tv U.S. Senate Senators Debate the Green New Deal CSPAN March 24, 2019 5:02pm-6:20pm EDT
we have this threat that challenges all of us, the solution will take all of us too. i am thankful again. i want to reiterate my thanks to the activists and the organizers who made this moment happen and created the political energy to be relevant and put it at the top of the agenda, not the bottom. i thank you all very much. on march 6, republican senators gave floor speeches criticizing the green new deal. eventually, democrats began responding on the floor as well. speakers during this portion of the debate include texas republican john cornyn, minority leader chuck schumer, democrat ed markey of massachusetts, and republican john barrasso.
>> if you want to know what command and control economies are and what it would mean to our freedom and our liberty. all you need to do is look at the green new deal. thanis really nothing more an attempt to mask this power grab in it feel good environmental policies. by mixing ideas like medicare for all and guaranteeing jobs with unrealistic environmental policies. the senator from texas has
the floor. questionsdeal with after i have my remarks. hei would like to ask if leaves if climate change is real and caused by humans. we know what he is not for. >> the senator from texas has the floor. >> i am not for socialism. will yield for a question and say what he is for. not what he is against, what he is for. >> the senator from texas has the floor. you will be quiet for a minute i will tell him what i am for. is is an attempt to really power grab here in washington the feel-good environmental policy. it makes his ideas like medicare for all and guaranteed jobs with wildly unrealistic environmental policies.
since this resolution was proposed, it has gained the ire of people on both sides of the aisle. something we don't see that often. something i don't know that i authorsr seen, the referred to the majority leader's intent to bring this resolution to the floor as sabotage. ordinarily, when you introduce an idea, you are begging the majority leader's to put it on the floor. the committee chairman to put it through committee so you can advance your idea. when the majority leader said he would do that to the green new deal, it was called sabotage. since the green new deal was rolled out, things in washington have gotten increasingly wacky and believe it or not, even crazier. we recently put a price tag on the green new deal. you heard the senator from iowa .alk about the $93 trillion
that is so much money i doubt most of us can wrap our brains around it. it is like if somebody told you the earth is 140 million miles from mars. how do you conceptualize that? you have no reference to understand how far that really is. if you combined that gross to mystic product of every country in 2017, every single country on the planet in 2017, the price of the green new deal would be higher than that. if you totaled up how much the united states has spent, the united states government since the constitution was put into effect in 1789. the price would still be higher. if you total up the value of one gas inworth of oil and texas, it would take seven centuries of production to pay for the green new deal.
margaret thatcher, who had a gift for words said the problem with socialism is eventually run out of other people's money. in this case you don't have the money to begin with. that is what this is really about. of whatthe antithesis our founders believe in when they found the united states of america. they believe checks and balances and separated powers were protection of our individual liberties and right to make decisions for ourselves and our families. they viewed the concentration of power that would be necessary to do something like the green new deal as the opposite. it would be antagonistic. mr. president, things like eradicating air travel clearly aren't the answer. senator from hawaii say that would not work very i think everyone of us can
signal out everything we can agree on. policies thatr won't bankrupt our country. the solution is not the green new deal or another government paragraph. it is all about innovation and the creativity of americans doing research in science. >> the senator from texas has the floor. >> i would seek to be recognized. that number comes from the koch brothers. >> the senator from massachusetts will suspend. the senate will be in order. i have noticed one thing around here. when colleagues from across the aisle don't like what they are hearing, they try to suppress or
drown out dissenting voices. i think the american people need to hear this debate. our ability to innovate is critical to the success of our economy and the competitiveness in the global economy. investing in science and is important to keeping our government strong. power of harness the the private sector to drive real, affordable solutions. that is how we find cutting edge solutions to our biggest challenges. a lot of folks try to paint the broad strokes about energy. they are either on the side of innovation or new technologies, or you are in favor of traditional development. i am proud to come from a state that believes truly in the above approach. we generate more electricity from wind than any other state in the country.
we believe in all of these. you don't have to pick one or the other. not only do we lead the nation in oil and gas production. we lead it in energy production too. could'veoof you policies that get government out of the way and leave industry experts to do their jobs, you could be pro-energy, pro-innovation, and progrowth. the green new deal is not the answer to our problems. it is our solution in search of a problem. it is a power grab by washington, d.c., seeking to impose on each and every american how we should run our lives. it is the opposite of the individual liberties and freedom that our founders believed our country would be based on. i hope in the coming months we will take steps to remote freedom and not more government control. with ideas that lead to innovation and not socialist policies.
fromld to my friend indiana. >> he said he would yield to a question when he finished his statement. i would like to ask my colleague a question. he believe that climate change is real? does he believe it is caused by humans? does he believe this body should do something about it? i appreciate an answer. >> i would say to my friend from new york that i know what their talking points are. should believe what we do about the environment is impose a travesty like the green new deal. this is a government power grab. it is unaffordable. it is unrealistic. and it reflects the most radical ideologies of the democratic party today. athink we should not have socialist power grab of our entire economy. >> he didn't really answer my
question. what would he do about climate change? i would ask my colleague to please not answer what he is against, but what he is for. anything they are for about climate change, or whether they believe it is real and caused by humans. i asked my colleague once again, not what he is against, what is c4? -- what is he for? >> there is a book called super freakenomics. it talks about the threat of the environment of horse manure back when we had horse-drawn buggies in our cities. internal combustion engines had not been created. they point out that the environmental hazard went away almost overnight because the internal combustion engine was created. ,ikewise when i was growing up a scientist named paul early from stanford wrote a book called the population bomb.
