economic uncertainty. this is something worth doing for the health of our economy. i do not know if the president is watching but right now jobs are being created and our economy is not -- or not being created and our economy is not growing. the cement sector is struggling in the current economic climate and the face of foreign competition from abroad. president obama likes to talk about the need to invest in our nation's infrastructure and this legislation will remove one of the simple barriers to growth in the construction and manufacturing industries. i am amazed he is opposed to this bipartisan measure and i encourage my colleagues to support this. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. waxman: i want to put this bill in the perspective of what the house has been doing on the environment. the house has voted 136 times
this congress to block action to address climate change, to halt efforts to reduce air and water pollution, to undermine protections for public lands and coastal areas and to weaning the protections of the environment in other ways as well. this is the most antienvironment congress in history. last month the house passed radical legislation to turn back 40 years of progress towards clean air. that bill would nullify pollution control requirements on power plants, the largest source of toxic mercury pollution in the country. and weaken our national clean air goals by basing them on corporate profits, not on public health. today the house continues its frontal assault on public health and the environment. the bills we'll consider this week are the next phase of the republican converted attack on
our environment. the bills would gut the clean air act provisions that protect american families from toxic air pollutants. if these bills are enacted, there will be more cases of cancer, birth defects and brain damage. the ability of our children to think and learn will be impaired because of their exposure to mercury and other dangerous air pollutants. in 1990 the congress on a bipartisan basis voted to protect the public from these toxic pollutants. the law directed e.p.a. to set standards requiring the use of the maximum achievable control technology to control emissions of mercury, arsenic, p.c.b.'s and other toxic pollutants. this approach has worked well. industrial emissions of carcinogens and other highly toxic chemicals have been
reduced by 1.7 million tons each year. e.p.a. has reduced pollution from dozens of industrial sectors, more than 100 categories of sources have been required to cut their pollution. and this has delivered major public health benefits to this nation. but a large source of categories still have not been required to control toxic air pollution due to the delays and litigation. the bill we are going to consider today would nullify and indefinitely delay e.p.a.'s efforts to reduce toxic emissions from cement plants. now, the chairman of the subcommittee said, this is a commonsense bill. it's only for a short delay. he said that cement plants would have up to five years to comply with pollution control requirements. and you my think the -- and you
might think, well a little more time won't do that much harm. but that is not a correct statement of what this bill would do. the bill says that e.p.a. cannot require any pollution reduction from any cement plant for at least five years. so it's five years before they can do anything at e.p.a. and then there's no deadline thereafter where the facilities ever have to comply. that to me is not a simple, commonsense approach to a very dangerous pollution. later this week we're going to have a consideration of a bill to indefinitely delay pollution controls on industrial boilers and waste incinerators. both of these bills would rewrite the standard provisions of the clean air act, to weaken the levels of protection and set up new hurdles for e.p.a. rules. we're told that we need to pass these bills because the threat of e.p.a. regulation is dragging
down our economy. the reality is that requiring installation of pollution controls will create jobs. we're going to need more factory workers, we're going to need to build the pollution controls, we're going to need construction workers to install them onsite, cement plant employees to operate them. we hear this all the time, these statements that pollution controls will cost us jobs. but the studies have been -- these arguments have been thoroughly debunked by independent experts. for instance, the congressional research service examined one and concluded, quote, little credence can be placed in these estimate of job losses. the state and local air pollution agencies concluded that one study's assumptions are grossly in error. it's my hope that this body will not be so easily misled. it was lack of regulation at
wall street, on the banks and the brokers and the other people who spent their time figuring out very crafty investments for which nothing -- nothing backed them up that caused this recession, not because we had environmental regulations that protect children from toxic mercury emissions. . i oppose these bills on substance and i also have concerns about the process. let me go into the process. we were told, this is a small issue, depends how you look at it, these bills are bad enough to oppose simply on the basis of what they would do, but it shows how the republican majority in this house want to adopt rules and regulations on themselves, but they don't abide by them. the house dew point change the rules, but the majority leader
said we have a protocol that whenever we have a discretionary cut-go rule, and the legislative protocol for the 112th congress, we must have funding authorized to make up for the extra requirement that's going to be required of any government agency. and this requires a specific amount to be offset by a reduction in an existing authorization. majority leader announced compliance with these protocols would be necessary before legislation could be scheduled for floor consideration. we had a similar situation where chairman upton said our committee would follow this discretionary cut-go rule. he sent me a letter which i'll make a part of the record in june to clarify this discretionary cut-go policy will apply to pending bills before our committee. if c.b.o. can determines, he said, that any of these bills will have a significant impact on the federal budget we'll
offset the newly authorized spending with reductions elsewhere, end quote. well, c.b.o. has determined that both of these bills that are on the floor this week will, in fact, authorize new discretionary spending. i read one of the quotes from a republican staff person. we don't need to worry about it because it doesn't really authorize new spending. c.b.o. says it does. they determined these bills will have a significant impact on federal budget because of the bill's requirement that e.p.a. spend resources on proposing and finalizing new regulations. they said it's only going to cost $2 billion over a five-year period. that's not a lot of money, but it is money. and that's why the republicans have this protocol. they said we didn't want any money being spent without it being offset. now, this is not a rule. we don't have to wave this rule, but what we have is not a waiver of this rule, we have the republicans ignoring their own
protocol and their own policies. the american people need to focus on the radical agenda of the republicans that are controlling this house of representatives. i don't think when the republicans were voted into office the american people voted for poisoning more children with mercury and letting more of our seniors die prematurely because of uncontrolled pollution. i oppose this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i might say to the distinguished ranking member that we do not authorize any additional funding in this bill and the e.p.a. does have a $2 billion budget that allows them to deal with regulatory issues. at this time i would like to recognize the chairman emeritus of the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. barton, for four minutes. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for four minutes. mr. barton: i thank the distinguished subcommittee chairman. i listened with interest to mr.
waxman's remarks. sometimes when there's not a lot you can say substantively against an issue, you just put a lot of stuff out there and hope something sticks. and i would have to characterize most of his remarks as something hoping that some of what he said sticks. the bill that he just spoke against is only eight pages long. it's just eight pages. and here's the gist of the bill. it asks the e.p.a. or directs the e.p.a. to go back and spend 12 to 15 months to take a look at the rule that it was about to propose. in other words to go back and reanalyze it. i don't think that's gutting the clean air act. then it extends the compliance deadline from -- for an additional three to five years.
now, that's substantive. that could result in some additional time, which is, i think, is a good thing, but that in and of itself shouldn't be a showstopper. and then it asks that the e.p.a. when they adopt these new rules to make sure that it's still allowable for cement manufacturing to use alternative fuels. well, the last time i looked the democratic party was big on alternative fuels and supporting loan guarantees to develop those fuels. so that shouldn't be a showstopper. and then finally it says whatever rule that you eventually adopt, you have to be able to implement in the real world. now that is an amazing thing. that we want a regulation to be promulgated that you can actually achieve with real world technology. in texas that's called common
sense. i'm not sure what it's called up here. that's the bill. that's the bill. it's an eight-page bill. now, mr. waxman also said that we have had 100 votes trying to do terrible things to the environment in this congress. we have not had one vote, ladies and gentlemen, that changed an existing statute that's already in place. an existing standard. all these votes that my good friend from california talks about are time-out, saying, wait a minute, before we make them even tighter, let's make sure they make sense. we've got an economy that's reeling. we have unemployment at 10%. the compliance cost of this plethora of e.p.a. regulations is in the billions of dollars annually. billions. billions. this particular cement mact rule if implemented would shutter somewhere between 15% to 20% of
cement production in the united states. that's not trivial, folks. that's real. so what those of us who support the bill are saying is, let's take a second look at it, let's make sure that the rules have time to be implemented. let's let alternative fuels be used. and let's let whatever regulation is ultimately implemented actually be achievable in the real world. i think that's worthy of support and i would ask my friends on both sides of the aisle to support this when it comes up for a vote. i would assume sometime tomorrow, probably. we have 20-something amendments. so we are going to be here debating it. this is a good piece of legislation. it's common sense. it would help our think. and we would still get additional regulation that makes sense for cement kilns. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. chairman, i have in front of me the bill.
and it says, whatever regulations the e.p.a. is proposing, it's taken them a decade to finally come up with these regulations, it will be null and void. it will have no force of action. it will be treated as though such rule had never taken effect. then it's going to be replaced. how is it going to be replaced? it says we are not going to let them replace this rule for five years. during this period of time people are still being exposed to these toxic pollutants. so it says not earlier -- they'll establish a compliance and establish new regulations, but nobody has to do anything for five years. but then it doesn't say anything about when you have to actually come into compliance. which of course in existing law is set in place. that's repealed. and then it goes on to say, they are going to have to meet a different standard.
the standard that's in the law, this is going to be replaced by some other standard. it basically waters it all down. the standard in the law by the way is the maximum achievable control technology. that means technology that already achieves reductions. but that will be wiped out. they'll have a new standard that can't be pursuant to the regulation. the regulation can't come out for five years. we don't know when it would ever be complied with and it would be based on a different standard. that is not simple. that is in effect saying nothing is going to be done. we repeal what's being told, what is being said in law and then we are going to insist that nothing be done. that to me is an absurdity and it's harmful to the public that's going to be exposed to these harmful chemicals. i'll reserve my time.
i want to yield at this time five minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran, who is the lead appropriator on our side of the aisle when it comes to these kinds of issues. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes. mr. moran: i thank the distinguished chairman, particularly for his leadership. mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to this bill. if this bill is enacted, an intolerable number of american babies will be born with birth defects. the majority sets out a false choice. roll back clean air protections or lose jobs. the real choice is a moral one. but the economic case for defeating this bill is also compellingly clear. e.p.a.'s cement kiln rules are designed to he are dues harmful pollutants from cement production, including metals
like mercury, hydrocarbons, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. e.p.a. standards are both achievable and defensible. they will yield far more economic benefits than costs, preserving jobs, and americans' health. the most harmful of these cement kiln pollutants is mercury. congress required e.p.a. to regulate mercury emissions in the 1990 clean air act amendments and to identify the largest sources of mercury reductions. e.p.a. has done what we required. these regulations are necessary because cement kill ns are the second largest -- kilns are the second largest source of mercury emissions in the united states. some cement kilns emit more mercury than some coal-fired power plants. 150 cement kilns operating in
the united states emit as much as 27,500 pounds per year, double e.p.a.'s estimates from six years ago. in oregon, new york, and california the largest single mercury pollution source is a cement kiln. please focus on this. mercury is so toxic, just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury or.0024 ounces can contaminate a 20-acre lake and render the fish in that lake poisonous to eat. mercury exposure causes a number of health problems, including heart disease, reduceder if tillity, genetic mutations, immune system suppression, premature death, and major losses in children's mental capacity. elemental mercury from kilns goes up into the air.
the rain washes it into our rivers and streams. then the bacteria in the water converts it into methyl mercury which is lethally poisonous. because methyl mercury is almost completely absorbed into the blood and distributed to all our tissues, including the brain. it passes readily through the placenta in a mother's womb and into the fetus and fetal brain. mercury then continues to impact the brains of those children as they grow and age. we know this now. which was not as clear as it is now in -- back in 1990. so if we know mercury does this to our children, and if these regs can revent those children from such irreparable harm, don't we have a condom dent moral responsibility to protect
our children from such intellectual depravation and suffering for the rest of their lives? let me say it again, it is well documented that exposure even to he low levels of mercury does reduce a child's i.q. now, this i.q. reduction has real impacts on those children and their families and ultimately the u.s. economy. if the majority won't listen to health-based documents, perhaps they will listen to the economics of this issue. . mercury exposure during pregnancy and childhood has direct and indirect effects on that child's future earning potential. mercury-exposed children have harder times getting and keeping jobs later in life and their per nor mans when they get -- performance when they get those jobs is worse. the cost to society of this reduction is enormous but it's not incalculable. independent scientific studies estimate that the cost is as high as $22,300 per i.q. point
per child. which cumulatively amounts to $8.7 billion in lost potential per year. based on c.b.c. studies of half a million whirn who have mercury levels higher than 5 dwp 8 micrograms per -- 5.8 micrograms per liter, mr. waxman: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. mr. moran: thank you, chairman. we know this $8.7 billion can now be quantityified. there are so many other things that mercury does, i won't go into them. but the cement kiln rule also applies to other harmful pollutants. the fact is, mr. speaker, that the majority constantly urges us to balance the costs and benefits of environmental regulation. but when the benefits of regulating hazardous pollution
substantially outweigh the cost s, as they do with mercury, all of a sudden that doesn't become an issue for the debate. it ought to be an issue for the debate. but far more importantly it ought to be the future health of our children. if we don't defeat this bill, if it were to be enacted, children will suffer. our economy will become weaker. the fact is that we have both a moral and an economic responsibility to defeat this bill and thus i urge its defeat. thank you, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: mr. chairman, how much time do we have remaining? the chair: the gentleman has 15 minutes remaining. the other side has 7 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. whitfield: at this time i'd like to recognize the chairman of the telecomm committee of commerce. jarks oregon. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for four minutes. mr. walden: thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, i want to touch on a couple things. first of all, you can tell we're
into october and halloween is coming because all the scare tactics are out and on display. we heard several things from the last speaker and since i'm from the state of oregon i want to point out, you mentioned that the biggest pollutant of mercury in oregon is the cement kiln. why is that? because we only have one coal plant and it's being closed. so that's it. and the cement factory in oregon, which is in my district, a county of 16,000, three years ahead of any of these rules invested $20 million in the latest, most advanced technology to remove their pollutants from -- reduce their emissions, $20 million, they've reduced their emissions by 90%, and what they rule would do, the mact rule under consideration here that we're trying to delay and bring common sense to, it would put them out of business. because they're already using the maximum achievable control technology that's available in the world. they've reduced their emissions by over 90% on a consistent basis. there isn't technology available
to go further because the limestone found behind this plant that's been in operation for, i don't know, 30, 40 years, happenston to have a little higher level of mercury. the clean air would allow the e.p.a. to create a subcategory. they chose not to. the clean air act says, you can't force a company to do ore substitution and yet that's what would have to occur here yet there's no limestone anywhere nearby. 83% of the emissions that we get in america, according to the e.p.a.'s own road map for mercury in 2006, 83% of the mercury deposited in the u.s. originates from international sources. guess what? this is the state of oregon. guess what's out here somewhere? it would be like china. so we get it in from the atmosphere. what we're doing here is trading our jobs to china, buying our cement there, they don't have these rules, we get their pollution, we lose. and you put a plant out of business. you want to talk about jobs. there are 109 individuals that work at the ash grove cement company in oregon. the teamsters wrote to me back
in march imploring me to do everything i could to provide -- to ensure these jobs. as you're aware, this cement plant's important to the community and also their products are vital to building our infrastructure. economic stability and jobs should be the number one prior priority for all of us -- number one priority for all of us. the entire oregon delegation recently signed a letter to the e.p.a. advocating ash grove for their clean air excellence award. in that letter it says, ash grove's commitment to proactively reduce mercury emissions at its plant three years ahead of the new e.p.a. rules taking effect is amendable. this type of action and their ultimate success is a model others should emulate and yet if these rules were to go in effect, they can't meet the new rules. because the new rules would make them reduce their emissions by 98.4%. now, this is the beggest employer in baker county. direct and indirect jobs, some 654 in the area. they have been a good corporate
citizen. they care about the people of baker county and the surrounding areas. they are working day and night to reduce their emissions and it's simply not achievable. baker already has 10.7% unemployment. you take this away and think what that unemployment rate will be. they have reduced their emissions. he the -- the emissions were getting 83% according to e.p.a. were already coming in from elsewhere, deposited in the united states from international sources. both natural and remitted. look, we're just trying to find some balance here. we're saying, the clean air act said the maximum achievable control technology, that can't be met here. it doesn't work. they're already using the activated carbon ejix filtering system. they already spent $20 million to achieve their goals. we're just saying, we care about the jobs, too. we care about the air, we care about the jobs, so when the department administrator, assistant administrator of gina
mccarthy, testified before our economy, i asked her, i'm concerned about these health problems. could you provide for me the effects in baker county in oregon that you've demonstrated to come up with these data points? 27 days later we still have no response. i urge my colleagues to support this bill, save the jobs and bring responsible management to air control and quality improvement. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. waxman: i want to acknowledge that the gentleman from oregon is pointing out a real problem for his district. but it is a unique problem in his district. because of a limestone that's used in the kiln has a high content of mercury. and i understand e.p.a. is trying to work through that issue. but i do want to point out to my colleagues that this example should not serve as the basis for this bill that's before us. we've heard over and over again from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that 99% of the mercury in america comes
from nature, from outside other countries, that the trade winds bring here to our land. chairman barton even said most mercury that's emitted is emitted by natural causes. well, in 2000 e.p.a. estimated that roughly 60%, not 99%, as mr. whitfield pointed out, but 60% of the total mercury deposited in the united states comes from air emission sources within the united states, such as power plants, incinerators, boilers, cement kilns and others. and the remaining 40% comes from the combination of sources of natural emissions and readmission into the united states from the wind. that hasn't changed much since the year 2000. an example is in one study by the university of michigan found that the majority of mercury
deposited in a monitoring site in eastern ohio came from local and regional sources. e.p.a. estimated 80% of the mercury deposited in pine lakes, new jersey, comes from the manmade u.s. sources. there's been a peer-reviewed scientific stutty that found 2/3 to 3/4 of the annual global mercury emissions are caused by human activity. so, let us not minimize the problem where those who are living near these facilities are experiencing a great deal of harm. i continue to reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: that the time i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, a member of the energy and commerce committee, mr. olson. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. olson: i thank the chairman of the subcommittee. mr. speaker, today the house takes another step to ensure a stable regulatory environment for the cement industry.
