tv U.S. Senate Sen. Markey Opposes David Bernhardt Interior Sec. Nomination CSPAN April 11, 2019 5:04pm-5:20pm EDT
cloture motions filed during today's session ripen at 5:30 on monday, april 29. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until monday, april 15 at 3:00 p.m. >> that wraps up the senate's work. lawmakers today confirmed david bernhart to become the next interior secretary, replacing ryan zinke who resigned in january. bernhart has been serving as the acting secretary since then. prior to the vote, a number of senators spoke about the nomination. first we will show you comments from massachusetts democrat ed markey who opposed mr. bernhart followed by alaskan republican lisa murkowski and west virginia democrat joe manchin both of
whom supported the nominee. >> madame president, i rise today to address the senate on the nomination of david bernhardt to head the department of interior. i ask unanimous consent that i may use this chart in order to further my goal of making it clear why he should not be nominated and confirmed as secretary of the interior. >> without objection. >> i thank you very much. madame president, under secretary bernhardt, the department of interior will come to stand for the department of oil interests, doi. this wheel of bernhardt's giveaways makes it very clear what the objective of his tenure as the secretary of interior
will in fact entail. bernhardt's nomination is just a continuation of the trump administration's cabinets. only a month ago, a former coal lobbyist was confirmed to head the environmental protection agency. let me say that again. just last month, a coal lobbyist was nominated and confirmed to be the secretary of the -- the head of the environmental protection agency of the united states. unbelievable. but now, republicans want to install a former oil lobbyist to head the department of interior because in trump's administration, it is nothing but foxes guarding the henhouse.
now, we need more answers about mr. bernhardt's lobbying activities. we need answers on whether or not mr. bernhardt used his position at the department of the interior to help former clients. the american people need to see the documents associated with bernhardt's lobbying activities. and most importantly, we should not confirm a former oil lobbyist to lead the very agency that is tasked with protecting our public lands from de-spoilization. let me point to the wheel of giveaways for more oil, more oil. that's the goal of his appointment. the arctic national wildlife refuge is one of our national treasures that is under threat from big oil and the trump
administration. this is the wildest place left in america, and it should not be turned into a drilling playground. yet, republicans here in the senate voted in 2017 to hand this special place, the arctic refuge over to big oil. and now, this administration is trying to hit the gas on drilling there, in one of the earth's most pristine wilderness areas. now, last year, mr. bernhardt said that he would, quote, expedite oil development in the wildlife refuge, and he has worked inside the department of the interior to limit environmental review of drilling activities. so let's just imagine, gushing oil, poisoning the habitat of magnificent creatures like polar bears and caribou and snowy owls
and the arctic fox, rigs and pumps threatening the ancestral homeland, which they call the sacred place where life begins. now, i've spent my career protecting the arctic national wildlife refuge for future generations. and today, i will not support the nomination of david bernhardt to undermine the protections we have worked so hard to put in place. we must stand up for the generations yet to come that cannot yet speak to protect our public lands and our oceans. and at the same time, the trump administration is trying to roll back the fuel economy standards for the vehicles which we drive. in other words, since we put 70% of all the oil, which we consume in our country on a yearly basis
into the gasoline tanks of the vehicles which we drive in our country, if you increase the fuel economy of every one of those vehicles, it reduces the amount of oil which you need to drill for. so what do the republicans want to do? what do the oil companies want? what do the koch brothers want? what does exxonmobil want? well, very simple, by not increasing the fuel economy standards of the vehicles, which we drive, you need more oil because cars will consume more in the course of a year. and they then say, let's turn to the arctic national wildlife refuge, a sacred place and find more oil because the vehicles we drive won't be that efficient. no.
what kind of sacrifice are we going to make in our country because the koch brothers and exxonmobil want to have more oil drilled for? we're going to have the trump administration say the only way we can justify it is the cars, the light trucks, the suvs which people drive are not that efficient. therefore, you need all the oil you can get, even though we're a technological giant, and we know that we can make these vehicles so much more efficient. so we never have to drill there. that is a sin against the environment, a sin against our country and future generations who should be able to enjoy this pristine area, the wildlife refuge. now, let's move on to another part of the wheel of giveaways.
