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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 26, 2013 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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panel for joining us today. on that, we're adjourned and thank you so much. before a house science panel that's next on c-span2. and national scurry adviser susan rice warned last week that china's use of cyber ease espionage is undermining economic -- a look at cybersecurity later. then a conversation on the defense challenges facing the u.s. military. ..
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epa administrator gina mccarthy said earlier this month that environmental policies and regulations that affect the lives of americans need to be grounded in quality and transparent science. she testified before the house science committee which is chaired by congressman lamar smith of texas. [inaudible conversations] >> the committee on science space technology will come to order. welcome everyone to today's hearing entitled strengthening transparency and accountability within the environmental protection agency.
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i'm going to recognize myself for five minutes for an opening statement and then i will recognize the ranking member for hers. the environmental protection agency like every other governmental institution should answer to the american people. everyone agrees that we need to protect the environment but we should do so in a way that is open and honest. democracy requires transparency and accountability. yet the epa's justifications for its regulations are cloaked in secret science. it appears the epa bends the law instructs as the signs to justify its own objectives. americans impacted by the agency's regulations have the right to see the data and determine for themselves independently that these regulations are based on sound science or a partisan agenda. the epa's agenda to expand its reach across the u.s. represents a troubling trend. for example take epa's current attempt to redefine its jurisdiction under the clean water act. it seeks to expand the
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definition of waters of the u.s. to give the agency unprecedented new authority over private property. according to media reports this expansion of epa regulatory power could include almost all man-made and natural streams, lakes and ponds. this undermines states rights and increases federal control of private property and the epa telling us what to do in our own backyard. the epa's efforts to demonize hydraulic fracturing are another example of the agency implementing a partisan agenda before it takes the time to get the facts. the epa made groundwater contamination that but was forced to retract those claims wanted to produce the evidence. perhaps the most worrisome examples of the agency's disregard for transparency and accountability are found in the epa's clean air program. we all agreed that ensuring clean air is essential, that the epa has a responsibility to establish rules that balance our
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environmental concerns and their economic needs. nearly all of this administration's air quality regulations are justified on the basis of hidden data. these regulations cost billions of dollars that the epa claims the benefits of these rules justify the costs. these claims can't be verified if the epa uses secret science. more than two years ago before this committee, then the system administrator mccarthy said this information was available for epa verification. a few months ago the president's own science advisor took the same position. when epa failed to live up to those commitments the committee issued a subpoena requiring the agency to produce the data. three months later the agency still hasn't provided the data necessary to verify the agency's claims. let me be clear, the it is the epa's responsibility to ensure the science that uses his transparent and its claims can
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be verified independently. recently the epa provided us with copies of letters it received from scientists explaining why they believe this data cannot be released to the public. it's unfortunate that it took us two years and a subpoena to get here but now the epa knows the truth. the agency itself cannot publicly verify its own claims. so not only do we have a lack of transparency, we have an agency that is regulating without the facts to back up its claims. we need to know whether the agency as telling the truth to the american people. the epa must either make the data public or commit to no longer using secret science to support its regulations. without this congress will have no choice but to prohibit the epa's use of secret data moving forward. i will introduce legislation in the next few weeks that will stop the epa from basing regulations on undisclosed amount verified information. we can and should continue to look for ways to protect our environment.
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these efforts must be open, transparent and based on sound science. only then can the american people decide whether the cost of epa's regulatory agenda is supported by the facts. that concludes my opening statement and the ranking member the gentleman from texas is recognized for her opening statement. >> thank you very much and good morning. i am very pleased to welcome administrator mccarthy to this hearing. she has had a distinguished record at the environmental protection agency being selected to epa administrator and by all accounts she has done an exemplary job since assuming the position. while i think her record performance and integrity speak for themselves i thought it was important to review the mission of the agency. first the mission of epa is to protect human health and the
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environment. as someone who worked in public health before he entered politics, i can think of no mission of the federal government that is more important or noble than that. as a member of congress i think i should be doing all they can to encourage epa as it attempts to carry out a challenging mission. epa is made the target of funding cuts and its leadership subjected to harassment and denigration. unfortunately our own committee has not been immune from employing these next. mr. chairman i am a texan from birth to death i'm a texan and i'm no stranger to the oil and gas industries in the economic and if it's it can bring. the pollution and environmental impacts those industries can also bring. i know that epa's actions have consequences for companies and sometimes are negative.
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i had also know that epa's actions have important consequences for health of our constituents. especially those who are young, and firm or elderly. those consequences have in very positive over the 40 years that epa has been in existence. we all want a healthy economy but we also want a healthy quality of life for our citizenry. epa's efforts have played a critical role in achieving both these goals since its inception. as members of congress i think we should strive to educate our constituents, not scare them. i hope today i can resist the temptation to try provocative sound bites for my district and instead use today's hearings to better understand what the epa been tasked to accomplish, how it is doing on those tasks and how we in congress can help its
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to do its job more effectively. administrator mccarthy who and now you have a very tough job and i want to commend you for your willingness to take it on in spite of all the hurdles that you and your agency face. i look forward to your testimony and i look forward to working with you to help epa achieve the goals that the nation has asked us to carry out. i think you and i yield back my time. >> thank you ms. johnson and members have opening statements can submit them for the record and they will appear at this point. our witness today's honorable gina mccarthy administrator of the environmental protection agency. prior to her appointment as administrator she was the assistant administrator for epa's office of air and radiation where she abdicated to protect public health and the environment. during her career which spans over 30 years she has worked with at the state and local levels on environmental issues and helps coordinate policies on economic growth energy transportation and the
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environment. administrator mccarthy received a bachelor of arts degree in social anthropology at the university of massachusetts and the masters of science in environmental health and community in planning from tufts university. at this time i will yield to the gentlewoman from connecticut ms. etsy for additional comments. >> thank you chairman smith and ranking member johnson for holding today's hearing on the environmental protection agency. i'm very pleased to welcome administrator gina mccarthy who served as commissioner of connecticut's department of environmental protection and then as an assistant administrator of the u.s. epa. administrator mccarthy it's wonderful to see you again. congratulations on your confirmation. you have an important role and responsibility as head of an agency charged with protecting the environment and the public's health. i appreciate all of your hard work to that and that we are very proud of you in connecticut and very pleased to see you here today.