in a rush to regulate, the e.p.a. set economically damaging rules that jeopardize 4,000 american jobs in the cement industry. the cement industry has stated that they cannot comply with these rules, even with the best current technology. cremeant u.s. is a cement company based in houston, texas. they've asked washington for help in negotiating with the e.p.a. on these unachievable rules. it's just one company of many that congress has repeatedly heard from that may be forced to move operations overseas where regulations are more reasonable. e.p.a.'s failed to strike the proper regulatory balance, puts u.s. jobs in jeopardy and hurts our global competitiveness. the bill before the house today simply gives the e.p.a. the needed time to ensure the rules are reasonable and attainability in the real world.
-- attainable in the real world. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to vote for h.r. 2681, the cement sector regulatory relief act, so we can stop exporting american jobs. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i continue to reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: at this time i'd recognize the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, for 1 1/2 minutes. the chair: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 2681, the cement sector regulatory relief act of 2011. h.r. 2681 is on the house floor today as part of the republican regulatory relief agenda to reduce job-killing government regulation on businesses. this bipartisan bill would provide a much-needed legislative stay for the e.p.a. to redraft new cement requirements that would affect approximately 100 cement plants and thousands of jobs. this type of government regulation hinders jobs creation and forces american jobs
overseas. the american public is growing increasingly concerned about government regulation coming out of the environmental protection agency. a recent survey found that 74% of american voters throughout the country believe that businesses and consumers are overregulated. this overregulation has a chilling effect on job creation. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2681 in an effort to rein in the e.p.a. and government regulation and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. does the gentleman from california still reserve? mr. waxman: yes. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: mr. chairman, how much time do we have remaining? the chair: the gentleman has 8 1/2 minutes remaining. the side in opposition has 5 1/2 minutes. mr. whitfield: at this time i yield two minutes to the gentleman from alabama, mr. bachus. the chair: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for two minutes. mr. bachus: i thank the gentleman. i think we can all agree on some things.
i think mr. waxman would agree, mr. moran and all, and that's number one is that we want to preserve american jobs if we can. but i think number two, we don't want to compromise our health standards. and there's been a lot of talk today about we either have to do one or the other. but i think we can do both. now, if you look at the e.u., which passed what they call the gold standard on emissions from cement plants, they determined that mercury, they can bring it down to .05. well, what has the e.p.a. said? they've said they want to bring it down to .01. that's five times more restrictive than europe. .05 which is the european standard is about four times more strict than mexico. and i think we all agree, even
the e.p.a. said we'd close 20% of our factories but we would get that cement, according to the congressional budget office, from mexico. which is polluting our air and does not have nearly the standards we have. so, if mercury is a problem, why would we shift production to something that is four times more dangerous than even the european union? on the other hand, when european -- when the european union, which are the strictest on environment standards in the world now, why are their standards so bad? they don't go below this. one reason with mercury is it is naturally occurring. there's a debate over whether it's 60% or 40%, but let me say this, at .01 it's actually more severe than what is naturally occurring in some of the supply. yes, i have a vested interest. the second largest employer in my second biggest county is a cement plant. the largest employer in one of
my cities of 20,000 people is the cement plant. those jobs won't exist. they're willing to spend $350,000 but in an industry that only had $2 billion worth of revenue, there's no way they can spend $10 billion. let's restore a little sanity and we can do that, common sense dictates that we can have jobs and we can have safety and we can do that not by these onerous standards on hydrochloric acid and other things. i would like to -- unanimous consent to introduce that law. the chair: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from california continue to reserve? mr. waxman: yes. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: at this time i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. altmire. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. . mr. altmire: i thank the chairman. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the cement sector regulatory relief act.
the cement industry is in its weakest economic condition since the 1930's. domestic demand for cement has dropped by more than 35% in the last four years, killing more than 4,000 manufacturing jobs. in march of last year, 136 cement workers were laid off at the wampum cement plant in my district. it was the oldest manufacturing site in the united states, but now cement production there has ceased and only 15 jobs remain. despite this bleak scenario, the e.p.a. issued its regulation which has a $3.4 billion price tag standards no cement plant in the united states can achieve while demand languishes. the economy will have to improve for these jobs to return, but when the e.p.a. returns unfair, unachievable regulations it sets these manufacturers back even further. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california
continues to reserve. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: mr. chairman, how much time on each side? the chair: the gentleman has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. the side in opposition has 4 1/2. mr. whitfield: at this time i'd like to recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. dent, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. dent: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate this opportunity to speak on this bill. first, i'm the co-chair of the cement caucus along with congressman mike ross of arkansas. my district is the largest cement producing district in america. i have a town in my district called cement in. a high school team called the concrete kids. this is what we do in my district in large part. i have five cement plant. keystone, s. rock, hideleburg, portland cement. others. i have a company that manufactures and constructs cement plants. this is a big business where i live. it's an important business. the basic industry and
manufacturing and industrial sector of this country. these three rules that we are dealing with are going to have a dramatically negative impact on cement production in america. foreign imports currently make up more than 20% of total u.s. cement sales, and that number is going to grow if these regulations are implemented. many of these foreign producers as been pointed out by some of the previous speakers do not operate with anything close to the types of regulation that is we are talking about here today, whether they be in europe or mexico, china, or elsewhere. and has been stated previously, close to 20% of all cement production facilities in this country are likely to close as a result of these three rules. what are they? it's a rule which cobbles together a whole range of performance district for different pollutants without determining if it's possible for any single cement plant to comply with all the various standards simultaneously. also one called crifment. swe, that is going to have an impact on the ability to use
solid waste in the form of tires, waste plastics, and other materials we use in cement plants. this material would be a land phil. we have unsitely tire piles all over america. breeding grounds in mosquitos and west nile virus. this will make it much more difficult, these rules if they are implemented wee. to stop it. so what this bill does it scraps ex-ising rules and requires the e.p.a. administrator to develop more realistic and achievable regulations within 15 months. this is completely reasonable. this is about protecting american jobs. i urge a yes vote. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from california. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: thank you, mr.
chairman. at this time i would like to recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. hunt zinger, for 1 1/2 minutes. the chair: the gentleman from michigan for a minute and a half. >> thank you, mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 2681. i want to talk a little bit about the real world effect that had been alluded to, but i have firsthand knowledge. my family now owned by my cousins, but a company started by my father and my uncle has been in ready mix concrete business for over 40 years. mr. high tsenga: i have -- mr. huizenga: i own a cement and gravel company back in michigan. i just want to point out that this is actually not an attack on clean air as some of my colleagues on the other side have said, this stops an attack on the american worker. let's talk about some of those real world effects. we will be buying more cement from outside the united states. as has been pointed out, is much
dirt irproduced over there. what are the challenges we have been seeing in this industry over the last few years. we know that a soft economy needs less construction. other challenges that we have been dealing with. increased fuel costs. increased health care costs under obamacare and other requirements. increased unemployment and insurance requirements. increased labor regulations. now even greater costs? with little or no benefit directly coming to us? i don't quite understand what my colleagues on the other side think is going to happen when we are talking about building roads. do they want to drive on wooden roads? do they want to live in mud brick hobbles and shiver in the cold? we have got to have concrete and cement as the backbone of the recovery here that we are going to be having. we will simply be forced to buy that cement from outside the united states and i don't understand why this administration insists on attacking the engine of our recovery. this stops an attack on the american worker and job creators. i support the bill. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired.
mr. waxman: may i inquire if the gentleman from kentucky has more than one speaker? mr. whitfield: mr. chairman, we have one speaker. he will be closing for us. other than that there's no one else to speak on our side. mr. waxman: may i inquire, mr. chairman, whose side has the prerogative to close? the chair: the gentleman from kentucky has the right to close. mr. waxman: you have only one more speaker to close? mr. whitfield: yes. how much time do we have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from kentucky has three minutes. the gentleman from california has 4 1/2. mr. waxman: mr. chairman, i yield myself the remainder of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. waxman: the e.p.a. has been working on this regulation since the 1990's. under the 1990 law, they are required to put in place a regulation to protect from these toxic pollutants. they are required to put it in place by the year 2000.
they tried, they were thrown out of court. they have now tried again and they have already proposed a rule that is now going to be repealed by this legislation. so it's taken them over a decade to finally get to this point. it's a long overdue rule. it requires cement kilns to reduce their emissions of toxic air pollutants. e.p.a. estimates that this rule will reduce mercury emission from cement kilns by 16,400 pounds or 92% compared with projected levels that is if they are allowed to remain in effect. and they also had to do a cost benefit analysis. they said this rule would yield $7 to $19 in health benefits for every dollar that's spent to meet the standards. and will prevent up to 2,500 permanent deaths and 17,000 asthma attacks each year.
so e.p.a. has been mindful of the costs and the benefits. the bill before us effectively vacates the cement rules, kly. . -- kiln rules, forces the e.p.a. to start all over again. they give the e.p.a. 15 months to come up with more regulation and then they bar e.p.a. from enforcing any final rules for at least five years. during all this time, we have no guarantee after five years that anything will happen, cement kilns will avoid having to clean up their toxic air pollution. maybe indefinitely. the bill threatens e.p.a.'s ability to ever issue limits on toxic air pollution from cement kilns. this bill that's before us would set a new and unworkable methodology. they are not looking at the methodology that congress provided. at least use the maximum
achievable control limits. they will simply be told they have to take a subjective approach that lumps all pollutants together, then they have to decide whether emitting more mercury or less lead is better or worse for public health than the reverse. it's an impossible choice. it's going to guarantee years of litigation. the bill prevents e.p.a. from setting any emission limits at all because we -- under this legislation would require e.p.a. to select regulatory alternatives that's the least burdensome. but the least burdensome to cement kilns will not mean that we will get the option of the feasible and best public health benefits. in effect the bill exempts cement kilns from ever having a cheeve meaningful reduction in toxic air pollution. so in other words they postpone the time for the regulation.
