Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

tv   US Senate  CSPAN  July 12, 2016 2:15pm-8:01pm EDT

2:15 pm
again. we rejected again, why? for very good reasons. it is an abomination of a conference report. it restricts funding for birthp. control provided by planned parenthood. we want to talk about pregnant women, women who don't want to get pregnant. where they go. the vast majority of women and planned parenthood. they tried to list on the american people. it restricts a name by planned parenthood. planned parenthood is a whipping boy. >> live coverage now as they vote at 3:30 eastern on energy policy plan. it could also turn to short-term funding for the federal aviatiol administration.
2:16 pm
we can hear more about the zika funding bill. managers.
2:17 pm
2:18 pm
2:19 pm
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i ask that the quorum call be dismissed. i ask unanimous consent that i go for 15 minutes.
2:20 pm
the presiding officer: without objection. there's no quorum call. the senator is recognized. mrs. boxer: thank you. mr. president, i stand here as one of the two senators from the largest state in the union to recognize that there is a hole in the heart of america today as we cope with the tragedy of violence on all sides. and i'm working on comprehensive remarks because i'm doing it more in a way for myself and those are not prepared right now. but right now i want to send my deepest condolences to those who are suffering, who have lost loved ones, be those loved ones police officers, community members, and for that matter so many americans, so many american
2:21 pm
families who suffer losses because of violence every day. it is critical that we address this issue. and i want to complement -- compliment the voices on all sides, the voices of compassion and reason and love, and i hope i could add my voice to their voices. mr. president, what several of us are doing on another topic is to call attention to the web of denial that is being peddled in our nation by special interests and their quote/unquote think
2:22 pm
tanks and organizations who are working to undermine science, the science of pier reviewed climate science. their goal is to create uncertain to delay action on the biggest environmental and public health threat we face today. climate change is real. human activities are the cause, the primary cause. the warming planet poses a significant threat to our people and to our environment, and that is not my opinion. i'm the first one to say i'm not a scientist. i rely on the scientists and 97% of them have said climate change is real and human activity is the primary cause. the level of scientific certainty on manmade climate
2:23 pm
change is about the same as the consensus among top scientists that cigarettes are deadly. but some of you may remember that up until the late 1990's, the tobacco industry scoffed at the best available science proving that tobacco's addictive and causes cancer. now, no one in today's world would argue with that, that tobacco is addictive and it causes cancer. there was in the 1990's a campaign of denial just as serious for climate change now. year after year the tobacco industry attacked the science that showed the link between cigarette, and the -- cigarettes and the threat to human health as well as the surgeon general's warning that nicotine was as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
2:24 pm
let me share a few of the statements made by or on behalf of the tobacco industry. in 1970, tobacco institute advertised that scientific finding was wrong that proved a connection between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. they said -- quote -- "the tobacco institute does not and the public should not accept these claims at face value." in 1971 joseph coleman of philip morris said -- quote -- "we do not believe cigarettes are ha hazardous. we don't accept that." in 1988 a lobbyist for the tobacco institute submitted written testimony for a congressional hearing stating -- quote -- "there is no medical or scientific basis for viewing cigarette smoking as an addiction." the effort to disparage
2:25 pm
cigarette smoking as an addiction can only detract from our society's attempt to meet its serious drug problem. that was what the cigarette companies said. at congressional hearings in 1994, executives from the seven biggest tobacco companies testified they believe nicotine was not addictive. do you remember that picture of them swearing to that fact? and a tobacco industry doctor said -- quote -- "the proposed addiction warning and the assumption upon which it is founded are based neither in science nor fact and will have unintended harmful results." unquote. this is the tobacco company doctor saying if you warn people, it will have unintended harmful results. sure, for his bosses who are paying his salary, the tobacco companies. in 1998 walter merryman, vice
2:26 pm
president and chief spokesman for the tobacco institute said -- quote -- "we don't believe it's ever been established that smoking is the cause of disease." now, the reason that i spent so much time going through that history, that painful history, because a lot of people died of cancer because the tobacco company and their think tanks would not tell the truth to the american people. that's why a lot of people died. at the end of the day they failed. the tobacco companies failed. but there's so many bodies out there because of their heavily funded propaganda campaign. when the people knew the truth, american smoking dropped from 42% in 1964 to 15% in 2015.
2:27 pm
and anybody out there who's still addicted i pray god that they will really get help because there are very few things where we know cause and effect, we know this cause and effect of smoking. it is not good. now here's the thing i want to say today. investigative reporting has clearly shown that those who led the fight against health warnings on tobacco have been involved in the climate denial movement from the beginning. just as big tobacco denied that smoking was dangerous to people's health, big oil and other special interests have tried to undermine scientists warning about harmful carbon pollution by claiming that climate change does not exist. so you had big tobacco spreading the big lie that smoking was not
2:28 pm
addictive. they even said at one point it was good for you, and big oil telling us there's no climate change. it's a hoax. but if you look at the 97% of scientists, what have they told us we're going to see? higher temperatures, more extreme weather, severe droughts, increased wildfires, decreasing polar ice, rising sea levels. that is what they said would happen. 97% of the scientists. and guess what? it's happening. don't take my word for it. let me give you specifics. 2015 was the hottest year on record. every month of this year continues to set records. sea levels are rising. many times faster than they have in the last 2,800 years.
2:29 pm
2015 wildfire season was the costliest on record with $1.71 billion spent. california, my fantastic home state, is suffering from its worst drought in modern history. and scientists are predicting mega droughts. rising temperatures are expected to worse rch air quality -- worsen air quality and threaten public health. the american public sees what is happening and they understand the need to act. 71% of america support the historic paris agreement to address climate change by reducing harmful carbon pollution. on march -- a march 2016 gallop poll shows that 64% of americans, the highest percentage since 2008 are worried about climate change. and here's another thing.
2:30 pm
gallop found that between 2009 and 2015, a decline in public concern about climate change was linked to a well publicized campaign of misinformation about climate science. the fossil fuel industry took a page right out of tobacco companies' playbook, supporting a network of organizations that create a false sense of uncertainty. so let me tell you that i have joined my colleagues on a resolution condemning the effort by the fossil fuel industry to discredit climate science, just as the tobacco industry worked to discredit science that proved tobacco causes cancer. i want to work with my colleagues to call attention to this web of denial. there are organizations out there, they have beautiful names, they're funded by exxonmobil, they're funded by
2:31 pm
the koch brothers, and organizations like donors trust which hides the identities of funders and was called the dark money a.t.m. in the press. dark money is a good description because the deep pockets of big oil and other special interests have been misleading the american people for many years. as i close my presentation, i want to talk to you briefly about three organizations based in my home state -- the reason foundation, the pacific research institute for public policy and the hoover institution. these three organizations have been involved in efforts to undermine climate science. the reason foundation has been churning out materials to raise uncertainty. the hoover institution, which is affiliated with stanford university, which has so many wonderful things to commend it, but in my opinion not this, they have been identified by
2:32 pm
researchers as part of the climate countermovement. and i have great respect for the work that former secretary of state charles schulze and others are doing at hoover. however, i have to point out many articles published under hoover's name have created uncertainty about climate science and trying to undermine the need for action. the third organization is pacific research institute, which is a free market think tank that published a number of anticlimate science materials, including the almanac of environmental trends. just last month, 31 major scientific organizations basically said there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change is having broad negative impacts on society, including natural resources, global economy, human health, and for the united states climate change impacts include greater threats of extreme weather, sea level
2:33 pm
rise, increased risk of regional water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, disturbance of by logical systems, -- biological systems, and we expect to see this increase. this is what the real scientists are saying, the ones who care about our people, our environment. they don't get their paychecks from big oil, and those who stand to lose if we turn to clean energy. so the scientists who work for that money from the koch brothers, this is what they say. the world is warming far less quickly than we thought. a little warming will also extend growing seasons. now consider the dire prediction regarding global warming and think of climate like golf, they write. it's easy to see where the ball has landed but difficult to construct a model to predict with much confidence where the next ball will land, and we have many other comments by these
2:34 pm
sham groups that are funded by big oil, by the special interests just like the tobacco industry had think tanks that supported them. you know, fool me once, okay. fool me again, i'm going to find out. and we know about these organizations. exxonmobil gave a total of 381,000 to reason, 295,000 to hoover, 615,000 to the pacific research institute. exxonmobil, foundations associated with the koch brothers provided more than a million to the reason foundation and to the pacific research institute. so we know what's going on here, but there's good news. the american people are not asleep at the wheel. they understand what happened with big tobacco. they understand the phony science that was put forward by
2:35 pm
big tobacco. and thanks to the leadership of my colleague sheldon whitehouse who has done an extraordinary job, he knows the truth. he knows the truth that these organizations are puppets of the big fossil fuel industry. and you know what? they're going to be found out, and the people already do not in any way support them, and that's why i am optimistic and came to the floor today. the truth, the truth will have its day. the people understand. they look out the window and they know. and with that, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to enter into a colloquy for 30 minutes with the senators from montana, north carolina and iowa. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sullivan: mr. president, last week, we had a lot going on
2:36 pm
in terms of national security, foreign policy facing our country, and most importantly facing our troops, facing our military. the president, the secretary of defense, the top leaders in the military were asking a lot, a lot of our troops, in one week. let me just give you a little example of that. just yesterday, secretary of defense ash carter announced from iraq where he is that the u.s. will be deploying 560 more troops to iraq in our fight against isil. mr. president, make no doubt about it, the white house might spin what we're doing over there, but our troops are definitely in combat, fighting to protect us. at the nato summit on friday, president obama announced that the u.s. will be deploying an additional thousand troops in a separate brigade headquarters to
2:37 pm
poland. a lot of us i think bipartisan support what's going on at the nato summit, congratulate the president for a successful summit. on wednesday, the president announced that he plans to leave 8,400 american troops in afghanistan. more than he originally planned. a number that a lot of us had been advocating for, maybe even more, to combat the taliban. again, our troops in action. on saturday, we learned that north korea launched a submarine ballistic missile off the coast of its eastern -- eastern part of the country, and over the weekend, "the wall street journal" reported that even after reaching the iran nuclear deal, the iranians continue to try to illegally procure nuclear equipment from germany. and finally, just today, mr. president, there was a -- an important ruling from the hague, the tribunal there about what's
2:38 pm
going on in the south china sea and keeping sea lanes open where we just recently had two carrier battle groups, two u.s. carrier battle groups, thousands of sailors in that part of the world. so what did the senate do with regard to all the activity facing our troops? what did the tuns do to support these troops that the president and the secretary of defense are asking so much of? well, a lot of americans didn't see it, but late at night on thursday night, led by the minority leader, unfortunately our colleagues on the other side of the aisle filibustered defense spending, filibustered the defense appropriations bill. mr. president, this isn't the first time that that's happened. indeed, that's the bill that the other side seems to like to target. amazingly, they like to target funding for our troops and our
2:39 pm
military. that's not the first time, it's not the second time, it's not the third time. it is the fourth time inside of a year that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle filibustered funding our troops, at a time when national security challenges and what we're asking our military to do is at an all-time high. so, mr. president, what i want to do with my colleagues here is talk about this. try to let the american people know that this is not what we should be doing. and perhaps the media will talk about this and highlight this a little bit more, because we're going to vote again on this appropriations bill, which by the way came out of committee unanimously. all the democrats on that committee voted for it, and yet somehow when it comes to the floor, they're going to do
2:40 pm
another filibuster. they did it last thursday. it is our hope and one of the reasons we're on the floor right now is to convince our colleagues to change their ways. i'm sure they don't want to have to go home over recess and have to explain to their constituents why they voted, not once but twice, not three times, not four times but five times filibustering spending for our troops. i hope they don't have to do that. we're going to vote on that again this week, mr. president. i am honored to be on the floor with some distinguished members of the united states senate, some of the members of the class of 2014, and i'm going to ask the junior senator from iowa who knows a little bit about what she is talking about when it comes to the united states military with 23 years of military service, just having retired as a lieutenant colonel in the iowa national guard, and i'm honored to have her open up
2:41 pm
and say some words about really something's remarkable is going on on the senate floor, filibustering the spending of our troops at this dangerous time is not what we should be doing. and our colleagues know it and i guarantee you the american people know it. if you ask people democrat or republican should we be funding our troops at this moment, the answer clearly in every state and every part of the country would be yes. senator ernst. mrs. ernst: thank you, senator sullivan, the distinguished senator from alaska, thank you for your passion. as well, you have served in the marines, marine reserve. i want to thank you for that for your dedication and commitment to our united states of america through your service as a marine and now through your service in the united states senate. we're also joined today by the
2:42 pm
senators from montana and from north carolina. i'd like to thank my colleagues for joining in a colloquy today. but the filibuster that we have seen on the other side of the aisle sends a message to our troops that we don't care about their security, and we don't care about the nation's security. we must fund our troops. at a time when you stated the world is virtually imploding. we see actions going on all around the globe, whether it's from north africa into iraq, syria, north korea, china, iran, afghanistan. we could go on and on where our troops are needed for safety and security, where they are needed to keep the fight away from our homeland. so i want to thank everyone
2:43 pm
that's joining in today. i appreciate the thoughts that we'll be sharing with our constituents and with the audience that we have here and hopefully we will see this projected nationwide with an outcry of outrage that the democrats are blocking, are daring to block funding for our national security. this is a bipartisan bill, a bipartisan bill. the senate version cleared out of our senate armed services committee by a vote of 30-0. democrats and republicans. we came together bipartisan 30-0. and the house bill pending before us passed with 48 members of the minority party in support. in total, this bill appropriates
2:44 pm
$515.9 billion for our national security. $900 million of this is funding for the national guard, a critical arm to the security of the united states and where i ended my 23-plus-year career last november in the iowa army national guard. in fact, my old unit, the battalion that i commanded and the iowa army national guard, that battalion headquarters is currently forward deployed, so the men and women that i served alongside, they are out there protecting our freedoms. they are out there securing an area far away from home. they're doing it not just for me and not just for the senators that are here, but they are doing that for all of you. and the fact that we would
2:45 pm
reject funding for our forward deployed troops is appalling to me. these are my brothers and sisters. these are my friends, my neighbors, my colleagues. and they're fighting on behalf of the united states, and the united states is now turning its back with a filibuster on those troops. so how dare our colleagues block a bill to fund our military while our troops are forward deployed. they're out on our front lines. and i know that my colleague from montana has had some troops that have just recently returned, and i know that he would like to join us in this discussion as well, the senator from montana. i yield the floor. a senator: i want to thank the senator from iowa and i also want to thank lieutenant colonel ernst as well as senator ernst for her service to our nation. mr. daines: senator ernst is the first female combat veteran to ever serve in the united states
2:46 pm
senate. it's an honor to serve with you, senator ernst, and thank you for your service to our country, both as a soldier as well as a senator. mr. president, as i speak today, my friends from across the aisle have already not once, not twice, but three times blocked consideration of the department of defense appropriation act of 2017 which will deny our troops the proper funding and support they deserve. and i'm proud to be standing here with some of my freshmen colleagues imploring my friends on the other side of the aisle to stop the political games, get back to work, and that starts with funding our military. we shouldn't be playing these petty political games on legislation that is and should be historically bipartisan. in fact, this bill, the defense appropriation act, it passed the house of representatives in june on a bipartisan vote of 282-138. that included 48, 48 democra de.
2:47 pm
that's a very strong bipartisan vote. and now over in the senate side and as a member of the appropriations committee, i recall clearly it passed our committee 30-0. that's called running up the score. 30-0 out of the senate committee on appropriations may 26. not one democrat opposed this bill in committee. and i ask my colleagues what in the world has changed? why did it go from 30 to zero in the committee and now we're seeing a filibuster on the floor of the united states senate? so we're all clear. when senate democrats vote no, here's what they're saying no to. $1.-- 1.2 milwaukee taker active -- military active duty, 800,000 reservists. they're saying no to 10,000 troops engaged in afghanistan and in iraq, syria and other places throughout the world. you know, we're seeing isis expanding into places like
2:48 pm
libya. they are attacking western targets like paris, like brussels and the homeland here in places like san bernardino as well as orlando. we need to make sure our military forces have the tools they need to win because as marco rubio once said, it's either we win or they win. no middle ground here. let's give them the tools they need to win. i can tell you one thing. our enemies, they are not waiting around for the senate democrats to fund our military to make it a fair fight. this bill provides money to replace munitions and other consumable items that are being used in defending america against the likes of isis, al qaeda and the taliban. passing this also gives confidence to our eastern european allies. back in my home state of montana, we have a rich legacy of service. i'm the son of a marine. in fact, our nation's peace through strength strategy, we see that at montana's air force base. you see, up in montana we have one-third of the nation's
2:49 pm
intercontinental ballistic missiles. we play a critical role in meeting our nation's security and military needs. in fact, i have the utmost faith, always do in the 1200 defenders to provide security for the missiles that silently sit across montana. i know these airmen will not fail our nation. but washington, d.c. is failing them. and senate democrats are failing them. and it is unacceptable. at mount strom, their motto is this. it says scaring the hell out of america's enemies since 1962. they do so because this body chose duty over politics. so how can they continue to stand here and say no to our military when so much is at stake? when the u.s. house passed a bipartisan bill? when this body passed by unanimous vote, 30-0 the bill out of committee. we must say yes to our military who fight for us every day and
2:50 pm
say no to petty politics in washington, d.c. we must stand up for the rights and the freedoms that we enjoy. senate democrats, stop saying no. let us debate the d.o.d. appropriations bill. finally, i urge my senate colleagues across the aisle have the courage to vote against the wishes of their leader and help us move this legislation forward. again, i'm proud to stand here with some of my senate freshmen colleagues and the distinguished senator from north carolina, thom tillis. i know senator tillis, you have real concerns of what's going on on the senate floor. mr. tillis: thank you. want to thank my friends and colleagues from montana, alaska and iowa for being here. i want to thank lieutenant colonel ernst for her service. she's now a veteran but she served bravely. i want to thank my friend from alaska. he's a marine. he still answers the call and he's still doing the work in the senate but prepared to go on a
2:51 pm
moment's notice wherever we have to go to defend freedom. ladies and gentlemen, i come from north carolina. this is almost getting personal with me. i'm going to talk a little bit about it. i also want to explain to people who may be watching this on the television or those in the gallery what we're talking about. you use the word "filibuster" and it's kind of hard to understand. it's pretty straightforward. the democratic conference has decided to say no to funding our troops. they've decided to say no to providing them a much deserved pay raise. they've decided to say no to funding important training that's necessary to make sure that they can complete these highly dangerous and complex missions wherever a threat may occur. why is it personal to me in north carolina? because i've got about a hundred thousand active duty personnel in north carolina. fort bragg in north carolina is the home of the global response force. that is the base that gets the call from the president when in a moment's notice we may have to send hundreds or thousands of
2:52 pm
men and women in airplanes to drop out of them anywhere in the world. and it's not just jumping out with a parachute. it's jumping out with a hundred pounds of equipment attached to you. it's dropping earth moves, weather stations, a small city operation anywhere in the world to support a relief effort or to support a combat mission. that takes training. that takes constant training. it takes hours and hours of training to make sure that they can complete their mission, but even as important to make sure they do it safely and that they themselves do not get injured and killed in the process. now, you've already heard it said multiple times before but i think it bears repeating. why on earth would the minority leader prevent us from moving it a vote? a filibuster is nothing more than saying no to sending this bill to the president's desk. after 30 democratic members and appropriations said yes. we only need six of them to move this bit to the president's --
2:53 pm
bill to the president's desk but the minority has a hammer lock on all the members who want to vote for this bill but they won't come to the floor and show the courage and commitment to the men and women in uniform to do the right thing. that's where we are. that's yits' personal to me. what -- why it's personal to me. what do i tell the active duty in north carolina when i go home? i'm sorry but the majority -- the minority leader has decided that you're not a priority. in spite of the fact that we go to senate armed services committee hearings weekly and we hear the threat level has never been greater, in spite of the fact we see the rise of isis across all of the middle east and now in europe and threatening our homeland, in spite of all of these threats, we tell the men and women in uniform, their commanders that politics is over the principle of funding our troops and saving our nation, protecting our nation. i think that's despicable. we know we have enough votes to send this bill to the president because they voted for it
2:54 pm
before. we only need a third of them to vote for this now and send it to the president's desk. i could go on, and if we have time, i hope the senator will ask me some questions because i spent a lot of time at camp lejeune and fort bragg. ask me about whether or not the leaders down there responsible for the 82nd air bonn, 18th airborne corps think they have enough money to keep our men and women safe. ask them about the conditions at camp lejeune and the conditions we ask these men and women to serve them after we tell them we're not going to give you money to keep you safe so you can complete your mission. this is politics at its worst. we need to send this bill to the president's desk. we need to show respect for the men and women who have sworn an oath to lay down their life for the cause of freedom. this is a failure on the part of the minority leader and on the part of any other person who would sit there and refuse to move through a bill that every single one of them in the appropriations committee supported. and senator sullivan, i appreciate you elevating this
2:55 pm
dialogue to the extent that you will. we shouldn't stop until we've fulfilled the promise first and foremost our constitutional obligation is to protect this nation. and the people voting against this bill, preventing it from going to the desk in my opinion are failing to withhold and live up to their oath. senator sullivan and senator ernst again i want to thank you for your service and i want to thank you for bringing this to the attention of the american people. mr. sullivan: thank you, senator tillis. you put your finger on it when you said it's personal. i think it's personal to all of us. senator ernst talked about it. she's literally got her former colleagues, the troops she commanded in afghanistan right now. there's nothing more personal than that. like senator tillis, senator daines, the great state of alaska also has thousands and thousands of active duty army, air force, coast guard, marines,
2:56 pm
reservists, veterans, and they're wondering. i get asked why? why would the minority leader filibuster spending for america's troops? isn't that like the most important thing the congress of the united states does, national defense? why? and why on earth would they consider doing it a fifth time before we go home on recess? the one thing we should be doing before we take a two-month recess when senator ernest said the whole world is imploding with national security challenges is voting to fund our troops? so why? i really don't know the answer. you know, one point, the minority leader came down here last year and said the bill was a -- quote -- waste of time. i'm not sure most americans would agree with him on that. then they made some kind of excuse that, well, we need to make sure that the
2:57 pm
appropriations bill fits with the bipartisan budget agreement if last year. well, it does. nobody's making that argument. he was even recently stated saying he doesn't want his party to be -- quote -- at the mercy of republicans. in essence, that blocking our defense budget gives his political party leverage. well, i'll tell you who gets leverage from blocking this funding. our enemies and our adversaries. and not our troops. so there's one other myth here, and i think i hear it a lot. you know, when these procedural votes happen in the senate, the troops don't really see it. they don't really understand it. heck, this vote that they took to block it last time on thursday night was almost at midnight. maybe nobody saw it. but i want to ask senator ernst, do you think the troops see this? do you think they understand what's going on? do you think your troops in afghanistan or in iowa national guard or all the other military members that we've gotten to
2:58 pm
know through our positions on the armed services, do you think they see what's happening and how do you think that impacts morale? mrs. ernst: thank you. yes, of course, they pay attention. they see what's going on in the united states senate. we track this. i track this when i was a young captain serving in kuwait and iraq. we track this because it's so important that we have the funding necessary for our personnel, just basic funding of our human resource obligation to the united states armed forces. our personnel. we have to have funding to update our equipment, and we have to have the funding for the training necessary so that our men and women are ready and able to forward deploy. and even when they're forward deployed, iraq, afghanistan, you name it, they pay attention. it is vitally important that what we do here today is vote on
2:59 pm
the d.o.d. appropriations bill. we have to stop this filibuster. our troops are paying attention. their families are paying attention. their families here in the united states want to know that the united states senate is doing the right thing by protecting our military, making sure that we have the troops necessary, the equipment necessary, the training necessary to make sure that when they forward deploy, that they come home safe again. that's number one, making sure that they are properly trained, equipped and manned so that they come home safe. so, yes, senator sullivan, they do pay attention. so as we're standing here debating the importance of this appropriations bill, we have almost 10,000 troops serving today, right now in afghanistan. we have almost 5,000 troops in
3:00 pm
iraq, and our special operators are deployed throughout the world protecting our nation. and just last week i had the opportunity to visit a hospital and see one of those special operators. and i'm going to come back to that special operator in just a second. now, i stated before, the world is imploding. and we only have to low-incom at the headlines over the last several days to see what a risk our globe is in. north korea test-fires a ballistic missile from a submarine on july 9. the chinese navy holds a live-fire drill in the south china sea, even after the international court has ruled against their claims in the region. iran, who is now, oddly enough, being fueled by taxpayer dollars after the wh horrific nuclear dl our administration entered in, they drove their boats
3:01 pm
dangerously close to ours once again, came dangerously close to american ships. and u.s. intelligence reports come forward saying isis is adapting to our current efforts. these are the things, folks, that keep me up at night. these are the things that keep many of us up at night. but what let's us rest a little more at ease is knowing that we have the airmen, the marines, the soldiers, those sailors that are forward-deployed or guarding our homeland. that's what puts my mind at rest is knowing that we have these brave men and women doing their job for us. they are not failing us. so back to the special operator that i visited in the hospital last week, this young man had
3:02 pm
been shot four times, forward-deployed into a theater in the middle east. four times two weeks ago. when i came into his hospital room, he was standing up. he was pretty proud to show me his wounds. standing up, shot four times, special operator. but what he didn'tbemoan was the fact that he had been -- but what he didn't bemoan was the fact that he had been injured, severely. what he didn't bemoan was the fact that he was with his unit. he said, ma'am, i don't know how long it's going to take me to heal, but i am readying to back and serve with my unit. i am ready to go back. these are the men and women that we need to be funding, folks. they are our defense, our national defense. so i'm asking that the filibuster end and we take a vote on the d.o.d.
