|00:00:02||AND INDIVIDUALS, PROTECT PRIVATE PROPERTY AND ADDRESSING INFRASTRUCTURE ASSOCIATED WITH FLOODING, SEA LEVEL RISE AND OTHER COASTAL HAZARDS.|
|00:00:12||TWO, THIS BILL, THE REPUBLICAN BILL SEEKS TO CUT $32 MILLION IN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE WHICH HAS THE DIFFICULT RESPONSIBILITY OF MANAGING FISHERIES TO SUSTAIN OUR COASTAL COMMUNITIES AND OCEAN ECOSYSTEMS.|
|00:00:26||AND THEY ALSO WANT TO CUT $30 MILLION WHICH WILL BE CUT FROM NOAA'S COMPETITIVE CLIMATE RESEARCH BUDGET AT A TIME WHEN MUCH OF OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN EXPERIENCING SEVERE DROUGHT AND OTHER EXTREME WEATHER.|
|00:00:40||WE NEED TO STUDY AND UNDERSTAND THESE EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS IN ORDER TO PROTECT LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS BY STICKING OUR HEADS IN THE SAND AND REFUSING TO ACT, WE DO A DISSERVICE TO THE PEOPLE WE ARE ELECTED TO REPRESENT.|
|00:00:56||WE KNOW THAT THE OCEANS ARE WARMING AND WARMING DRAW MATCALLY BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE.|
|00:01:03||WE KNOW THAT TORNADOES ARE NOW RIPPING THROUGH THE MIDWEST IN FEBRUARY, NOT IN APRIL OR MAY.|
|00:01:09||SHOULD WE BE STUDYING THAT?|
|00:01:11||WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE NOW ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE BECOMING MORE FEARFUL OF THESE EVER-INTENSIFYING CLIMATE CONDITIONS THAT ARE THREATENING THE LIVES AND THE LIVELIHOODS OF TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS.|
|00:01:25||SHOULD WE BE STUDYING THIS?|
|00:01:26||WHAT DO THE REPUBLICANS SAY IN THEIR BUDGET?|
|00:01:30||NO. SO I UNDERSTAND THAT SOME OF THEM DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS SHOULD BE STUDIED.|
|00:01:34||I UNDERSTAND THAT THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE ORDINARY AMERICAN IS BECOMING CONCERNED ABOUT THE CHANGE IN CLIMATE BUT I SAY THEY ARE.|
|00:01:45||I URGE A NO VOTE ON THE REPUBLICAN PROPOSAL.|
|00:01:50||THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN'S TIME HAS EXPIRED.|
|00:01:51||FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GENTLEMAN FROM WASHINGTON RISE?|
|00:01:53||MR. DICKS: I RISE IN STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE FLORES AMENDMENT.|
|00:01:55||THE CHAIR: DOES THE GENTLEMAN SEEK TO STRIKE|
Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, it is time for the Republicans to stop being afraid of commonsense initiatives like the National Ocean Policy. Why is that? Well, it's because the National Ocean Policy will reduce bureaucracy and streamline government operations.
Why would anyone be opposed to that? Could it be because Big Oil doesn't want anyone other than themselves to have a voice in how we're using our coastal resources? Is that what this is all about? Is this really just another drill-baby-drill issue where the oil industry has a policy, the oil industry has a voice? What we're trying to say here is that others should have a voice, too. They are America's oceans, not ExxonMobil's oceans. [Page: H2513] So following a decade of discussion and shareholder engagement, President Obama established the National Ocean Policy in July of 2010. Creating such a policy was the cornerstone recommendation of President Bush's U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. Now, following even more public engagement, we await the final National Ocean Policy implementation plan to come out this summer.
Now, the assertions that the policy will create new regulations, usurp State authority, restrict land use or zone the oceans, are patently false and misleading.
The National Ocean Policy will allow Federal agencies to better coordinate amongst themselves and with other levels of government and all stakeholders to eliminate red tape while managing effectively for multiple ocean uses.
Opposing ocean planning is like opposing air traffic control. You can do it, but it will cause a mess or lead to dire consequences. Our coastal counties make up only 18 percent of the country's land area, but are home to 108 million people, or 36 percent of our Nation's population. These numbers are steadily increasing.
There's a saying in Washington that if you're not at the table, you're on the menu. When it comes to our Nation's oceans, more and more guests are coming to dinner. Fishing grounds, shipping lanes, Navy training ranges, offshore energy production, wildlife habitats, and other uses are increasingly in competition, and the National Ocean Policy will help ensure that everyone has a seat at the table.
Instead of supporting a plan for our oceans, the Republican majority continues to pursue scare tactics, claiming that the policy creates additional regulation and kills American jobs. Yet, they have no evidence that that is the case.
Let's go to what this bill proposes to do. It proposes to slash $93 million from the NOAA budget, threatening the health, the safety, and the prosperity of Americans.
[Time: 17:40] Specifically, the bill calls for a $5 million reduction to the NOAA Coastal Services Center, which helps the States, the localities, and individuals, as well as protects private property and valuable infrastructure by addressing the challenges associated with flooding, hurricanes, sea level rise and other coastal hazards.
Number two: this bill, the Republican bill, seeks to cut $32 million to the National Marine Fisheries Service, which has the difficult responsibility of managing fisheries to sustain our coastal communities and ocean ecosystems.
And they also want to cut $30 million, which would be cut from NOAA's Competitive Climate Research budget at a time when much of our country has been experiencing severe drought and other extreme weather. We need to study and understand these extreme weather events in order to protect lives and livelihoods. By sticking our heads in the sand and refusing to act, we do a disservice to the people we are elected to represent.
We know that the oceans are warming, and are warming dramatically because of climate change. Should we study that? We know that tornadoes are now ripping through the Midwest in February, not in April or May. Should we be studying that? We know that people now all across the country are becoming more fearful of these ever-intensifying climate conditions that are threatening the lives and the livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans. Should we be studying this? What do the Republicans say in their budget? No.
So I understand that some of them do not believe that this should be studied. I understand that they do not believe that the ordinary American is becoming increasingly concerned about this change in climate. But I tell you this, they are.
I urge a ``no'' vote against this Republican proposal.
I yield back the balance of my time.