Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama
GLENN: From Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan, third most listened to show in all of America. Welcome to the program. My name is Glenn Beck. Well, I had a call from a guy, I don't know, about an hour and a half ago and he said, Glenn, why do you care about the polar bears. I mean, talking about the polar bears and they're a threatened species now and big deal. I mean, let's move on with our lives, how does that affect any of us? Well, I want to get Senator Sessions on, Jeff Sessions. Maybe he can ‑‑ maybe he can explain the relationship, why you should care about the polar bears, why the polar bears are going to actually cost you money, why we should care about the ANWR and maybe drilling in ANWR and where Bush is this week.
Senator Sessions, how are you sir?
SENATOR SESSIONS: I'm doing fine, Glenn.
GLENN: Can you explain the polar bear being threatened on the endangered species list, how that's going to affect the average person?
SENATOR SESSIONS: It's based on a huge concept. The department of the interior, as I understand it, utilized models, these computer modeling programs that's supposed to look into the future and predict our climate to predict further erosion of polar bear habitat and based on not a shortage of polar bears, not a demonstration of a large reduction in the number which have grown over the past 30 years but based on these models, they have declared it an endangered species, and if that's so then everything else in the country is subject to alteration based on some of these models because the environmental protect act concludes things that damage our environment. They say pollution causes global warming and there we go did I confuse that?
GLENN: No, I'm very clear on this. People say ‑‑ because I've explain this all week. A guy calls me up and says, so what, so we take care of the polar bear. The polar bear was the foot in the door for these environmental attorneys and what does this ‑‑ what does this actually mean to industry and the price of gas and the price of food and everything else? What could the possible ramifications of the secretary of the interior coming out and putting them on the threatened species list?
SENATOR SESSIONS: They tried to place some limits on how they did that. But how long they will hold up, I don't know. But fundamentally, yes. They have concluded that emissions, it seems to me, they have made an illegal admission that increasing CO2 causes global warming, that we should rely on these climate models that have not been proven to be very accurate and that we ought to set policy that could be billions and billions of dollars to try to avoid these events in the future. It is a dangerous thing really.
GLENN: But specifically how is this going to affect the cost of things?
SENATOR SESSIONS: Well, it's going to drive up costs because it's going to eliminate or drive down our ability to utilize fossil fuels, all of which produce CO2. And we don't have at this moment, we desperately need, but we do not have alternatives to fossil fuels and so if we eliminate fossil fuels, we'll be utilizing far, far more expensive sources of energy for our automobiles, the price of gasoline will continue to go up, as will the price of electricity. And this is sucking wealth out of our economy and it's harming our economy.
GLENN: We have ‑‑ tell me, because I don't understand, and you actually voted for stopping fueling the strategic oil reserve. I don't understand that vote. Can you help me with that?
SENATOR SESSIONS: Well, we were about 80, 90% full in the strategic reserve. Even 70,000 barrels a day that were going in there can have an impact on the shortage of oil supply versus the demand and utilization of oil and can help, I think, relieve some of the pressure. And besides, it's not a very good expense for the government to be spending that much on oil. I think it ‑‑
GLENN: But I understand that. But for instance, Goldman Sachs has just upgraded ‑‑ they said the second half of the year is going to be $107 a barrel. They have just upgraded and said the second half of the year price is going to be $141 a barrel. If you buy it at $127 a barrel, which it is today, you are actually saving money.
SENATOR SESSIONS: If it keeps going up, you are exactly right. I can't argue with that.
GLENN: Do you believe ‑‑
SENATOR SESSIONS: But I think that ‑‑ I don't know that we're going to remain at this high a level. I don't think we're going to see the falls we've had before when energy spiked because it does appear we're coming closer to a world production cap, you know. We just can't get ‑‑ we're not going to see much more production in the future and so we may not see the classical boom and bust that we usually see in oil this time.
GLENN: We are not going now into ANWR, no nor are we drilling off of our shores. Senator, what do the Americans have to do to be able to break this cycle of self‑destruction that is putting ‑‑ I mean, by us being slaves to foreign oil is nonsensical to anybody with half a brain in today's world. The problem is people are under this illusion that within ten years we can be off of oil with some new magic resource. That's absolutely unreasonable and we've got to do something now because to be able to get our own resources is going to take us 10 years or 15 years to build the industry.
SENATOR SESSIONS: Glenn, you are exactly right. I mean, that's ‑‑ we need to be working for new technologies that can help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, but it's going to take, our best judgment is decades probably. So what are we going to do in the interim? Allow the greatest wealth transfer in the history of the world to continue? We're sending $500 billion a year out of our economy to places like Venezuela and Dubai and Saudi Arabia to build palaces and skyscrapers, and it's not ‑‑ and the average consumer is paying more than they've ever had to pay before. This is not a thing that can be sustained. We do have great areas of untapped oil and gas in our country, including Alaska, including off the Gulf Coast where I live, but we have huge areas like the entire Florida coast is blocked, the entire Atlantic coast is blocked, the entire Pacific coast is blocked, and so is ANWR. And now the Democrats have slipped in language that has stymied the incredibly positive potential of shale oil in the West which could be 100 years of oil in the United States.
GLENN: Wait a minute. How did they stymie that? What did they do?
SENATOR SESSIONS: Well, what they did was we passed it hoping to provide an opportunity to produce it. Shale oil is spending huge amounts, they believe they can do this in an environmentally safe way. But in one of those big appropriations bills, that last big omnibus bill.