3:03 pm
appropriations bill. and i know we'd like to hear a little more from my colleagues. again, i want to thank them for coming to the floor -- the senator from montana, the senator from north carolina, and thank you, senator from alaska, for leading us in this discussion today. i'll yield the floor to the senator from montana. a senator: well, it is truly an honor to think that we are standing here as senators with two distinguished veterans, lieutenant colonel ernst as well as senator cul advance, who serves -- sullivans who severns in the united states marines. tonight i will be with my dad honoring the men and women who wear the uniform in the military. let me sum it up. there's one group that's cheering right now, and that's ouren miss. they're cheering the fact that this 0 body cannot get a defense appropriations bill passed.
3:04 pm
maybe we should tie congressional pay to this bill. you know what, we could ask the minority leader, let's put congressional pay in here, and maybe that would get the body to act. if we're not going to fund our military, let's not fund this body right here. if we can't pass a defense appropriations bill, we shouldn't get a paycheck here in washington, d.c. we ought to stand with the men and women here who defend on these appropriations. because what this body is saying "no" to, this filibuster is saying "no" to military personnel, it's saying "no" to operations and mandate nance, it is making "no" to taking the fight to the en34eu6789 it is saying "no" to research, testing, evaluation to make sure our men and women who wear the uniform of the united states military have the very best tools theeng they need to defeay real enmivment i want to thank my freshman completion for coming to the floor today. senator sullivan, thank you for leading this effort here, as we're discussing why we need to
3:05 pm
stop the filibuster and pass a defense appropriations bill. mr. tillis: senator sullivan, you asked senator ernst whether you think the people of america are watching? what about the families of the men and women in uniform, the one that the democrats have decided to say "no" to for a pay raise. my wife and i have adopted fort bragg where she started a place called "baby bundles." these men and women have levery little. they're serving their nation, not making a lot of montana. we're trying to do our best to make up that by providing them with these gift gifts as they ba child in the world what. about that mother or father that's behind us. their loved one is somewhere? harm's way. what are they thinking about when they come home during training and say, you know, we're just not getting the jumps that we were getting. we're not getting the equipment this we were getting. and, sweetie, i'm about to be deployed. that's happening. that's what this "no" stands
3:06 pm
for. that's what this action on the part of the democrats stafnedzs for. we need to vote for this bill. we need to show military families in uniform that we support them and i encourage my colleagues on the -- on the other side of the aisle to move this bill to the president's desk. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. sulaymaniyah may i ask unanimous consent for -- mr. sullivan: may i ask unanimous consent to conclude this colloquy. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sullivan: i just want to thank my colleagues who bring honor to the senate by coming down here and talking about this important issue. and for those of you watching at home, you should be calling your senator and telling them, fund our troops, fund our troops. we need to make sure that we do not go on a two-month recess
3:07 pm
when there's so many national security challenges out there without funding our troops and moving forward on this bill. we should not move forward on a vote to have another filibuster vote, the fifth one in a year. the only bill that seems to get the focus of our colleagues and the minority leader to filibuster, we need to do the right thing, we need to do the right thing by the american people, and we need to do the right thing by our troops. fund the troops, break the filibuster, and we need to move forward. i certainly hope my colleagues on the other side are going to finally see the light and vote to move forward funding for our military, national security, and our troops and our families. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the time between now and the two managers will be controlled by the two managers.
3:08 pm
the senate minority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, what does the previous order say? the presiding officer: fipple is equally divided until 3:30. mr. reid: mr. president, i will take some of that time. the presiding officer: the senator has the right. mr. reid: mr. president, the senate's work is that of the legislation. it is part of legislating in good faith and always legislation by definition is the art of compromise. but in order to accomplish things for the american people, the senate must work together in good faith. but i'm see very few good-faith efforts by the republicans on zika, among other thongs. what i'm seeing is one cynical republican ploy after another. it is clear now that republicans are not going to provide president obama and the country with the $1.1 billion in public health funds that public health officials need. but democrats still want to get as much funding as the experts tell us they need in order to stop zika. to that end, mr. president, the
3:09 pm
president of the united states, leader pelosi and i have made several entreaties to the republican leaders -- senator mock connell and speaker ryan -- even pleading with them to work with us. last thursday the administration tried to schedule a meeting to get speaker ryan and senator mcconnell in the same room with mr. burwell and shaun donovan,ed leader of the office of management and budget. this is an opportunity for members of congress and the administration to get on the same page about zika and chart a path forward. speaker ryan and senator mcconnell said no to the meeting. they wouldn't meet with the two members of the president's cabinet. democrats were disappointed, but we continued to look for a solution. the only solution at this point would get doctors, researchers and health experts the zika funding they need with by passing the senate's bipartisan
3:10 pm
compromise as soon as possible. we were willing to do more. but, mr. president, the senate compromise that i just mentioned passed this body with 89 votes. it passed again today, if it were brought you up by the republican vote fo -- republicar for a vote. i spoke with the republican leader and asked him to consider this legislation. we would even be willing to do more. i toled told him that. he would not commit one way or the other. yesterday i had my staff reach out to the republican leader's "star" staff. we haven't heard back. the republican leader came to the floor this morning and made accusations that were wild, at least, and unfair about whattere proposing. i guess that the republican leader's response to our good-faith answer, i guess that was it. but that's not the way the senate should operate.
3:11 pm
and now it's clear the republican leader has been stringing us alofnlgt never had any intention of coming back to the negotiating table. the republicans have no desire to work with us to get a bipartisan zika funding bill to the president, now or anytime in the near future. it's all been a s.a.r. raid. -- charade. the republicans are interested in one thing only: attacking planned parenthood. zika is the sideshow for the republicans. the real show they're interested in is undermining women's health by taking potshots at planned parenthood. and they're good at this. they've been doing it for years. and they'll use zika, ebola, veterans, anything else to do it. there is a frightening shortage of integrity in this body that's getting worse every day. doesn't have to be that way. democrats and republicans can work together, should work together, and we should work in good faith. now, mr. president, the chair of
3:12 pm
the energy and natural resources committee and the ranking member have an agreement that if democrats agree to go to conference on this energy bill, senator murkowski has given her tword side with senator -- word to side with senator cantwell in order to produce a consensus-based conference report. she made that same commitment to me personally. so, senator mor cow skew, senator can't -- senator murkowski, senator cantwell will work together to represent the senate. not represent democrats or republicans, but the senate. that's terrific. senators cantwell and murkowski have prief proven in the fast that they can work and good, strong legislation without poison pills and with bipartisan support. so i look forward to them working with other conferees to complete a final bill, final energy bill, that democrats can support and the president will sign. now, this legislation, the basis
3:13 pm
of it, has been going on for four or five years. four or five years. the effort was led by senator shaheen for years. we almost got it done. we almost got it done. but we had republican obstruction on that. so with we're where we are now. we can't legislate for things that were done in the past. but the republican leader should take a cue from the senior senator from alaska. we still want t to work together with republicans to get something done on zika. it is important to the american people, but that would require a good-faith approach from our republican colleagues, and it's not here right now and it is too bad. i yield the floor oh, hang you, mr. president -- oh, hang on, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that the time on the quorum call that i'm about to suggest be charged equally against both sides.
3:14 pm
the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. reid: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
3:15 pm
quorum call:
3:16 pm
3:17 pm
3:18 pm
3:19 pm
ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i request that proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president, in just a matter of minutes here this afternoon we will proceed to a motion to go to formal conference on s. 2012, which is the energy policy modernization act of 2016. there is, there's no doubt in my mind but that we should agree to go to conference with the house on this broad bipartisan
3:20 pm
measure. and i want to begin my remarks with a reminder of both the process that we followed to reach this point and really the many, many good provisions that the process has allowed the senate to include within our energy bill. from the very beginning -- from the very beginning we have committed to the regular order committee-oriented process. and i want to acknowledge the strong working relationship with my opinion friend and colleague on the committee, the ranking member, senator cantwell from washington. we set out working together. we set out with a view in mind that we needed to update our country's energy laws. and in order to get a good product, we were going to have to work cooperatively and collaboratively and in an open, transparent and inclusive process. and that's what we did. and that's' been a goal that was worth working towards, and i
3:21 pm
think the effort that we made as a ranking brought in support from both sides of the aisle. and again, allowed us to come to this place today. our energy policy modernization act is the result of listening sessions, legislative hearings, bipartisan negotiations, a multiday markup held last july and a multiday floor process held earlier this year. 85 senators voted in favor of the first major energy bill to pass this chamber in nearly a decade. after we passed our bill, it went over to the house. they responded with a series of measures that had already passed their chamber. and what they sent back has been criticized by some, i certainly think that the house was restrained in its process.
3:22 pm
they could have passed a highly partisan package that would have been more difficult to reconcile with our bill, but i think they developed a more measured response and choice, chose by voice vote to ask the senate to conference with them. now it's our turn. the very last procedural step is for the senate to vote to proceed to go to a formal conference. and after waiting more than a month -- actually, i think we're probably about six weeks now -- we will have that vote again just here in the next ten minutes or so. and in looking at all the significant provisions included within our bill, all of which are at stake today, i think that this should be a very easy choice for all of us to make. our bill includes priorities from 80 different members of the senate including 42 members of the democratic caucus. so when we vote to go to conference, it's no exaggeration to say that at least 80 of us within this body will be voting on whether or not to advance our
3:23 pm
own ideas and our own policy suggestions. let me give you a couple of examples. our bill contains a bipartisan provision from senator barrasso and heinrich, as well as 16 others that would streamline the l.n.g. export approval process. the bill contains an entire title on energy efficiency that was written by senator portman, senator shaheen as well as 13 other members. the resources title that i developed with the ranking member is a balanced package of some 30 lands and waters bills, including a bipartisan sportsman provision that the senate adopted by a vote of 97-0. we made innovation a key priority to promote the development of promising technologies. and we have senator alexander, senator peters, capito, wyden, many others to thank for that. we also focused on grid modernization, on cybersecurity,
3:24 pm
the national parks centennial and conservation policies. and these are all bipartisan efforts, and all of those are a part of this bill. but now we have to vote to determine whether we will keep going in the last stretch of this legislative process or whether the senate says, well, all that work that you did, we're not going to move forward with it. i don't think that that is a good option, and i hope it is an option that this chamber will reject. my very strong preference is that we keep going. i think that we should agree to conference with the house of representatives because i know the conference process can produce a worthy bill that becomes law. and i think it's fair to say that it will not include everything that is on the table right now. but anyone who has looked at what each chamber has passed knows that there is plenty, there is plenty out there that we can agree on. so i've got a few assurances for members who may be a little bit
3:25 pm
hesitant to move forward this afternoon. first, i will reiterate my personal commitment to a final bill that can pass both chambers and be signed into law by the president. now, that doesn't mean that we're going to unilaterally disarm ourselves in conference negotiations, but my objective here is to deliver a law. so that means that it can't be the house product yes, sirly or the senate product necessarily. it has to be something that the chambers can both agree on and that the president will sign into law. so i intend to lead the conference committee the way i led the senate process, by looking for common ground, by being open, by being fair and inclusive and by seeking consensus over partisan division. and you don't have to take just my word for it. a couple weeks ago the two house
3:26 pm
chairmen who will be most heavily involved in the energy bill conference also released a joint statement that states how we intend to proceed. here's what fred upton and rob bishop said. this was on june 20. a statement they released said -- quote -- "at the end of the day our goal is to get something to the president that he will sign into law. from our perspective, a bill that the president will veto is a waste of time and effort and casts aside the hard work we've put into it up to this point. we remain committed to working in a bicameral, bipartisan manner and remain hopeful that we can set aside our differences and move ahead with a formal conference between the two chambers. in addition to my approach and the approach that the two house chairmen have embraced there are institutional protections to make sure this conference stays
3:27 pm
on track. if members decide they don't want to sign the conference report, they don't have to sign it. conference reports require 60 votes which means our bill will need to remain bipartisan in order to pass. to me the best comment for going to conference on an energy bill is it's way past time, hr-bg -- almost a decade now. with almost a decade's worth of changes in technologies and markets taking place since then, our policies have simply become outdated. there's a whole list of organizations and individuals that have urged us as a chamber here to get moving with a conference, whether it is the alliance to save energy, the bipartisan policy center, the business council for sustainable energy, the american chemistry council, we can go on and on, there is an urgent need to
3:28 pm
update and reform our nation's energy policies. we're overdue, our policies are deficient. we've amassed good ideas but we need to get this over the finish line, and that's exactly what in going to conference will allow us to do. the energy policy modernization act gives us a chance to do all that. we've got the chance now to take that next step forward on this broad bipartisan bill, keep it going, proceed to conference, allow ourselves to write a good final bill that we can then send to the president's desk. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: mr. president, i join my colleague from alaska, the chair of the senate energy committee, to urge my colleagues today to move forward on going to conference on the energy bill. my colleagues here will remember we passed a bill 85-12 i think it was. included, a great deal of provision on, my colleague just
3:29 pm
said, modernizing the electricity grid, smart buildings, advanced composite materials, energy storage, improving cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and the energy workforce for tomorrow. this was a very worked over process both in committee, on the senate floor, and a very collaborative between our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. so it did take us some discussion with our house colleagues because the package that they passed over was a very different product. i will just say a very less worked product on a bipartisan basis, and certainly a product that had a lot of veto threats in it. our house colleagues have made some comments about that legislation that has made it helpful for us to move forward. we met with our colleagues, the national committee and energy resources chair, mr. upton, and mr. bishop. they said look they didn't want
3:30 pm
to waste time on things that are going to be vetoed by the president of the united states. we took that as a good sign that they were willing to sit down and talk about legislation that could move forward in a positive fashion. so senator murkowski and my staff, we have rolled our sleeves up and looked at ways that we could try to move forward here so all of our colleagues could have confidence that we were going to work on something that would be a final product that really would get to the president's desk. so i just want to thank my colleague from alaska for her indulgence in that process and urge my colleagues -- i know she had conversations with senator reid about no poison pills and she wasn't signing off on those kind of activities. so here -- so we're here to say let's work with our colleagues in the thousands resolve these issues. there's still many thorny issues
3:31 pm
still to be addressed. even though the senate worked out out several the issues, there are still issues in the house bill like on water and fire and they are going to take some dialogue and opportunity for us to talk and if we can reach conclusion, great. but if we can't, i think we've all decided that moving forward on the basis of energy policy that we can agree to is a very important concept for all of us. as my dpleeg alaska said, it is time to move forward on energy policies. so i encourage my colleagues to vote "yes" on this motion. let us to inwork to protect these key provisions and move forward on getting a bill that we can all get to the president's deck. the presiding officer: clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to disagree to the house amendment, agree to the request from the house for a conference, and the presiding officer appoint the following conferees:
3:32 pm
murkowski, barrasso, risch, cornyn, cantwell, wyden, sanders, with respect to s. 2012, an original bill to provide for the modernization of the energy policy of the united states and for other purposes, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the dwe question is, is it the sense of the senate grow he agree to the house amendment, agree to the question from the house for a conference on s. 2012 shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. volt vot vote:
3:33 pm
3:34 pm
3:35 pm
3:36 pm
3:37 pm
3:38 pm
3:39 pm
3:40 pm
3:41 pm
3:42 pm
3:43 pm
3:44 pm
3:45 pm
3:46 pm
3:47 pm
3:48 pm
3:49 pm
3:50 pm
3:51 pm
3:52 pm
3:53 pm
3:54 pm
3:55 pm
3:56 pm
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
4:01 pm
4:02 pm
the presiding officer: have all
4:03 pm
senators voted? does any senator wish to change their vote? on this vote the yeas are 84, the nays are 3. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. cloture having been invoked, the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate majority leader. mr. mcconnell: could we have order in the senate? the presiding officer: the senate majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask that the chair lay before the senate the conference report to accompany s. 524. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: conference report to accompany s. 524, an act to authorize the attorney general
4:04 pm
to award grants to address the national epidemics of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i'm here today to talk about the importance of doubling funding for basic energy research and making $8.1 billion available in the federal budget to pay for it. the united states does many things well, but one thing we do better than any other country in the world is innovation through basic research. i have been talking a lot this year about biomedical research. dr. francis collins, the director of the national institutes of health, which he calls the national institutes of hope, tells me that in ten years, researchers in our country may be rebuilding hearts from stem cell research, regenitive medicine. giving patients an artificial
4:05 pm
pancreas which would help patients with diabetes, and there may be a vaccine for h.i.v. aids. just as remarkable are the opportunities available in clean energy research, lowering the cost of energy, cleaning up the air, improving health, reducing poverty and helping us deal with climate change. not just in the united states but all around the world. congress has been focused on energy research since the 2007 america competes act that was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed into law by president bush. america competes grew out of a report called rising above the gathering storm. a report on american competitiveness written by norm augustine who is the committee's chair and the report's main recommendation was to increase energy research because of the benefits it would provide to our country and around the world.
