WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today at a committee hearing questioned SOUTHCOM Commander Gen. John Kelly on his command's inability to carry out its mission of interdicting vessels that are illegally transporting narcotics and possibly other dangers into the United States as a result of budget constraints.
Click here to watch the video
INHOFE: "if you look at the seizures -- and there's a direct relationship with the assets that are out there. And this is what really bothers me, because I think you -- you have made a statement -- I think it was in our office to some of our staff that there is 75 percent of the cocaine trafficking heading toward the United States -- that you can see it, but you can't interdict it. Is that accurate?"
KELLY: “…I watch them go by"
INHOFE: “And if you had the assets you could interdict them?"
KELLY: "I could interdict them."
INHOFE: "So we have a lot of this stuff coming into the United States that would not otherwise being coming in?”
KELLY: "That’s correct.”
[Kelly then confirmed to Inhofe that he currently has one Navy vessel and two coast guard vessels under his command that allow him to interdict narcotics, and another year of sequestration would eliminate those assets.]
INHOFE: “Is it likely you wouldn't even have the one, in the event that we have to go through sequestration?"
KELLY: "I would definitely not have one if I didn't -- if we were going through sequestration."
During the hearing, Gen. Kelly, in a dialogue with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), also informed the committee that only about 5 percent of SOUTHCOM's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirements are being met. Also in response to a question from Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Gen. Kelly said SOUTHCOM would need "16 vessels of some kind" in order to meet its requirements.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today appeared on FOX News' FOX & Friends to discuss the President's misguided priorities. In a segment titled "Cut This, Not That," Inhofe outlined three of the Obama Administration's climate change spending initiatives and compared that cost to what the Administration could be doing to better support our national security:
[click here for the video]
The following are the three examples Inhofe provided:
$270 million failed climate satellite = training for our Special Ops
CUT THIS: In 2009, the Obama Administration spent roughly $270 million on a climate satellite that was intended to map Earth's CO2 levels and study how humans are contributing to greenhouse gases. This satellite was destroyed during a failed rocket launch. [READ HERE: NBC News: "NASA's global warming satellite falls to Earth"]
NOT THAT: Inhofe noted that for roughly the same amount, we could avoid the budget short fall this year to best train and equip our Special Operations Forces, which include our Navy SEALS.
$535 million failed loan to Solyndra = maintaining 7 AWACS
CUT THIS: In 2009, Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee under the Obama Administration, but in 2011 Solyndra filed bankruptcy leaving taxpayers to foot the bill.
NOT THAT: Inhofe noted that for roughly the same amount, the United States could avoid retiring 7 of its 31 AWACS that the Air Force announced were on the chopping block this year due to budget cuts. Inhofe pointed out that AWACS is a fleet essential in detecting enemy aircraft. For example, NATO is using AWACS to assist Ukraine with Russia's invasion of Crimea. [READ HERE: The Oklahoman: "Key Oklahoma lawmakers oppose AWACS cuts"]
$757 million for the Global Climate Change Initiative = 50 black hawks for our reserve units
CUT THIS: This year, the President has allotted $757 million to the Global Climate Change Initiative that helps to build green power plants abroad.
NOT THAT: Inhofe noted that this money could be best used to provide 50 of the 111 black hawks that our National Guard and reserve units need under the Army Aviation Restructure initiative.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Tuesday delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate rebutting five main claims Democrat Senators made during their #Up4Climate talk-a-thon:
Click here to watch the video
REBUTTAL ONE: GOP IS SMEARED IN OIL MONEY
INHOFE: "My good friend from California, this is a quote, and we took it down, she said 'When 97% to 98% of the scientists say something is real, they don't have anything pressing them to say that other than the truth. They don't have any other agenda. They don't work for the oil companies. And I will tell you, as chairman of the Environment Committee, every time the Republicans choose a so-called expert on climate, we have tracked them to special interest funding, those 3%. They know where their bread is buttered.’
“That's kind of an interesting and a timely statement to make because what they're not telling you, and I'm talking about the senator from California and the other democrats, is that the hedge fund billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer, plans to spend a hundred million dollars through his NextGen PAC. That's his political action committee and he's made the statement that he is going to be spending $100 million in the midterm elections of 2014 and is going to be looking very carefully to make sure that all the democrats go along with his activist agenda.”
[Read: Washington Post - "What the Senate's all-nighter on climate change is really about" by Ed O'Keefe]
REBUTTAL TWO: EXTREME WEATHER AS PROOF OF CLIMATE CHANGE
INHOFE: “Last night many of my colleagues pointed to weather as the reason for man-made climate change yet they failed to quote meteorologists in their speeches. Let me read to you what meteorologists are saying about climate change:
- "A recent study by George Mason University reported that 63% of the weathercasters believe that any global warming that occurs is the result of natural variation and not human activities. Now, that's a significant 2-1 majority.
