tv Today in Washington CSPAN May 22, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EDT
cadmium telluride. so i believe that's what this is referring to. >> did you or anyone on first solar's behalf at any time request that this research undertaken by the professor be kept confidential or otherwise not disclosed? >> not to my knowledge. >> on the screen you're going to cnn's like tennessee i'm running out of time as well make make this quick. on the screen you're going to see another slide from the first solar presentation again related to a risk matrix stating successful study, future studies and established cadmium telluride photo will take desired outcome. -- photovoltaic desired outcome. it sounds to me like you're trying to state goals for your company and you are trying to really compromise the objectivity of scientific reports. and that, of course, is of grave concern to us. given this evidence of this light, mr. ahearn, the department of energy's dedication to rely on credible
and objective information seems to have been compromised on your campaign. i just would ask whether you agree or disagree with that spent i disagree with it. these are dated back in 2006. if you would permit you to explain. i think i can explain this. >> quickly. >> the issue we faced in europe was what will competitors likely to relative to the first solar because we had the lowest cost technology. and our area of vulnerability would event around the use of cadmium. and so i think the slides are going to, you know, how do you anticipate a competitive attack and had to get the scientific community engaged properly to get cadmium telluride recognize as the proper technology in europe. so it was back in that earlier timeframe. >> thank you, and i yield back my time. >> i want to thank the gentlelady, and i know she has to run. i have to run. i promise you we would be out by 12 and we are actually, i know this is hard to believe, but we
are close. we have to left. mr. kelley has agreed to chair. i want to thank all our witnesses for being here, and for making the trip, the sacrifice it takes to come here and testify. i think it's been a good hearing. we plan to follow up with mr. chu and get simplifications to his statements under oath act in the march but i want to thank our witnesses. with that i will turn the chair over to mr. kelley. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in the spirit of trying to stay on time, i was listening to mr. cummings, the ranking member's comments about the integrity of the panel sitting here. really what we're here for today is to look into whether or not the taxpayer money was spent wisely in this area, if these investments. and i guess i might agree that it may not be your fault that these things didn't go like he wanted to i would question whether or not it is a failure
in government, once again meddling probably where it doesn't belong, trying to invest in the private sector would have a shining example in mr. nelson of what the american spirit of free enterprise can do if you leave it alone, if the federal government would simply stay out of the way. for all taxpayers watching today, i'm sure that they are not very pleased with the way we the federal government invested their money in this case, and in many cases in business. and so clearly, maybe not shame on you, shame on us for not doing our homework better, loaning money in areas where clearly the risk was very high. and i guess i would wonder for all you sitting there, if you had to invest all that money out of their own pocket whether you would've taken the same path. that's only a question you can answer. this is the frustration we face here in the federal government,
and looking after the taxpayer money trying to reduce the deficit and a spending problem that we have. we are asking right now, a lot of people in washington are asking to take more of the taxpayers money. and i would challenge with anybody watching this hearing today would agree that the federal government needs another dime of taxpayer money until it can learn to manage it better than what we've seen in this hearing today. so that's just one man's opinion, but i thank you all for joining us today, and i yield back. >> thank you. mr. woolard, some of the questions have been was any political influence involved. let me go to slide number nine. this is from natalie schafer from brightsource, and it says the team is at the white house, the vice president's office at 10:00 tomorrow. so why at the white house and
one at the vp meeting if it's not politically influenced? why not just deal we? >> i believe -- why not just deal with the. march 8, 2011? >> so we had, whenever a correspondent on who we talked to the members of senate about policy. we talked to carol browner sometimes in the administration in the white house about broader policy issues spent so you can see why, israel e-mail so it comes up, okay, there's no political influence been shown, we're not trying to go that way but we are going to go to the wise enemy with the vice president, but this is really just a briefing, just to keep them abreast of what's going on? >> we met with lindsey graham and others as well. >> i understand the. i people come to my office every day, too. i know this is like having a
root canal without novocaine, i understand it but it comes down to this is taxpayer money. and because of what mr. lemole -- mr. mulvaney said. i get told in the sales for all the time i would know about a car from you guys again because you took the bailout. the corporations no longer the corporation, but you go to all that stuff all the time and i got to say, mr. ahearn, i look at arrest me and your background. you are astute when it comes to investing, no question. what happened at the end of the summer, in august of 2011, that all of a sudden the market started to draw. this year started go off the cliff? >> the core issue is that subsidy programs that work reading the market for solar, which for the most part in europe, began to shrink pretty drastically as a function of the fiscal problems in europe, a
variety of dynamics, and that was coupled with a massive oversupply of chinese panels coming on the market. so basically the market space started to dry up, and that really impacted all the industry stocks across the board. >> so all of them were tumbling? >> they all were tumbling. >> we look at europe today and really subsidies, they just don't have enough money to do the fund what they been funding? >> that's correct. >> the same thing is pretty much were to happen here. we are running out of money so you run out of capital and there's no confusion. >> that's right. that's why i think i agree with your overall point that we have to be in markets that are not subsidy dependent, and i think we're fortunate we had some time and ability to lower our cost we need to move now strongly into markets that do not require these types of subsidies, which is what we are doing them. >> and the market, the energy market, i know, i'm from western
pennsylvania and i know what's going on in western pennsylvania. around the rest of the country, look at all the fossils that are very much abundant and affordable and accessible. we're watching it go away. i would've gotten rid of my stock then, too. even though you the loan guarantees coming in, usually when you get the loan guarantees, it's okay, but if you see the market kind of tanking, you say, you know what? it's time for me to get the heck out of here. i'm going to take my marbles and went. so i understand what you did that. mr. nelson, one of the administration's top justification for the 1705 loan program was there just wasn't enough private capital. so what do you guys know that nobody else knows? why didn't you go after that low-hanging fruit those out there, the government money? >> the bottom line, i believe i the long run it's economics, not government policy which drives widespread adoption of green energy. at our whole point of view is to
reduce the cost of green energy so it's affordable for people. and that's our approach ultimately. we change the economics until rely on government funding. right now we have plenty of private funding to do what we need to do and we don't, we anticipate will come up with a product that will actually be competitive so it will be widely demanded and the people that we want to do business with will accept us as a partner. >> okay. again, your background, mr. ahearn, your background, venture capital so you understand a bit about investing in turning countries around a making of good against. >> my wife would say just a little bit. >> i'm interested in that because really, there's an old saying out there, if it's not market ready, no amount of subsidy will affect it. >> at the bottom line. talk a lot about innovation. mr. cummings articulately about innovation but the fact is funding innovation is a really
important part of the governments function in this, but that's different than the loan guarantee program. that funds commercialization. and commercialization should be a private function and it should happen with good projects. when you have a project that isn't economically viable for witches, which cost substantially more than economic alternatives, no amount of government subsidy will ever bring that into widespread adoption. >> probably not a good investment. i wonder because the market jpmorgan chase, and they see the doj is going to do an investigation because they had a $2 billion loss. $20 billion profit, and the people that want to really come to a hard on or the people who are $16 trillion in the red. that make investment every day, that if the shareholders in that company, which is the american taxpayers, they should be demanding also a look into what in the world are we doing with this money and where are we
investing it. and at the end of they want to come we come up with. so i think we're done for the day. is there anything else? i want to thank you sincerely. and in a difficult it is. but, you know, you can't follow this trend and then be upset because people hold you responsible for. i want you to understand my deep respect for what you do. i've done, my own life has been? very much through hard work and sweat equity and everything else, a lot of skin in the game but i know it's difficult. when they dangled a carrot in front of you sometimes, it does come down hard and you. i appreciate your comments, mr. nelson. i've watched, read your background. i know exactly what works, what doesn't work, and i do agree with this, scientists sometimes way ahead of the market. so the there will be sometime in future but maybe right now is not the right time. we haven't had a positive roi on it. so with that, this hearing is now adjourned.
[inaudible conversations] the tsunami that hit japan last year sent estimated five tons of debris into the pacific ocean. a hearing on the u.s. response to the debris is next on c-span2. >> the head of the commodity futures trading commission said that jpmorgan's recent trading losses were over minder. gary gensler along with the
security exchange commission chair mary schapiro will testify today about financial regulations and derivative train. that is live from the senate banking committee at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span. on c-span3, hearing on the role of government and energy innovation. the senate energy and natural resources committee will hear from a number of the white house council of advisors on science and technology. live coverage also at 10 a.m. eastern. >> it's been a little over a year since japan expects an earthquake and tsunami. debris from the sonoma has begun to surface along the u.s. coastlines. now to a hearing about how the national oceanic and atmospheric administration has been responding. this is about an hour. >> we will call the meeting to order.
today's hearing is on stemming the tide of u.s. response. the tsunami generated marine debris. we thank the witnesses for being here. welcome. we think an important hearing on the marine debris headed to the west coast from japanese tragedy and its long-term implications but we welcome david kennedy, assistant administrator of noaa's service but we also welcome rear admiral cari thomas, of the united states coast guard. thank you both for being here this morning. the earthquake and tsunami which struck northern japan just over a year ago was unprecedented human tragedy. in minutes it claimed thousands of lives and destroyed complete communities and touched off a fear of a nuclear power plant. the tsunami also left a legacy, which are west coast states thousands of miles from at the center are dealing with now, and will deal for many years to come. marine debris is nothing new.