4:06 pm
eight years ago in a speech at the oak ridge national laboratory, i called for a project that would duplicate the urgency of the world war ii manhattan project and put the united states on a path to clean energy innovation. i proposed then seven grand challenges. one, make plug-in electric vehicles commonplace. two, find a way to capture and use carbon. three, help solar become cost competitive. four, safely manage nuclear waste. five, encourage cellulosic biofuels. six, make new buildings green buildings. seven, create energy from fusion. in eight years, energy researchers have made tremendous progress in these areas. for example, the price of solar panels has fallen over 80% since 2008, but in some of the other challenges we still have a long way to go. that's why we ought to keep our focus on making energy research
4:07 pm
a priority. the biggest problem we have in funding basic energy research is how do we pay for it? today i'm introducing legislation that finds a way to pay for it by ending the 24-year-old wind production tax credit, end it at the end of this year rather than in 2019, as the law now says. instead of slowly allowing the wind production tax credit to phase out, this bill would end it on january 1, 2017. then congress could use the $8.1 billion in savings to increase the funding authorization for the office of science, for the same kind of basic energy research that helped drive our natural gas boom and will provide the basis for the next generation of energy innovation that will mean cleaner, cheaper and reliable energy. research at the office of science and the department of energy benefits other department
4:08 pm
of energy programs, including advanced nuclear reactors at the office of nuclear energy and research in carbon capture technology at the agency which was formed by the america competes act. energy research through the office of science, nuclear and fossil energy programs, energy efficiency research and arpa-e have led to amazing new discoveries. if more funding is available, it could be used to make sure that energy research is a priority. let's not continue to give away this money to wind developers who have been using it to get rich over the last 24 years. often over the objections of communities and towns and homeowners that don't want their farmlands and their mountainlands covered with 45-story turbines with blades as long as a football field. it's obvious what congress ought to do and it's obvious how we ought to pay for it.
4:09 pm
in 2014, taxpayers committed to spend -- we committed it for them in the congress -- another $6 billion to extend the wind subsidy for one year. now, let me emphasize that. $6 billion to extend the wind subsidy for one year. that amount is more than the united states department of energy spends in an entire year on energy research for the united states of america. that money could be used instead to put us on a path to double government funding for basic energy research. mr. president, let's not make that same mistake again. basic energy research is one of the most important things we can do in this country. we need to unleash our free enterprise system to provide clean, cheap, reliable energy. it will power our 21st century economy, it will create good jobs and it will keep america competitive in a global economy. political scientist bjorn
4:10 pm
lunberg quote the obama administration signature climate policy, the clean power plan, will accomplish almost nothing. quote, he said we should focus more on green energy research and development like that promoted by bill gates and the breakthrough coalition. mr. gates has announced that private investors are committing $7 billion for clean energy r&d while the white house will double its annual $5 billion green energy innovation fund. sadly he writes this sorely needed investment is a fraction of the cost of the same administration's misguided carbon cut policies. instead of rhetoric and ever-larger subsidies of today's inefficient green technologies, he writes those who want to combat climate change should focus on dramatically boosting innovation to drive down the cost of future green energy. finally, bj orn lunberg writes the u.s. has already shown the way with its relentless pursuit
4:11 pm
of fracking, driving down the cost of natural gas. america has made a momentous switch from coal to gas that has done more to drive down carbon dioxide emissions than any recent climate policy. that's the end of the article i "the wall street journal." and in my own conversation with mr. gates, he has said that the government should double its $5 billion annual investment in basic energy research in order to spur clean energy innovation in the private sector. that research, for example, could help develop small modular reactors which would allow inherently safe nuclear power to be produced with less capital investment and less resulting nuclear waste in more places. small modular reactors are one way the country can increase clean reliable power. another way is to continue to develop new advanced reactors and do the research that is necessary to begin the process
4:12 pm
of extending reactor licenses for 60 to 80 years. why should we close reactors when our 100 reactors provide 60% of the carbon-free electricity in the united states? nuclear power provides 60% of the carbon-free electricity in the united states today. it's available 92% of the time. wind on the other hand despite these huge subsidies produces 15% of our country's carbon-free electricity, and the wind often blows at night when electricity isn't needed and of course it's not easy to store that electricity. mr. president, it's harder to think of an important technological innovation since world war ii that hasn't involved at least some form of government-sponsored research. natural gas, our latest energy boom, is a very good example. the development of unconventional gas was enabled in part by 3-d mapping at sandia
4:13 pm
national laboratory in new mexico and the department of energy's large-scale demonstration project. then our free enterprise system and our tradition of private ownership of mineral rights capitalized on our basic energy research. or supercomputing, which is part of the office of science is another tool for energy innovation, and supercomputing could do for nuclear power what massive hydraulic fracturing, new mapping tools and horizontal drilling did for natural gas. by the end of next year, we expect the world's fastest computer will again be in the united states, and once again it will be at the oak ridge national laboratory in tennessee. that computer is called summit, and it will help researchers better understand materials, nuclear power and basic energy science to create breakthroughs. supporting the next generation
4:14 pm
computers known as exoscale, which is an area of agreement between the obama administration and congress, is also essential to our bill to solve the most complex scientific problems and for both our country's competitiveness and national security. exoscale computers will be capable of a thousandfold increase in sustained performance over today's peda scale computers which have been operating since 2008. congress can invest in this kind of innovation or we can invest in subsidizing giant wind turbines that produce a puny amount of technology at great cost to taxpayers. some energy producers are reaping great financial benefits by the wind production tax credit that's been in place now for 24 years to jump-start our new technology, so it said, has provided billions in subsidies to the wind energy. it's now been extended ten different times. the subsidy to wind is so
4:15 pm
generous that in some markets, wind producers can literally give their electricity away and still make a profit. this phenomenon is called negative pricing. most of the time wind power is unreliable and ineffective at meeting the power to meet demands of our industries, our computers, our homes and almost everything else we depend on. nationwide wind power is available about 30% of the time. only 18% of the time in tennessee, our state. nuclear power on the other hand is reliable 92% of the time. wind is not effective at meeting peak power demands. because the wind blows as i said mostly when demand is low at night and does not blow when demand is high during the day. wind production tends to peak in the spring and fall when the need for energy is at its lowest. in fact, wind production decreases in the winter and
4:16 pm
summer when heating and cooling needs can dramatically increase the demand for electricity. until there's no way to cost effectively store wind power, it would be dangerous for a country our size to rely significantly on wind. we lying on wind when nuclear plants are available is the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats when a nuke yar -- nuclear navy is available. if reliable, clean, cheap electricity is the goal, then four nuclear reactors, each occupying one square mile, would equal the production of a row of 45-story wind turbines strung the entire length of the 2100 -- 2178 appalachian trail from georgia to maine. even if you wanted to build those turbines along the picturesque mountains of the eastern united states, you would still need nuclear reactors or gas plants to power your home or business when the wind doesn't
4:17 pm
blow. these are not your grandma's windmills. each is over two times as tall as the sky boxes at the university of tennessee football stadium, taller than the statue of liberty. the blades are as long as a football field. their blinking lights can be seen for 20 miles. many communities, take this look at palm springs, california, where wind projects have been proposed, have tried to stop them before they go up because once the wind turbines and transmission lines are built, it's hard to take them down. in october the residents of airsburg, vermont voted against a plan to install a pair of 500-foot turbines on a ridgeline visible from their neighborhoods. in new york three counties opposed 500 to 600-foot wind turbines next to lake ontario. people in the town of yates voted unanimously to oppose the project in order to preserve their rural landscape. yet they're talking of closing nuclear reactors which produce
4:18 pm
60% of our carbon free electricity. in january apex clean energy announced it would spoil tennessee's mountain beauty by building up to 23 wind turbines in cumberland county. less than ten miles from cumberland mountain state park where for a half century tennesseans and tourist vs camped, fished, canoed, kayaked along side king fishers along bird lake. is the i council voted to 07 pose it. clean line energy is proposing to build a single 700-mile direct current transmission line from oklahoma through arkansas to deliver wind power to tennessee and other southeastern states, even though the tennessee valley authority has announced publicly it doesn't need the power. yet the subsidies are so large that the developers are producing it anyway.
4:19 pm
arkansas objects to the project. tennessee doesn't need the power but the federal government is attempting to use federal eminent domain to proceed. according to the congressional research service, this would be the first time that federal eminent domain authority has been used for electric transmission lines over the objection of a state. mr. president, the wind production tax credit is as bad for taxpayers as giant wind turbines are bad for the environment. clean energy research can help us lower the cost of energy, clean the air, improve health, reduce poverty, and deal with climate change. let's end the wind production tax credit this year instead of 2019 and authorize the $8.1 billion in basic energy research to find more ways to ensure the united states has reliable
4:20 pm
sources of cheap, efficient, and carbon free electricity. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ways ways. a senator: thank you, mr. president. ms. baldwin: i think the american public is well aware there is a vacancy on our united states supreme court. and in addition, that there's obstruction going on in terms of our path to do what the senate is supposed to do, confirm a president's nomination to the supreme court. because it's the supreme court, because that term has come to an end and we've seen a number of 4-4 ties, because of the
4:21 pm
consequence and the gravity of what it is that the supreme court does, that's garnered a lot of attention. and it's resulted in the calling for the republicans in the united states senate to do their jobs, to not to obfuscate and declare that they won't hold hearings or won't schedule a vote on president obama's nominee merrick garland. and as a consequence, that vacancy may persist for well over a year when all is said and done. but i rise today to draw attention to the fact that this isn't the only judicial vacancy that we have here in the united states of america. we currently have 83 vacancies
4:22 pm
in the -- on the federal courts, and 29 of these vacancies have been declared judicial emergencies, meaning that the continuing vacancy has caused serious problems and concerns so that they are deemed judicial emergencies. currently because of the work that has been done by individual senators consulting with the president, what the president has done in terms of forwarding nominees to the senate so that we can exercise our role of advice and consent so we came hold votes on confirmation and because of the work of the senate judiciary committee, currently there are 24 judicial
4:23 pm
nominees on the executive calendar. and all, every one of them have garnered majority support of the members of the senate judiciary committee in order to advance to the executive calendar and every one of them is deserving of a full senate vote. now, i wanted to rise to draw attention to one particular vacancy, and that is a vacancy on the seventh circuit court. wisconsin's seat on the seventh circuit court, one of wisconsin's seat, has been vacant for more than six and one half years. let me repeat that. it's been vacant for more than six and one half years. currently and not surprisingly, it's the longest federal sir
4:24 pm
kurt -- federal circuit court vacancy in the country. today, today marks 2,378 days that this circuit court seat has been vacant. people of wisconsin and our neighbors in illinois and indiana deserve a fully functioning appeals court. and we have a highly qualified nominee who deserves a vote, a vote from this body. dawn shott was nominated by the president on january 12 to fill the seventh circuit court vacancy. he has strong bipartisan suppo support. both senator johnson and i have returned our blue slips. bipartisan majorities of the wisconsin judicial nominating
4:25 pm
commission have given their support to don shott and have voted to advance his nomination. a bipartisan group of the senate judiciary committee voted to advance his nomination and a bipartisan group of former wisconsin bar presidents support him. don shott has the experience, qualifications and temperament to be an outstanding federal judge. he was rated unanimously well qualified by the american bar association. in talking with people in wisconsin about this nomination, i have heard only tremendous praise for don shott. this nomination deserves a vote. as such, i rise today to urge
4:26 pm
the majority leader, the republican leader to schedule a vote on don schott as well as all of the other judicial nominees that are on the executive calendar. the american people deserve a fully functioning federal judiciary. with that, mr. president, i yield back. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west v.a. v.a. mr. manchin: mr. president, -- of west swra v.a. mr. manchin: mr. president, a little history class will be rolled into the facts of what we're dealing with today. our coal miners are some of the hardest working people in america. any of you that comes from a family that had one of our relatives, maybe your grandfather, father, uncle, you'll know the most patriotic,
4:27 pm
they're tough. they're hard-working about you extremely patriotic. they dedicate their lives to powering our nation. we wouldn't be the nation we are today if it hadn't been for miners who now seem to be cast aside and forgotten about. they powered this nation. they brought us into the industrial revolution, if you will, industrial age, created the middle class, one of the largest union mine workers of america. back in the 1930's and 1940's especially, if you were working in the mines, you were in the union. you were in the united mine workers. it's just the way things worked. but by the end of this year, tens of thousands of our minors are going to -- miners are going to receive notices that they're going to lose their health benefit. they're going to lose their health benefit. i've come to the floor to answer the points that were called into question that my friend, senator enzi from wyoming. first senator enzi questioned the promise made to the miners in 1946. he questioned that promise that was made to them in 1946 saying
4:28 pm
that it was made between the coal companies and the unions, not the federal government. so, therefore, we should not have an obligation to be involved. he said there was never an agreement with the federal government. mr. president, i don't know how else to say this except i believe my good friend was just totally misinformed. that's just not correct, not at all. so now i'll give you the facts. this is a lesson. in may of 1946, united states was in the midst of a robust post world war ii economic recovery. i mean, everybody was working during the war. we were trying to survive as a nation, trying to defeat tyranny and basically save the world as we know 2 today. so everybody was working. now the war is over. and we were fearing a shutdown of our economy and somehow we had to continue to keep this energy that we needed to keep the country moving and the economy. united mine workers were actively negotiating. they were actively negotiating their contracts the way you do
4:29 pm
in a civil bargaining agreement. you sat down and you worked through that. president truman, harry truman, niewf the vital role -- knew the vital role the coal industry played in the economic recovery efforts, and he was fearing a prolonged strike, issued an executive order because he thought it would really grind our recovery to a halt. so he was fearing a proening lowed strike. he -- prolonged strike. he issued an order directing the secretary of the interior to take possession of the two coal mines. can you believe that? took possession of all the coal mines, bu bituminous coal mines. so basically he stepped in and started negotiating with the unions taking over the mines. senator enzi stated this agreement was made between the members and the union, not between the members and the american taxpayer. in fact, the first line of the lewis agreement, this was an agreement that was signed, the historic document that created
4:30 pm
the promise of health benefits and retirement security for our nation's miners. this agreement between the secretary of the interior acting as coal mines administrator under the authority of the executive order number 9728 dated may 21, 1946, and united mine workers of america. it says executed at the white house, washington, d.c., may 29, 1946, and i have a copy of this agreement to submit for the record, and i will be sending a copy to my dear friend. now, i believe the secretary of the interior and the white house were representatives of the federal government back in 1946 just like they are today, and i'd like to submit that agreement, as i said, and i appreciate you receiving that. second, my colleague from wyoming stated i worry about the claim that we are helping all coal miners with this proposal. west virginia coal miners, union
4:31 pm
and nonunion, all continue to suffer from the devastating effects of the ongoing coal bankruptcies. senator, we are willing to help all miners, we truly are, anybody that has been devastated in this downturn, if you will, of the industry, but we are focusing this particular effort on the united mine workers of america. they're trying to make this. you're picking union over nonunion. we're not picking union over nonunion. the agreement was made with the umwa because everybody working in the mines during that period of time belongs to the umwa, so we've got to protect that promise that was made in the executive order that was signed and it was made 70 years ago. so i invite you and all of my colleagues, senator, to find a way to help us move forward on this and to help put it to rest. also senator enzi also stated that he wants america to remain financially solvent. well, there is no one that wants that more than i do. i understand that. if you can't get your financial house in order, you can't do
4:32 pm
anything. in fact, let me tell you what happens if we do not pass the miners protection act. the pension benefit guaranty corporation which we have in place will shoulder the burden of the outstanding liabilities, and a january letter to congressman mckinley from west virginia, one of my colleagues on the other side, the director of the pension benefit guaranty corporation confirmed that if the umwa becomes insolvent, the pension benefit guaranty corporation of america will actually have to assume billions of dollars in liabilities, causing negative, negative ripple effects for many more and for the financial insolvency of our country. passing the miners protection act, mr. president, now means $3.5 billion in benefits. this will carry a price tag of
4:33 pm
over $6 billion. so along with my good friend from wyoming, senator enzi, i do care about making good decisions. that's a savings of $2.5 billion as we pass this piece of legislation. $2.5 billion savings to the taxpayers. the miners protection act is important to my home state of west virginia because west virginia has more retired union miners than any other state in the nation. out of the 90,594 retired united mine workers in the country in 2014, more than 27,000 still live in my state. and i will say this. a lot of the devastation you have seen of the floods that we just had in west virginia the last couple of weeks, it was horrific what happened. every one of those communities were a coal mining community that got hit. so you -- you just add more tragedy on top of the already devastating tragedy that we have. but the impact's going to be
4:34 pm
felt in every state in the union, including wyoming. in fact, the miner's protect act will help over 900 health beneficiaries and over 2,000 pension beneficiaries in the state of wyoming. so i would just ask my colleague who oppose this legislation or any of my colleagues who might not be for this legislation expect what is a pensioner to actually do? first of all, they have got an executive order by the president of the united states in 1946 over seven years. on top of that, this pension plan was solvent and sound up until 2008. it wasn't their fault that the crash had happened. the greed of wall street that took down so many, so many pension plans. so with that and most of these widows make $550 a month. that's their pension, $550 a month. so it's not -- we're not talking about large amounts of money, but with them losing that, it's a difference of they do certain
4:35 pm
things out of necessity. what do they give up? how do you explain to them that a 70-year-old commitment is not going to go unanswered? we really didn't care. we didn't mean it. it's our responsibility to keep the promise to our miners who have answered the call whenever their country needed them, so i ask senator enzi and all of my colleagues to work with me to keep our promise to these miners. let's sit down and work together and make sure that we all agree on the facts. i've always said this. it's been said to me many times. we're all, we're all entitled to our opinions, mr. president. we're just not entitled to our own facts. so the facts are very clear here. this is not only a promise, it's a commitment and responsibility we have to the united mine workers of america and all those people who gave us the greatest country on earth, gave us the greatest amount of abundant energy, reliable, affordable and dependable. there is a transition going on now, and we're working through this transition, but the bottom line is to walk away from an obligation and a commitment that
4:36 pm
we've had over 70 years ago that helped us be the superpower of the world and the country we are today would be a gross neglect of our responsibilities and an injustice to the united mine workers of america, the widows, the families that still depend on this, and we have a responsibility to oblige and make sure that we take care. with that, mr. president, i would hope that you would join with me and help me in moving forward on this. we hope to get a vote in september, we were promised a vote in september, first of september when we come back. that's one we are counting on to carry this forward, and i hope we have our colleagues supporting us. with that, mr. president, i would notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
4:37 pm
4:38 pm
4:39 pm
4:40 pm
mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: madam president, i come to the floor today to speak on the irv climate change, but before i do, i'd like to read a quote. quote, what is a conservative after all but one who conserves, one who is committed to protecting and holding close the things by which we live, and we want to protect and conserve the land on which we live, our countryside, our rivers, mountains, plains, meadows and
4:41 pm
forests. this is what we leave to our children and our great world responsibility is to leave to them either as we found it or better than we found it. these are the words of president ronald reagan, and i agree with those words. climate change is one of the greatest threats to our planet earth. when i look at my beautiful grandkids, i feel a moral responsibility to leave this world as well as i found it or even better. we can't continue to ignore the problem of climate change. how will future generations judge us if we deny the reality of climate change and say that it's just too hard to do something that might leave them a safer, cleaner, better world? i don't think they'll look on us kindly. future generations actually count on us. climate change is no longer debatable. the facts are in. climate change is real and it's not some distant threat. from hurricane katrina to
4:42 pm
superstorm sandy, from severe flooding on the mississippi river in 2011 in illinois to the historic low water levels just one year later, to the devastating drought and wildfires that are searing the west coast, extreme weather is the new normal. so why are there still so many in the chamber who deny the threat of climate change, not to mention failing to do anything to solve the problem? i have said on the floor before and i will say again, there is only one major political party in the world today that denies climate change, only one -- the republican party of the united states of america. part of the reason is because for decades, the fossil fuel industry and those who cater to them have tried to blur this debate, to blur the science, to create divisions among us instead of looking for what we have in common to try to solve this problem rationally, reasonably. make no mistake, there is a
4:43 pm
deliberate campaign financed by the fossil fuel industry, a campaign that uses pseudoscience to manufacture doubt. it's coordinated. i have seen the likes of it before. in 2006, the major tobacco companies in the united states of america were found guilty of -- quote -- a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public. decades before, tobacco company research had already shown tobacco was truly harmful and addictive. instead of letting science and the moral imperative behind it promote public health, the companies launched an extensive campaign sowing seeds of doubt about the dangers of tobacco. i know about this firsthand. i was a member of the house of representatives about 27 years ago. i introduced a bill to ban smoking on airplanes. it was opposed by the tobacco lobby, and the leadership in both political parties,
4:44 pm
democratic and republican, elected leaders in the house of representatives opposed me. we called it for a vote, and to the amazement of everyone, it passed. it turns out that members of congress are the largest frequent flier club in the world, and they know how outrageous it was to suggest that there were smoking and nonsmoking sections on an airplane. i led that initiative to ban smoking on airplanes and i was joined by the late senator frank lautenberg who took up the cause in the senate. 26 years ago, we banned smoking, made a difference. we have had to fight the tobacco lobby all the way. they denied that nicotine was addictive. they deny that there was a linkage between tobacco and cancer. they created pseudoscience. they paid scientists to come up with theories that said tobacco really wasn't that dangerous. well, sadly, we're seeing that same thing today when it comes to climate change. just as the tobacco industry created a campaign of manufactured doubt to protect their financial interests and
4:45 pm
profits, a web of fossil fuel industry groups, they have required groups that resisted antismoking laws are behind this web of climate denial. in 1998, american petroleum institute, an a.p.i. memo has become public. i just read it on my computer upstairs. at the time the american petroleum institute consisted of a dozen fossil fuel lobbyists, think tank members, public relations gurus. science wasn't on their side in 1998. so the group decided misleading the public about the reality of climate change, sowing seeds the doubt whether climate change was on the way was the best way to go. the 1998a.p.i. memo claimed a victory in their words would be achieved when uncertainty about the science became part of the public perception. in the year 2000, influential republican pollster frank luntz
4:46 pm
prepared a playbook for those who wanted to create doubt in the public's mind about climate change. mr. luntz wrote and i quote, should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. therefore, mr. luntz said, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate. so what is taking place right now with the effort of the fossil fuel industry is a deliberate campaign to mislead the american public. sadly this web of denial started in 1998 is alive and well today. just last year at an exxonmobil sponsored meeting, a notorious legislative exchange council, the president of the heartland institute stated -- quote -- "there is no scientific consensus on the human role in climate change. there is no need to reduce
4:47 pm
carbon dioxide emissions and no attempt in doing so." this quote is in direct opposition to earth scientists and one of the world's most highly respected organizations, the american geo physical union or a.g.u. this spring of a group of 254 earth scientists cited these lies in an extensive report as one of the many reasons why the american geophysical union declined to accept exxonmobil's financial sponsorship of their group. the earth scientists also made clear that exxonmobil distributed scientifically false and misleading information, were members in or financially supported other climate denying organizations, donated to climate denying politicians and passed misinformation campaigns. now, exxonmobil is not alone in spending money to influence elections that affect environmental policy. the oil and gas industry pours millions of dollars in election
4:48 pm
campaigns every year. in the 2012 election cycle, energy and natural resource corporations, their employees, and industry superpacks, spent $147 million to make sure the right people were elected in congressional seats, in senate seats, and in the presidential campaign. during the current election cycle, they have already spent more than $101 million. they'll likely contribute millions more in the four months remaining. experts estimate that in total candidates, political party, and interest groups, including those funded by companies like exxonmobil, may spend up to $10 billion on federal campaigns in 2016, $10 billion. a poll conducted by "the new york times" found that 84% of americans believe money has too much influence in american political campaigns. they're right. our campaign finance system is a
4:49 pm
mess. america needs a system to elect its candidates that rewards those with good ideas and principles, not just the person who's the most talented in raising money. i introduced a bill last year, reintroduced it actually called the fair elections now act. that legislation would establish a voluntary small donor public finance system for senate campaigns. we would finally break the back of big moneys' control over the political system. the fair actions now act can't solve all the problems facing us but the bill would allow us to fight back against deep pocketed special interests by dramatically changing the way campaigns are funded, encouraging small donors and matchematches for those small donations. as we grapple with important issues like climate change, we have to recognize the influence of money in our political system and why one major political party in the world today still denies climate change. until we embrace campaign
4:50 pm
