[Congressional Record Volume 149, Number 37 (Friday, March 7, 2003)]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
AIR POLLUTION AND GLOBAL WARMING
Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, my subject is different but it is
that it talks about loss of lives and possible threats, the apparent
and real threats to the people in this country from a different angle
but a much more serious one and one that is going to result in many
more deaths. I wish to speak on the subject of the threat to lives in
the United States of a different and more insidious nature, and in the
long run much more costly in human lives as well as health conditions--
air pollution and the administration's failure to recognize this threat
through adequate pollution controls.
I rise today to draw Senators' attention to the administration's
flawed plans on air pollution and global warming. I am pleased to see
that the administration has finally revived an interest in dangerous
public health and environmental threats like acid rain and smog. They
have even acknowledged that climate change could have severe and
Unfortunately, the administration's solution seems to be little more
than a public relations distraction from what is really going on:
corporate regulatory relief.
What Americans really need now is relief from air pollution, and
swift and serious action to avert global warming. They have a right to
breathe air that isn't contaminated by greed. They have a right to full
and vigorous implementation of the Clean Air Act. Sadly, the
administration has lost sight of these rights.
The devastation caused by dirty air is staggering. As many as 60,000
premature deaths each year are linked to air pollution, according to an
American Cancer Society study and researchers at the Harvard School of
A study by the respected Abt Associates says that 30,000 of these
deaths are due to power plant pollution alone. That is an enormous loss
of human potential, and a huge cost to society. There is no good reason
to allow such a tragedy to continue unfolding.
This chart illustrates the magnitude of this terrible situation. More
people are dying from power plant pollution every year than die from
homicides or drunk driving accidents.
With real reductions in air pollution, such as those in S. 366, the
Clean Power Act of 2003, which I introduced almost 3 weeks ago with
Senators Collins, Lieberman and 17 others, we can save two-thirds of
This benefit is reflected on the right side of the chart.
The Abt Associates report also says that power plants are responsible
for the following statistics each year: 20,000 hospitalizations;
600,000 asthma attacks; 19,000 cases of chronic bronchitis; and 5
million lost work days due to illness.
Fine particulate matter is a serious form of air pollution that poses
an especially severe health threat. Fine particles result from the
interaction of water vapor with sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide
Most of these pollutants come from power plants. These tiny particles
reach easily into the deepest depths of the human lungs.
A host of scientific studies have linked particulate matter with a
barrage of health problems.
I ask unanimous consent that a representative list of such studies be
printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in
the Record, as follows:
Bibliography of Select Research on the Health Impacts of Soot
National Environmental Trust 2002. ``Toxic Beginnings:
Cancer Risks to Children from California's Air Pollution.''
Pope, C. Arden III, Burnett, Richard T., et al. March 6,
2002. ``Lung Cancer, Cardiopulmonary Mortality, and Long-Term
Exposure to Fine Particulate Air Pollution.'' Journal of the
American Medical Association 287(9):1132-1141.
Avol, E.L., Gauderman, W.J., et al. 2001. ``Respiratory
Effects of Relocating to Areas of Differing Air Pollution
Levels.'' American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care
Brown, K.H., Suh, H.H., et al. April, 2001.
``Characterization of Personal-Ambient PM 2.5 Relationships
for Children and Older Adults.'' Health Effects Institute
Annual Conference, Program and Abstracts.
Katsouyanni, K., Touloumi, G., et al. 2001. ``Confounding
and Effect Modification in the Short-Term Effects of Ambient
Particles on Total Mortality: Results from 29 European Cities
within the APHEA2 Project.'' Epidemiology 12:521-531.
Lewtas, J., Binkova, B., et al. 2001. ``Biomarkers of
Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution in the Czech
Republic.'' In: Teplice Program: Impact of Air Pollution on
Human Health. Academic Press: Prague.
Ostro, B., Lipsett, M., et al. 2001. ``Air Pollution and
Exacerbation of Asthma in African-American Children In Los
Angeles.s'' Epidemiology 12(2):200-208.
Otto, D., Skalik, I., et al. 2001. ``Neurobehavioral
Effects of Exposure to Environmental Pollutants in Czech
Children.'' In: Teplice Program: Impact of Air Pollution on
Human Health. Academia Press: Prague.
Peters, Annette, Dockery, Dougles, et al. 2001. ``Increased
Particulate Air Pollution and the Triggering of Myocardial
Infarction.'' Circulation 103:2810-2815.
Abt Associates, Inc. with ICF Consulting. October, 2000.
``The Particulate-Related Health Benefits of Reducing Power
Plant Emissions.'' Bethesda, MD; and Clean Air Task Force.
October, 2000. ``Death, Disease & Dirty Power: Mortality and
Health Damage Due to Air Pollution from Power Plants.''
Gauderman, J.W., McConnell, R., et al. 2000. ``Association
between Air Pollution and Lung Function Growth in Southern
California Children.'' American Journal of Respiratory
and Critical Care Medicine 162:1383-1390.
Goldberg, M.S., Bailar, J.C. III, et al. October, 2000.
``Identifying Subgroups of the General Population That May be
Susceptible to Short-Term Increases in Particulate Air
Pollution: A Time-Series Study in Montreal, Quebec.'' Health
Effects Institute, Research Report Number 97.
Heinrich, J., Hoelscher, B., and H.E. Wichmann. 2000.
``Decline of Ambient Air Pollution and Respiratory Systems in
Children.'' American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care
Krewski, D., Burnett, R.R., et al. July, 2000. ``Reanalysis
of the Harvard Six Cities Study and the American Cancer
Society Study of Particulate Air Pollution and Mortality.''
Health Effects Institute: Boston, MA.
Pope, C.A. III. 2000. ``Epidemiology of Fine Particulate
Air Pollution and Human Health: Biological Mechanisms and
Who's at Risk?'' Environmental Health Perspectives 108(suppl
Samet, J.M., Dominici, F., et al. June, 2000. ``The
National Morbidity, Mortality and Air Pollution Study. Part
II: Morbidity, Mortality and Air Pollution in the United
States.'' Health Effects Institute Research Report 94, Part
Samet, J.M., Zeger, S.L., et al. May, 2000. ``The National
Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study. Part I:
Methods and Methodological Issues.'' Health Effects Institute
Research Report 94, Part I.
Schwartz, Joel. 2000. ``The Distributed Lag Between Air
Pollution and Daily Deaths.'' Epidemiology 11:320-326.
Thurston, G.D. September 1, 2000. ``Particulate Matter and
Sulfate: Evaluation of Current California Air Quality
Standards with Respect to Protection of Children.''
