ENERGY POLICY MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2015; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 19
(Senate - February 02, 2016)

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[Pages S460-S470]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of S. 2012, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 2012) to provide for the modernization of the 
     energy policy of the United States, and for other purposes.


       Murkowski amendment No. 2953, in the nature of a 
       Murkowski (for Cassidy/Markey) amendment No. 2954 (to 
     amendment No. 2953), to provide for certain increases in, and 
     limitations on, the drawdown and sales of the Strategic 
     Petroleum Reserve.
       Murkowski amendment No. 2963 (to amendment No. 2953), to 
     modify a provision relating to bulk-power system reliability 
     impact statements.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.

                             Drug Addiction

  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, before I begin my remarks this morning 
about the Energy Policy Modernization Act, I wish to acknowledge my 
colleague from Massachusetts. I come from a very large, remote State. 
About 80 percent of the communities in Alaska are not connected by a 
road, so one would think that our isolation would insulate us from some 
of the scourges that we see when it comes to drugs and drug addiction. 
Unfortunately, that is not the case. In my State we are seeing the same 
level of addiction. While the numbers might not be as eye-popping as 
Massachusetts or New Hampshire and other parts of the country, that is 
because we have fewer people. But on a per capita basis, the numbers 
are staggering and very worrying.
  As my colleague from Massachusetts notes, this is not something that 
should be a Republican or a Democratic problem or have a Republican or 
Democratic solution. This should have all of us working together 
because what is happening and what we are seeing is simply 
unacceptable. It is destroying families and communities, and we must 
work together. I appreciate his comments here before the body this 
  Mr. President, I hope the Senate is prepared for another good, busy 
day of debate on our broad bipartisan energy bill.
  Late yesterday, while we were not taking votes, we were in session 
for a few hours--but what we were able to do during that time period 
was approve eight more amendments by voice vote. We are now up to 19 
amendments accepted so far. The latest batch from yesterday featured a 
proposal from Senators Gardner, Coons, Portman, and Shaheen to boost 
energy savings projects that will limit the cost of government and save 
taxpayer dollars.
  We also approved an amendment from Senators Flake, McCaskill, and 
Booker to evaluate the number of duplicative green buildings programs 
within the Federal Government. I think we all appreciate the need to be 
more efficient, but do we need to have dozens and dozens of duplicative 
programs to build this out? That is what that amendment addressed.
  We also approved an amendment from Senators Inhofe, Markey, and 
Booker to renew a brownfields restoration program run by the EPA.
  So we did OK yesterday, approving eight amendments by voice votes, 
which is not bad for a Monday around here when we were not scheduled to 
have votes, but I think we can do better than that. I think we can pick 
up the pace, and we are ready to do that.
  We will have two rollcall votes that are scheduled for 2:30 this 
afternoon. The first one is an amendment by the Senator from Utah, Mr. 
Lee, amendment No. 3023, and it would limit Presidential authority to 
permanently withdraw Federal lands as national monuments. This is an 
issue that I have joined the Senator from Utah on, as well as many 
Senators from around the West, who have concerns that we would see vast 
areas of our particular States permanently withdrawn--something that 
again resonates very strongly in my State, where 61 percent of our 
State is held in Federal land. I am pleased that my colleague from Utah 
has offered this amendment, and I am hopeful the Senate will adopt it.
  The second amendment we will have this afternoon is the Franken 
amendment No. 3115. This would impose a nationwide efficiency mandate. 
This is a matter that we had before the energy committee when we were 
in markup in July, and many Members are already familiar with it.
  I am aware that some Members are still filing amendments, but I think 
my advice to them is to know they are chasing the train down the tracks 
at this point in time. We had a total of 230 amendments filed as of 
this morning, so we have a lot to sort through as we are trying to deal 
with the debate and just kind of keep things moving.
  A number of Members are also hoping to secure a vote on their 
priorities, so we have a line now. Those who are just thinking about 
filing should know where you are in this process. Senator Cantwell and 
I intend to continue to process amendments as quickly as we can and we 
ask for the cooperation of Members to help that effort move along.
  I do want to thank the ranking member on the energy committee. 
Senator Cantwell and her staff have been working very hard and very 
well with me and my staff as we are working to process this bill. The 
level of back-and-forth has been very constructive, very helpful, and I 
appreciate it, and I want to give special recognition to the yeoman's 
work that the staff are doing right now.
  We will be setting up additional rollcall votes today. We will 
hopefully be able to reach agreement on amendments that we can clear on 
both sides as well.
  As we have moved through the debate process on this important Energy 
bill, we have seen some good, strong amendments. I mentioned some 
already. We have had amendments from both parties. We have had them 
offered by Members from all areas of the country. We have seen some 
particularly good ones that focus on hydropower. I wish to take a few 
moments this morning to speak about hydropower and the amazing supply 
source that hydropower provides for our Nation.
  Hydropower harnesses the forces of flowing water to generate 
electricity, and it has many virtues as an energy resource. It is not 
only emissions free and renewable, it is also capable of producing 
stable, reliable, and affordable base power. How about that: stable, 
affordable, and reliable base power. It is emissions free. It is 
renewable. It is not defined yet as renewable, and we address that in 
this bill. Right now, hydropower produces about 6 percent of our 
Nation's electricity and nearly half of our renewable energy. That is 

[[Page S461]]

than wind and solar combined and enough electricity to power some 30 
million American homes.
  Up in Alaska, hydropower provides--the number is right about 24 
percent of our electricity. It provides energy for communities 
throughout the State, most notably in the southeastern part of the 
State where I was born and raised. It is very significant there. It is 
also in what we call the railbelt area. It is an amazing contributor to 
our State's energy base. We continue, though, to have vast potential 
with hundreds of sites in Alaska alone just waiting to be developed. We 
are a leader on hydropower, but we are hardly alone in having untapped 
  According to an official from the Department of Energy who testified 
before the energy committee back in 2011, our country could realize 
``an additional 300 gigawatts of hydropower through efficiency and 
capacity upgrades at existing facilities, powering nonpowered dams, new 
small hydro development, and pump storage hydropower.''
  So let me repeat what that really means: An additional 300 gigawatts 
of hydropower, not through some big megadam but through efficiency, 
through capacity upgrades at existing facilities, powering up our 
nonpowered dams, new small hydro development--we see a lot of that in 
Alaska--and pump storage hydropower. With that, 300 gigawatts of 
additional power.
  Putting it into context, 1 gigawatt can power hundreds of thousands 
of homes. We have an estimated 300 gigawatts of potential hydropower--a 
huge benefit to our country in terms of what we could get from our 
hydro resources, and it will not take much to start taking advantage of 
it. That is the beauty of it.
  It may surprise some to know that right now only 3 percent of our 
Nation's existing 80,000 dams around the country currently produce 
electricity. Just 3 percent of 80,000 dams that are already out there 
are producing electricity. Think about what we could do if we electrify 
just the top 100--just the top 100 out of 80,000. We could generate 
enough electricity for nearly 3 million more homes and create thousands 
of jobs. Meanwhile, simply upgrading the turbines at existing 
hydropower dams could yield a similar amount of additional electric 
generating capacity.
  We talk a lot about efficiency around here. Well, let us apply the 
efficiency with what we have with our existing facilities. What most of 
us agree on is that hydropower is a great American resource. It is 
renewable, it is affordable, it is always on, and nearly every State 
has potential in some way. Yet, despite all of this--despite the 
tremendous benefits that it provides and despite our tremendous 
untapped potential--America's hydropower development has stalled. Why? 
It has stalled, quite honestly, because of redtape and environmental 
  This was the subject of a recent op-ed piece that I cowrote with Jay 
Faison, who is the founder of the ClearPath Foundation. It is called 
``Stop Wasting America's Hydropower Potential.'' It ran in the New York 
Times last month, and we have gotten some pretty good, positive 
comments. I ask unanimous consent that this op-ed be printed in the 
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                [From the New York Times, Jan. 14, 2016]

              Stop Wasting America's Hydropower Potential

                   (By Lisa Murkowski and Jay Faison)

