tv Senator Tom Carper Says Clean Power Plan Rollback Disregards Science CSPAN March 28, 2017 8:33pm-9:07pm EDT
we all want clean air and clean water but that is not what president obama's energy regulatory policies were actually about. it was an ideological project and ideological vanity project. he wouldn't even solve the problem he wanted to protect. fortunately the epa will have the opportunity now to go backs to the drawing board and get this right with balance and serious politics to the epa should work with stakeholders across the country to develop sensible policies that balance the economic needs of our communities and the realities of our environment. this way we can protect america's middle class america's miners and america's natural resources all at once. next time it democrats briefed
reporters on opposition to president trump's executive order on carbon emissions and the lifting of the moratorium on new coal-mining on federal lands. this briefing is 30 minutes. >> good afternoon everyone and thanks very much for joining us today. our new epa administrator scott pruitt likes to quote yogi berra who once said famously the future ain't what it used to be. the future ain't what it used to be. this executive order that president trump is literally signing right now in real time will ensure that is the case that the future ain't going to be what it used to be. that executive order abandons
climate change protecting americans health from dangerous pollutants and safeguarding our environment for future generations. thanks to this executive order or future's looking darker, looking dirtier and it's looking less prosperous. highlighting why the clean power plan which the president trump is walking away from today is so historic and what went into its development. we didn't just dream it up like that. the clean power plan is the most significant plan the u.s. is taking to address climate change. the first-ever establishes first-ever national standards to reduce emissions. the clean power plan cut greenhouse gas emissions by one third by the year 2030. the clean power plan has resulted in unprecedented outreach to state two utilities stakeholders and the american
public. the obama administration spent over three years developing new rules including reviewing and responding to more than 4.3 million comments that the epa received. the finer wrote -- gives the states and utilities time to preserve ample reliable and affordable care for all americans. it's expected to produce between 26 to $45 billion in net benefits by 2030 between 25 and $35 billion. the obama administration following the 14th hottest years on record did their homework. today donald trump's shirking our nation's responsibility disregarding clear science and undoing the significant progress we have made to ensure we leave a better more sustainable planet for generations to come with the
stroke of his pen. despite all the rhetoric this order proves this administration is not serious about protecting jobs or our environment. under the obama administration we saw the longest stretch of continuous job growth the longest running growth in jobs in this country i think in u.s. history. 16 million jobs and counting. thanks investments we have made over the last eight years 3.2 million people have jobs in the clean energy sector today. the clean power plan is part of and all of the above energy strategy has been nearly 20 billion dollars we spent investing in clean coal since 2009. i think all of which i have supported and i suspect we all have. i'm a native of west virginia as you know. understand the plight of coalminers in this day and age the clean power plan isn't the
coal industry's problem. market forces are the problem. let's be perfectly clear this executive order will not bring back the coal industry. donald trump saying otherwise is just not true. it's an insult to the men and women who voted for him. we should be looking to the future, looking to continuing sponsoring new economic opportunities in communities that may be dependent on the old world order just as the clean power plan does. i think this is time for leadership and a matter of leadership. americans don't sit back and wait for others to take the lead to address global challenges. that's what we do. or country has always lead led by example and investing climate change should be no different. today is a step backwards not forward but i will continue and i think we will continue to fight to defend the clean power plan and smart policies that address global climate change so
that one day we can look at our grandchildren right in the eye and tell them we did the right thing for them to give them in this planet a better future. with that i will turn it over to been garden -- ben cardin. since 2010 we were off to the races and over here we have a great picture of the brooklyn bridge. congressman markey and i used to go running together and the air never look like that. it never look like that but that's the way it looked. ben, thank you. senate let me thank senator carper for his leadership not just on this issue in dealing with the claim power plan but his leadership on the half of environmental issues and his leadership on the epw committee.
please to be here so many of my colleagues to point out how disappointing, how wrong the trump administration's actions today are in reversing the clean power plan regulation issued by the obama administration. the other part of the policies that they are announcing today on energy. it's wrong because it's now going to add a great deal of uncertainty as to what our policy is going to be with regards to power plants in this country. that's not going to be good for anyone. predictability is important for moving forward with predictable energy sources as the trump administration has now caused a great deal of uncertainty. we know carbon pollution needs to be controlled and this was a plan that was developed after careful consideration and gained maximum flexibility. they could pick the way in which to meet their goals.
i know in my state of maryland our leaders appreciated that flexibility and could work with that flexibility and have the support of all the stakeholders and how we were moving forward. that now is on hold. an energy policy for our country needs to deal with energy security and stability. needs to deal with the economy and it needs to deal with the environment or public health. each of these cases the actions by the trump administration have compromised america's interests. on security we know renewable clean energy are an area where we could be very competitive and have a stable source of energy for america's future. that's in jeopardy now by the trump administration's policies. we know and senator carper pointed out we create more jobs with clean energy than we do with fossil fuels and yet the trump administration is putting
us on the wrong way as far as helping our economy and there is no dispute as to the impact of carbon emissions, greenhouse gases to our environment and public health. we know how many children are at risk as more and more pollution enters our air and we know the largest single source of carbon emissions in this country come from fossil burning electricity plants. we know that. those are the facts and what the trump administration is doing today is compromising our ability to deal with carbon emissions which is not in the interest of american compromises the americas growth and leadership on this issue of climate change. for all those reasons this is a very dark day for america in these decisions made by the trump administration with that i'd like to turn to one of our great leaders on these issues, the senator from rhode island senator whitehouse.
