EXPIRE ACT OF 2014--Motion To Proceed; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 68
(Senate - May 07, 2014)

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[Pages S2763-S2768]
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                 EXPIRE ACT OF 2014--Motion To Proceed

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I now move to proceed to Calendar No. 366, 
S. 2260.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the motion.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 366, 
     S. 2260, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to 
     extend certain expiring provisions, and for other purposes.

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time until 
3:45

[[Page S2764]]

p.m. be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their 
designees; that at 3:45 p.m. it be in order for the Republican leader 
or his designee to offer up to two motions to table either the motion 
to commit S. 2262 or an amendment pending with respect to that bill; 
that if more than one motion to table is made, there be 2 minutes 
equally divided between the votes.
  Mr. President, before you rule, I am agreeing to this, but I don't 
want this to set any precedent of any kind, because I personally 
believe these are out of order. But for purposes of moving through this 
afternoon, I ask this consent request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, on the floor is Senator Shaheen from New 
Hampshire. I have never had a Senator better prepared than she on any 
issue that we bring up, who is more concerned about her State, and has 
worked harder on an issue than she has worked on the issue now before 
this body.
  It is a shame that it appears my Republican counterpart has peeled 
off a couple of the cosponsors of this legislation, Republicans who 
aren't going to vote to finish this bill. What a shame. It happens 
every time we get to an issue which we are trying to move forward. It 
is the obstruction we have faced for going on 6 years. It is too bad. 
But I commend Senator Shaheen for her diligence. And I hope, prior to 
the final curtain call on Monday, we can work the next few days to try 
to come up with some way forward.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I thank the majority leader for his very 
kind words on my efforts, along with Senator Portman's, on this 
legislation. I certainly share the hope that we can come to some 
agreement on amendments that will allow us to move forward on the bill.
  Can the Presiding Officer tell me the status of the procedure right 
now?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. We are in divided time until 3:45.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. So I will have about 10 minutes for remarks. Is that 
correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority has 24 minutes.


                            Shaheen-Portman

  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I came to the floor this afternoon to 
again talk about the importance of this bipartisan Energy Savings and 
Industrial Competitiveness Act, also known as Shaheen-Portman.
  This legislation makes sense for all kinds of reasons, but I want to 
start with the fact that energy efficiency is the cheapest, fastest way 
to address this country's energy needs. The cheapest energy is energy 
we never have to create. So if we can reduce our energy consumption, we 
can save money.
  Not only will this legislation create jobs, reduce pollution, and 
make our country more energy secure, but it will also save taxpayers 
billions of dollars a year through energy efficiency.
  I would point to a study by the American Council for an Energy-
Efficient Economy which shows in greater detail what this poster points 
out: This bill is going to create jobs, reduce pollution, and save 
taxpayers billions of dollars.
  The legislation has been endorsed by over 260 businesses, 
organizations, environmental groups, and labor unions. It has a broad 
coalition of support. The legislation before us includes not just this 
bill as Senator Portman and I originally introduced it, but it includes 
10 bipartisan amendments which provide even more jobs, even more 
savings, and even more reduction in pollution.
  According to the study by experts at the American Council for an 
Energy-Efficient Economy, by 2030 our legislation has the potential to 
create 192,000 jobs here in America--192,000 domestic jobs--to save 
consumers and businesses $16 billion a year, and to reduce carbon 
pollution by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road.
  We have a poster which lays this out very directly so people can see 
the difference this legislation would make: By 2030, 192,000 new jobs, 
save consumers $16.2 billion a year, and decrease carbon pollution by 
the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road. So those are the 
benefits just by embracing energy efficiency. The legislation does this 
without any mandates, without increasing the deficit. In fact, all of 
the authorizations in this bill are offset and we even see a $12 
million deficit reduction, according to the Congressional Budget 
Office. We are going to be able to do all of this without a major 
government program, without increased government spending, without any 
mandates. The reason we are going to be able to do it is because there 
are opportunities that exist across all sectors of our economy to 
conserve energy and create good-paying, private sector jobs.

