(Senate - July 12, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 112 (Tuesday, July 12, 2016)]
[Pages S4975-S4993]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask that the Chair lay before the 
Senate the conference report to accompany S. 524.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the conference report to 
accompany S. 524.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       Conference report to accompany S. 524, a bill to authorize 
     the Attorney General to award grants to address the national 
     epidemics of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  (The remarks of Mr. Alexander pertaining to the introduction of S. 
3169 are printed in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced 
Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.

                           Judicial Vacancies

  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. President, the American public is well aware that 
there is a vacancy on our U.S. Supreme Court and, in addition, that 
there is obstruction going on in terms of our path to do what the 
Senate is supposed to do--confirm a President's nomination to the 
Supreme Court. Because it is the Supreme Court, because that term has 
come to an end and we have seen a number of 4-to-4 ties, because of the 
consequence and the gravity of what it is that the Supreme Court does, 
that has garnered a lot of attention. It has resulted in the calling 
for the Republicans in the Senate to do their job, to not obfuscate and 
declare that they won't hold hearings or won't schedule a vote on 
President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. As a consequence, that 
vacancy may persist for well over a year when all is said and done.
  I rise today to draw attention to the fact that that is not the only 

[[Page S4976]]

vacancy we have here in the United States of America. We currently have 
83 vacancies in the Federal courts, and 29 of those vacancies have been 
declared judicial emergencies, meaning that the continuing vacancy has 
caused serious problems and concerns, so they are deemed judicial 
  Currently, because of the work that has been done by individual 
Senators, consulting with the President, and what the President has 
done in terms of forwarding nominees to the Senate so that we can 
exercise our role of advice and consent, so we can hold votes on 
confirmations, and because of the work of the Senate Judiciary 
Committee, currently there are 24 judicial nominees on the Executive 
Calendar. All of them--every one of them--have garnered majority 
support of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in order to 
advance to the Executive Calendar. Every one of them is deserving of a 
full Senate vote.
  I rise to draw attention to one particular vacancy; that is, a 
vacancy on the Seventh Circuit Court. One of Wisconsin's seats on the 
Seventh Circuit has been vacant for more than 6\1/2\ years. Let me 
repeat that. It has been vacant for more than 6\1/2\ years. Currently, 
and not surprisingly, it is the longest Federal circuit court vacancy 
in the country. Today marks 2,378 days that this circuit court seat has 
been vacant.
  The people of Wisconsin and our neighbors in Illinois and Indiana 
deserve a fully functioning appeals court. We have a highly qualified 
nominee who deserves a vote from this body.
  Don Schott was nominated by the President on January 12 to fill this 
Seventh Circuit Court vacancy. He has strong bipartisan support. Both 
Senator Johnson and I have returned our blue slips. Bipartisan 
majorities of the Wisconsin judicial nominating commission have given 
their support to Don Schott and have voted to advance his nomination, a 
bipartisan group of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance his 
nomination, and a bipartisan group of former Wisconsin bar presidents 
support him. Don Schott has the experience, qualifications, and 
temperament to be an outstanding Federal judge. He was rated 
unanimously ``well qualified'' by the American Bar Association. In 
talking to people in Wisconsin about this nomination, I have heard only 
tremendous praise for Don Schott.
  This nomination deserves a vote. As such, I rise today to urge the 
majority leader, the Republican leader, to schedule a vote on Don 
Schott, as well as all of the other judicial nominees who are on the 
Executive Calendar. The American people deserve a fully functioning 
Federal judiciary.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.

                         Miners Protection Act

  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I rise today in defense of the bipartisan 
Miners Protection Act. This is a little bit of a history class that is 
going to be rolled into the facts of what we are dealing with today.
  Our coal miners are some of the hardest working people in America. 
Any of you who come from a family who had one as a relative--maybe your 
grandfather, father, uncle--you know those patriarchs are tough. They 
are hard-working but extremely patriotic. They basically dedicated 
their lives to powering our Nation. We would not be the Nation we are 
today if it had not been for the miners, who now seem to have been cast 
aside and forgotten about. They powered this Nation. They brought us 
into the Industrial Revolution, if you will, the industrial age, and 
created the middle class and one of the largest unions, the United Mine 
Workers of America. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, especially, if you 
were working in the mines, you were in the United Mine Workers union. 
That is just the way things were. But by the end of this year, tens of 
thousands of our miners are going to receive notices that they are 
going to lose their health benefits. They are going to lose their 
health benefits.
  I have come to the floor again to answer the points that were called 
into question by my friend Senator Enzi from Wyoming. First, Senator 
Enzi specifically questioned the promise that was made to the miners in 
1946. He questioned the promise that was made to them in 1946, saying 
that it was made between the coal companies and the unions, not the 
Federal Government, so therefore we should not have an obligation to be 
involved. He said there was never an agreement with the Federal 
  I don't know how else to say this except that I believe my good 
friend was totally misinformed. That is not correct, not at all. Now I 
will give you the facts. This is a lesson.
  In May of 1946, the United States was in the midst of a robust post-
World War II economic recovery. I mean, everybody was working during 
the war. We were trying to survive as a nation, trying to defeat 
tyranny and basically save the world as we know it today. So everybody 
was working. Now the war is over. We were fearing a shutdown of our 
economy, and somehow we had to continue to keep this energy we needed 
to keep the country and the economy moving.
  The United Mine Workers were actively negotiating. They were actively 
negotiating their contracts the way you do in a civil bargaining 
agreement. You sit down and you work through that. President Harry 
Truman knew the vital role the coal industry played in the economic 
recovery efforts, and he feared a prolonged strike. He issued an 
Executive order because he thought a strike would grind our recovery to 
a halt. He feared a prolonged strike, and he issued an Executive order 
directing the Secretary of the Interior to take possession of the 
bituminous coal mines--can you believe that--take possession of all of 
the bituminous coal mines in the United States and negotiate with the 
unions. So basically he stepped in and started negotiating with the 
unions, taking over the mines.
  Senator Enzi stated that this agreement was made between the members 
and the companies, not between the members and the American taxpayer. 
In fact, the first line of the Krug-Lewis agreement--this was the 
agreement that was signed, the historic document that created the 
promise of health benefits and retirement security for our Nation's 
miners. This agreement is between the Secretary of the Interior acting 
as Coal Mines Administrator under the authority of Executive Order No. 
9728, dated May 21, 1946, and the United Mine Workers of America. The 
title of this agreement says ``Executed at the White House, Washington, 
D.C., May 29 of 1946.''
  I ask unanimous consent to have a copy of this agreement printed in 
the Record, and I will be sending a copy to my dear friend.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                   National Bituminous Wage Agreement



       This Agreement between the Secretary of the Interior, 
     acting as Coal Mines Administrator under the authority of 
     Executive Order No. 9728 (dated May 21, 1946, 11 F. R. 5593), 
     and the United Mine Workers of America, covers for the period 
     of Government possession the terms and conditions of 
     employment in respect to all mines in Government possession 
     which were as of March 31, 1946, subject to the National 
     Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement, dated April 11, 1945.
     1. Provisions of National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement 
       Except as amended and supplemented herein, this Agreement 
     carries forward and preserves the terms and conditions 
     contained in all joint wage agreements effective April 1, 
     1941, through March 31, 1943, the supplemental agreement 
     providing for the six (6) day work week, and all the various 
     district agreements executed between the United Mine Workers 
     and the various Coal Associations and Coal Companies (based 
     upon the aforesaid basic agreement) as they existed on March 
     31, 1943, and the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement, 
     dated April 11, 1945.
     2. Mine Safety Program
       (a) Federal Mine Safety Code
       As soon as practicable and not later than 30 days from the 
     date of the making of the Agreement, the Director of the 
     Bureau of Mines after consultation with representatives of 
     the United Mine Workers and such other persons as he deems 
     appropriate, will issue a reasonable code of standards and 
     rules pertaining to safety conditions and practices in the 
     mines. The Coal Mines Administrator will put this code into 
     effect at the mines. Inspectors of the Federal Bureau of 
     Mines shall make periodic investigations of the mines and 
     report to the Coal Mines Administrator any violations of the 
     Federal Safety Code. In cases of violation the Coal Mines 
     Administrator will take appropriate

[[Page S4977]]

     action which may include disciplining or replacing the 
     operating manager so that with all reasonable dispatch said 
     violation will be corrected.
       From time to time the Director of the Bureau of Mines may, 
     upon request of the Coal Mines Administrator or the United 
     Mine Workers, review and revise the Federal Mine Safety Code.
       (b) Mine Safety Committee
       At each mine there shall be a Mine Safety Committee 
     selected by the Local Union. The Mine Safety Committee may 
     inspect any mine development or equipment used in producing 
     coal for the purpose of ascertaining whether compliance with 
     the Federal Safety Code exists. The Committee members while 
     engaged in the performance of their duties shall be paid by 
     the Union, but shall be deemed to be acting within the scope 
     of their employment in the mine within the meaning of the 
     Workmen's Compensation Law of the state where such duties are 
       If the Committee believes conditions found endanger the 
     life and bodies of the mine workers, it shall report its 
     findings and recommendations to the management. In those 
     special instances where the Committee believes an immediate 
     danger exists and the Committee recommends that the 
     management remove all mine workers from the unsafe area, the 
     operating manager or his managerial subordinate is required 
     to follow the recommendation of the Committee, unless and 
     until the Coal Mines Administrator, taking into account the 
     inherently hazardous character of coal mining, determines 
     that the authority of the Safety Committee is being misused 
     and he cancels or modifies that authority.
       The Safety Committee and the operating manager shall 
     maintain such records concerning inspections, findings, 
     recommendations and actions relating to this provision of the 
     Agreement as the Coal Mines Administrator may require and 
     shall supply such reports as he may request.
     3. Workmen's Compensation and Occupational Disease
       The Coal Mines Administrator undertakes to direct each 
     operating manager to provide its employees with the 
     protection and coverage of the benefits under Workmen's 
     Compensation and Occupational Disease Laws, whether 
     compulsory or elective, existing in the states in which the 
     respective employees are employed. Refusal of any operating 
     manager to carry out this direction shall be deemed a 
     violation of his duties as operating manager. In the event of 
     such refusal the Coal Mines Administrator will take 
     appropriate action which may include disciplining or 
     replacing the operating manager or shutting down the mine.
     4. Health and Welfare Program
       There is hereby provided a health and welfare program in 
     broad outline--and it is recognized that many important 
     details remain to be filled in--such program to consist of 
     three parts, as follows:
       (a) A Welfare and Retirement Fund
       A welfare and retirement fund is hereby created and there 
     shall be paid into said fund by the operating managers 
     5 cents per ton on each ton of coal produced for use or for 
     sale. This fund shall be managed by three trustees, one 
     appointed by the Coal Mines Administrator, one appointed by 
     the President of the United Mine Workers, and the third 
     chosen by the other two. The fund shall be used for making 
     payments to miners, and their dependents and survivors, with 
     respect to (i) wage loss not otherwise compensated at all or 
     adequately under the provisions of Federal or State law and 
     resulting from sickness (temporary disability), permanent 
     disability, death, or retirement, and (ii) other related 
     welfare purposes, as determined by the trustees. Subject to 
     the stated purposes of the fund, the trustees shall have full 
     authority with respect to questions of coverage and 
     eligibility, priorities among classes of benefits, amounts of 
     benefits, methods of providing or arranging for provision of 
     benefits, and all related matters.
       The Coal Mines Administrator will instruct the operating 
     managers that the obligation to make payments to the welfare 
     and retirement fund becomes effective with reference to coal 
     produced on and after June 1, 1946; the first actual payment 
     is to be made on August 15, 1946, covering the period from 
     June 1 to July 15; the second payment to be made on September 
     15, covering the period from July 15 to August 31; and 
     thereafter payments are to be made on the 15th day of each 
     month covering the preceding month.
       (b) A Medical and Hospital Fund
       There shall be created a medical and hospital fund, to be 
     administered by trustees appointed by the President of the 
     United Mine Workers. This fund shall be accumulated from the 
     wage deductions presently being made and such as may 
     hereafter be authorized by the Union and its members for 
     medical, hospital and related purposes. The trustees shall 
     administer this fund to provide, or to arrange for the 
     availability of, medical, hospital, and related services for 
     the miners and their dependents. The money in this fund shall 
     be used for the indicated purposes at the discretion of the 
     trustees of the fund; and the trustees shall provide for such 
     regional or local variations and adjustments in wage 
     deductions, benefits and other practices, and transfer of 
     funds to local unions, as may be necessary and as are in 
     accordance with agreements made within the framework of the 
     Union's organization.
       The Coal Mines Administrator agrees (after the trustees 
     make arrangements satisfactory to the Coal Mines 
     Administrator) to direct each operating manager to turn over 
     to this fund, or to such local unions as the trustees of the 
     fund may direct, all such wage deductions, beginning with a 
     stated date to be agreed upon by the Administrator and the 
     President of the United Mine Workers: Provided, however, that 
     the United Mine Workers shall first obtain the consent of the 
     affected employees to such turn-over. The Coal Mines 
     Administrator will cooperate fully with the United Mine 
     Workers to the end that there may be terminated as rapidly as 
     may be practicable any existing agreements that earmark the 
     expenditure of such wage deductions, except as the 
     continuation of such agreements may be approved by the 
     trustees of the fund.
       Present practices with respect to wage deductions and their 
     use for provisions of medical, hospital and related services 
     shall continue until such date or dates as may be agreed upon 
     by the Coal Mines Administrator and the President of the 
     United Mine Workers.
       (c) Coordination of the Welfare and Retirement Fund and the 
           Medical and Hospital Fund
       The Coal Mines Administrator and the United Mine Workers 
     agree to use their good offices to assure that trustees of 
     the two funds described above will cooperate in and 
     coordinate the development of policies and working agreements 
     necessary for the effective operation of each fund toward 
     achieving the result that each fund will, to the maximum 
     degree practicable, operate to complement the other.
     5. Survey of Medical and Sanitary Facilities
       The Coal Mines Administrator undertakes to have made a 
     comprehensive survey and study of the hospital and medical 
     facilities, medical treatment, sanitary, and housing 
     conditions in the coal mining areas. The purpose of this 
     survey will be to determine the character and scope of 
     improvements which should be made to provide the mine workers 
     of the Nation with medical, housing and sanitary facilities 
     conforming to recognized American standards.
     6. Wages
       (a) All mine workers, whether employed by the day, tonnage 
     or footage rate, shall receive $1.85 per day in addition to 
     that provided for in the contract which expired March 31, 
       (b) Work performed on the sixth consecutive day is 
     optional, but when performed shall be paid for at time and 
     one-half or rate and one-half.
       (c) Holidays, when worked, shall be paid for at time and 
     one-half or rate and one-half. Holidays shall be computed in 
     arriving at the sixth and seventh day in the week.
     7. Vacation Payment
       An annual vacation period shall be the rule of the 
     industry. From Saturday, June 29, 1946, to Monday, July 8, 
     1946, inclusive, shall be a vacation period during which coal 
     production shall cease. Day-men required to work during this 
     period at coke plants and other necessarily continuous 
     operations or on emergency or repair work shall have 
     vacations of the same duration at other agreed periods.
       All employees with a record of one year's standing (June 1, 
     1945, to May 31, 1946) shall receive as compensation for the 
     above-mentioned vacation period the sum of One Hundred 
     Dollars ($100), with the following exception: Employees who 
     entered the armed services and those who returned from the 
     armed services to their jobs during the qualifying period 
     shall receive the $100 vacation payment.
       All the terms and provisions of district agreements 
     relating to vacation pay for sick and injured employees are 
     carried forward to this Agreement and payments are to be made 
     in the sum as provided herein.
       Pro rata payments for the months they are on the payroll 
     shall be provided for those mine workers who are given 
     employment during the qualifying period and those who leave 
     their employment.
       The vacation payment of the 1946 period shall be made on 
     the last pay day occurring in the month of June of that year.
     8. Settlement of Disputes
       Upon petition filed by the United Mine Workers with the 
     Coal Mines Administrator showing that the procedure for the 
     adjustment of grievances in any coal producing district is 
     inequitable in relation to the generally prevailing standard 
     of such procedures in the industry, the Coal Mines 
     Administrator will direct the operating managers at mines in 
     the district shown to have an inequitable grievance procedure 
     to put into effect within a reasonable period of time the 
     generally prevailing grievance procedure in the industry.
     9. Discharge Cases
       The Coal Mines Administrator will carry out the provision 
     in agreements which were in effect on March 31, 1946, between 
     coal mine operators and the United Mine Workers that cases 
     involving the discharge of employees for cause shall be 
     disposed of within 5 days.
     10. Fines and Penalties
       No fines or penalties shall be imposed unless authorized by 
     the Coal Mines Administrator. In the event that such fines or 
     penalties are imposed by the Coal Mines Administrator, the 
     funds withheld for that reason