>> i have to run downstairs to join the senators but i will be right back. want to thank you and i want to thank jeff and i want to thank all of you and i will be back. >> would the think the ranking member for the powerful leadership is showing us on the environment the committee. i was elected to the senate in 2006. i was sworn in in 2007. the first three years that i was here there was common republican activity to do something about climate change. over and over there were bills. republicans senator john warner head of bill and republican susan collins had a bill, republican lavar alexander had a bill republican john mccain campaigned on this issue for president. then came citizens united. january of 2010, there is not
then a piece of republican sponsored serious climate legislation since. the power of the fossil fuel industry made the republican party in congress and if fact a banana republic party. we call a banana republic a banana republic because of the power of the international fruit companies who pulled the strings behind the preposterous uniforms and antics of propped up administration's in those banana republic countries. so it's sad to have the republican party in congress become a banana republic party for the fossil fuel industry. with this executive order the executive branch of government
becomes a banana republic executive branch capering for their friends in the fossil fuel industry. it is ultimately probably not going to make much difference. there are lawyers and there are lawsuits. there isn't a ministry of procedure that means administrative procedures have to be on the up-and-up. there's a supreme court decision massachusetts versus epa that is the law of the land. there is not that much room to maneuver but we will lose two things. one, we will lose time while the lawyers and lawsuits go forward and that is not a commodity without risk. the second thing that we will lose is we will lose our reputation. go to any state university in this country, go to all of the
other countries and look to america around the world. everybody understands perfectly well what's going on. this executive order only demeans donald trump himself, his administration and ultimately our country. the fossil fuel industry needs to be held to account here. they are pulling the strings that are causing this to take place. they are hiding their hand behind lobby groups but the american people should know at this moment of national embarrassment is brought to you by the fossil fuel industry and hand off to jeff merkley. >> thank you. i'm honored to be here with this group of five senators who are climate champions fighting for clean water and for clean air
and specifically to take on the carbon pollution that having such an impact but across the city there's another group. there is vice president pence and secretary kerry and secretary zinke and epa director pruitt and they are standing up right now talking about how they are going to dismantle regulations on carbon pollution. this is a very big thing. carbon pollution is destroying the resources of rural america. it is destroying our farming and our fishing. the fire season in oregon is now two months longer than it was decades ago. the streams are warmer and smaller because of the smaller snowpack in the mountain. overall the coast, we have the difficulty of oysters being unable to reproduce correctly because the water is so much
more acidic because of the burning of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide has become carbonic acid and is making it very hard for shellfish to start their life not to mention coral reefs around the world. 80% of the great terrier reef dying in the last few years. the list goes on and on wherever you look. that group assembled across the city is standing up and saying we are going to try to increase the destruction of our forests, increase the destruction of our farming with less air gratian water and increase the destruction of our fishing and we are here to say no. we are here to say we are going to resist this and every possible way we can. let me mention that one of the things that they are talking about today, they are going to
renew coal leasing of resources that we as citizens all of us on fossil fuel by virtue of being a u.s. citizen a lot of oil, lot of gas and a lot of coal and president obama -- because we can't continue to extract it and burn it given the crisis to the environment around the world in carbon pollution and now we have our new president trump standing up and saying let's increase that pollution. let's keep profiting off extracting what we as citizens out of the ground so a group of us will be in introducing the keep it in the ground bill later today to say no more extraction, no new leases of citizen owned fossil fuels. so we are going to keep fighting we are going to use every strategy as my colleague indicated and we will go forward attempting to restore america as a leader in this room and around
the world because if we as a human civilization on this planet are going to stop this menace to our beautiful blue-green earth we need the cooperation of all nations and we need american leadership and that's what we'll be fighting to restore it. i'm so delighted to introduce my colleague ed markey who has been a leader on this even before there was an issue. >> thank you and jeff and sheldon and tom coffer and ben cardin we stand here not as five people who are fighting the trump executive order, we are standing really with the vast majority of the american people who accept the science of climate change, who accept the need to move to clean energy. this is an issue which has
overwhelming public support. what sheldon is talking about and what jeff is talking about are issues that are now agreed upon by the majority of the american people. president trump didn't issue an executive order. he issued a deck rationale for on america's climate leadership and their clean energy future. this executive order isn't about energy security. it is about climate denial. it is the wholesale dismantling of every policy and rule by president obama put on the books to cut carbon pollution and address climate change. this executive order is one massive giveaway to big oil and coal corporations at the expense of decades of progress on climate change, clean energy and public health protections. president trump last week released a budget that ends
federal research and development funding for 21st century innovative industry technology and now he wants to send us back to the 19th century of energy policy, energy technology and energy science. that's the trump administration formula on climate change, deny, delay defund and that would be a disaster. if donald trump are really committed to energy security he wouldn't have signed an executive order last week to week and fuel economy standards in the vehicles we drive. he wouldn't have signed an executive order to advance the dakota access and keystone pipeline without ensuring that the keystone oil actually stays in america and is not just exported. we still import more than 3 million barrels of oil per day from opec nations.