even more oil, even more oil that will be another give away during the bernhardt time at the department of interior. on january 4th, of 2018, the department of interior announced a plan to revise the offshore drilling plan to eliminate protections of the east and west coast. east and gulf of mexico and for the arctic ocean, the plan proposed to open up more than 90% of the u.s. coastlines to oil and gas leasing. and since then, the bipartisan opposition has been deafening all governors along the east and west coast have opposed or expressed concern with expanded oil and gas exploration off their coast. more than 340 municipalities and over 2100 elected local, state, and federal officials have formally opposed offshore oil and gas drilling and seismic air
gun blasting in our ocean. but david bernhart is not listening to those concerns. instead he is listening to his former fossil fuel clients. he is moving ahead with this terrible offshore drilling plan that would threaten state after state with a threat of a spill in the ocean off of those states. we should not confirm bernhardt to lead the department of interior, handing the keys to the beaches of our country, to the coastlines of our country, to our fishing and tourism industries in our country, over to big oil is not what our citizens want. it is the opposite of what we need to do to protect our environment, but it is with david bernhardt and his fossil fuel friends want. there's no reason that we have to drill off of the coastlines
of our country, right where people who are swimming will be watching these oil rigs that are going to be drilled down into those ocean areas off of our beaches to find oil that we don't need, that we don't need. if we increase the fuel economy standards of the vehicles which we drive, we can back it out, back out the need for all of that additional oil. that's the sin against the environment that is being committed. that's the agenda of david bernhardt at the department of interior. so instead of being the united states of america, a technological giant, that invents its way to the new automotive technologies that reduces the amount of oil that we need, that reduces the amount of green house gases that go up into the atmosphere, instead david bernhardt as the secretary
of interior partnered with the new coal lobbyists who is running the epa, we're going to wind up with more green house gases going up into the air, a reduction in the efficiency of the vehicles which we drive, and putting more profits into the pockets of the koch brothers and exxonmobil and the auto industry, which also wants to reduce the fuel economy standards of the vehicles which we drive. this is a sin against our environment, but also our identity as the technological giant of the planet. we can do this. we can make our cars more efficient. we can have plug-in hybrids. we can have all electric vehicles. we can create a revolution that avoids the necessity of drilling
off of our beaches, drilling in the arctic wildlife refuge. we can do this. but that's not what donald trump wants. he wants fossil fuel industry representatives at the department of interior and the epa in wanting these agencies. david bernhardt's ties to big oil, the very industry he's tasked with regulating are as deep as an oil well. those ties should be disqualifying for anyone nominated to head the department of interior. we need to stop the pollution of our democracy by big oil interests. and i urge my colleagues to vote no on the nomination of david bernhardt. i ask my colleagues to consider what we can do to avoid the necessity of the spoiling, the
sacred environmental locations in our country for the oil industry, for the koch brothers. this is a big moment, this vote that we're about to cast. this is one more step by donald trump that are result in far more green house gases going up into the atmosphere, far more danger being presented to places that should be just put off-limits to the oil industry because of the risk of environmental danger that would be provided by that permission to drill. that's why we should all pause and really consider whether or not we want to go deeper and deeper into an era that is completely avoidable, if we unleash the technological might of our country. when president kennedy went to rice university in 1961, what he said was we were going to have a
mission to the moon, and that mission would require us to invent new metals, new alloys, new propulsion systems, that did not exist and that within ten years, we would have to then bring that mission back safely from the moon through heat, half the intensity of the sun and to do so successfully. now, auto mechanics is not rocket science. we already know how to improve the fuel economy standards of the vehicles which we drive. you don't need nuclear physics. you don't need aeronautical engineers to help you to do this. president kennedy challenged our country and we responded. president trump is like jfk in reverse. he's saying we can't do it. that instead what we have to do is here on earth be the leaders
in to spoiling our most sacred environmental locations. that's why today is such a monumental opportunity for the senate just to say no on a bipartisan basis to david bernhardt, who is someone who does not deserve this post as the secretary of interior. and i urge once again a no vote for all of my colleagues, and madame president, with that, i yield back the balance of my time, and i question the presence of a quorom. >> thank you, madame president, i'm pleased to be here to give strong support of david barn hartd's nomination to be secretary of interior. i want to thank my colleagues on the energy and natural resources committee. we worked pretty hard together to report mr. bernhardt's nomination last week. we moved it out with good bipartisan support. i also want to thank the
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