[[Page S4978]]

     shall be turned over to the trustees of the fund provided for 
     in Section 4 (b) hereof, to be used for the purpose stated 
     11. Supervisors
       With respect to questions affecting the employment and 
     bargaining status of foremen, supervisors, technical and 
     clerical workers employed in the bituminous mining industry, 
     the Coal Mines Administrator will be guided by the decisions 
     and procedure laid down by the National Labor Relations 
     12. Safety
       Nothing herein shall operate to nullify existing state 
     statutes, but this Agreement is intended to supplement the 
     aforesaid statutes in the interest of increased mine safety.
     13. Retroactive Wage Provisions
       The wage provisions of this Agreement shall be retroactive 
     to May 22, 1946.
     14. Effective Date
       This Agreement is effective as of May 29, 1946, subject to 
     approval of appropriate Government agencies.
       Signed at Washington, D.C. on this 29th day of May, 1946.
                                                       J. A. Krug,
                                         Coal Mines Administrator.

                                                John L. Lewis,

                                    President, United Mine Workers
                                                       of America.

  Mr. MANCHIN. I believe the Secretary of the Interior and the White 
House were representatives of the Federal Government back in 1946, just 
as they are today.
  Second, my colleague from Wyoming stated: I worry about the claim 
that we are helping all coal miners with this proposal.
  West Virginia coal miners--union and nonunion--continue to suffer 
from the devastating effects of the ongoing coal bankruptcies.
  Senator, we are willing to help all miners. We truly are. Anybody who 
has been devastated in this downturn, if you will, of the industry, but 
we are focusing this particular effort on the United Mine Workers of 
  They try to make this: Well, you are picking union over nonunion. We 
are not picking union over nonunion. The agreement was made with the 
UMWA because everybody working in the mines during that period of time 
belonged to the UMWA. So we have to protect that promise that was made 
in that Executive order that was signed and made 70 years ago. So I 
invite the Presiding Officer and all of my colleagues to help us find a 
way to move forward and help put this to rest.
  Also, Senator Enzi stated he wants America to remain financially 
solvent. Well, there is no one who wants that more than I do. I 
understand that if you can't get your financial house in order you 
can't do anything else.
  In fact, let me tell you what happens if we do not pass the Miners 
Protection Act. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which we have 
in place, will shoulder the burden of the outstanding liabilities. In a 
January letter to Congressman McKinley from West Virginia, one of my 
colleagues on the other side, the Director of the Pension Benefit 
Guaranty Corporation confirmed that if the UMWA becomes insolvent, the 
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation of America will actually have to 
assume billions of dollars in liabilities causing negative ripple 
effects for many more and for the financial insolvency of our country.
  Passing the Miners Protection Act now means covering $3.5 billion in 
health and pension benefits. If we do not enact this law, the pension 
liability alone will carry a pricetag of over $6 billion. So, along 
with my good friend from Wyoming, Senator Enzi, I do care about making 
prudent decisions. That is a savings of $2.5 billion if we pass this 
legislation--$2.5 billion in saving to the taxpayers.
  The Miners Protection Act is important to my home State of West 
Virginia because West Virginia has more retired union miners than any 
other State in the Nation. Out of the 90,594 retired United Mine 
Workers in the country in 2014, more than 27,000 still live in my 
  I will say this. As to a lot of the devastation we have seen with the 
floods we have had in West Virginia over the last couple of weeks, it 
was horrific what happened. Every one of those little communities was a 
coal mining community that got hit. So you just add more tragedy on top 
of the already devastating tragedy that we have.
  But the impact is going to be felt in every State in the Union, 
including Wyoming. In fact, the Miners Protection Act will help over 
900 health beneficiaries and over 2,000 pension beneficiaries in the 
State of Wyoming. So I would just ask: What do my colleague who opposes 
this legislation or any of my colleagues who might not be for this 
legislation expect the widows and pensioners to do? First of all, they 
have an executive order by the President of the United States in 1946, 
over 70 years ago. On top of that, this pension plan was solvent and 
sound until 2008. It wasn't their fault the crash happened. The greed 
of Wall Street took down so many pension plans.
  Most of these widows are making $550 a month. That is their pension--
$550 a month. So we are not talking about large amounts of money, but 
if they lose that, it means the difference of whether they do certain 
things out of necessity. What do they give up? How do you explain to 
them that a 70-year-old commitment is now going to go unanswered? We 
didn't care. We didn't mean it.
  It is our responsibility to keep the promise to our miners who 
answered the call whenever their country needed them. So I ask Senator 
Enzi and all my colleagues to work with me to keep our promise to these 
miners. Let us sit down and work together and make sure we all agree on 
the facts.
  I have always said this, and it has been said to me many times, we 
are all entitled to our opinions. We are just not entitled to our own 
facts. So the facts are very clear here. This is not only a promise, it 
is a commitment and a responsibility we have to the United Mine Workers 
of America and all those people who gave us the greatest country on 
Earth, gave us the greatest amount of abundant energy--reliable, 
affordable, and dependable. There is a transition going on now, and we 
are working through this transition, but the bottom line is that to 
walk away from an obligation and a commitment we made 70 years ago, 
which helped us be the superpower of the world and the country we are 
today, would be a gross neglect of our responsibilities and an 
injustice to the United Mine Workers of America, the widows, and the 
families who still depend on this. We have a responsibility to oblige 
and make sure we take care of them.
  With that, I hope the Chair will help me in moving forward on this. 
We hope to get a vote in September. We were promised a vote in the 
first part of September, when we come back, and that is one we are 
counting on to carry this forward. I am hoping we will have our 
colleagues supporting this.
  With that, Mr. President, 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.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Ayotte). Without objection, it is so 

                             Climate Change

  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I come to the floor today to speak on 
the issue of climate change. Before I do, I would like to read a quote.

       What is a conservative after all but one who conserves, one 
     who is committed to protecting and holding close the things 
     by which we live . . . and we want to protect and conserve 
     the land on which we live--our countryside, our rivers and 
     mountains, our plains and meadows and forests. This is what 
     we leave to our children. And our great moral responsibility 
     is to leave it to them either as we found it or better than 
     we found it.

  These are the words of President Ronald Reagan, and I agree with 
those words. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our 
planet Earth. When I look at my beautiful grandkids, I feel a moral 
responsibility to leave this world as well as I found it or even 
  We can't continue to ignore the problem of climate change. How will 
future generations judge us if we deny the reality of climate change 
and say that it is just too hard to do something that might leave them 
a safer, cleaner, better world? I don't think they will look on us 
kindly. Future generations actually count on us.
  Climate change is no longer debatable. The facts are in. Climate 
change is real, and it is not some distant threat. From Hurricane 
Katrina to Superstorm Sandy, from severe flooding on the Mississippi 
River in 2011 in Illinois to the historic low water levels

[[Page S4979]]

just 1 year later and to the devastating drought and wildfires that are 
searing the West Coast, extreme weather is the new normal.
  So why are there still so many in the Chamber who deny the threat of 
climate change, not to mention failing to do anything to solve the 
problem? I have said on the floor before, and I will say again, that 
there is only one major political party in the world today that denies 
climate change, only one--the Republican Party of the United States of 
  Well, part of the reason is because for decades the fossil fuel 
industry and those who cater to them have tried to blur this debate, to 
blur the science, to create divisions among us, instead of looking for 
what we have in common to try to solve this problem rationally and 
  Make no mistake, there is a deliberate campaign, financed by the 
fossil fuel industry--a campaign that uses the pseudoscience of 
manufactured doubt. It is coordinated. I have seen the likes of it 
  In 2006, the major tobacco companies in the United States were found 
guilty of ``a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public.'' Decades 
before, tobacco company research had already shown that tobacco was 
truly harmful and addictive. Instead of letting science and the moral 
imperative behind it promote public health, the companies launched an 
extensive campaign sowing seeds of doubt about the dangers of tobacco.
  I know about this firsthand. I was a Member of the House of 
Representatives about 27 years ago. I introduced a bill to ban smoking 
on airplanes. It was opposed by the tobacco lobby, and the leadership 
in both political parties--Democratic and Republican elected leaders in 
the House of Representatives--opposed me. We called it for a vote, and 
to the amazement of everyone, it passed. It turns out Members of 
Congress are the largest frequent flyer club in the world, and they 
knew how outrageous it was to suggest there were smoking and nonsmoking 
sections on an airplane.
  I led that initiative to ban smoking on airplanes, and I was joined 
by the late Senator Frank Lautenberg who took up the cause in the 
Senate, and 26 years ago we banned smoking. It made a difference. We 
had to fight the tobacco lobby all the way. They denied that nicotine 
was addictive. They denied there was a linkage between tobacco and 
cancer. They created a pseudoscience. They paid scientists to come up 
with theories that said tobacco really wasn't that dangerous.
  Well, sadly, we are seeing that same thing today when it comes to 
climate change. Just as the tobacco industry created a campaign of 
manufactured doubt to protect their financial interests and profits, a 
web of fossil fuel industry groups, aided and abetted by one of the 
very groups that resisted anti-smoking laws, are behind this web of 
climate denial.
  A 1998 American Petroleum Institute, or API, memo has become public. 
I just read it on my computer upstairs. At the time, the American 
Petroleum Institute consisted of a dozen lobbyists, think tank members, 
and public relations gurus. Science wasn't on their side in 1998, so 
the group decided that misleading the public about the reality of 
climate change--sowing seeds of doubt about whether there was really 
climate change underway--was the best way to go. The 1998 API memo 
claimed that ``victory,'' in their words, would be achieved when 
``uncertainties'' about the science became part of the public's 

  In the year 2000, influential Republican pollster Frank Luntz 
prepared a playbook for those who wanted to create doubt in the 
public's mind about climate change. Mr. Luntz wrote:

       Should the public come to believe that the scientific 
     issues are settled, their views about global warming will 
     change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make 
     the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the 

  So what is taking place right now with the effort of the fossil fuel 
industry is a deliberate campaign to mislead the American public.
  Sadly, this web of denial that started in 1998 is alive and well 
today. Just last year, at an ExxonMobil-sponsored meeting of the 
notorious American Legislative Exchange Council, the president of the 
Heartland Institute stated:

       There is no scientific consensus on the human role in 
     climate change. There is no need to reduce carbon dioxide 
     emissions and no point in attempting to do so.

  This quote is in direct opposition to Earth scientists in one of the 
world's most highly respected Earth science organizations--the American 
Geophysical Union, or AGU.
  This spring, a group of 254 Earth scientists cited these lies in a 
letter as one of the many reasons why the American Geophysical Union 
should decline to accept ExxonMobil's financial sponsorship of their 
group. The Earth scientists also made clear that ExxonMobil distributed 
scientifically false and misleading information, are members in or 
financially support other climate-denying organizations, and donated to 
climate-denying politicians and past misinformation campaigns.
  ExxonMobil is not alone in spending money to influence elections and 
affect environmental policy. The oil and gas industry pours millions of 
dollars into election campaigns every year. In the 2012 election cycle, 
energy and natural resource corporations, their employees, and industry 
super PACs spent more than $147 million to make sure the right people 
were elected in congressional seats, in Senate seats, and in the 
Presidential campaign. During the current election cycle, they have 
already spent more than $101 million, and they will likely contribute 
millions more in the 4 months remaining. Experts estimate that, in 
total, candidates, political parties, and interest groups, including 
those funded by companies such as ExxonMobil, may spend up to $10 
billion on Federal campaigns in 2016--$10 billion.
  A poll conducted by the New York Times last year found that 84 
percent of Americans believe money has too much influence in American 
political campaigns. They are right. Our campaign finance system is a 
mess. America needs a system to elect its candidates that rewards those 
with good ideas and principles, not just the person who is the most 
talented in raising money.
  I reintroduced a bill last year called the Fair Elections Now Act. 
This legislation would establish a voluntary, small-donor public 
financing system for Senate campaigns. We would finally break the back 
of Big Money's control over the American political system. The Fair 
Elections Now Act can't solve all the problems facing us, but the bill 
would allow us to fight back against deep-pocketed special interests by 
dramatically changing the way campaigns are funded, encouraging small 
donors and matches for those small donations.
  As we grapple with important issues like climate change, we have to 
recognize the influence of money in our political system and why one 
major political party in the world today still denies climate change. 
Until we embrace campaign finance reform and ensure that politicians do 
not feel beholden to special interests like the oil and gas industry, 
climate-denying politicians will continue to prevent us from taking 
  It is unconscionable that some very powerful people put their profits 
ahead of the future of the planet we live on, but we know it is true. 
If we don't act on climate change, there is no backup plan.
  Let me end on a hopeful note. When Pope Francis came to Washington, 
DC, last September, he called for action on addressing climate change 
and global warming. The Pope said:

       All is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, 
     are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again 
     what is good, and making a new start.