  Shaheen-Portman addresses a number of opportunities to do this by 
reducing barriers to efficiency in the major energy-consuming sectors 
of the national economy. First is in the building sector. Buildings in 
this country consume almost 40 percent of all of our energy use. It 
also addresses the industrial sector that consumes more energy than any 
other sector in our domestic economy, and then it addresses the Federal 
Government.
  The Federal Government is the biggest user of energy in our country. 
About 93 percent of that energy is used by the military. This 
legislation puts in place commonsense policies that deploy more 
efficient technologies and techniques. It has been endorsed by hundreds 
and hundreds of business coalitions, by environmental and efficiency 
groups, by labor unions, and we have seen a number of letters of 
support just in the last couple of weeks for this legislation. I 
introduced those into the Record yesterday.
  One of the reasons we get the number of jobs, the amount of savings 
and benefits from pollution is because since we first introduced the 
bill last year we have added 10 bipartisan amendments that make this 
bill even better. Senator Portman and I have worked closely and 
continually with Senators from both sides of the aisle as well as 
stakeholders and industry advocates who want to improve the bill, and 
we have incorporated their bipartisan, substantive amendments into the 
text. Those amendments expand sections of the bill that address energy 
efficiency barriers in buildings, the manufacturing sector, the Federal 
Government, and also puts in place regulatory relief provisions to 
maintain the underlying principle of advancing efficiency in the 
private sector.
  The bill enjoys even more support from groups such as the Edison 
Electric Institute, the Business Roundtable, the American Gas 
Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, 
the Painters and Allied Trades, and the Natural Resources Defense 
Council. It is unusual to have energy legislation that enjoys such a 
broad coalition of support from across many sectors.
  As we heard just now on the floor, there is a difference of opinion 
about how to move forward on both sides of the aisle. I am hopeful we 
can come to an agreement, that we can agree there are amendments both 
sides would like to see added to the bill, so that even though we have 
10 more amendments in this legislation than when we first introduced 
it, there could still be an opportunity, I hope, for some additional 
amendments to be added. That is what we are working on. I know 
everybody is acting in good faith to try to get that done. So I hope we 
can maintain the bipartisan spirit of this bill as Senator Portman and 
the Senate leadership and I work to see how we can come to an agreement 
that moves this legislation forward.
  I know there are others who would like to speak, and I hope to have 
an opportunity throughout the afternoon to add some more reasons why I 
think we should support this legislation.
  I ask unanimous consent that the remaining time during the quorum 
call be divided equally between both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Coons). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  Mr. BEGICH. 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. BEGICH. Mr. President, I come to speak in support of the Shaheen-
Portman bill, otherwise known as the Energy Savings and Industrial 
Competitiveness Act. As I like to put it, it

[[Page S2765]]