California Air Resources Board, Office of Health Hazard
Tolbert, P., et al. 2000. ``Air Quality and Pediatric
Emergency Room Visits for Asthma in Atlanta, Georgia.''
American Journal of Epidemiology 151(8):798-810.
Bobak, M. and D. Leon. 1999. ``The Effect of Air Pollution
on Infant Mortality Appears Specific for Respiratory Causes
in the Postneonatal Period.'' Epidemiology 10(6):666-670.
Holgate, S.T., Samet, J.M., et al. (eds). 1999. Air
Pollution and Health. San Diego: Academic Press.
Loomis, D., Castillejos, M., et al. 1999. ``Air Pollution
and Infant Mortality in Mexico City.'' Epidemiology 10:118-
Norris, G., Young Pong, N., et al. 1999. ``An Association
Between Fine Particles and Asthma Emergency Department Visits
for Children in Seattle.'' Environmental Health Perspectives
Pope, C. Arden, III., Dockery, D. 1999. ``Epidemiology of
Particle Effects.'' In: Holgate, S., Samet, J., et al. (eds.)
Air Pollution and Health. Academic Press: London, UK, pp.
Pope, C. Arden, III., Gold, D., et al. 1999. ``Particulate
and Ozone Pollutant Effects on the Respiratory Function of
Children in Southwest Mexico City.'' Epidemiology 10:8-16.
Pope, C. Arden, III., Dockery, D., et al. 1999. ``Oxygen
Saturation, Pulse Rate, and Particulate Air Pollution: A
Daily Time-series Panel Study.'' American Journal of
Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 159:365-372.
Pope, C. Arden, III., Hill, R. and G. Villegas. 1999.
``Particulate Air Pollution and Daily Mortality on Utah's
Wasatch Front.'' Environmental Health Perspectives 107:567-
Pope, C. Arden, III., Verrier, R., et al. 1999. ``Heart
Rate Variability Associated with Particulate Air Pollution.''
American Heart Journal 138:890-899.
Pope, C. Arden, III., Dockery, D., et al. 1999. ``Daily
Changes in Oxygen Saturation and Pulse Rate Associated with
Particulate Air Pollution and Barometric Pressure.'' Health
Effects Institute Research Report Number 83.
Thurston, G.D. 1998. ``Determining the Pollution Sources
Associated with PM Health Effects.'' AWMA VIP-81(2):889.
Zmirou, D., Schwatz, J., et al. 1998. ``Time-Series
Analysis of Air Pollution and Cause-Specific Mortality.''
Anderson, H.R., Spix, C., et al. 1997. ``Air Pollution and
Daily Admissions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in
6 European Cities: Results from the APHEA Project.'' European
Respiratory Journal 10:1064-1071.
Brunekreef, Burt. November, 1997. ``Air Pollution and Life
Expectancy: Is There a Relation?'' Occupational Environmental
Katsouyanni K., Touloumi G., et al. 1997. ``Short-Term
Effects of Ambient Sulphur Dioxide and Particulate Matter on
Mortality in 12 European Cities: Results from the APHEA
Project.'' British Medical Journal 314:1658-1663.
Spix, C., Anderson R., et al. 1997. ``Short-Term Effects of
Air Pollution on Hospital Admissions of Respiratory Diseases
in Europe. A Quantitative Summary of the APHEA Study
Results.'' Archives of Environmental Health 53:54-64.
Sunyer J., Spix C., et al. 1997. ``Urban Air Pollution and
Emergency Admissions for Asthma in Four European Cities: The
APHEA Project.'' Thorax 52:760-765.
Timonen, K.L. and J. Pekkanen. 1997. ``Air Pollution and
Respiratory Health Among Children with Asthmatic or Cough
Symptoms.'' American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care
Touloumi, G., Katsouyanni K., et al. 1997. ``Short-Term
Effects of Ambient Oxidant Exposure on Mortality: A combined
Analysis with the APHEA Project.'' American Journal of
Wang, X., Ding, H., et al. 1997. ``Association Between Air
Pollution and Low Birth Weight: A Community-Based Study.''
Environmental Health Perspectives 15:514-520.
Woodruff, T.J., Grillo, J., and Schoendorf, K.C. 1997.
``The Relationship Between Selected Causes of Postneonatal
Infant Mortality and Particulate Air Pollution in the United
States.'' Environmental Health Perspectives 105:607-612.
American Thoracic Society, Committee of the Environmental
and Occupational Health Assembly. 1996. ``Health Effects of
Outdoor Air Pollution. Part 1.'' American Journal of
Respiratory Critical Care Medicine 153:3-50; and
American Thoracic Society, Committee of the Environmental
and Occupational Health Assembly, Bascom R., Bromberg P.A.,
et al. 1996. ``Health Effects of Outdoor Air Pollution. Part
2.'' American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care
Touloumi G., Samoli E., et al. 1996. ``Daily Mortality and
`Winter Type' Air Pollution in Athens, Greece--A Time Series
Analysis within the APHEA Project.'' Journal of Epidemiology
and Community Health 50 (suppl 1):S47-S51.
Katsouyanni, K., Schwartz, J., et al. 1995. ``Short Term
Effects of Air Pollution on Health: A European Approach Using
Epidemiologic Time Series Data: The APHEA Protocol.'' Journal
of Epidemiology and Community Health 50(Suppl 1):S12-S18.
Pope, C.A., Thun, M.J., et al. 1995. ``Particulate Air
Pollution as a Predictor of Mortality in a Prospective Study
of U.S. Adults.'' American Journal of Respiratory and
Critical Care Medicine 151:669-74.
Dockery, D.W., Pope C.A., et al. 1993. ``An Association
Between Air Pollution and Mortality in Six U.S. Cities.'' New
England Journal of Medicine 329:1753-9.
Pope, C.A., Dockery, D.W. 1992. ``Acute Health Effects of
PM 10 Pollution in Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Children.''
American Review of Respiratory Disease 145:1123-1128.
Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, when these tiny particles get deep into
the lungs, they can lead to premature death, as well as health problems
like: heart and lung disease; aggravated asthma; acute respiratory
symptoms; chronic bronchitis; decreased lung function; and even lung
There is even evidence that this pollution causes an increased
incidence of low birth rate and infant mortality. Sensitive populations
like children, asthmatics, and the elderly are at particular risk of
Power plant emissions of nitrogen oxides and emissions from mobile
sources contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone as well. This
is another serious threat that scientists increasingly believe to be a
chronic health problem, not just one that poses acute risks.