finance reform and ensure that politicians do not feel beholden to special interests like the oil and gas industry, climate denying politicians will continue to prepare vent us taking action -- prevent us from taking action. it is unconscionable that some very powerful people put their profits ahead of the future of the planet that we live on. we know it's true. if we don't act on climate change, there's no backup plan. let me end on a hopeful note. when pope francis came to washington, d.c. last september, he called for action on addressing climate change and global warming. the pope said -- quote -- "all is not lost. human beings while capable of the worst are also capable of rising above themselves choosing again what is good and making a new start." end of quote. pope francis is right. let's not run away from our responsibility in the senate or in life to our children and our grandchildren. let's work towards solving the
4:51 pm
real challenges of climate change with both political parties. it's not too late to make a new start, to do the right thing, and protect this planet that we call home. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa gras grass mam president, -- mr. grassley: madam president, all of my colleagues we all want health, security and well-being for all of our fellow americans but sometimes it seems impossible for us to agree on how best to achieve those goals. so when congress comes together to find solutions to an urgent crisis facing the country, we should pause briefly, mark that achievement and consider how we got there. that's what i hope will happen this week when the senate votes on the conference report on 524,
4:52 pm
the comprehensive addiction and recovery act, cara for short. cara addresses the opioid crisis in a comprehensive way by authorizing almost $900 million over five years for prevention, education, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement efforts. last week the house of representatives passed the report by an overwhelming margin of 407-5. we've all heard the statistics about the epidemic of addiction to heroin and prescription opioids that's gripping our country, so i'm not going to belabor those statistics today. when 129 americans a day die from drug overdoses, we don't need statistics on a page to tell us about this being a
4:53 pm
catastrophe. we only need to listen to our constituents. i hear from iowans all the time about the real life examples of how this epidemic is hitting home. a few years ago i heard the story of kim brown, a nurse from davenport. in 2011 she lost her son andy lamp to an accidental heroin overdose. he was only 33 years old. she now speaks out on this issue around my state about the need for expanded treatment options for those with substance abuse disorders. she also advocates for an increased access to naloxone, an antioverdose drug that can save lives. i heard kim brown's pleas and
4:54 pm
the conference report helps fill these and other critical gaps. i urge the entire senate to demonstrate that it has hurt her and thousands like kim by passing the conference report and sending it to the president for his signature before we return home. the senate vote this week will be the culmination of a process marked by hard work, bipartisanship, and a commitment to addressing this crisis in an all encompassing way. i convened a hearing on attacking the opioid epidemic in the senate judiciary committee january this year. the committee heard from federal and state officials in law enforcement and public health communities. we also heard from a courageous
4:55 pm
young woman who lost her daughter to a heroin overdose and subsequently started a support group to assist those in recovery. the hearing continued for well over three hours. senators who aren't even members of the committee stopped in to listen and to learn. by that time a bipartisan group of four senators had already introduced the cara bill. soon after the hearing i sat down with senators whitehouse, portman, klobuchar, and ayotte, two democrats and two republicans, to build on their outstanding work. the leadership of those four senators, bipartisan group of senators on this issue has been indispensable. we greed at that -- we agreed at that meeting on some changes to cara that facilitated its movement through the judiciary
4:56 pm
committee. i particularly worked to include my accountability provisions which help prevent waste, fraud and abuse of grant programs and ensure that resources go to those who need those resources the most. i also helped make sure that a fixed portion of the funds for first responder access to naloxone is set aside for rural areas like my state of iowa where access to emergency health care can be limited. and finally, because methamphetamine remains such a problem in my state of iowa, i made sure that the community-based coalition enhancement grants created by the bill would also be available for communities suffering from high rates of meth use. and that happens to be in
4:57 pm
addition to opioid abuse. in fact, these enhancement grants are intended to supplement grants made to community coalitions under the drug free community act of 1997. i'm proud to have been the lead sponsor of that legislation in the senate now almost 20 years ago. the cara grassley substitute with these changes passed the committee unanimously by voice vote in february. i then managed the bill on the senate floor where it was approved 94-1 in march. tackling important problems in a bipartisan way is important for me. that's why as chairman of the judiciary committee i've moved eight bills through the committee, cara among them, for which the lead sponsor was a member of the democratic minority. by way of comparison, last congress the committee didn't report a single bill for which
4:58 pm
the lead sponsor was a republican then in the minority. and every one of the 27 bills that i've moved through the committee this congress has had bipartisan support. that isn't just talking the talk on bipartisanship. it's walking the walk. after the senate acted on cara, the house of representatives passed its own package of bills by a vote of 400-5 in may. so the task fell then to a bicameral, bipartisan conference committee to develop a conference report that would blend the best of the two approaches together. i led the senate delegation that negotiated the report along with senator alexander whose -- who's chairman of the committee of health, education, labor and pensions. we concluded weeks of hard work and negotiations with the
4:59 pm
conference committee meeting on july 6. i voted for a number of improvements to the report during the meeting offered by both republicans and democrats. in particular i was proud to support senator murray's amendment that will create an office of patient advocacy at the department of veterans affairs to help ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve. that's a badly needed thing for the v.a. to make sure somebody in that department looks out for the patients. i'm also pleased that the cara conference report includes a bill that i introduced with democratic senator klobuchar of minnesota, the kingpin designation improvement act. this bill strengthens the ability of the federal government to freeze assets of foreign drug kingpins who
5:00 pm
traffic opioids, methamphetamine and other illegal narcotics into our country. there are other parts of cara that i feel passionately about as well. many people who abuse prescription drugs get those drugs from friends and relatives. cara authorizes an expansion of the federal initiative that allows patients to safely dispose of old and unused medications so that these drugs don't fuel into the -- fall into the hands of young people potentially leading to addiction. i'm proud to have helped start these takeback programs by working with senators klobuchar and cornyn in 2010 to pass a piece of legislation called the secure and responsible drug disposal act. it's been a highly successful
5:01 pm
effort. since 2010, over 2,700 tons of drugs have been collected from medicine cabinets and disposed of safely. iowa also has a similar takeback program that's rapidly expanding. anything that we can do to encourage these programs is really worthwhile. cara also authorizes funds for other valuable programs. those that encourage the use of medication-assisted treatment, provide community-based support for those in roarvetion and address the -- in roarvetion and address the unique needs of pregnant and postpartum women who are addicted to opioids. it's no wonder that the cara conference report ha been met with such widespread praise and support. the addiction policy forum called it -- quote, unquote --
5:02 pm
"a monumental step forward." almost 250 advocacy organizations have written to congress in support of the report concluding that -- quote -- "this bill is the critical response we need." end of quote. these organizations include many influential national ones such as the community antidrug coalitions of america, the national criminal justice association, and the national district attorneys association. iowa community organizations are well-represented in that group as well, including the partnership for a drug-free iowa, kasuth connections, sioux land cares, the iowa alliance for drug-endangered children, community resources united to stop heroin of eastern iowa, the dubuque chapter of the quad cities harms reduction, which
5:03 pm
kim brown leads, and many more. the national fraternal order of police wrote in support of the conference report as well. the fraternal order of police explained that -- quote -- "law enforcement officers are almost always the first on the scene, even before the paramedicsmedics arrive. in these life-and-death situations, our officers are not looking to make an arrest but to save a life. many states and jurisdictions have successfully whipped their officers with -- equipped their officers with naloxone, trained them to sec the simple. -- to recognize the symptoms of an overdose and administer on the scene. we" -- meaning the federal order of police -- "believe that the final conference report on s. 524 will help expand the use of naloxone and give us one more tool to reduce the deaths
5:04 pm
prosecute this epidemic." end of quote. it isn't every day that we can say that legislation we pass could save lives, at least help save lives. but this is one of those times. i want to thank the republican leader for moving this legislation to the floor and providing the senate the opportunity to pass this conference report this week. indeed, heroin deaths spiked dramatically from 2010 through 2014, more than tripling from 3,036 to 10,574. but, sadly, during this entire time, the democratic leader didn't make it a priority to move comprehensive bipartisan legislation on the floor to address the epidemic. now some of my colleagues have expressed concern that the conference report, which is an authorization bill, doesn't also
5:05 pm
appropriate money for this epidemic as well. but, thankfully, under republican leadership the appropriations committee have been doing just that. the current senate appropriations bills increase funding for this epidemic by 57% over fiscal year 2016-enacted levels and by 115% over fiscal year 2015-enacted levels. so the funding for this crisis is poised to more than double since republicans took control of the senate. as this funding continues to increase, the cara conference report will be the blueprint for where this money is most effectively spent. this bill is just the latest example of the productive bipartisan work that we've been doing in the judiciary committee this congress. so i want to thank all of the members for their hard work and for their achievement together.
5:06 pm
so i urge my colleagues to vote to send cara to the president this week. and when we come back in september, we have to roll up our sleeves and continue to build on this bipartisan success. i yield. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. peters: madam president, i rise today with a heavy heart to address devastating tragedies that have shane -- shaken communities in michigan and across this country. just yesterday the community of st. joseph, michigan, suffered a tragic shooting that cost the lives of two dedicated public servants and injured several others. i would like to extend my condolences to the families of bail lives joseph zengaro and
5:07 pm
ronald tenzel, who were fatally shot yesterday in bear on-county, michigan. both joseph and ronald had careers prior to serve as bail i was. joseph zengaro, retired from the michigan state police as post commander of the bridgeman post had worked for the bear on-county trial court for over ten years. ronald kenzel retired as a sergeant in road patrol with the benton charter police department and was a veteran of the united states army. i also want to wish deputy james adambury and kenya alice a speedy recovery for the wounds that they received during this attack. yesterday's incident illustrates a very important fact: whether as a member of a local police department, a rapid tran
5:08 pm
sid officer -- transit officer, or a court bail bail bailiff, c servants risk their lives every day to keep our families and communities safe. this is a fact that we can never forget and a reality that confronts public safety officers and their families every day. across michigan, our hearts have been shattered by senseless violence like this, and i know the grief of my fellow michiganders because i feel this grief in my own heart as well. this is, unfortunately, not the first tragedy to strike west michigan this year. we are still reeling from the mass shooting in kalamazoo in february where six people were killed and two were critically injured. madam president, we are facing a very difficult time in our country's history, and last week's tragedies further demonstrate this point.
5:09 pm
within just 48 hours -- 48 hours -- we saw two separate incidents were american citizens died at the hands of those who were sworn to protect them. then what started out as a peaceful protest in response to those deaths suddenly morphed into an unrelated and horrific -- an horrific attack on law enforcement, an attack on officers who died to protect the rights of protesters to peacefully protest. let me be clear, something is wrong when a hardworking and beloved cafeteria supervisor is killed during a routine traffic stop. something is wrong when police officers, honorably serving and protecting their communities, are killed during a peaceful protest. something is wrong when a salesman and a father of four
5:10 pm
dies while selling c.d.'s. something is wrong when a police officer is ambushed and shot while responding to a 911 call for help. too many precious lives are being lost, not just in michigan but in states all across our country. i was heartbroken by the tragic shotting deaths offalton sterling in minnesota and philando castile in louisiana last week, only to wake up horrified -- horrified on friday morning to learn of five dallas police officers, including michigan native michael krol, who were struck down in the line of duty. madam president, we have seen enough violence across our countries, our communities are outraged and heartbroken at the number of lives that have been lost. while the events of last week are almost too much to bear,
5:11 pm
images from communities like chicago, staten island, ferguson, and baltimore have gripped this nation's attention as well. we've seen tears of sadness, burning storefronts and confrontations between police and young people, as well as peaceful protesters marching through the streets. it is clear that there is a persistent and troubling problem in our country that is eroding away americans' faith in our justice system. with each troubling incident, it becomes clear that justice in this country is sometimes -- sometimes neither fair nor equal, and we must act now to address this inequity. this problem isn't isolated to our african-american communities or to our law enforcement communities. these injustices undermine the very values that our nation is built upon. it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to
5:12 pm
acknowledge that too many americans are needlessly dying, and we must come together to stop it. more -- now more than ever, it is time for us to unite as a country, to encourage understanding and compassion for our fellow americans. now is the time for us to walk in another one's shoes and acknowledge the experiences that have shaped their views. now is the time for this body to come together to offer solutions, the american people need us. it is crystal clear that the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve is strained and an overhaul of our criminal justice system is long overdue. on the top of these strained relations, we are continuing to see rising prison populations and unsustainable costs as public budgets remain tight. we see too many at-risk youths being funneled out of our schools and into our prison
5:13 pm
systems, continuing a vicious cycle in many of our communities. and we see too many people who have served their time only to find that once they get out of prison, they can't find a good job or a stable home. we need a better understanding of the causes of these concerning trends, and we need to identify solutions that will help -- that we are administering justice in a fair and equitable way for every american, regardless of who they are, where they may live, or their income level. that's why i've introduced legislation with republican senators lindsey graham of south carolina and john cornyn of texas to create a national criminal justice commission. the commission will be made up of experts on law enforcement, victims' rights, civil liberties, and social services who will be charged with undertaking an 18-month review of our criminal justice system from the top to the bottom,
5:14 pm
something that has not been done since 1965, more than 50 years ago during another very difficult time in our nation's history. the goal of this commission is to identify commonsense solutions to the serious issues facing our criminal justice system, promote fairness in our laws, build stronger relationships between law enforcement and our communities, and strengthen faith -- basic faith -- in our criminal justice system. the commission will focus on transparency, issuing recommendations to the president and congress, and making reports on its findings available to the public and entities within the criminal justice system. it will take a comprehensive approach to reviewing the criminal justice system and will look at numerous issues in light of our current climate. when president lyndon johnson's 1965 commission last conducted a
5:15 pm
comprehensive review over 50 years ago, it was the first time that police, prosecution, defense, and courts and corrections were all examined as a whole. that commission made more than 200 recommendations to improve the criminal justice system, including creating the 911 emergency system that is so ingrained in our society today. our country has changed significantly over the last 50 years, and another top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system is long overdue. in fact, the president's task force on 21st policing which was created after the troubling situation in ferguson strongly recommended the creation of a national commission to evaluate the entire criminal justice system. the national criminal justice commission that my legislation creates will shine a light on the whole scope of our criminal justice system, including police and community relations, our
5:16 pm
grand jury system, the right to counsel in misdemeanor cases, the lack of speedy trials and the struggles ex-offenders face in finding housing, employment and support services after leaving prison. this commission is one critical piece of a larger puzzle we must make in order to take swift action on our aspects of our justice system like sentencing reform. the commission also has the support of a wide range of groups including the fraternal order of police, the naacp, the international association of chiefs of police, the national urban league and many other law enforcement and civil rights groups. the national criminal justice commission is vital to understanding the reforms and best practices that we need to reduce crime, help law enforcement do their job safely and effectively, protect our communities and build a justice system that works for every
5:17 pm
american. these problems are not easy and there are no quick answers. it's going to require all of us working together to make these vital changes a reality. but together we can achieve the promise of this great country, justice for every american, no matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you may have in your pocket. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. mr. schatz: thank you, madam president. madam president, i hate conspiracy theories. i believe that most of the suspicious or confusing or frustrating or unknowable things in the world are the way they
5:18 pm
are not because there are people in a room wringing their hands trying to figure out how to trick us all, but because the world is complicated, often unfair, illogical and we all operate with incomplete information. even as a climate hawk, i came to the idea of an organized misinformation campaign around climate with real hesitation. i didn't want to be that guy that believes that there is an evil empire and lies for a living. but here's the thing. i've studied this and i've learned that there really is an organized, well-financed, disinformation and misinformation campaign on the subject of climate change. it is straight out of a bad movie about politics, complete with p.r. guys, dark campaign money, fake scientists, politicians in the mix, and a weakened media. it's like raymond tusk actually
5:19 pm
exists. i rise today to join my colleagues in combatting a pervasive and highly damaging campaign of misinformation, disinformation and outright lies. for decades the same hired guns that tried to convince the american people that there was no link between smoking and lung cancer have been following the same play book upon manmade climate change. they want to sow doubt where no doubt exists, exactly like the tobacco companies profiting from denial, so to have the fossil fuel companies profited by propping up front groups and sham think tanks to try to convince us that the science on climate change is not settled, that no consensus exists among mainstream scientists. but of course that is not true. as the american association for the advancement of science has said, the science linking human activities to climate is
5:20 pm
analogous to the science linking smoking to cardiovascular diseases, physicians, cardiovascular scientists, public health experts and others all agree that smoking causes cancer. and this consensus among the health community has convinced most americans that the health risks from smoking are real. a similar consensus now exists among climate scientists, a consensus that maintains climate change is happening and human activity is the cause. it's worth pausing here to make two basic points. the first is one that i mentioned earlier, and that is that the same techniques that were used to block science and prevent action on tobacco are now being deployed to prevent action on climate. but that sort of stands to reason. if you are looking for public relations techniques to essentially mislead the public so you can squeeze additional years and decades of profitability, then you would be wise to use the techniques and
5:21 pm
methods and procedures that worked in the past. so that sort of stands to reason. it shocks the conscience, but it shouldn't shock us that this is happening. the really shocking part is this. of course they would use the same techniques but it is the people. it is not the same type of person, same category of persons. it is the same human beings, same professionals. they are the same p.r. firms and they have replicated the machinery of the tobacco institute sharing processes, procedures, personnel and funding sources. but just as we did against big tobacco, we're going to win the war of ideas against big oil and big coal. the truth is on our side. but the truth is not guaranteed to come out. we actually have to expose their ecosystem of misinformation to make real progress on climate. and so for a moment i'd like to
5:22 pm
talk a little bit about the media which has played an unfortunate role. generally speaking, people in the united states media like to get -- quote -- "both sides of the story" just to be fair which under many circumstances works just fine. after all, the definition of a bad story in a lot of reporters' minds is to be one-sided. but what happens when one side of the story is factual and the other side is a house of cards? many in the media still report it as though on the one hand scientists say climate change is real. and on the other hand, some say it's not. to be fair, this has improved over the last year or so. but that was the foundational weakness of the american media in playing its role, their kre duality when reporting on deniers and the climate denial apparatus took full advantage. there are not two sides to every issue. sometimes there are just facts on one side and bull on the
5:23 pm
other. we don't argue about the existence of gravity, whether the earth is round or thankfully whether smoking causes lung cancer. we have known since the 19th century that carbon dioxide traps heat much like a greenhouse. we know that burning fossil fuels releases stored carbon into the atmosphere. we've seen evidence of increasing temperatures and rising sea levels for decades. the correlation between levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global surface temperatures is absolutely undeniable and it is in this context that denying the reality of man-made climate change requires willful ignorance. so how is this happening? economists from yale and drexel universities among others researched and exposed the many sources of dark money fueling the climate denial machine. my colleagues are speaking today and yesterday about some of the greatest offenders, and i'd like to focus my remarks to just two. one is the small organization
5:24 pm
most people haven't heard of, and another is an organization i think a lot of people who work in politics have heard of. the first is the center for the study of carbon dioxide and global change. and the other is the heartland institute. the center for the study of carbon dioxide and global change is -- get this -- a family project out of arizona that claims that global warming will be beneficial to hugh mandate. the center -- humanity. the center does not disclose funding information because they believe doing so would bias the way people perceive their purpose and publications and that may be the only thing that they say that is true. transparency is crucial in the world of science because it allows the scientific community and the general public to determine whether there might be a conflict of interest. in this instance, there is a conflict of interest. we know that at the very least exxonmobil and peabody coal have given significant sums of money to the center. and when two companies with a
5:25 pm
long history of climate denial are paying you to deny the scientific consensus on climate change, it's fair to point out that something smells a little fishy. better known than the center for the study of carbon dioxide and global change is the heartland institute who gained national attention after putting up a billboard comparing those who believed in man-made global warming to the unabomber ted kaczynski. this tasteless stunt rightfully cost heartland at least $825,000 in corporate donations but heartland still receives millions of dollars a year for fossil fuel companies and others with a vested interest in continuing the status quo. and they still have an outsized impact on the national conversation by insinuating that the science on climate is not settled. not surprisingly, heartland follows the tobacco institute play book to a t. their reliance on dark money means heartland's money is
5:26 pm
notoriously difficult to track. according to to the watchdog group conservative transparency heartland received more than $14 million from the koch initiated donors trust and donors capital groups which shield donors' identities. we know that exxonmobil has contributed at least $675 since 1998 and the union of concerned scientists found that 40% of those funds were specifically designated for climate change projects. the money from these organizations, among others, allowed heartland to publish nearly 3,000 documents supporting climate change skepticism between 1998 and 2013. heartland also organizes gatherings of climate skeptics and defends fossil fuel funded scientists who continue to deny the reality of the changing climate we're already seeing today. madam president, we have seen this movie before. what is happening this week is historic. we are no longer going to allow these front groups to pose as on
5:27 pm
the level think tanks. we have a moral obligation to not only solve this problem but also to fix our politics. we should all be making decisions about how best to solve this problem. let's have this great debate. let the two major political parties have an argument about the best way to tackle climate change. but this isn't just a climate thing at this point. this is an integrity thing. with that, madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: madam president, i rise to speak about american leadership in the asia pacific region, an area of the world that will be more and more critical to our economic and national security for generations to come. earlier today an international tribunal issued an important ruling regarding maritime claims in the south china sea which can
5:28 pm
potentially have lasting consequences for peace and stabilities in that region as the world chooses between an order of rule or an order of lawlessness. their tribunal ruled in favor of our ally the philippines and against the people's r republic of china which refused to recognize and participate in the tribunal altogether. a tribunal sanctioned under international agreement both nations are a party to. the tribunal began work on january 22, 2013 when the philippines served notice to china in international court regarding the violations of its sovereignty and china's claims in the south china sea. on february 19, 2013, china rejected and returned the philippines notification and since that date china has refused to participate in the arbitration process, in the proceedings. on october 29, 2015, the tribunal held that despite china's nonparticipation, it has the jurisdiction to deliver a binding legal ruling in this case since both nations are
5:29 pm
treaty participants. today the panel ruled that china -- and i quote -- "breached the sovereign rights of the philippines with regard to the maritime dispute between those two nations." more importantly, the tribunal invalidated china's sovereignty claims over almost the entirety of south china, stating that china's claims to historic rights for other sovereign rights or jurisdiction with respect to the maritime areas of the south china sea encompassed by the relevant purposes of the nine dash line are contrary to the convention and without lawful effect. while the united states is not directly a party to this dispute and takes no position on the sovereignty claims among the various claimants, this ruling is important for many reasons. first, the south china sea is one of the world's most strategically important waterways in the world. almost 30% of the world's maritime trade transits the south china sea annually
5:30 pm
including approximately $1.2 trillion in ship borne trade bound for the united states. according to the u.s. energy administration, there are approximately 11 billion barrels and 190 trillion cubic feet -- 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of proven and probable oil and natural gas reserves in the south china sea itself which china wants to claim. second, the ruling reinforces the rights of our military to operate freely in the region, utilizing our long-standing international rights of passage and transit on the high seas, the rights long established by international law. on may 30, 2015, speaking at the shangri-la dialogue in singapore, secretary of defense ash carter stated that the united states will continue to protect freedom of navigation and overflight, principles that have secured and prosperity for decades. there will be no mistake, the united states will fly, sail and operate wherever international
5:31 pm
law allows, as u.s. forces do all over the world. the united states has since conducted three freedom of navigation operations in the area. in october, 2015, january, 2016, and may, 2016, transiting inside the 12-mile nautical zone of the contested features in the south china sea. and last month i attended the shangri-la dialogue along with a number of my senate colleagues and we heard a tremendous amount of concern from regional leaders, not only about the south china sea but also whether the united states can endure as a regional and global leader. the south china sea and what happens there is thus an important test of american leadership and our ability to support our close allies in the face of aggression that is outside of international norms. and so we need to start, though, this conversation as well by asking the simple question of how did we get here? i'd like to point out a chart that helps show what is going on in the south china sea.