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>> thank you ms. etsy. administrator mccarthy we welcome your testimony and please proceed. >> oh i'm so sorry. good morning chairman smith and ranking member johnson. other distinguished members of the committee. i'm pleased to be here to talk about the central role that science plays with the united states environmental protection agency. let me begin by stating that science is and always has been about him that the epa's decision-making. the agency's ability to pursue its mission to protect public health and the environment depends on the integrity of the science upon which it relies. i firmly believe environmental policies decisions guidance and regulations that impact the lives of all americans must be grounded at the most fundamental level in science and sound, high-quality transparent science. because we rely so heavily on
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science for mission on behalf of the american people it must be conducted in ways that are transparent that is free from bias and conflict of interest and of the highest quality integrity and credibility. these qualities are important not just within our own organization in the federal government but across the scientific community. with this long long established and highly honorable commitment to maintaining strict adherence to ethical investigation and research. that is why the agency has established and embraced a scientific integrity policy that builds upon existing agency in government white policies and guidance documents explicitly outlining epa's commitment to the highest tender to scientific integrity. that commitment extends to scientists or organizations who wish to contribute to our efforts. all epa funded research projects whether they are conducted by epa scientists are outside grantees or collaborators must
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comply with the agency's rigorous quality assurance requirements. to ensure we have the best possible science we are committed to rigorous independent peer review of the scientific data, the models and the analysis that support our decisions. peer review can take a number of forms ranging from external reviews by the national academy of sciences for the epa's federal advisory committees to contract coordinator at reviews. consistent with omb's guidance we have required your review of all epa research projects and for all influential scientific and financial and highly in lewin showed scientific assessmenassessmen ts. among the external advisory committees is the epa's science advisory or. our sab reviews are conducted at groups of independent nonepa scientists with a range of expertise required for that particular advisory topic greatly invite the public to
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nominate experts for the sab panels and to comment on candidates being considered by the sab by epa for sab panels. the epa value its public comments and information submitted about epa and sab nominees. the pas review experts confidential financial information is available to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest. sab peer reviews are conducted in public sessions and compliance with the open government requirements of the federal advisory committee act. the public is invited to send them provide oral and written testimony for consideration by the sab. public comments help to ensure that all relevant science and technical issues are available as a reviews the science that will support our environmental decisions. another example of how well we do in science and maintain our
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integrity is the advisory committee which provides independent advice to the epa administrator on the science that supports epa national quality standards. the case act reviews the epa's integrated science assessment which delivers science in support of the clean air act. through transparent and open process we have also committed to enhancing agencies integrated risk information system assessment program. a strong scientifically rigorous iris program is of critical importance in the epa is in the process of enhancing the science of integrity of those assessments, enhancing the productivity of that program and increasing transparency so that issues are identified and debated early on in the process. in 2009 the epa made significant enhancements to irs's by announcing a new seven step assessment development process. since that time the national research council has made recommendations related to
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enhancing the development of the irs of assessments. the epa's making changes still to the irs program to enhance our ability to respond to those recommendations and to maintain our science integrity. these changes will help the epa produce more high-quality assessments each year in a timely and transparent manner to meet the needs of the agency and the public. a newly-released nrc report is largely supported the enhanced approach that epa is now taking to develop the iris assessment in this case for inorganic arsenic. as i mentioned in my opening statement mr. chairman, science is the back lawn of our decision-making in our work is based on principles of science integrity and transparency that are both expected and deserved by the american people. i'm proud of epa's research efforts and the sound use of science and technology to
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fulfill epa's important mission to protect public health and safeguard the natural environment. i want to thank you for the opportunity to meet with the committee for the first time and to provide testimony and i'm happy to answer any questions that you might have. >> thank you ms. mccarthy and i recognize myself for a question. the first one is this. when he testified before this committee in september of 2011 you promise to provide the data behind epa's health benefit claims and yet to my knowledge you have not done that. yet the agency continues to justify -- based upon the studies. you have given the committee some information but do you agree the information you have given us so far is insufficient to validate these findings? >> mr. chairman my understanding is that we have submitted information that you requested. >> aidala denied that that is
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the information you have given us sufficient to validate the findings that you have come to speak it is sufficient for you to understand. >> i know it's sufficient to understand that is the information you've given us sufficient to validate the findings that you have concluded? >> i believe it's efficient for you to understand that we have relied on previous -- >> let me say we have got a letter from the epa saying it was not sufficient so you might want to check with other individuals at the epa. we have not gotten sufficient information to validate the findings. >> mr. chairman if you are looking to replicate the studies i would agree with you that all that information isn't available to the agency that we have sought to get that information for you and we are providing that information to you. >> i will make that statement again validated by a letter we received from the epa that is not sufficient to validate your findings. next to the epa is seeking to change its national is on
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standards and a move that the agency admits could be the most expensive regulation in history exceeding a cost of $100 billion to the american people. would you specifically commit to not rely on secret science and hidden data in the rulemaking for the ozone standards? in other words we make the underlying data public? >> the clean air science advisory committee that we rely on as her peer review looks at our ambient air-quality standards and ensures that we are public can we make the information publicly available. >> the information will be made publicly available on this issue? >> in the same way we have done that before mr. chairman. >> the same way before wasn't sufficient so i'm wondering if you are saying it's going to be made public if it's really going to be made public. >> we rely on thousands of studies and we.
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>> you said the information would be made public and the data you rely upon. >> the same way we have done it always mr. chairman, yes. >> we have been to disagree on that because you haven't always done it and if you say you will do it now i will take your word for it. have you given the committee also subpoenaed data in epa's possession? >> if you are referring to the pm data that you have requested from the agency. >> i'm saying. >> i'm sorry mr. chairman could be of a number of subpoenas. >> eyeless talking about a one from the science committee. have you given the committee all the information we have subpoenaed that is in your possession? >> i believe we have as september 20. those were related to specific studies. one was outstanding until september 20 so we could make sure we looked at confidentiality and privacy. >> okay thank you. will the epa produce all of its correspondence with outside
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entities regarding efforts to comply with a subpoena in this would include e-mails texts and other electronic and indications. >> i believe i'm responding to that requested a mr. chairman. if you have further questions and you don't believe it's adequate we will certainly get staff together. >> otherwise you will save us from going to the freedom of information act and going to that correspondence, is that great? >> we respond to number freedom of information acts. >> no, don't confuse it. you are going to give us the correspondence that you have engaged in with the third parties to get them to comply with a subpoena. >> we are going to respond to your request for that i believe today. >> okay. thank you for that. the epa has the draft clean water act rule to give epa unprecedented authority over private property. the law clearly states at the time such a proposal is spent -- sent it was being made available
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to the epa science advisory lord the sab for peer review. in september at epa some proposal to omb was reviewed but according to your sab it has not been made available to the board. why didn't you comply with this requirement before formally proposing the rural? >> mr. chairman i want to assure you that we are going to be and we are complying with our statutory obligations. what you are referring to is a rule that is very early in the process. >> you said according to the lie you have to submit to your science advisory board in that hasn't been done yet. >> we actually have the process that is established at epa for how we can indicate with a science advisory board on those issues. it is a process that we have agreed to. >> the submissions are supposed to be concurrent and let -- get you submitted the rule to omni but not the science
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advisory word. are you expecting to do that immediately? >> again mr. chairman of science advisory board right now is an opportunity to look at the science that would underpin that goal but we are early on in the process. >> regardless of where you are in the process the law says you have to submit it to the advisory board at this time time you did to other agencies. you haven't done that i'm wondering quiet. >> it's not a question that we haven't done it. it's a question that we have a process in place. >> so you have submitted the rules to the visor he poured? >> as far as i know i don't believe the advisory lord has the rule that we are very early in the process. unfortunately you may have it and they are likely to have it as well because it's been publicly released. >> there's a lot of this is the worst post is submitted to them immediately and you haven't done that and that's not following the proper process. >> mr. chairman i'm happy to supply you with the articulated
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process we use along with that. >> the process is very clear because the process requires by process requires bylaw that you're not following at this point and i hope you will. that concludes my questions and the ranking members recognized for hers. >> thank you very much. i am a little confused myself. i am seeing huge stacks of materials that have been submitted and i don't know what's missing that you have access to. that has been requested. do you understand what is being requested? >> we believe that we do and be believe that we have complied with those requests to the best of our ability. epa has provided thousands of pages of material that has been requested of us and we have done it he could as we agree with