saves money and saves energy. Keep it simple.
  It comes at an important time, and it is no surprise that as someone 
from Alaska, I care about oil and gas issues, energy issues, energy 
efficiency. This is a bill that is important to talk about but also 
hopefully to pass and move to the House to take up.
  Conservation makes sense. It saves money and makes people more 
comfortable in their homes and workplaces and also is good for the 
economy and environment. It is particularly important to Alaska.
  Alaska's per capita energy costs are the highest in the Nation. We 
have long and cold winters, limited infrastructure in rural parts of 
the State, and we spend more on energy than anywhere else. So we have 
the most to gain from energy efficiency improvements. In Alaska, energy 
costs affect every aspect of life. Energy costs are driving people away 
from the traditional homes in rural Alaska. It is getting too expensive 
to heat even the smallest of homes. The cost of fuel to run your boat 
or snow machine for subsistence hunting and fishing is sky-high. In 
Fairbanks, AK, filling your fuel tank to heat your home could easily 
cost you $1,900, and that may only last half of the winter. Electric 
heat isn't much better. Right now in Fairbanks electricity costs 19 
cents per kilowatt, which is not a good alternative to heat your home. 
Bundling all the costs of energy together puts a lot of pressure on the 
pocketbook.
  That is why I fought to get a permit to restart the Healy coal plant 
and make sure the existing coal plant at the University of Alaska, 
Fairbanks, is exempt from EPA regulations. We need to stabilize energy 
costs while making investments in energy efficiency; otherwise, 
communities such as Fairbanks will become unaffordable to live in.
  For schools in Alaska, 75 percent of the energy costs goes into space 
heating. Money that is spent on heating and electricity is money they 
cannot spend in the classroom, making sure we have the best education 
for our young people. As an example, the State of Alaska alone spends 
$62 million a year on energy, one-tenth of the State's operating 
budget.
  Our State provides energy to the rest of the Nation. Yet our 
residents can't afford to live where they want to live or in many cases 
where their families have lived for generations. Energy efficiency can 
have an immediate and profound effect on the lives of people in these 
communities.
  The Shaheen-Portman bill is deficit neutral. It is estimated that by 
2030 it will save consumers $60 billion and create nearly 160,000 jobs, 
a good sign after this month's jobs report of almost 280,000 jobs added 
to the private sector and to our economy.
  I filed an amendment to provide a $5,000 tax credit toward the 
purchase of energy-efficient home heating and cooling appliances for 
families living in very high energy consumption States; for example, 
converting a home from expensive heating fuel to cleaner, more 
efficient natural gas or clean-burning woodstoves, even replacing 
appliances with newer and more energy-efficient models to cut back on 
electric use and lower energy bills. For example, an ENERGY STAR 
certified refrigerator uses 20 percent less energy than the current 
standard and 40 percent less energy than the standard in 2001.
  As many of my colleagues have expressed, it is disappointing that 
this Senate takes so long to deal with a fairly modest bill. Let's be 
honest. While it is all good policy, this is very modest legislation. 
Congress has not passed major energy legislation since 2007, and the 
energy landscape has radically changed. The costs of renewable energy 
have decreased drastically as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and 
biomass resources have grown all across this country. A rational energy 
policy for our Nation includes both renewable and nonrenewable energy 
resources.
  Directional drilling, hydraulic fracturing has changed the 
traditional energy production landscape too. Production is way up. 
After Saudi Arabia and Russia, the United States is traditionally the 
third largest producer of crude. The final numbers are not in yet for 
2013, but it looks as though we are about to be No. 1 or very close to 
it. Yet we still rely too much on foreign oil.
  The United States consumes about 19 billion barrels of oil per day. 
All told, about 13 million barrels per day of our demand is supplied by 
U.S. products--crude, natural gas liquids, and ethanol. It still leaves 
another 5 to 6 million barrels per day from other countries, many of 
whom don't like us very much, and that is where Alaska comes in.
  We can play a significant role by providing U.S. production and 
creating some good jobs too. The potential is huge. The Trans-Alaska 
Pipeline delivers 550,000 barrels a day, just over 10 percent of the 
domestic oil production. That is down from a peak of 2 million barrels 
a day 25 years ago, but there is a lot more oil and gas to go after.
  Producers of oil and gas create incredibly high-paying jobs. The 
average sector wage in Alaska is $117,000, and we can produce more 
jobs.
  After 20 years of stagnant growth, we started development in the 
Arctic again with the Chukchi and Beaufort exploration wells in 2012. 
We are making strides to return in the summer of 2015. Alaska can 
ensure our energy security and economic prosperity through development 
of our domestic resources, thereby reducing our reliance on foreign 
oil.
  Our picture very clearly shows the volume of capacity in Alaska and 
where we fit in in the world, and this is just what we know about. If 
we add Cook Inlet to it--let me give you the sense of the potential in 
the Arctic. Chukchi has 15.4 billion barrels of oil and 77 trillion 
cubic feet of gas. Beaufort has 8.2 billion barrels of oil and 28 
trillion cubic feet of gas. NPR-A has 1 billion barrels of oil.
  The issue of the NPR-A, which is the National Petroleum Reserve--this 
area has only had slight exploration over the years, and now we are 
starting to develop in that area. We have now moved forward on the 
first well.
  I was very pleased that one of my first acts, working with the 
administration, was getting the administration to see the light of day 
and solving the problem with the first issue of the CD-5. Production at 
the first well--one well, one development--is at 17,000 barrels a day. 
The second one is right next door, which is called GMT-1, and will 
produce another 30,000 or 40,000 barrels of oil a day. And, of course, 
there is ANWR, which we estimate has around 10-plus billion barrels of 
oil. Again, Alaska is a storehouse of energy, not only oil and gas, but 
many others.
  The point I want to make is that the oil and gas industry--the study 
that was done in Alaska--can produce 54,000 jobs and has over 50 years 
worth of production in the Arctic. If you look at it from local and 
State and government revenues over the 50 years, it is well over $100 
billion, plus another $150 billion in payroll.
  Another issue, which is important to Alaska, and also to this country 
is the liquefied natural gas export. A project can produce many jobs 
and create huge economic opportunity throughout this country. We 
estimate a project that will move gas off the North Slope, which will 
then be distributed around the world, will be worth about $65 billion 
in development. There will be an 800-mile pipeline, liquefication 
plant, and marine terminal. It will be the largest and most expensive 
energy project in North America. It will create up to 15,000 design and 
construction jobs, and up to 1,000 jobs during operation. LNG will have 
an export capacity of 2.5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas sales 
to overseas buyers which can total more than $12 billion a year.
  The steel pipe to construct that 800-mile pipeline, which is 42 
inches in diameter--almost an inch thick--is so big that it will take a 
single pipe mill 2 years to produce that. This will only add to the 
important role the oil and gas industry plays in the national economy.
  Nine percent of all the jobs in 2011 came from the oil and gas sector 
and 37,000 direct jobs were created nationwide. As I said earlier, they 
are good-paying jobs.
  I have two or three more points to make before I close. As I talk 
about oil and gas, it is not only important for Alaska's economy, it is 
also an important part of the whole energy system in this country. We 
have a huge amount of it. We are happy the Arctic is moving forward. 
Again, this project was stalled for many years, but it is now moving in 
the right direction.