       President Obama has described climate change as one of the 
     biggest challenges facing our country and has said he is open 
     to new ideas to address it. He can start by supporting 
     legislation to increase the nation's hydropower capacity, one 
     of our vital renewable energy resources.
       Hydropower harnesses the force of flowing water to generate 
     electricity. It already produces about 6 percent of the 
     nation's electricity and nearly half of its renewable energy, 
     more than wind and solar combined. This is enough electricity 
     to power 30 million homes and, according to the Department of 
     Energy, avoids some 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide 
     emissions each year. That amounts to taking about 40 million 
     cars off the road for one year.
       But we could be doing much more to harness the huge 
     potential of hydropower, even without building new dams.
       For instance, only 3 percent of the nation's 80,000 dams 
     now produce electricity. Electrifying just the 100 top 
     impoundments--primarily locks and dams on the Ohio, 
     Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas Rivers that are operated by 
     the Army Corps of Engineers--would generate enough 
     electricity for nearly three million more homes and create 
     thousands of jobs.
       And upgrading and modernizing the turbines at existing 
     hydropower dams could yield a similar amount of additional 
     electricity-generating capacity.
       Despite the benefits of this technology, American 
     hydropower development has stalled because of government red 
     tape and environmental opposition. Less capacity has been 
     added each decade since the 1970s, even as our infrastructure 
     ages. Half of our plants use turbines or other major 
     equipment designed and installed more than 50 years ago.
       At the heart of the problem is a broken federal permitting 
     process that has created an unnavigable gantlet for 
     hydropower projects. While mandatory environmental reviews 
     must be stringent to protect waterways and wildlife, federal 
     bureaucrats insist on duplicative, sequential processes that 
     exacerbate regulatory uncertainty, delay approvals and drive 
     up consumer costs.
       Compounding the roadblocks are environmental groups that 
     claim to adhere to sound science but hold remarkably outdated 
     views of hydropower and its benefits. Rather than acknowledge 
     technological advances and the environmental safeguards in 
     our laws, these groups have filed lawsuits to dismantle dams 
     or stop their construction.
       Add it all up, and it can now take well over a decade to 
     relicense an existing hydropower dam. For the California 
     customers of Pacific Gas and Electric, relicensing costs have 
     run as high as $50 million a dam--all for the privilege of 
     continuing to operate an existing renewable energy project.
       One-third of the nation's hydropower dams will require 
     license renewals by 2030. We need to make this process more 
     efficient by reducing bureaucratic and administrative delays 
     that end up increasing electricity rates and slowing 
     hydropower's expansion.
       Fortunately, Congress has stepped in to get hydropower 
     development back on track. Legislation in both chambers, 
     including a measure in the Senate that was approved by a 
     bipartisan vote in committee, would direct agencies to 
     expedite the permitting of new projects and the relicensing 
     of existing ones, and would advance the use of hydropower 
       But while Congress has chosen to lead on this important 
     issue, President Obama has threatened to veto the House bill, 
     claiming it would undermine environmental safeguards. The 
     challenge is finding a way to bring state and federal 
     agencies to the table with the applicants at the beginning of 
     the process so they can identify potential problems and 
     coordinate environmental reviews. The legislation would not 
     change the authority of federal agencies to impose 
     environmental conditions.
       There is much more that we can do. Upgrading existing dams 
     is just one of the approaches that holds big promise. 
     Coordinating hydropower projects on a regionwide basis might 
     allow for permitting on a more timely basis and provide 
     better opportunities for environmental mitigation. There is 
     also tremendous potential for electricity generation using 
     new marine hydrokinetic technologies that convert the energy 
     of waves, tides and river and ocean currents into 
     electricity. And it is important to recognize the huge, 
     untapped potential for hydropower in Alaska.
       With hydropower, Congress has given the president an 
     opportunity to address climate change and ``bridge the 
     divide'' between parties. If he is serious about expanding 
     the use of clean, renewable energy, he should at last give 
     hydropower the attention it deserves in his final year.

                [From the Register-Guard, Jan. 20, 2016]

                         Preserve Hydro Assets

       On Sept. 29, 1963, a crowd of 1,800 people gathered near 
     the headwaters of the McKenzie River for the dedication of 
     the Eugene Water & Electric Board's Carmen Smith project. A 
     band played, box lunches were served, Gov. Mark Hatfield 
     spoke and power flowed from a hydroelectric complex for which 
     Eugene voters had approved a $23.5 million bond issue three 
     years earlier.
       Carmen Smith has been generating electricity ever since, 
     and now its license to operate on a public waterway needs to 
     be renewed. EWEB submitted its relicensing application to the 
     Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 10 years ago. The 
     relicensing process--along with improvements to the project, 
     most of them related to fish passage--will cost an estimated 
     $226 million.
       It is costing 10 times as much and taking more than three 
     times as long to relicense the project as it did to build it 
     in the first place.
       To be sure, a million dollars isn't worth what it used to 
     be, more is known about the environmental effects of 
     hydroelectric projects than was the case half a century ago, 
     and appreciation of the importance of the McKenzie River's 
     fish habitat has grown. Still, the high cost of relicensing 
     has tipped the value of the Carmen Smith project into 
     negative territory. Low power prices are to blame--but 
     another factor is a relicensing process that is predicated on 
     the notion that hydroelectric projects are valuable enough to 
     carry a heavy load of added costs.
       The $226 million price tag for relicensing stems in part 
     from an agreement that EWEB negotiated in 2008 with 
     government agencies, environmental groups and Native American 
     tribes. The other parties to the agreement

[[Page S462]]

     pledged to support a new license of Carmen Smith, and EWEB 
     agreed to retrofit its components to improve fish passage and 
     make other improvements. With electricity selling at $100 per 
     megawatt hour or more, power generated by the Carmen Smith 
     complex would easily cover the costs.
       In today's markets, however, electricity is selling for 
     one-third that amount on a good day--and sometimes, buyers 
     can't be found at any price. Without a reduction in 
     relicensing costs, Carmen Smith will become a money loser. 
     Parties to the 2008 agreement are close to accepting a 
     revision that would lower the costs by $55 million to $60 
     million. EWEB would close a relatively small generating 
     turbine at the complex's Trail Bridge Dam, eliminating the 
     need for a costly fish screen. Even with that change, 
     prospects of a positive cash flow from Carmen Smith are 
       EWEB is not the only utility whose hydroelectric plants are 
     being weighed down by relicensing costs. One-third of the 
     nation's dams will need new licenses by 2030. These are 
     mostly dams whose construction bonds have long been paid off, 
     an advantage that until recently allowed the relicensing 
     process to become a vehicle for the addition of 
     environmental, recreational and other improvements. In some 
     cases, such improvements are no longer affordable. In other 
     cases, the costs of licensing acts as a barrier to the 
     electrification of dams or other impoundments, blocking the 
     development of a reliable, carbon-free power source.
       Many hydro projects need environmental upgrades, and should 
     not be relicensed without them. But the process should not 
     drag on for a decade, and it ought to recognize the 
     environmental benefits of hydropower--benefits in danger of 
     being buried under a mountain of relicensing costs.