Recently, respected scientists from the University of Southern
California School of Medicine, and elsewhere published an important
They found that children in communities with high average ozone
levels who compete in three or more team sports have a three-to-four-
times higher risk of developing asthma than non-athletic kids. They
have three times the normal expectations of illness than nonathletic
kids. This is because athletes get a higher dose of pollutants to the
lung, and because they breathe rapidly and deeply.
We should listen to these and other scientific findings, and take to
heart the suffering that many Americans experience due to air
pollution. Power plants are a major culprit. It is our duty as
lawmakers to do something now to curb these dangerous emissions and
protect public health.
While the Clean Air Act has been successful in removing millions of
tons of particulate-forming emissions from our air, it has not gone far
enough, and these health problems remain. Plus, there are major signs
that this administration is slowing down implementation and enforcement
of the act. This delays its benefits and increases human health damage.
Air pollution causes significant harm to our natural environment as
well. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides--emitted mainly from fossil
fuel combustion--eventually fall to earth as acid.
Acid rain washes vital minerals out of the soil, weakens the health
of trees, lowers the pH of water bodies, and leaches aluminum into
lakes where fish slowly suffocate from the lack of oxygen. A stunning
41 percent of lakes in the Adirondacks are acidified.
A 1996 EPA report admitted that the Acid Rain Program of the present
Clean Air Act could only slow the rate of ecosystem damage that,
despite this program, more lakes would die. Acid rain scientist Dr.
Gene Likens has said:
We still have a very major problem with acid rain. That is
scientific fact. In that regard, the 1990 Clean Air Act
Amendments have not worked very well.
An important new study by researchers at the University of Vermont
confirms that the acid rain problem is far worse than previously
thought. Tightening sulfur emissions further--combined with strict, new
controls in nitrogen emissions--would help restore our forests, lakes,
The Hubbard Brook Research Foundation knows what is required to
ensure biological recovery from acid rain by mid-century in the
northeastern U.S. They say we must reduce utility sulfur dioxide
emissions by 80 percent beyond what is currently required in the year
2010. It is clearly time to act.
Current air pollution levels are also hindering visibility at our
majestic National Parks. Chronic air pollution continues to envelop the
Great Smoky Mountains, Acadia National Park, Shenandoah, and other
sites in a blanket of haze.
This not only costs regions vital tourism dollars, but endangers the
health of park visitors, plants, and wildlife.
Air emissions of mercury cause severe health effects as well. Mercury
is a potent nervous system toxic. After being emitted into the air, it
falls into lakes and streams. Mercury then bioaccumulates in fish and
animal tissue, taking on a highly toxic form.
Eating contaminated fish can cause serious nervous system impairment,
especially to a pregnant mother's developing fetus, or to a young
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 12
women of childbearing age in the U.S. have mercury levels above those
considered protective of newborns by the EPA. That means as many as
390,000 children are born each year at risk of developmental problems.
We have such a widespread mercury contamination problem in our
country that 41 States currently post fish consumption warnings.
Power plants, especially coal-fired utilities, emit the bulk of
uncontrolled mercury emissions in the U.S. Yet the technology exists
today to save lives. As James Willis, Director of the UN Environment
Programme 2003 Global Mercury Assessment, states:
There are technologies available already which will reduce
mercury emissions from power stations by about 80% . . . what
we can do now is often cheap--and it can cut other pollutants
I have highlighted some of the ways in which air emissions of sulfur
dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury--especially from power plants--
threaten the health and safety of millions of Americans and the natural
environment. But I am afraid to say that Americans may face an even
greater long-term threat from greenhouse gas pollution.
Carbon dioxide is the most significant greenhouse gas emitted as a
result of human activities. The National Academy of Sciences faults
fossil fuel combustion with causing most of the global warming problem.
In fact, fossil fuel-burning power plants are responsible for 37
percent of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.
The U.S. made a commitment under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change to adopt voluntary measures to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. But despite this goal,
emissions from the power sector have grown steadily and are now 20
percent above those levels.
Our world has already seen about one degree of warming in the last
century. The NAS and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
generally agree that the Earth will warm another 2.5 to 10 degrees
Fahrenheit over the next 100 years. This could cause significant,
abrupt climate changes, as well as threaten our public health, the
economic infrastructure, and many ecosystems.
The President's own Climate Action Report says, ``the best scientific
information indicates that if greenhouse gas concentrations continue to
increase, changes are likely to occur.''
Global warming is expected to have wide-reaching and mostly negative
impacts on human health. We are likely to see direct impacts like death
and illness due to heat stress and extreme weather. We are also likely
to see indirect impacts from worsened air pollution and allergens, and
increases in the occurrence and transmission of diseases like malaria
and, perhaps, West Nile Virus.
We have already seen a dramatic number of heat-related deaths since
the 1980s. A 1980 heat wave in the U.S. resulted in 1,700 deaths, while
those in 1983 and 1988 killed around 500 people each. Also, we all
remember the deadly heat wave of 1995 that killed 765 people in Chicago
alone. That is what we are looking towards if we continue to allow the
carbon to accumulate.
These numbers are much too high, and they are only going to get
higher if the climate models are right. Experts predict that in cities
such as New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, heat-
related deaths could increase 100 percent.
According to EPA and others, sea-level rise from global warming will
bring on another set of consequences. Sea level is predicted to rise by
one foot in the next 20 to 50 years. In the next 100 years, a two-foot
rise is most likely, and a four-foot rise is possible.
To put this in perspective, the EPA says that simply raising existing
bulkheads and sea walls along the Manhattan shoreline alone to help
protect it from a one to three-foot rise would cost up to $140 million.
According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a 20-inch sea
level rise could have significant cumulative impacts on coastal
property in the U.S.
These impacts could range from about $20 billion to about $150
billion by the year 2100.
The environmental impacts of sea level rise would be devastating as
well. Nationwide, a two-foot rise in sea level could inundate 17 to 43
percent of U.S. wetlands, and could eliminate a total of 10,000 square
miles of wet and dry land in our country. I do not want to see that
Because of global warming, our forests will see dramatic changes as
well. A 3.6 degree Fahrenheit warming could shift many North American
forest species 200 miles north.
Given the likely time frame for this warming, these tree species
would have to migrate about two miles every year to stay viable.
This poses a grave threat to my State's maple syrup industry, since
about half of the hardwood species like maple will disappear. I do not
want to see this happen either.
A recent article in the journal Nature shows there is strong new
evidence of global warming impacts on animal and plant worlds.
Researchers say that as many as 677 species are already reacting to
global warming by adjusting their range northward in search of cooler
temperatures, or breeding earlier in the spring in response to warmer
A recent study by the American Bird Conservancy and the National
Wildlife Federation reports that some birds like the Baltimore Oriole
may completely disappear from their home States. The Nation's 63
million birdwatchers will likely be frustrated by the coming changes in
Also, the EPA has predicted that even a modest warming would
eliminate nearly 90 percent of Idaho habitat for the majestic grizzly
bear, which will likely have impacts on Yellowstone tourism income.