  Pope Francis is right. Let's not run away from our responsibility in 
the Senate or in life to our children and our grandchildren. Let's work 
toward solving the real challenges of climate change with both 
political parties. It is not too late to make a new start, to do the 
right thing, and to protect this planet that we call home.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Madam President, we all want safety, security, health 
and well-being for all of our fellow Americans. But it sometimes seems 
impossible for us to agree on how best to achieve them. So when 
Congress comes together to find solutions to an urgent crisis facing 
the country, we should

[[Page S4980]]

pause briefly, mark that achievement, and consider how we got there.
  That is what I hope will happen this week when the Senate votes on 
the conference report for S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and 
Recovery Act, or CARA.
  CARA addresses the opioid crisis in a comprehensive way, by 
authorizing almost $900 million over 5 years for prevention, education, 
treatment, recovery, and law enforcement efforts. Last week, the House 
of Representatives passed the report by an astounding margin of 407 to 
  We have all heard the statistics about the epidemic of addiction to 
heroin and prescription opioids that is gripping our country. I won't 
belabor them today. When 129 Americans a day die from drug overdoses, 
we don't need statistics on a page to tell us about this catastrophe. 
We only need to listen to our constituents. I hear from Iowans all the 
time about real-life examples of how this epidemic is hitting home.
  A few years ago, I heard the story of Kim Brown, a nurse from 
Davenport. In 2011, she lost her son Andy Lamp to an accidental heroin 
overdose. He was only 33. She now speaks out around my State about the 
need for expanded treatment options for those with substance abuse 
disorders. She also advocates for increased access to naloxone, an 
anti-overdose drug that can save lives.
  I heard Kim Brown's plea--and the conference report helps fill these 
and other critical gaps. I urge the entire Senate to demonstrate that 
it has heard her, and thousands like her, by passing the conference 
report, and sending it to the President for his signature before we 
return home.
  The Senate's vote this week will be the culmination of a process 
marked by hard work, bipartisanship, and a commitment to addressing 
this crisis in an all-encompassing way.
  I convened a hearing on attacking the opioid epidemic in the Senate 
Judiciary Committee in January. The Committee heard from Federal and 
State officials in the law enforcement and public health communities. 
We also heard from a courageous young woman who lost her daughter to a 
heroin overdose and subsequently started a support group to assist 
those in recovery.
  The hearing continued for well over 3 three hours. Senators who 
aren't even members of the Committee stopped in to listen, and learn. 
By that time, a bipartisan group of four Senators had already 
introduced CARA. Soon after the hearing, I sat down with Senators 
Whitehouse, Portman, Klobuchar, and Ayotte--two Democrats and two 
Republicans--to build on their outstanding work. The leadership of 
those four Senators on this issue has been indispensable.
  We agreed on some changes to CARA that facilitated its movement 
through the Judiciary Committee. In particular, I worked to include my 
accountability provisions, which help prevent waste, fraud, and abuse 
of grant funds, and ensure that resources go to those who need them 
  I also helped make sure that a fixed portion of the funds for first 
responder access to naloxone is set aside for rural areas, like much of 
Iowa, where access to emergency healthcare can be limited.
  And finally, because methamphetamine remains such a problem in Iowa, 
I made sure that the community-based coalition enhancement grants 
created by the bill would also be available for communities suffering 
from high rates of meth abuse, in addition to opioid abuse. In fact, 
these enhancement grants are intended to supplement grants made to 
community coalitions under the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997. I am 
proud to have been the lead sponsor of that legislation in the Senate.
  The CARA Grassley substitute, with these changes, passed the 
Judiciary Committee unanimously by voice vote in February. I then 
managed the bill on the Senate floor, where it was approved 94 to-1 in 
March. Tackling important problems in a bipartisan way is important to 
me. That is why, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I have moved 
eight bills through the Committee, CARA among them, for which the lead 
sponsor was a member of the Democratic minority. By way of comparison, 
last Congress the Committee didn't report a single bill for which the 
lead sponsor was a Republican in the minority. And every one of the 27 
bills I have moved through the Committee this Congress has had 
bipartisan support. That isn't just talking the talk on bipartisanship, 
it is walking the walk.
  After the Senate acted on CARA, the House of Representatives passed 
its own package of bills by a vote of 400 to 5 in May. And so the task 
fell to a bicameral, bipartisan committee to develop a conference 
report that would blend the best of the two approaches together. I led 
the Senate delegation that negotiated the report, along with Senator 
Alexander, Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and 
Pensions. We concluded weeks of hard work and negotiations with a 
conference committee meeting on July 6. I voted for a number of 
improvements to the report during the meeting, offered by both 
Republicans and Democrats.
  In particular, I was proud to support Senator Murray's amendment that 
will create an Office of Patient Advocacy at the Department of Veterans 
Affairs to help ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve.
  I am also pleased that the CARA conference report includes a bill 
that I introduced with Senator Klobuchar, the Kingpin Designation 
Improvement Act. This bill strengthens the ability of the Federal 
Government to freeze the assets of foreign drug kingpins, who traffic 
opioids, methamphetamine and other illegal narcotics into the United 

  There are other parts of CARA that I feel passionately about as well. 
Many people who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends or 
relatives. CARA authorizes an expansion of the Federal initiative that 
allows patients to safely dispose of old or unused medications, so that 
these drugs don't fall into the hands of young people, potentially 
leading to addiction. I am proud to have helped start these ``take 
back'' programs by working with Senators Klobuchar and Cornyn in 2010 
to pass the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. It has been a 
highly successful effort. Since 2010, over 2,700 tons of drugs have 
been collected from medicine cabinets and disposed of safely. Iowa also 
has a similar ``take back'' program that is expanding rapidly. Anything 
we can to do to encourage these programs is worthwhile.
  CARA also authorizes funds for other valuable programs: those that 
encourage the use of medication assisted treatment, provide community-
based support for those in recovery, and address the unique needs of 
pregnant and post-partum women who are addicted to opioids.
  It is no wonder that the CARA conference report has been met with 
such widespread praise and support. The Addiction Policy Forum called 
it a ``monumental step forward.'' Almost 250 advocacy organizations 
have written to Congress in support of the report, concluding that 
``this bill is the critical response we need.'' These organizations 
include many influential national ones, such as the Community Anti-Drug 
Coalitions of America, the National Criminal Justice Association, and 
the National District Attorneys Association.
  Iowa community organizations are well-represented in that group as 
well, including the Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa, Kossuth 
Connections, Siouxland Cares, the Iowa Alliance for Drug Endangered 
Children, Community Resources United to Stop Heroin of Eastern Iowa--
Dubuque Chapter, Quad Cities Harm Reduction, which Kim Brown leads, and 
many more.
  The National Fraternal Order of Police wrote in support of the 
conference report as well. The FOP explained that:

       Law enforcement officers are almost always the first on the 
     scene--even before the paramedics arrive. In these life and 
     death situations, our officers are not looking to make an 
     arrest, but to save a life. Many States and jurisdictions 
     have successfully equipped their officers with [naloxone], 
     trained them to recognize the symptoms of an overdose, and 
     administer it on the scene. We believe that the final 
     conference report on S. 524 will help expand the use of 
     naloxone and give us one more tool to reduce the deaths from 
     this epidemic.

  It isn't every day we can say that legislation we pass could help 
save lives. But this is one of those times. I want to thank the 
Republican leader for moving this legislation on the floor, and 
providing the Senate the opportunity to pass it this week.

[[Page S4981]]

  Indeed, heroin deaths spiked dramatically from 2010 through 2014, 
more than tripling, from 3,036 to 10,574. But sadly, during this entire 
time, the Democratic leader didn't make it a priority to move 
comprehensive, bipartisan legislation on the floor to address this 
  Now, some of my colleagues have expressed concern that the conference 
report, an authorization bill, doesn't also appropriate money for this 
epidemic as well. But thankfully, under Republican leadership, the 
appropriations committees have been doing just that. The current Senate 
appropriations bills increase funding for this epidemic by 57 percent 
over fiscal year 2016 enacted levels, and by 115 percent over fiscal 
year 2015 enacted levels. So funding for this crisis is poised to more 
than double since Republicans took control of the Senate. As this 
funding continues to increase, the CARA conference report will be the 
blueprint for where this money is most effectively spent.
  This bill is just the latest example of the productive, bipartisan 
work we have been doing on the Judiciary Committee this Congress. I 
want to thank all of the Members for their hard work and for our 
achievements together.
  So I urge my colleagues to vote to send CARA to the President this 
week. And when we come back in September, let's roll up our sleeves and 
continue to build on this bipartisan success.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.

              Tragedies in Michigan and Across the Country

  Mr. PETERS. Madam President, I rise with a heavy heart to address 
devastating tragedies that have shaken communities in Michigan and 
across this country. Just yesterday, the community of St. Joseph, MI, 
suffered a tragic shooting that cost the lives of two dedicated public 
servants and injured several others.
  I would like to extend my condolences to the families of bailiffs 
Joseph Zangaro and Ronald Kienzle, who were fatally shot yesterday in 
Berrien County, MI. Both Joseph and Ronald had distinguished careers as 
public safety officers prior to serving as bailiffs in the Berrien 
County Courthouse.
  Joseph Zangaro retired from the Michigan State Police as post 
commander of the Bridgman Post and had worked for the Berrien County 
Trial Court for over 10 years.
  Ronald Kienzle retired as a sergeant in road patrol with the Benton 
Charter Police Department in Benton Harbor, MI, and was a veteran of 
the U.S. Army.
  I also want to wish Deputy James Atterbury and Kenya Ellis a speedy 
recovery for the wounds they received during this attack.
  Yesterday's incident illustrates a very important fact. Whether as a 
member of a local police department, a rapid transit officer, or a 
court bailiff, public safety officers risk their lives every day to 
keep our families and our communities safe. This is a fact we can never 
forget and a reality that confronts public safety officers and their 
families every day.
  Across Michigan, our hearts have been shattered by senseless violence 
like this, and I know the grief of my fellow Michiganders because I 
feel this grief in my own heart as well. Unfortunately, this is not the 
first tragedy to strike West Michigan this year. We are still reeling 
from the mass shooting in Kalamazoo in February, where six people were 
killed and two were critically injured.
  We are facing a very difficult time in our country's history. Last 
week's tragedies further demonstrate this point. Within just 48 hours, 
we saw two separate incidents where American citizens died at the hands 
of those who were sworn to protect them. Then, what started out as a 
peaceful protest in response to those deaths, suddenly morphed into an 
unrelated and horrific attack on law enforcement--an attack on officers 
who died to protect the rights of protesters to peacefully protest.
  Let me be clear. Something is wrong when a hard-working and beloved 
cafeteria supervisor is killed during a routine traffic stop. Something 
is wrong when police officers, honorably serving and protecting their 
communities, are killed during a peaceful protest. Something is wrong 
when a salesman and a father of four dies while selling CDs. Something 
is wrong when a police officer is ambushed and shot while responding to 
a 911 call for help. Too many precious lives are being lost, not just 
in Michigan but in States all across our country.
  I was heartbroken by the tragic shooting deaths of Philando Castile 
in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana last week, only to wake up 
horrified on Friday morning to learn of five Dallas police officers, 
including Michigan native Michael Krol, who were struck down in the 
line of duty.
  We have seen enough violence. Across our countries, our communities 
are outraged and heartbroken at the number of lives which have been 
lost. While the events of last week are almost too much to bear, the 
images from communities like Chicago, Staten Island, Ferguson, and 
Baltimore have gripped this Nation's attention as well.
  We have seen tears of sadness, burning storefronts, and 
confrontations between police and young people, as well as peaceful 
protesters marching through the streets. It is clear there is a 
persistent and troubling problem in our country that is eroding away 
Americans' faith in our justice system. With each troubling incident, 
it becomes clear that justice in this country is sometimes neither fair 
nor equal, and we must act now to address this inequity.
  This problem isn't isolated to our African-American communities or to 
our law enforcement communities. These injustices undermine the very 
values our Nation was built upon. It is the responsibility of each and 
every one of us to acknowledge that too many Americans are needlessly 
dying, and we must come together to stop them.
  More now than ever, it is time for us to unite as a country to 
encourage understanding and compassion for our fellow Americans. Now is 
the time for us to walk in another's shoes and acknowledge the 
experiences that have shaped their views. Now is the time for this body 
to come together to offer solutions. The American people need us.
  It is crystal clear that the relationship between law enforcement and 
the communities they serve is strained, and an overhaul of our criminal 
justice system is long overdue. On top of these strained relations, we 
are continuing to see rising prison populations and unsustainable costs 
as public budgets remain tight.
  We see too many at-risk youths being funneled out of our schools and 
into our prison systems, continuing a vicious cycle in many of our 
communities. We see too many people who have served their time only to 
find that once they get out of prison, they can't find a good job or a 
stable home.
  We need a better understanding of the causes of these concerning 
trends, and we need to identify solutions that will help ensure we are 
administering justice in a fair and equitable way for every American--
regardless of who they are, where they may live, or their income level. 
That is why I have introduced legislation with Republican Senators 
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas to create a 
National Criminal Justice Commission. The Commission will be made up of 
experts on law enforcement, victims' rights, civil liberties, and 
social services who will be charged with undertaking an 18-month review 
of our criminal justice system from the top to the bottom. It is 
something that has not been done since 1965--more than 50 years ago 
during another very difficult time in our Nation's history.
  The goal of this Commission is to identify commonsense solutions to 
the serious issues facing our criminal justice system, promote fairness 
in our laws, build stronger relationships between law enforcement and 
our communities, and strengthen faith--basic faith--in our criminal 
justice system.
  The Commission will focus on transparency, issuing recommendations to 
the President and Congress, and making reports on its findings 
available to the public and entities within the criminal justice 
system. It will take a comprehensive approach to reviewing the criminal 
justice system and will look at numerous issues in light of our current 
  When President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 Commission last conducted a 
comprehensive review over 50 years ago, it was the first time police, 
prosecution, defense, the courts and corrections were all examined as a 
whole. That

[[Page S4982]]

Commission made more than 200 recommendations to improve the criminal 
justice system, including creating the 9-1-1 emergency system that is 
so ingrained in our society today.
  Our country has changed significantly over the last 50 years, and 
another top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system is long 
overdue. In fact, the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, 
which was created after the troubling situation in Ferguson, strongly 
recommended the creation of a national commission to evaluate the 
entire criminal justice system.
  The National Criminal Justice Commission that my legislation creates 
will shine a light on the whole scope of our criminal justice system, 
including police and community relations, our grand jury system, the 
right to counsel in misdemeanor cases, the lack of speedy trials, and 
the struggles ex-offenders face in finding housing, employment, and 
support services after leaving prison.
  This Commission is one critical piece of a larger puzzle. We must 
also take swift action on our justice system, such as sentencing 
reform. The Commission also has the support of a wide range of groups, 
including the Fraternal Order of Police, the NAACP, the International 
Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Urban League, and many 
other law enforcement and civil rights groups.
  The National Criminal Justice Commission is vital to understanding 
the reforms and best practices that we need to reduce crime, help law 
enforcement do their jobs safely and effectively, protect our 
communities, and build a justice system that works for every American. 
These problems are not easy, and there are no quick answers. It is 
going to require all of us working together to make these vital changes 
a reality, but together we can achieve the promise of this great 
country--justice for every American, no matter who you are, where you 
live, or how much money you may have in your pocket.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. SCHATZ. Madam President, I hate conspiracy theories. I believe 
most of the suspicious, confusing, frustrating, or unknowable things in 
the world are the way they are not because there are 12 people in a 
room wringing their hands trying to figure out how to trick all of us 
but because the world is complicated, often unfair, sometimes 
illogical, and we all operate with incomplete information. So even as a 
climate hawk, I came to the idea of an organized misinformation 
campaign with real hesitation. I didn't want to be that guy who 
believes there is an evil empire that lies for a living. But here is 
the thing: I have studied this, and I have learned that there really is 
an organized, well-financed disinformation and misinformation campaign 
on the subject of climate change. It is straight out of a bad movie 
about politics, complete with PR guys, dark campaign money, fake 
scientists, politicians in the mix, and a weakened media. It is like 
Raymond Tusk actually exists.
  I rise today to join my colleagues in combating a pervasive and 
highly damaging campaign of misinformation, disinformation, and 
outright lies. For decades, the same hired guns that tried to convince 
the American people that there was no link between smoking and lung 
cancer have been following the same playbook on manmade climate change. 
They want to sow doubt where no doubt exists. Just like the tobacco 
companies profited from denial, so too have the fossil fuel companies 
profited by propping up front groups and sham think tanks that try to 
convince us that the science on climate change isn't settled and that 
no consensus exists between mainstream scientists, but of course that 
is not true.
  The American Association for the Advancement of Science said:

       The science linking human activities to climate change is 
     analogous to the science linking smoking to lung and 
     cardiovascular diseases. Physicians, cardiovascular 
     scientists, public health experts, and others all agree that 
     smoking causes cancer, and this consensus among the health 
     community has convinced most Americans that the health risks 
     from smoking are real. A similar consensus now exists among 
     climate scientists, a consensus that maintains climate change 
     is happening and human activity is the cause.