  Ms. MURKOWSKI. At the heart of the problem is a broken Federal 
permitting process that has created an unnavigable gauntlet for our 
hydropower projects. It can now take well over a decade to relicense an 
existing dam. I will say it again. We are not talking about licensing a 
new dam; we are talking about relicensing an existing dam--a process 
that can take over a decade. For the California consumers of Pacific 
Gas and Electric, relicensing costs have run as high as $50 million per 
dam simply to continue an existing project. We are not building 
anything new. We want to relicense it. It is costing $50 million and 
taking over 10 years.
  There was a recent editorial in a Eugene, OR, newspaper, the 
Register-Guard, which called for the preservation of hydropower assets, 
and it noted that the existing Carmon Smith project has been mired in 
the relicensing process for over 10 years, with a pricetag estimated at 
$226 million. It amounts to 10 times as much and 3 times as long as it 
took to build the project when it was constructed in 1963. What is 
wrong with this picture? Taking 10 times as much--requiring 10 times as 
much money--$226 million--and taking 3 times as long to build as when 
they built that project back in 1963. We are going in the wrong 
direction. This is not progress. We are headed exactly in the wrong 
  We can change that. Let us put it in the context of what we have 
existing in this country right now. I said that right now hydro is 
providing about 6 percent of our energy and about half of our 
renewables. One-third of our Nation's existing hydropower projects will 
require license renewals by 2030. One-third of the existing facilities 
are going to have to go through this decade-long relicensing process, 
which will cost millions of dollars. What we need to do is make the 
relicensing process more efficient by reducing bureaucratic and 
administrative delays that end up increasing electricity rates, slowing 
hydropower's expansion, and actually delaying the adoption of 
environmental mitigation measures. If you are concerned about the 
environment, you ought to be interested in making sure we have a better 
process because if we fail to improve the relicensing process, we are 
going to start losing hydropower projects, and we will backslide as 
other forms of generation replace them, just as we are seeing with 
nuclear power in some parts of our country. We are going to go 
  Whether your issue is climate change or whether it is electric 
reliability or just good, affordable energy, we should be able to agree 
that this is a situation we want to avoid. We do not want to be going 
backward on this.
  Coming from Washington State, Senator Cantwell understands and 
clearly appreciates the value of our hydropower resources. I have been 
very pleased to be able to work with her on many of these initiatives, 
as well as with many other members of our committee, on some of the 
bipartisan reforms we have contained within the Energy Policy 
Modernization Act. What we realize is that our current policies are 
holding this resource back and that we need to update, we need to 
modernize them, if we ever want to harness the amazing potential of 
domestic hydropower. Our joint hydropower language attempts to bring 
State and Federal agencies to the table with the applicants at the 
beginning of the process so they can identify where the potential 
problems may be and coordinate environmental reviews.
  Because hydropower licenses are issued by the FERC, our bill 
authorizes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to be the lead 
agency so they set a schedule and they coordinate all the needed 
Federal authorizations. The schedule is to be established on a case-by-
case basis, in consultation with other agencies, and if a resource 
agency then cannot meet a deadline, the White House Council on 
Environmental Quality is then tasked with resolving these interagency 
  In terms of a step that is long overdue, we formally designate 
hydropower as a renewable resource for the purpose of all Federal 
  When I first came to the Senate some years ago and focused on energy 
issues, I just really had a hard time with the fact that hydropower was 
not considered a renewable resource.
  I was born in Ketchikan, AK. It is in the middle of a rainforest. I 
was raised in southeastern Alaska, where the annual precipitation is 
something that would take most people's breath away. If I were to tell 
the people of Juneau or Wrangell or Ketchikan that what is coming out 
of the sky today is not a renewable resource, I would be laughed out of 
the room. Hopefully we take care of this and formally designate 
hydropower as a renewable resource for the purposes of all Federal 
  We have very good, commonsense ideas carefully crafted within our 
bill. Our language does not alter the authority of Federal agencies to 
impose mandatory environmental conditions or weaken the stringent 
environmental review process. For those who are afraid that somehow or 
another we are going to run roughshod over the environmental 
regulators, that is not the case. What we are doing is, through 
efficiency, streamlining, and some coordination, we are going to be 
able to make a difference in our Nation's ability to develop 
hydropower, and that is why the members of the Energy and Natural 
Resources Committee overwhelmingly supported the hydropower provisions 
in the bill we have before us today.
  There is always more good news we can add. We have looked at the 
amendments other Members have offered. We have already accepted an 
amendment from Senator Daines to extend the deadline for the 
relicensing of a hydropower project in Montana. We also have a number 
of other amendments from other Members from both sides of the aisle, 
and I am hoping we will be able to add them to the bill. For example, 
Senator Gillibrand has filed an amendment to extend the deadline for a 
hydroproject in her home State of New York. Senator Burr has filed an 
amendment to extend the deadline of a hydroproject in his home State of 
North Carolina. Senator Kaine has filed an amendment to extend the 
deadline for hydroprojects in his State of Virginia. All of these 
projects would add power to nonpowered dams. These projects already 
have licenses, but what they need is more time to deal with the 
technical and regulatory issues that often arise before construction 
can begin.
  We have a fair number of our western Members who are understandably 
prioritizing hydropower. Senator Barrasso is filing an amendment to 
authorize the use of active capacity of the Fontenelle Reservoir in 
southwest Wyoming. Senators Flake and Feinstein have come together with 
a pretty good amendment to improve the way the Army Corps of Engineers 
operates dams to increase their efficiency. Is this not just good 
common sense?
  It probably comes as no surprise that I have a couple of amendments 
that will benefit Alaska, including one that will expand the existing 
project at Terror Lake and allow the local community there--Kodiak--to 
remain powered almost entirely by renewable energy. Right now they are 
99.7 percent powered by renewable energy between wind

[[Page S463]]

and their hydrocapacity. We want them to get to that full 100 percent.
  Finally, I want to recognize the Senator from Massachusetts, Mr. 
Markey, who has a proposal to encourage the development of pumped 
storage hydropower assets--one of the best ways to store baseload power 
and a technology that could help to smooth out the intermittency of 
other renewable resources. We are working on that one--checking it 
out--but it looks good.
  These are good proposals. As we continue our voting and clearing 
process here today, I am confident we will be able to accept many more 
of them.
  Again, I want to acknowledge the work and partnership I have with 
Senator Cantwell on many of these hydro issues. Her State certainly 
enjoys the benefit of lower cost energy because of the investments made 
in hydro.
  We have more work ahead of us. I know Members are anxious to talk on 
their amendments that they may have an interest in moving toward this 
afternoon, but this Senator is glad to be back on the bill, and 
hopefully we will have an exciting and energetic day.
  With that, I yield the floor to my ranking member.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I want to thank my colleague from Alaska 
for her focus on the hydropower bills we may be considering here, and I 
am thankful for the focus from all my colleagues on hydropower and ways 
we can continue to improve the efficiency of our resources and make 
sure we are continuing to diversify.
  I think we have outlined a good plan for today. Obviously we need the 
cooperation of our colleagues to keep moving forward on this 
legislation. We are going to have a couple of votes.
  I am so pleased my colleague from Minnesota is here to talk about one 
of our first votes, a federal energy efficiency resource standard. He 
has been a leader on this issue.
  Yesterday I outlined some of the great States in this Nation that 
have already adopted what are called energy efficiency resource 
standards, which have shown great success in helping to save energy and 
driving down demand, thereby saving money for both businesses and 
homeowners. I think it is something that will also receive a lot of 
enthusiasm as we move forward.
  I know that we have many ideas; that is what I like about this Energy 
bill--it was bipartisan coming out of the committee, and so far it has 
been bipartisan on the Senate floor in working out these issues. I hope 
my colleagues will understand that there will be a point where we do 
have to move off of this bill. Hopefully, with the cooperation of 
Members, we can make a great deal of progress today on additional votes 
besides the two that are pending, set more votes for later this 
evening, and also continue the process of getting some of these other 
issues resolved in the meantime.
  Again, I thank our colleagues for turning their focus to this. I 
thank my colleague for outlining where we have already been on the bill 
as it relates to the amendments we adopted last night and the continued 
progress. I think it comes down to the fact that as our economy 
changes, energy production needs to have the attention of our 
committee. We need to continue to be able to help empower this 
transformation that our economy is seeing on energy, and working 
together in a bipartisan fashion helps us to get there. It is good for 
our homeowners, it is good for businesses, and it is good for our 
  With that, I yield the floor and encourage our colleagues to support 
my colleague Senator Franken on his EERS amendment we will be voting on 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Mr. FRANKEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for up 
to 15 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. FRANKEN. Thank you, Mr. President.
  I rise today to talk about the importance of updating our Nation's 
energy policy. I thank Chairwoman Murkowski, Ranking Member Cantwell, 
and their staffs for their hard work in crafting a bipartisan energy 
  Congress hasn't passed a comprehensive energy bill since 2007, and a 
lot has changed in the energy sector since then. We have seen a 
transformation in renewable energy. Electricity generation from wind 
power has grown by more than 400 percent. Wind energy now supplies 
electricity for 20 million Americans. The growth of solar energy is 
equally impressive. In its early days, solar power was known for 
powering satellites and space stations. Now we are seeing residential 
and utility-scale solar power becoming important components of the 
grid. Since the passage of the last Energy bill in 2007, our solar 
generation capacity has increased more than 2,000 percent. During that 
time, the cost of solar energy has dropped more than 60 percent. We 
have to build on these trends and reorient our energy sector toward a 
clean energy future. Comprehensive energy legislation needs to promote 
innovation, deploy clean energy technology, and create good-paying 
  The bipartisan Energy bill we are currently debating is an important 
step forward. It improves our Nation's energy efficiency through 
commonsense measures, such as updating building codes. It invests in 
energy storage, which will turn intermittent renewable energy into 
baseload power. It also helps States and tribes to access funds to 
deploy more clean energy technologies. These are good measures, and 
that is why I voted to support this bill out of the energy committee.
  However, the current bill does not go far enough to fight the 
challenge of climate change. Climate change presents a Sputnik moment--
an opportunity to rise to the challenge and defeat the threat of 
climate change. In response to Sputnik, we mobilized American ingenuity 
and innovation. We ended up not just winning the space race and sending 
a man to the Moon, we did all sorts of great things for the American 
economy and for our society.
  By rising to the challenge of climate change, we can bet again on 
American ingenuity. We have the opportunity not just to clean up our 
air but also to drive innovation and create jobs. That is why I am 
offering my American Energy Efficiency Act as an amendment to this 
bill. This amendment, which is cosponsored by Senators Heinrich, 
Warren, and Sanders, establishes a national energy efficiency standard 
that requires electric and natural gas utilities to help their 
customers use their electricity more efficiently. This is something 
that 25 States are already doing, and what those programs have shown us 
is that energy efficiency standards work.
  Our amendment will send market signals that we are serious about 
energy efficiency. It will unleash the manufacturing and deployment of 
all kinds of energy-efficient products throughout our economy. It will 
help households and businesses save money on their electricity bills. 
According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy--the 
experts in energy efficiency who rated the energy savings in the 
Portman-Shaheen bill--our amendment will generate more than three times 
the energy savings of the entire Portman-Shaheen energy efficiency 
title in the base bill. By the year 2030, our amendment will generate 
20 percent energy savings across the country and result in about $145 
billion in net savings to consumers.
  Our amendment is modeled on the experience of States that have 
adopted energy efficiency standards. In fact, the first State to adopt 
efficiency standards was Texas. Similar programs have been adopted by 
both red and blue States. What we have seen with these programs is that 
they work. They are saving energy, and they are saving consumers money, 
both in businesses and homes.
  My State of Minnesota passed its energy efficiency standards under a 
Republican Governor--Governor Tim Pawlenty--in 2007. We have a goal of 
1.5 percent annual energy savings, and we don't just meet that goal, we 
exceed it. These energy efficiency standards also send a market signal 
to companies to innovate and deploy energy savings technologies.
  The State of Arkansas set its energy savings targets in 2011, and 
according to the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation, the program has 
generated $1 billion in sales by energy efficiency companies. The 
standard has also helped create 9,000 well-paying jobs in the State. 
The program has been so successful that the State public service 
commission recently extended the energy efficiency goals through 2019.