Even the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is running into problems
because of global warming. Unseasonably warm temperatures have meant
that the race will have to take detours for the first time in its
history. Much of the snow has melted. The Alaskan route is now marred
by bare ground and open rivers.
Alaska's global warming problems made the news last year as well. As
you can see in this poster, a New York Times news story from June
illustrated that in Alaska, climate change is a stark reality, not an
abstraction. I ask unanimous consent that the article be printed in the
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in
the Record, as follows:
[From the New York Times, June 16, 2002]
Alaska, No Longer So Frigid, Starts To Crack, Burn and Sag
(By Timothy Egan)
To live in Alaska when the average temperature has risen
about seven degrees over the last 30 years means learning to
cope with a landscape that can sink, catch fire or break
apart in the turn of a season.
In the village of Shishmaref, on the Chukchi Sea just south
of the Arctic Circle, it means high water eating away so many
houses and buildings that people will vote next month on
moving the entire village inland.
In the Barrow, the northernmost city of North America, it
means coping with mosquitoes in a place where they once were
nonexistent, and rescuing hunters trapped on breakaway ice at
a time of year when such things once were unheard of.
From Fairbanks to the north, where wildfires have been
burning off and on since mid-May, it means living with
hydraulic jacks to keep houses from slouching and buckling on
foundations that used to be frozen all year. Permafrost, they
say, is no longer permanent.
Here on the Kenai Peninsula, a recreation wonderland a few
hours' drive from Anchorage, it means living in a four-
million-acre spruce forest that has been killed by beetles,
the largest loss of trees to insects ever recorded in North
America, federal officials say. Government scientists tied
the event to rising temperatures, which allow the beetles to
reproduce at twice their normal rate.
In Alaska, rising temperatures, whether caused by
greenhouse gas emissions or nature in a prolonged mood swing,
are not a topic of debate or an abstraction. Mean
temperatures have risen by 5 degrees in summer and 10 degrees
in winter since the 1970's, federal officials say.
While President Bush was dismissive of a report the
government recently released on how global warming will
affect the nation, the leading Republican in this state,
Senator Ted Stevens, says that no place is experiencing more
startling change from rising temperatures than Alaska.
Among the consequences, Senator Stevens says, are sagging
roads, crumbling villages, dead forests, catastrophic fires
and possible disruption of marine wildlife.
These problems will cost Alaska hundreds of millions of
dollars, he said.
``Alaska is harder hit by global climate change than any
place in the world,'' Senator Stevens said.
Scientists have been charting shrinking glaciers and
warming seas in Alaska for some time. But only recently have
experts started to focus on what the warming means to the
people who live in Alaska.
The social costs of higher temperatures have been mostly
negative, people here say. The Bush administration report,
which was drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency,
also found few positives to Alaska's thermal rise. But it
said climate change would bring a longer growing season and
open ice-free seas in the Arctic for shipping.
``There can no longer be any doubt that major changes in
the climate have occurred in recent decades in the region,
with visible and measurable consequences,'' the government
concluded in the report to the United Nations last month.
It does not take much to find those consequences in a state
with 40 percent of the nation's surface water and 63 percent
of its wetlands.
Here on the Kenai Peninsula, a forest nearly twice the size
of Yellowstone National Park is in the last phases of a
graphic death. Century-old spruce trees stand silvered and
cinnamon-colored as they bleed sap.
A sign at Anchor River Recreation Area near this little
town poses a question many tourists have been asking,
``What's up with all the dead spruce trees on the Kenai
Peninsula?'' The population of spruce bark beetles, which
have long fed on these evergreen trees, exploded as
temperatures rose, foresters now say.
Throughout the Kenai, people are clearing some of the 38
million dead trees, answering the call from officials to
create a ``defensible
space'' around houses for fire protection. Last year, two
major fires occurred on this peninsula, and this year, with
temperatures in the 80's in mid-May, officials say fire is
imminent. ``It's just a matter of time before we have a very
large, possibly catastrophic forest fire,'' said Ed Holsten,
a scientist with the Forest Service.
Joe Perletti, who lives in Kasilof in the Kenai Peninsula,
has rented a bulldozer to clear dead trees from the 10 acres
where he lives.
``It's scary what's going on,'' Mr. Perletti said. ``I
never realized the extent of global warming, but we're living
it now. I worry about how it will affect my children.''
Mr. Perletti, an insurance agent, said some insurers no
longer sold fire policies to Kenai Peninsula homeowners in
some areas surrounded by dead spruce.
Another homeowner, Larry Rude, has cut down a few trees but
has decided to take his chances at the house he owns near
Anchor Point. Mr. Rude says he no longer recognizes Alaska
``This year, we had a real quick melt of the snow, and it
seemed like it was just one week between snowmobiling in the
mountains and riding around in the boat in shirt-sleeve
weather,'' Mr. Rude said.
Other forests, farther north, appear to be sinking or
drowning as melting permafrost forces water up. Alaskans have
taken to calling the phenomenon ``drunken trees.''
For villages that hug the shores of the Bering, Chukchi and
Beaufort Seas, melting ice is the enemy. Sea ice off the
Alaskan coast has retreated by 14 percent since 1978, and
thinned by 40 percent since the mid-1960's, the federal
report says. Climate models predict that Alaska temperatures
will continue to rise over this century, by up to 18 degrees.
Kivalina, a town battered by sea storms that erode the
ground beneath houses, will have to move soon, residents say.
Senator Stevens said it would cost $102 million, or $250,000
for each of the 400 residents.
The communities of Shishmaref, Point Hope and Barrow face a
similar fate. Scientists say the melting ice brings more wave
action, which gnaws away at ground that used to be frozen for
most of the year.
Shishmaref, on a barrier island near the Bering Strait, is
fast losing the battle to rising seas and crumbling ground.
As the July 19 vote on whether to move approaches, residents
say they have no choice.
``I'm pretty sure the vote is going to be to move,'' Lucy
Eningowuk of Shishmaref said. ``There's hardly any land left
Barrow, the biggest of the far northern native villages
with 4,600 people, has not only had beach erosion, but early
ice breakup. Hunters have been stranded at sea, and others
have been forced to go far beyond the usual hunting grounds
to find seals, walruses and other animals.
``To us living on the Arctic coastline, sea ice is our
lifeline,'' Caleb Pungowigi testified recently before a
Senate committee. ``The long-term trend is very scary.''