keeping strong fuel economy standards in place is the best way to increase carbon american energy security and decrease carbon pollution. and there's nothing to ensure that the keystone oil won't simply be exported abroad. the promise that the kxl will help our energy security is as hollow as the pipeline itself, all risk no reward for the united states. we need to put america on a path towards a 100% clean and renewable energy future and that's what jeff merkley and sheldon whitehouse represent as we stand here today. climate change is threatening the health of american families now. global warming gets personal when air pollution harms the lungs of the children of our country and increases the risk of food and water and insect transmitted diseases around the world. as a nation we have a choice.
we can continue to pump fossil carbon pollution into our skies and foreign oil into our cars or pump new life into our economy creating clean energy jobs and saving americans money on their energy costs. we need job creation that is good for all of creation. we know that by cutting carbon pollution we can grow our economy save american families money and protect the health of children and seniors. we know the competition to create clean energy jobs is global. president trump's actions will put america last in the global clean energy race and we will lose out on jobs here at home. president trump is more interested in filling campaign promises to the oil gas and coal companies at the expense of our promise for a clean energy future for all americans. that's what today represents an historic movement in this fight to pass a 21st century
innovation energy industry that's led by the united states. >> going once. >> can you go into a little more detail and exactly what was said any other proactive actions you can take? >> i think the heart of the battle is going to be litigations. if you look at the clean power plan they start at the very top with united states supreme court decision massachusetts versus the epa. you follow that with a decision by the epa that the endangerment finding both has been made and was promised by administrator pruitt that they would leave it
intact and i trust him on this because if they try to open that question up they would get -- so there you have those two pieces in place. the law of the land and the requisite findings. that puts a legal duty on administrator pruitt proceed with regulation of carbon dioxide. and unless he wishes to behave illegally then he has to come up with something. i don't think there is much he can come up with that would be more amenable to industry than the clean power plan so i don't think he has a lot of real running room other than to delay for a bit and force that litigation. the problem is if you are acting in bad faith there are a variety of consequences that can ensue in a courtroom. so they are playing with fire
here and i think we are going to find that they are going to be burning their fingers in the weeks and months ahead but i think it's mostly going to be litigation. it's going to be holding the funding for these agencies through the process. i don't think they are going to have either the courage or the bad judgment to shut down the government over trying to defend a protection for american citizens on environmental issues so that means we will outflank them when it comes to that issue and i think at the end of april you will see a bunch that satisfactory supports our varmint latency. >> i would just add we'll see the battle continue at the federal level but also see a shift to the grassroots. all across america the boards of colleges and the city councils of our towns and cities, many organizations are starting to say how can we take this
responsibility to clean up carbon pollution into our own hands and that means developing their own 100% clean renewable energy by 2050. we will be introducing a bill here on capitol hill but we understand that the republican control of the house and the senate and the fact that the koch brothers are the public masters behind what happens in this body that those bills are not going to be considered but it will be a way also of rooting for, encourage and laying out the decision for every organization in america, every church board synagogue board, mosque board college in city to say let's do it ourselves. let's developed our own 100 by 50 resolution and a three to five year action plan on what steps we can take. >> senator the white house said clean power plan's depends on the endangerment -- automobiles.
your response? the endangerment lining addresses the question of what co2 does in the atmosphere. whether the co2 comes from the tailpipe of an automobile or the smokestack of a factory is chemically the same and the finding has the same application across-the-board. we know that it does two things. we know to a certainty that it creates a greenhouse gas environment in the atmosphere and we know when it interacts with the surface of the sea that it satisfies the water. ..
a this executive order meant a lot from the others including getting rid of this guide and making the agencies take into account these projects. we are looking at a 1 trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. do you think democrats can do that type of funding to score the requirements? >> i don't want to prejudge that.
bear in mind that under the administrative procedures act, an agency that is bound to follow first the wall of the united states of america and second, factual sworn evidence obligated to meet a standard but it cannot make decisions. simply because that is where the reality is. it's going to take a lot of litigation to force that point, but when the dust settles, i
think most of these agencies will find themselves more or less in the place where they already are because that's where the facts required them to be and where the wall requires them to be. >> [inaudible] >> i think that is a prospect particularly after the debacle on health care that the republicans don't want. they want a bath more out of this budget confrontation than we do. so, i think we have a strong negotiating position. they just passed the bill was led by their republican majority, and if we ask for a simple continuing resolution
which is a customary default proposition or if we ask them to go to the spending levels that they just agreed to in all of their appropriations measures, i think that we are in reasonably good shape with the american people that say the democrats are not being unreasonable holding the republicans to what they just agreed to. so, i doubt that this is a confrontation that they want. this is to a significant degree another circumstance of the republican party getting close to catching a bus they've been chasing for a long time and then not knowing what to do with it when they caught it just like healthcare. thank you very much.
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