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  Arizona implemented its energy efficiency savings targets in 2011. 
Just 3 years after its implementation, Arizona went from being 29th to 
the 15th most energy-efficient State in the country. Through the 
program, utilities have saved electricity equivalent to powering 
133,000 homes for 1 year. Businesses and residents have already saved 
$540 million from reduced energy and water usage. These savings put 
more in people's pockets. That means more money to buy groceries, a new 
car, or to pay for college.
  The States have shown that energy efficiency standards work. We 
should learn from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, and 22 other States 
and bring this successful experiment to the whole country.
  I again applaud the efforts of Senator Murkowski and Senator Cantwell 
in bringing this bipartisan Energy bill to the floor.
  I urge my colleagues to support my amendment when it comes to a vote 
this afternoon. My amendment will make this good piece of legislation 
stronger. It will reduce emissions. It will save Americans money. It 
will unleash clean energy innovation and jobs throughout the Nation. I 
urge all of my colleagues to vote yes on this amendment and to bet on 
our future.
  This is a Sputnik moment. When we responded to Sputnik, we did 
amazing things. This is a piece of it. I urge my colleagues to support 
my amendment.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CASSIDY. 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. CASSIDY. Mr. President, I speak on amendment No. 3192, which is 
revolutionary. At some point I will yield to my colleague the Senator 
from Louisiana to further discuss this amendment.
  Mr. President, the amendment I filed today is a byproduct of the work 
and bipartisan agreement of members representing the gulf, the 
Atlantic, and the Arctic regions of our country. I specifically thank 
Senators Murkowski, Warner, Scott, Vitter, Kaine, and Tillis for their 
contributions in our efforts to bring greater equity revenue sharing 
from funds derived from offshore energy production.
  For years, energy activities in coastal gulf States and adjacent 
offshore waters have produced billions of barrels of oil and trillions 
of cubic feet of natural gas for American energy consumers. The States 
along the gulf coast and the Arctic, et cetera, have supported offshore 
energy development for the rest of the country, providing the support 
for and paying for the infrastructure needed to bring this energy to 
market. With all of this development, as you might guess, there have 
been increased costs associated with supporting this increased traffic, 
additional use of local and State resources, as well as transportation 
corridors--such as pipelines, vessels, and trucks--to get this energy 
delivered to those consumers driving vehicles all across the United 
  Maybe most importantly, in addition to the critical areas that 
support this energy supply, in my State in particular we are 
experiencing unparalleled land loss due to Federal decisions as to how 
the lower Mississippi River will be channeled for the benefit of the 
inland country as well as those efforts associated with this oil and 
gas development. We can see the effects of this unparalleled land loss. 
When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit our coast, there was no longer the 
wetlands that buffered the impact of tidal action. Those wetlands 
eroded, so those hurricanes hit with greater force, causing greater 
damage to our State. After Hurricane Katrina, you only have to remember 
those news reports from New Orleans to understand how devastating that 
could be--all related to decisions made by the Federal Government.
  Addressing these historic costs of hosting a capital-intensive 
industry, while ensuring resilient domestic energy supply, can be 
obtained only through equitable revenue sharing. What Louisiana does 
under our State constitution with any revenue that is shared from the 
Federal Government related to drilling off the coast of the Gulf of 
Mexico--100 percent is dedicated to coastal restoration; 100 percent is 
dedicated to restoring the wetlands that would prevent another 
Hurricane Katrina from devastating New Orleans or any other coastal 
community in our State.
  There are other benefits for the rest of the country. This amendment 
that we have filed would increase funding for the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund by over $600 million, so the rest of the country 
benefits as well.
  This amendment brings greater equity in revenue sharing with the gulf 
States by lifting the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or the GOMESA 
revenue sharing cap, while allowing mid-Atlantic States and Alaska to 
share in future revenue from offshore energy production. All energy-
producing States deserve to share the revenue derived from energy 
developed both onshore and offshore. Responsible revenue sharing allows 
States hosting energy production to mitigate for the historic and 
prospective infrastructure demands of energy production and allows 
States to make strategic investments ensuring future generations of 
resiliency for this vital infrastructure and natural resources.
  Mr. President, I yield to my colleague from Louisiana, Senator 
Vitter, for his thoughts on this issue.
  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I thank Senator Cassidy.
  Mr. President, I also rise in strong support of this amendment, the 
Cassidy amendment, which would increase revenue sharing for States for 
offshore and oil and gas development.
  Revenue sharing is a critical issue that I have advocated with others 
for many years, certainly including Senator Cassidy, his predecessor, 
and Committee Chair Murkowski. I am pleased that our coalition in 
support of this strong, positive concept has grown in recent years and 
it now includes colleagues from the mid-Atlantic States. I am 
particularly pleased that that is evidenced by this amendment being 
supported and coauthored by the two Senators from Virginia and Senator 
  Revenue sharing with oil and gas producing States is, No. 1, fair to 
those States that incur real environmental and other costs due to 
production activity that benefits the Nation; and, No. 2, it is good, 
positive pro-American energy policy.
  It is fair because, again, energy-producing States incur costs and 
impacts from that production, including environmental costs. Those 
States need to be properly compensated to deal with those real costs 
and impacts.
  Secondly, and just as importantly, this is positive, productive 
policy that furthers pro-American energy agenda. It encourages the 
production of American energy. It incents domestic drilling and 
activity and domestic energy production over the long term. That energy 
production is essential to job creation and an overall healthy economy. 
If it weren't for the oil and gas jobs that accompanied the energy 
sector boom earlier this decade, we would still be in a technical 
  One point I wish to emphasize is that many of those jobs have been 
created by small firms in the oil and gas services industry and support 
sectors. These small business jobs are something I have highlighted in 
my role as chair of the Committee on Small Business and 
  This amendment before the Senate, the Cassidy amendment, would 
increase revenue sharing for gulf States, and it would establish 
revenue sharing for new production from Alaska, Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. This is a clear gain for those 
States and those regions. But, more importantly, it is a clear gain for 
the country because in the medium and long term, we will get more 
American energy production and be more self-sufficient.
  Let me be clear what revenue sharing means for States such as my home 
of Louisiana. In Louisiana we spend 100 percent of those revenues on 
valid environmental works, specifically coastal restoration.
  We lose a football field of land in Louisiana's coastal area--just in 
coastal Louisiana--every 38 minutes. Think about that. Close your eyes, 
and picture a football field losing that amount of Louisiana coastal 
land every 38 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52