he said millions of people would starve across our country and across the world unless we basically quit having children. is the miscalculated impact of a gentleman by the n, and the green revolution he began through research and development of an innovative plant gene research. we were able to basically defeat the population bomb. we were able to deal with the environmental hazard of horse manure by innovation. that is what i am for. that is what i said, that is what i would say again to my friend from new york. mr. president, i rise today in opposition to the so-called green new deal. this unaffordable, unattainable,
and unrealistic proposal is bad news for all americans. it is especially bad for the people who live in my home state of indiana. indiana is the most manufacturing intensive state in the country. proud ofrs are rightly that distinction. we make america's planes, cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, pipelines, we produce the aluminum in steel that goes into these products. we mind the cold that makes it affordable to power all of those factories. indiana is home to these respectable, high-paying jobs, because of the highly skilled hoosier workforce. our world-class infrastructure network, and yes our low energy costs. the green new deal would crush indiana's affordable prices. the cost of doing business would skyrocket for hoosier manufacturers and farmers alike.
what would this green new deal mean for american families? over the next decade, the so-called deal would cost up to $65,000 per american household, per year. --t is roughly 50%, 40% of 47% of the medium hoosier household income. america must continue to support an energy strategy, i look forward to working in a bipartisan way to get that done. we must continue to develop renewable energy sources like wind and solar. we must also continue to utilize our important baseload energy sources. this is your coal, your natural gas, nuclear power. we simply cannot afford to eliminate these critical sources from our nation's energy mix. that is what the green new deal
would call for. in indiana, approximately 92% of our energy is manufactured by coal and natural gas. account for just 6% of indiana's electricity. they cannot reliably and affordably produce the electricity that indiana needs. a blind eyeturning to coal and natural gas, let's continue to incentivize research and development. instead of promoting job killing legislation like the green new deal, we should be promoting proposals. this is bipartisan legislation put forward by my colleague from wyoming that would promote carbon capture research and development. we agree on the need to incentivize market-based carbon capture systems. >> will the senator from indiana yield for a question?
>> i would like to continue until light complete my remarks. we agree on the need to incentivize market-based carbon capture systems and ensure america can continue to cleanly and affordably produce baseload energy. just reckoning, that is one of many areas in which republicans and democrats could find common ground and work together to protect god's green earth. indiana is an environmentally conscious state. we continue to expand solar and wind production each year. we look to protect our natural resources like the indiana dunes and hoosier natural forest. we cannot support a proposal like the green new deal that would endanger tens of thousands of hoosier jobs. the green new deal is out of touch with indiana's priorities, hoosiers know a bad deal when they see one. this is a bad deal.
grandlyw hoosiers are -- greatly concerned. they fear it will cause utility bills to skyrocket and force indiana factories to shutter. i am a resounding no on the green new deal. i stand with hoosier farmers. i stand with hoosier manufacturers. i stand with hoosier families in opposing this $93 trillion deal. thank you mr. president. >> will the senator from indiana yield for question? >> i will. >> do you believe that climate change is real? will you stand with the scientific community which beli eves almost completely unanimously that climate change is real? >> that is an easy one. i think my -- i think my good colleague. i publicly said for a long period of time, you could check my record. i believe the climate is changing.
i believe flora, flaunted, and human beings have impact on that. we can protect our environment without wrecking our economy. we can do that through energy efficiency initiatives, investment in energy, carbon market, adoption of free principles. i read an impactful book in response to my good colleague. adulthood, it was called eco side in the ussr. it explains how centrally in fatal,onomies conceit like efforts to engineer a better environment centrally to plan an economy centrally and and up decimating our natural environment. an impactnues to have
on how i look at these issues. perhaps we will find an opportunity to work together and find common ground. it won't be on the green new deal. the senator from north carolina. >> thank you. i come to the floor to join my colleagues in expressing concerns over maybe well intended but poorly constructed policy in the green new deal. i want to start by saying i have no intention of yielding until the end of my remarks. havene question i would four people across the aisle, do you actually support the green new deal? do you support it in the form it has been proposed? i can't imagine you do. you understand the math. you understand the challenges. you understand the reality that $55,000 a year is the median household income in north carolina. we are talking about the cost of this bill over 10 years is roughly what the average north
carolinian family makes. we know that is not sustainable. we know it is not sustainable to have our electric bills increased by $3800 each year. it is not sustainable to go beyond just the energy component of the green new deal, two other aspects, they just don't make sense. $93 trillion is not something i can get my head wrapped around. i know that is the number we are talking about. i think we can get to the household impact and realize it is not sustainable. why are we having this discussion? >> will the senator yield on that bogus number made up by the koch brothers? that is a made up number by the koch brothers.
