|00:00:00||WHITEHOUSE: THANK YOU, SENATOR SANDERS AND THANK YOU, SENATOR UDALL.|
|00:00:05||I'M PLEASED TO BE WITH YOU TODAY.|
|00:00:07||AND I APPRECIATE VERY MUCH YOU CONVENING US ON THIS TODAY WHEN WE'VE AGREED, IT APPEARS, TO EXTEND THE PAYROLL TAX, WE'VE AGREED, IT APPEARS, TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, WE'VE AGREED, IT APPEARS, TO EXTEND PAYMENTS FOR DOCTORS UNDER MEDICARE, UNDER THE SO-CALLED DOC FIX, AND THE ONE PIECE THAT HAS FALLEN OUT WAS THE TAX EXTENDERS THAT SUPPORT OUR CLEAN ENERGY INDUSTRY.|
|00:00:32||OUR CLEAN ENERGY INDUSTRY HAS MORE EMPLOYEES THAN BIG OIL, AND THEY'RE WELL-PAYING GORKS AND I.|
|00:00:38||T. A GROWING -- AND THEY'RE WELL-PAYING JOBS RS AND IT'S A GROWING INDUSTRY, AND IT SUPPORTS AMERICAN INSTALLATION.|
|00:00:46||SENATOR UDALL WAS TALKING ABOUT THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF THESE WIND FARMS.|
|00:00:50||I KNOW THAT IN HIS HOME STATE THERE ARE PLENTY OF WIND FARMS THAT ARE BUILT ON THE LAND.|
|00:00:58||IN MY HOME STATE WE'RE WORKING ON HAVING WIND FARMS THAT ARE BUILT OFFSHORED AND THE ABLGHT TO CONSTRUCT THOSE GIANT TURBINES AT QUONSET POINT IN RHODE ISLAND IS SOMETHING THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO US.|
|00:01:16||SO I'M GLAD YOU'VE CALLED US TOGETHER TO FOCUS ON THIS HE REQUEST OF THE TAX EXTENDERS AND ALSO TO IF YOU CAN ON THE -- AND ALSO TO FOCUS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL HARM OF GLOBAL WARMING.|
|00:01:26||BUT I WANT TO MAKE ONE LAST POINT WHICH IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF SNICKERING AROUND WASHINGTON ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, WHICH IS A UNIQUE FEATURE TO WASHINGTON.|
|00:01:36||IF YOU GO OUT INTO THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY, NOBODY IS LAUGHING.|
|00:01:40||THEY'RE VERY ANXIOUS.|
|00:01:41||THEY ARE WORRIED.|
|00:01:42||THE MAJOR SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONSORGANIZATIONS HAVE ALL SIGNED OFF ON PUBLIC LETTERS URGING US TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS BECAUSE IT IS SO SIGNIFICANT.|
|00:01:51||WE'VE LOOKED AT IT THE FIRST DOZEN BILLION-DOLLAR STORMS YEAR THAT WE'VE HAD, THAT WHERE EVER YOU LOOK AROUND THIS WORLD, WORLD, WE'RE SEEING EXTREME WEDGE.|
|00:02:05||THE NOTION THAT WHEN THE SCIENTISTS PREDICTED HE CAN EXTREME WEATHER AND NOW WE'RE SEEING IT, THAT THAT SHOULDN'T BE CAUSE FOR ADDITIONAL CONCERN, IT REALLY FLIES IN THE FACE OF BOTH PRUDENCE AND REALITY.|
|00:02:16||THE LAST AREA WHERE WE'RE REALLY GETTING CLOBBERED IS WITH OUR OCEANS, AS WE PUMP IN HUMAN-TIME UNPRECEDENTED AMOUNTS OF IMAN INTO OUR ATMOSPHERE, IT'S TAKEN UP BY THE OCEANS MUCH IT IS ABSORBED BY THE OCEANS.|
|00:02:32||DURING THE COURSE OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, AND UNTIL NOW, THE OCEANS HAVE ABSORBED AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF CORRESPONDENT CARBON.|
|00:02:44||IT IS KILLING OFF THE CORAL REEFS.|
|00:02:48||IT IS MAKING THE OCEAN SO ACIDIC THAT THE LITTLE ORGANISMS AT THE BOTTOM ARE HAVING TROUBLE GROWING.|
|00:02:56||CREATURES DO NOT LIVE WELL IN AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH THEY ARE INCREASINGLY SOLUBLE.|
|00:03:01||AND THESE ARE NOT THEY'RE RISES.|
|00:03:04||THIS IS MEASUREMENT BY SCIENTISTS WHO GO OUT AND ACTUALLY MEASURE WHAT IS HAPPENING.|
|00:03:10||AND THE BLINDNESS IN WASHINGTON TO THIS PROBLEM IS SOMETHING THAT IS NOT ONLY A CAUSE FOR CONCERN NOW BUT A GOING TO, I THINK, BE A CAUSE FOR HARASS SHALL JUDGMENTS IN HISTORY'S EYE.|
Mr. WHITEHOUSE. I am glad to have a chance to join with you today. I appreciate very much Senator Sanders convening us on this day when we have agreed, it appears, to extend the payroll tax; we have agreed, it appears, to extend unemployment insurance; and we have agreed, it appears, to extend the payments for doctors under Medicare, under the so-called doc fix. And the one piece that has fallen out was the tax extenders that support our clean energy industry.
Our clean energy industry has more employees than Big Oil, and there are well-paying jobs. It is a growing industry, and it creates American manufacturing and American installation.
Senator Udall was talking about the economic value of these wind farms. I know that in his home State, there are plenty of wind farms that are built on the land. In my home State, we are working toward having wind farms that are built offshore. And the ability to construct those giant turbines at Quonset Point in Rhode Island, in order to install them offshore and enjoy the power and the jobs that result, is something that is really important to us.
So I am glad the Senator has called us together to focus on this question of the tax extenders and also to focus on the environmental harm of climate change. I will turn it back to the Senator, but I wish to make one last point before I do, which is that there is a certain amount of sort of snickering around Washington about climate change, which is a unique feature to Washington. If you go out in the scientific community, nobody is laughing. They are very anxious. They are worried.
The major scientific organizations have all signed off on public letters urging us to do something about this because it is so significant. We have looked out at the first dozen billion-dollar storms year that we have had. Wherever you look around the world, we are seeing extreme weather. And the notion that when the scientists predicted extreme weather and now we are seeing it--if that should not be cause for additional concern, that really flies in the face of both prudence and reality.
The last area where we are really getting clobbered is with our oceans. As we pump, in human time, unprecedented amounts of carbon into our atmosphere, it is taken up by the oceans. It is absorbed by the oceans. During the course of the Industrial Revolution and to now, the oceans have absorbed enormous amounts of carbon. It is changing the oceans. It is killing off coral reefs in the tropical areas. It is making the oceans so acidic that the little organisms that are at the base of the food chain are having trouble growing to their proper size. It is becoming a hostile environment. Creatures do not live well in an environment in which they are increasingly soluble.
These are not theories, these are measurements by scientists who go out and actually measure what is happening. The blindness in Washington to this problem is something that is not only a cause for concern now but is going to be a cause for harsh judgment in history's eyes.