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this committee and its mission to ensure that we have sound science and transparency. that is the commitment of this agency and we will fulfill that commitment. >> well thank you. i'm really trying to follow the latter question of the chair to understand exactly what the real problem is. how do you enter it with the questions have been for your understanding and what else do you think can be given? >> we have provided the information. when we do rulemaking like national ambient air quality standards we look at thousands of peer-reviewed studies that are available to us. we also fund studies ourselves. we conduct studies ourselves. when we bundled those studies and the information in the data
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we gather to fund those we have to make sure now under the shelby amendment that underlying data is available to us. we have done that but there is much information that we look at that is peer-reviewed literature which is really how science works ranking member, is that we rely on rigorous peer-reviewed data. the epa relook said that to make sure it's been peer-reviewed before we rely on it that we don't have the wealth of data underneath all of the thousands of studies. clearly researchers including epa can enter into agreements together that data that but much of it ends up being confidential or private. we have obligations under other statutes as well as omb guidance to protect that privacy. in the case of the national ambient air quality standards we have the data on air quality, we have the data on deaths. what we don't have available to us with the full breadth of raw data is the data which follows
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individuals. so when we haven't data we have to protect it. we don't need to see the wealth of raw data under every study to know that it's been rigorously peer-reviewed and we can rely on it for our decision-making. >> has there ever been a time that congress has requested raw data or is this a unique time? >> we did actually face similar questions frankly about the exact same issues, the pm studies, the particulate matter studies from harvard university and the american cancer society. we were asked similar questions back in the early 90s is my understanding and we funded through a contractor 30 researchers to look for three years that all of that underlying data. they have available because they can enter into a confidential
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contract with the researchers to access that data so that private information is protected. they didn't complete reanalysis of that data and the methodologies -- methodologies used in they came up with the same types of conclusions so we have verified even with that underlying data available that these are studies that can be relied on. these are in fact studies that the world relies on not just epa. they are well done. they are credible and they have not changed their methodology substantially since the last time we even looked at the raw data so we are very confident in the underlying science and that we have done the right thing and paid attention to that which is what epa is supposed to do. >> thank you very much. >> thank you ms. johnson. the gentleman from wisconsin former chairman of this committee mr. sensenbrenner is recognized for his questions. >> thank you mr. chairman. ms. mccarthy on june 27, 2012
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he sent a letter to me relative to the issue of ethanol and the waiver on e. 15 and i asked the question does the epa remain confident that e. 15 lowe damage car engines from vehicles of models 2001 and later. the letter you signed responded the epa remains confident for the e. 15 partial waiver decision. this question can be answered simply yes or no. do you remain confident on the technical basis for the e15 decision? >> i do. here are what others are saying. ford doesn't support the production of e-15 or legacy fuel and ford has not approved this fueling or any damage is not covered by the warranty. mercedes-benz annie at the mall
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land above e. 10 e-15 will harm harm -- leading to significant problems. vehicle engines were not designed or built to accommodate the higher concentrations of ethanol. there appears to be a potential for engine failure. the aaa automotive engineering experts have reviewed the available research and believe additional assessment is warranted to more fully document to what extent the sustained use of e-15 in newer or older vehicles will cause significant problems such as accelerating engine where, fuel system damage and false check engine lights and the coast guard, increasing the planned to e-15 can be expected to exacerbate any fuel system being reported with e-10 blend gasoline. fuel leaks caused and on separable risk of fire and
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explosion. my question to you is are the auto manufactures and aaa the small engine anchors in the u.s. coast guard wrong and how can the epa continue to ignore these concerns? >> congressman, i'm not going to speak to their issues that particularly the car manufacturers might have relative to their liability and warranty considerations. what i can tell you is that epa with d.o.t. did extensive testi. we understand that there are challenges prior to 2001 with more robust engines were acquired in those vehicles and we have done extensive testing. we continue to believe that e-15 is appropriate and if it were available it would be being used by individuals for vehicles that are 2001 and younger.
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>> well, that is not what the manufacturers say. that is not what the aaa says. that is not even with the coast guard says because we are dealing with small engines including marine engines, lawnmowers snowmobiles and things like that. >> congressman. >> now maam i'm going to ask you a question. i have a limited amount of time. you would make a very good senator if you would like to filibuster. i have a will this committee has reported favorably out there requires the national academies of science to conduct an unbiased assessment of the science surrounding e-15. there seems to be enough questions relating to epa's conclusions on this so why don't you support further testing of e-15 and why are you a poster having a bias referee making a
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call in this? >> i don't recall khan cement that i've spoken to this issue. >> will you support ifill for more testing on this issue? >> i'm sorry, i have not read the bill. >> the bill has been around for a long time because it was sponsored in response to your letter where there was a disagreement on whether the epa has conducted unbiased research. now how about having another look at this before people's engines get that is done credibly and transparently is always welcomed. >> fine, i would appreciate a letter from the epa and from you supporting that bill and maybe we can put on the floor. >> i do feel we have sufficiently done our analysis. >> then i guess having an unbiased view is something that you would support and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you mr. sensenbrenner. the gentleman from oregon is recognized for a question.
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>> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you administrator mccarthy for appearing before us today. the work you do to protect the health of our constituents is very important and very much appreciated. i want to briefly mention the epa's work on the portland harbor superfund site and issue that's been important for years in the district they represent in the region but we could all agree the work is not progressed as expeditiously as it should. when i met with you in april of this year to discuss the issue you had yet to be confirmed as administrative but he still had a very productive conversation and i want to say an encouraging conversation about increased cooperation between the epa headquarters, the oregon congressional outlook -- delegation and expressed in interest in improving. so far it seemed positive signs of that happening and i wanted to say that i look forward to working with you and the epa do
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we hope finally take care of that superfund site in the portland harbor so thank you for your work on that. on the topic at epa protecting public health in your testimony you focus on how important is that good science be used to determine when public health is in danger. after all that is one of epa's critical missions and in the first hearing held by the mr medal subcommittee ,-com,-com ma and a hearing held by the environment of subcommittee earlier this year at a look at the safe environment one said when one puts anything under a microscope when necessary will find something ugly to gawk at that when considering public health is hard to imagine that just because something is small or microsoft did it should not be evaluated -- microscopic it should not be evaluated. certainly constituents can be harmed by pollutants that they cannot see something you talk
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about the process epa goes through to evaluate when a problem is -- and i want to save time for another question. >> we address the science in many different ways depending upon what we are actually focusing on and where our gordy's life. the epa doesn't agree with the statement that says that we shouldn't be focused on both our mission as well as appropriately doing our job that congress gave us. we look at both doing independent reviews of the science. we do that rigorously. we do it through something we call the iris process which i mentioned earlier which is really a health assessment that underpins many of the decisions we do that helps us understand what the science implications are, what the health implications are for people that are exposed to chemicals and
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other hazards in the environment it's extremely important for us to look at those issues. then we look at what authorities have given us and what responsibilities we have then we address those responsibilities in the way in which congress gave us to address those. that is how we make improvements in public health and that is how we have successfully done that for almost three years. >> march of this year the environment is the immediate hearing on science advisory warts and since then the committee has passed legislation modifying the makeup of the sports and throughout the process some on this committee have asserted industry voices are not represented an academic interest dominate and others of us acknowledge the industry perspective should be heard but we are concerned about making sure we don't have conflicts of interest. he discusses in your opening testimony but we please expand on how industry science might contribute to science advisory boards while also avoiding conflicts of interest in how the u.s. administrator in sure the
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advice you are receiving from are not tainted with policy related judgments? >> the science advisory lord we believe that epa meets and exceeds their responsibilities on the legal requirements and we look more closely so we can make sure we look at the ethics in government act as well. when we do panels and we put them together the publish our consideration for who the panel members should be. we were sponsored that. we look at making sure the panels we put together a well-balanced and that they have all the the expertise we are looking for as well as a variety of perspectives. >> can we discuss the conflict of interest issue? >> we actually look closely at