  It is worth pausing here to make two basic points. The first is one I 
mentioned earlier, and that is that the same techniques which were used 
to block science and prevent action on tobacco are now being deployed 
to prevent action on climate. That stands to reason. If you are looking 
for public relations techniques to essentially mislead the public so 
you can squeeze additional years and decades of profitability, then you 
would be wise to use the techniques, methods, and procedures that 
worked in the past, so that sort of stands to reason. It shocks the 
conscience, but it shouldn't shock us that this is happening. The 
really shocking part is this. Of course they would use the same 
techniques to mislead the public regardless of the issue, but the real 
shock is that it is literally the same people. It is not the same type 
of person or the same category of person, it is the same human beings 
and the same professionals. They are the same PR firms, and they have 
replicated the machinery of the Tobacco Institute, sharing processes, 
procedures, personnel, and funding sources. But just as we did against 
Big Tobacco, we are going to win the war of ideas against Big Oil and 
Big Coal.
  The truth is on our side, but the truth is not guaranteed to come 
out. We actually have to expose their ecosystem of misinformation to 
make real progress on climate, and so for a moment I will talk a little 
bit about the media, which has played an unfortunate role.
  Generally speaking, people in the U.S. media like to get ``both sides 
of the story'' just to be fair, which under many circumstances works 
just fine. After all, the definition of a bad story in a lot of 
reporters' minds is to be one-sided. What happens when one side of the 
story is factual and the other side is a house of cards? Many in the 
media still report it as though, on the one hand, scientists say 
climate change is real, and on the other hand, some say it is not. To 
be fair, this has improved over the last year or so, but that was the 
foundational weakness of the American media--their credulity when 
reporting on deniers--that the climate denial apparatus took full 
advantage of.

  There are not two sides to every issue. Sometimes there are just 
facts on one side and bull on the other. We don't argue about the 
existence of gravity or whether the Earth is round or, thankfully, 
whether smoking causes lung cancer. We have known since the 19th 
century that carbon dioxide traps heat much like a greenhouse. We know 
that burning fossil fuels releases stored carbon into the atmosphere. 
We have seen the evidence of increasing temperatures and rising sea 
levels for decades. The correlation between levels of carbon dioxide in 
the atmosphere and global temperatures is absolutely undeniable. To 
deny the reality of manmade climate change in this context requires 
willful ignorance.
  How is this happening? Academics from Yale and Drexel Universities, 
among others, have researched and exposed the many sources of dark 
money that are fueling the climate denial machine. My colleagues are 
speaking today--and spoke yesterday as well--about some of the greatest 
offenders, and I will focus my remarks on just two. One is a small 
organization that most people haven't heard of, and another is an 
organization that I think a lot of people who work in politics have 
heard of. The first is the Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide and 
Global Change, and the other is the Heartland Institute.
  The Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change is a family 
project out of Tempe, AZ, that claims that global warming will be 
beneficial to humanity. The center does not disclose funding 
information because they believe doing so would bias the way people 
perceive their purpose and publications, and that may be the only thing 
they say that is true.
  Transparency is crucial in the world of science because it allows the 
scientific community and the general public to determine whether there 
might be a conflict of interest. In this instance, there is a conflict 
of interest. We know that at the very least, ExxonMobil and Peabody 
coal have given significant sums of money to the center. When two 
companies with a

[[Page S4983]]

long history of climate denial are paying you to deny the scientific 
consensus on climate change, it is fair to point out that something 
smells a little fishy.
  Better known than the Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global 
Change is the Heartland Institute, which gained national attention 
after putting up a billboard comparing those who believed in manmade 
global warming to the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. This tasteless stunt 
rightfully cost Heartland $825,000 in corporate donations, but 
Heartland still receives millions of dollars a year from fossil fuel 
companies and others with a vested interest in continuing the status 
quo. They still have an outsize impact in the national conversation by 
insinuating that the science on climate change is not settled.
  Not surprisingly, Heartland follows the tobacco playbook to a T. 
Their reliance on dark money means that Heartland's funding is 
notoriously difficult to track. According to the watchdog group 
Conservative Transparency, Heartland has received more than $14 million 
from the Koch-initiated Donors Trust and Donors Capital groups, which 
shield donors' identities. We know that ExxonMobil has contributed at 
least $675,000 since 1998, and the Union of Concerned Scientists found 
that 40 percent of those funds were specifically designated for climate 
change projects. The money from these organizations, among others, 
allowed Heartland to publish nearly 3,000 documents toward climate 
change skepticism between 1998 and 2013. Heartland also organizes 
gatherings of climate skeptics and defends fossil fuel funding experts 
who continue to deny the reality of the changing climate we are already 
seeing today. We have seen this movie before.
  What is happening this week is historic. We are no longer going to 
allow these front groups to pose as on-the-level think tanks. We have a 
moral obligation to not only solve this problem but to also fix our 
politics. We should all be making decisions about how best to solve 
this problem.
  Let's have this great debate. Let the two major political parties 
have an argument about the best way to tackle climate change because 
this isn't just a climate thing at this point, this is an integrity 
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado.
  (The remarks of Mr. Gardner pertaining to the submission of S. Res. 
526 are printed in today's Record under ``Submitted Resolutions.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Gardner). The Senator from Minnesota.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. FRANKEN. Mr. President, I rise today to join my colleagues to 
expose those who continue to deny the science of climate change and try 
to deceive the American people. This is important because climate 
change is an existential threat to our planet and to future 
generations. By denying climate science and lobbying against efforts to 
address climate change, these deniers are subjecting the planet and 
everybody on it to great risk.
  Climate change will have significant adverse impacts on all of our 
States, including my State of Minnesota. Just look at our agriculture 
sector, which is responsible for one out of every five jobs in 
Minnesota. Warmer temperatures and more intensive droughts are going to 
negatively impact this important rural economic engine. In fact, a 
recent study estimates that with no adaptation efforts against climate 
change, Midwest crop production could decrease by more than 60 percent 
by the end of the century.
  Climate change will also impact our waters, and that is important to 
my State--the Land of 10,000 Lakes--which includes Lake Superior. Lake 
Superior alone contains about 10 percent of the world's fresh surface 
water, and it is warming by two degrees per decade. Because of this 
warming, we are seeing more evaporation and lower water levels in the 
lake. Plus, rising temperatures allow for more favorable conditions for 
invasive species and hazardous algal blooms. Warmer temperatures could 
also have severe consequences for fish like walleye pike and trout that 
are so important to Minnesota fisheries and ecosystems.
  And let's not forget the threat of climate change to our forests. As 
in our lakes, warmer temperatures elevate the threat of invasive 
species such as the emerald ash borer and gypsy moth that are rapidly 
changing the composition of our forests--or the bark beetle in 
Colorado, the State the Presiding Officer represents. They destroy 
trees and cost economies and money and jobs.
  So we can see that climate change poses a very serious threat to 
Minnesota and to our country. I believe it is the defining issue of our 
generation--an issue that demands immediate action. But, unfortunately, 
there are some groups that have been trying to prevent action. These 
groups have spent many millions of dollars muddying the water, 
distorting the science, deceiving the American people, and, ultimately, 
delaying the response that we desperately need.
  Over the last two days, my colleagues have come to the floor to 
expose this web of denial--the extensive network of groups and 
individuals who are spreading lies about climate change--and I am here 
today to expose one of the worst actors of all: the Heritage 
  The Heritage Foundation is a rightwing ideological organization known 
for advocating for discriminatory social and economic policy--things 
like attacking voting rights, privatizing Social Security, and favoring 
tax breaks for the rich to the detriment of the middle class. They are 
also a mouthpiece for climate denial.
  If you go to the Heritage Foundation web site, you will find that it 
says that climate change is ``used too often as a vehicle to advance 
special interests and politically driven agendas.'' That is rich, 
coming from an ideological organization devoted to promoting a partisan 
agenda. No one can deny that.
  The Heritage Foundation is notorious for trying to undermine the 
science on climate change. Their favorite claim is that ``the only 
consensus over the threat of climate change that seems to exist these 
days is that there is no consensus.''
  Even as recently as April, a report that the Heritage Foundation 
issued referred to climate scientists as ``a field that is a mere few 
decades old'' and that ``no overwhelming consensus exists among 
  While these statements may grab headlines, they are utterly false.
  Climate change science actually dates back to the 1800s--before Henry 
Ford sold his first car, before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, 
and even before the first oil well was drilled in the United States. In 
1824, French scientist Joseph Fourier proposed that the atmosphere 
keeps the Earth warm--what we know today as the greenhouse effect.
  In 1859, an Irish scientist, John Tyndall, attributed this warming to 
several gases, including carbon dioxide. In 1896, a Swedish scientist, 
Svante Arrhenius published the first calculation of global warming from 
human emissions of carbon dioxide. In the more than 100 years since, 
scientists all around the world have studied, debated, and researched 
different aspects of the issue.
  So when staff from the Heritage Foundation, none of whom actually 
have advanced scientific degrees, write a report that claims climate 
science is a new field that has little scientific consensus, they are 
ignoring the nearly 200 years of research--a scientific body of 
research that has led to 97 percent of climate scientists agreeing that 
humans are causing global warming.
  But every now and then, even the Heritage Foundation admits that 
climate change is in fact real. But when they admit it, they pretend 
that climate change isn't a big deal and that it is not worth our time 
to combat it. In 2010, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage 
Foundation--with a degree in law, not climate science, mind you--
declared that ``none of the scary stuff about global warming is true, 
and what is true about global warming, what the science actually tells 
us about man's role in changing the climate, is far from terrifying.''
  Now all of this science denial and false propaganda might not be such 
a big deal if climate change wasn't such a serious problem, but when 
you look at the scope of the problem you quickly realize how the 
Heritage Foundation is acting in an incredibly and deliberately 
irresponsible way.
  Last year, I traveled to the climate change conference in Paris and 

[[Page S4984]]

with a delegation of leaders from Bangladesh, a country that has 
contributed little to industrial air pollution but is one of the most 
vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. It is estimated 
that unless we act, rising sea levels will inundate 17 percent of 
Bangladesh, displacing about 18 million people in this low-lying nation 
by the end of this century. Even now, rising sea levels are impacting 
Bangladesh through salt water intrusion, reducing agricultural yields 
and ruining drinking water supplies. It is already having a profound 
  We are talking about a very poor country that doesn't have the 
resources to deal with climate change. Bangladeshis will be uprooted 
and turned into climate refugees without a home. I would bet these 
individuals would disagree with the Heritage Foundation that the 
impacts of climate change are ``far from terrifying.''
  If you think the Syrian refugee crisis is difficult to deal with, 
just think of the magnitude of what we will see if we do not address 
climate change. For a lawyer at the Heritage Foundation to make this 
claim is not only irresponsible but, frankly, dangerous to the welfare 
of people around the world.
  These are just a few examples of the falsehoods that the Heritage 
Foundation spreads about climate change. If I had the time, I could go 
on for hours--maybe, even, days--quoting more of those lies. In fact, 
from 1998 to 2013, the Heritage Foundation published more than 1,600 
documents contributing to climate skepticism, and they have published 
many more since. So I think we can say the Heritage Foundation is 
deliberate and unwavering in its fraud and deceit.
  One might ask: Why would the Heritage Foundation work to deceive the 
American people in such a way? What do they get out of it?
  Well, I will tell you. It is because they are being paid to do so by 
self-interested fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and people with 
major investments in fossil fuel companies, like the Koch brothers. 
Perhaps you have heard of them. The Heritage Foundation's work to 
espouse lies and prevent action on climate change directly benefits the 
bottom line of the companies and brothers who are funding them. We know 
this because over the past two decades ExxonMobil donated nearly $1 
million to the Heritage Foundation; and the Koch brothers, the owners 
of the fossil fuel conglomerate Koch Industries, contributed nearly $6 
million. These companies and brothers are worried that if people knew 
what their products were doing to the planet, they would stop buying 
their products or transition to other renewable energy or public policy 
would drive the markets away from their products. So in order to 
protect their bottom line, they set out to misinform the public. That 
is what they do for a living, and Heritage and many other similar 
organizations, are helping them to spread their falsehoods. That is 
what they do at the Heritage Foundation for a living.
  The money paid to Heritage goes to supposed experts whose jobs are to 
release thousands of bogus reports about climate change. These experts 
are not climate scientists. They are lawyers and economists serving as 
puppets for the fossil fuel industry. These same so-called experts 
publish op-eds and do interviews in media outlets around the country--
talk radio--helping to spread disinformation or misinformation or what 
we sometimes call lies. They also brief Congress and serve as trusted 
authorities for staff in many Republican offices. So it shouldn't 
surprise us that my Republican colleagues deny climate change when they 
rely on these experts.
  Despite the best efforts of the Koch brothers, the Heritage 
Foundation, and other deniers, people around the country are not 
fooled. In Minnesota we are seeing changes to our crops, lakes, and 
forests. Instead of sticking their heads in the sand, Minnesotans are 
taking action.
  In 2007, under a Republican Governor, my home State established a 
renewable energy standard to produce 25 percent of our power from 
renewable sources by 2025. That same year, Minnesota passed an energy 
efficiency standard to require utilities to become a little more 
efficient every year. To top things off, Minnesota established an 
aggressive goal to reduce greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050. These 
are the kinds of policies that we need to combat climate change, and 
these are also the kinds of policies that the Heritage Foundation is 
fighting tooth and nail to prevent.
  It is not just the Minnesota legislature that is taking action. 
Minnesota businesses also recognize the importance of fighting climate 
change. Last year I joined Dave MacLennan, the CEO of Cargill, in 
penning an op-ed in the Minneapolis StarTribune to highlight the threat 
of climate change to agriculture, especially considering that global 
population will reach 9 billion by midcentury. As the CEO of a food 
company focused on agriculture, Dave is concerned about what climate 
change is going to do to our food supply. He is not alone. We have 
businesses all over our State that are installing wind turbines and 
solar panels and manufacturing cutting-edge energy efficiency 
  Minnesotans aren't fooled by the Heritage Foundation. On the 
contrary, to them, climate change represents a Sputnik moment--an 
opportunity to rise to the challenge and defeat that threat. In 
response to Sputnik, we ended up not just winning the space race and 
sending a man to the moon, we did all sorts of good things for the 
American economy and society.
  We did it before, and we can do it again. By rising to the challenge 
of climate change, we will not just clean our air, but also drive 
innovation and create jobs, and not only in the clean energy sector.
  I have two grandchildren, and I am expecting my third later this 
year. God willing, they will live through this century and into the 
next, and in 50 years I don't want my grandson Joe to turn to me and 
say: Grandpa, you were in the Senate, and you knew about the severity 
of climate change. Why didn't you do anything to stop it? And also, why 
are you still alive? You are 115 years old.
  I will say it was all investments we made in our age. I want my 
grandson to know that when we had the opportunity to put the planet on 
a safer path, we seized the moment.
  So let's not allow the Heritage Foundation and all of these different 
members of this web to slow us down. Let's not let the selfish 
motivations of shadowy donors with ties to the fossil fuel industry 
prevent us from making the planet a safer and more habitable place for 
our children, our grandchildren, and future generations.
  It really is time to stand up to ignorance and denial. It is time for 
all of us on both sides of the aisle to do what is right for future 
  I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.