SENATOR SESSIONS: They banned, out of thousands of pages of slipped‑in language without hearings or anything that blocked the utilization of federal lands to utilize this kind of oil because it creates some more CO2 than the average oil produces.
GLENN: Senator, you know, here's what America doesn't understand, I think.
SENATOR SESSIONS: And that's going to cost us.
GLENN: Here's what I think America doesn't understand is for those who are aware of the issues like cap in trade and what that's going to cost people and how that is truly just a redistribution of wealth, the idea of not going for our own oil but continuing to get it overseas, when these people in Washington, you're all smart enough to see what the future is, you're all well informed enough to know where our technology lies, how far in the future technology that actually can replace our oil, how far away it really is. We can augment it but we can't replace it. The American people are confused by this. If they can figure it out without the briefings, without the connections to be able to have the best minds in the country brief them personally, they're making suicidal moves. This isn't a matter of opinion on how to replace oil. It is a matter of fact that nothing will replace oil in the next 10 or 20 years. We can augment it but not replace it. And if we don't do something, it's a suicidal move. How ‑‑ explain how the people on the other side of the aisle are not damn near intentionally dismantling our country.
SENATOR SESSIONS: I remain baffled. I said previously the failure to produce oil out of ANWR was one of the most nonsensical things I've ever seen in congress. It's just an incredibly small part of that ANWR region which is the size of the State of South Carolina, but it has a lot of oil in it. We need ‑‑ what is happening, I cannot understand it. I think the Democratic leadership is creating a massive blunder. The American people, when I talk to them, are hurting as a result of paying $50, $75, $100 more a month for the same amount of oil they were paying before. And the only thing we see coming down the pike, as you said, a huge cap in trade bill which is really a massive tax increase that will fall on middle America. They don't want to raise taxes on carbon. So they create this cap in trade and it's nothing more than a secret sneaky tax increase.
GLENN: What does that ‑‑
SENATOR SESSIONS: This is ‑‑ you are just fundamentally correct. And the American people probably need to speak out like they did on immigration and some other issues and hold some people accountable. Right now the Democratic leadership is leading the fight. It's a party priority to block more production. They led ‑‑ some Republicans voted with them, but overwhelmingly it was a Democratic leadership‑led position not to produce more American energy. And so I don't know how ‑‑ I don't know how that can be justified politically. I just don't see how you can go back home and say I'd rather continue to buy money from Hugo Chavez ‑‑ oil from Hugo Chavez. I just don't, ‑‑ I really do think this is a ‑‑ you are correct, something is out of ‑‑ something's not working here.
GLENN: Senator, not that I think the Republicans have the answer but they are more correct on issues but, you know, I believe they've lost the soul. There's a few people in Washington that are really still standing up and fighting for what they believed in and hold those traditional values that the Republican party stood for for so many years.
SENATOR SESSIONS: On this issue it was a Democratic leadership position to block Senator Pete Domenici and Senator McComb's bill to open up more American production. And our leadership led the other way and it was ‑‑ the votes were pretty close to party lines. Pretty close.
GLENN: So help me out on this. What happens to our economy an our energy production and the Republicans lose 70 seats in the election and you've got Barack Obama as President of the United States?
SENATOR SESSIONS: We will not open up ANWR, we will not produce the trillion barrels of oil that are in oil shale because there is some increase in CO2, we will not probably see in any reasonable period of time coal created to a liquid that we can utilize in our automobiles which can be done today cheaper than the world price of oil. We'll probably see no production offshore and that means higher prices for consumers. And then we'll have even further prices because we'll move to this cap in trade idea that I really believe is a very big error.
GLENN: You go to cap in trade. What does gas cost us a gallon?
SENATOR SESSIONS: The Environmental Protection Agency, pro environment group, did an economic study. They estimate it will drive up the cost of gasoline $1.50 a barrel. This is their objective economic analysis. National association of manufacturers says it will do it $5 a barrel and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs ‑‑
GLENN: Wait a minute. $5 a barrel or $5 a gallon?
SENATOR SESSIONS: Excuse me. $5 a gallon. And it would ‑‑ EPA says it will drive up the price of gasoline $1.50 a barrel. It's just not ‑‑ this is not smart. I mean, their focus, they are obsessed on CO2 question, the Kyoto type matters, and of completely ignoring the impact that it's having on middle America. We're going to ‑‑ we can have breakthroughs in the future that can break us away from fossil fuels. We should invest money in that. I support that. It would be the greatest thing that could happen to us. But as you suggested, if you maturely analyze it, it's not going to happen in the next 30 years.
GLENN: Senator, I've got to run but could you introduce a bill where you ask for protection under the American endangered species act of the American voter and taxpayer?
SENATOR SESSIONS: Hey, let me mention one thing to you, could I briefly? Amazingly the Senate appropriations committee just voted out last night the war funding supplemental.
SENATOR SESSIONS: And they placed in it a proposal, the ag jobs immigration proposal that will legalize three million immigrants and among other bad things that are in that. So unbelievable that they would utilize this war supplemental to try to force through an incredibly large legalization of those who are in the country.
GLENN: You know what is unbelievable? I read only three papers today and I didn't see that ‑‑ I saw some of the other stuff but didn't see the immigration tucked into that bill. Unbelievable. Senator, thank you very much. I appreciate it and you keep fighting the good fight.
SENATOR SESSIONS: Thank you, sir.
GLENN: You bet.