(Senate - June 18, 1998)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Pages S6524-S6529]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the pending business.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 2138) making appropriations for energy and water 
     development for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1999.

  The Senate resumed consideration of the bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I will shortly be sending an amendment to 
the desk. Let me just explain to my colleagues what it is I am 
attempting to do.
  This is not the first time I have been on the floor of the Senate 
talking ``trash,'' not the kind of trash that immediately comes to mind 
when you use that phrase but trash meaning garbage. In fact, another 
Senator just came by a few minutes ago and said, ``This amendment you 
are offering is garbage.'' I said, ``You are exactly right; it is 
garbage.'' It is all about garbage. It is all about municipal solid 
waste, which is a diplomatic term for garbage, the stuff that each of 
us throws out every day from our kitchen--puts in a plastic bag, puts 
out at the curb once or twice a week, picked up by a local truck and 
taken to what we think is a local landfill nearby.
  Unfortunately, the State I come from, Indiana, has become the local 
landfill for a number of States that do not have enough landfill 
capacity or find it cheaper to load it on a train, load it on a truck, 
send it overnight down our Nation's railways or highways, and drop it 
off in the State of Indiana. Over the past several years, we have been 
the recipient of millions upon millions upon millions of tons of out-
of-State trash without any ability as a State to put reasonable 
restraints and restrictions on receipt of that out-of-State trash in 
order to manage our environment and manage our own destiny in terms of 
how we dispose of this municipal solid waste.
  The Supreme Court has denied States their individual efforts to 
regulate this, saying that it is a violation of the commerce clause of 
the Constitution. But the courts have also been clear to point out the 
fact that if Congress affirmatively enacts legislation or constraints 
on the importation of out-of-State trash, or exportation of out-of-
State trash, it will be constitutionally acceptable. It is just simply 
one of those areas where States cannot do it individually but Congress 
can give them the authority to do that.
  We have learned a lot of things over the last several years. I have 
offered this legislation now five times. This is the sixth. We offered 
it in 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, and in 1996, and in each of those years 
the Senate has passed this legislation. We now come here for the sixth 
time because we have been unable to secure passage in the other House, 
or, when we have, it has been dropped in conference. Various other 
means have been used to defeat the purpose of finally accomplishing 
what I believe is a reasonable restraint and reasonable solution to the 
problem that we face.
  Now, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls have won six titles. This 
is my sixth try to win one. I have five defeats, and I hope not to get 
the sixth defeat. So that we have Jordan and the Bulls on the one hand 
carrying around the trophy with astounding success, and we have Coats 
on the other hand loaded up with bags of trash brought in from out of 
State marked X defeat in 1990; X defeat in 1992; X defeat in 1994, et 
cetera, et cetera.
  Now, I cannot blame my colleagues in the Senate. I cannot do that 
because through negotiation each time we have been able to work out our 
differences. We have been able to recognize that there are exporting 
States that have needs and there are importing States that have 
problems, and that finding a solution that merely benefits the 
importing States puts the exporting States in a very difficult 
  So with the help of my friend from New York, Senator D'Amato, and the 
help of my friends, on a bipartisan basis we have been able to reach an 
accommodation which recognizes the need for importing States to have to 
have reasonable restraints on the amount that they can handle and at 
the same time gives those exporting States time to put in place 
mechanisms of their own to deal with their trash or to enter into 
arrangements with our State so that we can have some type of reasonable 
control over that.

  We have learned those lessons, sometimes the hard way, but we have 
always been able to reach an agreement and a consensus, and the Senate 
has been tremendously supportive in the end of my efforts to do this. I 
am disappointed that we have not had that same kind of support in the 
House of Representatives. I hope we can as we try once again to 
convince our colleagues that this is a problem that needs a solution, 
that we have a solution that takes care of the problems that are facing 
importing States as well as exporting States.
  The amendment I am going to offer today is the interstate solid waste 
title of S. 534, which passed twice in the last Congress. That title 
was carefully negotiated. What we are offering is that title in its 
entirety with a minor modification. We are even now negotiating that 
modification as I speak.