                           Order of Procedure

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
notwithstanding rule XXII, at 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 13, the Senate 
vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the conference report to 
accompany S. 524. I further ask that following the cloture vote, the 
Chair lay before the Senate the message to accompany H.R. 636, the FAA 
bill; that the majority leader or his designee be recognized to make a 
motion to concur in the House amendments to the Senate amendments; and 
that the time until 1:45 p.m. be equally divided between the leaders or 
their designees. I ask that following the use or yielding back of time, 
the Senate vote on the motion to concur in the House amendments to the 
Senate amendments with no intervening action or debate and that all 
time allocated for consideration of H.R. 636 count postcloture on S. 
524, if cloture is invoked.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. For the information of all Senators, the cloture vote 
on the CARA conference report will occur at 11 a.m. tomorrow, with the 
vote on the FAA bill scheduled at 1:45 p.m. Senators should expect a 
vote on adoption of the CARA conference report during tomorrow's 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lee). The Senator from Louisiana.

                           Zika Virus Funding

  Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. President, I come as a Senator, but actually I come 
wearing two different hats right now--two more hats aside from being a 
Senator. One of them is a teacher. I still teach at the LSU Medical 
School and have for the last 30 years, so I decided to do

[[Page S4985]]

a presentation on something wearing my next hat.
  In my life as a physician, I have done much work in public health and 
have learned, by the way, that if you head off illness early, you save 
a lot of money. You save a lot of money after that. I call it the 
balloon theory. If you put a balloon up to helium and you squeeze the 
nozzle, it inflates quickly, but if you pull it off the nozzle, it 
remains deflated.
  Right now, we have something at risk with Zika that will be like that 
helium balloon--inflating rapidly unless we do that initial thing that 
pulls the balloon off the helium so that it works.
  I am a teacher, so I decided to do something different. If anybody in 
the audience so chooses, they can put their phone and their QR code 
reader up to the television or the computer monitor and they can scan 
this barcode, and they will see the slides we are about to go over. So 
if you are watching at home and you wish to follow, then you can 
download these slides, and if you think them important, you can forward 
these slides to another person. Again, that is my effort as a teacher 
to try to speak about the spread of Zika.
  This is Jose Wesley, born to a Brazilian mother who contracted Zika 
probably in her first 3 months of pregnancy. When Zika went through the 
momma's blood when Jose was in her womb, into the amniotic fluid or 
through the placenta, it entered Jose's body and went to his brain. 
That virus stayed inside his brain and terribly affected his brain.
  Jose was born with microcephaly. You cannot really see from this 
angle what microcephaly is, but what ``microcephaly'' means is ``small 
brain.'' Here is a profile of a child with microcephaly. You can see 
that--unlike the big head babies normally have--this is a very small 
head. This is associated with severe neurologic deficits and early 
death. This is a tragedy and potentially a preventable tragedy.
  Again, the teacher in me wants to talk a little bit about Zika. The 
spread of Zika historically gives us insight as to what we must fear 
now. Zika was first discovered back in 1951 in Africa, Uganda. Then, at 
some point in the three decades that followed, it spread quickly to 
Asia, and then from Asia to Yap Island in 2007, which is in the 
Pacific. In 2013 and 2014, it went to more Pacific islands. In 2015 and 
2016, it entered the Americas. At some point, it began to spread 
rapidly. This is important because it is now in the Americas 
threatening Americans.
  These are States which have cases of Zika. Here is the U.S. Virgin 
Islands. Here is Puerto Rico. They have the most, but almost every 
State is affected. Most folks have contracted it elsewhere and brought 
it back to their State, but there are some folks who received it 
sexually. So their partner contracted it, perhaps in Brazil, and came 
back to Texas or Florida or Louisiana, where I am from, and they 
contracted it sexually.
  Nonetheless, the virus is in the United States. It is particularly a 
problem in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These are American 
citizens. These Puerto Ricans, if they wish, can board a plane and 
travel anyplace they wish in the continental United States. That is 
their right as Americans. Similarly, these folks who are infected in 
these States can travel anyplace they wish.
  Why is that important? Well, theoretically, it is important because 
these are the areas where the mosquitos that carry the Zika virus live 
in the United States. So theoretically, wherever these mosquitos are--
and Hawaii should be on here someplace--the virus can enter and the 
virus can be transmitted by the mosquitos to many other Americans.
  By the way, though, it is not just that you have to live where the 
mosquitos are. The first person to die from Zika in the continental 
United States just died in Utah. She contracted it elsewhere but then 
died in Utah. So the risk to our country is at least this. I will be 
perfectly honest. It is particularly a risk for those on the gulf coast 
because we have the sort of subtropical climate in which Zika 
flourishes. That is why I am particularly concerned.
  But wearing my other hat as a public health doctor, I know we have 
this moment in time. Either we pull that balloon off so it does not 
inflate with Zika, damaging our country, creating more Joses here in 
the United States, or not.
  Some of you may have seen the barcode that I held up initially. You 
may have downloaded that. We will hold up that barcode again if you 
wish to download these slides, but all of these are on the PowerPoint 
presentation that you may download should you wish.
  Public health emergencies are inevitable. Let's talk about the 
response to this one. Mr. President, $600 million that was left over 
from the Ebola fund has been released to CDC and other agencies to 
mount a response against Zika. Now, $600 million was left over, and 
only one-fifth of it has been spent. So there are still substantial 
dollars available, but the CDC and other Federal agencies say they need 
  Republicans have supported $1.2 billion in additional funding to 
fight Zika. My colleagues on the Democratic side--we have a difference 
over this. They are opposing this $1.2 billion to fight Zika because 
they say the Republican bill discriminates against Planned Parenthood.
  Planned Parenthood is not mentioned in the bill, and the way it 
discriminates--I have been in Washington--in the Senate, at least--for 
2 years, and sometimes you have to kind of figure out why people are 
taking offense at something. Even though Planned Parenthood is not 
mentioned, the reason they object is because we specify that the money 
needs to go to a public agency, one that sees Medicaid patients, the 
State or territory Federal program that takes care of the uninsured. 
Planned Parenthood is not a Medicaid provider.
  So it is not that they are not mentioned; it is that they are a 
private entity that, in Puerto Rico, does not accept Medicaid. So we 
could carve in and say: If you are a private entity, you can also 
receive these Federal dollars to provide family planning. It just so 
happens that in Puerto Rico, Planned Parenthood does not.
  So Republicans are trying to release $1.2 billion to pull the balloon 
off the helium so it does not inflate with all kinds of cases, and one 
more case of a Jose would be one case too many. But we are caught up in 
this snafu about Planned Parenthood. It is the craziest thing in the 
world, but unfortunately it is how Washington, DC, sometimes works.
  As a public health physician, I find that incredibly offensive. As a 
doctor who understands the critical nature of this, I am asking folks 
on the other side of the aisle to accept that this bill may not be 
exactly what they want--it is not exactly what I want--but it is 
something that would give additional resources to the Centers for 
Disease Control and others to begin to fight the Zika virus before it 
comes more extensively to our Nation's shores.
  We can anticipate that public health emergencies in the future are 
inevitable. For example, we recently had Ebola. We had the West Nile 
virus. We have already spoken about Zika. So aside from hoping that my 
Democratic colleagues will agree to release the $1.2 billion to fight 
Zika now, there is also something else I am proposing, but I don't want 
to sound overly partisan because I am doing this particular bill with 
my Democrats--with Senator Brian Schatz from Hawaii. We are putting 
forward the Public Health Emergency Response and Accountability Act.
  I am from Louisiana. We have had hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina is the 
one that is the most famous. If there is a hurricane or another natural 
disaster that hits an American State, then FEMA has a budget that is 
automatically triggered. It does not have to go through this 
appropriations process. We don't tie it down in discussions of 
extraneous matters. It is something that immediately comes to bear to 
bring relief to those affected by natural disasters.
  The other thing that is done is that normal Federal contracting 
processes are waived. So instead of having to get 10 different 
signatures--which literally might be the case--for someone to travel 
from Washington, DC, to Louisiana or Kansas or Florida, it is waived 
and that emergency response coordinator may immediately go. There is 
oversight, so this is not carte blanche, but it is a more effective way

[[Page S4986]]

to bring Federal resources, in partnership with local resources, to 
bring relief to those affected. We bring that flexibility in the use of 
funds while retaining accountability.
  We call this the Public Health Emergency Response and Accountability 
Act, and we anticipate entering this in very soon. Senator Schatz has 
been wonderful to work with in terms of this aspect of what we are 
  So there are two issues. The $1.2 billion that we should release now, 
that would immediately go--it is not a perfect bill, but we have to 
prevent more cases of these children who are tragically born with 
microcephaly, as well as more deaths, like the woman who recently died 
in Utah. Then, No. 2, we need to have the response and accountability 
act, which gets rid of this process we struggle through in order to 
release those funds to bring the relief we need.
  Let me summarize by saying this: This is a baby with microcephaly. I 
think there have been three children born in the United States 
already--not conceived here but born here--who have microcephaly. This 
child's life is limited. She will most likely die at an early age, with 
severe neurological deficits. If you just want to look at it in a 
dollars-and-cents approach, this child will be a ward of the State for 
the entirety of her life and will cost the Federal taxpayer millions of 
  We have already had these babies born in Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and 
Hawaii. There are two pregnant women in Illinois who tested positive 
for Zika, and we had a death in Utah and Puerto Rico--not children but 
adults. The question is, Will the Senate work to stop this? And again, 
if you are watching and you wish, you can scan this barcode, you can 
download this presentation.

  Let me finish by saying this. I just said the Senate should work to 
stop the spread of Zika. You can do something. We are a representative 
democracy and we respond to you, the people, and if we don't, by golly, 
you should vote us out. So I am asking you, if you are watching at home 
and you think there needs to be a response quickly and efficiently and 
effectively to combat the spread of Zika, you can either barcode this 
or not, but whatever you do, call your Senator. Ask your Senator--ask 
her or him--to support efforts to stop the spread of Zika, to release 
the $1.2 billion, and to also support the bill Senator Schatz and I are 
putting forward, the Public Health Emergency Response and 
Accountability Fund.
  Ultimately, we answer to you, the people. That is a good thing. I ask 
you to perhaps use this tool to help us, to encourage us to answer to 
you, as we should.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. HEINRICH. Mr. President, I rise to join my colleagues from the 
Senate Climate Action Task Force on the floor to bring attention to the 
well-funded network of organizations that are deliberately misleading 
the public on climate change. My colleagues have called them the web of 
denial. We all gathered on the floor yesterday and today to bring 
attention to these political front groups that are acting as major 
roadblocks to the actions we must take as a nation and as a global 
community to address the difficult and disruptive but absolute and 
unequivocal scientific reality of climate change.
  This web of denial is made up of dozens of organizations propped up 
by dark money. These political front groups for wealthy and self-
interested donors like the Koch brothers--you may have heard of them--
peddle bogus theories that climate change isn't real or, at the very 
least, the American public should doubt the overwhelming scientific 
evidence and fear what might happen if we enact policies that move us 
toward cleaner energy solutions. These organizations are promoting 
policies that are completely counterproductive at a time when we 
urgently need to take decisive action to combat climate change and to 
protect the health of our children and future generations.
  As many of my constituents know well, climate change has already had 
a very real and costly impact in my home State of New Mexico, as it has 
across our Nation and around the world. In New Mexico, we are already 
seeing more extreme and prolonged drought conditions, larger wildfires, 
shrinking forests, and increased flooding. This is the reality now, not 
some far-off date in the future, and the longer we wait to act, the 
more difficult and the more expensive the solutions will be.
  That is why the fictitious narratives spun by this web of denial and 
their organizations are so dangerous and why we, as policymakers, need 
to stand and refute their lies. We need to disclose who they really are 
and discredit their campaigns.
  I am focusing this evening on the American Legislative Exchange 
Council, or ALEC. ALEC is an organization made up of State legislators 
across the Nation, and ALEC claims that nearly one-quarter of our 
country's State legislators are affiliated with the organization. ALEC 
calls itself a nonpartisan organization that promotes an exchange of 
ideas to help create State-based policies that promote economic growth.
  Sounds like motherhood and apple pie, doesn't it? But when you take a 
look at who is behind ALEC's operations and you take a look at the 
types of policy they are pushing in State capitols across this Nation, 
you get a sense for their real agenda, and you can tell they are part 
of the coordinated and well-funded campaign to peddle doubt and 
skepticism about the settled science of climate change.
  ALEC has been described as ``a dating service between politicians at 
the State level, local elected politicians, and many of America's 
biggest companies.'' ALEC writes ``model policy''--thousands of cookie 
cutter, anti-conservation bills that legislators can introduce under 
their own name, in their own States, in hopes of turning them into law.
  Specifically, in the area of energy policy, ALEC pushes a concerted 
legislative agenda that is in line with the rest of the Koch network to 
promote climate skepticism and roll back laws that protect clean air 
and water. ALEC's ``model bills'' read like they were written by the 
biggest polluters in our country because they probably were.
  There are resolutions condemning the Clean Power Plan, calling for 
States to withdraw from regional climate initiatives and to reconsider 
national environmental standards such as rules that reduce ozone 
pollution--and, I might add, save lives. ALEC also pushes bills that 
call for repealing renewable fuel standards that are moving our 
electric grid toward cleaner energy sources.