flotsam and gets it has existed for centuries. plastics which don't agree. to some, like beachcombers find occasional messages in a bottle, to others it is an eyesore or worse. many now recognized burning debris as a threat to fish pic marine mammals and sea birds, death by entanglement and indigestion. the tsunami unleashed a debris unprecedented scale. some 5 million tons were swept out to sea. most quickly say, estimates one in half million tons of tsunami generated debris is still a foot and being driven by winds and currents towards the west coast of north america. but there's three main towns of plastic trash which will flood into our inter- title ecosystems and is already here. we have read the press reports osaka balls found on the middleton island in my state,
and the fishing floats and styrofoam insulation washing up on kayak and monica islands. these are mostly the high wind items which float high in the water and are pushed by wind. then there's a ghost squid boat that appeared office southeast panhandle and which was probably sought by the coast guard. and i want to thank you, admiral, for to do. and even the harley-davidson which washed up in british, columbia. from alaska to washington, the reports of tsunami debris are coming in. including reports of containers of hazardous materials such as oil and solvents. that's not surprising when you consider the entire cities that are gas stations, garages, warehouses, stores, industrial plants all washed into the sea, now becoming a threat to our shores. one of my constituents of the gulf of alaska keeper has worked on the korean debris issues for most of the last decade. he described the tsunami debris
as a slow-motion and environmental disaster. that will far exceed any single pollution event to hit the west coast of north america, including exxon valdez and the santa barbara oil spills. i'm submitting the letter for the record and one from the genome-based marine conservation alliance foundation which has helped coordinate marine debris efforts in alaska for years. says the program has monitored incoming tides of debris from it model drift patterns and track reports as they come in. i know noaa has further plans to monitor those problems but my constituents, to be very honest with you, are asking is this debris already are, what's the plan? are we going to do with this and how i'm going to clean it up? in some cases something is a little late. and now just this summer but over the years this debris will be arriving to our shores. that is the purpose of today's hearing, gave the debris, give a
clear threat what is our national plan to stem the tide of tsunami debris. while i've heard the debris carries no threat of radiation since it went out to sea before the reactors failures, i want to ask what you know about the possible threat and monitoring done today because of its a concern to me. but i want to emphasize the point before i call on the ranking member and and the senator washington, we had a hearing probably two months, three months ago. this issue came up, and we were told things are, i do what is t under control, but we are monitoring them carefully. every time i go back to alaska, i hear over and over and over again, the largest sightings and there are photos are some of the degree that is starting to wash up. it's growing rapidly and it almost seems like there is, let's see what happens plan. and that's unacceptable to especially today at 7 a.m. alaska time, the river opening
will occur which means literally six hours later when that incredible fish gets caught, sam, it will be in the washington ports for market, the first fish out in the highly prized copper river salmon. so we fear what the impact may be. so we're anxious to hear not about what you're seeing today, but what are the plans, what are the efforts, aggressively to deal with this issue as it continues to move forward. let me have the ranking member, senator snowe, made her comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and also for convening this hearing today to discuss the very important topic, marine debris resulting from last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami in japan. and i think it is important to provide this kind of attention on, and focus on the critical issue. on march 11, 2011, struck by 8.9 magnitude earthquake, killing
nearly 16,000 people with an additional 3000 still missing and presumed dead. over 200 square miles were inundated, some ways, more than six miles inland reaching a maximum height of over 100 feet in some places the entire communities were washed to sea. this disaster was far worse than what had been previously been considered the worst case scenario. in japan should be commended for their efforts they put into place for preparing for such a disaster. despite the tremendous loss of life, countless people were saved by advance preparation. 40% of japan's coast was protected by sea walls and prompting warnings of a major tonight. a lot of time allowed me to exactly. but the -- in many cases seawalls were built to hold the sea as they were breached and washed away. tragically at least 101 designated evacuation sites were flooded and people followed evacuation orders thought they'd reached safety in time still perished.
the devastation resulting from this horrific event demonstrate we can always do better to prepare. the heartbreaking job of cleaning up and rebuilding from the tsunami still continues in japan and is estimated to cost more than $34 billion making this the most costly natural disaster in history. some communities simply gone, it's not always clear how the rebuilding should begin. 5 million tons of debris was left into the ocean as a result of the tsunami. much of this sank offshore but some of the as much as 1.5 million tons continue to float was carried out to sea by the winds and currents. this debris includes both household goods, children's toys, everything from infrastructure to personal possessions. the first item to arrive in our waters were high windage items from those items that float high enough in the water to be primarily blown by the wind. only updated model from noaa that includes actual wind and current conditions from the past year suggest that tsunami debris likely begin to arrive in the winter of 2011 to 2012.
the first debris from the tsunami was identified on march 20 this year when 150-foot fishing boat was spotted off the coast of canada. recognizing that this she opposed a navigational hazard to vendors, the coast guard sank a 17 days later. we did not ask enough how much more debris is coming our way. nor do we know what will wash ashore. low windage items that are primarily moved by the ocean currents will take longer to reach our pacific coastline. it will be years before know the extent of the debris. fizzle out to the already substantial burden that marine debris places on our ocean. along with my west coast colleagues whose estates have been directly impacted by this event, i've long supported the work that addresses the effects of marine debris on the health of our oceans. most recently last year i cosponsored senator in the ways trashed for easy act to reauthorize noaa's marine debris program and direct the agency to
develop a plan on how best to respond to marine debris since tsunami's, floods, landslides and hurricanes. and yet despite the ongoing problem of burning debris an expected increase in marine debris from the japanese tsunami, the president's budget was proposed a reduction in funding to this program. i am pleased that the senate recognizes the importance of the brain to reprogram and would increase its funding by 400,000 for fiscal year 2013, providing the resources necessary to continue tracking at addressing the impact of the tsunami debris. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today, learning more about this topic. david kennedy, i appreciate the excellent job you and your staff has conducted at the national oceans services, and keeping us up-to-date regarding the status of the debris from the tsunami. admiral thomas, the coast guard is our first line defense against this way the debris coming toward our shores.
ahas potentially safety and navigational hazards posed a series nature by the tsunami debris. thank you, mr. chairman. spent thank you very much, and that internship senator cantwell and then we will start. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you and the ranking member for only this important hearing. and mr. chairman, for your continued focus on this, washington and alaska i would to washington and alaska, oregon and california, hawaii are all very united in our concern over the economic impact that tsunami debris can have to our region. our state, washington state's coastal economy produces $10.8 billion in economic activity and is worth over 165,000 jobs. so anything that threatens that coastal economy is something we're going to be a lot of attention to. so we are here today to talk about how we are going to get
ugly spots from noaa on what is this threat, the measurement of the threat, and what the response plan is to the threat. a few short weeks ago we did mark the one year anniversary of the devastating tsunami in japan, and the people of washington state, because of her connection with japan, have a great sense of loss and we remember those people who lost their lives. seeing that devastation when the waters rolled back and saw what happened shocked many people, not just in america but around the world. and so it has become very clear to us what unbelievable economic damage can happen, and what can be at risk. so for our commercial and recreational fishing and her vessel construction of ships, our tourism, our thriving ecosystem, we all want to know what the plan is. so, mr. chairman, i feel like you do, that we aren't getting the answers that we need. i would like to submit a statement from the mayor of the city of long beach. he reflects a unique and
staggering concerned about what tsunami debris can do to his community, and he wants to know what the plan is. mr. chairman, we also had in this last few weeks an incident in washington state where a crab vessel was sunk, and now oil leaking from that vessel is threatening the shellfish industry in our state. so it doesn't take a lot to imagine what would happen if the response plan is just we will sink it. we need something much more elaborate to understand and stop this debris before it actually reaches our shores. that's the we want to see and that's what we're hoping to get from a response plan today. it's very important that the resources are there, to mobilize the emergency research funds from the rapid program, the national science foundation rapid program would give scientists the tools that they
need to analyze and to tell us about this likely debris chart and where it will go, and what areas it will impact. we also want to make sure that this is science is available to other scientists in the northwest. it's almost as if there is an attitude that the tsunami debris is top secret and we can't get the information. it shouldn't be this way. the information and data, the best guess scenario should be available to everyone and all communities so that they can plan. we would hope that once that information is made available, that that would be part of an action plan that men could be implemented by the coast guard, by noaa, but certainly would give those communities that sense that they can plan for what this likely impact could be. we know that not every plan is going to be carried out in the details that it was originally proposed. but having no plan or not understand what the point is, or
just counseling people individually doesn't give the people of washington state the certainty and predictability that they would like to see. many people said we wouldn't see any of this impact until 2013 or 2014, and the ships and motorcycle and various debris is showing up and people want answers. so mr. chairman, i look forward to the witnesses being here today. i know that they played a role, and it's not all on their shoulders. but we certainly, the senator is going to continue to push until noaa response in the appropriate way of giving our coastal communities the answers that they deserve. i thank the chairman. >> thank you very much. at the first with the first witness, mr. david kennedy. >> thank you. chairman begich and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on the noaa marine debris program
and the second is to address the marine debris generate by last year's generated tsunami. noaa is a concern and is taking active steps to address of the threats tsunami debris poster calls it commits and natural resources. we are is leading efforts with federal, state and local partners to collect data, a sense of the debris and reduce possible impacts. i'd like to give you some background on the marine debris program which is a federal government's lead on marine debris division is an highlight a few examples of how noaa is responding. the noaa marine debris program is small but as a big impact on the big problem. the world's oceans and shores are played by man-made debris that causes untold economic losses to coastal community and threatens wildlife, habitat, she would health, safety and navigation. the program of 13 staff conducts activities to research, prevent and reduce marine debris and its impacts in addition to his robust size, outreach and education components the program
also spends a significant portion of its budget supporting long-term community-based removal projects. these projects benefit coastal habitats and waterways but they are not rapid response. the program has historically received approximately $4 million in annual appropriations. regional coordinators located throughout the country provide support to these projects and lend expertise to marine debris stakeholders. as chair of the interagency marine debris court mcgee committee, noaa continue to work in partnership across federal agencies to ensure coordination on national and international arena to bury efforts. since the disaster struck japan, noaa's activities led by the marine debris program is focused on understand the scope. noaa immobilized after the disaster to share the latest information on the threats and we're continuing to collect data on the debris quantity and type as well as location and
movement. at the same time we are coordinating heavily with state and local response agencies to share information and draft response plans that will help reduce impacts to communities, natural resources and navigation. the government of japan estimated the tsunami swept 5 million tons of debris into the ocean and 1.5 million tons of that floated. it is unclear how much of it and what types survived a year at sea but we expect that it could be buoyant items such as floats, blubber, plastics, containers and vessels. radiation experts assure us it is highly unlikely any debris is radioactive, but there is a possibility that has used items such as oil drums will wash ashore. the potential area where the breed may have drifted is vast. equaling space roughly three times the size of the contiguous united states. in order to locate significant concentrations or large items we are gathering data from multiple at sea sources including ocean
going vessels, aircraft and satellite. our models which have given us an understanding of where debris may be located help focus our detection and response decisions. noaa has asked groups of eyes on the large report sightings including fleets from partner federal agencies, commercial fishing, and shipping vessels, scientific expeditions and recreational pilots. the u.s. coast guard reports any sightings during regular oversight missions in some cases they conduct overflights with noaa representatives on board to help identify debris. will also continue to receive and analyze high resolution satellite imagery to find debris and targeted areas where our model suggests it may be located. we will continue to use sophisticated detection technologies as they come available to us. noaa is according to a slight information on debris that is currently stranded on u.s. coastlines in advance of a possible influx of tsunami debris. changes in volume and type of
debris may be the only indication that tsunami debris has arrived so noaa plans to conduct surveys and all impacted areas for the next two years. in order to gain a more complete picture of where debris is showing up at also established an e-mail address with anyone and for the general public may report sightings. debris removal will likely fall to the states in most cases, and with tight budgets and business to ensure the removal plans make the best use of existing resources. noaa scorning with state and local agencies to great plans for a range of scenarios which will include rapid response protocols. workshops have taken place in hawaii and washington state and the results will help guide workshops planned for alaska, oregon and california. noaa will continue to pursue on the ground research, prevention and reduction of marine debris nationwide and leverage every resource available to address debris from the japanese tsunami. however, comprehensively responding to the tsunami debris will take substantial resources.