[talking over each other] >> the senator from north carolina has the floor. >> thank you. he made it very clear he will not yield until he is finished. >> i will state for any other members who come and i have no intention of yielding. in my time, it has never occurred to me to interrupt the way we have interrupted here. maybe that gets to the point. this bill as proposed does not work. i want to go back and tell you, as a member of the north carolina house, when i was in the minority as a republican, i supported the renewable portfolio standards. i went to my colleagues on the others of the aisle and said what you are proposing is not sustainable. let's do something different. that gave rise to almost 13% of all of the energy generated in north carolina today being
generated from renewable sources. it is one of the most competitive in the country. what happened with the new green of the the people extreme are preventing those of us that want to make progress. instead we are shouting over one another. is 43t care if it trillion, or 10 trillion, it is unsustainable. at the end of the day, we all know this was theater. this was something the people wanted to pitch. they wanted to win an election but it was a dishonest promise that could never be fulfilled. if you take a look at the other provisions of this bill, guaranteed jobs, it is reading like some sort of a socialist manifesto. as somebody who grew up in a trailer park and didn't get a degree until i was 36 years old, i wanted an american deck it was an opportunity. not one that tells me how much
money i will make. we have to have a realistic discussion about the new green deal. we are pushing people into corners and not having a good discussion about things we should be making progress on. people goen had some so far as to say maybe we should reduce the number of cows on the planet, since they create methane gas. maybe the chicken caucus is getting -- in favor of getting rid of cows or eating more cows. why don't we just lower the temperature, recognize we have a proposal here that doesn't work. recognize it was generally motivated by politics. when you take such an extreme stance, you should expect the other side to come to the floor, just as we are doing today and make it real. there's been a lot of discussion about the energy parts of the green new deal. lots of other areas. there are many asked questions.
i would just say on the energy costs, which president obama's energy advisor say it you couldn't reach the goal. one thing we need to remember is the families pay the utility bills. we just avoided a clean power regulation that was more than double the utility bill in 10 or 12 years. during the three years or so we were debating that, because of court cases that kept saying it is not really the authority to do this. i kept reminding the people i work for, next time you write your utility bill, just write it out of your check one more time. effect, withinto a decade, that is what you will be doing. see what happens when you are writing that bill out of your check one more time and what happens. some of the questions on this have been about other things as well. have at that we
challenge in this green new deal creates that, it talks about medicare for all. ,t least in the talking points job guarantees for all. every job in guaranteed by the government. i think maybe even a vacationf it would be pretty extraordinary. thetrillion would rebuild entire interstate highway system every year for 100 years. you are talking about $93 trillion. grossillion is the entire domestic product of the world. surprisingly, a dozen senators are supporting this bill.
they have cosponsored the bill. the guaranteed jobs number or the universal health care number, or the renewable electric grid number, or the guaranteed green housing number that individuals would have to comply with. step in a amazing different direction. it is one the country clearly will not take. it is one i believe the sponsors have some concerns about. we will have a chance to vote on it. it will be on the next few days or weeks. we will see what the american people have to say about it. i yield the time. the senator from rhode island. >> i understand the majority has the floor. i will be very brief. i have enormous regard for those who have spoken already. i just want to say that for the people who say we want to have a
discussion about this issue, we are so eager to have a discussion about this issue. i come here every week hoping to have a discussion about this issue. i would love to have a discussion about this issue. i would love to have hearings on , i public works committee would love to have people working together to solve this problem. we have a piece of climate legislation that is not this one, it does have the support of seven former republican chairs of the president's council of economic advisers, six former republican congressman, four former republican epa administrator's, three former -- secretaries of treasury or state, and one former republican cbo director.
republican congressman referred to that bill as not just an all of branch reaching out to republicans, but in all of limb. thise what can emerge from is a real conversation about real bills and in the context of that, we would be very interested to know what the republican proposal is to deal with climate change. with that, i turn back the floor and thank the providing officer. i appreciate the courtesy of my distinguished colleagues.
i would like to thank my colleague from iowa for organizing the discussion on the green new deal resolution. the public doesn't pay a lot of attention to nonbinding resolutions here in the congress, but that's not the case of this one. the sponsors of the new green new deal in the house and the senate certainly deserve recognition for the profile they have managed to create so quickly. but that's a double-edged sword, because people are now beginning to pay attention to what's actually in the green new deal. leader mcconnell has proposed bringing the resolution to the floor, which has created in my view sort of a baffling response. the plan's sponsors are claiming that a vote is, quote, cynical, meant to disrupt, thoat, their movement. mr. president, you and i both know that every member of this body would clamor, clamor to have their bills brought up for floor consideration. but you know what? most of us here live in the land of realistic and practical solutions. the green new deal is very vague. it doesn't include enough detail to know that it proposes radical solutions that in my view are neither practical nor realistic. it's a wish list dressed up as environmental policy. now, we knew it was going to be expensive. we knew the goal was to
eliminate goal and gas and industries along with coal and gas industries along with a lot of other good-paying jobs in states like mine. we knew all the economic harm it would be proposing, but this is a massive shift, a shift to the left that goes far beyond anything the democrats have proposed before. this plan doesn't stop at eliminating the use of coal and natural gas for electricity. the plan also ends nuclear electricity and severely curtails the commercial air industry. the environmental and energy components of this proposal are estimated to cost $8.3 trillion to $12.3 trillion over the next decade, which averages out to about $52,000 to $71,000 for every american household. and we will be left with possibly an energy grid that lacks affordability and reliability to make the american manufacturers competitive around the globe and meet the basic needs of our families. right now, coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy account for 83% of all the electricity produced in the united states. it's neither practical nor
realistic to believe that we could phase all of that out, capacity out without some catastrophic consequences. but unbelievably, this is just one piece of the green new deal. the sticker shock combines with tens of trillions of dollars to fund guaranteed jobs for people unwilling to work, eliminate private health care for 170 americans in favor of a government-run system, replace or retrofit all housing stock for environmental compliance and guaranteeing it to every american, and putting food on everyone's table. altogether, possibly $93 trillion over a ten-year period of time. well, we would liquidate all the wealth in the entire country and maybe just cover that tab, but we wouldn't have anything left. the green new deal sponsors claims the government will be making investments. they claim that the returns will pay for everything and make a profit for the people. realistic? practical? i think not. and if it fails, then what will we do?