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weeks a year, with no time off for holidays or weekends. This is our 
most significant environmental issue by far in Louisiana, so our State 
has committed itself to spending all of the money we receive from 
revenue sharing to restoring, rebuilding, and stabilizing our coast.
  This is vitally important for us. It is also vitally important for 
the rest of the country because Louisiana supplies so much energy to 
the rest of the country--so many fisheries, fish, and seafood to the 
rest of the country. Our ports in the midst of that coastal area are 
vital to trade and commerce for the rest of the country.
  What this amendment does is expand revenue sharing to Alaska and the 
mid-Atlantic States. Between 2027 and 2031, those States would receive 
37.5 percent of revenue sharing from oil and gas production off of 
their coasts, which is what Louisiana and the Gulf States receive now.
  The amendment would also lift the cap on revenue sharing that the 
gulf States are burdened with under the GOMESA act of 2006. Under that 
law, revenue sharing with gulf States is capped arbitrarily at $500 
million a year, but in those operative years of this amendment, that 
would be increased to $1 billion a year.
  Revenue sharing is vital when it comes to adequately compensating the 
States that incur costs and impacts, so it is vital for fairness. But, 
again, it is vital to encourage more American energy production and 
more self-sufficiency. For our Nation--not just the States impacted--
that means growth, and that means energy independence. That is a win, 
in fact, for our foreign policy--less dependence on unstable and 
sometimes very unfriendly nations in the Middle East.
  We want to continue to play a critical role in meeting America's 
energy needs. We want to do that in Louisiana; other States want to do 
that. This amendment and this concept will very much encourage us to do 
that and continue to forge a path of American energy independence, 
which is great for economic growth.
  I wish to briefly take a moment to compliment my colleague from 
Louisiana, Senator Cassidy. He has worked very hard on this issue, this 
amendment, and other critical energy issues as a member of the energy 
committee and also before that as a Member of the House of 
Representatives. I am very grateful for this opportunity to work with 
him on this amendment and this concept that we have been working on and 
furthering for some time.
  I urge all of my colleagues to support this commonsense, pro-American 
energy, pro-American jobs amendment. This will move us in the right 
direction for energy independence, for economic growth, and for a sound 
foreign policy that decreases our reliance and dependence of any sort 
on nations in the Middle East.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Fischer). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Madam President, I will be speaking later, as we are 
expecting Senator Shaheen from New Hampshire.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Madam President, I am delighted to be on the floor 
today, again, with my good friend from Ohio, Senator Portman, to 
discuss our energy efficiency bill, the Energy Savings and Industrial 
Competitiveness Act, which is almost entirely now a part of the broad 
Energy Policy Modernization Act that is on the floor today.
  The Energy Policy Modernization Act is a broad bipartisan approach to 
improve our Nation's energy policies on efficiency, infrastructure, 
supply, and accountability. I wish to thank the chair of the energy 
committee, Senator Murkowski, and Ranking Member Cantwell for the good 
work they have done to put together this bipartisan piece of 
legislation that is going to address a number of our energy challenges 
and also permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 
Now, as I said, a fundamental component of this bill started out as 
Shaheen-Portman. Now we call it Portman-Shaheen. But as my colleagues 
know, Senator Portman and I have been working on this energy efficiency 
legislation since we first introduced it in 2011.
  I am a proponent of energy efficiency because it is the easiest, 
cheapest way to reduce energy costs, to combat climate change, and to 
create private sector jobs. In addition to being affordable, energy 
efficiency benefits aren't confined to a certain fuel source or to a 
particular region of the country. You can like efficiency if you are a 
supporter of fossil fuels or if you are a supporter of new alternative 
  Our piece of this comprehensive bill represents nearly 5 years of 
meetings, negotiations, compromise, and broad stakeholder outreach. The 
end result is an affordable, bipartisan approach to boost the use of 
energy efficiency technologies in manufacturing, in buildings, and 
across the Federal Government.
  According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 
when fully implemented, our efficiency bill will create nearly 200,000 
jobs, reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking 22 million 
cars off the road, and save consumers $16 billion a year. And it does 
this with absolutely no mandates.
  Critical to the negotiation of this legislation has been the joint 
effort between Senator Portman and myself, and between our staffs, to 
work out with stakeholder groups the concerns they had in the energy 
efficiency legislation and to come up with compromises that we all 
thought not only helped build support for the legislation but that 
actually make it a better bill.
  So on buildings, which use about 40 percent of our energy in this 
country, the proposals in our legislation would improve energy savings 
by strengthening outdated model building codes to make new homes and 
commercial buildings more energy efficient. Again, I point out that it 
does that without any mandates. It is a carefully crafted agreement 
that has been negotiated with everyone, from the home builders to the 
realtors to a number of our friends in labor. So I think this is a 
compromise, and the language in the bill is a compromise for which 
there is broad support.
  The bill also encourages energy efficiency in the industrial sector, 
which consumes more energy than any other sector of our economy. Again, 
the provisions in the legislation would encourage the private sector to 
develop innovative energy efficient technologies for industrial 
applications and to invest in a workforce that is trained to deploy 
energy efficiency practices to manufacturers, and they would encourage 
the Department of Energy to work more closely with stakeholders on 
commercialization of new technologies.
  Finally, the energy efficiency piece of this legislation would 
encourage the Federal Government, the Nation's largest energy consumer, 
to adopt more efficient building standards and technologies, such as 
smart meters. With stronger efficiency standards for Federal 
facilities, we can save taxpayers millions of dollars.
  Senator Portman and I have introduced our bill three times. Each 
time, this legislation has received broad bipartisan support from our 
Senate colleagues, broad bipartisan support in the energy committee, 
and it has received strong support from a diverse group of 
stakeholders--everyone from trade associations and the U.S. Chamber of 
Commerce to the National Association of Manufacturers, labor 
organizations, and the environmental community--all, I think, because 
efficiency is something that we can all agree on.
  At long last, I am excited to see that the full Senate is again 
taking up this legislation as part of a bigger, more comprehensive 
  Before I turn it over to Senator Portman, who is here, I would also 
point out that two other provisions I have been working on are included 
in this comprehensive bill. One is smart manufacturing legislation, 
which uses technology to integrate all aspects of