emergency trust fund do exist but currently there's not a fun for marine debris hazard response on this scale so it is critical that we continue to have complete engagement at every level. federal, state and local. it will not be possible for noaa to coordinate the debris response that each state participation. noaa is committed to protecting our committees and trust resources and look for to working with the committee to achieve this outcome. i would also like to thank the committee for its attention of the marine debris from efforts continued efforts to reauthorize the noaa marine debris program. and it i'm willing to take questions. >> rear admiral cari thomas, director of response policy to the u.s. coast guard. >> good morning. chairman begich, ranking member snowe, senator cantwell, i'm cari thomas, and delighted to be a part of the u.s. coast guard. i'm pleased to have this opportunity to discuss with you the services role and authorities in applies to protect u.s. waters, shorelines
and exclusive economic zones from the potential impacts of marine debris greeted by the devastating 2011 japan tsunami. been responsible for response possible my duties include overseeing incident management policies. in carrying out those duties i drop him a 14 different assignments were i was involved with several types of incidents including hurricanes, ship grounds from airplane crashes, mass migrations and hundreds of search and rescue cases, some of which include marine debris. today i'll provide an rv of coast guard efforts related to marine debris to delineate the coast guard's role in supporting noaa and provides an operational examples that reinforce the principles of preparedness and the need for advance planning to address the challenges caused by marine debris. as discussed by mr. kendig, noaa is the lead agency for conducting research, margin, prevention and reduction activities for marine debris. noaa's program leads this effort and noaa chairs the court mcgee committee. the coast guard supports noaa by participating as a member of
that committee. the marine debris research prevention act of 2002 vice the coast guard adequate agency that noaa should cordon it with address of marine debris issues. any debris that poses a threat via potential oil or hazardous substance to the environment. the coast guard may also develop and issue broadcast notice to mariners and advice vessel traffic of potential hazards to navigation. service also has the authority to destroy these hazards for navigation pc to make sure that we're protecting lives and preserving property. if debris creates a hazard navigation and navigable waters
or channels, the coast are typically works the army corps of engineers, the lead federal agency for all obstructions determined to be federal maintain navigable channels or water. to address the matter. coast guard resources and personnel may also be requested by noaa to help with identifying, tracking and monitoring debris by conducting overflights such as those conducted over montague island with noaa representatives on board. the coast guard and noaa actively work and playing together at all levels at both agencies. at the national level the coast guard participates in biweekly interagency conference calls hosted by noaa to provide strategic interagency coordination. at the regional and local level with the coast guard pacifica, the 13th district, the 14th and 17th district are all actively engaged with all partners. the coast guard and noaa recently coordinated 10 interagency public meetings in oregon to provide information on agency authorities and capabilities. similar meetings are planned for
hawaii, california in coming months. would also participate in an inner agency bring to be workshop in washington state to support washington's states drafting of marine debris contingency plan to the coast guard recent sinking of the fishing vessel provides an excellent example of how we use our authorities and assets to address the challenges associated with marine debris. several weeks ago the service began tracking that fishing vessel which was originally signed by the canadian coast guard. our airplane crews deployed get 'em marker boo . the vessel projected path would take it to the approach to dixon interest, or water where you were prospect 800 commercial trances including tankers occurred in the preceding six months or the vessel's condition, location and projected track made a serious threat to the safe navigation of other vessels. the coast guard deemed the vessel to be hazard and on april failed the coast guard cutter
successfully sank the ship at sea to ensure the safety of navigation. having been a captain of a ship nearly 20 years ago, i was very proud of their ability to perform this mission. as i tell others, we save lives, we save the environment, and in this case, we save the supply chain so vital to the economic strength of the nation that includes putting fuel and food on our tables. it could've been disrupted by the damage that that ship might have cost to the coast guard will continue to work closely with noaa to address the potential navigation hazard of marine debris and response and any substantial pollution threats or hazards to navigation. thank you and i look forward to answering any question you have. >> thank you very much. we'll start with five minute rounds. the way i like and each member will have an opportunity to do five minutes but we will sometimes interject with each other because were small enough here. we only have a limited time today. let me first say, my observation and then have specific questions. we're going to do a lot of
planning, a lot of discussion, a lot of meetings. but what the reality is, communities are fearing that the federal government will not respond to what's really needed which is cleanup. if this was a one-time event all at once we declare an emergency. we would be on the ground like that, but this is going to be a slow drag of stuff for, who knows how long, which will impact. so i guess first, mr. keiner become you'd mentioned, i have several questions but i want to go to your comments. use adobe a need for a significant fund, but states are going to be responsible. and to be very frank with you, somewhat frustrating to that today, because the role of the federal government in emergencies is to assist states, not just say it's your responsibility, good luck. because that's not acceptable.
i understand you're having discussions with him and so forth, but do you think the federal government has evolved a partner and put some hard cash on the table? in monitoring for the next two years, it will be easy to monitor because there will be a pile of junk piled up and they will say it's there. but that's not the plan. that's not a plan. that's just more studies about what might happen after the fact. i think what we are anxious for is what are we going to do to prevent a lot of this starting to come ashore. so, can you give me some more commentary and what noaa's role should be come and do you have the funds to do it, and why are we not stepping forward and saying we are going to develop plans of action to clean it up with the fabric of a participating financially and otherwise? help me, i me, i hear your testimony, you read it will. i read it. there's a lot of good
discussions about developing long-term studies and dressed and so forth, but what was your hearing is, it's year. how do we deal with it? first, does noaa have a responsibility to help with the cleanup, not just a few grants to the small groups. i know you have a small budget which the president did that. appropriate is put back in and want to shift it to another agency, likely the appropriators said no. do you think you have enough money to do cleanup, and you think that is a role that -- >> welcome to start, there was a lot in there. and so i will start answering and you come back to me when i don't answer the way you like. >> that's good. that's a good way to start the answer. >> because i'm afraid i will answer in part lease the way you may not like. first of all, we do not have the funds to mount a clip, special in areas as remote as alaska or some of the nose western hawaiian island.
certainly remote areas but we just don't have those funds. >> but you have authority to do it and/or partner or a sign groups, for example, you give grants to? >> as i understand it, it, and the current act we don't have the authority to actually do the cleanup. that is not part of our responsibility. >> but the dollars you have that flow through your system could go to organizations? >> yes, they have, and they have routinely for the last many years. that's a major component of what we do and we have invested in community-based cleanup programs throughout all the states that are potentially affected here. so yes, we do. >> indirectly had the ability. you have the money is what you're saying. >> i do not. we just -- >> do you know how much of the, required to do it? >> i do not. and part of the problem is, why it's so important try to get a good handle on how much debris we have out there where it is and when it may come ashore is,
is to be able to make that kind of investment. but i can tell you, a small sailboat 30 feet long that we want to remove, debris, $1.2 million for that one sailboat in that remote area. >> walleye? >> because of the remoteness, because of logistics. you've got to have ships, people and someplace to do away with it. so it varies depending on where the debris is that it's incredibly expensive to do this kind of a cleaner. and the few examples we can give you from around the country where we have done a focused cleanup, especially in a remote area, the expenditure is just simply high. so we can't begin to touch, especially in remote areas, if there is substantial new amounts of debris was going to be required to remove. >> my time is up for my first, ask the ranking of to go to her question and we were kind of keep bouncing back.