some say the green new deal, even if it's a disaster of a policy that would destroy our economy, at least the congress is finally talking about climate change, and this is what we heard my colleague, we serve on the e.p.w. committee together. which is a huge disservice i think to us because we have been working in a bipartisan fashion to deliver real solutions since before anyone had ever heard of him the green new deal. in the e.p.w. committee, senators from coal states such as senator barrasso who is here from wyoming and senator whitehouse from rhode island and senator carper and myself, we have been working for market-driven solutions to the challenge of atmospheric co2. members of both parties will continue to work on these important policies to meaningfully address carbon challenges while also protecting and creating jobs. we do not need a $93 trillion turn that fundamentally alters the foundations of our country. we're capable of making investments in technology and
infrastructure to address our nation's challenges in a commonsense and bipartisan way. but the green new deal is not practical, it is not realistic, and it's a bit scary that so many democrats are embracing it. the american people deserve to know where each of us stands on this policy. that's why we're going to have a vote. i'm glad that we'll have the opportunity to take a vote on this resolution in the coming months, and i hope that all of my colleagues will join me in opposing this utterly unfathomable and unworkable resolution. i yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> the senator from indiana. >> although i had prepared remarks to address what many of my colleagues have just covered, and that would be the preposterous proposal of the green new deal, i want to take a little different angle. i think there is a point so often those of us on the in conservative side of the ledger i think get overwhelmed
by the conversation being dominated by the other side. it's a fertile ground to want to try to use a better environment to parlay that incremental way into more government. i think what we have got here is just like addressing health care costs. we had obamacare, the affordable care act, which turned out to be the unaffordable care act, but there were issues that were valid. in my own company years ago, i was worried about it. drafted a plan that was proactive, addressed high health care costs, made the pledge you should never go broke because you get sick or have a bad accident. crafted a plan through the real world that cut costs that my employees have not paid a -- and my employees have not paid a premium increase in nine years. i want to take the green new
deal. i'm a conservationist. i'm a member of the nature conservancy, as a business and an individual. we cannot let the other side co-opt the issue, preempt it because they think the argument is on their side. i'm not going to belabor the point that i think is preposterous. i want to make the point that if you think any of that can be done, whether it's $50 trillion, $93 trillion, keep in mind we're running nearly trillion-dollar deficits. we're $22 trillion in debt. does that sound like anything that the federal government could actually solve in a sustainable way when we're in a pickle like we're currently in? until we change the dynamic here and get individuals that i think know how to do things, where it works in states like indiana, in many states, maybe let states have a bigger hand in the
equation where their budgets are balanced, where they have cash balances, where it's not a false hope. let's look at the particulars of what the green new deal is supposed to do in addition to cleaning up our environment, which we have made great strides with. it's being spawned as an economic argument. it's the exact opposite of that. i want to challenge folks on our side of the ledger from the practical side to where we generally lose out on the general argument and incrementally things change against us over time. we just had legislation pass in 2017. i want to tell this little story, what we did in our own special way. i'm going to challenge enterprises, i'm going to challenge businesses across the country to think about this as a way to avoid that. in 2017, we had, in my opinion for enterprise or small
businesses, farmers -- i have been involved in both -- the biggest opportunity that's come along in years. we are keeping more of our own resources, not sending it here to a broken institution that's given us all these deficits and debt. but we have got to do something with it. back in january of 2018, my son, who is one of my three kids, now in my business, said dad, let's take tax reform, let's share the benefits with employees. great idea. i didn't think it would have a bigger political meaning until he said, hey, let's put it in the company memo that it's due to tax reform. we have taken, in my mind, the biggest thing, whether you would want to return the dividends into the environment, into higher wages, into whatever you want to do, and we have had less than a year to run with it.
all i know is that many companies in indiana, ours, we lowered health care costs, flattened them for nine years. we raised 401(k) benefits. we started quarterly bonuses instead of just annual ones. and we're doing what i think this country needs to do -- quit looking to the federal government to solve all of our problems, even when they have got an argument like we need to further improve our environment, we need to avoid possibly a catastrophe down the road where we do stick our head in the sand. but don't look to this institution to do it because i don't think you can credibly say that you can do anything in the context of the product that's been delivered over the last decade or two. states, individuals, businesses, organizations, but especially businesses, because we have
reaped the benefits, in my opinion, of the biggest legislation that's occurred in decades, put our money where our mouth is, where my company's is, investing in your employees, change the system from the bottom up, not from the top down. >> mr. president. >> the senator from alaska. 00:47:33 mr. mr. president, first i want to thank my colleagues for coming down here and having this important discussion. i want to thank my democratic colleagues who i have a lot of respect for for being here and having this debate. i'm sure it's not going to be the first time that we're going to be doing this on the green new deal or other elements of proposals coming from the house or in the senate. you know, this is a big issue what's happening in the house, what's going to happen over here with some of our colleagues.