[[Page S6525]]

  Specifically, to repeat what I have said on this floor many times, 
this amendment will allow a Governor, if requested by an affected local 
community, to ban out-of-State solid waste at landfills or incinerators 
that did not receive out-of-State municipal solid waste in 1993, a 
benchmark year.
  Let me repeat that because it is a critical point to understand. A 
Governor is given the authority to ban receipt of out-of-State waste at 
a landfill that did not receive out-of-State waste in 1993 if, and only 
if, it is requested by the local community. If the local community 
wants to receive the out-of-State waste, if they want to enter into a 
contract with a hauler or the State wants to enter into a contract with 
another State, they are permitted to do so. The Governor only has the 
authority if the community asks him to do so and if they meet the test 
in terms of whether or not they received the waste in 1993. The 
Governor is also given the authority to freeze, not eliminate but 
freeze, out-of-State municipal solid waste at 1993 levels at landfills 
and incinerators that received solid waste during 1993. The Governor, 
however, may not ban or limit municipal solid waste imports to 
landfills or incinerators if they have what is called a host community 
agreement that specifically authorizes out-of-State waste. So if a 
community wants it, fine. But if a community feels it is overwhelmed 
and cannot receive it, then it can request the Governor to either ban 
or freeze, depending on the particular situation that exists.
  Just as an example of this, we have small communities, small 
counties, in Indiana with landfills that were designed to serve the 
solid waste needs of those communities within that jurisdiction, say, 
for a 20- or 25-year period of time. They have gone out on a limb with 
a bond issue or they have come up with the financing to finance this 
landfill, and they suddenly find that in the period of 12 months or 18 
months the entire landfill is filled to capacity, leaving the solid 
waste jurisdiction in dire straits, no longer able to take care of 
their own generated municipal solid waste simply because their landfill 
was clogged up and filled up with waste coming not from their area, not 
even within their State, but sometimes long hauled halfway across the 
country or brought down from another State so it is totally out of 
their control.
  Since we started offering this amendment, shipments across the 
borders have continued. Large importers continue to be adversely 
impacted. We have been a net importer in the State of Indiana for over 
7 years. In 1996, we imported 1.8 million tons of out-of-State trash. 
Last year, we received the largest amount ever, 2.7 million tons. From 
1996 to 1997, our trash imports have increased by 37 percent and our 
hands are tied. We cannot control what comes across our borders and 
into our landfills unless we have legislation that gives us the 
authority to do that.
  I do not want to take a lot of time; I know we are trying to move 
this bill along. Let me just conclude by saying I am not arguing for an 
outright ban on all waste shipments between States. There are examples 
of effective and efficient cross-border waste management. My own State 
of Indiana has several communities which have traditionally worked with 
other communities in neighboring States to receive solid waste. But we 
must give States some role in making waste management decisions. 
Without congressional authority, we will be unable to play any role 

  We must have a say in how much we receive. We must have the ability 
to enter into contracts. We do have to recognize the needs of exporting 
States, but we also have to balance those needs with importing States. 
We have legislation, which this Senate has passed overwhelmingly on a 
bipartisan basis, with exporters and importers agreeing that this is a 
proper balance. I am simply reintroducing what has already been 
accepted by this Senate with, as I said, a modest modification that 
even at this point we are discussing with export States to see if we 
can reach some agreement on that so this legislation can go forward.

                           Amendment No. 2716

  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I send the amendment to the desk and ask 
for its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Indiana [Mr. Coats] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 2716.