[[Page S2766]]

  The same was true for the NPR-A. It was stalled out for many years, 
but now it is moving in the right direction.
  Alaska is unique in many ways. This bill talks about energy 
conservation and what we can do to preserve the capacity of our energy 
use. By 2025, Alaska will be at 50 percent renewable energy internal 
consumption. We embrace conservation everywhere we can.
  I can tell you from my own experience that not only is my home 
energy-efficient, but the commercial buildings that I operate are also 
energy-efficient. We have new boiler systems that are 98 percent more 
efficient. As a result, we are saving the tenants lots of money every 
year. We installed new energy-efficient windows, and other elements, 
which have made those buildings more efficient, thereby saving them 
money and allowing us to put more money back into the complexes.
  Even though this is not a comprehensive bill, it is a piece of 
legislation that gets us to do some energy policy in this country down 
the road.
  The Presiding Officer lives on the east coast, and I live in Alaska, 
so we are far apart by thousands of miles, but we still have the same 
issues. Consumers want more efficient facilities and more efficient 
buildings to lower their costs so they can save money and more energy 
so they can create new development--new economic development. That is 
what this bill does in many ways.
  By creating conservation and creating more energy-efficient 
legislation, such as this, we are creating jobs just by this act. I 
think it is important that we look at this bill from a broad 
perspective and do what we can to make ourselves more dependent on our 
own energy sources, be they oil and gas or energy-efficient renewable 
energy or energy-efficient projects. The more we are dependent on our 
own resources and less dependent on foreign oil, the better off we will 
be from a national security perspective and from an economic 
perspective.
  I will leave with one statistic. Because of all the work to become 
more dependent on our own energy resources and more energy efficient, 
we are sending $100 billion less overseas to foreign countries for 
petro oil over this last year.
  I appreciate having a moment to talk on the floor. I am not only 
interested in talking about Alaska's oil and gas, but also how we can 
improve energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy. There is 
nothing that pits one against the other. It is all about the projects 
and working together.
  I thank the Presiding Officer and note the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, we are here today to discuss the energy 
efficiency bill and what may or may not be the status on any given 
amendments. I want to take a few minutes this afternoon to speak about 
the issue of liquefied natural gas exports.
  Senator Barrasso has proposed a bill that would provide for fast-
track status for DOE licensing to LNG projects to export to members of 
WTO countries.
  As we focus on our opportunities that we have when it comes to our 
natural gas, our LNG, and the opportunities for Federal support for 
energy projects overseas, I think it is important to recognize there is 
a little inconsistency going on with this administration slow-walking 
infrastructure and hydrocarbon development in this country. I will give 
a couple of examples. The Export-Import Bank has supported a slew of 
LNG-related transactions over the past couple of decades. These are 
structured and project-financed transactions, these are loan 
guarantees, and some are even direct loans. With the assistance of the 
Ex-Im Bank and my committee staff, the Congressional Research Service 
has compiled a report on this subject which I would like to reference 
at this time.
  I emphasize that this is a list for LNG-related projects only. * * 
* if not exhaustive of the other kinds of energy-related infrastructure 
that the Federal Government finances overseas.