i think in many ways it's an issue that focuses on the future where the country's going. as the majority leader recently said in an interview, i can pretty safely say that this is the first time in my political career that the essence of america is being debated. socialism, democratic capitalism, okay. let's have that debate. we're having that debate. what is the essence of america, mr. president? well, i believe it's freedom and liberty, and that's what we're founded on, and that's what i think proposals like the green new deal would undermine. to be clear, you know, some people are joking about it, about banning hamburgers or airplanes or returning to the horse and buggy, but i actually think there is many people who are looking at this very seriously, and so we should, and some of these kind of ideas can be funny until they're not funny. so what we're trying to do here is talk about this proposal in a serious manner, and in my state, the great state of alaska, in a deadly serious manner. there is so much that's in this idea, the green new deal, a government takeover of health
care, free housing, free food. the list goes on and on. the costs have been pointed out are very high. but today, mr. president, what i want to do is talk about one aspect that would be particularly detrimental to my state and many, many other states. my colleague from west virginia, north dakota, they are here on the floor, and that's this proposal to ban hydrocarbons produced in america within a decade. this is not a joke. there are many members in this body -- some are on the floor right now -- and in the house who think this is a serious proposal and would like to do it. so i want to talk about that. now, mr. president, i want to stipulate i'm certainly somebody who is in favor of all of the above energy. the fact that america is now producing more oil, more gas, more renewables than any other country in the world is good for all of us, democrat, republican. you know my colleague from rhode island is here. he and i have worked on a whole host of issues together involving oceans.
i think the technological advances with regard to gas, hundreds of years of supplies of gas, natural gas, with technology, with renewables provides huge opportunities for democrats and republicans to work together on to bring down greenhouse gas emissions. enormous. we're just scratching the surface. i look forward to working with him and the senator from massachusetts on these kind of ideas, because i think they are exciting and i think when you're burning natural gas at very, very high temperatures, you almost have very little greenhouse gas emission. combine that with technology, renewables, we have hundreds of years of these supplies, it's a great opportunity, exciting, and i want to work with them. but let me get back to the green new deal on natural resources. in my opinion, we do not spend enough time on this floor talking about the positive societal benefits of natural resource development in america, oil, gas, renewables, fisheries.
so these industries don't just fuel our power generation and transportation and electricity for our homes, these industries literally lift people out of poverty. they lengthen life expectancy, they literally save lives. mr. president, there's a strong correlation between poverty and lack of economic opportunity and the health of our citizens. i'm going to show a few charts here. this correlation in particular -- is particularly strong in my state, particularly with our alaska native population. in 1954, the interior department, with the help of the university of pittsburgh, conducted the study of the health of the alaska natives.
here is the quote, 1954, the indigenous peoples of native alaska are the victims of sickness crippling conditions and premature death to a degree exceeded in very few parts of the world. some of the port people on the planet -- poorest people on the planet were my constituents in alaska. ten years later in 1969, just 50 years ago, the situation was still dire. here is what the president of the alaska federation of natives told congress 50 years ago in 1969. the native people in rural alaska live in the most miserable homes in the united state. the life expectancy of the average native alaskan is 34 years old compared to 69 years old for the rest of the country. so what happened after that, mr. president?
well, we had a big change. we're not there yet, but a big change, and i want to explain it. this was a chart studied in the journal of internal medicine just last year, a study that was published in 2018 about the life expectancy of americans. and where you see blue and purple is where americans' life expectancy increased the most -- the most. well, the state with the greatest change in the entire country was my state. that's a pretty important statistic by the way. life expectancy, it doesn't get more important than that. okay. are you living longer? look what happened in alaska. the north slope of alaska, the southeast all experienced huge increases in life expectancy -- life expectancy from these very low levels. some of the lowest in the world.
mr. president, why did that happen? why did that happen? here's why it happened. on the north slope of alaska, this congress developed some of the biggest fields in the world. we had a large zinc mine at the same time that came on to production. we also had because of this body's maggnisum stevens act, we had, bottom line, natural resource development happened in alaska in america and people's lives increased. people's lives increased. that is a remarkable thing, and we don't talk about it enough. the average life expectancy increase in alaska was almost between eight years and 13 years. that is a measure of success and it became because we were developing our resources, oil
and gas. that's why i am taking this green new deal literally deadly seriously because what we've done in our state and in our country by producing resources is we created the ability for people to actually live longer. and i challenge my colleagues to come up with a better statistic, a more important statistic than that. mr. president, i'm going to end with a quote from a gentleman who came down here and testified in front of the senate, matthew rexford, a proud alaska native leader in the arctic national wildlife refuge, and he came down to testify that congress should give his small community the opportunity to develop the resources near his village. we did that in 2017 after a 40-year debate. he spoke firsthand about what
resource development did for america, for alaska and for his community. quote, the oil and gas industry supports our communities by providing jobs, business opportunities, infrastructure investment. it has built our schools, hospitals, it has moved our people from third-world living conditions to what we expect in america. we refuse to go backward in time. that's what he said, mr. president. i believe the green new deal certainly its ban on hydrocarbon production would take us back in time for the sake of matthew and all the alaskans who have done so well by responsibly developing our resources, we're not going to allow that to happen. i yield the floor. >> would the gentleman yield?
>> i yield to my colleague from north carolina. >> i -- >> the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. does the senator from alaska yield for a question? >> i'm yielding my time to the senator from north dakota. >> that's not possible. sorry. >> mr. president. >> the senator from massachusetts. mr. president, i believe i still have the floor. >> no, you yielded the floor.