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manufacturing so that businesses can manufacture more while using less 
energy. The other provision deals with grid integration, because, as we 
know, this is one of the issues that the committee took up as part of 
this bill: How do we address our aging transmission and distribution 
infrastructure? The grid integration bill will ensure the broader 
deployment of clean and efficient technologies, such as solar, combined 
heat and power, and energy storage. I think that is important to 
strengthen this Nation's energy security.
  Finally, I will close by saying that the Senate is working this week 
on a comprehensive energy bill for the first time since 2007, if it 
becomes law. Since then, we have seen a dramatic change in our economy, 
and we have seen a dramatic change in the world economy with respect to 
energy. The United States has greatly reduced our energy imports. We 
are now the world's top producer of oil and natural gas. In many places 
around the world, electricity generated by renewable sources, such as 
wind and solar, is cheap enough to compete effectively with electricity 
generated by fossil fuels. Just at the end of the year, we saw more 
than 180 countries come together to form a global plan to reduce 
greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. So 
we are truly experiencing a revolution in energy production and energy 
technology. It is way past time for our energy policies in America to 
catch up with that revolution.
  I, again, thank the chair and ranking member and the entire energy 
committee, and, again, my colleague Senator Portman for the great work 
he has done and that we have done together to bring this portion of the 
bill to the floor.
  I yield to Senator Portman.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Madam President, I thank my colleague from New 
Hampshire, and I tell her that the third time is the charm. Right? We 
have had the bill before us twice now. We really think this is the 
opportunity for us to do something good for our constituents and for 
our country. This is an opportunity for us to pass energy efficiency 
legislation. It will help create more jobs, make the environment 
cleaner, make our businesses more competitive, make us less dependent 
on foreign sources of oil, and help with the trade deficit because of 
that. So this is a win-win for everybody, and, because of that, I thank 
Senator Shaheen for her work on this. We have been working on this for 
4 years together. The last vote we had in the energy committee on this 
legislation was a 20-to-2 vote. As we have worked on this over time, we 
have received more and more support as people understood what we were 
doing and why it was so important for their States and for our country.
  The economic growth in this last quarter was 0.7 percent, meaning 
less than 1 percent growth. That is discouraging. We have to look 
around and say: What can we do to help to get this economy moving 
again? One area is energy. There is no question about it. We believe 
our legislation will help. It is going to create jobs. We have the 
number out there, as Senator Shaheen talked about, and just under 
200,000 jobs could be created by our legislation. We have an analysis 
that shows this. But this broader energy bill would also help. That is 
one reason we need to move forward on this.
  We are grateful that our legislation is part of this broader bill 
called the Energy Policy Modernization Act. This legislation is one 
that Senator Murkowski and Senator Cantwell have been talking about on 
the floor. I support that broader legislation, also, as does Senator 
Shaheen, and we like it because it is a broader bill that looks at the 
energy issue as an ``all the above.'' In other words, we should be 
using various sources of energy and producing more energy, but we 
should also be using what we have more efficiently.
  We are delighted that our legislation--the Portman-Shaheen 
legislation--is title I of this broader bill. This is an opportunity 
for us to do something really good for the economy--this broader bill, 
as well as our specific bill. We think our specific bill is really 
important with regard to jobs.
  One thing I hear back home from our manufacturing companies is that 
they would like to become more competitive so that they can create more 
jobs in Ohio and in America. We are starting to bring some jobs back 
because energy prices are relatively low, natural gas and oil in 
particular. But one of the issues they are facing overseas is that 
other countries are more energy efficient and their manufacturing 
companies are more efficient. So they are competing with companies that 
have a lower cost to produce the same product. So one reason they are 
excited about this legislation--and why the National Association of 
Manufacturers is for this legislation and has worked with us from the 
start--is that this provides them access to new technologies on energy 
efficiency that will let them compete globally with other companies and 
create more jobs. This is going to result in more jobs coming to Ohio, 
more jobs coming to New Hampshire, and more jobs coming to America. We 
like that about the legislation. It also has more jobs because these 
energy efficiency retrofits are going to create more jobs and activity 
here in this country. So as buildings become more efficient, we will 
need workers to work on that. We have some training programs in our 
legislation, for instance, to provide for that workforce. So we are 
going to create more jobs.
  As to energy independence, the underlying bill lets us actually 
produce more energy here but use it more efficiently. I like producing 
more and using less. It is a nice combination, and it lets us say to 
other countries in the world that we are going to be energy independent 
and not subject to the dangerous and volatile parts of the world where 
our energy comes from. We are going to be a net exporter over time. 
Energy efficiency helps us to be able to do that.
  Our trade deficit is driven by a couple things. I am a former U.S. 
Trade Representative, and, yes, countries like China and other 
countries aren't playing by the rules. That is a problem, and we need 
to address that. But another one is energy. We still do need to bring 
in more energy than we are exporting. That is an opportunity for us to 
help our economy overall with efficiency and to help improve our trade 
deficit, which improves our environment.
  Senator Shaheen talked about improving the environment, but the 
analysis she was using is that 21 million cars being taken off the road 
is the equivalent savings that is in this legislation for emissions. 
That is because of the energy efficiency. This is an opportunity for us 
to be much more energy efficient in terms of our economy and be more 
competitive but also to clean the environment. This is a good example.
  By the way, it is not a big regulatory approach, as some other 
approaches are. It doesn't have any mandates in it, so it is not going 
to kill jobs. It is actually going to create jobs and yet help the 
environment. That is a good combination for us. It is one we are 
excited about because it is a way for us to both help the economy and 
help the environment. That is important too.
  We are excited about getting this across the finish line because we 
know it is the right legislation. It is the right time. We think there 
is an opportunity for us to actually do something that is bipartisan, 
something we can get through the House and get to the President's desk 
for his signature.
  One reason we are excited about the prospects of getting something 
done is that we have so much support around the country. There are over 
260 trade association groups that have now supported this legislation. 
By the way, they range from the National Association of Manufacturers--
as I talked about earlier--to the Sierra Club, to the Alliance to Save 
Energy, to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. That is not a group that 
normally gets together on legislation. So this is an opportunity for us 
to get a lot of groups involved and focused because it does make good 
economic sense, good energy sense, and good environmental sense. While 
helping others in the private sector, the bill does not have mandates. 
I think that is very important. This is legislation that provides 
incentives but not mandates.
  The final piece I want to talk about is one that everybody should be 
for. It is going to actually help reduce the costs of the Federal 
Government and therefore help us all as taxpayers; that is, to take on 
the Federal Government's efficiency challenge. We believe

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the U.S. Federal Government is the largest energy user in the United 
States and may well be the largest energy user in the world. This is 
let's practice what we preach.
  The Federal Government is talking about green technologies, energy 
efficiency, and so on, but in our own Federal Government we see huge 
gaps and huge opportunities. This legislation goes after that and 
specifically puts in place requirements for the Federal Government to 
be much more efficient with how it uses energy. That will make a big 
difference in terms of everything we talked about with regard to the 
environment and the benefits of efficiency, but it also helps the 
taxpayer because at the end of the day, we will be spending less on 
energy for the Federal Government as taxpayers.
  It is another part of the legislation that I think is important and 
one where I would hope everybody would be supportive. Overall, we 
believe this legislation will save consumers $13.7 billion annually in 
reduced energy costs. This is a big deal. This is something that if we 
can get it through the Senate this week and get it through the House 
and get it to the President for his signature, it will make a real 
difference for the families I represent and whom all of us in this 
Chamber have the honor to represent.
  I thank Senator Shaheen for her patience over what has been 4, 5 
years working on this together with me and the good work she has done 
and others have done to give us this opportunity to be able to help 
those folks whom we represent with an ``all of the above'' energy 
strategy that is good for jobs, good for the environment, and good for 
the taxpayer.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority whip.
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, as the Presiding Officer knows, we are 
busy working to complete action on the Energy Policy Modernization Act. 
I want to start by saying some good words about the leadership of 
Senator Murkowski, the chairman of the energy committee, and her 
ranking member, Senator Cantwell, who have gotten us to this point. 
Unless we drop the ball in the next couple of days, we ought to be able 
to wrap up our debate and deliberation on this very important bill that 
will help our country move forward with energy policies that reflect 
the times we are living in.
  I also think we ought to reflect on what those times are because it 
was just a few short years ago when all of the pundits and experts were 
predicting peak oil. In other words, all the oil that could be 
discovered, they said, had been discovered and we would then be in a 
period of decline from that point forward. In the United States we also 
found ourselves in the main dependent upon imported oil from the Middle 
East. As you know, both of those have turned around. In other words, 
because of the innovation and good old all-American know-how, we are 
now exporting more energy.