  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the 
amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:
  (The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record under 
``Amendments Submitted.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. D'AMATO. Mr. President, I am very appreciative of the problems 
which Senator Coats has alluded to as they relate to those States which 
are the recipients of large amounts of refuse, solid waste that comes 
from other States. Indeed, if I were a Senator from one of those States 
in which local communities, sometimes private landfill operations, 
enter into agreements and take large quantities, millions of tons of 
solid waste coming in, I would certainly understand why it is the 
Governor and/or the local officials would like to have some control 
with respect to the amount that comes in.
  Having said that, I am appreciative of the Senator's recognition of 
our concern, notwithstanding that we are a State, New York, that 
exports millions of tons annually because we simply do not have the 
ability to keep it, and are now closing down the largest landfill in 
the world, which will be closed in the year 2001. This is a concern to 
us, a very important and valid concern to the City of New York and to 
the State as well. If a law, and/or an agreement is entered into which 
would preclude us from using those areas for which we have negotiated 
long-term contracts, and indeed would restrict us, particularly at a 
time when landfills are closing down in New York and the problem will 
become more acute, we recognize we have to deal with those problems.
  Indeed, there are a number of contingencies which are being examined 
to dispose of this waste in the most environmentally sound and cost-
effective manner. Plans are being developed, facilities are being 
built, land sites, new land sites within the State, are being utilized. 
There are a number and variety of communities that have entered into 
programs to recycle and to cut down on the volume. However, this is a 
monumental problem. Therefore, I appreciate the recognition by my 
colleague and friend of this problem, and I am going to ask that we 
have an opportunity--and I recognize people want to move on with this 
bill--to examine it carefully.
  I tell you, I respect, again, the candor of my colleague, Senator 
Coats, when the fact is the threshold, the ratcheting down threshold 
has been reduced from when last this legislation was accepted. We 
passed this overwhelmingly and we worked together cooperatively, and I 
think it passed by something like 94 to 6. It was an overwhelming vote. 
But that was in 1995. Since then, while the Senator is pointing out 
that his State is getting more garbage, we are producing more that does 
not go into landfills within our State, and therefore ratcheting down 
is something we could not feel comfortable with. This Senator could not 
say we will be ready to accept limitations that are further eroded and 
reduced. That is a very real problem.
  Second, the legislation is tied to a date, as my colleague indicates, 
that says, ``those landfills that were receiving material, solid waste 
from out of State, as of 1993.''
  There have been, I am sure, a number of landfills that have opened up 
since 1993. So what this legislation would do, if passed in its present 
form, it would effectively deny New York or other States that export 
garbage the opportunity to continue that relationship they have with 
landfills or operations that have opened subsequent to 1993. I have to 
tell you, I do not know at this point how many tons of waste we would 
then not be able to dispose of, but it could be significant. If we were 
to have had a dozen additional sites nationwide opened up, we 
would find ourselves in a situation where we could no longer use them 
to dispose of any of the waste.

  So I would have to ask my friend to consider updating the 1993 date 
as a date to determine how you would ratchet this down. It would 
certainly have to be something closer to--and, indeed, in 1995 we used 
1993. It would seem to me as we are into 1998, we

[[Page S6526]]

would expect at least that same kind of consideration. Without even 
studying it, it would seem to me we would have to put in that date, if 
we are going to maintain some kind of symmetry. Those landfills that 
were in operation as of 1996, that that would be appropriate if we are 
going to maintain symmetry.
  Again, I haven't had a chance to check this with our State and 
ascertain whether in this short time they could tell us how many 
landfill sites have been opened, even between 1996 and today. But that 
is a concern, and I share that with my colleague.
  We have not had an opportunity to really discuss this. Yet, I am 
deeply appreciative of his concerns and his offer to try to work this 
out. So I hope that before attempting to move to vote on this, that we 
could see if we cannot get some cooperative agreement. I do not know 
what other colleagues in some of the exporting States would feel, but I 
am still of a mind that if we can be accommodating and meet our needs, 
I want to do that. But these are two very real concerns.
  No. 1, we cannot ratchet down an amount when we are producing more 
garbage than ever before, one that we had agreed to back in 1995. And, 
second, we would have to do something with the date of grandfathering 
those landfills. We would have to bring them up to a more current 
position so as to determine those which we may be using today which we 
were not using heretofore.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Might I ask the Senator from New York, and the Senator 
from Indiana, are they going to try to iron out the differences that 
have been alluded to?
  Mr. COATS. I would hope we could. I talked to the Senator from New 
York, indicating we are flexible in terms of moving this on. I agree 
with the Senator there may be some need to have additional 
negotiations. Since the Senate passed this before and this language has 
been acceptable, we could agree to go back to the original ratchet, the 
original number used as the baseline for ratcheting down. We dropped it 
100,000 tons--we could go back to the 750,000, if that would be 
acceptable and allow us to go forward with this. There is no way we 
can, I believe, derive an answer to the Senator's second 
question, which is using 1999 as a different base than 1993.