  So what we have here are projects that are LNG-related transactions 
that have been moved through the Export-Import Bank.
  Over $350 million in loan guarantees for equipment and services went 
to Trinidad and Tobago in 1996. In 1997, we saw over $775 million in 
loan guarantees go to Qatar and Oman for engineering and management 
services, for cryogenic heat exchanges, for compressors, and for gas 
turbine drives. In 2000 there was a loan guarantee of over $70 million 
that went to Malaysia. In 2002 there was a $135 million loan guarantee 
for equipment and services for Nigeria. Then between 2005 and 2006 we 
had over $800 million in loan guarantees for liquefaction and 
facilities-related engineering services to Qatar. In 2008 there was a 
$400 million direct loan for equipment and services to Peru; then in 
2010 $3 billion in direct loan and loan guarantees for equipment and 
services to Papua New Guinea.
  In 2012 there was nearly $3 billion in direct loans for engineering 
services to Australia. There was a large project that included the 
liquefaction plant, a shipping terminal, and transmission lines. Then 
just last year there was another $1.8 billion in direct loans to 
Australia for facilities construction.
  There have been over a dozen projects, eight countries, and $10 
billion in financing.
  I think it is important to recognize that the Export-Import Bank is 
one of the few agencies in the Federal Government that actually turns a 
profit, and my objective in listing these projects is not to oppose the 
financing--that is not what we are talking about--but, rather, to point 
out the inconsistency that we have in some policies. Simply put, we are 
financing LNG export projects overseas because they are a good idea. We 
like that approach. But we are politicizing the project for their 
review here at home.
  If LNG projects can create wealth and can support jobs in Australia 
and in Qatar, they can and will do the same here in the United States 
of America.
  But this administration is stalling on other infrastructure and 
development initiatives, not just LNG export facilities. We have the 
Keystone XL Pipeline. It is a great example. Offshore development is 
yet another example.
  Another Federal agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, 
has supported oil and gas projects in other countries.
  I also reference for my colleagues this afternoon another CRS report 
that was commissioned by my committee staff. So OPIC--this is not OPEC 
but OPIC--has provided insurance and financing to companies operating 
in Indonesia, Guatemala, Egypt, and Botswana. The bigger list includes, 
back in 2002, $25 million of insurance for a liquefied petroleum gas 
storage facility in Guatemala. In 2005, we had a $2.5 million insurance 
for a natural gas pipeline in Benin; $2.5 million in insurance for a 
gas pipeline in Togo; $45 million in insurance for another pipeline in 
Ghana; $320 million in insurance for an offshore natural gas pipeline 
in Israel.
  Again, I am not saying that financing this is a wrong idea or a bad 
idea; I am asking the simple question: If this is good enough for 
helping other countries, why are we not doing it here at home?
  There is a third Federal agency I wish to briefly mention that has 
supported energy-related projects overseas. This is the Trade and 
Development Agency. It funds feasibility studies, pilot projects, 
technical assistance, reverse trade missions, and various training 
activities. I reference for my colleagues a third CRS report, again 
commissioned by my committee staff, that showcases some of these 
activities.
  Specifically, on LNG, the Trade and Development Agency funded 
feasibility studies for: LNG import and power generation in Thailand 
back in 2004, CNG/LNG distribution in Indonesia in 2005, import 
terminals in Lithuania and Romania in 2008, floating LNG storage and 
regasification in Ghana in 2011, and reverse trade missions to Turkey 
in 2005 and South Africa in 2008 on LNG-related issues.
  The Trade and Development Agency has also funded energy-related 
technical related assistance to Brazil, Colombia, Peru, India, Sri 
Lanka, Jordan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Nigeria. They have 
funded reverse trade missions with Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq, Kazakhstan, 
Turkmenistan, Georgia, and Hungary.