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conflict of interest whether or not there are financial problems that are real or the appearance is there and be make sure we do a thorough analysis of any investment opportunities or financial considerations. we recently established a new process and we are looking that more rigorously for external contractors as well. we look at issues the issues whether they are perceived or real and redo them publicly and transparently and take comments every step of the way to ensure panel has the expertise as well as the credibility it needs to speak from a sound science and transparency perspective. >> thank you very much. i see my time has expired. thank you mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from california mr. burbach or is recognized. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and to follow in my colleague from oregon's line of questioning. we appreciate you being with us
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here today. about the science advisory boards and their serious concern that the epa's regulatory science has become somewhat of a closed loop that the agency sets regulatory goals based on whatever those goals are based upon and then develops the funds and the science that it needs to justify those goals. the agency then creates its own regulations and is solely responsible for interpreting those regulations. making matters even worse the courts largely deferred to the epa especially when questions involve the analysis of science. therefore, the most critical requirement for america to trust this regulatory policy or system
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and especially the regulations that are set forth by the epa is scientific integrity. unfortunately as i say, at least i believe there seems to be very serious reasons for being worried about this being a closed loop. a closed loop is not going to give us the type of science that we need. we believe especially this is evident in a matter that we are just discussing with my colleague from oregon the independent peer review of the epa science. i would like to ask you a few questions about whether or not this has been compromised. you are responsible for putting members of the epa scientific advisory boards such as number
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one the science advisory board and the clean air, number two the clean air science advisory committee and you have called these panels independent review boards. your predecessor described them as being made up totally of independent expert scientists. that is pretty well -- do you agree with that analogy on what your goal is and what you're trying to do? i would like to put into the record some information prepared by the congressional research service it calls into serious question the independent experts >> without objection will be made part of the record. >> according to the crs almost 60% of the members of these two panels have received epa grants since 2000. that is totaling taxpayer-funded
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grants worth roughly $140 million. perhaps even worse, a majority of the members of the clean air science advisory committee, the panel tasked with critically evaluating the epa's particulate matter standards that finalized at the end of 2012, had received received -- so a majority had received an epa grants directly related to particulate matter since 2010 so you have someone investigating for passing judgment on things that they themselves have been given grants and been involved in the research that they are supposedly overseeing. the administrator in the past we have heard epa witnesses expressed the point of view that scientists who have received epa
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grants are somewhat immune from any potential conflicts associated with these grants or future grants. do you consider the recipient of epa grants, do you consider someone has been involved in a study about something that they are supposed to now review and that would compromise that person's ability to have an independent judgment? >> no, not in and of itself as long as we have her seizures to ensure that they are fair-mindee because of their expertise. steve fair-minded just means they don't have any biased. you are trying to say that somebody has already been given a grant that has reached conclusions as someone that we can then trust to have an unbiased view as we have paid them in order to have a biased view?
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>> mr. chairman we understand there've been concerns expressed about that and we understand there is an expressed concern about having people in industry that we are discussing --. >> you think government employees are immune from the same side of why is that you have to find? be no, i'm not saying that. i'm saying we have a process in which we vigorously pursue those issues to me ensure that they are there to represent their expertise and that the panel is balanced, it's fair and it meets requirements, ethical requirements. >> the question is whether there are members involved sometimes at very high levels and the direction of those panels who actually have a built-in bias and that they have already been granted new grants to make a conclusion before you are now asking them for an unbiased conclusion and in fact sometimes
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administrator they are asked to give assessments of their own work. in other words we are now paying someone to give an unbiased assessment of something that is his or her work. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington mr. kilmer is recognized for his question. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for coming and taking our questions today. i have a question regarding epa funding and prior decision. i represent the sixth district of washington state that is bordered by the ocean in puget sound and some of the most pristine natural areas of the country. i want to commend the work of our federal agencies in the state of washington for some of the work that has been done to protect their resources but there is a lot more to be done. ocean certification ecosystem
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restoration are issues we are just beginning to understand not to mention the effects that these issues have on marine industries in the puget sound economy. faced with this task myself and representative along with several of our colleaguecolleague s created the puget sound recovery caucus together support and figure out what we can do on a federal level to solve these direct problems we are facing in puget sound and how to be with issues that are just beginning to emerge. with a limited federal budget and sequestration receiving funding for these types of vital problems is an uphill battle. we are still climbing and we need to continue to climb. not just because it affects our environment but because it affects jobs in our economy. i realize the issues we face in the fusion sound are similar to many issues across the nation and we want to find ways not to only highlight puget sound but make progress and fix the problems to ensure the vitality of puget sound not just now but
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into the future. the first a -- and then a few questions. i would like to invite you to partnership with our caucus and i would love to invite you to me with their members to and meet with the folks that are working on this in our state. and my questions are can you give insights into how we can make progress particularly in light of this budget environment in vast track greater parties to efforts like this where the science is clear, the need is clear we need to start making some progress? >> well i do hope the indiscriminate way that sequestration has impacted all of the agencies is something that is look at india coming budget discussions so everybody can agree on a more sensible and common sense way to make any reductions that are necessary and look at the budget effectively. i do know we have folks working in this area and you probably
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know dennis mcclaren. there is nobody in the world that knows more about the issues that you have just identified than he does. i do think there are ways in which we can work together through a variety of shared technical expertise as well as potential grant funding. we work on those issues together i have an opportunity over the next few years to make sure we enhance those partnerships so i would be looking forward to a discussion about how best to do it. >> thank you very much and i yield back. >> the gentleman from texas the chairman emeritus of this committee is recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. ms. mccarthyite thank you for being here today and the work you have done for several years to ensure the scientific process is transparent at the epa. i think we need a study on the epa's lack of transparency and accountability sometimes and he
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would be one of the witnesses and we would want you back again. one of the areas of concern for us is epa's broad track record of science relating to hydraulic fracturing and the epa is zero for three on that. you and the agency alleged hydraulic fracturing had been responsible and three times the agency had to back away from these allegations to expose these to be totally unfounded. we have had a number of regulators and scientists testified and you testified here and you have also testified on the energy and commerce committee. nearly all of those have confirmed the safety of these unconventional oil and gas techniques and if there had been
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any incidents of groundwater contamination from fracturing. we have also received testimony from science advisor as well as the president's assistant secretary sitting where you are under the oath you have taken by the department of energy saying there is not in a single documentedocumented case of groundwater contamination from fracking in this country. you probably won't he surprise that i reference once again the comments he made in 2011 that i gave you a chance to take back and i'm not saying that you made any apology for it and i hope you have backed off those remarks when you say i certainly don't want to get the impression that epa is -- a cruel statement for those who can't support their children and make a car payment. according to the 2012 research by the company by investor's business daily it's estimated
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1.7 million jobs in the united states ,-com,-com ma expected to grow to 3.5 million jobs and natural gas production is expected to rise an extra 44%. without the use of hydraulic fracturing technology the economy would seriously be compromised and millions of jobs would be lost. with that in mind he stated recently to the "boston globe" that quote there is nothing inherently dangerous and fracking said you agree that hydraulic fracturing is safe and there has not been a single documented case of groundwater contamination and i would like a yes or no. >> i can answer that way. >> if you can't answer it that way you don't know and he refused to answer. >> i meant i would like to lay
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in it. >> i'm not asking for an explanation. i'm asking for a yes or no trade. >> i do not know for documented case. >> i will take that as you don't know and you don't care. he didn't care about people having jobs and that was a terrible statement. >> actually was taken out of context. >> was not taken out of context. i read it right out of cr and you know that. >> it was actually celebrating the fact that we have been successful in reducing environmental pollution. >> now let me go on. so you agree that fracturing is safe. do you agree to that? >> and cannot agree. >> these experts have testified that state regulators have the expertise confidence and experience necessary to oversee hydraulic fracturing. do you read the states are generally knowledgeable about
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local and geologic conditions in the operations they oversee, yes or no? >> i believe they are knowledgeable and they often receive epa's advice. >> thank you in your answer is yes. you think ep is better suited to regulate hydrologic fracturing fracturing -- >> i believe the state is the line a first offense. >> i'm asking for a yes or no. i can't understand anything you say because -- [inaudible] the belief natural gas prices will remain low if the epa promulgates restrictions -- yes or no? the ahec should think a large component of the nation's energy security remains on the safe development of oil and gas sir.