  I assumed all along, based on the assurances given to us by the 
Senator from New York and other exporting States in the past, that 
development of in-State facilities was accommodating more and more of 
their municipal waste. In fact, I was assured of that several years 
ago. If they just had a 2-, 3-, 4-year flexibility, they would have 
their own in-State capacity or at least have the capacity that would 
allow them not to significantly increase the exports.
  I think we can work that out. I would like, obviously, to move this 
along and pass the bill. We all know it is a long way from ever getting 
to conference because of concerns in the House on other issues. But if 
there is any way the Senator from New York can see to, one, agree to 
our offer to go back to the original figure on the ratchet basis from 
650,000 to 750,000 and then my assurances that we will work with him 
and work with Members of the House and his delegation to address this 
other question--which I don't think we have the answer to at this point 
and can't get it in the short amount of time that the chairman wants to 
move this appropriations bill--I am certainly open to that.
  Mr. REID addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, if I can address a question to the Senator 
from Indiana.
  Do you know if your staff has had conversations with the senior 
Senator from New Jersey? Because he usually has had a question on this.
  Mr. COATS. We have not. All I know is, what we are offering here is 
exactly what the Senator from New Jersey agreed to and voted for in the 
  Mr. REID. I will say, on the minority side, we will be willing to 
accept this. I do have to get a clearance from Senator Lautenberg, who 
is testifying at this time, and I am sure we can get that done very 
  Mr. COATS. I think it is important that I go forward and ask 
unanimous consent to modify my amendment to change the figure on page 
  Mr. DOMENICI. I say to the Senator, I don't think you need unanimous 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has a right to modify his 

                    Amendment No. 2716, As Modified

  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I would like to modify my amendment by 
changing the figure on line 25, page 2, of the amendment from ``650,000 
tons'' to ``750,000 tons.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is so modified.
  Mr. COATS. With that, Mr. President, I will tell the Senator from 
Nevada that he can assure the senior Senator from New Jersey that what 
is being offered here is identical to what was offered and agreed to in 
the past by the Senator and is exactly the same legislation in regard 
to the municipal solid waste section of that bill.
  Mr. D'AMATO. Mr. President, let me say this: First of all, I 
appreciate the Senator's recognition of the fact that the ratchet 
figure has to be the same, or should be, and moving to do that. I 
understand he brings these requests at the request of his Governor. I 
do have a very serious concern, and that is, if one reads the 
legislation, it says:

       In 1999 a State may ban 95 percent of the amount exported 
     to a State in 1993.

  That is a serious concern, understanding that, again, we are now 3 
years further down the road. I don't know what the impact will be 
today. It is one thing to say, ``Well, we agreed to that 3 years ago.'' 
I am concerned, and, again, if we are going to talk about symmetry, at 
the very least it seems to me that that figure will have to read 
``exported to a State in 1996,'' so that we maintain the same 2 years, 
the 2-year differential.
  I feel much more comfortable in saying let's move the process. And, 
indeed, if there are other things that have to be done, hopefully in 
conference we can work that out with the assurance of the chairman and 
the ranking member that we can deal with other areas. But these are 
issues of very significant proportions as they relate to our local 

  While I can understand the concern when an area is being inundated 
and people feel there is nothing they can do--the local legislatures--I 
understand that. I ask my colleague to understand what our concerns are 
if we have no place and valid contracts have been entered into 
subsequent to 1993 and we find now, as a result of moving along with 
this, they no longer have a place to dispose of it.
  Even moving it to 1996, I say, may not be sufficient, because we may 
have--and not in the State of Indiana, but in other jurisdictions--
opened up facilities or are presently using facilities that have been 
opened maybe last year, and here I am in a position that I will be 
agreeing that these facilities will no longer be possibly available to 
us. That is why I am concerned, absent that information.
  If we go along with the year 1996, I hope my friend will recognize 
that is a very real accommodation, as opposed to 1993, and then take it 
on good faith that we will examine this, so that even if it goes to 
conference, we might have to lodge some kind of objection if we found 
that subsequent to 1996 there were facilities that were open that were 
substantial and necessary for us to accommodate the disposal of this 
waste. I want to be accommodating, but I have to state it in this 
manner so that we can both protect the interests of our States and our 
citizens. I think that is about as far as I can go on this.
  Mr. COATS addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, in response to the Senator from New York, I 
will state a couple of things.
  No. 1, we passed this legislation in 1996. So the agreement that we 
had reached relative to using 1993 was acceptable to the State of New 
York, the State of New Jersey, and other exporters just in the last 
Congress. In fact, we passed it twice in the last Congress. There was 
no request at that time, in 1996, to change the base year from--in 
fact, we offered 1993 or 1994, and 1993 was a more acceptable year--
there was no request then to address the concern that the Senator from 
New York has just raised relative to having to change