5:32 pm
the situation in the south china sea stems from a chinese claim called the nine dash line. these are the red lines, the dash lines here in the south china sea which encompasses more than 90% of the south china sea. you can see it on the chart. anything within the nine dash line. china has never offered a detailed explanation or legal basis for this claim. as the ruling stated today by the tribunal, as far as the tribunal is aware, china has never expressly clarified the nature or scope of its claim to historic nights more has it ever clarified its understanding of the meaning of the nine-dash line. for decades, we did not pay much attention, the united states did not pay much attention to these groundless claims because while there were certainly incidents and skirmishes, china did not take the highly coercive actions to enforce its claims that we see todays. however, in the last several years, china has significantly upped the ante and undertaken a massive effort to reclaim a number of the disputed features
5:33 pm
in the south china sea and to militarize these features. according to the department of defense, since chinese land reclamation efforts began in december, 2013, china has reclaimed more than 2,900 acres of land and has deployed artillery, built aircraft runways and buildings and positioned radars and other equipment. according to the director of national intelligence, we assess that china has established the necessary infrastructure to project capabilities in the south china sea beyond that which is required for point defense of its outposts. these capabilities could include the deployment of modern fighter aircraft, surface to air missiles and coastal defense cruise missiles as well as increased presence of people's liberation army navy, surface combatants and china coast guard large patrol ships. with these capabilities, china can easily intimidate and if needed overpower its much smaller and less capable neighbors. i would point out the second chart here today. in the next chart, you will be
5:34 pm
able to see just how fast the chinese can build these islands. according to reports and assess ments, and expert assessments, what you're seeing here is an artificial island. this is what it looked like at the very beginning, the original structure. an artificial island covering 75,000 square yards, about 14 football fields, and including two piers, a cement plant and a helipad at a land formation called hugh's reef. the reef which is above water only at low tides lies about 21s but 260 miles from china. so here's what it looked like in 2014, this original structure right here, this hugh's reef. you can see what it looked like here, and in january of 2015, 75,000 square yards of land reclamation activities, the helipad over here, the original structure, you can see it right here, the cement plant, 14 football fields worth of land
5:35 pm
reclamation on a feature that is only 210 miles away from the philippines but yet 660 miles away from china. these actions not only show a blatant disregard for the rights of the claimants, other claimants in the south china sea but it undermines international law. this is what the international tribunal confirmed today, and now it's up to the united states and the world to address the question as to what comes next. make no mistake, through these activities, china has sent a message not only to its neighbors but also to america as a pacific power, and we must be ready to answer. so today i am proud to introduce a resolution with my colleague, senator mccain, cotton, sullivan, rubio and ernst that offers some policy guidelines moving forward on how to address the challenge of the south china sea. our resolution, first of all, it supports the july 12, 2016, ruling issued by the tribunal as binding on all parties and calls on all parties to pursue peaceful resolution about standing maritime claims in the
5:36 pm
south china sea, consistent with international law. it urges all parties to take action to implement the declaration on the conduct of parties in south china sea and take steps toward early conclusion of a meaningful, binding code of conduct which would provide agreed upon rules of the road to reduce tension among claimant states. states that we will oppose any actions in the south china sea to change the status quo by coercion force or the threat of use of force. it calls on the people's republic of china to cease all reclamation and militarization activities in the south china sea and to end provocative actions in the east china sea which undermine peace and stability in the region. furthermore, the resolution reaffirms article 5 of the mutual defense treaty between the united states and the republic of the philippines and article 5 of the treaty of mutual cooperation and security between the united states and japan. it urges the u.s. state department to utilize all diplomatic channels to communicate worldwide unwavering
5:37 pm
u.s. support for freedom of navigation and overflight in the south china sea and it urges the u.s. department of defense to routinely, to routinely enforce freedom of navigation and overflight in east and south china seas, which is critical to u.s. national security interests and peace and prosperity in the asia pacific region madam president, it's my sincere hope that instead of escalation, china chooses the opposite track and abides by this ruling and immediately ceases its destabilizing activities. but should that not come to pass, the united states and our allies must be ready to lead and defend our allies, our values and our principles. the world is better served when those of us around the globe recognize the rules of international behavior, international law, and that we can together reinforce responsible behavior, and we
5:38 pm
will know going forward from this ruling if china is going to be a responsible rising power that respects the rules of international law or if the history books will later look back at this time period and show a nation that decides to ignore international law, to ignore the law that finds itself with its neighbors and instead acts out of self-gain and self-interest. no matter what happens going forward, the united states must show leadership, resolve and our allies that we are committed to making sure the international law is respected and upheld. madam president, i yield the floor. mr. franken: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. mr. franken: thank you, madam president. madam president, i ask unanimous consent that my health policy fellow, rachel cumberbach, be granted floor privileges for the
5:39 pm
remainder of this congress. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. franken: thank you, madam president. madam president, i rise today to join my colleagues to expose those who continue to deny the science of climate change and try to deceive the american people. this is important because climate change is an existential threat to our planet and to future generations. by denying climate science and lobbying against efforts to address climate change, these deniers are subjecting the planet and everybody on it to great risk. climate change will have significant adverse impacts on all of our states, including my state of minnesota. just look at our agriculture sector which is responsible for
5:40 pm
one out of every five jobs in minnesota. warmer temperatures and more intense droughts are going to negatively impact this important rural economic engine. in fact, a recent study estimates that with no adaptation efforts against climate change, midwest crop production could decrease by more than 60% by the end of the century. climate change will also impact our waters, and that is important in my state, the land of 10,000 lakes, which includes lake superior. lake superior alone contains about 10% of the world's fresh surface water. and it is warming by two degrees per decade.
5:41 pm
because of this warming, we are seeing more evaporation and lower water levels in the lake, plus rising temperatures allow for more favorable conditions for invasive species and hazardous algae blooms. warmer temperatures could also have severe consequences for fish like wally pike and trout that are so important to minnesota fisheries and ecosystems. and let's not forget the threat of climate change to our forests. like in our lakes, warmer temperatures elevate the threat of invasive species such as the emerald ash borer and gypsy moths that are rapidly changing the composition of our forests or the bark beetle in colorado where the presiding officer -- which the presiding officer
5:42 pm
represents. destroy trees and costs economies money and jobs. so you can see, mr. president, climate change poses a very serious threat to minnesota and to our country. i believe it is the defining issue of our generation, an issue that demands immediate action, but unfortunately, mr. president, there are some groups that have been trying to prevent action. these groups have spent many millions of dollars muddying the water, distorting the science, deceiving the american people and ultimately delaying the response that we desperately need. over the last two days, my colleagues have come to the floor to expose this web of denial, the extensive network of
5:43 pm
groups and individuals who are spreading lies about climate change, and i am here today to expose one of the worst actors of all, the heritage foundation. the heritage foundation is a right-wing ideological organization known for advocating for discriminatory social and economic policy, things like attacking voting rights, privatizing social security, favoring tax breaks for the rich to the let limit of the middle class. they are also a mouthpiece for climate denial. if you go to the heritage foundation web site, you will find that it says climate change is -- quote -- used too often as a vehicle to advance special interests and politically driven agendas, which is rich coming
5:44 pm
from an ideological organization devoted to promoting a partisan agenda. no one can deny that. the heritage foundation is notorious for trying to undermine the science on climate change. their favorite change is that -- quote -- the only consensus over the threat of climate change that seems to exist these days is that there is no con sense, unquote. even as recently as april, a report that the heritage foundation referred to climate scientists as, and i quote, a field that is a mere few decades old, and that -- quote -- no overwhelming consensus exists among climatologists. and while these statements may grab headlines, they are utterly
5:45 pm
false. climate change, climate change science, climate change science actually dates back to the 1800's before henry ford sold his first car, before thomas edison invented the light bulb and even before the first oil well was drilled in the united states. in 1824 a french scientist joseph foreignier proposed -- fornier proposed that the atmosphere -- keeps the atmosphere warm. in 1859 an irish scientist john tindel attributed the warming to several gases including carbon dioxide. in 18896 a swedish scientist swante areenias published the first calculation of global warming from human emissions of carbon dioxide and in the more than 100 years since, scientists
5:46 pm
all around the world have studied, debated and researched different aspects of the issue. so when staff from the heritage foundation, none of whom actually have advanced scientific degrees, when they write a report that claims climate science is a new field that has little scientific consensus, they are ignoring the nearly 200 years of research. a scientific body of research that has led to 97% of climate scientists agreeing that humans are causing global warming. but every now and then, even the heritage foundation admits that climate change is in fact real but when they admit it, they pretend that climate change
5:47 pm
isn't a big deal, that it's not worth our time to combat it. in 2010, a senior policy analyst at the heritage foundation with a degree in law, not climate science mind you, declared that and i quote -- "none of the scary stuff about global warming is true. and what is true about global warming, what the science actually tells us about man's role in changing the climate is far from terrifying." now, all of this science denial and false propaganda might not be such a big deal if climate change wasn't such a serious problem, but when you look at the scope of the problem, you quickly realize how heritag hers acting in an incredibly and deliberately irresponsible way.
5:48 pm
last year i traveled to the climate change conference in paris and met with a delegation of leaders from bangladesh, a country that has contributed little to industrial air pollution but it one of the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. it is estimated that unless we act, rising sea levels will inundate 17% of bangladesh, displacing about 18 million people in this low-lying nation by the end of the century. even now rising sea levels are impacting bangladesh through saltwater intrusion, reducing agricultural yields, and ruining drinking water supplies already,
5:49 pm
already having a profound effect. mr. president, we're talking about a very poor country that doesn't have the resources to deal with climate change. bangladesh will be uprooted and turned into climate refugees without a home president and i bet these 18 million people would disagree with the heritage foundation, that the impacts of climate change are, quote, far from terrifying. mr. president, if you think that the syrian refugee crisis is difficult to deal with, just think of the magnitude of what we will see if we do not address climate change. so for a lawyer at heritage, to make this claim is not only irresponsible but frankly dangerous, frankly dangerous to
5:50 pm
the welfare of people around the world. mr. president, these are just a few examples of the falsehoods that the heritage foundation spreads about climate change. if i had the time, i could go on for hours, maybe even days quoting more of those lies. in fact, from 1998 to 2013, the heritage foundation published more than 1600 documents contributing to climate skepticism, and they've published many more since. so, mr. president, as you can see the heritage foundation is deliberate and unwavering in its fraud and deceit. now, you might ask why would the heritage foundation work to deceive the american people in such a way. what do they get out of it?
5:51 pm
well, i'll tell you. it's because they're being paid to do so by self-interested fossil fuel companies like exxonmobil and people with major investments in fossil fuel companies, like the koch brothers. perhaps you've heard of them. heritage's work to espouse lies and prevent action on climate change directly benefits the bottom lines of the companies and brothers who are funding them. we know this because over the past two decades, exxonmobil donated nearly a million dollars to the meritage foundation and the koch brothers, the owners of the fossil fuel conglom rat coke industries contributed nearly $6 million. these companies and brothers are worried that if people knew what their products are doing to the
5:52 pm
planet, they would stop buying their products or transition to other renewable energy or public policy would drive the markets away from their products. so in order to protect their bottom line, they set out to misinform the public. that's what they do for a livi living. and heritage and many other similar organizations are helping them to spread their falsehoods. that's what they do at heritage for a living. the money paid to heritage goes to supposed experts whose jobs are to release thousands of bogus reports about climate change. these experts are not climate scientists.
5:53 pm
they are lawyers and economists serving as puppets for the fossil fuel industry. these same so-called experts publish op-eds and do interviews in media scwowtlets around the -- outlets around the country, talk radio, helping to spread disinformation or misinformation or what we sometimes call lies. they also brief congress and serve as trusted authorities for staff in many republican offices so it shouldn't really surprise my republican colleagues that -- who deny climate change when they rely on these experts it shouldn't surprise us that my
5:54 pm
colleagues, my republican colleagues deny climate change. but, mr. president, despite the best efforts of the koch brothers, the heritage foundation and other deniers, people around the country are not fooled. in minnesota we are seeing the changes to our crops, lakes, and forests. and instead of sticking their head in the sand, minnesotans are taking action. in 2007 under a republican governor, my home state established a renewable energy standard to produce 25% of our power from renewable sources by 2025, the same year minnesota passed an emergency efficiency standard to require utilities to become a little more efficient every year. and to top things off, minnesota established an aggressive goal to reduce greenhouse gases 80% by 2050.
5:55 pm
these are the kind of policies that we need to combat climate change. and these are also the kinds of policies that the heritage foundation is fighting tooth and nail to prevent. and it's not just the minnesota legislature that's taking action. minnesota businesses also recognize the importance of fighting climate change. last year i joined dave mcclellan, the c.e.o. of cargill in pending an op-ed in the minneapolis star and tribune to highlight the threat of climate change to agriculture, especially considering that the global population will reach 9 billion by mid century. as the c.e.o. of a food company focused on agriculture, dave is concerned about what climate change is going to do to our
5:56 pm
food supply. and he is not alone. we have businesses all over our state that are installing wind turbines and solar panels and manufacturing cutting edge energy efficiency technologies. you see, mr. president, minnesotans aren't fooled by the heritage foundation. on the contrary for them climate change represents a sputnik moment, an opportunity to rise to the challenge and defeat that threat in response to sputnik, we ended up not just winning the space race and sending a man to the moon, we did all sorts of great things for the american economy and society. we did it before and we can do it again. by rising to the challenge of
5:57 pm
climate change, we will not just clean our air but also drive innovation and create jobs not only in the clean energy sector. mr. president, i have two grandchildren, and i am expecting my third later this year. god willing they will live through this century and into the next, and in 50 years i don't want my grandson joe to turn to me and say, grandpa, you were in the senate and you knew about the severity of climate change. why didn't you do anything to stop it? and also why are you still ali alive? you're is 15 years -- you're 115 years old. i will say it's all the investments we made in n.i.h. i want my grandson to know that
5:58 pm
when we had the opportunity to put the planet on a safer path, that we seize the moment. so let's not allow the heritage foundation and all of these different members of this web. let's not let them slow us down. and let's not let the selfish motivations of shadowy donors with ties to the fossil fuel industry prevent us from making the planet a safer and more habitable place for our children, our grandchildren of future generations.
5:59 pm
mr. president, it really is time to stand up to ignorance and denial. it is time for all of us on both sides of the aisle to do what's right for future generations. thank you, mr. president. i would yield the floor.
6:00 pm
6:01 pm
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the senate is not in a quorum call. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22, the senate vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the conference trouter accompany s. 524. i further ask that following the cloture vote, the chair lay before the senate the message to accompany h.r. 636, the f.a.a. bill, that the majority leader or his designee be recognized to make a motion to concur in the house amendments to the senate amendments and that the time until 1:45 be equally divided between the leaders or their
6:02 pm
designees. i ask that following the use or yealgd back of time, the senate vote on the motion to concur in the house amendments to the senate amendments with sno intervening action or debate, that all time akeeted for consideration of h.r. 636 count postcloture on s. 524 if cloture is invoked. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so for the information of all senators, the cloture vote on the cara conference report will occur at is 1:00 a.m. tomorrow with a vote on the f.a.a. bill scheduled at 1:45. senators should expect a vote on adoption of the cara conference report during tomorrow's session.