A 20-year resident of Barrow, Glenn Sheehan, says it seems
to be on a fast-forward course of climate change.
``Mosquitoes, erosion, breakup of the sea ice, and our
sewage and clean-water system, which is threatened by erosion
as well,'' he said. ``We could be going from a $28 million
dollar sewage system that was considered an engineering model
to honey buckets--your basic portable outhouses.''
The people who manage the state's largest piece of
infrastructure--the 800 mile-long Trans-Alaska Pipeline--have
also had to adjust to rising temperatures. Engineers
responsible for the pipeline, which carriers about a million
barrels of oil a day and generates 17 percent of the nation's
oil production, have grown increasingly concerned that
melting permafrost could make unstable the 400 or so miles of
pipeline above ground. As a result, new supports have been
put in, some moored more than 70-feet underground.
``We're not going to let global warming sneak up on us,''
said Curtis Thomas, a spokesman for the Alyeska Pipeline
Service Company, which runs the pipeline. ``If we see leaning
and sagging, we move on it.''
North of Fairbanks, roads have buckled, telephone poles
have started to tilt, and homeowners have learned to live in
houses that are more than a few bubbles off plumb. Everyone,
it seems, has a story.
``We've had so many strange events, things are so different
than they used to be, that I think most Alaskans now believe
something profound is going on,'' said Dr. Glenn Juday, an
authority on climate change at the University of Alaska at
Fairbanks. ``We're experiencing indisputable climate warming.
The positive changes from this take a long time, but the
negative changes are happening real fast.''
Mr. JEFFORDS. Cities in Alaska are having to cope with mosquitoes
where they once did not exist. Hunters are being trapped on break-away
ice. Houses are sinking due to slouching and buckling permafrost.
Mean temperatures in Alaska have risen by five degrees since the
1970s. That is an extremely rapid rate of change, and I am afraid
Alaska is somewhat of a testing ground for what is yet to come around
These are just some of the environmental and economic consequences of
global warming that may affect our country and our people. My
colleagues can imagine the potential harm that less developed economies
I have spoken now in some detail about the ways in which our serious
air pollution and global warming problems threaten public and
environmental health, as well as economic prosperity.
I have shown how millions of people suffer the ill effects of
particulate pollution and mercury contamination. I have explained how
acid rain continues to strip our beautiful forests of vegetation, leach
nutrients out of our once-rich soils, and suffocates many of our lakes
It is time now to take a look at what our administration is doing to
relieve Americans from these costly burdens.
Over the last few months, I have joined my colleagues from both sides
of the aisle to speak out in defense of a vital Clean Air Act program
called New Source Review, or NSR. NSR plays a crucial role in ridding
our air of some of industry's most harmful air emissions, and it
results in hundreds of millions of dollars in health-related benefits.
However, the administration has chosen to ignore public health
concerns and side with industry. These new NSR rules will make it much
easier for polluters to send even more poison into our air.
The administration tells us not to worry about these so-called NSR
``reforms''--that any holes left in clean air protections will be
patched up by another proposal that was reintroduced in Congress last
week, called Clear Skies. I am afraid Clear Skies will not provide such
a safety net.
In fact, a look at the fine print shows that Clear Skies actually
provides less protection--less protection--than existing law. More
importantly, it will not do enough to address this country's already
significant air pollution problem.
Unlike the new NSR changes, which affect all major sources of air
pollution, Clear Skies only addresses some of the air pollution coming
from one source--powerplants. So purging broad NSR protections while
promoting a narrower proposal doesn't make any sense.
Plus, Clear Skies will eliminate important Clean Air Act programs
that protect local air quality, not supplement them. For utilities,
Clear Skies will strip the Clean Air Act of the Mercury Air Toxics Rule
and the Regional Haze Rule.
And, while the administration's new NSR rule could allow 50 percent
of all sources to avoid environmental review, Clear Skies will give
powerplants even greater exemptions.
Clear Skies will also degrade the ability of States to pursue
interstate air pollution problems, and will prevent evolution of
tougher New Source Performance Standards.
As you can see from this chart beside me, the true result of Clear
Skies will be less protection and more pollution than business as
In the chart, blue, gray, and red bars represent the so-called Clear
Skies reduction plan for sulfur, nitrogen, and mercury emissions,
respectively. But take a look at the yellow bars. These yellow bars
represent where we would already be headed with full and faithful
implementation of the present, existing Clean Air Act. We are not even
doing that under this administration.
In other words, the administration's plan allows more pollution. It
is a serious weakening of current programs. In fact, Clear Skies will
result in hundreds of thousands of tons more emissions than full
implementation of these and other Clean Air Act programs.
According to EPA's own estimates, by the year 2010--Clear Skies would
allow 125 percent more sulfur dioxide, 60 percent more nitrogen oxides,
and 420 percent--420 percent--more mercury pollution than enforcement
of current law. Total carbon dioxide emissions would continue to grow
by leaps and bounds, despite the administration's goal of reduced
I ask my colleagues to be wary of the administration's proclamations
about the benefits of Clear Skies. While they tout reductions of 70
percent for sulfur, nitrogen, and mercury emissions, they are actually
using outdated information to arrive at these numbers. Real reductions
in 2010 from the year 2000 would be only 60 percent for SOX
and NOX, and 46 percent for mercury.
Clear Skies will also push compliance deadlines out further into the
than present law, by as much as 10 years. Compared to the Clean Air
Act, emission reductions would occur 8 years later for nitrogen, 6
years later for sulfur, and 10 years later for mercury.
This delay would result in thousands of additional asthma attacks,
hospitalizations, and deaths.
To be more specific, EPA's own data shows that full implementation of
the Clean Air Act will result in approximately 200,000 avoided deaths
from air pollution. The Administration's Clear Skies rollback, on the
other hand, will allow 100,000 of those lives to end prematurely--
100,000 lives prematurely.
Approaches such as the Jeffords-Collins-Lieberman Clean Power Act are
what we need to save these lives.
Our bill would surpass the Clean Air Act in saving as many as 250,000
lives--150,000 more lives saved than the Bush Clear Skies plan.
Our bill will also result in benefits of $100 billion more per year
in health and visibility improvements than the Clear Skies plan.