[[Page S6527]]

that base year to accommodate what might be perceived as increased 
  Secondly, I will state again for the Record that we have been 
repeatedly assured by exporters--by exporting States that all they 
needed was a little bit of time to develop more of their own capacity 
and that actually I think it would be just as logical a request from 
the Senator from Indiana or anybody from an importing State to request 
that we use a lower amount rather than a higher amount, because 10 
years ago everybody said, this won't be a problem; 10 years ago, people 
said 5 years from then it wouldn't be a problem, because all they 
needed was 3 or 4 years to sort of get their own act together.
  We understood that, and we understood the prodigious volumes of 
municipal waste they were generating. The population in the Senator's 
State I don't believe has significantly increased. In fact, I think 
they are losing population.
  I don't know that they are necessarily generating more waste, unless 
people are eating more than they used to. It might be. The economy is 
good. Maybe there is more waste to dispose of. My daughter has moved to 
New York, so my wife and I go up and we eat out. I suppose that is out-
of-State consumption. We try to eat everything we order, I will state 
for the record, so that we don't generate any more waste that can be 
sent back to Indiana. I don't think it is good for the Senator from 
Indiana to go to New York, generate waste that then is packed up that 
night and shipped by truck and dumped in my landfill in my hometown.
  I don't understand the need to increase or to look on the assertion 
or the basis that they have less disposal capacity now than before when 
we have been assured on the floor that all they needed was just a few 
years to provide more in-State capacity and that would alleviate our 
problem. We have made very significant concessions in terms of 
addressing the concerns of the exporting States.
  My original legislation that I offered back in 1990 gave the Governor 
the outright authority to flat out ban any garbage from out of State. 
And that passed the U.S. Senate.
  We have the votes to do that. There are about 31 States that are 
importers. They are the ones that get dumped on. There are just a 
handful of States that generate the exports. But we recognize that 
problem. They are high-density States and generate a lot of waste.
  We recognized their problem. And we address their problem. And, in so 
doing, we made considerable concessions about what we would continue to 
receive, that if a community or a municipal waste disposal jurisdiction 
wanted to take out-of-State waste, enter into a contract to do that, 
why, we would allow that to take place. We said the Governor could not 
outright ban; he could only freeze at certain levels.
  We adjusted the baseline amounts so that we would continue to receive 
prodigious amounts of waste--all trying to be a good neighbor, trying 
to help out a State until they could develop their own disposal 
  Now, New York is a big State. There is a lot of room in New York to 
put--a lot bigger than the State of Indiana. I just assumed----
  Mr. D'AMATO. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. COATS. I will be happy to yield in a moment.
  I just assumed the State of New York was taking advantage of some of 
that space outside of Manhattan to address those needs and by now we 
would not even need to be here addressing this. But something has not 
happened; therefore, I think to go back to the original agreement that 
gives States some authority to make reasonable rules relative to how 
much they receive and so that they can manage their own environmental 
affairs, something that has been approved and accepted by every Member 
in this body in the past, I think that is a reasonable way to proceed.
  I just answer the Senator from New York by saying, I think it would 
be just as reasonable if I were here asking for lower baseline numbers 
rather than higher, but I am willing to stay where we were because that 
is what we worked so hard to agree on just in the last Congress.
  Mr. D'AMATO. Well, if the Senator would yield just for an 
observation, and I observe--and I am looking at the summary of the 
amendment. When I look at the summary of the amendment, as drawn, it 
says, in 1999, greater than 1.4 million tons or 90 percent of the 
amount exported in 1993. Now, what we would be agreeing to is that 
within less than 6 months--within 5\1/2\ months--that we would agree 
that the following amounts could not be greater than 1.4 million tons 
or 90 percent of the amount exported in 1993. What I am saying is, I am 
willing to go along with the 1.4 million tons or 90 percent of that 
exported in 1996. OK.
  Now, let me also say that in 1 year and 5\1/2\ months--if you go to 
the next year--it says in 2000, greater than 1.3 million tons. You go 
down to 1.3 million or 90 percent of the amount exported in 1999.
  So what I am suggesting is that I cannot in good conscience support 
an agreement when I do not know what we have done between 1993 and to 
date. But I am willing to take it up to 1996. And we are talking about 
5 months. And then within a year you get the second figure that 
triggers off. So I am just talking about 1 year.
  You cannot ask us to put ourselves in the position to have us sign 
off on this. I think even taking 1996 is Russian roulette to the 
extent--I hate to say it is Russian roulette--but at least there is a 
symmetry between what we did before. And I only do this on the basis 
that when we go to conference, if indeed we have some severe problems, 
I will notify the committee. And if the Governor's office advises us 
there is no way they can possibly do it, I will notify the committee. 
And I think they would act responsibly to make the necessary changes or 
to drop the legislation.