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>> the use of technology like hydraulic fracturing have helped achieve energy security. [inaudible] i yield back my time mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. hall. the gentleman -- the gentlelady from oregon ms. etsy. >> thank you administrator. connecticut as you know exceptionally well has been the beneficiaries substantial improvements to health through the clean air act and so i would like you to talk a little about the situation. many utilities have installed aleutian control devices in their facilities. if epa at this time what a pullback on clean air regulations governing these utilities would they have an incentive to run these pollution control devices and what would need the associated impact on air quality and public health particularly for those of us that sit on the eastern seaboard who with west to east winds are the recipient was --
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of what is burned in indiana and ohio and elsewhere. >> we now with the control equipment working that the power sector remains the largest single stationary source center in terms of the amount of pollution that if the mets. we have been working hard with them but there's no question that there is financial incentive to bypass equipment when it's available to be done. so i would assume if we were to pull back on our regulations what you are going to see is increased emissions and that increased emission results directly to public health impacts that are as severe as thousands of premature deaths. >> i know in our own state we have seen asthma rates rise grayson chance lennar cities and those are caused or in primarily by state governments and by insurance companies. >> many come from you from facilities run very far away.
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>> it like to turn for a moment to the scientific review process. certainly we have heard commentary today and elsewhere from members of congress who have stated or suggested that epa develops regulations based on faulty scientific evidence. can you explain to us in a little more detail and i will ask my question and then listen how the scientific process that underpins epa regulations is peer-reviewed and what you believe to be the importancimportanc e of the peer review process and flush that out a little more for us please. >> the process we use is to actually establish peer review panels. we can do them by seeking advice from the national academies of science and we can establish a pure science advisory lord and we can use consultants that follows similar processes and establish again transparent robust, balance peer review. the science advisory board is a highly transparent professional entity whereas we comply with
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those regulations. we also complied with ethics requirements. we follow all of the guidance that is given to us in the directors by the office of management and budget and how to do our work. i believe we are a model for transparent, solid high-quality science. the clean air act science advisory committee was mentioned. that committee was just recently looked at their own ig, our office of inspector general who just issued a report commending us for how solid our panel was and our ability to have that balanced and appropriate. ..
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talked $120 billion. that's not planned expenses. that's what happens. what beknow is this a in the face of a changing climate, these types of disasters are going become more and more prevalent if we don't reduce greenhouse gas. if you look at the work of the
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agency, we have not only been funding efforts at the local level and the state level to look how you can adapt to a changing climate. we have put out a plan that requires and shows a pathway forward for the epa to look how it does its business working with communities. we look at the changing climate and factor it to our decision making and our ability to work more carefully and collaborative with local communities and states moving forward. my heart goes out to connecticut. it was hard hit. it's my home away from home. >> thank you fur your service. i yield back. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> thank you. thank you for appearing before this hearing today. i have several questions. if you could keep your answer pretty short and direct. as you know, setting the level for the new standard. the clean air act requires do
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you select the best system reduction emission reductions for technology adequately demonstrated. we've had several hearings in this committee on the new standards where we've heard testimony whether the ccs technology necessary to meet the standards has actually been adequately demonstrated. at the full scale power plants. i ask your colleagues from the department of energy on a number of occasions if they could give me examples of where full-scale power plants are located, and their testimony is none of them are operating anywhere in the world. if this is true that full-scale power plants are not operating with the technology how can you say it's been adequately demonstrated? >> we believe, sir, that ccs technology is has been adequately demonstrated. the technology is proven. it's available. in fact, the coal technology and facilities that you see being
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constructed today are actually utilizing cc -- >> so can you give me -- provide a example of a full-scale power plant operating with the technology. >> i can give you example of two 75% completed and an example of others that are coming up. that are also in the planning stages. so ccs -- >> so what would those be? what would those be? >> we have the kemper facility. that 75% complete. and there is another project in can that is also utilizing it at levels much higher than the types of reductions that epa has proposed in -- >> are any of those facilities that you mentioned receiving nfps funding? clean coal power initiative funding? >> it's my understanding there have been -- there has been funding supported by doe. d. o. e. continues to have
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funding available for these type of projects. >> they are receiving clean coal power initiative funding? >> yes. that's my understanding. >> well, it's kind of interesting then because the energy policy act of 2005 clearly states that projects receiving funding from this program can't be used to prove technology is adequately demonstrated. so the examples that you're using are receiving funding in the 2005 act said you can't use those. so can you explain the -- how your logic on that? >> actually, sir. i think we are regulating and proposing it under the clean air act which is very specific in both intent as well as its history of application. there is no question that ccs technology is available. the components of ccs have been in place and demonstrated for decades. so the question really is is it
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reasonable and cost and is it available for this sector? epa believes it is. we have proposed that. we are welcome and open to comments. we will getting to that public comment process shortly. i think through that public comment process you will see that this technology is well-known. it's available, it's being invested in today. and it's going to work and be a pathway forward for coal in to the future. >> i think what to summarize what you've said is: one, there's no full-scale power plants operating with technology today; is that correct? >> i'm aware of these components being -- >> no. >> but there no -- full-scale power plant operating with these? >> no. the ones being -- >> no. okay. >> operating higher levels -- >> and then you're using federally-funded ccs projects to argue technology is adequately demonstrated, yet the 2002 act
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prohibits you from doing that. >> actually, we think it has been adequately demonstrated but the support -- >> but not the full-scale basis; right? not on a full-scale basis. >> we have it on full-scale in other applications. >> but not on these -- >> it's only -- it's being invested in today in two facilities of 75% completed on their way. >> but what you're saying under these new rules is new coal plants can be built without yiewt nicing this technology and we don't know it's adequately demonstrated for these plants because we don't have a full-scale model. >> we believe it has been adequately demonstrated. >> but not on a full-scale model. it's fully utilized in other industry sectors. >> but not on these coal plant. not on full-scale coal plants? >> i have already indicated to you. we know of two that are being constructed today, and they are -- >> but they're being constructed but we don't have any history
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that technology is, one, will accomplish that. secondly, it makes any kind of cost-benefit analysis, do we? >> the cost-benefit analysis is that what we're talking about, sir? >> no. i mean, that would be a part of that. you don't have -- >> yeah. >> you don't know for sure. because you don't have a model for the technology. >> no, but we know the industry sees ccs technology as a pathway forward. we also see it as one available to it in ones we're hoping with d.o.e. assistance it will continue to progress and get less and less expensive. that's how technology gets developed. but in this case, all of the components of ccs as well as those together have been demonstrated over and over as being viable and effective and we believe they will be the path forward for coal. coal is a big pot of our energy supply. i know, it's going to continue to be a big pot of our energy supply. we've tried very hard to make sure that we look at the
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technologies available to it today so it continues to have a path forward. >> but we don't tend use research funds for things that are already been determined adequately demonstrated? we're using research funds to try to prove this up you're using it as an example adequately demonstrated. it doesn't make sense. >> we are coordinating closely with d.o.e. and if you have listened and heard from the d.o.e. folks today, you will know they share our opinion about its availability and been demonstrated. it's exciting to think that we could make it more cost-effective moving forward, and that you could expand the range of sequestration opportunities. so they are actually working very hard with the industry to continue to move that technology forward. that is only good news, sir. that's not bad news. >> but we still don't know whether it's adequately demonstrated.