haters to challenge. you just gave me one example -- you just gave me one example. you we don't know what you need because we don't know what this overall cost of because literally to be very frank, three months ago, for months ago, we asked a specific question that anticipation of the debris coming, have you made a low risk, risk, high risk cost analysis of what this would be. the answer was no, which made no sense to us after a year knowing, i don't know, phenom happen, it was coming, but no analysis. nothing presented to all be as a budget request. of course, we get the budget and a second there, exactly to cut the debris program. do you see the dilemma? how does that happen? i will pause. this is our frustration. it's not like this in me didn't happen. it happen. we know about it.
no one questioned it was coming our direction. we did know what level of risk, but when asked a simple question of do you have ideas, because that's they didn't develop your budget you prefer for such a thing, the answer was no. how do you respond? maybe you can't. maybe there is no response. made its response on that going to and, therefore, -- >> i don't have an answer that's going to make you happy, that's for sure. i really don't. loss of priorities going on, and small program, we're out there, we don't know what the scope is, don't have a clue. i think the idea was g., and as it would be extreme hard to come up with, but that's not a good answer. so i think the real answer is i would like to get i.t. on the record as if i can come up with something better than that. an awful lot of it is small program, very busy, try to get our arms around what's going on. the scope and magnitude of what
a budget might look like i can tell you even low medium and high to actually physically cleanup all the debris that you might able to identify issued. >> senator snowe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just a follow-up on this issue, how much do you estimate of the 1.5 million tons of debris out there will reach our shores? >> part of our problem. of the 1.5, and that's investment from japan by the way, it's not ours. we've had to rely on them, and looking at the types of debris there is virtually no research done on marine debris division that would tell you if you have 1.5 million that is floating, and to leave it in there for a year, how much of that is still going to be floating in available to come to shore. we don't have a clue. is there anyway we can go back and find some debris and do some research, but for the time being
we don't really know. and it's an extremely, we've asked. we've asked in a lot of places. is just, the national science foundation doesn't have a chair for me marine debris. and so it's not a very well studied aspect, and we don't know for sure. we certainly know that things like content, like float, like we're already seeing seeing, the height and age things, okay. but a whole bunch of that 1.5 million, it was construction debris. and due to by force still float after a year? we are not sure. >> so on the low windage, i don't know if their characteristics you can determine, low windage items that float at or below the surface, just below the surface, no way discerning how much -- >> we really don't at this point. in our modeling deliberations we have been working pretty hard in
trying, and again there's no models that are generated for marine debris to we're having to adapt models and other kinds. we are trying to work and figure out high windage versus the stuff that is either on the service or subsurface is going to come in at a different level. that's what we think the next couple of years, because currents are going to try some of that stuff that's right at the service or below the surface a lot more than. the wins will drive the other. but again, a lot of speculation guessing at this point. >> -- [inaudible] there's a reduction in this program in terms of cost in marine debris program and from the beginning, the creation back in 2005, the highest was a little more than 6.3 million. now we are down to what the president requested, 3.9, whatever the appropriations. i don't know if they decided on a number, but 600,000 lester was appropriate specifically for this program, because of the
tsunami. why then would we continued at that level? why would the president -- >> why would we not continue at the level? >> yes, a higher level, you know, incorporating the assumption that we have an ongoing, the issue here with the tsunami debris, we're just beginning the process. is not the end of the process. we are just beginning. >> well, the main answer is there are severe cuts across the federal government, certainly within noaa, and decisions have to be made where you get all the cuts. and so that's it. now, to me the marine debris program started with me in its infancy. i think it's a very important program. we absolutely appreciated the ability to that 600 plus, because if we didn't we wouldn't have been able to put even the attention we tried to put on the debris program. so it's been very important to us, and we hope we will be able to find a way to continue to
have some resources to focus on the issue because it will be around for a while. there is a president's budget. >> i know, and i think we should be discriminating in terms of what potential as a priority. this is a priority. we should have some preplanning, some forethought involved knowing that the boat of this debris is going to occur over, you know, presumably in 2013 and 2014, correct? >> yes. >> do you think the bulk will occur in 2013 as some scientists are saying? >> yes. potentially yes. >> so here we are facing reductions in the very program that is going to be a center. obviously, it doesn't make sense. and that's something that has to be remedied. admiral thomas, as we do have the characteristics, i mean, in terms of determining the low windage items, i mean, capable as the coast guard in making those distinctions? >> so, senator, what we do when
we prosecute a search and rescue case, for example, is we take into account because of the information noaa provides us information, what we'll do is try to figure out what we are looking for. i were looking for person and the water? i was looking for a vote? are we looking for debris? and then how time passes the effect of the wins, the effect of the current, all of that has on our ability to search for something, how long we're going to need to search for. i had a case when i was in miami, we are looking three days an area about the size of connecticut for an 18-foot boat, we thought, with three men. we finally found on the 30 about 150 miles away from where they started, and that was, compared to the 6800 miles between the u.s. and japan come a significant problem set because it is a very vast ocean.
so the coast guard, in the process of prosecuting our cases uses noaa's weather to guide our actions. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. kennedy, the doctor was here in march and she said quote it's not clear that the tsunami area fund of any kind of us would have a devastating impact by any stretch of the imagination. so is that noaa's you? >> is that still noaa that you? >> i think the jury is still out. we have been doing a goodness out of work trying to locate any debris that would be in the ocean, in where we are projected to modeling has projected that that debris would be. in my testimony i mentioned that we have been every possible
venue to try and find debris, including a lot of looking with high resolution satellite imagery, in quadrants where the models say the debris should be. we haven't been able to find any debris. that's not to say it's not there. but i think the concern is not overreacting right now. we know that there are places where there is more debris ashore. we have seen that in alaska. but we've been after with our partners trying to identify that debris specifically asked from the tsunami. and for the most part we haven't been able to do that. and so we know there is increased debris here and there. we've not been able to find at sea. we know it 1.5 million tons that went in the water. how much of that gets to the other hand. so i don't think we want to get overly alarming with anyone in
that where we're continuing not to have any evidence, of major debris out there in the ocean that's going to come ashore. so that's i think more the thinking then it's not an issue because it 1.5 million tons of debris comes ashore on our coasts, that's going to be a problem. we know that. >> i'm definitely going to react without the kansas hazards mature that wash ashore and have things like rat poisoning and gas in them. we are going to react. so that has happened, and so the notion that you said earlier to senator begich, that we don't have a clue about the debris, and so i've heard what you just said. so, have we gotten all the information from dod about the satellite imaging and information we need? have you requested it from noaa? had responded and given it to you, or is there more dated information that should be made available? >> we started with commercial,
and of able satellite imagery that we had, but we have progressively gone -- i mentioned the nga. we progressively have gone to other types of imagery, including classified and to continue to have discussions for further classified satellite imagery. so we're working down that path and we have begun to get classified imagery and we're using it. in fact, we are using it to look in several quadrants right now to find debris. have we done every satellite out there that may be generating imagery? i don't think so. but we're having discussions about how we get to the next level right now. and by the way, i'm certainly not suggesting that debris will come ashore and that some of that maybe hazmat. the first thing we did we start hearing about increased debris on montague and some of the places in alaska is get out
there with the coast guard to do surveys to find out if there's any hazmat any. and we are acutely aware of hazmat being an issue. it's a different kind of issue. if and when we have hazardous materials debris, sure. >> did you see the ship coming let's did you see the ship coming because it's a pretty large vessel? >> the first time is always on a commercially chartered conveyance -- we did not sit any other efforts we had underway. that's a first we knew about it is when this commercial charter reported to the canadian authorities. >> is there something top secret about this information? is there some reason why we can't use all satellite information? is there something that is stopping us from gaining access to the? >> some of the discussions we have been recently are, that imagery is available but it's,
do we divert resources looking at things that are pretty important from security, national secret issues to do marine debris instead? it's kind of an either or discussion we've been having. >> i don't know if it's an either/or discussion. i guarantee we'll get to the bottom of it because we definitely believe that academics in the northwest and perhaps throughout the country can help with better modeling. we've seen time and time again when noaa has the information and resources, great modeling can happen. we have great modeling right now, for example, on tsunami response. if something happened with our cascadia falls, we can have information that we can have plans, we can get that to local communities. so communities. so the notion that we aren't getting, as senator begich said, a high, moderate and low estimation and hear a response plans to go with it so we can adjust, what we're doing is where getting caught off guard with his vessel showing up,
various as i said kansas hazards mature showing up. and the notion that states are going to be left to respond is just not what we're going to do to protect our coastal communities. so i think you for your statement on this, and i'm sure we'll have more questions. i see my time is up, mr. chairman. >> i just want to make sure you're aware, if you're not, the modeling we are doing is not done in a vacuum. in fact, university of washington in particular is at our table and working with us on models. we have been working with the number of academic communities throughout the west coast and hawaii, university of hawaii model and we are working with the local academic communities right now to try and make sure the that we pick up their specific science, their models, their data so that as this debris, and we can begin to identify it as it gets closer to shore, we are using their models not just ours. >> if i'm correct, and we'll
find out, mr. chairman, i think we actually use the university of washington university of washington -- i mean the university of hawaii model at a previous hearing, not even the last woman had, but a previous markup in the committee when we're trying to make sure that your marine debris program wasn't cut. so the modeling that was used by the university of hawaii showed a very, very large field of debris as someone said in their statement, the size of one of our large western states, approaching us. so that seems to be something that would be hard to miss. ..