  I have to be candid with you on this, so I suggest that is about as 
far as I could possibly go at this time. And I do it in the spirit of 
  Mr. COATS. So Mr. President, as I understand it, the Senator is 
proposing that relative to the export ratchet----
  Mr. D'AMATO. Yes.
  Mr. COATS. Only for the year 1999----
  Mr. D'AMATO. No.
  Mr. COATS. The first line of the summary--only for the year 1999, the 
Senator would like to change the base year from 1993 to 1996.
  Mr. D'AMATO. That is right.
  Mr. COATS. Is that correct?
  Mr. D'AMATO. Sure. That is correct. And what I am suggesting--in 
other words, in 1999, 1.4 million or 90 percent of the amount exported 
in 1996; and I hope we can get that amount. Hopefully, the State will 
be able to give us those numbers, and hopefully all States would be 
able to give us those numbers. And thereafter I would say we have an 
agreement, because we are then holding to--if you read in 2000, it says 
greater than 1.3 million tons or 90 percent of the amount exported in 
1999. So we are, then, at least, taking it on a rational basis as it 
relates to how much was actually exported.
  Mr. COATS. Well, let me say this to the Senator. First of all, I know 
that, given the 4 weeks we spent on the tobacco legislation, things are 
desperately behind. We are desperately behind the curve, and I know the 
Senate is anxious to move this appropriations bill forward as well as 
the agriculture appropriations, which I believe is coming next.
  In the interest of expediting that schedule, I would be willing to 
accept that change offered by the Senator from New York if it would 
allow us to move forward, and with the understanding that we have a 
mutual agreement here to sit down and try to work this out.
  Mr. D'AMATO. If there are any other--yes.
  Mr. COATS. Given the fact that we do not have the answers to the 
question, I think the Senator and I--and we worked on this before--we 
could probably work out an acceptable arrangement which could help 
everybody. If we could get that assurance and move forward with it, I 
would be willing to make that change.
  Mr. REID addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. I am grateful to both Senators for trying to work this 
matter out. Senator Lautenberg--I have spoken to him on the telephone. 
His staff is here on the floor. He should be here

[[Page S6528]]