6:03 pm
mr. cassidy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. cassidy: i ask unanimous consent that genevieve gorman, a legislative aide in the office of senator cass -- be granted privileges of the floor for the remainder of the 114th congress. the presiding officer: wowcts. without objection. kas kasemr. cassidy: mr. presidi come as a senator but actually i come'come's a wearing two diffet hats. one as a teacher. i decided to do a presentation on something which wearing my next hat is my lives a a physician i have done much work in public health and have learned, by the way, that if you head off illness early, you save a lot of money, you save a lot of money after that. i call it the balloon theory. if you put a balloon -- if you
6:04 pm
fill a imbalance loon up were -- if you fill a balloon up with helium and let go of the nays l, it deflates. right now we have something at risk with zika that will be like a helium about a lunge, inflating rapidly, unless we do that initial thing which pulls the balloon off the helium so that it works. i am a teacher. so we decided to do something differently. if anybody in the audience so chooses, they can put their phone up and their q.r. reader up to the television or the computer monitor and they can scan this bar code and you will see the slides that we are about to go over. so if you're watching at home and you wish to follow, then you can yellowstone load these slides and if you think them important, then you can follow these -- forward these slides to another person much that's my effort as a teacher to try speak
6:05 pm
about the spread of zika. this is jose wesley, born to a brazilian mother, who contracted zika probably in her first three months of pregnancy. when zika went through the blood when jose was in her womb through the amniotic fluid, it entered his brain. that virus stayed inside his brain and the response of the body to the virus within the brain terribly affected the brain. and jose has been born with microcephally. er you can't really see from this angle that what microcephaly is. what it means is small brain. and here's a profile of a child with microcephaly, and you can
6:06 pm
see unlike the big head that babies normally have, that is very small head. and this is associated with severe neurologic deficits and early death. this is a tragedy and potentially a preventable strategy. now again, the teacher in me wants to talk a little bit about zika. the spread of zika historically gives -- the spread of zika historically gives us insights as to what we must fear now. zika was first discovered back in 1951 in africa, uganda, then at some point in the three decade that followed, it spread quickly to asia and then from asia to the yap island in the pacific. in 2013 and 2014 it went to more pacific islands and then in 2015
6:07 pm
and 2016 it entered the americans. at some point it began to spread rapidly. this is important because it is now in the americas, threatening americans. and these are states which have cases of zika. here is the u.s. virgin islands and puerto rico. they have the most. but almost every state is affected, most folks have contracted it elsewhere and brought it back to their state. but there are some folks who received it sexually, so their partner contracted it perhaps in brazil, came back to texas or florida and -- or louisiana wirm a he from, and they contracted it sexually. burkes nonetheless, the virus is in the united states. and it is particularly a problem in puerto rico in the u.s. virgin island. these are american citizens. these puerto ricans, if they wish, can board a plane and
6:08 pm
travel anyplace they wish in the continental united states. and that is their right as an american. similarly, these folks who are infected in these states can travel anyplace they wish. why is that important? theoretically, it is important because these are the areas where the mosquitoes that carry the zika virus live in the united states, so theoretically, wherever these mosquitoes are -- and hawaii should be on her someplace -- wherever these mosquitoes are, the virus are enter and be transmitted by the scores to many other americans. by the way, it isn't just that you have to live where the mosquitoes are. the first person to die from zika in the continental u.s. just died in utah. she had contracted it elsewhere but then died in utah. so the risk to our country is at
6:09 pm
least at this. i will be perfectly honest, it is particularly a risk for those upon the gulf coast because we have the sort of semi--- subtropical climate in which zika flourishes and that is why i am particularly concerned, but again wearing my other mat hat as a public health doctor, i know we have this moment in time. and either we pull that balloon off so it doesn't inflate with zika danling our country -- damaging our country creating more hoe disas wh joses who are here in the united states, or not. now, some of you may have seen the bar code that i held up initially, and you may have downloaded that. we will hold that bar code up again if you wish to download these slides. but all these are on the powerpoint presentation that you can download, if you wish. public health emergencies are inevitable. let's talk to the response to this one. there's been $600 million that was left over from the ebola
6:10 pm
fund that has been released to c.d.c. and other agencies to mount a response against zika. $600 million was left over, only about a fifth of it has been spent. so there's still substantial dollars yet available. but the c.d.c. and other federal agencies say that they need more. republicans have supported $1.2 billion in additional funding to fight zika. my colleagues on the democratic side -- and my -- we have a difference over this. they are opposing this $1.2 billion to fight zika because they say that the republican bill discriminates against planned parenthood. now, planned parenthood is not mentioned in the bill, and the way it discriminates -- and sometimes i have been in washington in the senate at least for two years, and sometimes you got to kind of figure out why people are taking offense at something. even though planned parenthood is not mentioned, the reason that they object is because we specify that the money needs to go to a public agency, one that
6:11 pm
sees medicaid patients, the state territory federal program to take care of the uninsured. now, planned parenthood is not a medicaid provider, so it isn't that they're not mentioned. it is that they are a private entity who in puerto rico does not take medicaid. we could carve in if you are a private entity, you could also receive private dollars. it just so happens in puerto rico medicaid does not. so democrats are opposing a $1.2 billion bill. one more case of a jose would be one case too many. we're caught up in the snafu about planned parenthood. that's the craziest thing in the world but unfortunately that's sometimes how washington, d.c., works. as a public health physician, i find that incredibly offensive. as a doctor who understands the critical nature of this, i'm
6:12 pm
asking folks on the other side of the aisle to accept that this bill may not be exactly what they want. it's not exactly what i want. but it is something which we give additional resources to the centers for disease control and others to begin to fight the zika virus before it comes -- becomes more extensively to our nation's shores. now, we can anticipate that public health emergencies in the future are inevitable. for example, we've had ebola recently. we've had west nile virus, and we've already spoken about zika. so aside from hoping that my democratic colleagues will agree to release the $1.2 billion to fight zika now, there's also something else i'm proposing, but, again, i don't want to sound overly partisan, because i'm doing this particular bill with my fellow democrats -- with democrats. with senator brian schatz from
6:13 pm
hawaii, we're putting forward the public health emergency response and accountability act. what we do -- again, i'm from louisiana, and we've had hurricanes, hurricane katrina is the one which is most famous. if there is a hurricane or another natural disaster that hits an american state, then fema has a budget which is automatically triggered. it doesn't have to go through this appropriations process. we don't tie it down to discussionser extraneous matters. it is something which immediately comes to bear to bring relief to those affected by natural disaster. the other thing that is done is that normal federal contracting processes are waved. so instead of having ten different signatures, which literally might be the case, for someone to travel from washington, d.c., to, say, louisiana, or kansas or florida, it is waived and that person, that emergency response coordinator may immediately go. now, there is oversight. so this is not carte blanche. but it is a more effective way
6:14 pm
to bring federal resources in partnership with local resources to bring relief to those affected. so we also bring that flexibility in the use of funds while retaining kltability. again, we call this the public health emergency response and accountability act, and we anticipate entering it in very soon and senator schatz has been wonderful to work with in terms of this aspect of what we're doing. so two issues. we have $1.2 billion that we should release now. that would immediately go -- it's not a perfect bill. but we've got to prevent more cases of these children who are tragically born with microcephaly, as well as more deaths such as the woman who recently died in ultimate. d. in utah. and number two, we need to have the response and accountability act, which gets rid of this kind of process we just struggle through in order to release those funds to bring the relief that we need. so let me just summarize by saying this:
6:15 pm
this is a baby with microcephaly. we've i had think three children born in the united states already -- not conceived here but born here who've had microcephaly. this child's life is limited. will most likely die at an early age with severe neurological deficit. if you want to look at it in a dollars and cents approach this child will be a ward of the state for the entirety of her life and will cost the federal taxpayer millions of dollars. we've had these babies born already in puerto rico, new jersey, and hawaii. there is two pregnant women in illinois who tested positive for zika and had a death from older adults. the question is will the senate work to stop this? and again, if you are watching
6:16 pm
and you wish, you can scan this barcode. you can download this presentation. then let me stpeurb -- finish by saying this. the senate should work to stop the spread of zika. you can do something. we are a representative democracy, and we respond to you the people. and if we don't, by golly, you should vote us out. so i am asking you, if you're watching at home and you think that there needs to be a response quickly and efficiently and effectively to combat the spread of zika, you can either barcode this or not. but whatever you do, call your senator, ask your senator, ask her or him to support efforts to stop the spread of zika, to release the $1.2 billion, and to also support the bill that senator schatz and i are putting forward, the public health emergency response and accountability fund. ultimately we answer to you, the people. that's a good thing. we ask -- i ask you to perhaps
6:17 pm
use this tool to help us, to encourage us to answer to you as we should. mr. president, i yield back. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. heinrich: i rise to join my colleagues from the senate action task force to bring attention to the well funded network of organizations that are deliberately misleading the public on climate change. my colleagues have called them the web of denial. we've all gathered on the floor yesterday and today to bring attention to these political front groups that are acting as major roadblocks to the actions that we must take as a nation and as a global community to address the difficult and disruptive but absolute and unequivocal scientific reality of climate change. this web of denial is made up of dozens of organizations propped
6:18 pm
up by dark money. these political front groups for wealthy donors like the koch brothers meddle bogus -- meddle bonus thaoers that climate change isn't real or that the public should down the overwhelming scientific evidence in fear of what might happen if we move towards policies for cleaner energy solutions. these organizations are promoting policies that are completely counter productive at a time when we urgently need to take decisive action to combat climate change and to protect the health of our children and future generations. as many of my constituents know well, climate change has already had a very real and costly impact in my home state of new mexico, as it has across our nation and around the world. in new mexico, we're already seeing more extreme and
6:19 pm
prolonged drought conditions. larger wildfires, shrinking forests, increased flooding. this is the reality now, not of some far-off date in the future. and the longer that we wait to act, the more difficult and the more expensive the solutions will be. that's why the fictitious narrative spun up by this web of denial and their organizations are so dangerous and why we as policy-makers need to stand up and to refute their lies. we need to disclose who they really are and discredit their campaigns. today i am focusing this evening on the american legislative exchange council, or alec. alec is an organization made up of state legislators across the nation and alec claims nearly one-quarter of our country's state legislators are affiliated with the organization. alec calls itself a nonpartisan
6:20 pm
organization that promotes an exchange of ideas to help create state-based policies that promote economic growth. sounds like motherhood and apple pie, doesn't it? but when you take a look at who is behind alec's operations and you take a look at the types of policies they are pushing in state capitals across this nation you get a sense for their real agenda, and you can tell they are part of the coordinated and well-funded campaign to cast doubt and sket -- skepticism about the science of climate change. alec has been described as -- quote -- "a dating service between politician at the state level, local elected politicians and many of america's biggest companies." alec writes model policy, thousands of cookie-cutter anticonservation bills that legislators can introduce under
6:21 pm
their own name in their own states in hopes of turning them into law. and specifically in the area of energy policy, alec pushes a concerted legislative agenda that is in line with the rest of the koch network, to promote climate skepticism and roll back laws that protect clean air and water. alec -- quote, unquote -- model bills read like they were written by the biggest polluters in our country because they probably were. there are resolutions condemning the clean power plan calling for states to withdraw from regional climate initiatives and to reconsider national environmental standards like rules that reduce ozone pollution and, i might add, save lives. alec also pushes bills that call for repealing renewable fuel standards that are moving our electric grid towards cleaner energy sources. and alec has also written model
6:22 pm
resolutions that call for selling off or turning over public lands like our national forests in western states like new mexico and across our country. the current alec state chair in my home state of new mexico introduced legislation at the roundhouse in recent years called the transfer of public land act which would call on the federal government to turn over our public lands over to state management. the only way that western states like mine could fit the bill for administering america's public lands would be to raise taxes dramatically or -- and this is much more likely -- sell off large expanses to developers and other private interests. over time it would mean that public lands that new mexicans go to every summer to hike and camp and barbecue with their family, the national forests where they go to chase elk and mule deer during hunting season would be closed off behind no
6:23 pm
trespassing signs. i have long believed that public lands are an equalizer in america where access to public lands ensure that you don't need to be a millionaire to enjoy the great outdoors or to introduce your family, your children to hunting and fishing and hiking. this land grab idea is just as ludicrous as denying climate change. just as detached from reality and similarly comes at the expense of our public health and protection of our public lands and resources. frankly, you don't have to do a deep-dive investigation to figure out what's going on here. the so-called policy experts and leaders that make up alex board of directors are on the record as climate skeptics. alec's c.e.o. lisa nelson said -- quote -- "i don't know the science on that." when she was asked if co2 emissions are the primary driver
6:24 pm
of climate change. texas state representative phil king, the national board chair for alec in 2015, said -- quote -- "i think the global warming theory is bad science." in connecticut state rep john piscopo, alec's national board chairman in 2013, said that the public has been hoodwinked. i have serious doubts about whether climate change is man-made. we all know the reason why alec's members and leaders say things like this and promote these kinds of bills. it's because so much of the funding for alec'sing operations come from sources other than membership dues. over 98% of alec's revenues come from corporations, trade groups and corporate foundation. that's how alec works, by sowing uninformed seeds of doubt to move the needle at the state and local level towards anti-science, anti-climate
6:25 pm
action policies that benefit their funders' bottom line. and alec is just one piece of a large web of similar dark money organizations that promote climate skepticism and are dangerous fronts for corporate interests to deliberately mislead the public and influence lawmakers. to just -- to see just one other recent example of this in my home state of new mexico, i'd like to take a moment to look at a letter to the editor published last week in the loss -- las cruces news. this is another one of those web of denial front groups. they claim monumental designations are a land grab and the work of environmental groups trying to stop development. these radical groups and green decoys are according to the
6:26 pm
letter such dangerous letters as trout unlimited, the theodore roosevelt conservation partnership, the isaac walton league, and back country hunters and anglers, groups that all stands up for the interests of sportsmen, hunters and angleer, certainly not what most of my constituents would consider radical. a close look shows that the real decoy -- who the real decoy is here. the environmental policy alliance is funded by the western fuels association, another organization in the web of denial. and it's a pet project of lobbyist rick berman who has also led deep accept alternative public -- deceptive public campaigns on behalf of cigarette and alcohol companies and now dirty energy. this organization doesn't care about the best way to manage our publicly owned lands or preserving the ability of americans no matter what their stake in life is, how much money
6:27 pm
they make, to experience our country's rich outdoor heritage. the environmental policy alliance instead wants to put our public lands up for sale so that the corporate elite can develop them for their own use and their own profit. the environmental policy alliance has published similar letters in dozens of small to mid-sized city newspapers all across our country in recent years. canned letters with no connection to local sentiment. the reality is that the oregon mountains desert peaks national monument in southern new mexico which this group has slandered serves as a national example of community-driven landscape-scale conservation. in fact, independent polling shows overwhelming local support for this monument and i am proud of my close work with the region's diverse coalition and
6:28 pm
stakeholders who work so hard for so many years to make that monument a reality. two years into the oregon mountains desert peaks designation, local businesses in the las cruces area are attracting major tourism dollars and economic benefits. the lonely he planet guidebook has named southern new mexico as a top ten best in the united states in 2016 designation and highlights the national monument as a reason to visit. the town of macea, their tax revenues have jumped over 20% since the monument's creation and las cruces tax revenues are up since 2015 in part because of new conferences and meetings attracted to the area by the monument. so you can see how out of touch these groups are that want to instead sell off this public
6:29 pm
land. the organizations that make up this web of denial are promoting dishonest and deceptive campaigns that, frankly, run directly counter to the public interest. at a time when we desperately need to move our state and national energy and conservation policies forward, we should be taking the overwhelming and indisputable scientific fact of climate change seriously. and we should make smart and forward-looking investments in the sustainable low carbon fuels of the future. i am convinced that advances in energy efficiency and generation transmission of clean power offer us a road map that not only allows us to combat climate change, but can do it in a way that will create thousands of new jobs and much-needed economic activity in new mexico and all across our country.
6:30 pm
that's the reality, just like climate change. climate change is not theoretical. it's one of those stubborn facts that doesn't go away just because we choose to ignore it. or if we listen to the company line and some self-interested koch donor networks and organizations like alec. i think it's time to call these astroturf groups out for who they really are and frankly who they really answer to. more importantly, mr. president, it's time to take action on the moral challenge of our time, addressing climate change so that our children can inherit the future that they truly deserve. thank you, mr. president.
6:31 pm
the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: i rise today to join my colleagues in speaking out against what i believe is the misleading and dangerous campaign of some in the fossil fuel industry to undermine this nation's efforts to combat global climate change. the science on climate change is beyond rational dispute. climate change is real. it's a clear and present threat to our planet, and it must be addressed robustly and urgently. scientists have proven unequivocal that co2 and other greenhouse gases that we release into the atmosphere when we burn fossil fuels act to trap heat and form an invisible blanket to warm the planet. over the last century, the earth's average temperature has continued to rise with nine of the ten warmest years on record
6:32 pm
occurring since the year 2000. and true to form, 2015 was the earth's warmest year on record. rising global temperatures have led to extreme changes in weather events and in our environment, and no country is insulated, no state is insulate ed from the escalating effects of climate change. in the united states, we're seeing it in every region of the country, and we're witnessing its effects very dramatically in my state of new hampshire. rising temperatures are affecting our tourism, our outdoor recreation and our agriculture industries, and we're experiencing an onset of negative health impacts and increases of insect-borne diseases. lyme disease is one of those. all of which can be tied to the effects of climate change. yet, in the u.s. and throughout the world, people acknowledge that global warming is an
6:33 pm
existential threat that requires immediate action to throw its pace and mitigate its effects, even while those climate deniers are still out there making noise. according to the pew research center, two-thirds of all americans acknowledge that climate change is real and that action must be taken to address it, but there are some, an extreme but influential minority, who argue that climate change is a hoax and that it lacks scientific consensus, that the changes we observe are not due to co2's and other greenhouse gas emissions but they are due instead to variations in the sun or cosmic rays, and the policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions will ruin our economy. well, not surprisingly, these climate deniers are not scientists, although they may pretend to be. they are front groups funded by
6:34 pm
the fossil fuel industry generally and the koch brothers in particular. these front groups are paid to spin a web of denial wrapped in ideology with the aim of purposely deceiving the public about the dangers of climate change. this is deceitful and it's wrong, and we are here on the floor this afternoon to call out these groups by name so that the public knows what to watch for and there is some transparency about what's being said. now, one of those groups is the competitive enterprise institute or c.e.i. it's based in washington, d.c. and this group describes itself as, i quote, a public policy organization committed to advancing the principles of free enterprise and limited government. but if we look more closely, we find that c.e.i. is not an
6:35 pm
independent organization. it is funded by powerful corporations designed to spread untruths and disinformation on behalf of its corporate sponsors. now, in recent years, c.e.i. has taken up the issue of climate change. it has been outspoken in disputing scientific evidence that human-produced greenhouse gas emissions are driving global warming. now, some may recognize c.e.i. not for their work on climate denial but for its prominent role in misleading the public about the scientific evidence linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease. legal documents from major tobacco companies expose the fact that c.e.i. received more than $800,000 from philip morris to launch coordinated media campaigns to attack the food and drug administration's efforts to
6:36 pm
regulate tobacco. and, mr. president, i have a series of these documents that pertain to c.e.i., and i would ask unanimous consent that they be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. shaheen: thank you. c.e.i. lobbied politicians, conducted symposia and published policy papers and op-eds, with titles such as, and i quote, safety is a relative thing for cars, why not for cigarettes? c.e.i.'s then-policy analyst alexander volok even went so far as to describe the act of smoking as a civic duty. c.e.i.'s mission, as the documents detail -- the documents that we have just submitted for the record -- their mission was to portray the f.d.a. as an agency out of control and one failing to live up to its congressional mandate, and for a time, c.e.i. was
6:37 pm
successful. congress took a closer look at f.d.a.'s appropriations requests, and lawmakers slashed agency funding and passed language to restrict f.d.a.'s authority to regulate tobacco. in fact, at one oversight hearing, members of congress even questioned whether the f.d.a. was acting legally and responsibly in pursuing a course that would lead to tobacco regulation. well, if this sounds like deja vu, that's because it is. c.e.i. and other front groups are using the same playbook, the same tactics to deny climate change that they used to deny a link between tobacco use and fatal disease. c.e.i. is now on a new mission, to confuse and mislead the public on climate change. it is financing and directing ad hoc groups like the so-called cooler heads coalition which
6:38 pm
claims that global warming is a myth and that many scientists are skeptical of climate change. c.e.i. has also produced two television ads that allege that the polar ice caps are thickening, not shrinking, and that co2 emissions are good for the environment. well, c.e.i.'s ads sound more like something that "saturday night live" might come up with. for instance, their tag line about co2 is, i quote, they call it pollution, we call it life. well, of course. we all know that co2 is necessary for plant growth, but what that ad fails to mention is that too much co2 in the atmosphere can cause global temperatures to rise and that there is more of it in the atmosphere today than at any time during the last 420,000 years. so more carbon, more co2's in
6:39 pm
the atmosphere than at any time in the last 420,000 years. and just as in the case of big tobacco, one need only to look at who funds c.e.i. to see how they determine their messaging. so we have a chart here to show where their funding comes from. i would just point out that this is data that's all compiled from publicly available records. so we see from exxonmobil foundation. then we see the koch family and their foundation. and then we see the philip morris company. so significant funding from people who have an agenda about climate change. my staff has determined that between 1985-2015, c.e.i. has received almost $15 million from right-wing organizations like the donors trust and the dunns foundation for the advancement of right thinking.