>> i doubt they did not know this. i sit on the armed services committee, homeland services committee, my get is they knew. are you getting the data you need, and i understand it's not an either/or either. i think it's a question of you getting access. they can still do their stuff. the military's never going to let you take priority. but getting access so you can at least observe areas that may have something of that size, i mean, that's big. [laughter] and i literally learned about what was happening when i was in seattle when it turned its course toward alaska, and then it was a week later the coast guard took action. that's not how we should find debris. so are you getting access from the military and/or homeland
security that you need in order to do better modeling? >> we are getting access. here's part my problem. first of all, i'm not the one in the mill lover these today to -- middle of these day-to-day problems, and we are working with nga and defense. so i want to be very measure inside what i say. we are getting access to classified data. are we getting access to all classified data? well, i don't know. we might be. we certainly have had nobody admit that they saw that ship coming that we've been discussing this with, and i think what we know is that there's probably other layers of data out there that we may not know how to ask -- >> but it could be helpful? >> yeah. >> okay. >> we are in some discussions, and i don't want to have it seem
like nobody -- that everybody has not been cooperative because i think for the most part they have. but i think part of the problem is noaa stepping into this arena is one we're not very familiar with, and we probably don't know all who we need to be talking to. >> i think the committee is interested in helping you get that data. a letter that senator cantwell and i sent a month and a half ago to the president saying get you this data, just for the record we don't have a written response yet. but your issue, that's the white house. the second thing, has noaa can asked the national science foundation, this is the rapid program funding money that they have for these kind of emerging issues, has noaa asked for some of this money to help you move faster? >> we have had a discussion with the national science foundation about this. we used them very effectively with the rapid response grants during deepwater horizon. they're very, very helpful --
>> exactly. that was something you saw right away, and they jumped. but here's, like i say, a slow drag. >> yeah. money on the ground for us. >> are they receptive? >> they are receptive, and, again, i'm not the one to have these discussions, to me they're receptive, but they did not feel like they had the funds to engage. >> okay. let me ask one issue i'm concerned about, and that is one of the parts of the debris is a sizable amount, either one of you could answer this and, i think you'll probably be more knowledgeable on this, and the whole issue of plastics, sty styrofoam, these items that when they come ashore, they stay for a long time. they're not disappearing overnight, they're not going to be biodegradable. tell me kind of the thought on that and where as it ends up on the shores or in the big garbage patch, i'm assuming a sizable amount of this is somewhere going to end up on a garbage
patch around our shores, and when i say "ours," i mean the united states. is that a fair statement? everyone wants to feel comfortable answering this, but it seems like this is one of the products that's not sinking, not going to disappear in the water. it's going somewhere. is that a fair statement? >> it may break down, but it's plastic. >> i think that's a fair statement. part of the -- it's a fair statement. i mean, i don't think there's any question because, you know, i've spent a lot of time on remote shores in alaska and -- >> plastic is everywhere. >> it's there. >> is that a big concern, do you think? that kind of product. not the quantity, let's put that aside for a second, but that type of product? >> it is a big concern. ask it's one of the things that the marine debris program has been looking at in general trying to research to get a better handle on the toxics that the, the biological implications and the socioeconomic, all of that. because the stuff is so long-lived, and it's going to be
around forever, and it's going to get tangled, so it's a huge problem. i think part of the complication with that debris and how it gets here is you mentioned the garbage patch. well, there's two or three -- >> they're growing. >> the circulation doesn't just come straight across the ocean. it rolls, and some of this stuff could be in train there for a long time before it ever pops out at one of the patches. >> you did lead in this, and i'll close on this part, admiral, and i appreciate you being here also, and i just saw one of your new cutters, a very impressive piece of equipment down at the dock here. the comment that dr. kennedy said, that mr. kennedy said in regards to plastics is toxic. i know you deal with hazardous waste. does this fall into your arena or not because it's actually still a product, not turned into a, quote, hazardous waste like a oil or a fuel or a -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. the authorities that we have
deal with oil and hazardous substances, and so, for example -- >> chemicals -- >> in the ship that senator cantwell referred to, what we did when we realized that the owner wasn't going to take responsible for that ship, we opened up our oil spill liability trust fund and then sent divers down to close up the leakage area. then they're recovering the oil from that ship. and so that's really the procedures -- >> she talked about in her opening testimony. >> yes. yes, the deep sea, i think s the name of the ship, 128-foot commercial fishing vessel. so the plastics would not apply in this case. >> okay, very good. relate me end there finish let me end there. senator snowe? >> yeah. do you work with the coastal communities in terms of the potential of these hazardous
materials? is the environmental protection agency involved? >> yes, senator. the national contingency plan that was developed after the oil spill act of 1990 calls for a framework in which then there are regional plans that need to be developed, there are exercises periodically that come about. you need to have local strategies that are refreshed and that include the community and the education process of what you would do in the event of an oil spill or in the event of a hazardous material release. >> and we probably have done, um, 100 meetings with the local communities all up and down -- from hawaii to alaska and up and down the coast talking with them about what they might expect, what some of the issues are that would be associated with this, and that's in addition to all of the planning we've been trying to do with the contingency plan. we've been on the ground all up and down the coast at the local level trying to make communities more aware. >> on the interagency
communication because i gather that are nine agencies and departments involved in this effort, and you have the coordinating committee for response to marine debris, how is that working? would it be responding quickly? i mean, do you have the ability to respond quickly, particularly, admiral thomas, as the coast guard to this floating debris that could be a navigational hazard for mariners? what do you do in that instance? >> so i'll defer to noaa because they're the chair, but i can say that these interagency committees, we do it for policy on search and rescue. of course, we saw the national response team interagency group during the deepwater horizon oil spill. is so these interagency ways in which you're living in limited resource times, but you need important work to be done, you have to bring all of these agencies together. the army corps of engineers is a truly important part of this process as well to make sure that those waterways can stay open so that the ships can keep
moving in and out of the united states. >> so it's been interesting, the national level coordinating committee has been more of an information exchange and more of a do you have a resource that you ought to have as we discuss this, the real effective part of the coordinating has been going on in the regions. and we've had tremendous participation by most of the federal agencies. routinely epa, coast guard, different manifestations of doi from mms to parks and what have you. so the real strength has been at the regional level, and my team has repeatedly commented on how people -- and that's, again, all the federal family -- but state and local have been stepping up to be engaged in the region. and, of course, part of the issue here is, you know, we have
tremendous monuments parks all of which are going to be affected by marine debris just like anything that comes ashore in a state-owned part of the coast. and so all of them have to be prepared too. so it's not just, ultimately, the states that have issues. >> mr. kennedy, in your testimony with respect to contingency planning it's well underway in hawaii and washington, but the process is yet to start in oregon, in california and alaska. how long does that process and landing require? >> what it requires is a complete willingness of all the appropriate parties, and that's why we kind of emphasized that in the testimony. you've got to have everybody want to be at the table to actually then put the workshop together and develop it. and so there have been various states of interest and organization that have been required to put these together,
and that's why these others are still evolving. but what we have been able to do is kind of develop now a pretty standard protocol as a basis for the uniqueness of region, and we're using that protocol including everything from getting together to talk about who are the state and local i -- entities that need to be engaged, who would you call if you start having debris, what are some of the specific issues, how are we going to make sure we've got radiation under control, how are we going to make sure we get the coast forward and the state folks -- all of that is part of a package we develop. it's just been a little slower to evolve getting all of the appropriate parties to the table in some of those states. >> is there recognition in these states, i mean, across the board about the potential, the the magnitude of this problem? >> i think -- >> or does it vary? >> i think it varies a little,
but again, i don't do this day-to-day, so i would defer. but certainly we know alaska and washington in particular are very interested. we know that. and the others know that they're within the, within the realm of potential impact, but washington and oregon we know -- i mean, and alaska we know very -- and hawaii, for that matter, we know very clearly they have interest. >> thank you. >> very good. senator cantwell? >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is a chart that we had gotten from the university of hawaii and shows the migration of millions of tons of tsunami trash, basically, making a trajectory right towards the west coast. and you can see by the size of the marine debris field that we're talking about large scale debris. so when you say noaa's looking and you don't see anything, and then you're working with partners, this is what your partners are coming up with.