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>> gentleman's time is expired. pursuant to the discussion about the efficiency of the -- relating to the subpoena. i ask unanimous con stoant enter to the record a letter from the texas commission on environmental quality they received last week that makes clear, quote, that the data provided to date lacks critical information. er appreciate your being here and appreciate your patience. we've heard described on this committee and throughout the congress, frankly, questions about epa's reliance on faulty and secret science, questions about epa's transparency and accountability. first of all, i want to thank for you for the transparency and
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accountability the epa provide for the data response this committee has received. and i'm just curious sometimes they ask for information sometimes for document or data as evidence by testimony by questions here today. i'm a strong supporter of congressional authority. i'm concerned about whether we may be overstepping our authority in term what we're requiring of the agency. we're just one committee of many who is making these types of requests to the epa. and i wonder if you could tell me how much time and energy is spent by you and your colleague at epa in responding to these volumes of requests. >> congresswoman, we know how important it is to be transparent, and we'll do a our best to respond to any requests that congress brings to us. it's a significant burden in terms of resources. but that's just the amount.
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i don't mean burden in a negative sense. we will be to be open and responsive. we received thousands of these type of requests. we do our best to answer them as expeditiously as we can. i think the times we've had difficulties is when we've been asked to relieve data that the epa doesn't have available to it. then it becomes an extra effort for us to try to make sure we bridge those gaps. scientists we fully expect that researchers themselves will access that data as they've always done and work it out that way. >> let me just ask you this. we've heard some discussion of conflict of interest, and i can understand and we've heard testimony in this committee that when you're forming -- when there's peer review done and deviling in to some area of expertise. it's a narrow area. there are only so many folks
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that have the kind of experience that you can draw upon. some may be in industry, some may be academics who receive grants. when you assess conflict of interests and, you know, i'm just like a chief lawyer. and i always thought that the idea that behind conflicts is revealing those conflicts, having them assessed and making a determination whether the conflict -- ib dependence of performance in appear review situation. is that how the epa look at conflict of interest? >> that's how we do that. you're right. there are opportunities or instances where we have a very narrow expertise that is not represented that is critical to a look at the science question or technical question. in that case, we do a thorough investigation. we post the results of that. so the people can know the background. and we can make sure that it's
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balanced to the equitable discussion. and as tran parent as we possibly can be. and so we do that both for folks who are the scientists as well as folks that bring their history and the industry to the table. >> is there anything necessarily exclusionary whether a person receives billions of dollars in a company or profit from an industry? or whether a person receives thousands of dollars from the administration in terms of doing research? is there anything exclusionary about that that would prohibit service on a scientific advisory panel? >> i don't believe so. but what it really means is we must have a rigorous and transparent peer review process. we must rigorously share that information with the public so they can, before the panel is impaneled, they can offer their suggestions and comments and criticism. and we can make sure that we
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have the most robust comprehensive science available us. >> thank you. i want to ask you about your work around climate change, because there's been a lot of discussion also. is it your view from the administration that you have sufficient data to back the work that you're doing around climate change that, in fact, it's happening and there are certain cause l effects that would enable you to do rule making in that area? >> i believe i have a wealth of data that is more than sufficient. i believe that the supreme court has agreed with me. which is nice. >> great. can you tell me about some of the rulemaking you're engaged fhfa going in that direction and relate that to the mission of epa of protecting our public health and the environment? yes, the president -- reductions in greenhouse gases
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as well as addressing adaptation and international issues. epa to some extent is involved in all three. i think the most important i want to get at is our opportunity to reduce greenhouse gases to try to mitigate significant impacts associate increased emissions and higher levels of climate change. and so what we are really looking at is first and foremost regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector for new facilities and existing. we have already issued a proposed rule for new facilities. how we best put out a proposal next june for existing facilities. the reason why we want to do this is that climate change is not an environmental problem. it's a serious public health in economic problem as well as an environmental challenge. and so what happens when with a
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changing climate is the weather gets hot or weathers hit hotter the 0 scone levels increase. they go to the hospital more often with asthma. in this country today one out of ten children have chronic asthma. we are talking about a serious public health challenges. allergy seasons extend, we are seeing health impacts from different types of mosquito and other diseases moving north as the weather gets warmer. things are changing and things are not changing for the best in term of public health in a changing climate. it threatens the health, safety, and well being of communities and individuals. it's something we must address and now. >> thank you for your testimony. thank you for the work you do to protect all of us. thank you. >> thank you, miss edwards. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for coming and testifying today.
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i believe what we're doing is important. that being said, i have a number of problems with how epa has done its job putting forward rules without adequate -- all while energy consumption is increased by 47%. gdp increased by 219 percent. that's why i continue pushing your agency to base regulations on sound scientific principles and practices. make your data set open to the public for review and utilize common place statistical measures and methods all of which epa seemedded at verse to when the fact don't necessitate what often appears to be a politically predetermined
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regulatory approach. as you know, section 316 b. of the clean water act requires best technology available to minimize harm to a qualityic organizations a-- to expand your regulatory power. when relying on the science, epa has not been able to justify the rulemaking. this is because the cost always outweigh the benefits. your agency is recognized there will be no benefits human health and the economic benefits for potential improvement to commercial fisheries and recreation bodies. the youth benefit will not justify the new cost either. since the agency has been unable to justify these rules with their standard methods, i'm troubled with the idea of nonyouth benefits that you are
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now attempting to put in place. even more trouble sergeant way epa is intends to assign value to the benefit pulling. ic every member in this room can attest to the inaccuracy of polling and troubling to me that the epa turn away from science and to a public opinion to promulgate regulation. when epa did the survey asking how much money the public was willing to spend and save give number of fish. the numbers predictly came back inflated then they punted the issue to the science advisory board. on a site-specific bays is. 316b is the first attempt to justify rulemaking with these willingness to pay surveys, i'm also worried the controversial methodology will encroach in to other rulemaking. if this happen, public opinion polling will become the backbone
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of many epa regulations instead of science. i think it's important that states are allowed to continue exercising permitting discretion i'm asking could you confirm that the epa's final 316b will not rule states to consider nonuse benefit or require plant owners to conduct willingness to pay survey in the permitting process? >> the final 316b is the office of management and budget. i'm constrained about getting to too much detail. but we have heard similar comments during the public process. the survey that we did was appropriate on the national level to get a handle on people's willingness to pay for the types of improvements that these technologies would bring. we don't expect that to be the way in which states -- make case by case decisions. >> again, i think the most important thing to ways it on science and not public opinion. potatoeses.
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you can ask us how we feel about them. when designed not being realized those predictions have not been realized the agency is to our farmers and everyone else downstream must get answers from regarding the yearly adjustment for the requirement. and 2012 rule came in january of that year. what is troubling is how long it took epa to issue their final rule for 2013. it didn't happen until the milted of august. as important that our businesses and farmers be able to plan ahead for this, you give the committee assurance you will focus on getting a final rollout
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in a reasonable amount of time this year and wonder if you can give a perspective state or time frame when we you expect to have it publish. my time is winding down. i want to be respect of theful five minutes. anyhow the issue is bringing certain toit businesses. the sooner question get these -- i agree. >> this happened quickly. i ask you for my farmers and businesses to.