>> mr. president. the senator from massachusetts is recognized. >> thank you mr. president. yes, i would pose -- >> the senator from massachusetts cannot pose a question. he has the floor. >> through the chair, i would pose a question to the senator from alaska about whether or not -- >> the senator from alaska does not have the floor. he cannot respond. for the warming of this planet. the senator from massachusetts has the floor. >> i think it mr. president. i will just make this point through you, mr. president, which is that there is nothing in the resolution. the words fossil fuels are not in the resolution. number two, airplanes are not banned in the resolution, number three, there's no guarantee for health care for everyone in america for the resolution. number four, there is nothing that provides for those who are willing to work in the resolution. none of this is true and we know that the koch brothers paid for this $93 trillion study and that's all we're hearing from the republican side is a koch-brother produced document which is absolutely inaccurate. there's no banning of airplanes, there's no guarantee of medicare for all. none of that is in the resolution.
this entire discussion is based upon a completely fraudulent, bogus report that the koch brothers produced. what we're trying to say to the other side is, we should have a debate about the science. we should a debate about the human activity. we should have a debate about what the solutions are, and we should bring it out here as a great deliberative body. but right now we're debating the green new deal and the republicans haven't given us any hearings, no scientists, no witnesses, no debate. they are just doing this as the koch brothers have produced the report of $93 trillion worth of costs which is completely and totally inaccurate. in fact, with regard to the plaintiff the accusation of the banning of airplanes, politico fact has looked at it and said it is completely and totally inaccurate. so i think it's difficult to have a debate when the facts
here are those which we cannot submit to committees, witnesses, debate, and instead all we're subject to is -- is a representation of the green new deal which is completely inaccurate. the words fossil fuels don't even appear in the green new deal for that matter. and so this is not right. if the republicans want to, they should set up a debate and we can have it out here on whether or not the planet is dangerously warming, whether or not human activity is principally responsible, and whether or not this body should take action in order to deal with that problem and whether or not economically we can unleash a technological revolution to solve the problem. that is what we should be debating this afternoon, not a bogus group of facts produced by the koch brothers, paid for by the koch brothers that are being
repeated over and over again on the other side without any republican saying that they actually believe that the planet is dangerously warming. they actually agree with the u.n. scientists that it is an existential threat to us, and it is actually caused by human activity and that we, the greatest deliberative body in the world, should have a robust debate and that the republicans, if they believe it's serious, should present their own plan for debate out here on the senate floor. let -- >> would my colleague yield? >> i would be glad to yield. we did. >> we thank our friends from the other side of the aisle for making our case. >> is the senator asking a question? >> i ask a question of the senator from massachusetts. >> i yield --
>> i ask -- does the senator from massachusetts yield for a question? >> i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to engage in the colloquy. okay. i will ask a question. here's a question for the senator. we've been making the case for the last several weeks that our republican colleagues love to get up and rant about what they are against even though they -- even though they exaggerate, they tell mistruths about the bill that you have sponsored. but we've been asking repeatedly, haven't we, three questions. do you believe climate change is real? two, do you believe it's caused by human activity? and three, most importantly, what would you do about it? here we've had an hour of debate, haven't we, from our republican colleagues?
a lot of mistruths, a lot of here's what we're against. not one single thing that they are for. so isn't it true, my friend from massachusetts that they've helped make our case? we're glad they are talking about climate change finally, but we have to do something about it and isn't it true we haven't heard a single, single positive response about what they would do? >> the leader has put his finger right on it. we want a debate. we want to see their plan. we want to know if they agree with the science of the entire united nations and 13 of our own federal agencies who produced an identical report in the end of 2018. it's dangerous, it's a great threat to our country. we have to do something about it. so where is the republican plan? what is their answer? of course they don't have one.
they want to bring out the green new deal with no hearings, no witnesses, no science when they should be bringing out their own and you are right, mr. leader, it is just basically a condition that they have and the number they are using the $93 trillion in terms of the cost of the green new deal is a koch brother produced number. it's their group that put it together. so how could we possibly be having a serious debate about something that the koch brothers have produced in terms of dealing with global warming since they are central players in this dangerous warming of our planet. i would be glad to yield back to our leader. >> now, isn't it true that our republican colleagues have been in the majority for five years. that during that time more and more americans believe that global warming is a serious problem. i think it's above two-thirds, it's at 70%, a significant percentage of republicans and a majority of democrats and independents.
and isn't it true that those in in those five years we haven't heard a single -- that the leader, the republican leader, our friend, hasn't brought a single piece of legislation to the floor that would deal with climate change in any way? isn't that correct? >> the -- the leader is correct. no solutions, five years, and it's only more dangerously warmed on the planet. $400 billion worth of damage was done to our country in the last two years. we we have fires out in the west, flooding, $400 billion worth of damage and the consensus among scientists is that it's only going to grow worse as each year goes by. nothing on the floor from the republicans. nothing that would deal with the problem, and no admission that it's caused by human beings and we can do something about it. i'd be glad to yield back. >> we have not heard a single
answer from any of the senators on the floor or any who spoke about what their plan is, so i would ask you to repeat and ask them, three questions that they still haven't answered. a, simple questions with no predisposed answers -- a, do any of our republican colleagues, do they -- this is a question -- believe that climate change is real? now second, do any of our republican colleagues over there believe that it's caused by human activity? >> >> we don't know the answer. and do they have a plan to how we deal with it? >> we don't know the answer. >> i would ask my colleagues to yield the the floor to them. >> i would be glad to yield the
floor to any of them that would be recognized. the problem is they keep talking about a $93 trillion cost, which is a report from the american action forum, a partisan right-wing group funded by the koch brothers and karl rove as a sister group to his crossroads usa 501(c)(3). that is what we are talking about. >> can we ask them to not repeat their same talking points and finally say something about what they're for. >> i would yield to my of my colleagues on the other side who have concrete, positive proposals for dealing with the crisis of climate change in our country and on the planet. >> mr. president, i appreciate the opportunity to come to the floor to answer the specific question and i would point to an op-ed that i wrote for "the new york times" last year.