so i hope that after today we can get the information, get it to these partners and come up with, again, some assessments about really what we're doing. because when our constituents see this, when they go online and they see this, they're very concerned. and so i think we have to -- which brings up one very basic point which is, um, we have, you know, we had wanted, mr. chairman, one of our local community mayors to be here but i think because of the scheduling of the committee couldn't accommodate a second panel be. one of the things is they want to know, 933 operators -- 911 operators want to know what to tell people when they're called about this marine debris. when something says we see cans, styrofoam, these local communities have tried to get an answer from noaa about what are
911 operators supposed to tell people. so what are they supposed to tell people? >> that's been part of the discussion as we've worked this issue in most of the states. it's certainly part of the discussion that has been in the contingency plan development. so if we, obviously, need to educate people better, but i think that's been part of what has been covered. so i can't give you specifics, and we'll certainly get you something for the record and make sure it's -- but, you know, we're working with the local responders on this. and by the way, university of hawaii is one of the organizations that's working with us on the model that we are updating every two weeks. did we get one of these around to you folks? okay. so i don't think we have competing models. i think we have tried to make sure that we've gotten anybody that's involved in this and has
expertise at the table to develop this model at least as a consultant. so -- >> well, long beach is a very beautiful part of our state, and i wish we had a map of our state right now because you would see that it's the very expose bed part on the coast -- exposed part on the coast of our state, a very large tourism area. and the fact that the mayor is trying to get answers is very important. i want to get answers to something else, i know we're out of time, mr. chairman. another aspect of this concern is, obviously, our migratory fish, the tuna, the salmon. these are a great part of our ocean species that migrate and often times they migrate along these paths of deprix. debris. is so what do you think the risks are there to our tuna and salmon populations? >> i think you've stumped me. that's a -- my fisheries colleagues probably need to
answer that question for you. you know, i'm a little bit familiar with the issue. i've not heard it in the context of our deliberations on the tsunami debris and what the potential impacts are there. >> well, i think just with what happened with deepwater horizon, people wanted the answers about what the impacts were going to be on those fisheries there. so, again, something that we, hopefully, will get an answer later for the record, and we would appreciate it. again, we just want an assessment if that kind of debris field is going through and there are migratory patterns where these species do follow these kind of debris fields, then what are some of the risks associated with it. so thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you all very much. first, admiral, thank you for your attendance, and i know some of us will have some more records -- questions for the record. i think we'll keep it open for ten days for folks to submit questions. and, mr. kennedy, also, thank
you. i know you probably feel like you've been on the hot seat, and we hope you did feel that way. [laughter] so, you know, a lot of concern. i know you care because you were one of the originators of the debris program within noaa, and i know you understand it and you probably, my guess is -- i'll put words in your mouth without saying them -- i'm sure you would like more resources. there's a huge demand, and this may be an opportunity to highlight what the needs are for the component of what you're doing within noaa. second, you made a comment i want to take you up on that offer, and that is an issue of the low, the medium, the high-risk analysis. you know, this is probably every quarter i'm probably asked this same question until we get an answer. my hope is that's not at a point where we're looking at these photos enlarged because the amount of stuff has really piled up. so i hope that you can get the administration to respond on that issue.
and then the last is, um, recognizing that noaa has a certain role, but i know in this situation maybe it's a reanalysis of how noaa responds to these issues. and maybe it is a more larger allocation to these ngos that are doing incredible work and have been for years on cleaning up the beaches and o forth. -- and so forth. but now we're in a different ball game. we'll be in it for, as that one diagram shows there, many years. and maybe noaa needs to rethink how they're approaching debris. not just monitoring and reporting, but a more active role because we have now a stream that's not just incidental, it's significant. so i hope you'll take that back. but, again, the record will be kept opener if ten days for additional questions, and i is have a feeling we'll continue to have a grease discussion about debris. -- a great discussion about debris. thank you very much. hearing is closed. thank you. there are. [inaudible conversations]
>> the head of the commodity futures trading commission said jpmorgan's recent losses were a reminder why derivatives rules need to include international trades. gary gensler and mary schapiro will testify today about financial regulations and derivative trading. that's live from the senate banking committee at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span. on c-span3 a hearing on the role of government in number innovation. the senate energy and natural resources committee will hear from a member of the white house
council of advisers on science and technology. live coverage also at 10 a.m. eastern. >> from 1971 to 973, president richard nixon secret hi recorded his phone conversations and meetings. this weekend on c-span radio, hear more of the nixon tapes. saturday at 6 p.m. eastern with conversations between the president and cia director richard helms and also fbi director j. edgar hoover. >> some people think now that this court has acted, i ought to make a statement about the freedom of the press and that we aren't trying to censor them and so forth. my inclination, whatever it's worth, is not to say so. >> i think you're right. >> what's your public relations judgment on it, edgar? >> i think you should remain absolutely silent about it. >> you would, huh? >> i would. >> in washington, d.c. listen at 90.1 fm. nationwide we're on xm channel 119 and streaming at c-span
radio.org. >> now, a conversation on the u.s. navy's bat ship a small surface vessel intend today maneuver coastlines. we'll hear from the undersecretary of the navy, robert work. this event, hosted by the cato institute, is an hour, 35 minutes. >> all right. thanks, everybody, for coming, and welcome also to those watching on c-span or online. i'm menfieldman here at -- ben friedman, here at cato, although i notice it says senior fellow, so i accept the promotion, and i assume it comes with a raise. [laughter] thanks, chris. we are hear to talk about the
navy and the surface fleet in particular, and one reason for that is that we who do defense and foreign policy at cato are what i call relative navallists. we want to have a smaller u.s. military and have fewer wars, but where we do have wars we like for the force to come from the sea and not stick around that long. so we'd like to give a bigger portion of the smaller defense budget to the navy. and with that i'll introduce the speakers in in the order, i believe, that they're speaking. if you see our first speaker, ben freeman, quoted in the newspaper, please, assume that that's to the sustaining likeness, name and expertise that the reporter meant to call me. [laughter] i was planning to tell him there wasn't enough room for both of us in d.c., but then i noticed that he does great work as a national security investigator at the project on government oversight, pogo, so i allowed
him to stay. he specializes in department of defense personnel issues, weapons procurement, lately focusing on the littoral combat ship, and he also looks at the impact of lobbying by foreign governments on u.s. foreign policy and has a book coming out on that subject, i believe, soon -- soon, right? >> yes. >> he has a ph.d. in political science at texas a&m. then we have eric labs who has worked since 1995 at the congressional budget office where he is a senior analyst for naval weapons and forces, and he specializes in procurement in budgeting and the sizing of the forces for the department of navy, and he's used to the cameras from his vast experience in congressional testimony. be his reports on naval shipbuilding and programs are sort of required reading if you want to be up-to-date on the navy. and he got his ph.d. at mit
where he was part of the world's finest security studies program, right? >> absolutely. [laughter] >> yes. and then we have robert work who has been undersecretary of the navy since the start of the obama administration just about. in that capacity he serves as the deputy and principle assistant to the secretary and handles the day-to-day management of the department. he served 27 years as an officer in the marines, ultimately working as a military assistant to the secretary of the navy during the clinton administration, and after that he worked at the center for strategic and budgetary assessments first as a senior fellow for maritime affairs and later as vice president for strategic studies. in these positions he worked on defense strategy and programs, dod transformation and maritime affairs and produce add lot of writing that ended up in my piles next to eric labs' writing. and he has a master of science and systems management from usc, a master in science in space
systems operations from the naval postgraduate school and a master's in international public policy from the johns hopkins school of advanced international studies which gives him about one fewer master's than we normally want for our cato speakers, but we made an exception in this case. and then last we have chris preble who is the vice president here at cato for defense and foreign policy studies, and he's the author of three books, the most recent is "the power problem." and he also has another book that he was lucky enough to co-edit with me. and before joining cato in 2003, chris taught at st. cloud state university in temple where he got his ph.d. in history, and he most importantly for today's proceedings was a commissioned officer in the u.s. navy and served on the uss ticonderoga from 1990-1993. so with that, i'll turn the mic over to ben freeman.
>> thanks, ben. thanks to cato for having me, too, and thanks to all my fellow panelists. i'm looking forward to talking about the surface combat fleet. as some of you know, i and a lot of or my colleagues at pogo have been investigating the littoral combat ship, and it's going to represent roughly a third of the surface combatant fleet, so i think it's a very important issue to talk about especially today in light of these issues that we brought forward. we found some troubling issues with the navy's first littoral combat sheep, the uss freedom. it's a lockheed martin-built ship. i and my colleagues learned about equipment failures, cracking and design issues. some issues had been previously reported, but many others were not. like a stern door which is designed with gap in the bottom big enough to slide your hand through or the rampant corrosion
throughout the interior of this 4-year-old ship. the navy called these first of class issues, but these never should have been issues in the first place. shipbuilders told us, members of the house armed services committee have told us this is shipbuilding 101 the house version of the ndaa has an amendment in it requiring the gao to investigate these issues and the program sustainment strategy. we're confident that the senate will also support this investigation. my hope is ha this study and future analyses will further clarify a number of questions i and many others have been asking about the lcs program. when i first began looking at the littoral combat ship and working with these whistleblowers, i learned about so many problems that one of the first questions i asked was, do you think the navy should still use this ship? the answer was, no. and, actually, it was an emphatic no with an expletive in front. [laughter] i was told the ship should be