then postpone for five more years the compliance with that regulation. they change the standard from the maximum achievable under existing technology to something else. and while the something else is the least burdensome to the kilns. so during all that time we will have people exposed to these toxic pollutants. this strikes me as not a simple, fair minded approach. it is turning our back on the purpose of the clean air act. it's turning our back on the harm that's going to be done, especially to children, from the poisoning they'll get from the mercury levels from the cement kilns. i think this is inexcusable legislation. and i think we ought to stay with the work that's done by the e.p.a., not pass a law, tell them to do the job, and then wipe out their work after 11 years and say we want another deck or more -- decade or nor to get around to doing regulation
that is should have already been in place long ago. i want you to know that many organizations oppose this legislation. you would expect all the public health groups and the environmental groups, but even sporting organizations and outdoor groups and the people who work in the field at the state level on air pollution matters tell us do not support this legislation. i urge opposition to it. and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: mr. chairman, i yield the balance of our time to the gentleman from texas, mr. carter, who will make our closing for us. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. carter: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the chairman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 2681, a bill designed to prevent the collapse of a strategic domestic industry, the united states cement industry. about a year ago i became active on this issue and made it a
priority of mine to help save the american cement industry and the hardworking americans that work in those industries. some have questioned my motives and they are welcomed to do that, but for me it's as simple as this. the new regulations on the cement industry is on the wrong rule at the wrong time. it asks too much, too soon. nesha is a rule based on questionable science and promises to export american jobs and ultimately result in the import of pollution from our countries. u.s. cement industry is suffering to the greatest decline since the 1930's. with current employment down to a mere 15,000 jobs and less than $6.5 pl in 2010 annual revenues. this represents 25% reduction in employment and over 35%
reduction in revenue from prerecession levels. the cement and concrete product manufacturing sectors combined have shed more than 62,000 jobs between 2005 and 2009. at this critical time when the cement industry can least afford significant investments from new mandates, analysis estimates that this single e.p.a. rule will cost $3.4 billion in compliance costs, representing approximately half of the cement industry's annual revenues. this is very own -- onerous. let us repeat, mr. speaker, the nesha rule will cost $3.4 billion compliance cost out of a $6.5 billion annual revenues. that's over 50% of the industry's revenues. now if you own a cement plant, where's the money for compliance cost going to come from? probably from closing down the plant, the construction of new
plants, and laying off american workers in high-paying jobs. the average low job in this industry is around $60,000 a year. and they go up from there. common sense is the missing ingredient in neshap. in fact, at the same time that the e.p.a. finalizes the neshap emission standards last fall, we just saw a chart that the european union has just issued their own compliance standards, and e.p.a. standards are five times more stringent than the model of the e.u. union. what's wrong this picture? speaking of common sense f. you remember that map we just looked at, the map that shows you-all the colors, the red part of that map represents between 80% and 100% of the estimated mercury
deposits. and they are all from foreign sources. . mr. speaker, this is the wrong rule at the wrong time and what we're doing here fixes this problem and gives us time to study. the chair: the time of the gentleman has expired. all time for general debate is expired. pursuant to the rule, the amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered for an original rule and shall be considered as read. no amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those received from printing in the portion of the congressional record designated for that purpose in a daily issued dated october 4 or earlier and for pro forma amendments except for debate. only amendments shall be offered by a member that caused it to be printed or a designee and shall be considered as read if printed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i rise because i have an amendment preprinted in the
record as amendment number 11 to h.r. 2681. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 11 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. waxman of california. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes in support of his amendment. mr. waxman: mr. chairman and my colleagues, chronic exposure to carcinogens can take a terrible toll on people's health, particularly in communities that live in the shadows of major sources of pollution. and i have next to me here a diagram, a picture of cement kilns next to an elementary school. everyone in this chamber probably knows someone stricken by cancer or who has a child
with a learning disability or birth defect. environmental pollution does not cause all cancers or every health problem, but numerous peer reviewed scientific studies tell us that chemicals classified as carcinogens cause cancer, and those cancers sicken and kill real people. chemicals classified as neurotoxins damage the nervous system. they pose a particular threat to infants and developing brains. these effects are significant, tragic and avoidable. and that's why republicans and democrats together voted in 1990 to strengthen the cleerkt to require dozens of -- clean air act to require dozens of industry sectors to step up and establish modern controls on their facilities. the american people were tired of having their communities harmed by toxic air pollution. they didn't want to live in
fear that the factory down the road would give their children cancer or damage their baby's brain. we made a promise to the american people that e.p.a. would require polluters to cut their emissions of mercury, lead, dioxins and our air pollants linked to serious health effects. the clean air amendments of 1990 set up anffectiveto rduce pollutio sieqring fs to technology that's available to meet the standards. so i think i -- our h.r. 2681 is a reasonable approach. ask e.p.a. to step back, propose a new rule, do it within 15 months, give the industry five years, and for that reason i would reiterate all of us have the same concerns that the gentleman from california has.
i do not believe that his amendment is necessary and i would urge all of our members to oppose his amendment. and i would yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? ms. johnson: thank you. i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. johnson: i rise in support of the waxman amendment and without the amendment i rise in opposition to h.r. 2681. the cement federal regulatory relief act of 2011. as we all know, cement plants are one of the primary sources of mercury pollution in the u.s. in my state of texas alone, there are 10 cement plants which emitted 225 pounds of mercury in 2009 alone. it takes only 1/7 of a teaspoon of mercury to contaminate 25
acre -- and children are the most vulnerable. mercury exposure impairs a child's ability to learn, write, walk, talk and read. as a registered nurse i have seen firsthand how children are particularly sensitive to emissions of mercury and our air toxins. as a mother and a grandmother, i cannot stand by and watch these emissions go unchecked. i have always been a strong and proud defendant of e.p.a.'s charge to protect public health and the environment. in 2009 i wrote a letter to e.p.a. administrator lisa jackson calling for even stronger emission standards to reduce mercury pollution. and last year i was pleased to see that e.p.a. finalized standards for cement and plant emissions that will reduce
mercury and particle matter solution by over 90%. resulting in health savings up to $18 billion each year. despite all the talk that we have heard in recent months, e.p.a. regulations do not kill jobs. as a ranking member of the science technology, i know our nation's entrepreneur and industrial sectors have and will innovate to meet new standards as they always have. we will reduce air pollution in this country while creating thousands of jobs. the widespread economic disruption and collapse of our industrial sector because what some have called the overreaching clean air act have been proven wrong time and again. we should expect that today's hysteria is no different. therefore, i stand with the
citizens of texas and impacted communities across the nation in opposing this bill and not with the big polluters. congress passed the clean air act 40 years ago, and we have cleaner air today because of it. but we can always do better, and that is why we must support the purpose and mission of e.p.a. and oppose this bill without this amendment. we are not here to kill jobs, but we are here to save lives. thank you. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. carter: i rise in opposition to this amendment. i listened to mr. waxman's argument, and i looked at his amendment and this amendment targets a specific health
issue. brain development and learning disabilities in infant children. we believe the e.p.a. should consider all public health risks and i'm sure it was not mr. waxman raised the issue of accusing the republicans, as he said, legislative negligence. i'm sure it was not legislative negligence on the part of mr. waxman when he failed to include cancer in this bill even though in his argument to this august body he certainly argued that this amendment would help with cancer. the truth is this amendment addresses one public health issue, disability of children. . and address it is as it relates to mercury much we have heard arguments in this chamber about mercury, but we have also seen the air studies that have been done by the electric industry in which they tell us that at least west of the mississippi, somewhere between 100% and 80%
of all the mercury pollution in that area comes from outside the united states. where outside the united states is fairly obvious, china and india, which have the largest amount of cement manufacturing in the world. also the least amount of protection of the air quality. and they are employing somewhere between 80 -- polluting somewhere between 80% and 100 percent of the mercury. the issue here it is not cancer, and this does not address cancer. it is harming the brain development of infant children. mercury. so if 100% of it is -- almost 100% of it west of the mississippi, more than half the country is polluted from outside this country. yet we would shut down factories and force them to move to places like china and india where
there's no protection for the health of anybody on this globe so that they can stay in business because we have adopted a 1% standard rather than the 5% standard from our so-called model of the future, the european union. now, i think that we need to question this amendment. i oppose this amendment. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i rise to strike the last word. the chair: gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. lee: i rise in strong support of this amendment, however the underlying bill actually nullifies the e.p.a.'s rules to require cement kilns to reduce their emissions of toxic mercury and other toxic pollutants and forces e.p.a. to go back to square one. in doing so, this bill nullifies the rule's promised reduction in
mercury pollution from cement kilns, delays any potential future reductions, and threatens e.p.a.'s ability to issue replacement standards that will achieve the same benefit for public health. mercury is a potent neuro toxin. babies born to women exposed to mercury during pregnancy can suffer from a range of developmental and neurological abnor mallities including delayed -- abnormalities including delayed on set of talking -- onset of talking, walking, and others. this is an issue for democrats and republicans to support. in 1990 congress amended the clean air act on a bipartisan basis to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from a range of industrial sources, including cement kilns. cement kilns are one of the largest sources ever airborne mercury pollution in the united states for far too long they
have been allowed to pollute without installing modern technology to reduce their emissions of mercury and other toxic chemicals. the clean air act directed e.p.a. to issue standards to cut emissions of mercury and other toxic pollution from cement kilns by 2000. that was a decade ago. e.p.a. didn't finalize these rules until august of last year. e.p.a. estimates that the rules will reduce mercury emissions from cement kilns by 16,400 pounds or 92% compared with projected levels. now the republican leadership wants to nullify these rules to cut mercury pollution and delay these important public health protections. further delay is unacceptable for the people who have been waiting for these cement kilns to clean up for years. this amendment is straightforward. it states that the bill does not stop e.p.a. from taking action to clean up toxic air pollution from a cement kiln that if that
kiln is emitting mercury or other toxic pollutants that are damaging baby's developing brains. the republicans deny that this bill is an attack on the clean air act or public health. they argue that this bill won't prevent e.p.a. from reducing toxic mercury pollution from cement kilns. i strongly disagree and these statements stand in stark contrast to the body of science linking mercury exposure to neurological problems. and i have to say instead of working to create jobs, republicans are bringing up another assault on our public health and the clean air act. we should be passing the president's american jobs act and other pieces of emergency jobs legislation that create jobs as soon as possible. but instead of focusing on jobs, the g.o.p. wants to eliminate and delay clean air act regulations. this will jeopardize our public health and the clean air that we breathe. this clean air regulation will reduce toxic pollutants produced by cement plants and will
prevent 2,500 premature deaths every year. this regulation also will provide up to 19 million in public health benefits for every dollar spent on reducing harmful air pollution. so we have to support the amendments that are going to protect the public health of our people. i urge support of the waxman amendments and all of the amendments that have come in today for the sake of the public health of americans. thank you. i yield the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker. we are talking -- mr. huizenga: we are talking about common sense. unfortunately i don't think we are hearing much of that from the other side. they are talking out of both sides of their mouth here. how in the world does a 20% reduction on the number of cement plants in the united states out of 100 that we have, how does that 20% loss or estimation of 18% to 20% cement
plants equal more jobs? i'm a little lost. i know i'm a freshman here but i'm lost how when woor shutting down businesses that equals more jobs. i'm also curious about how in the world we can call this a maximum achievable control technology when people in the industry and people outside the industry say it's not achievable. we might as well call it the maximum dreamed up control technology. we've got to introduce some common sense to this. we can solve all of our pollution issues coming out of cement plants by shutting every single one of them down. we can shut every single one of those 100 plants down here in the united states. i don't think, no i will not yield, i do not think that india will shut it down. i don't think china will shut theirs down. i know indonesia won't shut theirs down. i'm betting our friends and neighbors in canada won't shut theirs down. we can shut down every single
cement plant. that's not going to solve our problems. we have to go further. we have to shut down every power plant, stop driving every car, bus, every train. we might as well ban campfires, and cancel christmas while we are at it. there has got to be common sense involved here and ontario tried this a few years ago when they were going to shut down all of their coal-fired power plants. their goal? get rid of them all. the outcome? not a single one, zero, was shut down because they know that it wasn't possible. and we are seeing here a proposed regulation that is five times more stringent than what our friends in the european union are talking about and in canada. five times more stringent. how is that going to make the united states more competitive and how is that going to retain jobs here? mr. speaker, we have got to make sure that instead of using the maximum dreamed up control technologies, we actually use the maximum achievable control technologies and that is what we
have today. thank you very much. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? mr. rush: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. rush: i yield one minute to the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i'm not even going to take one minute but i do want to respond to the gentleman who just spoke about how they are going to shut down these plants. why do they have to shut down the plants? if they have to put in control technology that's already being used somewhere else in the country to reduce that mercury pollution, that other cancer causing pollution, they put the equipment in. they pay for it. now, cement kilns are having financial problems not because of these regulations, but because of the low demand for cement. the administrator admits this on the website. they have a problem, but we are telling them that when the economy starts picking up, they'll get a greater demand, but we also want to make sure that they have put in the
control technology. they don't have to close just simply to do that. i yield back my time to the gentleman. mr. rush: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, let me -- the gentleman asked where is the common sense? well, common sense begins with science. and science is clear. i want the ladies and gentlemen to know that all sense is not common sense. in this instance common sense begins with the science and the science is absolutely clear that e.p.a. must be able to reduce toxic pollution from the cement manufacturing process. cement kilns across the u.s. produce more toxic air pollutants, including mercury, acid gases, hydrochlorine gases, dioxins, and other harmful pollutants that add to the
nation's problems of soot and smog. cement kilns are the third largest source of mercury emissions in the u.s. toxic air pollutants can cause cancer, impair brain development, and the ability to learn, damage the eyes, skin, and breathing passages. harm the kidneys, harm the running, harm the nervous system and cause the pulmonary and cardiovascular he disease and premature death. clean up cement kilns saves lives and protects children from hazardous air pollutants. e.p.a. estimates that reducing tocksic pollution from cement kilns can save up to 2,500 lives each year by 2013. the movement will annually prevent 1,600 heart attacks,
17,000 asthma attacks, over 1,700 hospital and emergency room visits, and 130,000 missed days of work. the most vulnerable population depend on the e.p.a. to protect them from the harmful health effects of cement kiln pollution. children, teens, senior citizens, have asthma, copd emphysema, and these are the people most in danger. people with low income or who are members of racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by air pollution in part because they tend to live closer to industrial facilities such as cement kilns.
mercury is a neuro toxin. realms of scientific studies, commonsense studies show that babies and children who are exposed to mer curery -- mercury may suffer damage to their developing nervous system, hurting their ability to think, learn, and see. children exposed to mercury may never, ever reach their full potential. the national academy of sciences estimates that each year about 60,000 american children, children born right here in the u.s. with neurological problems, they have poor school performance because of exposure to mercury. the amendment is common sense it states that the e.p.a. can continue to require cement kiln
to clean up toxic air pollution and if that kiln have pollutants that are causing damage to infants in the developing brain. this amendment simplifies our choice. allowing pollutants to continue to harm children, to harm infants or require if a silts to renew their pollution. it's not too much to ask. i ask the members to support the waxman amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. speaker, job creators across a wide range of industries have sent urgent calls to washington asking for congress to he are dues burdensome regulation that is could destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide. yesterday i had the opportunity to meet with two of america's
job creators, carl watson from houston, texas, he represents s emex, and brad of hill top basic resources, a small building materials and ready mix concrete producer from ohio. mr. flores: while they may hail from different relationons of the country and one employs thousands of workers versus the one that employs several hundred middle class americans, they both face the same challenges under the obama administration's oppressive regulatory regime. . that's why they came to washington this week to discuss their real-world examples of how the obama administration's burdensome regulatory policy is devastating the concrete production industry and to virtually all american employers and job creators. the worst offender that is inflicting this regulatory trauma under the obama administration is the environmental protection agency. this week the house is tackling some of the most economically dangerous regulations that the
e.p.a. has imposed on our nation's job creators. wilbur mact and cement mact. these indefensible regulations is costing hundreds of thousands of much-needed american jobs at a time when unemployment stands at 9.1% and families and small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. worst yet, both -- worst yet, both appear to be based on ideology based on sound science and cost benefit analysis. both the boiler mact and cement mact can have an economic impact of 230,000 existing american jobs lost and 14.4 billion in projected compliance costs, according to the council on industrial boilers. in my home state of texas, which is home to 27 boiler facilities, the economic impact on heaters and operators as well as $200 million putting
good-paying jobs at risk and closing the door to large industrial boilers and large institutions such as hospitals and ufts. this additional regulatory damage comes within two weeks of a large texas fire producer that has announced due to the e.p.a. cross-state air pollution rule it will cause a loss of 500,000 -- excuse me -- 500 middle-class american jobs and the closure of five jobsites in america. the cement mact regulations is one of the harshest of seven proposed targeting an already weakened cement industry. the portland cement association estimates that the current mact would force the shutdown of up to 20% of the nation's 100 existing cement plants and that does not include the seven plant that have already announced due to economic or other reasons that they face permanent closure since 2008.