I ask unanimous consent that a table illustrating the differences
between these three approaches be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in
the Record, as follows:
COMPARING THE CLEAN AIR ACT, CLEAN POWER ACT, AND ``CLEAR SKIES''
Clean Air Act \1\ Clean Power Act \2\ ``Clear Skies''
Total emissions (cap)....... 2 mil tons (2012)....... 2.2 mil tons (2009)..... 4.5 mil tons (2010)
Percent reduction from 2000. 82%..................... 81%..................... 60%
Total emissions (cap)....... 1.25 mil tons (2010)\3\. 1.51 mil tons (2009).... 2.1 mil tons (2008)
Percent reduction from 2000. 76%..................... 71%..................... 60%
Total emissions (cap)....... 5 tons (2008)........... 5 tons (2008)........... 26 tons (2010)
Percent reduction from 1999. 90%..................... 90%..................... 46%
CO2: Business as usual: Business as usual:
Total emissions (cap)....... 3.5 bil tons (no cap)... 2 bil tons (2009)....... 3.5 bil tons (no cap)
Percent change from 2000.... 46% increase in 2018.... 21% decrease............ 46% increase in 2018
Lives saved (from PM
Total lives by 2020......... 190,000-238,000......... 210,000-250,000......... 74,000-102,000
Nonattainment areas: prior to imp of new PM
PM 2.5...................... 2020: 100 (national).... 2010: <23 (eastern)..... 2020: 46 (national)
Ozone (8-hour NAAQS)........ 2020: 41 (national)..... 2010: <28 (eastern)..... 2020: 33 (national)
Health and visibility benefits/
From SO2 and NOX cuts N/A..................... At least $184 billion/yr $11-96 billion/yr
Costs/year (incremental)........ N/A..................... $6-22 billion/yr........ $4-6.5 billion/yr
\1\ The Clean Air Act column assumes full implementation of current Clean Air Act programs, not including the
Bush Administration's recent rulemakings.
\2\ The Clean Power Act also assumes full implementation of current Clean Air Act programs, including vigorous
enforcement of, and continued maintenance of, the New Source Review program, the NAAQS, Regional Haze Rule,
Mercury Air Toxics Rule, and others. It would ensure achievement of reductions from those programs.
\3\ Subject to stringent new rulemaking by the EPA.
Notes.--These are EPW Committee staff estimates, based on latest available data from EPA (2/12/2003).
NOX and SO2 2000 levels from 2000 EPA Air Trends report. See http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/trends/trends00/
Mercury 1999 levels from EPA, ``Emissions of Mercury by State (1999).'' Data from coal-fired power plants only.
CO2 2000 levels from EPA's ``Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2000,'' April, 2002. See
CAA caps: EPA, ``Discussion of Multi-Pollutant Strategy,'' meeting with the Edison Electric Institute, September
18, 2001. EPA's analysis compares the ``straw'' proposal for power plant cleanup with the level of cleanup
that would occur if existing Clean Air Act programs were fully implemented.
Lives for CAA, CPA, and CSI: EPA modeling runs, July, 2002.
Nonattainment for CAA: ``Existing programs'' on the Clear Skies website. See http://www.epa.gov/air/clearskies/
Nonattainment for CPA: Upper bound represents EPA's Straw proposal in 2020, which CPA would surpass in
nonattainment benefits, in 2009. No national-level estimates exist for Straw or CPA nonattainment.
Nonattainment for CSI: Clear Skies website, http://www.epa.gov/air/clearskies/benefits.html. Clear Skies
nonattainment includes some existing programs (e.g., Title IV, NOX SIP Call, some state NOX reductions).
Benefits and costs for CAA: Not available. No up-to-date and reliable analysis of the benefits and costs of
current and planned Clean Air Act programs exists.
Benefits and costs for CPA: EPA data for Straw proposal, representing a lower bound for Clean Power Act
Benefits and costs for CSI: EPA's Clear Skies website, http://www.epa.gov/air/clearskies/benefits.html. (2
(Mrs. DOLE assumed the chair.)
Mr. JEFFORDS. Madam President, the choice seems easy to me. While the
Clean Power Act would safeguard and surpass Clean Air Act emissions
reductions, Clear Skies would be a ticket to pollute.
If Clear Skies legislation becomes law, we will all pay the price in
hazy parks, smoggy cities, increased acid rain, and more trips to the
emergency room. These are costs we cannot afford.
I hope this message reaches the American public. The public should be
very concerned about this administration's efforts to free polluters
from environmental regulation. Clear Skies may sound like a good thing,
but it is a smokescreen.
In addition, Clear Skies does nothing to address global warming--
nothing. As you can see from this chart, Clear Skies ignores our
commitment under the U.N. Framework Convention to return to 1990 levels
of carbon dioxide.
At a time when we should be adopting real measures to reduce
CO2 levels to around two billion tons, the administration is
promoting a ``business as usual'' approach. This approach will result
in around 3.5 billion tons of CO2. That is no way to protect
the American economy or the world from climate change.
The administration says we shouldn't worry, we should trust that
their voluntary greenhouse gas reduction plan will help prevent climate
change. I am not convinced.
I am deeply concerned because I know that voluntary plans to date
have not done enough to keep U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from rising.
The administration's newly announced proposal--the inappropriately
named ``Climate Vision'' plan--is part of the President's goal to
reduce emissions intensity by 18 percent during the next decade.
Emissions intensity is a term to describe emissions per dollar of
GDP. It may sound like a respectable goal to reduce intensity by 18
percent, however, the truth is, that this approach will not reduce
actual emissions of greenhouse gases. Even if emissions decline per
dollar, overall emissions will grow--grow--by 16 percent.
We must not base our national strategy to prevent global warming and
its harmful and costly impacts on a 16-percent increase in greenhouse
gas emissions. Again, I find it very unfortunate that the
administration appears to be promoting policies based on fuzzy math.
I am confident the American public would rather see legislation such
as the Clean Power Act passed. Our bipartisan bill would require
reductions of CO2 by 21 percent, a return to our 1990
The Business Council for Sustainable Energy supports our approach.
The organization's president, Michael Marvin, says:
These ideas will encourage the deployment of clean,
efficient, economical and secure energy resources for our
Our clean power approach will reduce the risks of climate change. The
Administration's voluntary plan will not.
In fact, Jim Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental
Quality, has admitted to this failure. In a July 2002 Commerce
Committee hearing, he confessed:
Greenhouse gas emissions will rise under our approach, no
question about that.
Does this sound like an administration concerned about improving our
air quality and protecting our global climate from irreparable harm?
Or could this be an administration that puts the interests of
I urge my colleagues to look at the fine print in the President's
proposal and ask questions. If you're very lucky, you might just get a
helpful and honest response.
Frankly, I doubt you will get a response. As Chairman of the
Environment and Public Works Committee in the last Congress, I asked
this administration, namely the Environmental
Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the
Department of Energy, to respond to straight-forward questions about
their legislative proposals, their rulemaking proposals, and their
testimony before our committee. These are hardly unusual inquiries.