- "Another study by the American meteorological society last year found their members, nearly half of their members, nearly half did not believe in manmade global warming. Further, the survey found that scientists who professed liberal political values were more likely to proclaim manmade climate change than the rest of their colleagues." [Read: Daily Caller – “Nearly half of meteorologists don’t believe in man-made global warming” by Michael Bastasch]
- “Dr. Martin Hertzberg. He's a retired Navy meteorologist with a PhD In physical chemistry also declared his dissent of warming fears in 2008. And this is a quote from this Dr. Martin Hertzberg. ‘As a scientist and lifelong liberal democrat, I find the constant regurgitation of the anecdotal, fear mongering clap trap about human caused global warming to be a disservice to science,' Hertzberg wrote and still quoting, he said, ‘The global warming alarmists don't even bother with data. All they have are half-baked computer models...’
- “CNN, not exactly a bastion of conservatism, had another of its meteorologist dissent from global warming fears. Chad Myers, meteorologist for 22 years and certified by the American Meteorological Society. Spoke out against anthropogenic climate change on CNN in December. He said, ‘You know to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant.’”
“But since they're talking about the weather, here are a few facts that aren't mentioned on droughts and hurricanes…:
- “According to NOAA, the hurricanes have been in decline in the United States since the beginning of records in the 19th century. The worst decade for a major category 3, 4, and 5 hurricanes was in the 1940's.
- “Severe droughts in 1934 covered 80% of the country. While the current one, the one a year and a half ago, was 25% of the country.”
REBUTTAL THREE: THE ICECAPS ARE MELTING
INHOFE: “My colleague, Senator Feinstein from California, pointed to melting ice caps as proof of climate change. Yet reports on what's NOT melting show a different story:
- "This past December, a research expedition of climate scientists got stuck in deep ice in the Antarctic… That was a bunch of people that were going up there to try to solidify their case on global warming and they were stuck in the ice for weeks on end. And it took a couple of weeks and a couple more icebreakers getting stuck before the research vessel was finally freed. [Read: Fox News – “'Stuck in our own experiment': Leader of trapped team insists polar ice is melting” by Paul Tilsley]
- "A paper published in October 'Journal of Climate' examines the trend of sea ice extent along the east Antarctic coast from 2000-2008 and finds a significant increase averaging 1.43 -- that's 1.5% a year -- of increased ice in the Antarctic.”
- "In January 2010, a TIME magazine article titled 'The Himalayan melting: How a climate panel got it wrong,' said 'Glacier-gate' is a 'black eye for the IPCC and the climate science community as a whole.'
- "In December of 2008, Al Gore said, 'The entire north polar ice cap will disappear in five years.' Well it's now five years and one month past the deadline of December of 2013 and the arctic ice is actually doing pretty well. Just last year, BBC reported that the arctic ice cap coverage is close to 50% more than in the corresponding period in 2012. So contrary to what Al gore predicted, that it would be gone by now, that it did not disappear… Richard Lindzen - one of the foremost authorities, scientific authorities, on climate anywhere in the world -talking about Gore said, ‘To treat all changes as something to fear is bad enough. To do it in order to exploit that fear is much worse.’”
REBUTTAL FOUR: THE IPCC IS THE GOLD STANDARD ON CLIMATE SCIENCE
INHOFE: “They talked about the IPCC as the gold standard of climate science. Senator Whitehouse defended the credibility of the IPCC despite climate-gate, saying: ‘So after all that, after six published reviews whose results confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the science as a result of these e-mails…For people to come to the floor and to suggest that the e-mail chains revealed some flaw in the data or some flaw in the science, it's just flat untrue. Simple as that. It's just not true.’
“But we know this is not the case. The e-mails are very clear that the scientists were manipulating the data to generate a result that they wanted. And this is what some of the e-mails disclosed:
- "One leaked e-mails from 1999 -- keep in mind, these are the guys giving the science to the IPCC: ‘I've just completed Mike's nature trick of adding the real temps to each series for the last 20 years, i.e., from 1981 onwards and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.' In other words, they were falsifying the increase in the temperatures. And what he's saying is that he changed the numbers to show that warming has -- is happening when it really hasn't happened.
- "And another e-mail that was revealed in 2009: ‘The fact is, we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. Our observing systems is just inadequate.’
“Despite this, IPCC has continued to say that global warming is continuing to happen. The media outcry from these e-mail leaks was surprising because you didn't hear as much about it here in the United States as you did in the U.K. and other places. It seemed to be the mainstream press organizations who have been partners with the global warming activists, alarmists began to question their competence in the whole premise. Here are some quotes:
- “Christopher Booker, the U.K. Telegraph, said it is the worst scientific scandal of our generation.
- “Clive Crook, that's the Financial Times, said that the ‘closed mindedness of these supposed men of science is surprising even to me; the stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.’
- “Newsweek said once celebrated climate researchers feel like ‘used car salesmen.’
- “George Monboit [with the Guardian] said, ‘It is no use pretending that this isn't a major blow. The e-mails extracted by a hacker from the climate unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I'm dismayed and I deeply am shaken by them. I was too trusting of some of those who provided evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated more closely.’”