used as little more than a training vessel. and the idea that it would deploy to singapore at that time it was going to this year, was laughable. and even now with the pushback to singapore in 2013, they're still not convinced that's a good idea. well, the navy's fixed the cracks we reported, the ship continues to have issues. the cracking problem itself is not fixed. equipment failures continue to plague the ship, we're told, including engine fail writers. so after learning about this, the question that i kept asking was, well, we know the other version, the other variant, the general dynamics, we know that has some problem bees too. it's got a lot of corrosion issues, people aren't convinced that ship's ideal either. so which variant is worse? now, we've been asking this question since the navy and congress agreed to keep buying two variants, the so-called dual award strategy. initially, the plan was to have these two teams build two ships,
have them compete, pick the best ship. we decided not to do that, went with two variants. unfortunately, i haven't gotten my hands on any lcs 2, whistleblowers, but i think the lockheed variant is the weaker of the two. however, there's a lot of caveats to put on that. there's a lot of information we still don't know and, in fact, we're not sure the dod knows. the dod's own testing office has reported they haven't received testing or evaluation reports -- formal reports, i should say -- from the program testing offices. the navy says they're working on the reports, so maybe even they can't answer the which is better question. hopefully, we can at some point. what we do know for sure is we're buying a lot of these ships without really knowing what we're getting for our money. my fellow panelist, the honorable bob work, just a year ago said we're not exactly sure how it will operate in the fleet. good question to ask then, and
one i'd like answered is why do we have 2 of these under -- 12 of these under contract if we don't know how the ship's going to operate? another good question to ask is, should we be purchasing two very different variants? i've yet to hear a convincing argument. sure it's better for look heed and general dynamics, but for a cato crowd which is concerned with a waste of taxpayer money, i'm not convinced it's a good idea. also, if you're concerned with military readiness, i'm also not sure it's a good idea. lcs ii recently joined lcs i in san diego. i'm as much of a critic, i've got to say that's pretty cool to see these two ships out there. [laughter] however, when you see them side by side, you really see how different these ships are, and it's hard to imagine two ships that do the exact same mission, they're supposed to do the exact same thing, looking more
different. we've got lcs i which looks like a traditional ship. it's a mono-hull ship, looks like a hip we would all think -- ship we would all think of. then lsc ii looks like it has darth vadar at the helm. very intimidating, but they both do the same exact thing. the important thing is that the differences go far beyond the appearance. and they're going to be very costly down the line. ship designs operate with a small crew, however, the crew of one variant won't necessary bely be able to operate the other varian i can't. the associated supply chains are going to be different. there may also be issues with the compatibility of the mission modules. we don't know yet. all of which drives up costs, and it can decrease readiness. in short, if these ships can both do the exact same thing, why should we pay more for two? another important question is whether or not the lcs is a
combat ship. this is a question we've been debate ago lot lately. even though combat is literally its middle name, i'm not convinced the littoral combat ship is a combat ship, at least not in the traditional way we think of a combat ship. according to the navy, it's going to be operating as a network battle group. be that's true, then why do we need it at all? i like to believe our navy keeps the sea safe, not that our navy only goes where the seas already are safe. the lcs has to track subs or mines near the iranian coast, it's not going to be in a row-threat area, and it may not have the carrier strike group if thing go south. moreover, the lcs is not currently prepared to fulfill its mission. development of the mission modules has been slow at best. currently, we're looking at a mine hunter that can't really
see or stop mines, and we're looking at a sub hunter that doesn't really have any meaningful torpedo detection. basically, i liken the lcs to a swiss army knife. it can do a lot of things, it just can't do a lot of things well. with that, i'll hand over the rest of my time to the rest of the panel and i guess the rest of the surface combat fleet. >> want to thank ben and chris preble for inviting me here today to the cato institute. i want to say at the outset that the views i express today are my own and not that of the congressional budget office or the u.s. congress. i'd like to frame my remarks with these three questions. one, can the navy afford its ship-building plan? two, is the navy buying the right ships and, three, if there are negative or uncertain answers to those questions, are there alternatives? now, the short answer to those questions are, can the navy
afford its plan? probably not. is the navy buying the right ships? in truth, i don't know, but through some questions that have been raised about them. three, are there alternatives? be yes, but most of them are not cheaper. and let me discuss even one of those issues in turn. can the navy afford its shipbuilding plan? over the last 30 years, the navy has spent about $6 billion a year -- 16 billion a year for refueling of submarines and aircraft carriers, outfitting delivery, all that sort of thing. 2013 the navy proposes to spend $16.8 billion a year for new construction alone, so that when you're finished add anything all the other things that go into the shipbuilding accounts, you're talking about $18.5 billion a year per year over the next 30 years. furthermore, a lot of that is going to be loaded for beyond the -- [inaudible] the average for the total amount of money spent for the
shipbuilding plan is $13.7 billion a year. so while that average is $18.5 billion, for the years beyond it's higher even still. furthermore, we don't know yet sort of how the whole sequestration scenario's going to play out, but regardless of how that plays out, um, it seems clear to me that whether we get a change in the budget or whether sequestration takes effect, that still may have a further impact on the amount of funding that's going to be available for navy shipbuilding. so, now s the navy buying the right ships? the navy's plan over the last few years has made a lot of changes to the surface combatant forces. it truncated a program, it canceled the cgx, it has restarted a line, it is proposing to modify the dgd53 line with an improved radar, more power, more cooling to perform the nations that the cgx was going to perform be. it has maintained with a fair
degree of consistency over the last few years 55 lcss in that shipbuilding program. now, a recent gao report has raised questions about whether the ddg51 flight lee is sort of -- three is sort of the right program for the future. specifically, it's a very long and detailed report, i commend anyone to read it who's interest bed in these issues, but some of their bottom line concerns are, one, it may cost more than what the navy thinks it's going to cost, and whether it's going to have the appropriate margins of stability and growth and power and cooling that a ship of this type which is supposed to last for 40 years is going to need to have. the lcs, moving to the lcs program, now, that ship has been taking a rot of raps these days -- a lot of raps these days from mission to concept to construction to design. i'm not really going to talk about the construction issues. um, not because they aren't important, but because i don't find them conclusive for the
class as a whole. i'll let others talk about those in detail. the concept is an innovative one. it's a mother ship. in many ways we can have a long discussion on that subject alone, but that's probably the future of the navy in many ways, so i'd be hesitant to cancel a program that has pursued the first excursion down this path of a mother ship with remote systems. nevertheless, as i'm sure bob work will talk about, the navy is going to have to prove this concept at sea in an operational environment. i would like to make a few observations about the mission and design. at the outset of the program, the navy justified the ship would perform countermine, anti-submarine warfare and countersurface warfare in littoral waters. the navy didn't do a sort of analysis alternative ahead of this program, it performed what my counterpart at crs has called an analytic virgin birth. and for reasons that are at least not clear to me, it's not
clear why it needed to be 40 or 50 knots in terms of its speed. and because of the power and speed, it has a very limited range at high speeds and has just average range operated at very slow speeds. and it was very much justified as a critical wartime asset. however, over the past two years the navy's justification for the lcs has evolved more to peacetime missions that the navy spends nearly all of its time doing any way; maritime security, port visits, exercises, sanctions enforcement and the like. and doing so will free up cruisers and destroyers that currently do a lot of those missions, and it'll be better because the lcs is far less intimidating and more akin to other ships the navy has. recently, the cno has said he would be hesitant to send the lcs into a robust anti-access environment in wartime, but he would be much more inclined to keep the lcs because it will
help revent a war -- prevent a war. thereby deter, reassure allies and tier the war in the first place. so other alternatives to the navy ship man, one alternative it could be cheaper than the lcs is if the you think we're going to be buying 24 shz lcss told, you have got the four that we have already appropriated money for, you're going to have 24 be lcss before the navy's going to have to come to its next major decision point. and if it's going to be using these ships a lot for these partnership exercises, you could uparm a joint high-speed vessel. that's currently a $185 million ship. you could put some weapons and combat systems on that, come up with a ship that would be suitable for those same sorts of missions that the lcss, they're stating they're going to be doing for less money than what the lsc plus the mission
module's going to cost. that's one possibility. that is a them cheaper option. another option would be looking at the coast guard national security cutter: in his 2008 report, the u.s. navy, the undersecretary in a former life made the argument that he would buy nine maritime security frigates for precisely doing these kinds of missions. now, in that report he still wanted to buy the 55 lcss that were part of the navy shipbuilding plan, but he found the nine maritime security frigates for partnership and exercise-building sanctions enforcement and things like that would be an additive and useful contributor to the navy's fleet. however, this is not a cheaper option. the national security cutter is a more expensive ship than the lcs with a mission module onboard even before you make some changes to the cutter that might make it more suitable as a navy ship. none nonetheless, it might be a better ship because it has on
the order of three times the endurance of the lcs. finally, if you don't find that the ddg 51 flight three is a compelling story, there are not a lot of good alternatives to that. you could go back to a cdx design, but then you get back into the same problem, too expensive of a ship. you could use the hull, it would have the growth margin, the power all built into it, however, it's going to be a more expensive ship. so where does that leave us? there is what i call the iron triangle of navy shipbuilding or, frankly, this refers to any sort of weapons procurement. if you find you do not have enough money to implement your program, you can spend more money, buy cheaper or fewer ships. i think the spend more money option is probably not going to be viable for a long time to come or certainly very difficult to achieve. the navy has gone down the path of looking to buy cheaper ships, and certainly the lcs itself was an effort to be able to buy
large numbers of a relatively small and inexpensive combatant. the contract prices for the lcs as they currently are even with $100 million module on the ships gets you a $550 million ship. not a bad deal relative to the history of navy shipbuilding programs. but you go back to the question of whether it's the best fit for the missions it's going to be doing most of the time. so perhaps the result will be buying fewer ships, and then the question that i think we need to talk about that is it own subject of discussion is how small fleet is too small? whatever we discuss today, this should be the question that looms in the background that if we're headed for a smaller fleet, how small will be too small to implement the u.s. national grant strategy and -- [inaudible] thank you very much. >> well, good afternoon, everybody. it's a pleasure to be here this afternoon with our panelists and to talk about the future of the u.s. navy surface fleet. and the lcs in particular.