6:40 pm
and c.e.i. has also received more than $2 million, as we see here, from exxonmobil and more than $1 million from the koch foundations and the koch brothers personally. and the strong ties between c.e.i.'s message denying climate change and the interest of coal, oil and gas companies are clear and obvious. so it seems that while c.e.i. has changed its client, it is still in the exact same business of selling lies, of selling out the health and the future of ordinary americans. now, another industry front group that i wanted to talk about this afternoon has been exceptionally loud in denying climate change. it is the so-called energy and environment legal institute or e & e legal. e & e legal has several different aliases. the american tradition
6:41 pm
institute, george mason environmental law clinic, free market environmental law clinic, but its m.o. is one and the same. like c.e.i., e & e legal has a core mission of discrediting climate science and dismantling regulations that protect the environment. however, instead of rolling out ad campaigns, e & e legal has a different approach. its specialty is harassing individual climate scientists and researchers with the aim of persuading the public that human-caused global warming is a scientific fraud. of course, the group's lawsuits are frivolous and baseless. but this doesn't matter, because the entire point of the lawsuits is to disrupt important academic research that may help us anticipate, avoid or mitigate the impacts of global warming. and once again, if we look at the funding behind e & e legal, we understand exactly why this group is attacking climate
6:42 pm
scientists and their work. e & e legal does not publicly disclose its donors. we've seen that before. however, bankruptcy proceedings have identified that the group is funded by arch coal and peabody energy and that e & e's senior lawyer has received funds directly from alpha natural resources. these are some of the largest coal producers in the united states. so it's shameful and dishonorable that these coal companies are funding the harassment and intimidation of scientists. they are putting profits ahead of people and their disinformation threatens the scientific inquiry and transparency we need in order to make smart climate policy decisions to protect our earth. in conclusion, big corporations are using organizations that claim to be independent to spread misleading messages to the american people.
6:43 pm
knowing that the people would be quick to discount these messages if they actually knew they were coming directly from coal companies and from koch industries. this campaign of disinformation and propaganda endangers the health, environment and economic well-being of people in the united states and across the world. and that's why senators who acknowledge the science of climate change, senators who understand the urgency of action to combat clate change are speaking out this afternoon and for many days to come. by coming to the floor, we want to expose groups like c.e.i. and e & e legal for what they are, front groups whose role is to spin a web of denial. by championing clean energy policies, we want to ensure that the u.s. reduces its dependence on fossil fuels while creating millions of jobs to support our economy in alternative energy and green energy sources.
6:44 pm
by supporting our country's leadership in negotiating the international climate agreement concluded last year in paris, we're doing our part to slow global warming and help poor nations most affected by it. this is just the beginning. we will continue to come to the floor to advocate for policies to reduce carbon emissions, to strengthen our economy and to protect our environment. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. reed: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. today i join many of my colleagues in encouraging the senate to continue working on solutions to protect our planet from the growing threats from climate change. first, i would like to thank senator sheldon whitehouse for his leadership and tireless work on these issues. we both represent the great state of rhode island, the ocean state, and i'm lucky to have
6:45 pm
such a strong partner to work with to improve the health of our oceans, fight sea level rise, beach erosion, ocean warming and acidification. i'm proud to work alongside him as we respond to the serious challenges of climate change. indeed, he is a leader in this effort in this senate and throughout my state and throughout this country. i applaud his commitment to this endeavor and his efforts to organize us all to come here and to speak. we are already shouldering the cost of climate change to americans. these costs are increasing. climate change is driving severe drought and wildfires in the west, larger and more frequent floods in the midwest and sea level rise and greater storm damage along our coast. vulnerable populations like children with asthma and the elderly are suffering with higher levels of smog in our cities and longer, more severe heat waves. farmers and ranchers are struggling with crop and livestock losses from drought, increasingly acidic oceans are
6:46 pm
harming shellfish populations and threatening fisheries. communities are struggling to pay for infrastructure damaged by fires, more extreme stores and coastal erosion. and in the face of this evidence as my colleagues have all pointed out, there is a systematic and organized effort to discredit, dismiss it, ignore it. but americans are sensing dramatically the effects in their own lives, and they understand this. one area, though, that i think is important to emphasize is that climate change is just not a local issue or an issue that is associated with domestic policy. it has profound national security ramifications. indeed to the military, climate change acts as a threat multiplier, exacerbating threats in already unstable regions of the world. climate change creates choke points for oil distribution lines and exser baits our -- exacerbates our dependence on
6:47 pm
ships, aircraft and tact cal vehicles. to protect our national security, we must take action based on the scientific evidence presented by our nation's best climate scientists. such experts have overwhelmingly warned us that the increasingly warmer temperatures will mean oppressive heat in already hot areas, and this translates not only into geo political issues but translates down to the individual soldier. this means carrying several pounds of additional gear across dry and arab regions and supplying the troops with fuel and water is becoming a difficult challenge for our military leaders. warmer temperatures also lead to glacial melt causing sea level rise and ocean acidification affecting our seafaring vessels and our aircraft carriers, increasing the complexity of our navy. one of the more interesting moments i had on the armed services committee was to listen several years ago to an admiral describe about transit to the arctic ocean will become commonplace in just a few years.
6:48 pm
to someone who is brought up in the 1950's and 1960's and served in the military in the 1970's, that seemed completely implausible but it's happening. yet there are groups that are organized trying to make that disappear. it's not disappearing for our military. they have to cope with it, plan for it and indeed ensure that our security is protected from the ramifications. in national security decisions are made by careful examination of risk and given the preponderance of the evidence, it only makes sense that we a i dress the risks caused by climate change. national security and foreign policy leaders across the political spectrum issued a statement last year urging the highest levels of american government and business to take domestic and international action to fight climate change. these are the national security experts. they are a bipartisan group of americans who have dedicated their lives to this nation. they are not a self-interested group of people that are
6:49 pm
profiting from a certain position. they are -- include former secretaries of defense chuck hagel and bill cohen and leon panetta, former secretaries of state, madeleine albright, national security advisor bra desigbrazinski and former senats olympia snowe, the chair of the 9/11 commission and the chief of staff gordon r. sullivan. these and others agree climate change is a threat to national security and have called for u.s. leadership in the global effort to tackle the urgent and complex problems of climate change. but yet even these lives and selfless americans are being dismissed if you will by the organized effort to undercut scientific evidence. now, we took steps and have taken steps. just last december in paris we
6:50 pm
took a step forward with an international agreement. more than 150 countries pledged to develop plans to tackle climate change domestically, including countries once reluctant to act like china and india. american leadership has been key to getting these countries on board and agreeing to do their fair share. these countries are also acting because it's in their self-interest to do so for their own health and for their national security. it's clear that no country can avoid the impacts of climate change. and no country can meet this challenge alone. as a nation that has contributed more than a quarter of all global carbon pollution, it is our responsibility to lead, not to deny. as a nation already feeling the effects and costs of climate change, it is also in our national interest to do so. as we have seen time and time again, other countries will join us if america leads the way, not by denial but by dedication to pragmatic solutions that can be
6:51 pm
achieved. american companies must also do a better job in addressing climate change. it's not enough just for america's government and military to take action. the private sector also needs to step up to the plate. companies need to be transparent and provide full disclosure of the impact, that their industry has on our climate, our environment and they must take full responsibility for their actions. some companies have improved their sustainability practices and have made strides to inform consumers about their carbon footprint and more need to join them. in fact, many companies concluded it's in their economic slfl interest to do so. information about the risk supposed by climate change is also something that's critical to investors and some of whom are demanding greater disclosures. for example, alliance global investors which is a global diversified active investment manager with nearly $500 billion of assets has specifically called for achieving better
6:52 pm
disclosure of the effects of carbon costs on the oil and gas companies. and i have indeed introduced legislation to enhance climate-related disclosures by publicly-held companies to ensure that these companies are providing information necessary to make informed investment decisions. these companies not only owe an obligation as we all do to the greater welfare of the country and indeed the world but they owe a very direct and indeed fiduciary obligation to their investors and many of these companies have information, i suspect at least that should in fact be disclosed and we have to ensure that they do this so the market operates appropriately. so it's not just about broad statements, protecting the climate. it's not just about feeling good. it's about making concrete information available to the
6:53 pm
public, to investors, to the country as a whole not to deny, obfuscate or ignore this information. so i urge my colleagues to support this legislation that protects our air, water and natural resources environment. the health of our oceans and environment must be preserved for now and for future generations and indeed in this effort, i can think of no one who's taking a more forceful and constructive role than my colleague senator whitehouse. again, i salute him. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. a senator: mr. president, as ranging member on the subcommittee on science, space and competitiveness, i know how important it is for our country to invest in scientific research and to make informed decisions based on those findings. mr. peters: sound science has played a critical role in the united states becoming a leader
6:54 pm
in fields like space exploration, medical research, advanced manufacturing and other high-tech industries. so when 97% of scientists in a particular field agree on a serious problem, it is wise for policymakers to listen. the scientific community is sounding the alarm about the urgent need to address the causes of global climate change. scientists here in the united states and across the world overwhelmingly agree that the weight of evidence is clear. global temperatures are rising, dramatic changes in weather and climate have accompanied this warming, and humans are largely responsible due to our emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. military leaders, doctors, economists, and biologists are among the experts warning us about global climate change and the fact that it is a major threat to national security, public health, our economy, and
6:55 pm
our natural resources. unfortunately powerful special interests led by some organizations and companies in the fossil fuel industry are deliberately spreading falls information about climate change to influence public opinion and to muddle the truth. the strategy to confuse the public about climate change science and delay policy action has many parallels to the strategy used by big tobacco to mislead the public about scientific evidence linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease. the corporations spreading disinformation on climate change are the very same interests that have the most to gain financially by stopping meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gases, protect our clean air and address global warming for future generations. the koch brothers are a prime example of this fact. charles and david koch made their vast fortunes from owning companies that profit from a
6:56 pm
range of dirty industries. much of their wealth is funneled into activists groups that produce questionable information and the spin necessary to support their own interests. the web of denial that they have created is a threat to sound science-based decision making. while some big polluters seek to confuse and cloud the judgment of decision makers and the public, the american people continue to suffer the consequences of our dependence on fossil fuels. these consequences are not just limited to rising global temperatures. the people of michigan are paying for the cost of coal and oil pollution in many ways, but i'd like to focus on just a couple of them. a few years ago a three-story high pile of petroleum coke or pet coke which you can see here in this image lined the banks of the detroit river in the open air. pet coke is essentially the
6:57 pm
byproduct that's produced during the oil refining process. these particular piles were owned by coke carbon, a company controlled by the koch brothers. usually pet coke is shipped off to other countries where it's burned as fuel worsening terrible air quality problems in places like china and contributing to global climate change. in this case the banks of the detroit river were being treated as a dumping ground to store these mountains of pet coke. the wind would below the pet coke dust everywhere including into the homes and lungs of those living in the neighborhoods nearby. it was even documented blowing across the river into windsor, ontario. not only was the air being contaminated, the pet coke was following the great lakes, a source of drinking water for nearly 40 million people. when it raged pollution would run off -- rained, pollution would run off into the detroit river which is part of the great
6:58 pm
lakes system. i joined residents in detroit to call for these pet coke piles to be moved and only through a community-wide effort where they eventually -- were they eventually successful. i also introduced legislation to study the health and environmental impacts of this pet coke but unfortunately this same area of detroit that has had to deal with mountains of particulate matter blowing into the air already had the distinction of having some of the worst air quality in the nation. research shows that exposure to air pollution at a young age can lead to health problems like asthma and air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms. detroit has the highest rate of asthma in young children among the 18 largest cities in the united states. every 12 -- over 12% of detroit children have as madam president the national rate is around -- asthma. the national rate is around 8%. most comes from burning fossil fuels and parts of detroit are dealing with high pollutant levels as a result. i wrote a letter along with senator stabenow calling for a
6:59 pm
plan to reduce sulfur dioxide levels in southwest detroit and comply with federal clean air standards. the michigan department of environmental quality finally just submitted their plan to comply over a year past the initial deadline. these examples in detroit show how protecting clean air and clean water are often environmental justice issues. those that are most affected by pollution are often from low income and minority households. addressing climate change will also improve the air quality of these affected areas. and while these communities bear the brunt of fossil fuel pollution, the koch brothers and others pour hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars into activities to avoid regulation of their dirty industries. one of the tactics that powerful corporate industries use is to bankroll numerous front groups to spread misinformation. the idea behind this strategy is to use seemingly independent
7:00 pm
organizations, such as think tanks to deliver misleading messages that the public might rightfully dismiss if they had heard them directly from industry. they have calculated that it is better for business to mislead the american public rather than acknowledge the scientific evidence and their role in climate change and join the effort to combat this growing threat to our planet. it's a page taken right out of big tobacco's play book by reading their own studies and policy play works from a network of suggest gatt it gives the appearance there is a legitimate debate over fundamentals of climate change science. one example is the cato institute. for years the organization has received funding from fossil fuel interests such as exxonmobil and the koch family. at the same time cato spreads climate skepticism over a span of 15 years the cato stphao*ut
7:01 pm
published -- institute published 773,000 works and 768 documents expressing climate skepticism. the web of denial is intended to manufacture doubt among the american public in order to delay action. but the spending efforts by the same corporations also specifically target elected officials and other key decision-makers to prevent meaningful action on global warming. the koch brothers poured vast sums of money into election ads, lobbying efforts and campaign donations often funneled through other organizations to hide the source of the funding. as a result, i've heard many climate myths repeated in the halls of congress that were carefully crafted by the network of climate denial front groups. late last year the senate subcommittee on science, space, and competitiveness held a hearing that was specifically designed to cast doubt on the scientific evidence of climate
7:02 pm
change. the witness panel was stacked by the majority with prominent climate deniers. the one witness that i was able to invite as the ranking member was rear admiral david titley who as the united states navy's chief meteorologist initiated and led the navy's task force on climate change. at the hearing dr. titley outlined how climate change is a serious threat to national security. admiral titley explained that the military makes decisions based on known information and calculations of risk. often they must act on less than perfect intelligence, but they understand risk and will take action to prevent threats when given the chance. the admiral applied this to the broad agreement among climate scientists saying that any military commander would take action in a heartbeat, he said -- and i quote in a heartbeat, if there was a consensus among 97% of the
7:03 pm
intelligence community about a particular scenario. in fact, the military has already started taking action to anticipate vulnerabilities and mitigate the impacts related to climate change. the brightest most experienced minds in our united states military realize that the reliance on fossil fuel leaves our troops and citizens exposed to more risk at home as well as abroad. unfortunately, congress has not been as quick to act. efforts to pass meaningful legislation to address climate change have been blocked. existing administrative efforts to reduce emissions or invest in clean energy have also been repeatedly attacked. we can and must pass legislative solutions to address global climate change. transitioning away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy will create sustainable, good-paying jobs here in the united states. taking bold action on climate change will strengthen our public health, our economy, and our national security. we must wake up and realize that
7:04 pm
those attempting to mislead and confusion must not be successful. i'm confident that we will overcome this web of denial and use peer-reviewed, sound scientific information to guard our decision-making in order to create a resilient future for our children and our grandchildren. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas.
7:05 pm
mr. cotton: today the united states senate will pass legislation renaming the post office 627 central avenue in hot springs national park after chief petty officer adam brim. i've driven there many times as a child, an officer and senator. i can't say there is anything remarkable about it but it will be remarkable after this law is passed. adam brown was about my age, a great war hero. a few years ago on memorial day in hot springs, a gentleman came up to me after i spoke and handed me a book called fearless, a "new york times" bestseller. it was the story of adam brown. the title captured his spirit. he was fearless. he was relentless. he was also a joyful and godly
7:06 pm
man. as a child in hot springs he was the one who always lined up to hit the biggest kid in football. he'd jump off a bridge into a local lake. he'd jump out of trucks. adam was an all-american boy. in his teenage years, though, adam succombed to addiction. he began to drink and started to use marijuana, became addicted to cocaine. that led to many crimes. at one point he had 16 felonies outstanding. larry and his mother janice didn't know what to do, so they told the sheriff where he was and let him be arrested. adam went to teen challenge, a christian ministry dedicated to helping youth overcome addiction. through his faith in god and love of his parents and the love of his wife kelly, he was able to fight back his addiction,
7:07 pm
though he continued to struggle with it. and the help of a good recruiter and a sense of deep and abiding patriotism to his country, adam cleaned up his life by enlisting in the navy. he didn't just enlist to do any job, though. he enlisted to be a navy seal, some of the hardest training that our military has. adam, of course, got his golden trident and he went on to display the same kind of fearlessness and joyfulness that so many people in hot springs and arkansas has known. anyone who has been in the military knows there are always guys in the unit that are downers, looking on the dark side of things, wondering what's going to go wrong next. and adam was the antidote to that. he always looked on the bright side. he always had a sunny outlook.
7:08 pm
he always had a helpful word for a friend or a buddy. he was always ready to help the unit accomplish the mission. he went through multiple deployments as a navy seal and there was never any quit in adam. in 2003 he was injured in a training exercise by a simulation realm, a military paint ball. somehow it got underneath his architecture and hit him in the eye and he lost his eye. as he always did, he looked on the bright side. he got a glass eye with an arkansas razor back on it and played pirate with a power patch with his two little kids nathan and savannah, and it didn't stop him from continuing to deploy as a navy seal. he later was involved in a multicar accident while deployed. his hand was crushed and three fingers were severed. the doctors were able to reattach it, but it could no
7:09 pm
longer be used. and of course he was eligible to leave the military because of his combat injury, but he didn't do that. he learned to shoot with the other hand and shoot with the other eye. and in fact he went on to become a member of seal team 6, the most elite element in the navy seal community. he continued to deploy and fight, but also show deep compassion. in afghanistan he noticed how many of the poor little afghan children didn't even have shoes on their feet in the darkest coldest days of winter so he arranged for a local pastor in his community to send shoes so he could give to them. on march 17, 2010, adam was on a mission high up in the mountains
7:10 pm
in afghanistan. his unit came under intense enemy fire. adam helped save the lives of his fellow seals, taking multiple rounds himself and ultimately perishing as a result of his wounds. adam received a hero's welcome in hot springs, where he rests today. adam's story of faith, redemption, service and love of little boys and little girls drive by that post office in hot springs in the future, i hope they ask their parents who adam brown was. i hope their parents can tell them his story and inspire them
7:11 pm
with his example. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. i come to the floor today to speak along with a number of my colleagues about groups that have spun a web of denial and to fight back against the regressive and fallacious, dangerous rhetoric of climate
7:12 pm
change deniers. they would disavow the overwhelming evidence of one of our most significant environmental crises, and it is not only a quality of life challenge, it is a national security crisis in our world today. as a member of the armed services committee, i know from our military leaders how seriously they take this crisis in causing droughts as well as unrest and challenges to our military access to certain parts of the world. those consequences are among the national security threats that climate change raises. and deniers do no great service to our national defense. but we know in connecticut firsthand the visible impacts of
7:13 pm
climate change because we see the mammoth storms that threaten to become the new normal in our world, causing rising tides, destroying homes, changing literally the nature of our shoreline and impacting our quality of life. no one state can address climate change effectively, and that is why we need the tphaoegs to act together -- need the nation to act together and why climate change denial is so dangerous to our national security not only in military terms, but also in the very real terms of how we conduct our lives in this country. we need a coordinated comprehensive approach. and yet some groups would have you believe that no action is necessary, none at all. they say that any measures are a
7:14 pm
waste of time and resources. any measures to stop food supplies from disappearing, forest fires from spreading, storms from raging, all are simply unnecessary. they have no evidence to support their claims, but indeed they have to distort the evidence that exists even to make those claims. just last year we discovered that exxon projects into its planning a model that it described for itself as -- quote -- "too murky to warrant action ." they planned for themselves but not for the people, including their own customers, they would be ready for climate change but would make sure no one else could be by adopting a model,
7:15 pm
making it their business model or part of it that implicitly, internally they felt they could not reveal publicly. some groups have adopted more covert efforts to sabotage science. the american legislative exchange council, better known by its acronym alec, denies that its policy denies climate change. alec claim to fighting science in the shadows because it has no facts to bring into the sun. indeed, its proposed bill, the environmental literacy improvement act, a very innocuous title, actually seeks to serve as a stamp of approval on teaching climate change denial in science classrooms. these tactics exist because when groups like alec or americans for prosperity stand ready to
7:16 pm
deny the truth, some part of our people will believe them. one leader of the americans for prosperity, when asked about the science of climate change, responded -- quote -- "i don't even want to argue the point. to me, it's not that important." end quote. this web of denial has consequences. it delays and distorts common awareness and consciousness about the truth and the need to act. one of my colleagues compared this web of denial to actions of tobacco companies decades ago, denying that smoking and tobacco could cause cancer or heart disease or any of the other serious illnesses that tobacco use cause, in addition to the lifetime of addiction to
7:17 pm
nicotine that inevitably was the consequence to so many people who believe those tobacco companies. that web of denial was similar to this one. the tobacco companies knew the truth. they denied it. these deniers also know the truth, and our purpose in being here today is to make sure that the american people know it as well. groups like alec or americans for prosperity may receive support from the economic interests that have a stake in hiding the fact but ultimately the american people need to know it, need to act on it and need to appreciate the motives and interests of the web of denial
7:18 pm
that is spun so artfully and relentlessly by thieves groups and the special interests that underlie them and support them. thank you, mr. president. i want to thank also my colleagues who have come to the floor today, particularly senator whitehouse who has been so instrumental in organizing this group, and i yield the floor. mr. cotton: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination of calendar number 652 only, with no other executive business in order. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of justice, carole schwartz rendon of ohio to be
7:19 pm
united states attorney for the northern district. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cotton: is there further debate on the nomination? the presiding officer: there is no further debate. the question occurs on the nomination. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. cotton: i ask consent that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 4875, which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 4875, an act to establish the united states semi quinn centennial commission, and
7:20 pm
for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that the committee on finance be discharged from further consideration of s. 2650 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 2650, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to exclude from gross income any prizes or awards won in competition in the olympic games or the paralympic games. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and that the papers be held at the desk. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection.