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i yield back. >> thank you. gentleman from california is recognized for questions. >> thank you, administrator mccarthy about your testimony today and appearance before the committee. i have to you it's -- my colleague on the other side of the aisle on the epa. my colleagues and i have seen firsthand how the epa -- my constituents and i have seen firsthand how the epa and clean air act have improved air quality and advanced public health in my district. nationally it's just as compelling. a study by the epa shows by 2020 the benefits of the clean air act will outweigh the costs by more than 20 30 to 1. infant mortality and 2020 expected to prevent 17 million lost workdays because people are
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healthier. i believe the epa is driver of innovation. pushing industry to deposit new standards that product the environment and improve public health and create jobs. the administrator mccarthy, could you go to more detail about how the epa rules have actually created jobs in our country and what grown because of epa action? >> thank you for asking that. it helps me to put the job quote in a little bit more perspective. i think you would see as we have done considerable amount of able sis we do with every rule about every significant rule looking at job implications. we have been able to make the comfortable pollution reductions at the same time we have been able to continue to grow the economy here in the u.s.a. we are looking at actually a pollution control technology industry that now tops around $2 billion annually. we are leaders internationally
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in those issues. it's because we've been moving in a concerted pace to get better and better at how we reduce pollution and doing it in a they is affordable and extremely beneficial too the public health. we are talking about saving millions of lives. we are talking about really improving the health of most vulnerable populations. our children and elderly. we are talking about growing jobs, not taking them away. we can provide you with significant more detail. i appreciate you asking the question. epa is about public health. but we do it always conscious of how we can reduce economic impacts and actually build the economy at the same time. >> i want to clarify something. my colleague cited the crs report, which indicated conflict of interest found among the
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member academic members of the advisory committee. however, the report, which i have right here, made no such conclusion rather noted that these grants are actually to academic institutions whether the member is employed. and not the member and only a small proportion of any grant maybe pay it to a member. is ha your understanding as well. >> yes, it is. thank you, congressman for raising that. >> the discussion was committee subpoena regarding the harvard and american cancer society studies, i would like to enter to the record letters that the chairman received on october 30th from harvard. they highlight the serious ethical and policy concerns regarding the release of individual -- >> without objection. those letters will be made upon
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the record. they were addressed to the epa and not to me. >> okay. thank you, mr. chairman. if as i understand the science advisory committees, the industry is in your opinion, is industry adequately represented on this committee for a full balance of views? >> members on the panel don't risk specific sector. they represent expertise and knowledge and experience. from my experience in working with these panels, is that folks have worked in the industry usually provide a perspective that is necessary on the panels. it's a broad and balanced panel when we pull them together. it's required under law and we go above and beyond to ensure that's the case. >> in your view there's no such closed loop that these are open-minded panels that are not
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contained by a particular ideology. >> that's exactly what we're required to do under the law. i think we do a very good job in ensuring that it is not at all closed. it's very open. we just look for good expertise so we can get the best science. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. the gentleman from georgia is recognized for his questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. administrator mccarthy, i have a very limited amount of time and very many questions. please answer as quickly as you possibly can. i'm a physician. i want to make sure that we are on the same page about basic principles of toxicology. one of which is two aspirin relieve a headache. 50 is toxic doze. would you agree that the dose makes the poi assign. >> i don't want to speak to -- >> the dose is very important to us. >> the answer is yes.
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drop 55% over the last two decades, it's noted on the website for your agency has been very concerned with the health effect associated with fairly low dosage low level of particular matter. clean air act regulation. >> i do not know. i cannot an that question, sir, i'm sorry. i don't know what the word
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suggest is. and i don't know how the scientists would interpret that. i wait until they tell me. >> okay. epa's most recent assessment stated that there was, quote, strong epidemiological evidence linking short term expo to pm as measured in hours -- is that still true. >> i believe so. >> okay. if the dose makes the poison as you indicate you believe they do. and i do too. do you think that hundred of thousand of people die from fine particular level lowest level. why has your agency conducted a series of human tests in north carolina that exposes unknowing volunteers that have no knowledge of the exposure including those with preexisting respiratory issue and asthma to particularly concentration
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that's more than 60 times the standard. yes, ma'am, you have. inspector general has been investigating this, and we found out about this through a freedom of information act. were they informed they'll be subjected that epa thinks cause mortality and cancer especially since it came from susceptible populations? >> it's my understanding that the human studies work that are doing was recommended by the national academies. t done with the highest ethical standards. we medically -- >> madam. i disagree. they were noun egg they were being exposed to high level of exposure. and as far as i'm concerned as a
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position of a scientist it's totally unethical and unacceptable. let me ask you one more question. my time is running out. are you signed up for obamacare. >> no. >> why not? >> i'm lucky enough as federal government i have health care available to me. which i've signed up for. in a few years, when it's not the case, i'm be happy to have other available -- >> our president says that obamacare is much better than forcing most federal employees in to obamacare and obviously if you're not signing up you don't think it is. i have run out of time. mr. kennedy is recognized for questions. thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you for being here. i apologize for the voice. it's been going around a bit. i want to start out by saying, welcome. it's nice to see a member of rid sox nation here today. and certainly in front of our committee. >> go sox! >> there you go. i want to thank you fur yo hard work over the past several works and i look forward to working with you in the years ahead. i had a couple of questions, if you don't mind, and first is actually an issue that is pertaining to my district. over the past few decades epa made a michelle progress in attacking the lingering pollution and contamination issue. that weapons check have dire long-term health and safety consequences not to mention financial ones. back home in my district i have concern about the cost of compliance with some of the regulations.
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the price tag of compliance can seem nearly impossible. this is an old industrial city with an unemployment rate around 18%. similar they are looking at $100,000 to meet new regulation for storm water manage. they included a new pilot program. but the price tag around that is about 111 million upfront. it would be felt tremendously by local businesses. the surrounding towns are looking to the 5eu7d million and $35 million through the same pilot program.
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when i talk to local officials and businesses they have a desire to be epa compliant. they are bringing up their children and grandchildren in the neighbor. they see the value of clean air and water. they are concerned about the effect of contamination, pollution, and how they wreak havoc on their own town. but they're stuck. and so i wanted to ask you in your opinion is there any assistance that the federal government not just epa but the federal government can give these already strapped municipalities struggling already? thank you for raising this. your voice in this discussion would be welcomed. we are working on these issues pretty diligently. primarily with the conference of mayor. they all understand the challenges.
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why it's important for their public health and environmental resources we tackle these more challenging water quality issues. but we're working on this on a number of different fronts. and epa clearly has funds available to help support this. is it enough to go around? no. t never expected to be. it will be a challenge. we try to prioritize that and make sure we're getting the biggest bank for the buck helping those most in need. we are trying to work on making it a more collaborative process. where we understand the constraint that the city and towns are in. and don't expect things they cannot deliver. we worked with the partnership to find the least cost opportunity to make continued environmental progress moving forward. >> thank you. >> and if i can ask, i apologize it's -- my understanding there has been two studies much discussed today. if i can refer as a harvard
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study and the acs. >> yes. >> would you characterize those institutions as represent yiewtble. >> yes. >> well, known. >> yes. >> through contractors for the agency. through the international community. through epa. >> through epa and sometimes public/private partnership. >> yes. and that rerue is all government funded? >> no. >> so in fact part of that funding of done by a group that was actually funded by awe motive industry? >> yeah. >> thank you. yield back my time. >> mr. kennedy you elicited the shortest answers of the day. congratulations. >> the gentleman from indiana. >> thank you. thank you for being here.
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a brief statement about -- i'm at the cardiovascular surgeon. i know, about health. i recently reviewed the data from the american lung association about particular matter. and look at the background on the funding for all the study and lo and behold everything they used was pretty much very far left leaning global warming activists foundations that privately funded these things. and in addition to that, the potential health benefits based on computer modeling. not on actually data but a computer model projecting their data results in to the future. not based on actual factual data with human studies.