before you can understand the lcs, before i can really talk about it, you have to understand fleet design. this is a radically different fleet design of any u.s. battle force that's ever been created and certainly different than any battle force in the world, the world has ever seen. so i want to take just a couple seconds to walk through the different generations before i talk about the lcs. now, a myth, as i said, that today's fleet is nothing more than a smaller version of the cold war fleet, and nothing, nothing could be further from the truth. from 1945 on the united states navy, probably more than any other service, went all in into the guided munitions regime in which most of the munitions being fired at sea would be divided weaponed -- guided weapons. and as yu said who's one of the best tacticians the navy has ever produced and one of the best operational analysts said really all this is about is
about a new weapon, a well-aimed, long-range missile to take advantage of our sensing and communicating technology and vice versa. now, the first generation, each of these generations had a specific operational problem. everything is about going after guided weapons, but each of the generations came at it a little bit differently. in the first generation, we had 6500 ships. 6500 ships in august 1945. within five years we were down to 634. now, a lot of those ships were decommissioned, but a lot of them went into the reserve fleet. it was a blessing and a curse. we could take hips out if a korea pops up, but there was no way congress was going to give you an all lot of money -- awful lot of money. so we tried to solve nuclear attack on the soviet union, and you had to get your carrier battle group close enough and, therefore, what you needed was to keep the soviet bombers away
from the group. therefore, you needed a whole bunch of radar pickets because you were going to do them air to air. we didn't have guided munitions. and then we really feared the soviets, like us, got copies of the german type 21 and type 26 submarine which was revolutionary at the time and pretty much made obsolete all of our destroyer escorts in world war ii. so the priority was to develop the guided weapons and then just go after a couple things. in this generation we only built 40 new combatants. 40 new combat about thes, that's it. and they didn't have any guided weapons with the exception of some homing torpedoes. most of them were either weapons alpha which was this, gosh, this giant death charge gun and the five-inch 8 which replaced the old 44. 40 new construction combatants, that's it. and we had 67 conversions of world war ii ships.
now, the second generation what happened was now we're faced with nuclear-powered submarines and anti-ship cruise missiles coming at mass rates. so the entire focus of the fleet was to get more aaw, anti-air warfare, capability into the fleet. 121 new construction ships. emphasis on battle force capable ships that would go with carriers and protection of shipping ships that would go with convoys. it was a mix. the protection of shipping ships didn't have to have the big top-end systems. just like the lcs today, would they have gone in under the high intensity combat? of course not. fleet design called for a high-low mix which was complementary. we had 16 conversions where we took old cruisers and put missiles on them, had conversions of gen-one ships, and we took 140 world war ii destroyers, and we put them
through the frame, the fleet reliability and maintenance program and tried to make them capable. third generation now we are focused on war at sea against the soviet union that is also all in in the guided weapons warfare regime. high intensity warfare be. there was going to be a clution of these battle networks. we only built 106 third-gen ships, about 55 battle force-capable combatants, the high end, and 51 protection of shipping combatants. high-low mix. you never, ever, ever buy every ship to go into full-up battle. you can't afford it. @not worth it. and you don't need it. we did a couple second-gen ships, we had a thing called the new threat upgrade, we were trying to make those ships a lot better, and all of the world war ii ships were gone now except for four battleships, and we introduced the vertical launch system, we introduce all sorts
of new combat systems like the asw platform. this fleet is all in the guided weapons warfare regime. keel up, asw anti-submarine warfare. now, after these three generations the navy lost interest in small combatants. the world war ii navy was a small combat tax navy. we had steel-hulled submarine chasers, we had all sorts of gun boats. we were a small combatant navy. a very, very small percentage of our 6700 ships at the end of world war ii were large combatants. but in the first generation we found out that small ships can't carry the guided weapons you need to fight the bad guy. so we had 13 destroyer escorts and four claude jones. they were failures. they only stayed in the fleet for about 15-16 years. and the second generation we
tried something smaller, the asheville gun boats, built 17 of them. their average year of service was only eight years. there just wasn't a need for them. they were actually created because of the cuban missile crisis. they were going to do interdiction, but they wound up doing all sorts of other smaller mission bees. and then in the third generation we built six hydrofoils, high-speed, low-drag ships really cool looking. very highly armed for their size. they had an average year service of only 31.5 years -- 11.5 years. so we come to the forty generation -- fourth generation, and the u.s. navy has essentially decided the smallest combatant in the fleet should be about 4,000 tons, the size of a good-sized frigate. so the fourth generation from '90-'91, the key operational program now is land attack. it's all about rapidly defeating an enemy's invasion. so what you need is a lot of capacity for a lot of guides missiles. and you wallet it to connect to
the -- you want it to connect to the joint battle network because in generation three, we were doing everything independently at sea. we divested all combatants that didn't have the aegis combat system on it or vertical launch. we standardized everything. it was enormously beneficial. same combat systems throughout the fleet. we improved our battle networking, and we gradually said we're going to go even bigger. we were going to get rid of all frigates. we built 13 patrol coastal ships. we're going to get rid of them. we built 13 because the special operations forces said they needed them, but it turned out to be too big for them. so we were going to give them all away and go to a 14,000-on the ton destroyer so that the smallest fleet, we were going to 116 combatants. the smallest ship in our battle force would have been about 9,000 tons. it would have been excellent at bombing an enemy or stopping an invasion, but as far as engagement with all of the other
world's navies, it was really a one-note navy. so the fifth generation, here's where we are. key operational problem is we are now faced with land-based, anti-access area denial networks that have naval components, and you have to fight your way in to do what you need to do. you also want to maintain cost effective forward presence throughout the globe. how do you solve those two problems? we go to a high-low mix. multimission combatants, i call them large battle network combatants, are cruisers and destroyers with big vertical-launch missile cells, big, high capacity. they are focused on the big, big fight. those are multimission ships that carry all the capability with them. and then you go after smaller, multirole ships. i like the swiss army knife. but this thing does it a lot better than the swiss army knife. it's a multirole system. every single ship in the fleet is self-deployed.
we used to have mine warfare vessels that you'd chug along at 12 knots, you couldn't get them to the fight. every single ship is now self-deployable. open combat systems, be able to change them quickly, improve battle network and a new emphasis on what i'll call second stage systems, manned and unman bed offboard systems, usvs, unmanned surface vehicles, ribs, rubber -- rigid hulled inflatable boats. helos, uavs. so the surface fleet supports our fleet design. which is a total force battle network which is just a series of capability be containers from small to extra large. multirole at the low end, multimission and multirole at the high end. extremely versatile. you pour any type of capability you want into these ships. that's our fleet design.
now, i say we have second stage systems. a lot of people look at the lcs, and i break the people who don't like it down into three groups. the first are people who don't understand the design. it's different than any navy that ever lived or fought. t totally different, so they just don't get it. they just don't accept what i've just told you, okay? we're very confident we're on the right path here. the second one are the ones who focus on the problems of the lcs in the early part of the program. heck, we know we had a problem. it was a disaster when we took over in this administration. there were all sorts of problems in the way we produced it and designed the ship, but we think we're well, well, well on the way on getting it on track. and then the third ones, third group of people are people who just don't like the ship itself, the design flaws in the ship. and some of the people in the first group, the people who just don't get fleet design, they want to see a frigate.
the lcs is not a frigate. if we needed frigates, we would build a frigate. other people want to see gun boats. well, we just rate the contract for the first six of the mark vi patrol boat. it's a second-stage system. it's got four remote weapon systems on it, two 25s, two 50s. 50 caliber machine guns. you can put anything on this thing you want. 80 knots? i mean, 40 knots, 80 foot. and it's a second-stage system because everything is either self-deployable or we'll take it with us, and this is how we would get these patrol boat toss the fight, we'd take them on our am fibs. so let's talk about the littoral combat ship quickly, and then we'll have some questions. the littoral combat ship represents the return of a small combatant in fleet design. i have no doubt there are a lot of whistleblowers because they don't understand what a small combatant does to the navy.
people believe if you are not in a frigate, a cruiser or a destroyer, that it is not a warship. they are dead wrong. they are dead wrong. it's about 3,000 tons, and i believe cno vern clark was brilliant when he picked this side -- size. small combatants don't survive in this navy. it's got to be big enough to be able to have the margins to do something with. 3,000 tons. multirole platform emphasizing second stage systems. it was so different that we built these two ships on r&d money. these are r&d platforms. of course there are problems in it. we built them to identify the problems. we're now working the mission modules. we just had a very successful test on the warfare module. it will do better right now, that module will do better right
now than the mcms that are in the fleet, and when we go to the spiral two and three, it will just get better. our antiservice monojewel, it's designed to fight small boats. people who don't think this is a warship are nuts. on day one, this ship will be fighting underneath the air defense umbrella of the broader fleet. it will engage the surface engagement zone out to the limits of its 57 millimeter cannon. no ship is getting past that thing. it is an unbelievably capable system. then off dual engagement zone where helicopters and missiles from the ship, yeah, we lost the -- [inaudible] it was terrible. it would have been a great system. but the beauty of this ship is you don't have to redesign it, we'll just pick another missile. it's going to take us time. that's causing us a problem, i admit it. and then the outer zone you're going to do air.
this ship is designed to fight as part of the fleet on day one in that environment. it's designed to sweep mines on day one in that environment. has unlimited growth potential. you can make any type of module you wallet. so -- you want. so is it survivable? look, if it goes up against a frigate or another cruiser/destroyer, no, it's not survivable. tell that to commander ernest evans in 1944 when he found himself in a destroyer up against battleships. that is not a good situation to be in. but did he turn away from the ship because he looked at the manual and said i'm not a warship? no, he turned into the fight, and that's exactly what commanders from this lcs will do also. cost. there is nothing out there that can match the cost of this ship, period, end of story. i'll be anxious to listen to you tell me i'm wrong. but if you can find a ship that can do what this ship for a smaller price, we'd be buying it
right now. why should we buy when we don't know what we're getting? oh, my goodness. we've built 13 claude jones, and we had no idea if they would be able to do the job. we found out they didn't, we stopped building them. we sent ships to sea with the tartar d system before it worked. we sent the sqs radar to the sea before it worked. you put this stuff into the hands of the fleet. they tell you how to fix it, and then you do it. you say what do i want the ship to do? you design it for a mission. can it do the mission on day one? not necessarily. every single ship we've ever built evolves, and this ship is made to evolve. finally, why two types? i'm going to have about 27 of each type. think of the leahy and the beltnap cruisers. they were, essentially, pretty much the same hull form, but