perhaps the senator from new york doesn't read his hometown newspaper, but there is an editorial, cut carbon through innovation, not regulation." it's a plan. cut carbon through innovation, not regulation. the question is, do we believe that the climate is changing, do humans have an impact? the answer is yes to both. as a matter of fact i noted , climate is changing and we collectively have a responsibility to do something about it, right here in "the new york times" december 18. second, the united states and the world will continue to rely on affordable and abundant fossil fuels, including coal to power our economies for decades to come, and we need to also rely on innovation, not new taxes, not punishing global agreements. that's the ultimate solution.
and i will point out, mr. president, that this is something that i had written and submitted and published long before the -- this so-called green new deal was ever introduced in congress. i go on to say, people across the world are rejecting the idea that carbon taxes and raising the cost of energy is the answer to lowering emissions. because we know, mr. president, as i go on in france, the government had just suspended a plant fuel tax increase after some of its citizens took to the streets in protest. it was every story on the news. and in the united states, the results of the november election showed that these plans and other government interventions are just as unpopular. voters in washington state rejected the creation of an expensive tax on carbon emissions. in colorado, a ballot measure to severely restrict drilling was defeated. in arizona, voters rejected a mandate to make the state's utilities much more dependent on renewable energy by 2030.
they rejected it, regardless of the cost to consumers. so, mr. president, i would point out that all three of those states elected liberal democrats to congress on election night. and, mr. president, in further answer to that question, i would point to "usa today," march 4, 2019. now today is the sixth, so we're talking wednesday. this is this week's paper. front page, "to a warming planet's rescue" -- to the rescue of a warming planet, carbon capture. in the race against climate change, scientists are looking for ways to pull co2 out of the earth's atmosphere and store it away. and what they point to, mr. president, is bipartisan legislation passed by this body, passed by the house, signed into law by president trump focusing on carbon capture,
sequestration, talks about a program called 45q that is the future act. one of the cosponsors from the other side of the aisle is on the floor right now. his name is mentioned. my name is mentioned. in finding the solution, so there are republican ideas that are focused on innovation, not regulation, not taxation. focused on freedom an the -- and the innovation that we've had. so i've come to tell you, mr. president, that there are solutions. the republicans will continue to offer them. we had a hearing most recently, just last week on something called the use it act again to , capture carbon and to sequester. we've been working on new age nuclear power, working with leaders around the world. we have passed that and it was signed into law. innovation bill for nuclear power, new-age nuclear power
that will be a smaller reactors, safer reactors, cheaper to use. no carbon whatsoever, mr. president. so there are absolute solutions, and republicans are going to continue to come to the floor, but we're not going to support something that would bankrupt the country, something that would raise the cost of energy for families, something that would drive people to the point of having to spend money they don't have, having our country borrow money that we don't have, all at a time when you say, what are the cost? there are suggestions and numbers that have been raised. i haven't heard any numbers from the other side of the aisle. so, mr. president, i come to the floor to tell you that republicans have continued to offer solutions and some of these solutions i've been offering for ten years. it took us a while to get these into law. but they are working. they're working, and they have been identified as working. even president obama's former president's secretary of energy
ernie moniz said there are two things that would make a big difference. one is the new-age nuclear work that we're doing and the other is carbon capture and sequestration. those are large-scale products that work. so, mr. president, i see other colleagues on the floor, and do i have the floor right now? or is -- in response to a question. >> the senator from wyoming has the floor. >> well, as i had continue to have the floor, i would like to point out that we have a booming economy in this country, mr. president. in just over a year with tax relief, helped create 3 million new jobs, manufacturing new jobs, ten straight months have increased, the fact that we have more people -- more jobs available than there are people looking for those jobs. we have a booming economy. i want to do nothing that's going to harm these people all across the country that are working, that have the
opportunity. such a strong, healthy, growing economy. but this green new deal, this big-government takeover of the economy, it's masked as an environmental proposal. to me it is radical. the president of the laborers international union of north america calls it a bad deal. you take a look at america. we're leading the world in reducing carbon dioxide because of the innovative techniques that we have had. and we know that what we hear about the green new deal, it's prohibitively expensive. predictions up to $93 trillion, the entire net worth of the united states, of all the homes and families is only a little -- is $112 trillion. this alone would cost is $93 trillion. you can go by all of the -- how much it's going to cost every individual family. it's completely unaffordable. it's not something that is workable. but it is so far outside the american mainstream, even if a
it were aaffordable. so what we've seen here is the democrats take another hard left turn. in just 10 years, the nation's energy system under this green new deal would undergo a washington makeover. the green new deal would end the use of energy resources that currently provide power for three out of five homes in the united states and businesses in the united states. so think about the harm that would cause the economy. this green new deal mandates the use of expensive power sources that can't keep the lights on. wind and solar are important. we need more renewable energy in this country. but right now, wind and solar provide less than 8% of our electricity. so should we increase the use of renewables? absolutely. but eliminating affordable coal and natural gas would be a costly mistake, and not only that it is impossible to do. , the electric grid can't handle it. last month there was an article in "the wall street journal," an op-ed entitled "the green new
deal's impossible electric grid." written by robert blume of the north american electric reliability corporation. he writes that if the electric grid relies solely on renewable energy sources, the grid itself may collapse. that's not all we lose if the grid collapses. our transportation system is in the crosshairs. the green new deal seeks to transform how americans travel. it calls for an extensive and expensive national high-speed rail system to replace air travel. the state of california attempts -- attempted to build a high-speed rail line between los angeles and san francisco. turns out the price was too high, mr. president, even for california. the governor, gavin newsom, canceled the line between san francisco and los angeles. why? because of the massive cost. but it is all part of the green new deal. the question is, if california can't afford to build high-speed rail between two major cities,
how can we afford to build a system that crisscrosses the country? we can't. the green new deal doesn't stop at energy and travel. it extends to every building in the country. homeowners are going to be forced to retrofit their houses. businesses would have to do the same. this is what massive government overreach looks like. the rest of the world, mr. president, is going to continue to pollute, even if the country were to adopt something as extreme as the green new deal. it would cancel all of the gains that we made in the united states by the fact that our emissions continue to go down. 2017 we produced just 13% of global emissions here in the united states. just 13%. china and india together, 33%. and their rising over there. without dramatic changes from india and china, global
emissions will continue to climb. so even if all the green new deal's costly mandates went into effect and the punishment it would do to our country and you -- our economy, there would still be no real effect on earth's temperature. look, it's no surprise that the democrats are trying to duck this big green bomb. dump this big green bomb. senate democrats may even decide to vote present to avoid voting for their own extreme proposal that a dozen of them have either signed onto or cosponsored, including just about every democratic senator running for president. this green dream is unreachable, but there is a proven way to reduce our emissions, which is why i talk about what we're wanting to do in a positive way with nuclear energy, with carbon capture, things that have gathered the attention of "the new york times" and of the front page of "usa today" on monday. so we're going to continue to work with the future act, the use it act.