  ALEC has also written model resolutions that call for selling off or 
turning over public lands, such as our national forests in Western 
States like New Mexico and across our country. The current ALEC State 
chair in my home State of New Mexico introduced legislation at the 
Roundhouse in recent years called the Transfer of Public Land Act, 
which would call on the Federal Government to turn our public lands 
over to State management.
  The only way Western States like mine could foot the bill for 
administering America's public lands would be to raise taxes 
dramatically or--and this is much more likely--sell off large expanses 
to developers and other private interests. Over time, it would mean 
public lands that New Mexicans go to every summer to hike and camp and 
barbecue with their families, the national forests where they go to 
chase elk and mule deer during hunting season would be closed off 
behind no trespassing signs.
  I have long believed public lands are an equalizer in America, where 
access to public lands ensure you don't need to be a millionaire to 
enjoy the great outdoors or to introduce your family, your children to 
hunting and fishing and hiking. This land-grab idea is just as 
ludicrous as denying climate change, just as detached from reality, and 
similarly comes at the expense of our public health and protection of 
our public lands and resources.
  Frankly, you don't have to do a deep-dive investigation to figure out 
what is going on. The so-called policy experts and leaders that make up 
ALEC's board of directors are on the record as climate skeptics. ALEC's 
CEO, Lisa Nelson, said: ``I don't know the science on that,'' when she 
was asked if CO2 emissions are the primary driver of climate 
change. Texas State representative Phil King, the national board

[[Page S4987]]

chair for ALEC in 2015, said: ``I think the global warming theory is 
bad science.'' And Connecticut State representative John Piscopo, 
ALEC's national board chairman in 2013, said: ``The public has been 
hoodwinked. . . . I have serious doubts about whether [climate change] 
is manmade.''
  We all know the reason ALEC's members and leaders say things like 
this and promote these kinds of bills. It is because so much of the 
funding for ALEC's operations comes from sources other than membership 
dues. Over 98 percent of ALEC's revenues comes from corporations and 
trade groups and corporate foundations. That is how ALEC works, by 
sewing uninformed seeds of doubt to move the needle at the State and 
local level toward anti-science, anti-climate action policies that 
benefit their funders' bottom line.
  ALEC is just one piece of a large web of similar dark money 
organizations that promote climate skepticism and are dangerous fronts 
for corporate interests to deliberately mislead the public and 
influence lawmakers. To see just one other recent example of this in my 
home State of New Mexico, I would like to take a moment to look at a 
letter to the editor published last week in the Las Cruces Sun-News by 
the Environmental Policy Alliance.
  This is another one of those web-of-denial political front groups. In 
the letter to the editor, they claim that conservation and monument 
designations are really ``federal land grabs'' and the work of 
``radical environmental groups'' trying to stop economic development. 
These ``radical groups'' and ``green decoys'' are, according to the 
letter, such dangerous groups as Trout Unlimited, the Theodore 
Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the Izaak Walton League, and 
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, groups that all stand up for the 
interests of sportsmen and hunters and anglers--certainly not what most 
of my constituents would consider radical.
  A close look shows who the real decoy is. The Environmental Policy 
Alliance is funded by the Western Fuels Association, another 
organization in the web of denial, and it is a pet project of lobbyist 
Rick Berman, who has also led deceptive public campaigns on behalf of 
cigarette and alcohol companies and now dirty energy. This organization 
doesn't care about the best way to manage our publicly owned lands or 
preserving the ability of Americans--no matter what their stake in life 
is, how much money they make--to experience our country's rich outdoor 
heritage. Instead, the Environmental Policy Alliance wants to put our 
public lands up for sale so the corporate elite can develop them for 
their own use and their own profit.
  The Environmental Policy Alliance has published similar letters in 
dozens of small to midsized city newspapers all across our country in 
recent years--canned letters with no connection to local sentiment.
  The reality is, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in 
Southern New Mexico, which this group has slandered, serves as a 
national example of community-driven, landscape-scale conservation. In 
fact, independent polling shows overwhelming local support for this 
monument, and I am proud of my close work with the region's diverse 
coalition and stakeholders that worked so hard for so many years to 
make that monument a reality.
  Two years into the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks designation, local 
businesses in the Las Cruces area are attracting major tourism dollars 
and economic benefits. The Lonely Planet guidebook has named Southern 
New Mexico as a top 10 ``Best in the U.S.'' for 2016 destination, and 
highlights the national monument as a reason to visit.
  The tax revenues of the town of Mesilla have jumped over 20 percent 
since the monument's creation, and Las Cruces' lodgers tax revenues are 
up since 2015, in part because of new conferences and meetings 
attracted to the area by the monument.
  You can see how out of touch these groups are that want to instead 
sell off this public land. The organizations that make up this web of 
denial are promoting dishonest and deceptive campaigns that frankly run 
directly counter to the public interest.
  At a time when we desperately need to move our State and national 
energy and conservation policies forward, we should be taking the 
overwhelming and indisputable scientific fact of climate change 
seriously, and we should make smart and forward-looking investments in 
the sustainable, low-carbon fuels of the future.
  I am convinced advances in energy efficiency and generation and 
transmission of clean power offer us a roadmap that not only allows us 
to combat climate change but to do it in a way that will create 
thousands of new jobs and much needed economic activity in New Mexico 
and all across our country.
  That is the reality, just like climate change. Climate change is not 
theoretical. It is one of those stubborn facts that doesn't go away 
just because we choose to ignore it or if we listen to the company line 
from self-interested Koch donor networks and organizations like ALEC.
  I think it is time to call these ``Astroturf'' groups out for who 
they really are and, frankly, who they really answer to. More 
importantly, it is time to take action on the moral challenge of our 
time--addressing climate change--so that our children can inherit the 
future they truly deserve.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I rise today to join my colleagues in 
speaking out against what I believe is the misleading and dangerous 
campaign of some in the fossil fuel industry to undermine this Nation's 
efforts to combat global climate change.
  The science on climate change is beyond rational dispute. Climate 
change is real. It is a clear and present threat to our planet, and it 
must be addressed robustly and urgently.
  Scientists have proven unequivocally that CO2 and other 
greenhouse gases we release into the atmosphere when we burn fossil 
fuels act to trap heat and form an invisible blanket to warm the 
planet. Over the last century, the Earth's average temperature has 
continued to rise, with 9 of the 10 warmest years on record occurring 
since the year 2000.
  True to form, 2015 was the Earth's warmest year on record. Rising 
global temperatures have led to extreme changes in weather events and 
in our environment. No country is insulated and no State is insulated 
from the escalating effects of climate change.
  In the United States, we are seeing it in this every region of the 
country, and we are witnessing its effects very dramatically in my 
State of New Hampshire. Rising temperatures are affecting our tourism, 
our outdoor recreation, and our agriculture industries. We are 
experiencing an onset of negative health impacts and increases of 
insect-borne diseases--Lyme disease is one--all of which can be tied to 
the effects of climate change.
  In the United States and throughout the world, people acknowledge 
that global warming is an existential threat that requires immediate 
action to slow its pace and mitigate its effects, even while those 
climate deniers are still out there, making noise.
  According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of all Americans 
acknowledge that climate change is real and that action must be taken 
to address it. But there are some, an extreme but influential minority, 
who argue that climate change is a hoax; that it lacks scientific 
consensus; that the changes we observe are not due to CO2 
and other greenhouse gas emissions, but they are due instead to 
variations in the sun or cosmic rays; and that policies to limit 
greenhouse gas emissions will ruin our economy.
  Not surprisingly, these climate deniers are not scientists, though 
they may pretend to be. They are front groups funded by the fossil fuel 
industry, generally, and the Koch brothers, in particular. These front 
groups are paid to spin a web of denial wrapped in ideology with the 
aim of purposely deceiving the public about the dangers of climate 
change. This is deceitful and it is wrong, and we are here on the floor 
this afternoon to call out these groups by name so that the public 
knows what to watch for and there is some transparency about what is 
being said.
  One of those groups is the Competitive Enterprise Institute, or CEI, 
based in Washington, DC. This group describes itself as ``a public 
policy organization committed to advancing the principles of free 
enterprise and limited government.'' But if we look more

[[Page S4988]]

closely, we find that CEI is not an independent organization. It is 
funded by powerful corporations designed to spread untruths and 
disinformation on behalf of its corporate sponsors.
  In recent years, CEI has taken up the issue of climate change. It has 
been outspoken in disputing scientific evidence that human-produced 
greenhouse gas emissions are driving global warming.
  Some may recognize CEI not for its work on climate denial but for its 
prominent role in misleading the public about the scientific evidence 
linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease. Legal documents from 
major tobacco companies exposed the fact that CEI received more than 
$800,000 from Philip Morris to launch coordinated media campaigns to 
attack the Food and Drug Administration's efforts to regulate tobacco.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a series of these 
documents be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                              WRO Efforts

       Beginning last fall, the assistance of the Washington Legal 
     Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the 
     Competitiveness Enterprise Institute was sought to define the 
     FDA as an agency out of control and one failing to live up to 
     its Congressional mandate regarding regulation of drugs and 
     medical devices.
       Beginning in December, those groups conducted an aggressive 
     media campaign toward those goals, incorporating the issuance 
     of policy papers, conducting symposia, filing petitions with 
     FDA and taking other steps to keep the public and media focus 
     on the agency.
       On the legislative front, a group of southern Democrats 
     began negotiating with the White House early this year on 
     behalf of the industry seeking to eliminate any role for the 
     FDA in the regulation of tobacco.
       The quid pro quo in these negotiations would be voluntary 
     concessions on the part of the industry on the issue of youth 
     access to cigarettes. Leading the negotiations were Sen. 
     Wendell Ford and Rep. L.F. Payne. After nearly eight months 
     of discussion, the WH rejected the compromise.
       Beginning in January, members of Congress--at the urging of 
     several outside groups including Citizens for a Sound 
     Economy--began taking a much closer look at the FDA 
     appropriations request. That scrutiny led to the successful 
     effort to eliminate $300 million sought by FDA to consolidate 
     its offices in a new federal campus, by any measure a major 
     setback for Kessler.
       Meanwhile, Congress also was scrutinizing the regular 
     appropriations and voted to freeze the agency's budget, 
     effectively decreasing the level of funding for next year 
     when adjusted for inflation.
       Language was inserted in that legislation to restrict 
     Kessler's authority to assign employees to various projects 
     and a list of questions was submitted to Kessler regarding 
     his investigation into tobacco, including what resources and 
     personnel were being devoted to the effort.
       Congress has not been satisfied with his responses to date, 
     raising the issue of whether Kessler has been evasive or even 
     engaged in obstruction of Congress in this area.
       Congress also initiated a series of oversight hearings 
     regarding the agency, conducted in the House by Rep. Thomas 
     Bliley and in the Senate by Sen. Nancy Kassebaum. Those 
     hearings focused on whether the FDA was fulfilling its 
     mission and included several demands by Congress for 
     documents and deposition.
       At the Senate oversight hearing, former FDA Commissioner 
     Charlie Edwards testified, raising further questions of 
     whether the FDA was acting legally and responsibly in 
     pursuing a course that would lead to tobacco regulation.
       As a result of the growing focus on FDA from inside and 
     outside Congress and the groundwork laid through the 
     oversight and investigations committee work, legislation to 
     reform the FDA was proposed earlier this year and is expected 
     to be formally introduced in September. A key provision in 
     the reform legislation will be to restrict FDA's regulatory 
       The House Agriculture Committee also requested that Kessler 
     supply all documents he was using in consideration of his 
     tobacco regulations. Kessler has resisted, and that effort 
       In recognition that Kessler ultimately would play some 
     regulatory role regarding tobacco, an aggressive campaign was 
     conducted over the past six months to educate members of 
     Congress and their staffs regarding the issue of regulation.
       One result of that campaign was a July 15 press bipartisan 
     press conference led by Reps. L.F. Payne and Richard Burr as 
     a result of media reports that Kessler had sent his 
     regulatory proposal to the White House. Participants 
     circulated Dear Colleague letters throughout Congress and 
     submitted Op-Ed pieces to their hometown newspapers 
     challenging the need for FDA regulation.
       Also, as a result of those education efforts, delegations 
     of elected officials met with White House officials in an 
     effort to derail federal intervention in tobacco regulation.
       The groundwork that has been laid legislatively has been 
     designed to create a receptive atmosphere in Congress for 
     legislation that will be introduced to eliminate FDA's role 
     in tobacco regulation. The timing and specifics of such 
     legislation are under consideration.
       Efforts in Congress also were made to identify unlikely 
     allies--those who generally are more concerned with the 
     politics of regulation rather than the substance--and 
     resulted in meetings with the WH with Sen. Chris Dodd and 
     Rep. Dick Gephardt. Labor also presented opposition to 
     Kessler's role in regulation.
       Recognizing that legislators weren't the only point of 
     White House access, a conference of tobacco growers held this 
     summer focused on the ramifications of FDA regulation. Both 
     Sen. Ford and Rep. Payne spoke to growers, and efforts 
     continue to mobilize the agricultural community in opposition 
     to the proposed regulation.
       The support of Administration political advisors was 
     enlisted to discuss the ramifications of FDA regulation, and 
     those efforts also continue.

                            State Activities

       Efforts focused primarily on defining the issue of youth 
     smoking as one that properly should be addressed at the state 
     and local level, rather than having FDA intervene with any 
     regulatory scheme.
       In all 50 states, the stated goal was to endorse or pass 
     reasonable marketing laws which stop minors from purchasing 
     cigarettes, with a minimum of government interference in the 
     marketing of the cigarettes to adult smokers.
       State elected officials also were contacted to intervene 
     with the White House to stress the point that there was no 
     need for FDA regulation. In addition to the states' rights 
     issues, economic and political arguments were incorporated in 
     the discussions with Administration officials.
       Support of the American Legislative Exchange Council--a 
     public/private consortium of conservative state legislators--
     took a stand against FDA regulation, as did the Southern 
     Legislative Congerence, a group affiliated with the Council 
     of State Governments.
       Meetings were held with the Southland Corp., one of the 
     nation's largest cigarette retailers, and with the Food 
     Marketing Institute and National Association of Convenience 
     Stores to brief those groups on potential adverse impacts of 
     FDA regulation and to enlist their opposition.
       A working group was formed by the Tobacco Institute to 
     bring together industry representatives and the retail and 
     wholesale trade communities to join together and work toward 
     the common goal of compliance with laws prohibiting sales of 
     tobacco products to minors. Much of the focus centered on 
     employee education regarding underage sales. Covington and 
     Burling also was given the assignment of drafting appropriate 
     state legislation that could be used as a model in state 
       A blueprint was established to enable the company to 
     contact and mobilize legislative and retail association 
     allies to participate in the 90-day comment period once the 
     Kessler regulations were released and to support appropriate 
     Congressional action on the issue.
       Third-party spokespeople were identified in each state to 
     address the issues of FDA regulation with local media, and a 
     state elected official in each state has been identified to 
     enlist his or her colleagues in upcoming legislative sessions 
     on youth access issues.