both c mix and hilltop are having to -- and are having to shed middle class jobs as they respond to increased economic uncertainty being generated by unelected, unaccountable washington bureaucrats. if the commonsense relief that we are currently considering does not pass, these companies will face the shutdown of up to 20% of their operations. such a decrease in production capacity of the cement industry would have a ripple impact across the economy, impacting not only cement manufacturing jobs but also industries that rely heavily on them such as construction and building. worse yet, for all americans, these jobs and plants will be relocated to foreign countries, further damaging america's already declining industrial base and middle class job opportunities. the bipartisan legislation coming before the floor today will provide e.p.a. 15 months
to repropose and finalize new rules basing the boiler macts and crement macts. without this commonsense regulatory relief the e.p.a.'s current rules endanger hundreds of thousands of american middle-class jobs nationwide by forcing plant shutdowns and relocation of american manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. congress and this administration can and should encourage private sector job growth in this country. not hinder it with unreasonable regulations. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the obama administration to join me in removing barriers to job creation and support both of h.r. 2250, the e.p.a. regulatory relief act of 2011, and h.r. 2681, the cement sector regulatory relief act of 2001. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. rangel: i move, mr. speaker, to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. rangel: i rise in support of the waxman amendment.
as long as mr. waxman has been in the congress, he should know that recently a new group have arrived here and there are three things that you shouldn't do and that is ask for anything that might be good for the president of the united states, ask for anything that could improve the environment of the people that breathe the air and for god sake, don't ask them to bring up any bills that could create jobs. having said that, it just seems to me that we're involved in a political fight that concerns democrats and republicans and others, and yet you would think if you listen to the debate that the air in which we breathe, this is democratic air and republican air or when you start talking about this and saving lives through providing an opportunity for our youngsters to be able to grow up in a healthy environment that we just talking about
democratic babies. what we're talking about, pardon the word scientific, is the connection between pollution of the air and how people breathe it and what happens to their general health. i don't really believe that anyone challenges the fact that whether it happens on an 911 site or in a coal mine that what you breathe is going to have an impact and if indeed it leads to things that will be costly. it seems to me if we concentrate on what we can do, i know there are people who don't like the president. but there are millions of people that go to sleep every night wondering what the heck are we doing in the congress. and it just seems so unfair for us to go back and say we cannot bring out a bill that the president proposes that will create jobs. it would be different if we
said we'll bring it out or we're not going it vote for it or we're not going to bring it out because we have our own bill. but it seems to me that very few americans are going to sleep at night wondering what is going on in cement factories throughout the united states. maybe those in texas or those that may have one or two in their districts may have some concern as to whether it will cost their employers and business people in order to clean the air. but that's the problem it always have when it costs a little extra to do the right thing to extend the value and indeed the condition of life. but to get back to jobs, there's something going on in america and i don't know whether or not it reaches the floor since the best place to find out what's going on in the country is right here as we come from 365 different areas and we come to tell what's happening. and in new york people are fought going to take it any
more. they are not against democrats. they are not against republicans. they just don't see why they have to suffer the way they do after some of them have lost the ability to go to school, lost their jobs, have lost their savings, have no idea what the future looks like for them. and we're not even giving them hope. and hope has made our middle class. not the rich that controls most of the nation's wealth. and certainly not the poor that people all over the world would like to escape. but when you see the hope for the middle class just dropping and squeezing and pushing people into poverty, it seems to me that we have a higher responsibility than that. often i ask for our spiritual leaders to help us because, hey, it's right over the speaker. in god we trust. that means we don't have to trust each other, but maybe some of the rabbis, ministers and catholics who come down and try to get our priorities in
order because if you are talking about human life, that includes the ability to have health care, to have a healthy environment in terms of housing, and i think we do have a moral obligation not only to get ready for the polls in 2012 but to do something for the people who are so completely helpless now. and i'd like to emphasize there's no way to split up the jobs with democrats or republicans, and so we are not being fair to the republicans or that cement is going to hurt us and not you. these things are so nonpolitical that i just hope that someday and someday very, very soon we will respond to the frustrated people we have, even the wealthy, and come up with something on the floor that whether we win or lose we can be so very proud that we're doing something to improve the economy, put america back to
work, have things once again make it in america and i want to thank the gentleman from california for at least directing us to the right track. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i was proud to work with my colleagues on the committee in developing the cement regulatory relief act. let's just take a quick gander of what happened here. last september the e.p.a. released new regulations -- that's kind of the theme we've been hearing a lot lately -- new regulations on the american cement industry. mr. dold: this will close 18 of america's 100 cement plants and leave 20,000 more americans without jobs. mr. kinzinger: in my district, the 11th congressional district in illinois, 155 companies use that cement daily. this is the same story but just
a little bit of a different subject. the same story of overregulation, more government, more rules, more paperwork, more disclaimers, more everything the people are sick of in washington, d.c., this is just more of it. this is typical of a regulation. somebody comes up with an idea and says, what's the same thing to do here or what can we do that will way overstep the role of the federal government? well, that's exactly came down within the rules. all we want to do is give a little more time for the cement industry instead of saying, this is catching us flatfooted again, 18 of our plants are going to close. we're saying, how can we keep this open and create jobs? there's been a lot of talk in this body as there should be about creating job, about the economy. look, i'm 100% in. we want to create jobs. and so some of the things we see is, we need to spend additional federal government money. the size of -- we call it stimulus 2. so we need to -- i tell you what we need to do.
the very first step creating jobs in this country is to stop killing them. that would be a great move in the right direction. if we stop killing jobs, then we can regroup and say, now, how can jobs be created in the private sector? but yet we continue on and on with more and more regulation and we now hear the industry say, look, this is not going to cost 20,000. but this is going to cost us 20,000 jobs. this is typical federal government overregulation. we have a responsibility here to do the right thing. we have a responsibility to do the economically and environmentally sound thing. when this rule goes into effect, the same amount of cement is going to be needed so it's not like we're closing 18 of 100 plants or use 18 of 100 plants worth of cement. we still need that cement, right? in stimulus 2 they talk about spending more in cement.
ok. what happens is these plants close and we have to buy that cement from china. you know what, this is a great bill. not the one we're talking about saving jobs here, but if these rules go into effect that would be great for creating jobs in china. and china has zero environmental constraints like we have here in the united states. so what's the environmentally right thing to do? keep these jobs in the united states where there are good environmental regulations in place, take a look at what we need to do but not send them over to a country that all they care about is pumping out cement and not care anything about the environment. that's the responsible thing to do. this bill simply gives regulators the time to develop practical rules for cement manufacturers facilities and it's going to protect jobs. the manufacturing industry, the construction industry and all those areas, these jobs which are otherwise going to be sent overseas. look, enough is enough. i mean, really, enough is enough. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, please, just support this.
this doesn't have to be a partisan thing. this is just for america. how are we going to create and save american jobs so that the families who every day week up and say, i wonder if i can pay my bills next week. i wonder if i can make my house payment. i wonder if i can make my car payment. i wonder if i can send my kids to college. some of those people that have those pains and wonder that every day work in the cement industry. and if these rules come into effect, that horror that they are predicting may happen, that they'll lose their job, will happen for 20,000 members and 20,000 citizens of the united states. i call for an end to the madness. let's be sane about this, but let's finally once and for all save american jobs and then create them and do what we have to do to get this economy back to work. so i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> mr. speaker, i move to strike the last word.
the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. clay: thank you, mr. speaker. and i rise today in support of the waxman amendment as well as the subsequent amendment, especially the capps amendment. . mr. speaker, we in congress need to be working to create jobs instead of doing anything that would -- jobs. instead of doing anything that would create jobs, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are making yet another assault on our public health and the clean air act. in the form of h.r. 2681. we should pass the president's american jobs act and other pieces of emergency jobs legislation that create jobs as soon as possible. and as my friend, president, said, pass the bill -- and as my friend, the president, said, pass the bill, pass the bill, and then we will create jobs.
unemployment, unemployed americans need emergency jobs legislation now. not on a ideological attack on public health. instead of focusing on jobs republicans want to eliminate or delay reasonable clean air act regulations. this will jeopardize our public health and the clean air that we all breathe, regardless of party affiliation. this clean air regulation will reduce toxic pollutants produced by cement plants and will prevent 2,500 premature deaths every year. it will also be very cost effective. this regulation provides up to $19 in public health benefits for every $1 spent on reducing harmful air pollution. now, mr. speaker, i represent
the state of missouri, the st. louis metropolitan region. we have the largest cement kiln in the country, less than 100 miles south of the st. louis metropolitan area. and the people that i represent in the st. louis region suffer disproportion atly from pollutants in the atmosphere caused by that nearby cement kiln as well as other pollutants that are emitted through smokestacks in the region. children in my district suffer from high incidence of asthma as well as other respiratory diseases. mr. speaker, let me -- let me make it rather personal.
shortly after my youngest son was born he contracted asthma an it was no mere coincidence that we were so close to a cement kiln that he as well as thousands of other children in the st. louis region suffered disproportionately from asthma, asthma attacks, respiratory diseases that are unnecessary. the clean air act is a commonsense approach, a balance. in order to allow for industry to do their work and create jobs, but to also protect those children that live in the st. louis region, protect those people that have to breathe this air. this is -- the clean air act is a commonsense approach and it
does not deserve to be attacked. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to pass the waxman amendment as well as the capps amendment and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii rise? california, i'm sorry. i moved you. >> well, california, but i'll take hawaii. mr. speaker, i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. >> i rise today in strong opposition to h.r. 2681 and h.r. 2250. some in congress want to use the jobs crisis as an excuse to roll back clean air protections that will prevent 9,000 premature deaths every year. ms. chu: today we're debating an unnecessary wasteful bill that
only delays long overdue pollution reducing regulations at the expense of americans' health. this is one of the republicans' so-called job bills. we're conducting redundant and costly studies that will do nothing but add paper to landfills instead of creating jobs by upgrading cement kilns so that they are no longer a threat to public health. these studies have been done, americans are still breathing mercury, arsenic and lead and we have a means to clean it up, it's called the clean air act. and it was passed in 1963. it is known as one of the most successful pieces of legislation in congressional history. yet the republican majority is trying to gut it over and over, bill after bill, wasting time and energy that could be spent passing legislation that would help create new jobs for americans. today's bill would cancel requirements to clean up toxic air pollution, smog and soot from cement plants. so while big companies save a penny or two, american families will face billions of dollars in increased health costs, thousands more people will go to
hospitals with cases of bronchitis, heart attacks, as ma attacks and thousands more -- asthma attacks and thousands more will die prematurely. these pollutants are also neuro toxins creating major harm to the development of unborn babies, infants and children. and while the majority claims that eliminating this antipollution rule for the cement industry will be good for business and the economy, the e.p.a. rule institutes new standards based on the best available technology already in use in the industry. let me repeat that. this rule that the republicans are trying to weaken is based on the best available technology already in use voluntarily by a good portion of companies in the industry. what does that mean? the antipollution standards are actually achievable today and companies are already using it and making a profit. so today's bill is just another in a long string of
antienvironment, antihealth attacks that look out for corporate interests over the best interests of american families. we cannot afford to give polluters a free pass to spew deadly toxic air pollution that hurts our health and puts our children at risk. no matter what anyone says, increased pollution is not a sustainable path to job creation. instead we should be saving lives, saving our environment and investing in the clean tech jobs of the future. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and the antienvironment, antiamerican health bill that is up for a vote tomorrow. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. there are no further speakers on the waxman amendment, the question occurs on the waxman amendment. all those in favor say aye. although owes -- all those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. waxman: mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from california. further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, will be postponed.
for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? mr. rush: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 7 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. rush of illinois. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes in support of his amendment. mr. rush: mr. speaker, this atrocious bill, h.r. 2681, will make permanent changes to the clean air act by weakening health and science-based standards. cement kilns are a major source of mercury pollution and other toxic air pollution. however, until last year these plants had managed to avoid any sort of requirement to reduce these emissions. last year the e.p.a. finally
finalized requirements for cement kilns to use readily available technology to cut their pollution and now this bill that's before us today would nullify the new health standards and direct the e.p.a. to go back to the drawing board. mr. speaker, my republican colleagues would like to frame this as a debate between jobs and public health benefits, but i believe that this is indeed a false choice. i am for jobs, the people in my district need jobs, but also we need clean air in order to be alive to get to those jobs and
to work those jobs. we know that since the inception of the clean air act opponents of this law have been exaggerating the cost of implementing the regulations associated with the act while at the same time downplaying the that the new rules have brought. h.r. 2681, the bill before us, does not take into account the positive impacts on the economy and jobs that e.p.a. regulations will have by spurring additional research and development of cleaner technologies and by making these same plants more fish. in a recent "the washington post" article, the economist,
steve perseen it, takes issue with the republican analysis of regulatory costs in an article aptly entitled, and i quote, the national world of lose-lose economics. end of quote. he correctly notes that these e.p.a. rules spur the creation of innovative new technologies that will not only control pollution but also create new jobs to install the emissions control equipment. supporting this bill, mr. speaker, will also provide certainty to industrys when in fact -- industry when in fact this bill as currently drafted does precisely the opposite. as written, section 5 of h.r. 2681 will raise legal
uncertainty by requiring the e.p.a. to select, and i quote, lease burdensome, end of quote, regulatory alternatives, even if a standard is reasonable and will provide more public health benefits. however, under current law plant owners already have the sensibility to select an appropriate combination of controls to comply based on the precedence of the cleanest and most efficient plants that are operating today. the clean air act requires that the e.p.a. set air pollution standards for the cement kilns based on numeric emission levels that clean up -- cleaner
facilities are actually achieving right here, right now today in this world, the real world. pollution control technologies that meet the requirements are commercially viable and in fact millions plants in this nation have already installed monitoring pollution control technology even as you honor -- argue for this bill and against my amendment. mr. speaker, even for policy holders that are responsible for enacting this legislation, the language in section 5 is ambiguous and i ask, mr. speaker, that my colleagues support my amendment and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? mr. whitfield: to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. whitfield: i rise in opposition to my friend's amendment, mr. rush. you know, as i sit here and listen to the other side, they
seem to be making the argument that if you pass regulations, then you're going to create jobs. it reminds me of what you hear in china and russia, with more government intervention, more government regulations, our friends on the other side of the of the aisle say, that's creating -- side of the aisle say, that's creating new jobs. and yet on this regulation, we've had hearings after hearings after hearings in which people in the business come to congress and say, we don't know that we can meet these standards in the time frame necessary. we heard today one cement kiln in oregon has already spent $20 million and still cannot meet the requirements of this regulation. and have said they're going to have to close down. we've heard testimony that of 100 cement plants in america, 18% of them are going to have to shut down.
