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Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. YOUNG. Mr. Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. YOUNG asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)


Mr. YOUNG. Mr. Chair, in 2013, the EPA issued new standards on air pollutant emissions for commercial and industrial solid waste incineration, which include the small, remote incinerators used in remote Alaska.

My amendment would prohibit the EPA from enforcing these rules on small, remote incinerators in Alaska. My amendment would not affect anyone but Alaskans.

I know this Chamber has shown great interest in my State recently, but I sincerely hope you would agree that enforcing these rules in remote locations that are not even connected with the highway system is unjustified.

While I appreciate the focus on clean air, these standards are unattainable for rural Alaska. If the 2013 criteria are enforced in my State, residents and industry alike would be forced to be noncompliant or would not be able to use waste incinerators at all.

In many locations, there are very limited options for the handling and disposal of waste. The ground is frozen or the water table is too high. The locations that would be impacted by this rule are hundreds of miles away from waste facilities in Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks.

While garbage trucks are critical to the infrastructure of the lower 48, transporting waste from these remote sites would generate more emissions than burning near the sites.

When EPA wrote this rule, they used bad science and statistical methods to select the new standards. They didn't use enough samples to have statistical confidence in the values, and two of the incinerator units they used in the emission data do not even qualify as ``small'' or ``remote'' areas. They were both located within 20 miles of a regional landfill.

Incineration is the cleanest, most environmentally sustainable way to deal with waste in small villages. One thousand pounds of waste can be reduced to 50 pounds of ash that can be safely transported.

Keep this in mind: We have a lot of small villages that can only have incinerators; they cannot have landfills without shipping it. I am talking about 400 or 500 people.

This is not a good idea. It is the wrong thing to do.

I will say again, Alaska is a little unique. We are just about half as big as the United States, with 750,000 people. To put this standard in place, making these people, frankly, break the law is wrong. This amendment would keep them from applying that to the standards.


Mr. YOUNG. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentlewoman's comments, but, again, what do you do with a town that has 500 people and the only way to dispose of waste is by burning it or letting it go on the turf, letting it blow around, letting it pollute the other parts of the Earth? This is the only sensible way to do it.

I am not talking about great big cities. I am talking about small communities that cannot have landfills. And that does occur.

We don't have that many in Alaska, but where they do have these incinerators, there ought to be some compliance in the sense that: Okay, guys, you are not really polluting the air. It is a better way. There is more environmental damage by not being able to bury it, letting it run around on the top of the surface of the Earth, than there is burning it.

I know I just came out of Denmark. They have one of the largest incinerators in the world. It handles 2 million people. They burn 35 tons an hour.

Now, I am saying, okay, let's have those kind of incinerators, but you can't afford it for a small village.

Mr. Chair, I know where the gentlewoman is coming from, but you can't apply all rules to every place at one time when it doesn't work. You have to look at the total environmental damage.

I think, if you don't burn it, you have a lot harder problem than you do if you do burn it, so I urge my colleagues to support this small, innocuous amendment to try to make people live a better way than having them forced by a government agency to a standard that can't be met unless they just let it run around on the top of the ground.

I yield back the balance of my time.


Mr. YOUNG. Madam Chair, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

The misinformation you have just heard on the floor: You are not going to save any animals, you are going to help kill animals.

I have been to Africa eight times. I have tried to conserve, and I have done so. Areas that I have been hunting, like Namibia, the loss of the animals is because of poaching, not for the ivory, but because of the food, because there is no value to the animal, so they will kill it and eat it, the local people.

You are not going to help it out, because there is no value to that animal other than food if you don't have trophy hunting when it is worth more.

If I was to kill a buffalo over there, all I get is the head and the hide. They get the meat.

All you are going to do is prohibit it being imported into the United States and making you feel good, but it is not going to save the animal. In fact, the animal is going to diminish. That has been proven regardless of what you may read.

We are the real conservationists. It is going to let everybody else around the world go hunt in those areas, probably without any safeguard or investment.

This may sound good, it may help somebody out in their district, but it is not going to save the animals.

I suggest, respectfully, you ought to go and witness what is occurring over there by those that live there and are destroying the animals if we do not hunt them, because there is no value.

I believe I am a great conservationist. I have probably saved more animals than anyone in the room, because I do contribute.

You don't. You talk.

I think it is a shameful thing to say we are going to tell another country what they can and cannot do. That is what you are doing to make yourself feel good, but you are not saving the animals.

A conservationist is a true man that conserves, not tries to preserve in the natural state, because the natural state is very cruel. It takes the weak, it takes the strong, it takes them all. Man is the strongest of all, and they will take them all if it has no value other than food.