7:21 pm
mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s. res. 513 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 513, designating september 25, 2016, as national lobster day. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. cotton: i -- the presiding officer: the committee is discharged. the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. cotton: i further ask that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 528 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 528, commending the tennessee valley authority on the 80th anniversary of the unified development of the tennessee
7:22 pm
river system. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. wednesday, july 13. following the prayer and the pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, that following leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of the conference report to accompany s. 524, with the time until 11:00 a.m. equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cotton: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order, following the remarks of senators markey and whitehouse.
7:23 pm
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. markey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, it's summer. it's supposed to be hot, but if last month felt hotter than past summers, you are right, because last week the national oceanic and atmospheric agency, noaa, reported that the united states experienced its warmest june on record ever. already this year, there have been eight weather and climate-related disasters that each caused at least a billion dollars in damage. globally, 2015 was the hottest year on record, and so far this year it is on track to beat last year. you can't even hold the record
7:24 pm
for a year. 2016 has been as hot as pokemon go. and anyone watching the senate floor tonight who is younger than 31 has never experienced in their life a month whose temperature was below the 20th century average. that last happened in february of 1985. ronald reagan was starting his second term as president. "beverly hills cop" was the number one film at the box office. if you went to the movies that month, you probably saw a trailer for what would be that summer's blockbuster, "back to the future." well, that future is here. temperatures are increasing, sea level is rising, rainfall is more extreme, the oceans are more acidic, and why is that? well, mostly because of carbon
7:25 pm
dioxide pollution that is released from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. virtually all climate scientists agree that the climate is changing and that human interference with the climate is now the driving force of that change. thanks to excellent investigative reporting at inside climate news and other news outlets, we now know that as far back as the 1970's, that exxon and the other oil companies were following the latest developments in climate science and exxon was undertaking their own research on the impact of carbon pollution on the climate. the top leadership of exxon was warned in july of 1977 by its senior scientist, james black, -- quote -- "in the first place, there is general
7:26 pm
scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels. that's in 1977, to exxon from its own scientists. a year later, in 1978, that same scientist once again told senior management -- quote -- "present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies that might become critical." ten years later, in 1988, a memo laid out exxon's position which included these three points. number one -- emphasize the uncertainty in scientific conclusions regarding the potential enhanced greenhouse gas effect.
7:27 pm
two, urge a balanced scientific approach. and three, resist the overstatement and sensationalization of potential greenhouse effect which could lead to noneconomic development of nonfossil fuel resources. exxon knew full well back then the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate and what that could mean to their businesses. exxon, the koch brothers, peabody coal and other individuals and businesses whose profits might suffer under rules to reduce carbon pollution have had a vested interest in stopping climate action for decades. that's why congress still hasn't sent a comprehensive climate legislation to the president. more than 50 years ago, in a special message to congress on pollution, president lyndon johnson noted that the increase
7:28 pm
in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels has altered the composition of the global atmosphere. since then, the scientific evidence and observation of climate changes already under way has continued to mount, but even as the science has become overwhelming, climate policies have gotten trapped in a web of denial. during the last two days, you have heard many of my colleagues talk about the many strands of this web of denial. like a real spider web, it's hard to see this web unless the light catches it in just the right way. so this evening, i'm going to shine a light on a few threads of this web. at the heart of this web is denial, and that's where you
7:29 pm
find the george c. marshall institute whose attacks on the science of the so-called nuclear winter, consequence of nuclear war and its opposition to the nuclear freeze movement expanded over the years to include anticlimate change efforts. the institute was named after the united states army chief of staff during world war ii who then became secretary of state. he helped to rebuild europe, he won the nobel peace prize for what is now called the marshall plan. given marshall's view of the need to address hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos, it seems likely that if he were alive today, he would agree that national security experts see that climate change is a security threat to the united states. marshall himself would likely support efforts like the green
7:30 pm
climate fund to ensure that the poorest countries in the world have the resources necessary to overcome the challenges climate change poses to their economic development, and he would likely support american leadership of global climate efforts to ensure all countries are taking action to address climate change. but the institute that carries the george marshall name has countered international climate science and action every step of the way. when the marshall institute first expanded into environmental policy in the 1980's, the environment and climate change had bipartisan support. in the 1988 election george herbert walker bush pledged to meet the -- quote -- "greenhouse effect with the white house effect." increasingly, the world scientists were raising concerns
7:31 pm
about carbon pollution and in 1990, the first assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change or i.p.p.c. detailed what the fossil fuel companies already knew, that carbon pollution released from burning fossil fuel were causing the earth to warm. the very business model of the fossil fuel industry was altering the planet. while the scientific community was sounding the alarm, it has now been revealed that big oil and fossil fuel companies conspired to mute that alarm. and the marshall institute soon became a critical part of their climate denial web. and mind you, we are not talking about the original george c. marshall. he would have had no part of this. this is just the absconding of
7:32 pm
his name and having it placed above an institute, the marshall institute which is now disseminating this bad science. that is what has happened. in 1989, this marshall institute published a report on climate change casting doubt on the impact of carbon pollution and spinning a core component of the web of denial. as washington insiders the institute's report was read by the white house, shared by media outlets and became a so-called side of a new public debate on climate change. the marshall institute turned debating climate change into a game, and the science became a political football. it was exactly what they wanted by dwieg climate -- dividing climate science into sides, pitting one against the other,
7:33 pm
they had found a foothold for doubt and a reason to delay climate action. still the first bush administration signed and the senate ratified the historic united nations framework convention on climate change in 1992. the goal of the treaty was to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions and prevent -- quote -- "dangerous anthropogenic interference with earth's climate system." but it took another 23 years until 2015 for the countries of the world to agree on a global solution in paris last december. that 1989 marshall institute report funded by the fossil fuel industry was an especially sticky strand of this web of denial. since then the tactic of casting doubt on climate science has been used time and again by the marshall institute and other
7:34 pm
organizations to delay policies that could hurt the profits of oil, coal, and petro polluters like the koch brothers. this is what senator whitehouse has led all of us in trying to bring out here to the senate floor, that there is a web and the web goes back to money, and that money is the profits that are made by the coal and the gas and the oil industries. those millions of dollars that the marshall institute has received from exxon and the koch connected foundations over the years have allowed the web of denial to grow. but the marshall institute's misinformation campaign doesn't just come in the form of reports. their chairman, the marshall institute's chairman william
7:35 pm
happer has testified in front of congress multiple times espousing climate denialism and perpetuating the self-serving interests of the fossil fuel industry and the koch brothers. he may be an accomplished physicist but dr. happer's views on climate change have -- climate science have been routinelydebunked. when i was chairman of the committee of global warming in the house of representatives i heard dr. happer use the theatrics of a co2 meter as proof climate change doesn't exist. he advocated for the government to support a -- quote -- "alternative hypothesis and to support his alternative hypothesis which was nothing more than the denial of climate change. just last year while the climate talks in paris were under way, dr. happer testified before the senate commerce committee
7:36 pm
continuing to spread doubt, but this past may, william happer was a signatory on a misleading, full-page ad in "the new york times." the ad placed by another thread in the web of deceit, the competitive enterprise institute, attacked the reasonable effort of new york attorney general eric snyderman in a coalition of other attorneys general united for clean power that our investigating more than 100 businesses, nonprofits and private individuals to see if they misled the public about climate change. but a marshall institute's efforts alone weren't enough. so they helped form the cynically named global climate coalition in 1989 shortly after the formation of the ippc at the u.n. to fight climate change.
7:37 pm
the marshall institute's c.e.o. william o'keefe, a former lobbyist for exxon chaired the coalition that included members of manufacturing, automotive, oil and gas, mining, and chemical industries and the u.s. chamber ochamber of commerce. they invested in denial and delay to allow business as usual to continue, but climate science and international climate efforts continued to advance after the u.n. framework convention on climate change came into force. and of course the fossil fuel coalition's concerns continued to increase as the ippc worked on its second report in the early 1990's, it decided to include a chapter entitled "detection of climate change and attribution of causes." it became clear that the world's climate scientists were
7:38 pm
examining the considerable collection of climate observations and research to see what they could say about human influence on the climate. so the global climate coalition sprung into action to influence what the ippc might say about the human influence on climate. november 1995, at a session to finalize the text of the ippc report alongside saudi arabian and kuwaiti representatives, the global climate coalition weighed in heavily against the chapter focused on the detection and causes of climate change. after a flurry of negotiations and additional objections, the ippc agreed that the amassed climate observations -- quote -- now points towards a discernible human influence on global climate. the world's climate scientists, the government representatives had now acknowledged that humans
7:39 pm
were altering the climate. so the calls for climate action got louder and the effort to extend the 1992 united nations framework convention on climate change and draft what would become the kyoto protocol in 1997 increased, but in an effort to silence the calls for action, the investment in the web of denial grew. the global climate coalition spent more than $13 million opposing the kyoto protocol. between 1994 and 1997 they spent $1 million every year downplaying the threat of climate change and ultimately this broad coalition collapsed as their business interests and the impact of climate change on their profits changed. the global climate coalition closed its doors in 2002 but the web of denial was already
7:40 pm
stretching to find new places to grow. and those threads have since expanded with the careful cultivation and collusion by the fossil fuel industry and the petro polluters. we know that the koch brothers, exxon and other major donors have invested millions of dollars into organizations that actively work to discredit climate change and oppose climate legislation. those organizations pressure elected officials to take increasingly extreme stances with specific reference on the -- and focus on the members of the republican party. during president george w. bush's first campaign in 1980 -- in 2000, he promised to fight climate change by limiting greenhouse gas emissions. but in 2001 he pulled the united states out of the kyoto protocol and in 2005 his vice president
7:41 pm
dick cheney helped pass an energy bill that included massive subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry. as recently as 2008, the republican presidential nominee, senator john mccain, recognized the science of climate change and supported action. this was an era that has now passed. the web of denial has firmly trapped this issue in the republican party in such a way that no action is possible at all. but even in the face of the millions of dollars pumped into the denial machine, the house of representatives was able to overcome it in 2009. the waxman-markey bill passed the house just over seven years ago. it was the only comprehensive climate change legislation ever to pass a chamber of congress. it has been reported that the
7:42 pm
oil and gas industry including the koch brothers and exxonmobil spent $175 million and hired more than 800 lobbyists in 2009 to kill the waxman-markey bill. let me give those numbers again. $175 million and 800 lobbyists to kill a bill that would have put a clamp on the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the united states. they saw any action on climate, especially legislation as a threat to their bottom line. but members of the house new better. they saw that waxman-markey was good for our environment, good for our economy, good for america. the congressional budget analysis found that waxman-markey would have reduced the federal deficit and cost the average american household less
7:43 pm
than 50 cents per day. analysis of the american council for an energy efficient economy found that americans would save about as much as c.b.o.'s cost estimates from energy efficiency policies in the bill that c.b.o. didn't take into account. with an outstretched arm to lift them into the clean energy future, the bill included more than $200 million to the coal industry, $200 billion to capture carbon and to sequester it. seven years ago we gave the fossil fuel industry a choice: legislation or regulation. but exxon opposed the bill. the koch brothers opposed the bill. peabody coal opposed the bill except for the partses that helped the coal industry president rather than change their current business model centered on pumping more co2 intro the atmospherers -- into the atmosphere, they fought attempts to change the law. and now seven years later peabody coal has filed for
7:44 pm
bankruptcy, and we are continuing to untangle the koch brothers' web of denial. the koch brothers have lied to the american people for decades about climate change. they have also lied to their own employees. when waxman-markey was being debated, the koch industries newsletter published an article attacking the climate change legislation and encouraging employees to check out specific websites for more information. the listed websites were funded by the koch brothers. they sent their employees to other parts of the web of denial. and when a republican tries to stand up and publicly support climate action, the koch brothers' spitey sense goes off and their web of denial springs into action. they mobilize. that he target. they attack every republican that stands against their business plan. koch money floods primary
7:45 pm
campaigns to ensure that their self-serving lies trump in every election. the oil and coal industries won't stop their efforts because now the presumptive nominee of the republican party is a climate denier but their obstruction and climate denial tactics are as bogus as a degree from trump university. trump says he wants an all of the above energy agenda, but we know that he is really running on an oil above all platform. but the koch brothers are now bigger than the republican party. the kochs have built into the tactics practiced by the tobacco industry generations ago in their campaigns to discredit the science linking smoking with increased risk of lung cancer, the kochs goal is to discredit the science itself. and how successful are they?
7:46 pm
donald trump has said that if he's president, he's going to abolish the environmental protection agency of the united states. abolish it. i guess he assumes that americans think the air is too clean, that the water is too clean, that the soil is too clean, the rivers are too clean in the united states. that we can afford to abolish the environmental protection agency of our country. this is the world that the koch brothers have begotten. the mission has always been to create doubt across america on climate. they fund attempts to counter the fact that climate change is a threat to our national security and to our public health. their funding attempts to counter the fact that action to combat climate change is feasible and necessary and will create american jobs. they fund the web of denial to
7:47 pm
serve their own interests and make billions of profits at the expense of america's health, america's safety. for someone who is focused on protecting the poor and the vulnerable of this world, that person understands the threat presented by climate change. i have in my hand pope francis' encyclical on climate climate c, subtitled on the care of our common home. when the pope -- a chemistry teacher. the pope is a chemistry teacher. that's what he did before he became pope. when he came to washington, d.c. last year, he spoke to congress and delivered his sermon on the hill. he said that the planet is dangerously warming and that the science is settled. he said that human beings are a
7:48 pm
significant contributor to the dangerous warming of the planet. he said that since humans are contributing to the problem, we have a moral obligation to do something about it. when the rest of the world looks up, they see red, white, and blue co2. since the united states has historically been the largest contributor of carbon pollution, we must be the leader in working to reduce our own pollution. but as soon as the pope spoke out urging action on climate change, the well-oiled climate denial machine shifted into high gear. the acting institute for the study of religion and liberty is another strand of the web of denial. between 1990 and 2014, the acton institute received millions from donors' trusts or donors capital fund, the koch-funded dark money
7:49 pm
a.t.m. as well as money from the koch family and from exxon. reverend sirico, the father and president of the acton institute testified in front of the senate environment and public works committee last year. reverend sirico claimed that the catholic church doesn't have expertise in science and should stick to matters of faith and morals. here's the irony. a lack of expertise surely hasn't stopped senate republicans from blocking any and all climate change legislation. informed by the scientific evidence, the pope made a clear moral case to act on climate and to act now. the pope's comments came from the heart and from his belief in our ability to act collectively. and it's just common sense that when you learn something is
7:50 pm
dangerous for you, for your health and for our earth and especially, as the pope said to us, its impact on the poorest people on our planet, those who will be most severely harmed by climate change, then we have a moral obligation to stop that harm. there is no doubt that fossil fuels forever changed our society. but pointing to the benefits from them does not take away the harm they caused or the urgency to transition to clean energy now. now, many of those who oppose action on climate invoke the importance of preserving the free market. and as an example consider the lexington institute, an organization be funded by exxonmobil and those pushing so-called free market solutions. the lexington institute -- and may i add the lexington institute is in virginia.
7:51 pm
it's not in lexington, massachusetts, where the shot heard round the world was fired. no, this is just, again, absconding with a name, placing it upon an institution to try to give it the veneer of credibility. of course beneath the veneer is just more veneer. there is nothing there. there is no science. there is nothing that backs up the arguments which they are making. so the lexington institute claims that renewables need to be able to compete with fossil fuels without federal subsidies. but the real truth is that the fossil fuel industry has never succeeded in the free market alone. its success is built on more than a century's worth of tax breaks and subsidies. the lexington institute sheds these crocodile tears about how much they care about the free
7:52 pm
market. but for 100 years they missed the fact that the oil, the coal, the gas, the nuclear industries were all subsidized by the federal government. it's only when wind and solar show up that all of a sudden they become greatly concerned about the fact that the free market is being distorted. by giving tax breaks to wind and solar of course we're just making it a level playing field so that they get the same kind of breaks that all of these other industries have received for 100 or more. the subsidies for the fossil fuel industry topped more than $7.5 billion annually. you got that? it's $7.5 billion per year. these tax breaks going back 100 years, you multiply that by 100 and then the crocodile tears start getting shed over something we do for wind, solar,
7:53 pm
fuel cells, biomass, geothermal. there is no need for fossil fuel c.e.o.'s to congress to justify support for long-established industries which they've always been getting. they don't even come up to defend it. they just get it automatically the extension to their tax breaks. the oil and gas have the federal subsidies. coal has federal subs dice. nuclear has federal subsidies. what has happened every year when we tried to extend federal subsidies for wind for energy, for solar. just one year, it's the end of the world as we know it in the capitalist system. just last year the koch brothers wrote a letter to every single member of congress urging them to oppose the extension of tax breaks for wind and solar. they quoted the free market because even though billions of dollars in federal subsidies
7:54 pm
have benefited their companies for years and years, they have never come up here to say oh, take them away. it makes my company feel unclean. oh no. they took those billions every single year. it's only when wind and solar step up and say how about us? we're clean. we don't pollute. we're what the younger generation wants to see us investing in as the technologies of the 21st century. then they get morally offended. then their free market principles start to get offended. so the lexington institute, sight -- citing the free market fought against the extension of renewable tax credits for wind and solar. but unlike the battle of lexington that started the american revolution, this lexington is trying to stop a renewables revolution. economic growth and climate action go together.
7:55 pm
we can have a country with clean air and water and clean energy and a strong economy. history continues to prove that the benefits of environmental regulation are enormous and beyond just financial. recently we're seeing global economic growth hand in hand with no increase in energy-related carbon pollution. we're seeing g.d.p. go up but not carbon pollution. and in massachusetts, since the regional greenhouse gas initiative started in 2009, the real lexington revolution, the run that's in massachusetts, we've seen there power, grant, greenhouse gas emissions go down 36% while massachusetts gross domestic product increased 25%. so we're left with a really simple question. why do fossil fuel companies kin to get federal subsidies but we
7:56 pm
do not extend them to clean energy? well, the answer is this. koch, exxon, the marshal institute, the global climate coalition, the acton institute, the lexington institute, and the partners in the web of denial and millions of dollars are spent to deceive and to mislead all in the name of self-interest and profit. the global climate coalition collapsed more than a decade ago. the marshal newt broke up last year in its climate. i'm morphed into the co2 coalition. exxon is now publicizing their support for a carbon tax that they began espousing in 2009. the american petroleum institute is reportedly rethinking its messaging on climate. the threads of the web of denial are breaking and weakening, and the more light we shine on it,
7:57 pm
especially like fuel by the power of the sun, the sooner it will fall apart. we are in the midst of a clean energy revolution. the u.s. has a massive reserve of untapped renewable energy. our reserves are so massive that just a small fraction could power our entire country. the question is no longer if we can power our country with renewable energy. it's when and it's how. we will make the transition to 100% renewable energy before the year 2050 if we keep the right policies on the books. and i believe that we are going to meet that goal. in the last ten years we've seen a dramatic expansion of renewable energy in our country. just as the pilgrims harnessed the wind to sail across the ocean to plymouth rock, we too can power our economy and our current capacity is 74,000
7:58 pm
megawatts of wind and we have 14,000 more megawatts of wind waiting to be deployed in our country. u.s. solar capacity is now more than 27,000 megawatts, over 25% of this capacity was added in 2015 alone. we are projected to double that capacity by the end of this year. megawatts are hard to understand. simply put, by the end of this year we should have enough wind and solar energy to power over 25 million homes. that's' one fitting of all american homes. we must continue to untangle ourselves from the koch brothers web of denial sewn by lies and -- sown by lies and doubt. the science is overwhelming. climate change is real. carbon pollution is accelerating the warming and right now american cities and towns are preparing for an uncertain future in a world with a
7:59 pm
changing climate and rising seas. while the united states senate has yet to knock out all of these old cob webs of climate denial that are holding back action, we know that if we focus on the future that we cannot continue to have these decisions of today be borne by generations yet to come. we must focuses on resiliency and clean energy and what we are going to do to leave the world better off for future generations. no matter what lies and information the climate deniers are trying to peddle, the facts are with us. the moral authority is with us. the economic opportunities are with us. we have a chance to create a clean energy revolution that increases jobs as it cuts pollution. this is a job creation that is good for all of creation. we must take the climate deniers and their fossil fuel funders to task for their object -- object
8:00 pm
object -- objection to the future. here's where we are. by the end of 2016, there will be 400,000 people employed in the united states in the wind and solar industries, and 65,00. by the year 2020 at the current pace there will be 600,000 people employed in the wind and solar industry. half of all new electricity on the planet last year came from renewable electricity. this is a revolution, and it's a revolution that we cannot allow to be derailed because we will be employing people, giving them the jobs which they want, which will make it possible for us to save this planet. so i thank the senator from rhode island for organizing all of the members over the last two


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on