so how do you create jobs by issuing regulations that make people close plants and lose jobs? now, i understand that we have a balance that we're trying to reach here and that's the purpose of this legislation. we want to protect health and by the way e.p.a. in 1999 issued a cement regulation and between 1999 and 2005 mercury emissions -- mercury emissions decreased by 58% during that time period. in 2006 they came out with a new regulation and certain environmental groups didn't like it so they filed a lawsuit and so as a result of that lawsuit e.p.a. had to come out with another regulation and so our legislation today is simply staying the most recent regulation and -- the gentleman
knows we can strike the last word. i only have five minutes and i'm sure that someone would strike the last word and yield time to you. as i've said, they issued the regulation in 2006, environmentalists filed a lawsuit. e.p.a. had to come back and issue a new regulation. our legislation, because of testimony that is undisputable that plants are going to close, jobs will be lost, our legislation simply asks e.p.a. to go back and within 15 months after the legislation is passed come out with a new regulation and give the industry five years to comply. and if the administrator of the e.p.a. wants to give them longer than that to comply, she may. of course, we don't expect that she would do that. but i would -- we heard a lot about mercury today, for
example. e.p.a. in its own estimates said that the cement mact that they've issued would reduce mercury emissions by less than .25% of global emissions. in fact, it is so small that they did not even yield -- did not even give a dollar value of benefits to the reduction of mercury emissions by their regulation. so mercury as we know is emitted naturally. it's also emitted globally. in fact the department of energy says there's 11 million pounds of mercury emitted globally in 2005 from both natural and human resources. so this regulation that we're trying to delay is not going to have any impact on reducing mercury emissions by any significant amount. now, we've heard a lot about, why don't you pass the obama jobs bill?
that's how you create jobs. instead of fighting e.p.a. over regulations, the united states congress has an obligation and a responsibility to question regulations that we believe have harming the economy. and i noticed in today's "hill," it said, snats -- senate crates buck obama on his jobs plan. so we're all committed to jobs, but i do not believe that issuing more regulations creates jobs when we have business owners, large and small, testify repeatedly that these regulations are going to roz -- lose jobs, that they're going to shut down plants at a time when the president is going to put more infrastructure needs in america, which is fine. you need cement plants to do that. our plants will be closed so we're going to be importing
cement from china and india and elsewhere. i would respectfully, as much as i haved a mir mation of -- admiration of my friend from illinois, oppose this amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. waxman: first off, i want to yield a minute and a half to my friend from illinois, mr. rush. the chair: the gentleman cannot yield blocks. mr. rush: mr. speaker, i have a question that i want to ask the other side. how much time do you need? how much time can -- are you asking the american people to wait? how much longer do you have to wait for the e.p.a. to find and come up with rules and regulations that will regulate the cement kiln industry, an industry that up until this day -- here 17 years later, 13
years later, still no regulation on the cement kiln and the cement industry? 13 years. and then you have the audacity to come before this congress and come before the american people as they after 13 years -- we will have to wait a year longer. another year and a half for the e.p.a. to act on this bill. and another five years, another five years before the -- this bill will force them to comply. that's a total of 18 years -- 19 years. 19 1/2 years. 19 1/2 years. you want the american people to continue to breathe bad air to
get diseases, cancer, lung diseases another 19 years? how dare you come before the american people and come before this congress and say give them more time. they've had 13 years and most of the industries in this nation have already complied. this one industry, the only one, the one that you are trying to protect, is the only one that's excluded. i say we can't wait any longer. the american people can't wait any longer. our children can't wait any longer. senior citizens can't wait any longer. we can't wait any longer. we cannot yield them another 19 years. mr. waxman: you know you can get your own time. the gentleman from kentucky said that they had a witness that said it's irrefuteably
true that they are going to lose all these jobs. the same witness urmingd our committee to repeal the clean air act which seems what the republicans would like to do, they want to do it bit by bit. the amendment before us by mr. rush addresses one of the most egregious provisions of the bill. it changes the requirement. it changes the standard, and it would set up a standard that would be litigated for many, many more years. he talked about how long they've been off the hook. courts will have to decide it. and what his proposal is on this pending amendment, this bill would be in addition to the standard that's already in place. and that standard is require the use of the maximum achievable control technology to control the emissions of mercury, dioxins, p.c.b.'s and other toxins. this is not a pie in the sky
technology. it's already requiring technology that's being used at the present time. so it would set up the floor for each toxic air pollutant that reflects the emissions levels that's being achieved in the real world. the bill before us would strike that and replace it with a requirement that it be the least burdensome on the industry. even if it's the least effective in stopping the harm to children and others from the mercury and other toxic pollutants. so i rise in support of this rush amendment. i would urge my colleagues to adopt it. it simply states that we're not replacing the requirement that's in the law. the bill requirement would be added on to it and it would clarify that e.p.a. should set knew marek emission limits to reduce air toxic pollutions from cement kilns unless such limits are not feasible as described in the statute. i urge my colleagues to support the rush amendment and yield back the balance of my time.
the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair would remind all members that their remarks should be directed towards the chair and not other members. any other member wish to be recognized? for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland, the minority whip, rise? mr. hoyer: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the recognition and i rise in support of the rush amendment and opposition to the underlying bill. first of all, let us lament the fact that we are not considering on the floor today a jobs bill. now, i understand that my friend from kentucky believes this affects jobs. he may well be right. it does affect jobs in the short term. in fact, as the gentleman knows, one of the regulations that's the subject of legislation this week has been stayed until next year. and the e.p.a. is working very closely with the cement industry and particular individuals in the cement
industry to try to work towards an implementation which they can in fact comply with. what is lamentable, however, and the gentleman from kentucky mentioned it, that somehow -- and he pointed that the senators don't agree with the president's jobs bill. in fact, the senators do agree with the jobs bill. they don't agree with how it's paid for. and so they have a different pay-for. that i suggest is the legislative process. but what i tell my friend from kentucky is my friends on the democratic side in the senate and the democrats in the house both agree on, we ought to be considering jobs legislation. we have five days a week legislation trying to get americans back to work. millions of americans who can't find jobs, who can't support their families, who psychologically are being
damaged daily by their inability to have a job. that's what we ought to be doing. we've been in this congress now for almost 10 months. nine months-plus, and we haven't had a jobs bill on this floor. the president of the united states came before the congress and the american people and said i got a bill, the american jobs act, and invests in create be jobs and invest in putting money in people's pockets and invests in allowing small businesses expand their base, expand jobs, grow businesses. it invests in making sure our schools are appropriate for our kids. it invests in making sure that 240,000 teachers stay on the job educating our kids so that when they get out of school they can get a job. and yet, my friends, we are
here talking about two industries vital to america's well-being. i couldn't agree more with the gentleman from kentucky. we need to have regulations and rules that are consistent with america being able to grow businesses. but nobody -- and the gentleman from kentucky said you're concerned about the air. i'm absolutely convinced of that. i know you are. but i'm also convinced that the gentleman from california, who's been such a giant in this effort for clean air in america, was correct when he said the witness said you ought to do away with the environmental protection agency and the clean air act. i have a granddaughter who has asthma. now, luckily we have an intervention that she puffs on every morning and every evening that helps her.
but throughout the rest of the day she puffs on the air in our country, in our state and in our county. and americans expect us as their representatives to try to the extent we can to make sure that air is healthy and breathable and life sustaining. and so, yes, we have to make a balance. and that balance is between making sure that our people are healthy and making sure also hopefully that they're wealthy. not wealthy in the sense of being rich but wealthy in the terms of having a job, having a self-respect of a job and the ability to support themselves and their families. we ought to be considering a jobs bill. i know you say these regulatory bills are jobs bills but i want to call your attention to an
article written by somebody who you may know, mr. bruce bartlett. as you know mr. bruce bart little was in the reagan and george h.w. bush administrations and served on the staff of representative jack camp and ron paul. he's never been on our press staff. and he says the focus on these regulations as if they're job creators or job destroyers are inaccurate. that does not mean we shouldn't pay attention to them. we should. but, ladies and gentlemen, we ought to have on this floor jobs legislation. job creation legislation. bring to the floor the president's bill. if you don't like it, vote against it. if you don't like it, amend it. but give the american public, the american people a chance to have a jobs bill considered on this floor to give them hope and opportunity and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the chair would again remind all members to address their
comments to the chair and not to each other. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. carter: move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. . short period of time that an environmental for staying. none of the compliant dates for any of the three recent cement sectors have been changed and
is not clear that they will be. only a legislative stay will provide regulatory certainty for these rules. . president obama has publicly stated to us that he learned that shovel ready doesn't always mean shovel ready. and that we are still waiting for some of the projects from the original stimulus bill to be created because shovel ready doesn't mean shovel ready. and in fact we have a few of those in my district. but let me say this, what we're talking about here is something that we've heard from the administration since the obama administration has been in charge. and that is it is the success if you have prevented the loss of jobs. so you take credit for saying we didn't lose certain jobs because of this action. well, we have evidence here that says we are going to lose certain jobs because of this
action. in fact, we are told that we could have the closedown of 20% of the cement factories currently in existence within the next two years. that means shutdown -- shut down and either moved overseas or just shut down and no longer in business as a result of the regulations that are imposed by e.p.a. and that's actually not only the industry but even the e.p.a. acknowledges that that is a possibility. so, what this amendment that he's proposing here does is it says, and the argument we heard was, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves for the position we're taking and that for 18 years we've done nothing. well, for 18 years we've not exactly done nothing. in 1999 regulations were imposed by the e.p.a., which were submitted to the cement industry and they, as by the -- by their
own statement of e.p.a., they put those in place and then the regulations changed in 2006 and they were processing me, as which we heard from our friend from oregon, have put those in place to reduce emissions. in fact, we have reduced mercury emissions by 56% by the regulations that have been put in place and the implementation that the industry has done. so it seems to be maybe another case of legislative negligence here to make the accusation that we've done nothing for the 12 years, 13 years have a thank have gone forward. because that's just not true. they have done something. but now we've got the example of the plant that is in oregon which has met the 99% and met the -- 1999 and 2006 regulationses and now they're
looking at these regulations and the standard we have to meet, which is a 1% versus a 5% standard, .01 versus a .05% standard, that the folks in the european union have set as a clean air standard, we are -- they are five times dirt area than what we are proposing. and they take a look at it and said, we can't meet this standard with the time frame that e.p.a. has set forth. and so what we have by the underlying bill in this case has said, e.p.a., supposed to be real world operation that this is supposed to meet. it's clearly, at least the industry feels, in the time frame set we can't meet that real world standard. therefore how about taking another look for the next 15 months at these standards and then when you come up with
something that can be met in the real world, give us five years to implement which is pretty reasonable if you look at the distance between 1999 and 2006, between the time the regulations changed last time. it's right within the same time frame. but all of a sudden we have accelerated, accelerated the implementation of these rules and we've set standards that pretty well everybody agrees are not meetble. i say -- i oppose this amendment and i support the underlying bill. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from -- mr. rush: mr. speaker, i ask for a roll call -- the chair: well, we're not done yet. the chair would inquire of my friends from the republican side, is cement the same thing we call cement in ohio? mr. carter: that's a reasonable comment. the chair: the question now occurs on the amendment offered
by the gentleman from illinois, mr. rush. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. rush: mr. speaker. i request a roll call vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from illinois will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? mrs. capps: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 17 printed in the congressional record offered by mrs. capps of california. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes in support of her amendment. mrs. capps: mr. chairman, it's my sincere hope that we can all agree to this amendment. because it would simply add a finding to the underlying bill illustrating the health benefits of e.p.a.'s mercury and air toxics cleanup standards for large cement plants. opponents of these cleanup standards argue that they cost too much. i don't happen to agree with that assessment. but while we can debate the cost of the standards, the health benefits are not in dispute. and that's why those facts
should be included as part of this bill and that is what this amendment makes in order. mr. chairman, for decades cement plants have been one of the largest pollution emitters in the united states. they're responsible for some of the most dangerous air pollutants in the nation, including mercury and other emissions that react in the air to form soot and smog. but some cement plants are still failing to comply with basic clean air act protections that are 13 years overdue. and that's why the e.p.a. took final action last year to require these large cement plants to cut their emissions and to simply follow the law. e.p.a. science and health standards are based on the track record of the existing plants that do the best job at limiting harmful emissions. in fact, many plants have already installed modern pollution control technology that meets these requirements. but instead of supporting e.p.a.'s life saving cleanup
standards, the bill before us would delay these standards by at least 4 1/2 additional years. and it eliminates any deadline by which cement plants must comply with e.p.a.'s safeguards. this could mean thousands and thousands of additional pounds of mercury and other toxic pollution released into our air each and every year. these pollutants can cause cancer, they can impair brain development and they can harm children's -- childrens' ability to learn. they affect the kidneys, the lungs and the nervous system and they cause lung and heart disease and premature death. now, you've heard that some large cement plants want a free pass from cleaning up air pollution in the name of jobs. but indefinitely delaying e.p.a.'s cleanup standards will not prevent job losses. what it will do for certain is to put the lives and the health of millions of americans at risk. failing to implement the e.p.a.'s air pollution standards
for cement plants over one year would lead to as many as 2,500 premature deaths, as many as 1,500 heart attacks, about 1,000 emergency room visits, about 17,000 cases of aggravated asthma and 10,000 days of work missed by people affected. it's clear that the benefit it's of these pollution safeguards significantly outweigh these costs. for every dollar the cement industry spends to clean up one of its plants, americans get up to $19 in health benefits back and this fact is backed by peer-reviewed science. what other investment results in this astonishing return for the american people? and that's why i'm offering this simple amendment today. it would remind us of all the tremendous health benefits that
e.p.a.'s mercury and air toxics cleanup standards will achieve. so i you urge my colleagues to support this straightforward amendment to the bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? mr. whitfield: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the amendment and claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman strikes the last word, is recognizesed for five minutes -- is recognized for five minutes. mr. whitfield: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the gentlelady's amendment from california and in doing so i would be the first to recognize that she's been one of the real leaders in the congress of looking after the health of all of our constituents in the u.s.. the reason that i'm opposed to this particular amendment, however, is that she asks us to adopt the e.p.a.'s findings about health and cost benefits, she wants that to be adopted as a finding in the legislation. in our legislation we don't have
any findings that we're adopting at all and one of the reasons among many that we are opposed to putting the cost -- the health and cost benefits as a finding in the legislation is that we have not had the ability to undertake any full analysis of e.p.a.'s methodology in assessing those health benefits and costs and we furthermore do not have any idea of what assumptions they use and another reason that i personally am opposed to their health and cost benefits is that we know for a fact that they do not include as a cost the health benefits lost by family members of those people who lose jobs as a result of the regulation adopted by e.p.a. so if you're going to look at the cost of health benefits that
people incur for the emissions that may be affected by this -- the regulation, you most certainly should examine and analyze the cost of the health benefits to those people who lose jobs, lose their health insurance, because there has been shown to be a direct correlation between economic livelihood and health -- health and health. so because of that i would be very much opposed to adopting this as a finding. we already know that e.p.a. has set out their cost benefits and analysis, that's available to the public. so it would not really accomplish any purpose by putting it in this legislation. i would also like to make one additional comment going back to my friend from illinois about delay, delay, delay and i would
reiterate what the gentleman from texas said. the e.p.a. adopted the first cement regulation in 1999. they came back in 2006 and adopted another one. that would be in effect today except that the environmental groups filed a lawsuit against it and as we know, the pattern seems to be environmental groups file the lawsuit, e.p.a. enters a consent decree agreeing and then they pay the legal fees of the environmental groups. so these regulations would have been in effect a long time ago if that lawsuit had not been filed. so all we're saying, the industry and the e.p.a. and others had agreed to those second regulations but once the lawsuit was filed, the regulations became so stringent that the testimony has shown that many of these plants simply cannot meet those standards. so, with that i would yield back
the balance of my time and ask people to oppose the capps amendment. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> mr. chairman, i rise to strike the last word and to speak in favor of the capps amendment. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. woolsey: mr. chairman, it's been 274 days since the republicans took over the house. what do we have to show for it? well, first up they've introduced a budget that would end medicare as we know it. then the republican-led house voted to take money away from n.p.r. next up they voted to make it easier to outsource jobs. and just last week they even voted to cut programs supporting green jobs. quite a record. not one single job creation bill . so what's on deck for today? a bill that would allow more toxic pollutants in the air that
we breathe. i am certain, mr. chairman, that if we went outside and asked 100 people, would you prefer dirtier, more toxic air? we were going to get 100 no's. so why are we taking this up today? it's not because working families are clamoring for more toxins in their homes at the workplace -- homes, at the workplace or in the parks. this bill is a handout to the polluters of america. it says that their profits are more important than the health of our nation. more asthma, who cares? we've got to make a profit. well, let's admit what this underlying bill is really about. it's one more break for big business at the expense of working families and our community. the american people have had enough, in chairman. let's stand up for public health, let's stand up for common sense.