  To Senator Murkowski's credit, she led the effort to lift the ban on 
exporting crude oil, so now American-produced energy can be made 
available on world markets. Just as significantly, we can make sure our 
friends and allies around the world aren't captive to people like 
Vladimir Putin, who uses energy as a weapon and threatens to cut off 
the energy supply, particularly of those countries in its orbit in the 
Baltics unless they are willing to go along with his heavy-handed 
  This is a very good story. This legislation will update our energy 
policies with that reality in mind and enable our country to continue 
to grow its role as a leading global energy power. I pause here to say 
that this is not just from people who come from an energy State as I 
do, such as from Texas or Alaska or North Dakota. The energy story is 
the story of world history in so many ways.
  One of my favorite books is written by Daniel Yergin, a Pulitzer 
Prize-winning author. One of the books he has written is called ``The 
Prize,'' which tracks the history of the globe and in an incredible 
sort of way, but he makes the point that so much of our history has 
been determined by the need for and attempt to gain access to reliable 
energy supplies and how important that is not only to our military to 
be able to fight and win our Nation's wars but to our economy, to the 
businesses that need access to reasonably priced energy and to 
consumers, obviously.
  We are seeing the benefit now, those of us who filled our gas tank 
recently, of inexpensive gasoline prices because the price of oil has 
come down because of increased world supply. There comes a point where 
it is challenging to the industry, but they have been through ups and 
downs in the past, and I am sure they will make the appropriate 
  In this legislation, in addition to addressing and modernizing our 
energy policies, we are doing things such as modernizing the electric 
grid. That is what keeps the lights on at night and keeps our 
thermostats working when it is cold and we have snowstorms like we had 
in Washington recently.
  This bill will make our electricity supply more reliable and more 
economical in the long run. Just like we did with crude oil, this bill 
will help expedite the approval process for liquefied natural gas 
exports. It is amazing to me to think that a few short years ago we 
were building import terminals that would actually receive natural gas 
being exported from other countries to being brought to the United 
States to help us with our energy needs. Now those have been 
retrofitted and reversed so these export terminals are now exporting 
American energy to markets around the world.
  I want to spend a couple of minutes talking about some amendments 
that I have offered to the underlying bill. Again, I must compliment 
the bill managers for working with various Senators to try to work in, 
either through a voice vote or by some acceptance of amendments, 
provisions which are designed to improve this legislation. My 
amendments that I want to mention now are designed to address Texas's 
needs and the American people's needs from preventing overreach by the 
administration, particularly when it comes to your energy production 
and supply.
  One amendment I have offered specifically targets an upcoming rule 
offered by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, known as 
BSEE. BSEE is an organization that most people are completely unaware 
of, but it is set to hand down a rule referred to as the so-called well 
control rule that deals with highly technical and complex safety 
producers for offshore wells.
  Certainly, since the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, we have become 
all too aware of the dangers of uncontrolled blowout of offshore 
drilling, but there has been a lot of very important study, work, and 
education that has been acquired since that time. The industry has done 
a lot to make itself safer.
  You can imagine, if you are a publicly traded company or if you are 
not a publicly traded company, you sure don't want to be in the middle 
of another crisis like we saw with the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico 
for all sorts of reasons: People lost their lives, cost hundreds of 
millions of dollars, and of course the environmental impact along the 
gulf coast, including States like Texas. In typical bureaucratic 
fashion, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, BSEE, has 
refused to engage in discussions that might help clear up some 
confusion among stakeholders. They have been unwilling to take the time 
to fully vet the negative impact on their proposed rules and to talk to 
the people who know the most about it, and that would be the people who 
would be most affected by the rule.
  My amendment would require BSEE to resubmit the rule but first by 
taking additional comments from stakeholders, and it would require the 
rulemaking organization to have additional workshops with industry 
experts so everybody can understand what they are trying to accomplish 
and to do it more efficiently and better.
  So often the very people who have the most expertise are in the 
industry the government tries to regulate. I know there is a natural 
reluctance to try to consult with and learn from the regulated 
industry, but the fact is, often--and it is true in this case--it is 
that industry that understands the process and both the risks and what 
protective measures need to be taken in order to accomplish the 
objective. So rather than just issuing a rule that is complex and 
highly technical without consulting the stakeholders who are sitting 
down and having a reasonable conversation trying to figure out

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what you are trying to accomplish, have you thought of this, have you 
thought of doing it differently or a better way, that doesn't happen. 
Unfortunately, that is where we are with BSEE.
  In addition, I have submitted an amendment that protects property 
owners along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River, which borders the 
States of Texas and Oklahoma. This has to do with another bureaucracy 
called the Bureau of Land Management. A few years ago, the Bureau of 
Land Management claimed to actually own tens of thousands of acres 
along the Red River. As you can imagine, that came as quite a shock to 
the people who thought they owned that property, and now many of them 
are stuck today fighting the U.S. Government--their government--in 
court to reclaim the property that is rightfully theirs.
  My amendment would help protect these landowners from this massive 
land grab. It would require a legitimate survey of the land in question 
to be conducted and approved by the authorities. It seems so 
commonsensical, but unfortunately common sense isn't all that common 
when you see the bureaucracy at work. With this amendment, these 
landowners would finally get a reasonably efficient means of resolution 
to this frustrating abuse of Federal Government power.
  Another amendment I have submitted would address how States, 
counties, and other affected parties enter into a conversation about 
the Endangered Species Act. Too often States and local communities, not 
to mention private property owners, are left in the dark while interest 
groups they don't know much about conduct closed-door discussions with 
Federal authorities about potential listing of endangered species.
  My amendment will give all of the stakeholders the opportunity to 
have a seat at the table and to have a conversation--it doesn't seem 
like a lot to ask--so both the regulators and the regulated can talk 
about the real impact those regulations will have on their daily lives 
and better inform the regulatory process.
  These amendments get to different specific problems, but the common 
theme uniting them is a desire to try to lessen the interference by the 
government in our everyday lives. By pushing back against overbearing, 
costly regulations that don't actually accomplish the goal that even 
the regulators say they want to accomplish and ensuring that State and 
local communities and stakeholders play a role in this conversation 
which should be part of the regulatory process, the American people 
would be better served by this legislation.
  As we continue these discussions on this bill, I hope my colleagues 
will consider these amendments and others like them to help get the 
government out of the way or to help correct the bureaucracy when it is 
misguided and misinformed about how to actually accomplish consensus 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.

                Amendment No. 3023 to Amendment No. 2953

  Mr. LEE. Madam President, I call up my amendment No. 3023.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Utah [Mr. Lee] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 3023 to amendment No. 2953.

  Mr. LEE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To modify the authority of the President of the United States 
                     to declare national monuments)

       At the end of subtitle E of title IV, add the following:


       Section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, is amended 
     by adding at the end the following:
       ``(e) Effective Date.--A proclamation or reservation issued 
     after the date of enactment of this subsection under 
     subsection (a) or (b) shall expire 3 years after proclaimed 
     or reserved unless specifically approved by--
       ``(1) a Federal law enacted after the date of the 
     proclamation or reservation; and
       ``(2) a State law, for each State where the land covered by 
     the proclamation or reservation is located, enacted after the 
     date of the proclamation or reservation.''.

  Mr. LEE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 
an additional 15 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEE. Madam President, if there is one thing we know about 
American politics--if there is one thing we have learned from the 2016 
Presidential race thus far--it is that there is a deep and growing 
mistrust between the American people and the Federal Government. This 
institution, Congress, is held in shamefully low regard by the people 
we were elected to represent, but so, too, are the scores of 
bureaucratic agencies that are based in Washington, DC, but extend 
their reach into the most remote corners of American life.
  In my home State of Utah, the public's distrust of Washington is 
rooted not in ideology, but experience. In particular, the experience 
of living in a State where a whopping two-thirds of the land is owned 
by the Federal Government and managed by distant, unaccountable 
agencies that are either indifferent or downright hostile to the 
interests of the local communities that they are supposed to serve. I 
have lost track of the number of stories I have heard from the people 
of Utah about their run-ins with Federal land management agencies, but 
there is one story that every Utahan knows: President Bill Clinton's 
infamous use of the Antiquities Act in 1996 to designate as a national 
monument more than 1.5 million acres of land in southern Utah--what 
would become known as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
  What Utahans remember about this episode is not just what President 
Clinton did, but how he did it. Signed into law in 1906, the 
Antiquities Act gives the President power to unilaterally designate 
tracts of Federal land as ``historic landmarks, historic and 
prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific 
interest.'' The purpose of the law is to enable the Executive to act 
quickly to protect archaeological sites on Federal lands from looting, 
destruction, or vandalism.
  But the Antiquities Act is not supposed to be carte blanche for the 
President. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The language of the law 
is clear. It instructs the President to restrict the designation of 
national monuments under the Antiquities Act to the ``smallest area 
compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be 
protected.'' So you can imagine the surprise, and, in fact, the 
indignation across the State of Utah following President Clinton's 
decision to annex a stretch of land roughly 1\1/2\ times the size of 
the State of Delaware and then to give control over that land to a 
Federal bureaucracy that routinely maintains a maintenance backlog that 
is several billion dollars higher than its multibillion-dollar annual 
  Even worse than the enormous size of the designation was the Clinton 
administration's hostility toward the people of Utah and the 
communities that would be most directly and severely affected by his 
decision. Not only did President Clinton announce the monument 
designation in Arizona--over 100 miles from the Utah State border--but 
he refused to consult or even notify Utah's congressional delegation 
until the day before his announcement. Consulting with the people who 
live and work in the communities around a potential national monument 
area isn't just a matter of following political etiquette, it is a 
matter of ensuring that Federal land policy does not rob citizens of 
their livelihood, which is exactly what happened as a result of the 
Grand Staircase designation.
  Utah's economy is built on the farm and agriculture industry, and 
livestock is the State's single largest sector of farm income. But of 
the 45 million acres of rangeland in Utah, nearly three-quarters is 
owned and managed by the Federal Government.
  Since the 1940s, Federal agencies have slashed livestock grazing 
across the Utah landscape by more than 50 percent--a policy of economic 
deprivation that accelerated after 1996 on rangeland within the Grand 
Staircase case. Even today the Bureau of Land Management shows no sign 
of relenting.