                  Internal Activities/Media Relations

       Work began last year to formulate a PM program that would 
     address the issue of youth access, with a decision made in 
     December to hold those proposals in abeyance.
       Company employees and outside consultants involved in the 
     issue were formally assigned roles as the FDA response team, 
     and efforts began in January to incorporate the various 
     elements into a comprehensive program addressing all 
     conceivable actions that could be taken by the Clinton 
     Administration or the FDA regarding tobacco regulation.
       These efforts encompassed both public affairs campaigns and 
     potential legal filings. Press releases, statements, fact 
     sheets, video news releases, background video and other 
     materials necesssary to convey the company's position were 
     drafted and taped for each of the options considered.
       PM representatives with scientific credentials were 
     assigned the task of meeting with various ``think tanks'' to 
     discuss the issue of FDA regulation and generate guest 
     editorials and comments to the media.
       Those team members who were identified as taking a public 
     role in PM's response were given media/communications 
     training, focusing on the effective delivery of company 
       In late spring, the proposed youth access program was 
     resurrected and the company subsequently announced Action 
     Against Access, incorporating voluntary and proposed 
     legislative steps to address the issue of youth smoking.
       The announcement of AAA was made at a New York press 
     conference and was accompanied by an aggressive media 
     outreach campaign, including the use of VNRs, background 
     video feeds, letters to elected officials and coordination 
     with third-party allies.

[[Page S4989]]

       In early July, those involved in the FDA working group 
     participated in a simulation geared to measure company 
     response to an announcement by the FDA of full or partial 
     regulation of tobacco.
       That exercise envisioned several different actions Kessler 
     could take on tobacco regulation, and measured the company's 
     response to an FDA announcement. Based on the results of that 
     exercise, the action plan was fine-tuned to deal with various 
     options Kessler was believed to have available.
       By the time of Kessler's announcement of regulatory intent, 
     the company mobilized to battle the Administration proposal 
     on both the legal and public affairs fronts.
       A lawsuit was filed as soon as the FDA notice of intent to 
     regulate was published in the Federal Register, and two hours 
     before President Clinton's afternoon press conference 
     announcing the action, PM held a press conference to announce 
     the lawsuit and register its objections to the FDA action.
       By the time Clinton made his announcement, a video news 
     release and background video was fed by way of satellite to 
     television news departments throughout the country, and 
     satellite time was booked to provide those stations an 
     opportunity to interview PM spokespersons for local 
       With assistance from Burson-Marsteller, PM press kits were 
     sent to all major Washington-area media in anticipation of 
     stories generated by those reporters.
       While World Regulatory Affairs was dealing with the public 
     affairs aspects of the FDA announcement, the Washington 
     Relations Office mobilized its plans to reach legislative 
     supporters in Washington and in key southern states to mount 
     criticism of the President's decision.
       All materials disseminated to the press also were 
     circulated on Capitol Hill to provide legislators with the 
     PM's position and rationale for filing suit. With information 
     in hand, several southern legislators were able to react and 
     respond quickly to media inquiries.
       The PM briefings on Kessler's actions extended to 
     conservative columnists and think tanks, enabling them to 
     provide third-party views of the Administration's action.

  Mrs. SHAHEEN. CEI lobbied politicians, conducted symposia, and 
published policy papers and op-eds with titles such as ``Safety Is a 
Relative Thing for Cars: Why Not for Cigarettes?'' CEI's then-policy 
analyst, Alexander Volokh, even went so far as to describe the act of 
smoking as a civic duty.
  As the documents that we have just submitted for the record detail, 
CEI's mission was to portray the FDA as ``an agency out of control and 
one failing to live up to its congressional mandate.'' For a time, CEI 
was successful. Congress took a closer look at FDA's appropriations 
requests, and lawmakers slashed agency funding and passed language to 
restrict FDA's authority to regulate tobacco. In fact, at one oversight 
hearing, Members of Congress even questioned whether the FDA was acting 
legally and responsibly in pursuing a course that would lead to tobacco 
  If this sounds like deja vu, that is because it is. CEI and other 
front groups are using the same playbook, the same tactics to deny 
climate change that they used to deny a link between tobacco use and 
fatal disease. CEI is now on a new mission to confuse and mislead the 
public on climate change. It is financing and directing ad hoc groups 
like the so-called Cooler Heads Coalition, which claims that global 
warming is a myth and that many scientists are skeptical of climate 
change. CEI has also produced two television ads that allege that the 
polar ice caps are thickening, not shrinking, and that CO2 
emissions are good for the environment.
  CEI's ads sound more like something that Saturday Night Live might 
come up with. For instance, this is their tagline about CO2:

       They call it pollution. We call it life.

  Of course, we all know that CO2 is necessary for plant 
growth. But what that ad fails to mention is that too much 
CO2 in the atmosphere can cause global temperatures to rise, 
and that there is more of it in the atmosphere today than at any time 
during the last 420,000 years. So there is more carbon, more 
CO2 in the atmosphere than at any time during the last 
420,000 years.
  Just as in the case of Big Tobacco, one need only to look at who 
funds CEI to see how they determine their messaging. We have a chart 
here to show where their funding comes from. I would just point out 
that this is data all compiled from publicly available records. We see 
ExxonMobil Foundation. Then we see the Koch family and their 
foundation. Then we see Philip Morris. So there is significant funding 
from people who have an agenda about climate change.
  My staff has determined that between 1985 and 2015, CEI has received 
almost $15 million from rightwing organizations like the Donors Trust 
and the Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking. CEI 
has also received more than $2 million, as we see here, from 
ExxonMobil, and more than $1 million from the Koch foundations and the 
Koch brothers personally. The strong ties between CEI's message denying 
climate change and the interests of coal, oil, and gas companies are 
clear and obvious. So it seems that while CEI has changed its client, 
it is still in the exact same business of selling lies and selling out 
the health and the future of ordinary Americans.
  Another industry front group I wanted to talk about this afternoon 
has been exceptionally loud in denying climate change. It is the so-
called Energy & Environment Legal Institute, or E&E Legal. E&E Legal 
has several different aliases--the American Tradition Institute, George 
Mason Environmental Law Clinic, and Free Market Environmental Law 
Clinic--but its MO is one and the same. Like CEI, E&E Legal has a core 
mission of discrediting climate science and dismantling regulations 
that protect the environment. However, instead of rolling out ad 
campaigns, E&E Legal has a different approach. Its specialty is 
harassing individual climate scientists and researchers with the aim of 
persuading the public that human-caused global warming is a scientific 
fraud. Of course, the group's lawsuits are frivolous and baseless. But 
this doesn't matter because the entire point of the lawsuits is to 
disrupt important academic research that may help us anticipate, avoid, 
or mitigate the impacts of global warming.
  Once again, if we look at the funding behind E&E Legal, we understand 
exactly why this group is attacking climate scientists and their work. 
E&E Legal does not publicly disclose its donors. We have seen that 
before. However, bankruptcy proceedings have identified that the group 
is funded by Arch Coal and Peabody Energy, and that E&E's senior lawyer 
has received funds directly from Alpha Natural Resources. These are 
some of the largest coal producers in the United States. It is shameful 
and dishonorable that these coal companies are funding the harassment 
and intimidation of scientists. They are putting profits ahead of 
people, and their disinformation threatens the scientific inquiry and 
transparency we need in order to make smart climate policy decisions to 
protect our Earth.
  In conclusion, big corporations are using organizations that claim to 
be independent to spread misleading messages to the American people, 
knowing that people would be quick to discount these messages if they 
actually knew they were coming directly from coal companies and from 
Koch Industries. This campaign of disinformation and propaganda 
endangers the health, environment, and economic well-being of people in 
the United States and across the world. That is why Senators who 
acknowledge the science of climate change, Senators who understand the 
urgency of action to combat climate change are speaking up this 
afternoon and for many days to come.
  By coming to the floor, we want to expose groups like CEI and E&E 
Legal for what they are--front groups whose role is to spin a web of 
denial. By championing clean energy policies, we want to ensure that 
the United States reduces its dependence on fossil fuels while creating 
millions of jobs to support our economy in alternative energy and green 
energy sources.
  By supporting our country's leadership in negotiating the 
international climate agreement concluded last year in Paris, we are 
doing our part to slow global warming and help poorer nations most 
affected by it. This is just the beginning. We will continue to come to 
the floor to advocate for policies to reduce carbon emissions, to 
strengthen our economy, and to protect our environment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, today I join many of my colleagues here in 
encouraging the Senate to continue working on solutions to protect our 
planet from the growing threats of climate change.

[[Page S4990]]

  First, I would like to thank Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for his 
leadership and tireless work on these issues. We both represent the 
great State of Rhode Island, the Ocean State, and I am lucky to have 
such a strong partner to work with to improve the health of our oceans 
and fight sea level rise, beach erosion, and ocean warming and 
acidification. I am proud to work alongside him as we respond to the 
serious challenges of climate change. Indeed, he is the leader in this 
effort in the Senate, throughout my State, and throughout the 
country. I applaud his commitment to this endeavor and his efforts to 
organize all of us to come here and to speak out on this growing 

  We are already shouldering the costs of climate change as Americans, 
and these costs are increasing. Climate change is driving severe 
drought and wildfires in the West, larger and more frequent floods in 
the Midwest, and sea level rise and greater storm damage along our 
coasts. Vulnerable populations, like children with asthma and the 
elderly, are suffering from higher levels of smog in our cities and 
longer and more severe heat waves. Farmers and ranchers are struggling 
with crop and livestock losses from drought. Increasingly, acidic 
oceans are harming shellfish populations and threatening fisheries. 
Communities are struggling to pay for infrastructure damaged by fires, 
more extreme storms, and coastal erosion.
  In the face of this evidence, as my colleagues have all pointed out, 
there is a systematic and organized effort to discredit, dismiss it, 
ignore it, but Americans are sensing dramatically the effects in their 
own lives, and they understand this.
  One area I think is important to emphasize is that climate change is 
not just a local issue or an issue that is associated with domestic 
policy. It has profound national security ramifications. Indeed, to the 
military, climate change acts as a threat multiplier, exacerbating 
threats in already unstable regions of the world. Climate change 
creates chokepoints for oil distribution lines and exacerbates our 
dependence on foreign oil to fuel ships, tanks, aircraft, and tactical 
  To protect our national security, we must take action based on 
scientific evidence presented by our Nation's best climate scientists. 
Such experts have overwhelmingly warned us that the increasingly warmer 
temperatures will mean oppressive heat in already hot areas. This 
translates not only to geopolitical issues, but it translates down to 
the individual soldier. For our infantry personnel, this means carrying 
several pounds of additional gear across dry and arid regions. And 
supplying these troops with fuel and water is becoming a difficult 
challenge for our military leaders. Warmer temperatures also lead to 
glacial melt, causing sea level rise and ocean acidification, affecting 
our seafaring vessels and aircraft carriers, and increasing the 
complexity for our Navy.
  One of the more interesting moments I had on the Committee on Armed 
Services was to listen several years ago to an admiral describe to me 
that transit to the Arctic Ocean will become commonplace in just a few 
years. To someone who was brought up in the 1950s and 1960s and served 
in the military in the 1970s, that seemed completely implausible, but 
that is happening. Yet there are groups that are organized that are 
trying to make that disappear.
  It is not disappearing for our military. They have to cope with it, 
plan for it, and, indeed, ensure that our security is protected from 
the ramifications.
  In national security, decisions are made by a careful evaluation of 
risk. Given the preponderance of scientific evidence, it only makes 
sense that we address the major risks caused by climate change. 
National security and foreign policy leaders across the political 
spectrum issued a statement last year urging the highest levels of 
American government and business to take domestic and international 
action to fight climate change. These are the national security 
experts. They are a bipartisan group of Americans who have dedicated 
their lives to this Nation. They are not a self-interested group of 
people who are profiting from a certain position. They include former 
Secretaries of Defense, Chuck Hagel, William Cohen, and Leon Panetta; 
Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and George Shultz; National 
Security Advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski and Robert ``Bud'' McFarlane; 
Senators Olympia Snowe, Carl Levin, and Richard Lugar; New Jersey 
Governor and Chair of the 9/11 Commission Thomas Kean; and retired U.S. 
Army Chief of Staff, GEN Gordon R. Sullivan. These and many others 
agree that climate change is a threat to national security and have 
called for U.S. leadership in the global effort to tackle the urgent 
and complex problem of climate change. And yet, even these wise and 
selfless Americans are being dismissed, if you will, by the organized 
effort to undercut scientific evidence.
  We took steps and have taken steps. Last December, in Paris, we took 
a step forward with an international agreement. More than 150 countries 
pledged to develop plans to tackle climate change domestically, 
including countries once reluctant to act, such as China and India. 
American leadership has been the key to getting these countries on 
board and agreeing to do their fair share. These countries are also 
acting because it is in their self-interest to do so--for their own 
health and for their national security.
  It is clear that no country can avoid the impacts of climate change, 
and no country can meet this challenge alone. As a nation that has 
contributed more than a quarter of all global carbon pollution, it is 
our responsibility to lead, not to deny. As a nation already feeling 
the effects and costs of climate change, it is also in our national 
interest to do so. As we have seen time and again, other countries 
would join us if America leads the way--not by denial but by dedication 
to pragmatic solutions that can be achieved.
  American companies must also do a better job in addressing climate 
change. It is not enough just for America's government and military to 
take action; the private sector also needs to step up to the plate. 
Companies need to be transparent and provide fuller disclosure of the 
impacts their industries have on our climate and environment and must 
take full responsibility for their actions. Some companies have 
improved their sustainability practices and have made strides to inform 
consumers about their carbon footprint, and more need to join them. In 
fact, many companies concluded it is in their economic self-interest to 
do so, not just in the national or public interest to do so.
  Information about the risks posed by climate change is also something 
that is critical to investors, some of whom are demanding greater 
disclosures. For example, Allianz Global Investors, which is a global 
diversified active investment management with nearly $500 billion in 
assets under manager has specifically called for ``achieving better 
disclosure of the effects of carbon costs on the Oil & Gas companies.'' 
This is why I have introduced legislation to enhance climate-related 
disclosures by publicly-traded companies to ensure that these companies 
are providing investors with the information necessary to make informed 
investment decisions.
  These companies not only have an obligation, as we all do, to the 
greater welfare of the country and indeed the world, but they owe a 
very direct and fiduciary responsibility to their investors. Many of 
these companies have information--I would suspect at least--that should 
be disclosed, and we have to ensure that they do this so that the 
market operates appropriately.
  It is not just about broad statements of protecting the climate. It 
is not just about feeling good. It is about making concrete information 
available to the public, to investors, to the country as a whole--not 
to deny, obfuscate, or ignore this information.
  I urge my colleagues to support legislation that protects our air, 
water, natural resources, and environment. The health of our oceans and 
environment must be preserved for now and for future generations. 
Indeed, in this effort, I can think of no one who is taking a more 
forceful and constructive role than my colleague Senator Whitehouse. 
Again, I salute him.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. PETERS. Mr. President, as ranking member on the Subcommittee on 
Space, Science and Competitiveness, I