i urge my colleagues to vote no on this dangerous and reckless legislation, and i urge the republicans to get behind president obama's jobs bill and put america back to work. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? mr. ellison: to strike to last word. choib the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i rise in favor of the amendment because i'd like to make the point that americans watching this debate, mr. speaker, should not be fooled into believing that there are some false choice between being able to breathe and having a job. this is just a false choice, it's unfair to make this argument to the american people. the fact is we can breathe and we can avoid asthma and mercury poisoning and have a job. you don't have to have one or the other. and you know the fact is, mr. speaker, the folks who argue
against regulatory diagnosis regulations that protect our -- regulations that protect our health and impose costs on industry, these folks never liked regulation that asked us to do the fair thing. this is not just the cement industry. this is an ongoing ideological debate which has been going on for a long time. but thankfully americans recognized we need to breathe air and work, so we passed legislation. we passed the e.p.a. we had regulations to protect our health. now we're being asked, the health or your job? and this is being done in one of the most dramatic recessions since the great depression. the fact is this claim if you get rid of all the regulations these corporations are just going to spring forward and start hiring people is untrue. there's no evidence of it.
i'd love to see some proof of this claim. it's not the case. and you can't tell me if some self-interested business person comes to a hearing and say, i would hire if we would get rid of regulations, i don't buy that. i want to see some real evidence. there is none. that's why you don't see it. the fact is if you want to put people back to work today we have to pass the president's american jobs act. we ought to be on the floor talking about the president's american jobs act. we ought to be talking about the infrastructure. we ought to get americans back to work because the reason our economy is dragging along and unemployment is so high is because people -- because our government is not putting people back to work by investing in infrastructure, by refurbishing our school system, by putting the necessary investments built for the 21st century, that's what we need to be doing. not just releaving industry of the responsibility to respect our environment and our lungs. so i just want to say and say
again, mr. speaker, i hope the folks watching c-span don't fall for the oaky doak. be very -- okie-doke. be very careful. they can have jobs and they can have lungs but they can't have both. i yield back. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. carter: to strike the last word and speak against the capps amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. carter: the underlying concept behind the capps amendment is fine. we are all concerned about the health of people. everybody's using examples of asthma. i have asthma. ok. that's why i sound like this. all right. so i understand asthma. but i want to point out some things about this that concern me. first and foremost, we have
scientific information. what the chairman of the subcommittee said is that we don't know exactly upon what methodology the e.p.a. bases its analysis of the health care -- health care instances that occur from this industry. there are probably are health care instance. i would start out by evidence that somewhere between 100% and 85% of the mercury pollution that's found in the pacific ocean to the mississippi river comes from foreign sources. my first question would be, in their analysis, did they analyze that relative, mercury -- infant child brain damage relative to the -- somewhere between 100% and 85% of the mercury that comes from foreign sources which we have no
control over and we could shut all our concrete plants down, which we may do, and the result would be, i don't know, somewhere between 15% better and no better. at least west of the mississippi. so did they -- did they analyze it that way accordingly? and then therefore, if they said that they did it that way, is the number they are talking about relative to the 15% or the 0% that these plants are creating? i don't know the answer to that question. but that's the reason i think it would be an irregular thing for this congress to do to adopt the findings of the e.p.a. or other health organizations without knowing what actual facts they used in their analysis of doing this. and i would think that would require a pretty hard and tough inquiry. not that i'm saying there's not health issues with anything that goes in the air.
certainly there's got to be. then another question we here today, why don't you guys quit talking d you're not talking about creating jobs. no, we're talking about the same argument the administration has been using the entire length of the administration. we're talking about saving american jobs because there's no evidence up to the contrary that if you close down a plant that employees 15 to 30 workers you lose 15 to 30 jobs. not 15 to 30 corporations. 15 to 30 american worker jobs. if you close 20% of the plants, and there's approximately 100 in the country, then you're going to have 20% -- 20 times -- somewhere between 15 and 20 jobs. whatever the job is. and these are $65,000 to $85,000 a year by labor. we are going to lose these jobs. this bill that this amendment is seeking to be attached to,
its purpose is to save those people's jobs, those american laborer's jobs. i think it's something we should think about. the american jobs act, if it can get the support in the senate, to my knowledge has not been dropped in the house but i'm sure it will be sometime. someone will step up and do it. and then the question becomes, what about the president's public statement that shovel ready doesn't mean shovel ready? well, if you're going to have to bring in the major part of fixing high waist and schools which is con-- highways and schools which is concrete, if you're going to have to bring in the element of concrete because portland cement, as my colleague has corrected my texas language, is an integral portion of that, if that has to be brought in from china, don't you think that will slow down,
slow down again the president's complaint that shovel ready doesn't always mean shovel ready? i think it is. and in fact, do we have any quality assurances that if we build that bridge across the mississippi river like we did in minnesota that cement that we put into that bridge is of adequate quality that we feel safe driving on? i don't know but that's going to be our option if our cement industry goes overseas. so at some point in time we have to ask ourselves, we're losing jobs when they close plants. if it's so onerous that they have to move, then why not take time to study and come up with something that actually works in the real world. this e.p.a. rule is supposed to work. thank you, mr. speaker. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. waxman: i rise in support of the capps minute. the chair: the gentleman strikes the last word. is recognized. mr. waxman: the capps amendment doesn't change the bill.
it allows the bill to go into effect, but the amendment would simply add the health benefits' findings in the legislation. it doesn't change what the bill does, but it does provide crucial context for the bill's provisions. i should point out that the bill itself null fice the cement kiln rules and forces e.p.a. to start all over again. in doing so the bill nullifies all of these health benefits such as fewer asthma attacks, avoided premature deaths, reduce exposure to toxic pollution. in its place the bill offers no guarantee that any new rules will have to achieve the same level of public health protection. so the capps amendment ensures that we have an honest accounting of the health benefits that the republican leadership says we should erase because they just aren't worth
it. well, i would urge we vote for the capps amendment because this finding is important for members to have so that they understand they're voting with their eyes wide open to eliminate those very health benefits. i want to respond about this business about china. it looks like we're going to close down cement plants and bring it all into the united states from china. well, that's just -- that just doesn't make a lot of sense. the industry -- it's just not credible. you ask clinker output has dropped nearly 50% since 2006. but the imports have declined by more than 80%. how could that be? well, there's a lack of demand. that's the reason we have a problem. the domestic cement industry is regional in nature. according to the portland cement association, the cost of shipping cement prohibits profitable distribution over long distances. as a result, customers
traditionally purchase cement from local sources. if we're not producing more cement, it's not because we're bringing it from china. it's because the demand is not there. now, the findings that the capps amendment would put into place is based on e.p.a.'s economic analysis. mr. carter: will the gentleman yield? mr. waxman: i will not at this point. e.p.a.'s economic analysis has to follow a criteria by the office of management and budget so they're based on peer reviewed studies. they're transparent. they're subject to public comment. they're reviewed by the office of management and budget. the industry studies meet none of these criteria. members can get up here and say numbers of jobs that will be lost. we don't know where those numbers have come from. we haven't seen any peer reviewed studies. in 40 years of experience in implementing the clean air act, we've heard these predictions of disaster time after time.
and yet the economy has continued to grow. chicken little has nothing on industry when it comes to requirements to clean up pollution. when we hear that we can't protect our children from toxic pollution, from brain damage, from cancer because plants will close down, i would urge my colleagues not to believe it. i don't think we have to make that stark choice. and if you're going to make that stark choice, don't oppose the findings being in the bill because you don't like those findings. you don't want to face those findings. i think we ought to have them in the bill because that's exactly what we're going to do. so if you're going to support this bill, then support it with the understanding that those public health benefits will be lost. i yield to the gentleman from texas. mr. carter: i want to thank the gentleman for yielding. maybe i said it wrong. maybe you said it wrong. i'm not saying that chinese industry will move to the united states.
i'm saying if they close down plants in the united states, which at least the industry has given us the percentage of at least 20% of the plants will close. we know the construction of a new plant in alabama was stopped until the stay. then i'm saying -- have to supplement that overseas shipment. the largest producer of cement in the world, china. mr. waxman: i did understand you to say that. i just can't think that as a credible statement because we already had a drop in nearly 50% in 2006 of cement in the united states. it doesn't mean we brought in more from china. in fact, our demand, our imports declined more than 80%. so it's not a question of it has to come from china. we just don't have the demand. i think we should take the cement industry at their word
when the portland cement industry tells us the cost of shipping cement prohibits profitable distribution over long distances. we can continue with our own industry and still meet these health-based standards. . the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll be pretty brief in saying this. mr. kinzinger: it seems like we've often taken, you know, this idea of jobs and everything else, week of got, again, in washington, d.c., we have two epic competing viewpoints right now. one says that we need jobs, the other says we need jobs. one says we need jobs through more government spending, more government interaction. more stimulus. in fact, i had a colleague once tell me that the problem with the stimulus is it wasn't large enough. ok? well, i guess stimulus 2 that's being is actually half as large so we get dish mean, there's different competing things on
how to create jobs. but the one thing we can all agree on is the environmental protection agency needs to protect the environment and it needs to do so at prevention of killing and stopping job creation or putting people out of work. so, again, when we talk about this whole issue, i mean, i think the thing that needs to be very obvious here is we need crep cement, obviously, to build -- cement, obviously, to mr. infrastructure. so, the industry is saying, you're going to cost us 18-100 plants and you're going to cost 20,000 jobs. now, we can take issue with that, i just heard my colleague say that we have to take the cement industry at their word. i agree. this is what's being said. 20,000 jobs. so the question is now, do we just go ahead and say, well, let's not give any additional time to figure out how to comply with these regulations so those jobs aren't lost, let's just take the arbitrary number and move forward. all we're trying to do is buy a little more time to allow the industry to protect those 20,000 people.
imagine right now, it's not just a number, imagine there are 20,000 people out there in the united states right now that are going about their business, it's 4:00 on the east coast, so some are, you know, maybe getting off of work or maybe they're going to a second shift. and they have no idea that this faceless 20,000 number is actually them. they are that 20,000 number right now. they don't realize it. they've got the little 20,000 above their head and they say, i hope my job's safe but, no, it's them. because if these rules are allowed to go into effect, haphazard oi-- haphazardly like this, they will be out of work. we have two competing philosophies here, we can talk about those philosophies. but ultimately the first thing we have to do is quit killing jobs. it's the environmental protection agency, it's not the employment prevention agency or anything along that line. so we've got a lot of work to do. this is a great bill and i'd urge my colleagues to support it. i yield back.
the chair: the gentleman has yielded back. the gentlewoman from -- who wishes to speak? the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mrs. capps: madam chairman. the chair: the amendment is agreed to. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i ask for a roll call vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further prold -- proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from california will be postponed. recognition? for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois rise? ms. schakowsky: i have an amendment at the desk which was preprinted in the record as
amendment number 1 to h.r. 2681. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in the congressional record offered by ms. schakowsky of illinois. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. ms. schakowsky: thank you, madam speaker. my amendment is simple, it would include in the findings the scientific fact that mercury released into the ambient air from cement kilns is a poe department neuro intoxicate -- potent neuro toxin that can damage the development of an infant's brain. the congress finds that mercury released into the ambient air from cement kilns addressed in this act is a potent neuro toxin that can damage the development of an infant's brain. that is just fact. this is not up for debate. that is just a fact. and should be acknowledged in the legislation. that mercury is one of the most
harmful toxics in our environment. 48 tons of mercury is pumped into our air each year, threatening one in six women nationwide with dangerous levels of mercury exposure. pregnant women, infants and young children are most vulnerable to mercury poisoning which harms a developing child's ability to walk, talk, read, write and comprehend. developing fetuses and children are especially at risk to even low level mercury exposure that causes adverse health effects. up to 10% of u.s. women of childbearing age are estimated to have mercury levels high enough to put their developing children at increased risk for cognitive problems. cement kilns are among the largest sources of air mercury pollution in the united states and there is existing technology right now that would prevent that. when mercury is pumped into our air, very often it ends up in
the bodies of water and is ingested by fish. mercury-contaminated fish are found in almost every american body of water and eating contaminated fish is a dominant cause of mercury exposure in people. this is a serious problem in my home state of illinois. in april environmental illinois, environment illinois issued a report showing that the amount of mercury in the average sport fish tested in 36 counties exceeds the e.p.a. safe limit for regular consumption. due to this contamination the illinois department of public health warns women and children to limit their consumption of fish. illinois is not unlike other states. according to the e.p.a. nearly every fish nationwide contains mercury. the e.p.a. actually advises women who are pregnant and who may become pregnant to eat no more than 12 ounces of any fish per week and to eat limited or no amounts of fish that have
high mercury content. that advisory has also been issued for infants and children. that's because we know beyond any scientific doubt that mercury inhibits brain development in the fee it will and -- fetal and early childhood development stages. e.p.a. analysis and peer-reviewed studies show that mercury leads to increased incidence of neurological disorders, increased incidence of learning disabilities and increased incidences in development delay. the e.p.a. cement plant standards would reduce this major threat without undue burden to industry. the standards will lower the mercury exposure of more than 100,000 women of childbearing age in illinois whose blood mercury levels exceed the recommended limit. when fully implemented e.p.a. estimates that mercury emissions from cement kilns will be reduced by 92%.