So I urge the defeat of this amendment. I wish more people would go and look and see, because you don't know what you are talking about.


Mr. YOUNG. Madam Chair, I claim the time in opposition to the amendment.


Mr. YOUNG. Madam Chair, I thank the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer), my good friend. I am always amazed how many people in this body know what is better for Alaska.

Four times in this last 2 weeks some of you have come out: I know what is best for Alaska.

This Roadless Rule was never to be. It was Obama's decision, and we appealed it, and we won in court. This is State land, a lot of it, we have access to, and we are going to continue that.

You say about climate change, old trees don't consume, new trees do. They clean the air out; old trees do not. We are not talking about, really, timber here, because you can't have a timber sale unless it is put up for sale. We are talking about access across Federal lands, because State land is one side--State land and Federal land in between.

We are asking, very frankly, just to have access. And that is the law. Under the ANILCA law, there was to be no more. Obama changed it by regulation. We are changing it again.

Now, I don't understand where he got this information, how he got it, what he has seen, where he has gone.

You talked about tourism. Tourism is great for you people in Oregon who want to come to Alaska, but it doesn't support our schools. It doesn't support a growing society. It, frankly, supports old growth, which has no value at all, other than to look at for a short period of time when it dies.

We had 32 forest fires last year, because you don't allow roads into an area so we can manage them, and that is wrong.

All we are asking is to have what the State was guaranteed by this body. And you are taking it away from them and saying: You don't have access to your lands. You don't have a right to build anything because you don't have the ability to have a road.

And I stand here as one Member who represents the greatest State in the Union, the largest district. I constantly see people--incinerators, game, timber, mining. Why don't you mind your own damn business? This is not yours.

I am disappointed the gentleman would do this.

You are a friend of mine. Did you ever consult me about this? No. And that is disrespectful.

Maybe I ought to think about something that makes you more respectful to me.

Madam Chair,


Mr. YOUNG. Madam Chair, I suggest, when they talk about the taxpayer, these roads that are in place now, maintenance costs were already there. The reason they are not being used is because there is no timber in that area, which have been cut already, a very small amount of the Tongass. I am talking about State land.

By the way, can I ask the gentleman who just briefly spoke, or anybody: Have you been to the Tongass?

Do any one of you want to answer that? No. They are mimicking or parroting what has been fed to them.

This is not the United States of the Federal Government; it is the United States of America. You are taking away the right of a State of access to their land because of this action, and that is wrong.

I said we won it in court. You may not know that. We will win it again, because the law is very clear: There was to be no more in Alaska, but Obama did apply it.

So I am saying: Have at it. It is not going anywhere.

I shouldn't get excited. It is just the idea that you are supposed to be representing a form of government, and you should have a right to represent your district. That is your responsibility.

Stay out of my district, because you are not doing what is right for the State of Alaska, and that is my job. I say shame on you.

Madam Chair,


Mr. YOUNG. Madam Chair, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).


Mr. YOUNG. Madam Chairwoman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

We passed the same opening of ANWR 14 times in this House, including when the Democrats controlled it, because this was set up by Moe Udall, Senator Jackson, Ted Stevens, and myself for an area that has potential great value to this Nation and, of course, the State of Alaska. That has been decided. Because they said at that time and I said at that time that if Congress was to say we should open ANWR, drilling can take place.

Now, as far as the figures go, one of the things that bothers me, because the statement says 50 percent of the CBO score, one score, the first sale may not make that.

But who is to say what the second sale is going to make or the third sale?

So the total amount is for the Treasury of the United States of America.

This area is not pristine. I have to say that. I wish some people would go up and see it. It has been developed before by defense systems. The people there who live there, the Native people, the Inuits, they support it. The State of Alaska supports it. It is the right thing to do for America.

This is a backdoor approach by certain people of the other party who want to not open ANWR. You lost that battle. We won. For the good of the country, the good of the State, and for the good of the people, we won. This is a back way to stop it.

I believe we are going to raise that money. That is how confident I am. I think the sales will produce what we say. So I am not going to really get excited about this, because it is not going to go anywhere. Thank God we have got two Senators for every State. It is the right thing to do. That is why the Constitution and the forefathers made it that way. So I have got two Senators who will make sure this doesn't go anywhere.

I appreciate those who oppose it. I thank the chairwoman for actually saying she does oppose opening ANWR. I respect that. I happen to support it, and I think I will be proven right.

I believe this amendment is the right way to go. I think we ought to eliminate the question, so I am going to urge a ``yes'' vote on this legislation. It is the right thing to do. Then let's go forward and really govern for the future. That is important. We are missing that.


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