Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
Page 20, line 16, strike ``$100,000,000'' and insert ``$50,000,000''.
The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 322, the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. McKinley) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from West Virginia.
Mr. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 minutes.
I have an amendment in order that would prohibit the EPA from using ``social cost of carbon'' estimates for any energy-related rule that costs more than $1 billion unless and until a Federal law is enacted authorizing such use.
The administration slipped into a rule about microwave ovens a new prediction for the cost of carbon dioxide between now and the year 2300. Despite the profound implications to the economy and the families who make a living from coal, there was no public debate, no stakeholder comment, no vote in Congress on this new estimate.
In southwestern Pennsylvania, coal is our heritage. It fires the steel mills that built the Empire State Building, the St. Louis Arch, and the Golden Gate Bridge. But that heritage and prosperity is threatened by this new regulation. We've already seen what the social cost of the war on coal is today--the cost is jobs.
Three weeks ago, more than 380 workers at the Hatfield's Ferry and Mitchell power plants in Pennsylvania were told they are losing their jobs. The plants had to shut down under EPA regulations after they had spent hundreds of millions of dollars in new environmental modernizations.
More than 15 organizations representing workers and stakeholders endorse my amendment because these groups share my concern that this bypassed congressional oversight and will put hundreds of thousands of miners, boilermakers, factory workers, laborers, railroaders, electricians, operating engineers, steamfitters and machinists out of work.
My amendment says Congress, not the EPA, decides regulations by considering what this means to the families and workers. The EPA's policies have real-world consequences. Annual coal production in central Appalachia is dropping sharply--by more than half in just 5 years' time. There are towns where mines are shutting down, where a staggering 41 percent of the residents fall below the poverty line.
The social cost of carbon and the wider war on coal is a war on the American worker and their family.
Let me show you the real cost of the EPA's rules. Those who oppose this amendment ignore the health effects on those living in poverty, who are twice as likely to have a risk of depression, asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, and other health effects. Poverty leads to devastated communities, early death, and lost dreams of a generation of Americans and their children.
Many of us can remember Bobby Kennedy's walk through those broken Appalachian coal towns back in the 1960s to illustrate the abject poverty where families and children were living. I worked and volunteered in those towns, trying to help families hang on to some sort of semblance of hope in a hard-scrabble life.
The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Too often their hope failed, and now history is about to repeat itself. First, jobs are lost by the tens of thousands and, after that, the hundreds of thousands. And when people lose their jobs, we give them unemployment compensation. They go hungry; we give them food stamps. They lose unemployment; we give them welfare. They lose their homes; we give them public housing. They lose their dignity and pride, and the government has nothing left to give--nothing--when all these folks ever really
wanted was a job--a job and a chance for the American dream not shattered by the EPA.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. WAXMAN. The Murphy amendment denies that carbon pollution is harmful. It prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from considering the costs of climate change when analyzing the impacts of its rules. According to this amendment, the cost of carbon pollution is zero. Well, that's science denial at its worst. We are telling EPA the cost of carbon pollution is zero. It's like waving a magic wand. We are going to decree that climate change imposes no costs at all.
The House Republicans can vote for this amendment. They can try to block EPA from recognizing the damage caused by climate change, but they cannot overturn the laws of nature. We should be heeding the warnings of the world's leading climate scientists, not denying reality.
In the real world, scientific instruments accurately measure the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the levels trapped in ancient ice. Those measurements tell us that carbon dioxide levels just hit 400 parts per million this spring, and that's the highest levels in the last 3 million years. In the real world, higher levels of heat-trapping carbon pollution are warming the planet and changing the climate. We are experiencing more record-breaking temperatures, worse droughts, longer
wildfire seasons with more intense wildfires, and an increased number of intense storms, more flooding, and rapidly rising sea levels. Pretend it doesn't happen. Pretend that's not the reality.
On the other hand, as the proponent of this amendment suggested, let's look at the impact on the family that may lose its job. Well, I think that ought to be under consideration, but let's not have an amendment that would ignore the cost of carbon pollution.
We are seeing the effect of climate change not some time in the future but right now. And we're being told it's not going to get better by itself; it's going to get worse. Scientists have been telling us for years. EPA and other Federal agencies have a responsibility to calculate the cost of climate change and take them into account when they issue new standards. That's common sense, and that was the clear message from the Government Accountability Office when it added climate change to its high-risk
list earlier this year, and that's exactly what the Obama administration is doing.
They have an interagency task force that worked, over the course of several years, to estimate the cost of the harm from carbon pollution. It incorporated the latest scientific and technical information.
I'm sorry people lose their jobs, but they don't have to lose their jobs. If an industry is told to reduce carbon emissions, they don't have to fire people. They can develop and buy the technology that would reduce that pollution.
So to help those polluters not have to do that, we're going to pretend there's no cost. Mr. Murphy's amendment would require the government to assume zero harm, zero cost from carbon pollution and climate change.
I urge my colleagues to reject this amendment. It's based on magical thinking. Don't be a science-denier. Vote against the amendment.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mrs. CAPITO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of my colleague Mr. Murphy's amendment and in opposition to the EPA's arbitrary, backdoor approach to regulating carbon dioxide emissions. These regulations would and are having a catastrophic effect on jobs and economic activity across the country, especially in our coal-producing States such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The administration's new Social Cost of Carbon calculation is nothing more than a gimmick used to circumvent Congress so that job-killing regulations and an anti-domestic energy agenda can move forward.
Perhaps to no one's surprise, just as the administration is stepping up its efforts to issue regulations aimed at closing existing plants and stopping new ones, it decided, without public comment or transparency, to increase the cost of carbon by 44 percent. The fact is, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector have fallen in the last 4 of 5 years.
I am not willing to sacrifice West Virginia jobs to the administration's ideological efforts. I ask my colleagues to put jobs ahead of politics and pass the Murphy amendment.
Mr. BARTON. I want to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Murphy amendment, and I also want to say we should vote for that in conjunction with the gentleman from Georgia's amendment that was just heard previously.
If you walk into a greenhouse anywhere in America, do you know what the average carbon concentration will be? It won't be 350 parts per million. It won't be 400 parts per million. It will be over 1,000 parts per million. We have records that indicate the CO
2 concentration in the upper atmosphere has been as high as 5,000 to 6,000 parts per million in the past.
The gentleman from California and those adherents of his philosophy would have you believe that having a carbon concentration between 350 and 400 parts per million is somehow cataclysmic. Nothing could be further from the truth.
And this new cost of carbon calculation that the EPA and the DOE have begun to include needs to be, at a minimum, made transparent. I think it's fine until we have the facts that it shouldn't be allowed at all.
So vote for the Murphy amendment.
Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman and my colleagues, this is not my philosophy that would lead me to urge that we reduce carbon emissions. It's based on the science. Thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies have indicated that carbon causes problems. It causes health effects, and it threatens the climate.
The homeowners in Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and California who have seen their homes ravaged by drought-stoked wildfires know the cost of carbon pollution. The families of brave firefighters know the cost of carbon pollution.
The farmers and ranchers suffering the effects of prolonged drought, many of whom have lost entire crops or been forced to sell their livestock, know the cost of carbon pollution. And the thousands who lost businesses and homes after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the east coast know the cost of carbon pollution.
That cost is not based on a philosophy. It's based on the science and the reality.
Reject this magical-thinking amendment. Don't be a science-denier. Vote against the amendment and the underlying bill.
I yield back the balance of my time.