the legislation we considered today will block e.p.a.'s efforts, it will send e.p.a. back to the drawing board with new untested and legally vulnerable guidance for setting air pollution standards. my colleagues across the aisle talk a lot about not wanting to burden the next generation with debt. where is their concern with burdening the next generation with reduced brain capacity? h.r. 2681 patently ignores the scientifically proven fact that mercury exposure inhibits brain development, especially in infants. if we are prepared to pass legislation that would jeopardize the health of children by increasing mercury emissions, we should be willing to acknowledge the scientific fact that e.p.a. inaction poses a serious health risk.
my colleague, previous colleague from illinois who spoke said, we have different philosophies. i hope not. i hope we agree that it is a rightful function of government to say that we don't want to overburden industry, but we do want to say that our job is to protect the health and safety of the people of the united states. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. schakowsky: and mercury is a danger that's proven. so i urge my colleagues to pass -- to support this simple amendment and i yield back. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? mr. whitfield: madam speaker, i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. whitfield: the gentlelady from illinois who certainly is a valuable member of the energy and commerce committee and is an effective advocate for her positions, her amendment would require a finding that mercury emitted from the cement kiln is
a neurotoxin and i would first point out that e.p.a. itself in its reports have indicated that the regulation of domestic mercury, because of the clean air act, has already decreased by 58%. they also estimated that the legislation, the cement mact that they issued, that's at issue in this legislation, would reduce global emissions of mercury by less than .4% and they also said that the department of energy estimated that the global emissions of mercury amounts to about 11 million pounds. and so the amount of mercury that we're talking about in this cement regulation is so minute that e.p.a. itself did not even
assign a dollar value to the benefit because it was so, in their opinion, inconsequential. now, obviously congress is not a scientific body. we know that mercury is dangerous, but when mercury comes out of a cement kiln it comes out as an elemental mercury. it then must fall into water where organizations convert it to methel mercury. then a fish has to take in methel mercury. then that fish has to be cooked and someone has to eat it for it to be damaging to that person. so these are very scientific assumptions, as i said, congress is not a scientific body. the scientific understanding of mercury is certainly far more complicated than is reflected in this finding that we are asked
to be included in the bill. this statement simply assigns responsibility for specific health impacts to specific sources when there are multiple sources of mercury in the environment including natural resources. so there is some mercury in the air as a result of cement kilns but there's an awful lot in there natural and then there's an awful lot that comes from sources outside the u.s. so we do not believe that e.p.a. can quantify any health benefit from reducing emissions of mercury from these sources because they've said that themselves. and so because of that i would oppose putting into a finding this particular statement and i might also say to the gentlelady from illinois that we don't have any findings in this legislation at all. and so would respectfully request that the members oppose
this particular amendment and i'd yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. is recognized. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. waxman: madam chair, my colleagues, e.p.a., this amendment simply puts the finding of the science. it simply says that the congress finds that mercury released into the ambient air from cement kilns addressed but these rules -- addressed by these rules listed in 2-b of this act is a potent neurotoxin that can damage the development of infanlts' brains -- infants' brains. that's the finding. it's a scientific finding. as i heard the gentleman from kentucky, chairman of the subcommittee's, argument, he said, that depends on how much you've ingested and all.
that but nobody's talking about that. this is just a finding of the science. now, he also indicated there's no finding in this bill. so what? this is an amendment to the bill. e.p.a. didn't put a dollar figure on the potential health benefits from reducing emissions of mercury, carcinogens and other toxic pollutants. it's not because there won't be any benefits. e.p.a. simply couldn't produce a well-supported dollar value estimate of those benefits given the time and method -- methodlogical constraints. so i don't see how anybody can oppose this amendment because it simply states a scientific fact. let me be very concrete about it. this is a simple statement of a scientific fact. if the congress wants to go on record as we already have in the other legislation that we don't
believe in science, you can do it. but it doesn't wish the scientific finding away. mercury exposure in the womb which can result from the mother's consumption of mercury-tainted fish and shellfish can adversely effect the developing brain and nervous system. you can't wish that away. you can't vote it down and say that's not true. babies that were exposed to mercury in utero can suffer long-term problems with cognitive thinking, memory attention, language and fine motor and visual -- visual spatial skills. you can't say that's not true. that's what the scientists have concluded. . in 1990, we adopted the clean air act and canned is that cement kilns and others reduce the pollutants. the schakowsky amendment says there's a scientific basis for
this law. she repeats the science. republicans can amend the clean air act and say we're not going to do anything about it but they cannot amend the laws of nature. they cannot change the scientific reality. i must also point out, this bill not only republicans urging we deny the scientific reality, they want to make sure we don't do anything about the scientific reality. but the schakowsky amendment doesn't change that. it only says that we ought to face the scientific fact that as i indicated, which is the overwhelming scientific consensus, i don't know anybody that's against the scientific consensus if we vote against the amendment, we're denying the scientific fact that mercury is a potent
neurotobblings sin that can damage the development of an infant's brain. i don't see how anybody could vote against that, even if you want to postpone the rules, even if you want to give the e.p.a. more time, make the industry have to avoid coming into compliance for 10, 16, 18, 20 years, whatever it may be, if it's irrefutable that this is the reason we want these rules in place. otherwise, the republicans ought to say we don't want the rules in place because there's no reason to have the rules. if that's what they believe, then they can vote against the schakowsky amendment but it doesn't make any sense. i don't know if i have any time left, i'd be happy to yield to the gentlelady from illinois if she wants to say anything more. there's nothing many my -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 30 seconds remaining. -- the chair: the gentleman has 30 seconds remaining.
mr. waxman: i yield that 30 seconds back. s that question of a scientific conclusion. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i rise to -- move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i think what we have to be focused on here is jobs -- is jobs. as i stated in floor debate, i represent the largest cement producing district in my district. mr. dent: we have five cement plants in my district and they produce more cement than the 50 mants that preceded them. the point is the industry has become much more productive. in many respective -- respects, as well as more environmentally productive an sensitive. these new rule, these three rules in particular, will restrict the industry's ability
to remain competitive with foreign producers and foreign inports make up 20% of total u.s. cement sales. if these three rules are implemented, we'll see fewer, see less domestic cement production, and to add insult to injury with respect to what the e.p.a. is doing with their regulatory assault on the cement industry as well as the coal industry, what they are doing here is just unfair to basic industry to manufacturing -- to manufacturing, to industrial america. when you look at the stimulus law enacted a couple of years ago, look what happened. our stimulus dollars, federal dollars, are being used to finance a cement importation terminal in new york city for the purpose of bringing in peruvian cement. i'm not making that up, it's real. i've talked about this issue before on the house floor. because of this regulatory assault on domestic cement, our own federal government trying
to basically subsidize the importation of foreign cement is going to have a very negative impact on my congressional district, the largest cement producing district in america. it's been stated before, these rules cobble together a range of different performance characteristics for different pollutants would determining if it's possible for any single cement company to comply with these standards simultaneously. there are two other rules, including the nonhazardous solid waste rule that will deal with issues like tires. many modern cement plants use alternative fuel sources with high b.t.u. content they use tires and plastics that are ground up, many of these items would be in land fills. we burn them and it replaces fuels like cosme it's a great
reuse of materials. if we leave unsightly tire piles out and about, we'll see another situation like we saw in philadelphia years ago where the tire pile ignited and melted the i-95 bridge in philadelphia. that's when many people started to realize there was a better use for tires than letting them sit in piles under interstate freeways and use them in cement kilns. these new rules will imperil our ability to use those waste fuel oils, waste tires and ground up plastics. this is something we have to focus on as we deal with this issue. finally, i want to mention a couple of other things about what's occurring here. by scrapping these three existing rules, we require the e.p.a. administrator to propose more realistic and achieveable regulations within 15 months. we're going to provide more time for the industry to have
full implementation and compliance. we'll require e.p.a. administrators to consider compliance costs, nonair quality, energy requirements, the feasibility of implementation, the availability of equipment suppliers and labor, and the potential net employment impacts. that means jobs. as has been pointed out at various points here, the industry employees about 17,000 americans. we've lost more than 4,000 jobs in the cement industry since 2008. as i pointed out, in a district like mine where we have five cement plants that are operating, operating effectively, and not only the cement plants but we have ancillary industries like the f.l. smith company, formerly the fuller company where they make cement equipment and build cement plants. these types of jobs are good-paying jobs, essential to
america's industrial base, to our basic industry, and we have to stop this regulatory assault on these types of manufacturing jobs. we can make things in america if our government will just allow us. once again, i want to express my concerns regarding the underlying amendment, but at the same time, expressing my strong and uh re-- and unreserved support for the underlying legislation. which is much overdue. again, cement is a critical industry to our nation and it's time we adopt this very important cement legislation. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii rise? >> to address the house -- to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes.
ms. hirono: there is an old saying that the people have spoken. the people spoke clearly in 1990, they said we want cleaner air and communities. so president george h.w. bush proposed changes to strengthen the clean air act. the legislation to carry out the changes was introduced by a coalition of 22 stharts from both sides of the aisle, democrats and republicans. then, after an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 401-25 in the house, and 89-10 in the senate, the clean air act amendments of 1990 were signed into law. that was 21 years ago that these updates to the een air act were enact the law requires acid rain, urban air pollution and toxic air emissions to be combated by reducing the release of 189 poisonous pollutants. the deadline for implementing
these changes was the year 2000. 11 years later, the people of hawaii and the united states are asking for the certainty that they were promised, the certainty that by 2000 their air, our air, would be on the path to being cleaner. we've heard the arguments against these regulations before. they are too expensive. they'll kill jobs. we've heard the same arguments for years. however, since the passage of the clean air act 40 years ago, our nation's economy has grown 200%. when acid rain regulations were propose theafed 1990 law was enacted, industry claimed that it would cost $7.5 billion to comply and tens of thousands of jobs. but we know that was not what happened. instead our economy added 21 million jobs and has the
longest-running expansion in our nation's history. recent surveys also show the biggest challenge facing small businesses today isn't regulation, the biggest challenge is that consumer demand for products and services is low. we all agree that we need to help our economy and create more jobs, but we shouldn't be doing that at the expense of the health of our communities and our families. that is not the way to create jobs. instead, it's time to give the american people the certainty that the air that we breathe won't contribute to asthma or heart attacks or birth defects. it's time to give the american people the certainty that when they speak, as they did in 1990, their government will carry out their will. so enough is enough. the deadlines are passed, the issues have been studied, the rules have been litigated and in some cases relitigated.
now is the time for the environmental protection agency to finish the job it was given by congress and finish these rules and let's get to work on legislation to create jobs. i urge my colleagues to join me in opposing both of these bills, the american people want jobs, legislation now, not ideological attacks on the clean air act. i yield back the remainder of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the question son the amendment offered by the gentlelady from illinois. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. >> madam chair. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i request a roll call vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further procedures on the amendment of the gentlelady will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman rise?
mr. waxman: i have an amendment at the desk, amendment number nine. the chair: clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment number nine printed in the congressional record, offered by mr. waxman of california. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. waxman: i oppose this bill pause it nullifies e.p.a.'s rules and threatens e.p.a.'s ability to reissue rules that are protective of public health and we have an exhaustive discussion of why we think this is not a good bill. this bill has another problem. it does not comply with the republican leadership's policy for discretionary spending. when congress organized this year, the majority leader announced that the house would be following a discretionary cut-go rule this requires that when a bill authorizes discretionary funding, that funding is explicitly limited to a specific amount. the protocols also require that the specific amount be offset
by a reduction in an existing authorization. this rule was embodied in a document entitled legislative protocols for the 112th congress. the majority leader announced that compliance with these protocols and said it was necessary for legislation to be complied with before the bill would be scheduled for floor consideration. this bill fails to meet these protocols on two counts. first, the bill does not include a specific authorization for e.p.a. to complete the rule making required by the bill. after all, e.p.a. finalized cement rule making more than a year ago. e.p.a. will have to start from scratch, according to this bill, and follow a whole new approach for setting emission standards. that's going to cost money. second the bill does not scrauf set this new spending with cuts in existing authorization. in addition to violating the protocols of the majority leader, the bill violates the policies of the energy and commerce committee.