momentarily. Hopefully, he will sign off on this after speaking to the 
two, the Senator from Indiana and the Senator from New York.
  Mr. D'AMATO. Let me again suggest that with those two changes, the 
change of the 750,000 tons, which the Senator has already made in his 
amendment, and that of changing the 1999 agreement to reflect the 
amount exported in 1996, if the Senator would make that amendment, I am 
willing then to accept the amendment with the proviso and understanding 
and the gentlemen's agreement being that any other difficulties we will 
see if we can work out. And then we would rely on the committee 
chairman and the ranking member to help us and aid us in any further 
legislative language that might be needed.
  Mr. COATS. Well, Mr. President, I certainly think we have the makings 
of an offer here, if we can get clearance from the rest--the Senator 
from New Jersey who helped in the past to reach this compromise. 
Obviously, nothing has changed. In fact, it probably changed a little 
marginally for the better for the Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. COATS. Yes.
  Mr. DOMENICI. I think if you want to work on that language --and I 
understand Senator Lautenberg is going to have to express his views; 
and he will be here momentarily. I wonder, I say to the Senator, if you 
might agree with me that Senator Allard from Colorado, who wants to 
speak to the bill--he is not going to offer an amendment--could speak 
for up to 10 minutes while you are working on this.
  Mr. COATS. I have no objection.
  Mr. ALLARD addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. ALLARD. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues. I want to thank the 
chairman for allowing me the time to speak for a few minutes on the 
  I rise in support of Senate bill 2138 making an appropriation for 
energy and water development. I also want to make a few comments in 
regard to the Jeffords-Harkin amendment, which was adopted a little bit 
earlier on in the day, which was to restore funding to the renewable 
energy account in the 1999 energy and water appropriations bill we are 
now debating.
  First of all, I thank the chairman for his diligence and hard work in 
working with my office on issues that are very important to the State 
of Colorado. Last year, you worked hard with our delegation, and are 
continuing to work with this delegation. I am comfortable with the 
legislation in the form that it is being reported out of the Senate.
  I also recognize that there is a lot of work, or some work, that has 
to be done in conference committee and maybe a few issues yet that 
still have to be resolved as far as this particular bill is concerned.
  Let me just say a little bit about the priorities that I have as 
somebody who represents Colorado and what I am thinking about as far as 
those priorities are concerned. First of all, research programs that 
will benefit from this funding should be a national priority. They are 
energy-type research, and they are very, very important to the future 
of this country and having us not rely on foreign sources for our 
energy. It is well known that nearly half of all our Nation's oil is 
imported and that these imports account for 36 percent of the U.S. 
trade deficit.
  American renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies help 
offset fuel imports. They build our domestic economy, and they 
strengthen our national security. Renewable power is an attractive 
energy source for the future. Alternative fuels such as propane, 
natural gas, ethanol, and methanol are clean fuels and are largely free 
of the pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act. Renewable energy will 
provide clean and inexhaustible energy for millions of consumers.
  Specifically, funding for renewable energy technology is important to 
my home State of Colorado. My State supports several energy-efficient 
pilot programs as well as established renewable energy sources. Some of 
the Nation's best wind and solar resources are in Colorado, and many of 
my constituents currently rely on renewable energy.
  These are not far-fetched research projects that we are talking 
about. My State, for example, has many ranchers who are currently using 
sun and wind energy in the management of their lands, providing for 
their energy needs.
  Colorado is also the proud home of the National Renewable Energy 
Laboratory, referred to as NREL--the leading renewable energy research 
laboratory in the Nation, I might add. NREL conducts the needed 
research and develops and demonstrates sustainable-energy technologies. 
This lab relies heavily on the funding included in this amendment.
  In addition, there are many entrepreneurs who are counting on funding 
from the Department of Energy to continue improving and increasing 
availability of renewable energy technology. There are 132 businesses 
in Colorado that specialize in renewable-energy-related products and 
services. Congress must continue to support research for renewable 
  We also need to support the partnerships among the Government 
research entities, universities, and businesses. These cooperative 
efforts ensure that the research produces applicable results and 
furthers our goal of increasing our use of renewable energy resources.

  In past years, I have sponsored environmental awareness seminars with 
Colorado State University to promote the use of alternate fuels. I am a 
former member of the House Renewable Energy Caucus, and I recently 
became the chairman of the newly formed bipartisan Senate Renewable and 
Energy Efficiency Caucus. I am a strong proponent of using renewable 
energy sources, and I believe we should continue to support that 
research, perfect the technology, and expand the use of renewable 
  I thank my colleagues from Vermont and Delaware for their efforts to 
protect funding for renewable energy.
  The next point I want to make is very, very important. While I do 
support the intent of the Jeffords-Roth amendment, I want to highlight 
one portion that I hope the conferees will change. One of the offsets 
included in the amendment is a 1.5 percent decrease in funding for 
cleanup of nondefense nuclear sites that are no longer utilized. One of 
those sites is the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, which I 
will talk about further a little bit later on. My hope is to have this 
site cleaned up by 2006. In order to do that, it will require every 
dollar that has been appropriated for it in this bill. While in this 
instance I support the Roth-Harkin amendment, in the future I will have 
difficulty doing so if this same offset is included. In other words, 
the priority as far as my State is concerned, we spend every dollar to 
clean up Rocky Flats, but if we can do that, if we can put more money 
in renewable labs without taking away from the dollars, I can be 
supportive. I want it clear that my top priority is the cleanup of the 
Rocky Flats facility.
  On that topic, Mr. President, I further thank Mr. Domenici and Mr. 
Reid for their hard work on the energy and water appropriations 
  There is a lot of talk about surpluses nowadays. While I know that 
Mr. Domenici's subcommittee was not the beneficiary of any surplus, 
therefore it is a very pleasant surprise that he was able to find the 
funds necessary for an accelerated cleanup of Rocky Flats. In fact, I 
note that he provides $32 million over the administration's request to 
be sure that we remain as close to a 2006 closure date for Rocky Flats 
as possible.
  As Mr. Domenici knows, this has been a very important issue for me 
since I came to the Senate last year. The basis of my concern is the 
proximity of Rocky Flats to over 2 million Coloradans. This makes the 
site one of the biggest potential threats to the Denver metro area. 
Rocky Flats is home to tons of plutonium that needs to be removed from 
Colorado. The funding in this bill will help achieve that end.
  Furthermore, I note the dramatic upward swing in funding from fiscal 
year 1997 to date. In fiscal year 1997, $487 million was appropriated 
for Rocky Flats cleanup. In fiscal year 1998, that number jumped to 
$632 million. Today's bill proposes $657 million for cleanup. If we can 
hold this amount, we should be able to safeguard this material and 
close Rocky Flats in an expeditious manner.
  Again, I close my remarks by complimenting the chairman on his hard 
work on both the budget and this appropriations bill and tell him how 