REBUTTAL FIVE: THE COST OF NOT TAKING ACTION IS TOO GREAT
INHOFE: “What I'm about to say is the most important thing because many years ago - this would have been back about 2002 - when almost everyone believed that the world is coming to an end, there's global warming, it's all causing it, they all talked about how this must be true. The range is always between $300 billion and $400 billion a year, and this is based off of a regulatory threshold of 25,000 tons. [Read: Wall Street Journal: A Carbon Reckoning]
“Doing it by regulation what they cannot do by legislation.” [Summarized below is a list of regulatory costs that Senator Inhofe spoke about in his floor speech]:
- Ozone Regulation: 77 Oklahoma counties out attainment; Projected 7million job loss
- Utility MACT regulation: Projected $100 billion cost to the economy; 1.65 million job loss
- Boiler MACT regulation: Projected $63 billion cost to the economy;800,000 job loss
- BLM fracking regulations: $100,000 cost per well and duplicative of effective state regulations
- The cumulative impact of EPA’s small regulations, which does not include greenhouse gases or ozone, as studied by the National Association of Manufacturers, cost the economy $630 billion annually and 9 million jobs.
By Melanie Hunter, Link to Article
(CNSNews.com) - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday at a hearing on the Defense Department’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget that President Barack Obama has wasted $120 billion on global warming over the past five years – money that would be better spent on the military.
“I've been working on this for quite some time ... In the last five years, between 2009 and 2014, the president has spent $120 billion on the environmental agenda, mostly global warming, climate and that type of thing,” said Inhofe. “And in that respect, if you'll just take the amount that was not authorized by Congress -- and I'm talking about the environmental agenda, you could actually buy 1,400 F-35s.”
The F-35 Lightning II, made by Lockheed Martin, is considered the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter and “will enable pilots to be six to eight times more effective in air-to-air missions, air-to ground missions and surveillance missions.” It is “first to enter the battle space, has a 360-degree view of the battlefield and is first to see adversaries and take action – allowing our pilots to carry out their missions and return home safely.”
Breaking Defense reports that Lockheed Martin’s General Manager of the F-35 Lightning II program, Lorraine Martin, estimates the Air Force version of the F-35A will cost $75 million by 2019, which will be “less than any fourth generation fighter in the world.”
The Navy plans to order 33 fewer F-35s than originally planned over the five years beginning fiscal year 2015, because of budgetary pressures, and the Air Force is deferring orders for four F-35 models in FY2015, Reuters reported. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the total number of F-35s might be scaled back even further if automatic budget cuts set to resume in FY 2016 are not revoked.
The FY 2015 budget cuts would reduce the military to pre-World War II levels – “the first budget to fully reflect the transition [the Defense Department] is making after 13 years of war,” Hagel said, warning that the military “will assume additional risk in certain areas,” including training and maintenance. Should major conflicts break out in several places at once, the military would be stretched thin, he added.
“And I think people need to understand that there's a price we're paying for all these agendas that have been rejected by Congress,” Inhofe said. He told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on the weekend edition of “Washington Watch” that Obama has “denigrated our military to the point where we're not the force we were at one time.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Today, in a Senate Armed Serviced (SASC) hearing entitled, “Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2015 and the Future Years Defense Program” Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking member of SASC, reiterated to witnesses, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, that the President's announced defense budget for fiscal year 2015 is "totally unacceptable."
During the first round of questions, Inhofe highlighted that the money the President has spent on his climate change agenda would purchase roughly 1,400 F-35s.
During the hearing, Inhofe said, "I have a CRS report that shows -- and I've been working on this for quite some time -- that in the last five years, between 2009 and 2014, the president has spent $120 billion on the environmental agenda, mostly global warming, climate and that type of thing. And I did a little bit of math - when we're talking about the crisis that we're in, and I've quoted so many people here from the intelligence community, from the defense community, saying that this is a real serious crisis that we're in.
"And in that respect, if you'll just take the amount that was not authorized by Congress -- and I'm talking about the environmental agenda, you could actually buy 1,400 F-35s. And I think people need to understand that there's a price we're paying for all these agendas that have been rejected by Congress."
Video of Inhofe's statement during the first round of questions can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/9SemgHu_f_M
During the second round of questions, Inhofe also highlighted areas where the Administration is spending defense dollars to prioritize the President's climate change agenda ahead of an adequate national security strategy that addresses looming global threats. A few of the examples he provided are as follows:
- $120 million for a solar farm at Fort Bliss.
- $75 million in fiscal year '14 appropriations for alternative energy research.
- $160 million the Navy contributed towards biofuels initiatives, retrofitting and building refineries in both FY'12 and FY'13.
Inhofe continued, "Now, when you start adding all this up, you're talking about really serious money… It's not you guys. It's the administration that doesn't have the priorities that you have stated, Mr. Secretary, that they have in terms of defending America as the number one priority."
Video of Inhofe's statement during the second round of questions can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/KhVLUmrzR9s