chairman upton and the committee would be following a dis-- announced the committee would be following a discretionary cut-go rule and he sent me a let for the june to clarify this cut-go policy with regard to bills pending before our committee which said, quote if c.b.o. determines that any of these bills will have a significant impact on the federal budget, we will offset the newly authorized spending with reductions elsewhere, unquote. well, c.b. of o. has determined that h.r. 2681 does in fact authorize new discretionary spending. c.b.o. determined that this bill will have a significant impact on the federal budget because it requires e.p.a. to spend resources on proposing and finalizing new regulations. c.b.o. estimates that implementing this bill would cost e.p.a. $1 million over a five-year period. my republican colleagues claim that this bill doesn't -- does
meet the cut-go requirements and says e.p.a. can use existing funds to complete the work mandated by the bill but that's not how the appropriations law works, not including an authorization in -- in h.r. 2681 does in the have the effect of forcing of the executive branch to implement the law with existing resources. to the contrary it creates an implicit authorization of such sums as may be necessary. anyone familiar with federal propings laws knows that they can confirm it. my amendment would ask a third party to set they will debate. it requires the director of the office of management and budget in consultation with e.p.a.'s chief financial officer, the comp patrol troller general of c.b.o., to determine whether it requires funds to implement its
provision and whether it reduces an existing authorization of appropriations by an offsetting amount. if it is determined that this act altogether rices the appropriation of funds -- authorizes the appropriation of funds without an offsetting reduction, the provisions in the act will be nullified. this is a truth in advertising amendment. with great fanfare the republicans announced they were so serious about addressing the federal deficit that they would go and live by new protocol discretionary cut-go. this is an opportunity for the republicans to live by their words. if we adopt this amendment and the legislation supplying -- complying with discretionary cut d go, then the amendment will had have no effect. if on the other hand this legislation fails to comply as the congressional budget office indicates, and has a significant impact on the federal budget, then my amendment will ensure that the offending provisions do not go into effect. i urge all members to support
this amendment, let's hold the republican leadership to their word. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. whitfield: claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman voiced for five minutes. mr. whitfield: thank you very much. all of us are very much concerned about excessive spending by the federal government. and we know we have a serious debt, we have a serious deficit and all of us are determined to bring that in line and to solve that problem. now, the gentleman from california's amendment is trying to use the so-called cut-go rule as a means to invalidate this legislation. in our legislation we do not
authorize the appropriation of any additional finds. we do not create any new programs in this legislation. and i might say that each year o.m.b. receives an appropriation for its activities and we know that more than any other agency in the federal government o.m.b. -- the e.p.a. is sued more than almost any other agency. at any one time they have 400 or 500 lawsuits going. and as a result of many of those lawsuits they have to go back and they have to relook at rules and so forth. and there's never any additional money appropriated to them for that purpose. so what we're doing in this legislation is no different than what they deal with at e.p.a. every year. now, c.b.o. did come forth and
said that over a five-year period, because they would have to relook at these rules and issue new rules and so forth, there would be maybe $1 million in additional cost, but that's not any different than what e.p.a. goes through every year, as i said, because of lawsuits that are filed. our position is, we do not authorize additional money in this legislation, we do not create a new program in this legislation and therefore the cut-go rules are not applicable. and it is the decision of the house leadership to determine if that is the case or not and they have determined that is not the case. so for those reasons i would oppose the gentlelady's amendment and would urge all -- the gentleman's amendment and would urge all members to oppose the amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from
california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment -- mr. waxman: madam chair, i request a roll call vote. the chair: the gentleman from california requests a roll call. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18 all proceedings offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. waxman: madam chair, i wish to offer the amendment, it's a number 16. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: -- the chair: does the chair understand that the gentleman from california will be the designee of the person who is sponsor of the amendment, number 16? mr. waxman: yes. the chair: thank you for the clarification. the clerk: amendment number 16 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. waxman of california. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized for five minutes. mr. waxman: thank you very much. madam chair this amendment was going to be off -- madam chair, this amendment was going to be offered by mr. markey, he strongly supports it, and i want to offer it in his place. manufacturing facilities and other industrial sources release toxic mercury into the air. these emissions travel through the atmosphere and eventually deposit to land or water. once deposited the mercury can build up in fish, shell fish and animals that eat fish. consumption of fish and shell fish is the main route of mercury exposure to humanless. e.p.a. and f.d.a. have warned women who are pregnant of childbearing age or nursing that they should limit their consumption of certain types of fish and avoid others entirely due to mercury contamination. e.p.a. cremeant kiln rules are designed to cut emissions of mercury as well as other hazardous air pollutants. e.p.a. estimates that the rules
will reduce mercury emissions from cement kilns by 16,400 pounds or 92%, compared with projected levels. e.p.a. looked at how these reductions would effect the emissions that are deposited to land or water, e.p.a. estimated that the cement rules would reduce mercury deposition by up to 30% in the west and up to 17% in the east in 2013. the agency's modeling indicates that the mercury deposition reductions would be the greatest nearest the cement kinls. this amendment add as simple finding to the bill stating that e.p.a. cement kiln rules are expected to reduce mercury deposition in the eastern and western united states. this amendment does not change the substance of the bill. the bill simply -- the bill still full fice -- newly fice e.p.a. cement rules which have been in place for a year. the amendment simply adds
important context for in nullification. by nullification, the cement rules -- i by nullifying the cement rules, the billie races reductions in mercury deposition that the rules would achieve. this debate has shown us how we need this context. the bill's supporters have claimed that 99% of mercury is natural. and thus they simply say that we don't need to worry about it. now i have no idea where they get that figure. it wasn't from the e.p.a. but if that's why they are supporting this bill, their support isn't based on the facts. the amendment sets the record straight. it makes it clear to all members that the cement rules will have a real and significant impact on mercury deposition. these effects will be the largest of course closer to the plants that will have to clean up their pollution. but before we vote to throw out rules that have been in the works for over a decade, before we vote to leave communities
exposed to toxic air pollution for years or decades more, let's at least recognize what we are throwing away. and what we'd be throwing away is this particular finding that's so important. i urge all my colleagues to support this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back. mr. waxman: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? >> i rise to claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam speaker. congress should not adopt as its own specific findings made by e.p.a. in the context of these rule makings. congress has no -- has not undertake an full analysis of the e.p.a.'s methodology a in assessing these reductions. the e.p.a.'s estimates encompass multiple assumptions that may or may not be true and which deserve further scrutiny. mr. sullivan: e.p.a.'s estimates that the cement mact will reduce mercury emissions by 16,400 pounds per year, an amount that is only .15% of global
emissions. mercury is emitted naturally and also globally. department of energy estimates that 5,500 tons or 11 million pounds of mercury was emitted globally in 2005 from both natural and human sources. emission from these sources are modest when considered relative to natural and foreign emissions. these projections are complex. where these estimates have not been subject to rigorous scrute fryny, it would be irresponsible for congress to simpley adopt e.p.a.'s findings as its own. i urge a no vote on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time? sill sulsull i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. waxman: madam chair, i request a roll call vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed.
for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pallone: madam speaker, i rise today to offer an amendment to this legislation that will ensure that the public health of americans is protected under the bill. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 21 printed in the congressional record offered pli -- by mr. pallone of new jersey. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for five minutes. mr. pallone: thank you, madam speaker. in december of last year the u.s. department of health and human services released their healthy people 2020 report. in this report is the culmination of a major undertaking initiated under the bush administration and completed by the obama administration. it sets goals and objectives with 10-year targets designed to guide national health provision -- mo pro-motion and disease prevention efforts to improve the health of all people in the
united states. in healthy people 2020, h.h.s. sets the goal to reduce the american people's exposure to mercury. mercury can cause aggravated asthma, irregular heart beat, heart attacks and premature death in people with heart and lung disease. in addition mercury is a potent neurotoxin. it is toxic to all of us but it is particularly dangerous to our children. that's why as part of the healthy people 2020 report h.l.s. set a goal to reduce concentrations of mercury found in children's blood samples by 30% by 2020. children who are exposed to mercury during pregnancy can suffer from a range of developmental and neurological be a normalities including delayed onset of walking, delayed onset of talking, and learning disabilities. the national academy of sciences estimates that each year about 60,000 children may be born in the u.s. with neurological problems that could lead to poor school performance because of exposure to mercury.
and cement kilns are one of the largest sources of air born mercury pollution in the united states. and yet here we are, madam speaker, debating bills on the house floor that would go in the opposition direction. we're talking about -- opposite direction. we're talking about nullifying regulations that are already on the books to decrease exposure to mercury by delaying implementation of a law to reduce these toxic emissions from cement kilns. when it's rules were finalized last year to cut pollution from cement kilns, e.p.a. conducted analysis of the effects of the rule. the agency found that this rule would cut emissions of mercury from cement plants by 92%, almost 17,000 pounds of mercury each year that would be prevented from being released into our environment. for some places like in the part of the western united states, that means reduction of mercury deposition by 30%. and now in one swoop, madam speaker, this legislation will reduce that 30% reduction. my amendment would not let this
happen if doing so would interfere with achieving h.h.s.'s goal. it would prevent this bill from going into effect if it interferes with the department of health and human services' goal of reducing our children's exposure to mercury. i don't want to see this legislation enacted if it's going to effect our children's ability to talk, read, write or learn. i don't want more people to be at risk for asthma and heart attacks and i want health and human services to be able to do their job. if they have identified mercury exposure as a risk to our children and to our citizens, i want them to be able to minimize that risk and we should not interfere. so i urge, madam speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and ensure that we can keep our country progressing toward improved public health and keep our children safe from environmental pollutants. thank you, madam speaker. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? >> i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized for five minutes. this amendment calls for findings and would veto this bill. these are not findings for which we established an underlying record in the proceedings relating to this bill. the program operates separately from the help people 2012 initiative, as far as we are aware. e.p.a.'s estimates that it would reduce mercury emissions by an amount that is only 0.15% of demrobal emissions. mr. sullivan: mercury is emitted naturally and globally. department of energy estimates that 5,500 times or 11 million pounds was emitted globally in 2005 from both natural and human sources. for these reasons i urge my colleagues to vote no on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california.
>> i seek recognition in support of the pallone amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. waxman: this adds a congressional finding that federal agencies should support ongoing efforts to reduce exposure to mercury this seems a no-brainer. for the past 30 years, both democrats and republicans, the department of health and human service the national institutes of health, the centers for disease control and other agencies at the federal and state and local level have worked together to set science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all americans. this is called the helping -- healthy people initiative. the healthy people initiative set critical objectives for 2020. these goals are the product of an extensive stake holder process that involved public health expert a wide range of federal, state and local government officials, a consortium of more than 2,000 organizations and the public. the healthy people 2020
initiative set a goal for reducing mercury exposure this goal is to reduce the level of mercury in the blood of children and women of childbearing age by 30% by 2020. mercury exposure in the womb or at a young age can adversely affect the brain and nervous system, damaging a child's long-term cognitive and memory and motor skills. this amendment states that congress agrees we ought to set this goal and ought to try to achieve this goal as a way to reduce the mercury levels in children. er hope we can all agree this is a worthwhile objective. the amendment also puts some weight behind the finding. if the e.p.a. administrator determines that allowing cement kilns to continue emitting toxic mercury without controls threatens to block attainment of the healthy people standard by 2020, to reduce mercury in
children, then the bill has no effect. the administrator can reach this determination only after consultation with experts at n.i.h. and c.d.c. this amendment is common sense. there's no point in engaging in an extensive process to set broadly agreed upon goals to guide agency actions to improve the health of americans and then adopt laws that prevent agencies from meeting these goals. the republicans want to vote against these goals, that's what they'll be doing if they vote against the pallone amendment. unfortunately, the bill we're considering today could hinder this initiative's goal to reduce children's mercury exposure by nullifying long overdue rules to reduce toxic mercury from cement kilns but republicans have told us their pill won't hurt public health. they argued that mercury reductions achieved by cement and boiler rules won't have a discernable effect for public health.
it won't even benefit these goals. benefit us in how we achieve these goals. if they actually believe that, then those who support this bill should consider this amendment as an opportunity to prove that the bill has no impact on the mercury level in children's blood. i would urge my colleagues to support this amendment, to support these goals and not to nullify the goals as they would like to nullify the e.p.a. rules. i support the pallone amendment, urge my colleagues to vote for it and yield back my time. the chair: the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman new jersey. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- mr. pallone: i ask for a roll call vote. the chair: in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. pallone: i ask for a roll call on that. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey will be postponed.
who seeks recognition? >> madam speaker. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas rise? the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number four printed in the congressional record, offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairwoman. i've been to the floor before and i've used these famous words, i think i've even used them in committee, can we all get along. i just can't imagine that if we queried this industry that so many people would want to, you will, ignore the facts that are impacting not only our community but our children. first of all it's important to note that the c.b.o. has established that h.r. 2681 will cost $1 million.
i want jobs to continue, i want jobs to be created. i think the service dealing with our industry is important. but i think lives are important. and i cannot imagine on this particular instance why we would want to block the e.p.a. from finding a way to save lives. so, i rise today to introduce an amendment that would require the e.p.a. or establish the fact that the compliance would come some three years, by three years, after the implementation of the resolution by the e.p.a. remember, now, that every party has an opportunity to participate. but listen to what is happening with the impact of mercury on our children. if these safeguards are blocked, up to 34,300 premature deaths would be in place.
these would be the consequences of it. over 17,800 more heart attacks. over 180,000 additional asthma attacks. over three million more days of missed work or school and waste billions of taxpayer dollars treating these preventable accidents or illnesses if you will. in addition, i believe that the idea of jobs should not be a threat to life. currently, the bill requires the cement industry to comply with e.p.a. rules no earlier than five years after the rules have been final ised. it allows indefinite noncompliance. there's no deadline set for the industry compliance. that's an unfair imbalance between jobbed and lives and i know we can find the right balance. these industry leaders are citizens in communities. they support boy scouts and girl scout they support p.t.o.'s and school athletic
teams. their very constituents are their workers and families. some of those very families that will be subject to the conditions where schools are near concrete manufacturing companies. it is happening all over america. i have offered this amendment to ensure that the e.p.a. has the ability to reduce toxic emissions from numerous industrial sources, including the cement industry as they're required to do under the clean air act. the e.p.a. has issued rules targeting this and have resulted in saving 1.7 million ton of air pollution per year. my amendment says that to comply with the e.p.a. rules should occur no later than three years after the rules have finalized. let me tell you why this is a good amendment. it gets people to work and gets you focusing quickly on the remedy. it help pus the remedy in place and helps save lives. this is a task given to the e.p.a. for 40 years.
in fact it was fwiven to the e.p.a. under a republican administration, as i recall, richard nixon. we worked together again because we believed that america could be better by creating jobs and also protecting our environment. there's been a consistent theme of chipping away at the ability of the e.p.a. to protect our air, but i believe we can do both. there is pollution, it does exist. just come to a city like houston where asthma rates are up because of the pollution that we have. it is important to find a way to balance the lives of those who are impacted by things like chest pain, coughing, digestive problems, let's arji, throat irritation and watery eyes, and keep our jobs. how do we do it? we rush toward fixing the problem, we rush toward creating the jobs by having the kind of technology that allows us to cure this problem and keep these jobs. colleagues, i believe this is an important approach, it is to
find the new technology that allows us to clean the air, it is not to stall and block the e.p.a. it is to find a way to get quickly to the solution to be able to save lives. i'd ask my colleagues to support this amendment and i reserve my time. the chair: the gentlelady is unable to reserve her time. does the gentlelady yield back? ms. jackson lee: how much remaining time do i have? the chair: the gentlelady has 15 seconds. ms. jackson lee: let me say that i am hopeful that the amendment will be perceived as an amendment that rushes toward helping both those who are creating jobs but it is rushing toward allowing the e.p.a. to save lives. let us not sacrifice lives for convenience. let us save lives. my amendment is a very constructive amendment to allow compliance in three years. i yield back. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition?
>> i claim time in opposition. the chair: the secret is recognized for five minutes. mr. guthrie: cement plants have three years to comply with section 112 strap dards. incinerators have five years to comply with section 129 standards. mr. whitfield: because of the testimony we heard over a series of hearings, the affected industry has indicated that they need some conformity in complying with these new regulations. as you know, there were regulations adopted in 2005 or 2006 that were invalidated by the courts, e.p.a. came back with new regulations that were more complicated, more strenus, and as a result of that, we've discovered that these industries, that the cement industries -- cement industry is having difficulty complying
within the time period. so our legislation simply directs the e.p.a. to go back, relook at the regulations and within -- how many months is it? within 15 months, come back with a new regulation and then give the industry five years to comply on the cement side and the incinerator side. so we provide some conformity in our legislation. the gentlelady from texas is basically changing that back to three years and the whole purpose of our legislation, because of the hearings, because of the technology required, it was quite evident that more time was needed. so we set a time period, a minimum time of five years to comply, the administrationor of the e.p.a. may grant additional
time if necessary, but we doubt that that would happen. so for that reason, for pragmatic reasons, i would oppose the gentlelady's amendment, that we can have some conformity in these regulations. i'd be happy to yield. ms. jackson lee: i think the very argument you just made is one that i would like to utilize and suggest that conformity could be three or five. i'm suggesting conformity should be three years with the e.p.a. doing just as you said, having the discretion to give more time. i think it shows us as a congress being as balanced for jobs -- for jobs, which i know you're trying to do, and trying you're trying to do, and trying to