Enzi, Whitehouse, Brown, Collins, Landrieu

Energy Efficiency bill (S. 1392)

Senator Enzi: (4:27 PM)
  • Spoke on Enzi amendment #1863 (regional haze program).
    • SUMMARY "It promotes the right of a state to deal with its own problems, it returns the regulation of regional haze to where it properly belongs, in the hands of state officials who are more familiar with the problem and the best ways to address it. I hope my colleagues will support my effort. The Environmental Protection Agency's move to partially disapprove the state of Wyoming's regional haze plan will create an economic and bureaucratic nightmare that will have a devastating impact on western economies. The proposal by EPA ignores more than a decade's worth of work on this subject by officials in my home state and seems to be more designed to regulate coal out of existence than to regulate haze. The haze we most need to regulate, in fact, seems to be the one that's clouding the vision of the EPA as it promotes a plan that would impose onerous regulations on power plants that will pass the increased costs in the form of higher energy prices on to consumers. That tells me the EPA's purpose is to ensure that no the country to impose its chosen agenda on the nation is wasted. It doesn't seem to matter to them that their proposed rule flies directly in the face of the state's transitional and legal role in addressing air quality issues."

Senator Whitehouse: (4:45 PM)
  • Spoke on Whitehouse amendment #1852 (multifamily residential units).
    • SUMMARY "The Department of Housing and Urban Development for properties that they manage, if they don't have the capital to be able to go back into that property and do retro fits and install efficiency measures that will bring down their cost of electricity, this amendment would allow them to contract with the private sector to bring in private capital to achieve those energy savings. And there are significant restrictions in here that will protect taxpayers. Any money that goes back to these investors comes out of energy savings. Only out of energy savings. If something goes wrong and the energy savings don't materialize, the investors lose the taxpayers and the government are held harmless. Thanks to an amendment to the bill as we are drafting it by Senator Coburn of Oklahoma, we've even specifically exempted the administrative costs of HUD in administering the bill. Those have to be paid before the investors take their profits. But once the investors are paid back, you now have a more efficient building and savings for taxpayers over the long haul. In addition, it reduces our energy footprint, increases our energy independence and reduces HUD buildings' contribution to ill effects like pollution and climate change."

Senator Brown-OH: (5:09 PM)
  • Honored Jesse Owens.

Senator Collins: (5:52 PM)
  • Spoke on the Syria Resolution.
    • SUMMARY "One of the criteria for the use of military force is surely whether or not the adversary poses an imminent threat to the American people. More than once President Obama has stated that Syria's chemical weapons and delivery systems do not pose a direct imminent threat to the United States. Neither the United States nor any of our allies have been attacked with chemical weapons. Instead, President Obama justifies the attack that he is proposing as a response to the violation of international norms, despite the fact that we currently lack international partners to enforce the convention on chemical weapons through military means. Although the term limited airstrikes sounds less threatening, the fact is even limited airstrikes constitute an act of war. If bombs were dropped from the air or cruise missiles were launched into an American city, we would certainly consider that to be an act of war. And that is why this decision is fraught with consequences. American military strikes against the Assad regime, in my judgment, risk entangling the United States in the middle of a protracted, dangerous and ugly civil war. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned us that the use of U.S. military force - quote - "cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious, and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict." The introduction of American armed forces into this violent conflict could escalate to the point where we are perceived to be or actually are involved in a Syrian civil war or a proxy war with Hezbollah or Iran. In this complex conflict, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to sort out the good guys from the bad."

Senator Landrieu: (6:16 PM)
  • Spoke on the WRDA bill.
    • SUMMARY "Unfortunately for unexplained public reasons today - which we will find out as soon as we can and report - the House of Representatives, the leadership decided to drop probably the most important project in the bill for Louisiana, and that project is Morganza I tell you I don't have the power to do this. I do not. But if I did and if I were the governor, and I don't think he has the power but if I could, but he doesn't and I don't â€" I'd shut down every rig in the Gulf of Mexico until this United States Congress gives the people of Louisiana the money we need to keep ourselves safe from drowning, from flooding, and I'd turn the lights off in Washington, and in New York and in Maine. We are tired of it. The people in our state cannot survive without levees and the country cannot survive without our people living where we do to fish, to run the maritime, to run the oil and gas industry, and homer, Louisiana, does not deserve this. Terrebonne Parish doesn't deserve it and our delegation is not going to stand for it. My message to the speaker of the House and my delegation in the House and that House is that bill will never see the light of day unless Morganza is put back."
  • Spoke on the Energy Efficiency bill.
    • SUMMARY "The first, I'm offering with Senator Wicker and Senator Pryor would ensure the green building rating systems... do not put at a disadvantage the materials that meet the new standards of energy efficiency in the underlying bill. There was some question about how the bill was initially worded when it came out of the Committee of Energy that it would disqualify some domestic materials. And that would have a very devastating effect on our lumber and forestry industry, as well as others ... Secondly, I want to offer an amendment for senator wicker and myself that would ensure that small companies are excused from the requirements to submit their products for expensive third-party testing to achieve energy star certification."