[[Page S6529]]

much I appreciate his sensitivity to the problems we have in my State, 
particularly in regard to cleanup of Rocky Flats.

  I yield back the remainder of my time.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, let me say to Senator Allard and to the 
people of your State, because the community of interests have come 
together--and much of that is attributable to your leadership--we are 
now able to say to all of the country that we finally have one of these 
sites that must be cleaned up, that has a date, a date certain, that it 
will be cleaned up. Now, that is a rarity.
  If the American people knew how long it takes us to clean up one of 
these sites because of a variety of reasons--some of which are not very 
good, yet we are stuck with them--they would be delighted, as I am, 
that we now have one that can be cleaned up and completed and we can 
say this is part of history in that area, and the surrounding 
communities are rid of this waste.
  We saw that daylight, and we put in extra money. We are not 
apologetic in a tight budget year to say we put more in because we have 
to have some successes. We are busy spending our taxpayers dollars in 
projects of cleanup that we cannot even tell you will ever get cleaned 
up. Some of the things causing that we can't even change here on the 
floor of the Senate unless we go back and undo State law and have more 
hearings and look at contracts. Maybe that ought to be done, because 
there is a bit of irrationality regarding some of the projects of 
cleanup that now turn out to be situations where, when the project was 
in full bloom and operating to produce whatever it was producing for 
the nuclear deterrent system, they had fewer workers then than they 
have cleaning up. The Senator probably found that in his research as he 
familiarized himself with this particular dilemma.
  I am very pleased that people like you went to the community and 
clearly indicated that there aren't a lot of options. If they don't 
want to let some of these things happen, it will all stay there. You 
told me that. You took the lead in convincing many people that those 
who didn't want one thing done, unless it was absolutely beyond 
perfection, with no possible risks involved for anyone or anything, 
that we wouldn't move a bit of this waste under those conditions. I 
laud you for that. I am glad we found money to put in to take care of 
it quickly.
  Mr. ALLARD. If the Senator will yield for a moment, I will do 
everything in my power to make sure this money is spent wisely on that 
project. We are trying, through our office, to make sure it is well 
spent. My commitment to you is, we are working hard to help you in 
overseeing that it is spent responsibly.
  Again, we appreciate your sensitivity to the urgency of this 
matter. And like you, I hope that when we get this cleaned up, we can 
again clean up sites all over the country with similar situations. I 
appreciate the high priority you have given this particular site. I 
thank the chairman.

  (Mr. SMITH of Oregon assumed the Chair.)
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, we want to say to the leadership of the 
Senator's community there in his State, at least you understand we 
don't have a clean project that is going to go on forever. We are not 
past that stage in some areas. Some people think that paychecks by the 
hundreds of millions ought to be coming on for another 100 years. I 
don't know how we are going to be able to do that. Costs will keep 
going up. We have to find some satisfactory ways, with our 
intelligence, science, and innovation, to do some of these things 
better. That is what is happening there.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I wonder if the Senator from Michigan 
wants to state the purpose for going into morning business. Does he 
want 5 minutes as if in morning business, or 10 minutes?
  Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, I respond. Earlier today a resolution was 
introduced to commemorate the victory of the Detroit Red Wings. I would 
like to complete the action on that, and if we had 5, no more than 10 
minutes, certainly this would be done.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator 
from Michigan have up to 10 minutes for the purpose he just stated, and 
then, after that time has expired, we return to the pending business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from New Mexico.