In some instances, I have yet to receive a reply. When I have
received a reply, it has been either incomplete or inadequate, and
without fail, quite late.
Simply stated, the American public, through laws such as the Freedom
of Information Act, and also through its elected officials, is entitled
to know the basis of government decision-making. The Congress has a
responsibility to oversee and understand the activities of the
executive branch, particularly when it implements the laws we write.
It is apparent through my experience and that of other Members I have
consulted, that the American public is being kept in the dark by this
administration on important changes to vital environmental and public
health policies. The Clear Skies proposal dims even further their hopes
and right to expect a cleaner and brighter future.
I thank the Senate for allowing me this time. I want to point out we
should not lose sight of the fact there are things that are costing
thousands of lives in this country we could prevent that are not being
looked at well enough to give us the security we need.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
Mr. WARNER. Madam President, we have, under the order that now is in
effect, morning business until 12:30. I see four colleagues, at least I
have been notified, two on this side, two on that side, who desire to
continue the debate on matters of national security. I am wondering if
I might suggest a framework and then see if we can have a mutual
Mr. DODD. Time is moving.
Mr. WARNER. Time is moving. On my side, the distinguished Senator
from Utah and the distinguished Senator from Alabama desire 4 to 5
minutes each. They have been here for some period of time. If they were
to take those periods, then the other side would allocate their time as
they desire, and perhaps we would be willing to extend the time to
accommodate such additional time as you might desire.
Mr. DODD. May I inquire, if my colleague will yield, how much time
remains on both sides of this discussion?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority side has 11 minutes and 30
Mr. DODD. I am prepared to say, use your 11 minutes and then we will
pick up our time here. We ought to not waste any more and get to it.
Mr. WARNER. I don't know that we are wasting any time. We are just
trying to do our best. We have been here since 9:30. We have had the
chairmen of the Appropriations and Foreign Relations Committees and
this humble Senator.
Let us try the following. That would not leave the Senator from
Virginia, who has control of this side of the debate, any time
whatsoever to provide for some rebuttal.
Mr. DODD. If my colleague will yield, if you use your 11 minutes,
Senator Kennedy and I want to take some time. Others may come.
Certainly we can engage in some discussion. I would say use the 11
Mr. WARNER. With that understanding, I thank my good friend from
Connecticut and I thank my good friend from Massachusetts.
We will proceed to have the Senator from Utah, followed by the
Senator from Alabama, for not to exceed 5 minutes each.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
Mr. HATCH. Madam President, I rise to declare my support for the
President and his administration as he prepares this country for the
coming war with Iraq.
I do this sharing the President's reluctance to go to war. But I
offer my support with admiration and respect for the President for
facing this decision without reluctance or avoidance, for the
forbearance he has demonstrated by pursuing all other reasonable
options, for courage he has shown in making the decision, and for the
honesty with which he has included the American public, and the world
at large, in his administration's deliberations.
The President has not shirked from the problem of Iraq. Since coming
to office his administration has recognized that the United States
could not ignore a stale and festering policy that had devolved to
inattention and a self-deluding hope. A war never concluded in 1991--
for Saddam Hussein has never abided by the ceasefire terms of
disarmament that the international community declared a condition of
the end of the first Gulf War--had devolved to a collapsed inspections
regime and a deteriorating sanctions regime. The international
community could pass 16 resolutions declaring disarmament our goal and
expectation--now 17--but the international community could not impose
the inspectors to guarantee that disarmament, nor could it sustain the
sanctions to force the regime to comply.
President Bush came to office recognizing the nature of Saddam
Hussein's regime was not changing: Saddam was overtly intent to
threaten the region, and he was covertly dedicated to amassing the
terrible weapons necessary to achieving this goal. Years of inspections
reports and defectors' stories confirmed, for all to see, that Saddam's
behavior was not changing, and that, in fact, he was emboldened by over
ten years of successfully deceiving and confronting the international
The administration could have looked the other way. They could have
presented a rationale, heard from the streets protests today, that this
was not a threat to the U.S., that Saddam was always brutal and
dangerous, but that, after all, we'd never caught him plotting against
I wonder where the signs are saying: Saddam disarm; Saddam quit being
the way you are.
I am amazed that those aren't the signs in the street demonstrations.
A previous administration looked the other way on another threat--the
threat of Osama bin Laden. In 1996, I began warning that this man was a
threat to the United States. Every time we acted against him, I
applauded the President, but I urged us to do more. In 1998, after the
attacks on our embassies in Africa, President Clinton responded by
cruise missile attacks against Sudan and Afghanistan. A few people
accused the President of ``wagging the dog,'' using force to distract
from his other problems. I told the President two things: One, good
job, Mr. President. Two, but don't let this be the only strikes. Finish
Osama bin Laden lived to launch the attacks of September 11, 2001,
and today he remains at large. But last weekend's capture of Khalid
Shaikh Mohammed demonstrates that our war on terrorism continues
relentlessly, and that the cooperation we have with foreign nations and
our intelligence and law enforcement professionals will disrupt,
capture and liquidate al-Qaida.
Osama bin Laden and Shaikh Khalid Mohammed launched an attack that
changed the way America sees the world, and I am grateful that the Bush
administration has changed American foreign policy in response. We
recognize, finally, that the concept of imminence is not an abstract
idea as we contemplate the preemptive use of force. Preemption is not a
new concept in international law, as many of the President's critics
suggest. It is as old as Grotius, the founder of modern international
law. And contrary to critics' misinformed assertions, the U.S. has
never forsworn the use of preemption. Not since the U.N. Charter, and
not under either Democratic or Republican administrations.
Preemption has always been conditioned on the idea of imminent
threat. In the pre-nuclear era, we could see the armies amassing on a
border. In the nuclear era, the idea of imminence grew murkier. Was it
the fueling of the ICBM? Was it the glare on the rocket as it left the
launch pad? Was it the warhead's return through the atmosphere? These
were the reasons why the U.S. did not adopt a no first-use policy
during the era of strategic competition with the Soviet Union.
Imminence becomes murkier in an era of terrorism and weapons of mass
destruction. When did the threat of al-Qaida become imminent? I know
when it became manifest: Not, by the way, on September 11. Osama bin
struck many times before then. On September 11, the threat became
catastrophic. It was well beyond imminent.
All Americans must be grateful to President Bush because he will
never allow imminence to slip into catastrophic reality. None of us can
read Saddam Hussein's intentions, Madam President. We don't know when,
or if, he gives the command to pass his countless biological or
chemical weapons to his numerous contacts in the international
We know, however, that Saddam has shown no intention of disarming.