[[Page S2767]]

  Again, helping other countries to develop their energy resources 
while helping American companies find opportunities to generate jobs 
here in the United States is a worthwhile policy as well. It is a 
worthwhile policy abroad and a worthwhile policy at home.
  I know my colleague from South Dakota wants to say a few words this 
afternoon.
  I yield the floor, and I thank my colleagues for their attention.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, in a moment I intend to propound a 
unanimous consent request that it be in order for me to offer my 
amendment No. 3002 to S. 2262, but I will speak for just a moment if I 
might about it.
  I think it is unfortunate that we are here in the Senate with Senate 
Democrats continuing to block Republican amendments that would approve 
the Keystone XL Pipeline, stop the administration's war on affordable 
energy, and expand liquid natural gas exports to our allies overseas.
  My amendment No. 3002 is on the list of commonsense amendments that 
should be voted on as part of the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency 
bill.
  As with almost all of the President's energy policies, the EPA's 
anticipated ground level ozone regulations would do serious damage to 
our economy and to working Americans. In fact, this regulation is 
expected to be the most expensive in the EPA's history.
  In 2010 the EPA proposed lowering the permitted ground level ozone 
levels from 75 parts per billion to 60 to 70 parts per billion. The 
energy industry estimate suggests that lowering the ground level ozone 
concentration to 60 parts per billion would cost businesses more than 
$1 trillion a year between 2020 and 2030--$1 trillion a year. Job 
losses as a result of this measure would total a staggering $7.3 
million by the year 2020, devastating entire industries, especially 
U.S. manufacturing industries.
  Even by the EPA's own estimates--this is the EPA's own estimate--this 
regulation could cost up to $90 billion per year--far outpacing the 
cost of any EPA regulations we have ever seen before. My own State of 
South Dakota would lose tens of thousands of jobs in manufacturing, 
natural resources, mining, and construction. In fact, the cost of this 
regulation is so great that when the EPA first proposed lower levels in 
2010, the White House delayed the regulation until after the 
President's reelection.
  My amendment No. 3002 would stop the administration's upcoming 
proposal on ground level ozone which is anticipated to be proposed and 
put out by December of this year. It is a very straightforward 
amendment. First, it would require the EPA to consider the cost and 
feasibility of new ozone regulations. It might surprise many Americans 
to know that the EPA isn't even allowed to consider costs when setting 
these new regulations. My amendment would fix that.
  Additionally, my amendment would force the EPA to focus on the worst 
areas for smog before dramatically expanding this regulation to the 
rest of the country. There are 221 counties across 27 States in this 
country that don't meet the current standard of 75 parts per billion. 
This chart shows the areas of the country and, as we can see, they are 
heavily populated, more urban areas of the country.
  It makes sense to me that we ought to focus on these urban areas 
before expanding ozone regulations to areas such as western South 
Dakota where we clearly don't have a smog problem. Under my amendment, 
85 percent of these counties would have to achieve full compliance with 
the existing standard before the EPA could move forward with a lower 
level that dramatically expands the reach of ozone regulations.
  So this is what it looks like today. These are the 200 some counties 
that are not in compliance, and my amendment would require 85 percent 
of those to be in compliance before we could expand the map to where it 
would look like this, referring to my chart. This is what the proposal 
would do. Now, look at how much of the United States is covered by that 
expanded map. The provision in the Clean Air Act was enacted in the 
1970s to address smog in downtown L.A., not background ozone levels in 
western South Dakota.
  We should continue to focus on the worst areas for ground level ozone 
before dramatically expanding those regulations to rural areas of the 
country.
  I hope the majority will stop blocking votes on this and other job-
creating amendments that are offered by Republican Members. Senator 
Reid has blocked all but nine rollcall votes on Republican amendments 
since last July. That is one a month. One Republican amendment, on 
average, a month has been voted on here in the Senate over the last 
nine months. By contrast, the House Democrats--the minority in the 
House--have gotten votes on 125 amendments over the same period--12 
times the number of amendments that have been allowed Republicans here 
in the Senate.
  A number of my colleagues have been to the floor, and we heard from 
the Senator from Alaska, Ms. Murkowski. Senator Barrasso has an LNG 
export amendment that I think is very relevant to this debate and very 
important to this country to both our energy security and national 
security interests. I am going to continue to ask that the majority 
provide a chance for Republicans to participate in this debate by 
allowing a vote on my amendment and the many others that are pertinent 
to the economy of this country, to creating jobs in this country, to 
providing energy independence for this country, to providing energy 
security for this country, and to making sure we don't get crazy 
regulations that subject areas of western South Dakota to smog 
regulations that were designed for downtown L.A. That is a fairly 
straightforward, simple, commonsense suggestion, and it is what my 
amendment would accomplish.