[[Page S4991]]

know how important it is for our country to invest in scientific 
research and to make informed decisions based on those findings.
  Sound science has played a critical role in the United States' 
becoming a leader in fields like space exploration, medical research, 
advanced manufacturing, and other high-tech industries. So when 97 
percent of scientists in a particular field agree on a serious problem, 
it is wise for our policymakers to listen.
  The scientific community is sounding the alarm about the urgent need 
to address the causes of global climate change. Scientists here in the 
United States and across the world overwhelmingly agree that the weight 
of evidence is clear: Global temperatures are rising, dramatic changes 
in weather and climate have accompanied this warming, and humans are 
largely responsible due to our emissions of greenhouse gases into the 
  Military leaders, doctors, economists, and biologists are among the 
experts warning us about global climate change and the fact that it is 
major threat to national security, public health, our economy, and our 
natural resources.
  Unfortunately, powerful special interests, led by some organizations 
and companies in the fossil fuel industry, are deliberately spreading 
false information about climate change to influence public opinion and 
to muddle the truth. The strategy to confuse the public about climate 
change science and delay policy action has many parallels to the 
strategy used by Big Tobacco to mislead the public about scientific 
evidence linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease.
  The corporations spreading disinformation on climate change are the 
very same interests that have the most to gain financially by stopping 
meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gases, protect our clean air, 
and address global warming for future generations.
  The Koch brothers are a prime example of this fact. Charles and David 
Koch made their vast fortunes from owning companies that profit from a 
range of dirty industries. Much of their wealth is funneled into 
activist groups that produce questionable information and the spin 
necessary to support their own interests. The web of denial they have 
created is a threat to sound science-based decisionmaking.
  While some big polluters seek to confuse and cloud the judgment of 
decisionmakers and the public, the American people continue to suffer 
the consequences of our dependence on fossil fuels. These consequences 
are not just limited to rising global temperatures. The people of 
Michigan are paying for the costs of coal and oil pollution in many 
ways, but I would like to focus on just a couple of them.
  A few years ago, three-story, high piles of petroleum coke, or pet 
coke, lined the banks of the Detroit River in the open air. Pet coke is 
essentially the industrial byproduct that is produced during the oil 
refining process. These particular piles were owned by Koch Carbon, a 
company controlled by the Koch brothers.
  Usually pet coke is shipped off to other countries, where it is 
burned as fuel, worsening terrible air quality problems in places like 
China and contributing to global climate change. In this case, the 
banks of the Detroit River were being treated as a dumping ground to 
store these mountains of pet coke. The wind would blow the pet coke 
dust everywhere, including into the homes and lungs of those living in 
the neighborhoods nearby. It was even documented blowing across the 
river into Windsor, Ontario.
  Not only was the air being contaminated, the pet coke was fouling the 
Great Lakes, a source of drinking water for nearly 40 million people. 
When it rained, pollution would run off from the piles into the Detroit 
River, which is part of the Great Lakes system.
  I joined residents in Detroit to call for these pet coke piles to be 
moved, and only through a community-wide effort were they eventually 
successful. I have also introduced legislation to study the health and 
environmental impacts of this pet coke but, unfortunately, this same 
area of Detroit that has had to deal with mountains of particulate 
matter blowing into the air already had the distinction of having some 
of the worst air quality in the Nation.
  Research shows that exposure to air pollution at a young age can lead 
to health problems like asthma, and air pollution can worsen asthma 
symptoms. Detroit has the highest rated of asthma in young children 
among the 18 largest cities in the United States. Over 12 percent of 
Detroit children have asthma; the national rate is around 8 percent.
  Most air pollution comes from burning of fossil fuels, and parts of 
Detroit are dealing with high pollutant levels as a result. I wrote a 
letter, along with Senator Stabenow, calling for a plan to reduce 
sulfur dioxide levels in Southwest Detroit and comply with Federal 
clean air standards. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality 
finally just submitted their plan to comply--over a year past the 
initial deadline.
  These examples in Detroit show how protecting clean air and clean 
water are often environmental justice issues. Those that are most 
affected by pollution are often from low-income and minority 
households. Addressing climate change will also improve the air quality 
of these affected areas.
  While these communities bear the brunt of fossil fuel pollution, the 
Koch brothers and others pour hundreds of millions and even billions of 
dollars into activities to avoid regulation of their dirty industries. 
One of the tactics that powerful corporate industries use is to 
bankroll numerous front groups to spread misinformation. The idea 
behind this strategy is to use seemingly independent organizations, 
such as think tanks, to deliver misleading messages that the public 
might rightfully dismiss if they had heard them directly from industry.
  They have calculated that it is better for business to mislead the 
American public, rather than acknowledge the scientific evidence and 
their role in climate change and join the effort to combat this growing 
threat to our planet. It is a page taken right out of Big Tobacco's 
playbook. By creating their own scientific studies and policy papers 
from a network of surrogates, it gives the appearance that there is a 
legitimate debate over the fundamentals of climate change science.
  One example is the Cato Institute. For years, the organization has 
received funding from fossil fuel interests such as ExxonMobil and the 
Koch family. At the same time, Cato spreads climate skepticism. Over a 
span of 15 years, the Cato Institute published 773,000 words and 768 
documents expressing climate skepticism.
  The web of denial is intended to manufacture doubt among the American 
public in order to delay action, but the spending efforts by the same 
corporations also specifically target elected officials and other key 
decisionmakers to prevent meaningful action on global warming.
  The Koch brothers have poured vast sums of money into election ads, 
lobbying efforts, and campaign donations often funneled through other 
organizations to hide the source of the funding. As a result, I have 
heard many climate myths repeated in the Halls of Congress that were 
carefully crafted by the network of climate denial front groups.
  Late last year, the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and 
Competitiveness held a hearing that was specifically designed to cast 
doubt on the scientific evidence of climate change. The witness panel 
was stacked by the majority with prominent climate deniers. As the 
ranking member, the one witness I was able to invite was RADM David 
Titley, who, as the U.S. Navy's chief meteorologist, initiated and led 
the Navy's task force on climate change. At the hearing, Dr. Titley 
outlined how climate change is a serious threat to national security. 
Admiral Titley explained that the military makes decisions based on 
known information and calculations of risk. Often they must act on less 
than perfect intelligence, but they understand risks and will take 
action to prevent threats when given the chance. The admiral applied 
this to the broad agreement among climate scientists, saying that any 
military commander would take action ``in a heartbeat'' if there was a 
consensus among 97 percent of the intelligence community about a 
particular scenario. In fact, the military has already started taking 

[[Page S4992]]

to anticipate vulnerabilities and mitigate the impacts related to 
climate change.
  The brightest, most experienced minds in our U.S. military realize 
that reliance on fossil fuel leaves our troops and citizens exposed to 
more risks at home, as well as abroad. Unfortunately, Congress has not 
been as quick to act. Efforts to pass meaningful legislation to address 
climate change have been blocked. Existing administrative efforts to 
reduce admissions or invest in clean energy have also been repeatedly 
  We can and must pass legislative solutions to address global climate 
change. Transitioning away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable 
energy will create sustainable jobs and good-paying jobs here in the 
United States. Taking bold action on climate change will strengthen our 
public health, economy, and national security.
  We must wake up and realize that those attempting to mislead and 
confuse must not be successful. I am confident that we will overcome 
this web of denial and use peer-reviewed, sound scientific information 
to guide our decisionmaking in order to create a resilient future for 
our children and grandchildren.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas.

                       Honoring Our Armed Forces

                     Chief Petty Officer Adam Brown

  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, the Senate will pass legislation renaming 
Post Office 620 Central Avenue in Hot Springs National Park after CPO 
Adam Brown.
  I have visited that post office many times as a child, as a 
Congressman, and as a Senator. I can't say there is all that much 
remarkable about it, but it will be remarkable after this law is 
  I didn't know Adam Brown, but Adam was about my age. Adam was a great 
warrior and a hero. Three years ago on Memorial Day in Hot Springs, a 
gentleman came up to me after I spoke and handed me a book titled 
``Fearless'' by Eric William. It is a New York Times bestseller. It 
tells the story of Adam Brown. That title captures his spirit. He was 
fearless, relentless, and also a joyful and Godly man. As a child in 
Hot Springs, he was the one who always lined up to hit the biggest kid 
in football. He would jump off a bridge into the local lake and jump 
out of trucks. Adam was an all-American boy.
  During his teenaged years, Adam succumbed to addiction. He began to 
drink, started to use marijuana, became addicted to cocaine, and that 
led to many crimes. At one point, he had 16 outstanding felonies.
  Larry and his mother Janice didn't know what to do, so they told the 
sheriff where he was, and he was arrested. Adam went to Teen Challenge, 
a Christian ministry dedicated to helping youth overcome addiction. 
Through his faith in God, love of his parents, and the love of his wife 
Kelly, he was able to fight back his addiction, although he continued 
to struggle with it.
  With the help of a good recruiter and out of a sense of deep and 
abiding patriotism for his country, Adam cleaned up his life by 
enlisting in the Navy. He didn't just enlist to do any job, though, he 
enlisted to be a Navy SEAL. It entails some of the hardest training our 
military has. Adam, of course, got his golden trident and went on to 
display the same kind of fearlessness and relentlessness but also the 
same joyfulness that so many people in Hot Springs and in Arkansas had 
  As anyone who has been in the military knows, there are always some 
guys in the unit who are downers, looking on the dark side of things, 
wondering what was going to go wrong next, and Adam was the antidote to 
that. He always looked on the bright side, always had a sunny outlook, 
and always had a helpful word for a friend or buddy. He was always 
ready to help the unit accomplish the mission.
  Adam went through multiple deployments as a Navy SEAL, and there was 
never any quit in him. In 2003, he was injured in a simulation round 
during a training exercise with a miniature paint ball that the 
military uses. Somehow it got underneath his eye protection and hit him 
in the eye, and as a result he lost his eye, but, as he always did, he 
looked on the bright side. He got a glass eye with an Arkansas 
Razorback on it, and he would put on a pirate patch and play pirate 
with his two little kids, Nathan and Savannah. It didn't stop him from 
continuing to deploy as a Navy SEAL.
  He was later involved in a multicar accident while deployed. His hand 
was crushed and three fingers were severed. The doctors were able to 
reattach it, but it could no longer be used. Of course, he was eligible 
to leave the military because of his combat injury, but he didn't do 
that. He learned to shoot with the other hand and use his other eye 
when shooting. In fact, he went on to become a member of SEAL Team Six, 
the most elite element of the Navy SEAL community.
  He continued to deploy and fight but also showed deep compassion. In 
Afghanistan, he noticed that many of the poor, little Afghan children 
didn't even have shoes on their feet on the darkest, coldest days of 
winter, so he arranged for a local pastor in his community to send 
shoes that he could give to them.
  On March 17, 2010, Adam was on a mission high up in the mountains in 
Afghanistan. His unit came under intense enemy fire. Adam helped to 
save the lives of his fellow SEALS, taking multiple rounds himself, and 
he ultimately perished as a result of his wounds. Adam received a 
hero's welcome in Hot Springs, where he rests today.
  Adam's story is about faith, redemption, service, and love. When 
little boys and little girls drive by that post office in Hot Springs 
in the future, I hope they ask their parents who Adam Brown was. I hope 
their parents can tell them his story and inspire them with his 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I come to the floor today to speak, 
along with a number of my colleagues, about groups that have spun a web 
of denial and to fight back against the regressive, fallacious, and 
dangerous rhetoric of climate change deniers. They would disavow the 
overwhelming evidence of one of our most significant environmental 
crises. It is not only a quality-of-life challenge, it is a national 
security crisis in our world today.
  As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I know from our military 
leaders how seriously they take this crisis, which is causing droughts 
as well as unrest, and the challenges it creates when our military 
needs to access certain parts of the world. Those consequences are 
among the national security threats that climate change raises, and 
deniers do no great service to our national defense.
  Connecticut knows firsthand the visible impacts of climate change 
because we see the mammoth storms that threaten to become the new 
normal in our world, causing rising tides, destroying homes, literally 
changing the nature of our shoreline and impacting our quality of life.
  No one State can address climate change effectively, and that is why 
we need the Nation to act together and why climate change denial is so 
dangerous to our national security, not only in military terms but also 
in the very real terms of how we conduct our lives in this country. We 
need a coordinated, comprehensive approach, and yet some groups would 
have you believe that no action is necessary--none at all. They say 
that any measures are a waste of time and resources. They say that any 
measures to stop food supplies from disappearing, forest fires from 
spreading, and storms from raging are simply unnecessary. They have no 
evidence to support their claims, but, indeed, they have to distort the 
evidence that exists even to make those claims.
  Just last year, we discovered that Exxon projects into its planning a 
model that it described for itself as ``too murky to warrant 
action.'' They planned for themselves but not for the people, including 
their own customers. They would be ready for climate change but would 
make sure that no one else could be by adopting a model and making it 
their business model--or part of it--that implicitly, internally, they 
felt they could not reveal publicly.

  Some groups have adopted more covert efforts to sabotage science. The 
American Legislative Exchange Council, better known by its acronym

[[Page S4993]]

ALEC, denies that its policy denied climate change. ALEC commits to 
fighting science in the shadows because it has no facts to bring into 
the sun. Indeed, its proposed bill, the Environmental Literacy 
Improvement Act--a very innocuous bill--actually seeks to serve as a 
stamp of approval on teaching climate change denial in science 
  These tactics exist because when groups like ALEC or Americans for 
Prosperity stand ready to deny the truth, some part of our people will 
believe it.
  One leader of the Americans for Prosperity group, when asked about 
the science of climate change, responded: ``I don't even want to argue 
the point. To me, it's not that important.''
  This web of denial has consequences. It delays and distorts common 
awareness and consciousness about the truth and the need to act.
  One of my colleagues compared this web of denial to actions of 
tobacco companies decades ago denying that smoking and tobacco could 
cause cancer or heart disease or any of the other serious illnesses 
that tobacco use causes, in addition to the lifetime addiction to 
nicotine that inevitably was a consequence to so many people who 
believed those tobacco companies. That web of denial was similar to 
this one. The tobacco companies knew the truth. They denied it. These 
deniers also know the truth. Our purpose in being here today is to make 
sure the American people know it as well.
  Groups like ALEC and Americans for Prosperity may receive support 
from the economic interests that have a stake in hiding the truth, but 
ultimately the American people need to know it, they need to act on it, 
and they need to appreciate the motives and interests of the web of 
denial that is spun so artfully and relentlessly by these groups and 
the special interests that underlie them and support them.
  I wish to thank my colleagues who have come to the floor today, 
particularly Senator Whitehouse, who has been so instrumental in 
organizing this group.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator Arkansas.