And we know of Saddam's capabilities. As this administration has
repeatedly stated to American and foreign audiences alike, there is a
huge weapons gap in biological and chemical weapons. The evidence of
this gap is not fabricated here; it has been meticulously collected,
vetted and authenticated by the international community.
Our intelligence community, meanwhile, has asserted through the years
that Saddam's Iraq is a safe harbor for international terrorism. This
Congress has approved, through the last decade, these conclusions.
Association is not causation, every logic professor would say. And a
cautious national security establishment would reiterate: Associating
with terrorist groups, as we know Saddam Hussein has done, even
training them, or giving them moral and financial support, is different
than directing them. True enough. But the days of measuring imminent
threat on this conservative notion are done. We will no longer confuse
the reluctance to act with the self-deception that a threat is not
And I admire President Bush for plainly saying to the American people
that the nexus of Saddam's regime of weapons of mass destruction and
terrorist links is a threat we can no longer ignore. I admire the
courage that says: American security cannot be held to a hope against
reality but must eliminate a threat before it is too late.
I admire the President for pursuing all diplomatic options available
to him. Last night he said he would submit another resolution before
the Security Council, and I think that's a gutsy move. But the
President has been clear, since he first took the case himself to the
United Nations last September 12, that American national security would
not be constrained by endless international resolutions without
resolve. If the United Nations wishes to become a spineless debating
society, that is its right. If it or anyone else believes that it can
pervert international law to constrain the legitimate use of American
force for the protection of our national security, then it will begin
the 21st century on its self-imposed decline to irrelevance. I hope all
members of the Security Council recognize this, as they recognize the
diplomatic courage and honesty that the Bush Administration has
demonstrated to that body.
Madam President, a war with Iraq will be the most serious exercise of
American power in this century. We have reason to be optimistic: If we
succeed militarily, and I believe without a doubt that we will, we will
show the political commitment to ushering in a new era of stability
and, I hope, democracy, for the people of Iraq.
At the beginning of the 20th century, colonial powers had their hand
in shaping the Middle East. At the beginning of the 21st century,
America is the lone superpower, but we are not a colonial power. The
Administration has repeatedly stated that Iraq is for the Iraqi people,
that their land, society, resources are for them to shape and mold. We
will remove the oppression of Saddam and his Arab Stalinist Ba'athist
dictatorship. And we in Congress, I hope, will provide the resources
and support to sustain our commitment to a transition to a self-
determining Iraqi society. We will work with the Iraqis, we will stay
as long as we need, and we will not stay one day longer.
I admire President Bush for the candor he has shown the American
people and the world. I admire him for facing difficult choices without
reluctance, and I admire him for the courage he has shown in making the
most difficult decisions a president can face. I join my prayers to
those of countless other Americans as they pray for the success of our
Armed Forces and for President Bush and his administration.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama is recognized.
Mr. SESSIONS. Madam President, I, too, wish to join my distinguished
colleague, Senator Hatch, in saluting President Bush for his courage
and commitment to principle, his steadfastness, his integrity, and his
moral approach to foreign policy. He believes the United States has a
high calling in the world. We must meet high standards, and high
standards mean that we try to work with our neighbors when possible,
but we do not submit ourselves to requirements from other nations that
keep us from doing what is the right thing. I am proud of what the
President has done. I am proud of the way he has handled himself. I
thought at his press conference last night, facing all the media in
America and giving them his best shot, he handled it with great skill,
dignity, integrity, and wisdom. So I am really proud of that.
We are now entering the final stages of diplomacy. There is still an
opportunity for Saddam Hussein to take advantage of the days and hours
he has been given by the President to change his ways, to totally
disarm and abdicate his country in order to avoid a war. But the answer
to what will happen is now in Saddam Hussein's hands.
This great Nation has committed itself to a course. This Senate has
backed the President overwhelmingly. The House of Representatives has
also done so. Last year, when this Senate was in the majority of the
other party, we voted 77 to 23 to authorize this President to take
action if need be. I have sensed no retreat from that support by any
Member. In fact, if we voted today, the vote would probably be larger.
I don't know precisely what Hans Blix will report today in the U.N.,
but I will tell you one thing he will not say. He will not say that
Saddam Hussein is in compliance. He will not say that Saddam Hussein
has taken advantage of the 15-to-0 vote on U.N. Resolution 1441 last
fall to disarm his country. Had he done that, we would not be facing a
military conflict today. He has not done it, and we should not, in my
view, continue to give extra time to him and reward him for his
If we have had any difficulty in this process, it is from nations
that seem to be unwilling to send a clear message. Some people say: You
are not respectful of the United Nations. I have spoken on this issue
for quite a number of years in the Senate. I have expressed my concern
that we are Gulliver on the world scene and that many nations seem to
desire to tie us down with a thousand different strings so that our
Nation is unable to act in our interest or the world's interest. We
want to listen to other nations, but we cannot allow the American power
to be tied down in that fashion.
We had an interesting hearing before the Armed Services Committee,
and our distinguished chairman, John Warner, is here today. He is one
of the wisest men on military affairs this country has ever produced.
James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense and former Secretary of
Energy, talked about the United Nations.
The problem with the U.N. is not that they are bad, not that we
should not try to work with them; but they cannot be depended on. They
are not capable of functioning rationally under stress. They are
basically a dysfunctional organization when it comes to action. There
are a lot of reasons for that. It is the way the U.N. is created. You
have nations such as Russia and France permitted to veto any
resolution. We have a resolution dependent now on countries that are
not really engaged in the area: New Guinea, Angola, or Cameroon can
cast key votes. They are not spending $3 billion a year, as we are, to
keep Saddam Hussein in his box.
Secretary Schlesinger said this:
. . . this is a test of whether the United Nations--in the
face of perennial defiance by Saddam Hussein of its
resolutions--indeed of his own resolutions . . .--will, like
the League of Nations over half a century ago, turn out to be
simply another institution given to talk.
He went on to say this:
Will the United Nations prove as feckless as the League of
Nations? Mr. Chairman, in 1935, Mussolini invaded Abyssinia.
The League of Nations took note of this challenge to
international order. Day after day, week after week, the
League deliberated what to do. These sessions went on
endlessly. After each session, there was a press conference.
After some weeks, one of the reporters summarized the
situation as follows: ``On
the surface, very little is happening--but beneath the
surface, nothing is happening.''
I think we are in a situation where the U.N. may be incapable of
acting. This Nation must act if we are to maintain the integrity of the
resolution of the U.N.
Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Alabama. I
welcome the opportunity now to listen, and perhaps engage in colloquy
with my two good friends, the Senator from Connecticut and the Senator
from Massachusetts. We have been at this debate 2 hours 10 minutes. We
are delighted to have them join us.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.