                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 2262

  So I see we have a Democratic Senator on the floor who would, I 
expect, object to this request.
  I ask unanimous consent that it be in order for me to offer my 
amendment No. 3002 to S. 2262.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. DURBIN. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. THUNE. Thank you, Mr. President. I regret that. I think it is 
unfortunate. I know there are many others of my colleagues on this side 
who have amendments they would like to have votes on and to have an 
opportunity to debate. It is the first time we have debated an energy 
bill since 2007. It is of fundamental importance to this country on so 
many levels.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, how much time do we have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 1\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, this week members of both parties have 
offered a number of energy-related amendments to the pending bill. The 
minority leader has even said he is willing to limit the number of 
amendments to five--five energy-related amendments--and the majority 
leader continues to say no.
  I am not sure what the majority leader is afraid of in terms of 
allowing people to vote. People come to the Senate and they are 
expected to speak up and tell people their positions on various issues.
  One of the amendments I had hoped to offer today expedites liquefied 
natural gas exports. The magazine The Economist recently published an 
article with the headline: ``The petro-state of America: The energy 
boom is good for America and the world. It would be nice if Barack 
Obama helped a bit.''
  The article explains that the process for obtaining permits to export 
liquefied natural gas from the United States is insanely slow.
  This isn't an exaggeration. In over 3\1/2\ years, the administration 
has approved only seven applications to export LNG. The administration 
is sitting on 24 pending applications. Fourteen have been pending for 
more than a year, and some have been pending for more than 2 years. 
These administration delays are unacceptable. The excuses have run out.
  We have introduced legislation. LNG exports are a critical component 
of stopping Russian aggression against our key allies and strategic 
partners. Nine of our NATO allies import 40 percent or more of their 
natural gas from

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Russia. Four of our NATO allies import 100 percent of their natural gas 
from Russia. These are our allies. Yet they are heavily dependent on 
Russia for their energy.
  LNG exports would help our NATO allies as well as our strategic 
partners and allow them to free themselves from Russian energy. That is 
why our NATO allies are calling on us--on Congress--and the United 
States to expedite these LNG exports. These will give our allies an 
alternative supplier of natural gas and enable them to resist Russia's 
aggression.

  It is going to be an added benefit for our country in terms of 
creating thousands of good-paying jobs here in the United States. As 
the Economist explained, LNG exports ``could generate tankerloads of 
cash'' for America. The exports will create jobs in gasfields in 
Wyoming, steel mills in the Midwest, and at our Nation's ports.
  I thank the Presiding Officer.
  I yield the floor.

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