[[Page S469]]

  For most people, the Grand Staircase episode is a case study of 
government-sponsored injustice and a form of bureaucratic tyranny. For 
me, it brings to mind the line from America's Declaration of 
Independence in which the colonists charge that the King of Great 
Britain ``has erected a multitude of New Offices and sent hither swarms 
of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.''
  But for President Obama and the radical environmental groups that 
have co-opted Federal land agencies, it is the textbook model for the 
application of the Antiquities Act. In fact, it appears that President 
Obama is considering using his final year in the White House to target 
another vast tract of land in southern Utah for designation as a 
national monument. Covering 1.9 million acres of Federal land in San 
Juan County, this area, known as Bears Ears, is roughly the same size 
as the Grand Staircase. Both are situated near the southern edge of the 
State, and both possess an abundance of national beauty unrivaled by 
any place in the world.
  The similarities don't end there. Each area is home to a group of 
Utahans deeply connected to the Federal land targeted by environmental 
activists for a national monument designation. In the case of the Grand 
Staircase, it is the ranchers, and in the case of Bears Ears, it is the 
Kaayelii Navajo. The Kaayelii believe that a national 
monument designation in Bears Ears, their ancestral home, would 
threaten their livelihood and destroy their very way of life.

  Their concerns are well founded. In the 1920s and 1930s, hundreds of 
Navajo families settled on homesteads located in national monuments 
only to find themselves steadily pushed out by imperious Federal 
agencies all too eager to eradicate the private use of public lands. So 
it should come as no surprise to us today that the Kaayelii are 
protesting the unilateral Federal takeover of Bears Ears and calling on 
the Obama administration to forgo the high-handed approach to land 
conservation that was employed by President Clinton in 1996.
  The Kaayelii, of course, are not opposed to the protection or the 
conservation of public lands. They care about the preservation of Bears 
Ears just as much as anyone else. To them, the land is not just 
beautiful, it is also sacred. They depend on it for their economic and 
spiritual survival, which is why all they are asking for is a seat at 
the table so that their ancestral land isn't given over, sight unseen, 
to the arbitrary and arrogant control of Federal land management 
  I agree with the Kaayelii. The President of the United States has no 
business seizing vast stretches of public land to be micromanaged and 
mismanaged by Federal agencies, especially if the people who live, 
work, and depend on the land stand in opposition to such a takeover. 
There is no denying that the people of San Juan County reject the 
presumption that they should have no say in the management of the land 
in their community. The truth is that most of those who have mobilized 
to support a monument designation at Bears Ears, including several 
Native American groups, live outside of Utah in States such as 
Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
  By contrast, the people of San Juan County, UT--the people whose 
lives and livelihoods are intricately tied to Bears Ears--stand united 
in their opposition to a monument designation. That is why I have 
offered amendment No. 3023, which would update the Antiquities Act in 
order to protect the right of the Kaayelii and their fellow citizens of 
San Juan County to participate in the government's efforts to protect 
and preserve public land.
  Here is how my amendment works: It preserves the President's 
authority to designate tracts of Federal land as national monuments, 
but it also reserves a seat at the table for people who would be 
directly affected by Executive action. It does so by opening the 
policymaking process to the people's elected representatives at the 
State and Federal levels so they can weigh in on monument designations.
  Under my amendment, Congress and the legislature of the State in 
which a monument has been designated would have 3 years to pass 
resolutions ratifying the designation. If they fail to do so, the 
national monument designation will expire. Some critics might claim 
that this amendment would take unprecedented steps to curtail the 
President's monument designation authority under the Antiquities Act. 
This is not true. This, in fact, is nonsense. The truth is that 
Congress has twice passed legislation amending the Antiquities Act. In 
1950, Congress wholly prohibited Presidential designation of national 
monuments under the Antiquities Act in the State of Wyoming. Some 30 
years later, Congress passed another law requiring congressional 
approval of national monuments in Alaska larger than 5,000 acres.
  If you have ever visited Wyoming or Alaska, you know that these 
provisions have not led to the parade of horribles conjured up by 
radical environmental activists who seem intent on achieving nothing 
short of ironfisted Federal control of all Federal lands.
  In reality, the States of Wyoming and Alaska have proven that 
national monument designations are not necessary to protect and 
conserve America's most beautiful, treasured public lands. So why 
should the people of Wyoming and Alaska enjoy these reasonable, 
commonsense protections under the law while the people of Utah--and 
indeed, the people of every other State in the Union--do not enjoy the 
same protections? There is no good answer to this question except, of 
course, the adoption of my amendment.
  To anyone who might suggest that the people of these communities in 
and around national monuments are not prepared to participate in the 
monument process and policy process that leads to the creation of a 
monument, I invite you to visit San Juan County in southeastern Utah. 
You will see a community that is not only well informed about the 
issues and actively engaged in the political process, but also 
genuinely dedicated to finding a solution that works for everyone.
  The people of San Juan County--from the Kaayelii to the county 
commissioners--have the determination that is necessary to forge a 
legislative solution to the challenges facing public lands in their 
community, and that is exactly what you would expect. San Juan is a 
hardscrabble community. It is one of the most disadvantaged in the 
entire State of Utah, but you wouldn't know it from the people there. 
The citizens of San Juan County are hardworking, honest, decent, and 
happy people. Yet for far too long, Federal land management agencies 
have given the people of San Juan County and the people all across 
America little reason to trust the Federal Government.
  My amendment gives us an opportunity to change that. If Congress 
wants to regain the trust of the American people, we are going to have 
to earn it, and one of the ways we can earn it is by returning power to 
the people, and that is what this amendment would do. Passing this 
amendment giving all Americans a voice in the land management decisions 
of their community would be a meaningful and important step toward 
earning back that trust. I urge my colleagues to lend their support to 
this amendment and the vital public trust that it will help us to 
  I thank the Presiding Officer, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Madam President, I am hopeful that before we go to the 
caucus lunches, we will be able to move forward on a few more 
amendments and the scheduling of votes. Hopefully we will be able to do 
that in a few minutes.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Madam 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. Madam President, we are making some good progress here 
in the intervening hours since we came to the floor this morning and 
began business.
  Working with the ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources 
Committee, we have come to an agreement to announce a series of 
amendments that will be voted on. I want to acknowledge the effort that 
has gone back and forth on both sides to make

[[Page S470]]

sure folks have an opportunity to weigh in and vote on amendments that 
are important to them. I think we have a good series here that we will 
  It is our hope that as we move to vote on these amendments, we will 
also continue the good work we have done to try to advance some other 
measures that will be able to go by voice votes, and we will be working 
on those throughout the day.
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that it be in order to call 
up the following amendments: No. 3182, Rounds, as modified; No. 3030, 
Barrasso; No. 2996, Sullivan; No. 3176, Schatz; No. 3095, Durbin; and 
No. 3125, Whitehouse; that following the disposition of the Franken 
amendment No. 3115, the Senate proceed to vote in relation to the above 
amendments in the order listed with no second-degree amendments in 
order prior to the votes; that a 60-vote affirmative threshold be 
required for adoption; and that there be 2 minutes of debate equally 
divided prior to each vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Madam President, I would note that there will now be a 
series of eight votes when we commence at 2:30 this afternoon, and 
recognizing that there are committees meeting and other Senate business 
going on, we would hope to be able to process these votes relatively 
efficiently, respecting that 10-minute vote parameter, so that we can 
move through them in a manner that respects others' schedules.
  With that, Madam President, I yield the floor.