the committee will continue to work in a bipartisan way, as republicans are committed to find solutions through innovation, not taxation, not regulation. solutions that do not hurt our strong and healthy, growing economy. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> the senator from north dakota. >> >> >> i rise to join my colleagues, first of all, yes, in opposing this green new deal, this joint resolution that is full of so many dangerous policies and positions. billy democrat in the agriculture and forestry committee that works with farmers every single day and appreciates the great work they are doing on carbon pollution, i
would have to say that it is pretty silly if it wasn't so serious how the republican is mocking what is probably the most serious issue of our time and there are many things that i care about and people in michigan care about. if we don't get a handle what is whether it ishis going to affect every part of our economy in every part of our way of life. tothe majority leader wants say or others want to say we are to outlaw airr travel or the military or ice cream, that is absurd and would be funny if the whole subject wasn't so serious. in addition to that, the republican majority leader said that we want to end air travel
cow farts. it's -- the fact that this is mocking the serious issue of our time where we can't get the majority to join us on a simple resolution to say climate change manel, it -- is real and made and we have to act. i don't want to hear that somehow world is coming to and if there is a proposal that something inat is its place that addresses what is in terms ofpening the threat to all of us in our families and our economy. this is real. it needs a real discussion. we can have differences on how to address it and that is fine of to mock the whole subject
what is happening right before our eyes. we have to make up new names for weather events. that only do we have polar cyclonest we have bomb . it is whether that wind event that just come at 60 to 80 miles per hour into a community like a cyclone bomb. we are having to make up new terms for what is happening right in front of us. i would hope that when it comes to this discussion on what is happening on the weather and climate change, that we would and stop the games making stuff up and have a serious discussion about how we can come together, create new
jobs, move the economy, and stop carbon pollution and make sure that our kids and grandkids actually have something to be proud of. covers congress for the associated press as they return from their break. the senate will hold a vote on the green new deal. the green new deal is a plan by democrats lead in the senate by the senator from massachusetts and the freshman a positive cortez -- and rep. ocasio-cortez:. and they would try to wean us off of natural oil and gas and onto renewable such as wind and solar power. there are other elements that health such as universal care and affordable education and housing. it is a very big proposal that
affects all aspects of the economy. >> one of your pieces is headlined mcconnell wheel -- yields the green new deal as a bludgeon against democrats. it is a nonbinding resolution. why has the senate majority leader scheduled this vote on the proposal? and other he republicans believe they have a tactical advantage because it is a big unwieldy plan that does not have a price tag but there are estimates that it could be in the tens of trillions of dollars. on anell has fixated number of $3 trillion which is a wild estimate that includes medicare for all and a little -- all other proposals. the republicans feel that it is so vague and undefined that they can define it anyway they want and use it against him across to look like they are pandering to the far left. >> you pointed out past incidences.
they will need 60 votes to advance the legislation and a number of democratic senators are planning on voting present. why is that question mark -- why is that? >> if they will against did they look like they are opposing their own plan if they vote present, they could say it is a procedural motion and show the world that he is not serious about dressing climate change. -- abouttalk to addressing climate change. when you talk to democrats they always ask what is the plan? that is something the democrats will emphasize during the debate next week. >> congress returns to session this week. nancy pelosi has announced that an override ofon the resolution terminating his national emergency declaration on border security. that vote is scheduled for
tuesday or you can see it live here on c-span. when the senate is back in session monday, they will continue debate on judicial nominations. on tuesday, senators take up a resolution of support for the green new deal. live coverage on c-span two. in a four-page letter to lawmakers a few hours ago, attorney general william barr summarized key findings from the historic robert mueller investigation. he said the russia investigation did not find sufficient evidence that president donald trump obstructed justice or that the president's campaign coordinated with moscow's efforts to influence the 2016 election. you can read the entire summary letter on the homepage of our website, c-span.org. the president left mar-a-lago and reacted to the news for boarding air force one and route two