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i had the chief medical officer come down from new york and discuss it with him in my office. and voiced my disappointment that an organization that is highliest teemed would be using data which in my view was biased. my question goes to in another direction. in september your agency proposed a rule -- not certainly the first in the administration's war on coal what i'll call war on coal. the district of indiana i represent is nine coal mines. every coal mine in the state, our state, 88% or so of our power comes from coal. coal supports the economy, jobs, indirect and direct, helps family put food on the table. i grew up in illinois. my dad was a coal miner. i've known the industry forever. i wouldn't be here if it wasn't
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for that. the new performance standards for new power plants will essentially prevent you admit the policy and i quote will -- emission changes or quantify benefits through 2022. in your review, should the federal government regulate coalfire plant in the manner if there are no clear benefits? that's up or down? your statement you made incorrect there is a benefit through 2022? the quote of the first few pages of the cost-benefit analysis result in negligentble co2.
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>> which is a reflection of the industry and the market as it sits today. >> okay what you're saying they should regulate it even in light of the fact the epa admits there's no benefit. >> the issue that coal is not been invested except new a few instances where carbon capture and sequestration is being invested in. we want to make sure we take advantage of the new technologies make sure we go what the clean air -- >> i think that's fair. i think the industry would agree that constant innovation and technological advance is something that the industry believes in and will invest in. >> they do. >> that said, is the technology currently commercially available on large scale for indiana and the midwest to meet the propoised standards?
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on a large scale? >> you might quote the technology is available in some academic setting or in an area of the country say where things are very close. specifically related to co2 emission capture and all of, you know, my understanding is currently there is not the commercially available and large scale technology to comply in indiana with the regulation. so the regulation is in place. it's in place. but there's no commercially available technology to comply. is that true or not true? >> we believe that cc is commercially available. is it going to be broadly disseminated at this point? no. we don't believe so. most of the facilities that are being constructed are natural gas facilities. they're the most competitive. where coal is being invested in is being invested with ccf. >> thank you. i yield back.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. i start by mentioning the first job i had out of college was at the epa in washington, d.c.. >> really? >> and i left to pursue other interests and here i am with you. it's nice to see you. welcome and thank you for your service. >> i wanted to ask about hydraulic fracturing. fracking. they have identified a lot of things like highly -- immigration of highly skilled individuals, corporate tax reform, overseas profit, international trade, simplifying and stream lining regulation. improving communication to energy infrastructure, creating federal budget.
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and responsible -- shale gas and oil reserve as important component of competitiveness worldwide. so first i wanted to ask you a little bit about do you think it's possible that develop them responsibly? >> i believe so. so if so, tell me about what you think the approach should be. i want to give you a little bit of time. i feel like i didn't get -- you were interrupted times when you were trying to give the answers. what should be the approach to the development of this? i have a touch on two things in particular. one is, the obviously water and water supply and quality. and the emission of gases including methane which is the super pollutant. and how you avoid double regulation. as i understand there's other asians in the federal government that maybe doing things overlapping or inscant. there's a lot of state governments working on the issue as well. >> first of all, i want to agree
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with you about the importance of the expanded natural gas availability. i think what epa has been doing. the president very clear about the fact that natural gas and the availability has been incredibly important to the country. but also needs to be done safe and responsibly. i think the committee we're working on a large project with the agencies of the federal government to look at water quality challenges. or implications associated with hydrofracking and new unconventional oil and gas exploration. we are in the middle of that study. it's robust. we have done a lot of outreach
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and gathering as information as we can. doing technical workshops. we expect that a draft will be out for peer review the end of 2014. we want to work in partnership to make sure they're able to meet their own needs and fulfill and get answers to their own questions when they arise. on the air quality side, we have a couple of things happening. we have actually already put out an air quality standard to address methane from emissions related to natural gas facilities. of natural gas exploration. in particular, fracking. at which time there are a lot of eoc emitted. question capture those. it be reused. there's an ability to actually move forward in a cost effective
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and actually profitable way. working with other agencies as well as states and local communities. so while hydrofracking raised concern about whether it can be done or is being done safe and responsibly. they are working with states, local government, and the industry to make sure unhow to answer those issues effectively from a size perspective and in a way that continues to maintain the availability of inexpensive natural gas as strengthen the economy as well as help us reduce air emissions. >> i appreciate that. i think it seems like a reasonable response. one thing i ask you someone practiced environmental law for a long time. pleased to do what you can to
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work with the administration. very frustrating for the public. we want to be done responsibly and in a way people can understand. thank you for being here. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> subsequent thank you. i really only had two things i wanted to walk through and everyone in the committee with us here yesterday, i'm sorry you're hearing parking lot of the same theme again. these large data sets that are used particularly in thing like pm10 which is a big deal in the desert southwest. we have thing called dirt. without grass on it. it really does affect our lives. why so controversial why so partisan to put up -- what, i mean, is down to the individual because you and i know with all other data you are a social anthropologist.
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when being vetted and doing the review you got downtown line item. if something personal you do a nonidentifier number. you strip the personal data and put the data sets up on websites where it's a egalitarian. a they can get it done to the line item data and say here is the noise in the data. at least you have a communal international fight over this is good and bad and those on the conservative sides it may not yield what we think it will. why is that a difficult doftion have? >> i don't think there's any
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prelim controversial about making data available. i show you from earlier in the year it was stunningly -- all that epa is really trying to do is responsibility under a number of laws. which is basically we want to be supporting to the extent we can open this transparency. sharing information, sharing data. meeting our -- but. >> may i finish? one thing i think we need to have make sure there's a clear understanding. we have obligations to protect private information -- >> but -- but i will -- >> that's a bizarre comment. because do what everyone else does strip the personal identifiers. >> we are actually asking those same questions. if you -- >> but how do you -- use as an excuse not to give them data. >> i'm not trying to offer excuses, congressman.
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i'm trying to be as responsive as i can. we need to be careful in how we maintain that confidentiality and working with -- [inaudible] there's all sort of protocol. i was involved in -- it's not that hard. and if you are also using proprietary data inappropriately you're making public decisions for the public that affect the pub billions and billions for the dollar. maybe for the good or bad to use -- something i want to show real quick can we put up the slide? this is sort of my fixation of how we accumulate data and do analysis and study of things. in my maricopa county, pima
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county, pal county. i have a mention to flex of a million people. and as i understand there may be a rule once it's there it's hard move because you lose the baseline data. take look at this. you have put your preed next to a large stockyard. next to a railroad track next to deserting aing can you imagine what you get from this? yet, this is dozen and dozens and dozens of miles away from where my population base is. how does that not create
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preversion rescuing in your underlying data if trying to built good quality statistics particularly in pm10 you are getting so much noise in the data tap. this is ticket call background were just bouncing off the wall livered. >> i'm happy to spend my time and bring folks in. when we do the rules we propose a monitoring plan an work with states. we take public comments on the plan. >> my county, state, and community have been begging for years to put this in a spot and ignored. >> we should have that conversation. but i think our obligation is to look at air quality across the country. in a they reflects [inaudible conversations] >> actually, we do most of the monitor done in a population basis. some are not.
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clearly this one was not one of them. the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> thank you. thank you for being here. the chairman in his opening depend said that the epa should answer, he believes the epa should answer the american people. do you agree with that? >> we work with the american people, yes. have you ever heard the statement that all scientists
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are only sure about one thing and that every scientist before them was wrong? >> i have not. >> you have not heard that. you might learn something. does science ever change or get proven wrong. >> yes. >> frequently, doesn't it? >> yes. >> if you're here to talk about the central role science plays in the epa regulation what is the second thing that plays a role in the deliberations? >> there are -- three things. >> quickly. >> science, law, transparency. >> we're off to a good start. you said i don't remember the exchanges with. the rule was in to omb. >> omb. but a law that played a parking lot -- three things did. by law you are supposed to
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submit the same rule on the same date. or by that date. is that accurate? >> i'm not aware that is the specified in the law. but we certainly engage the asb and have a process. -- >> you said you have a process of doing that. >> yeah. >> if you are to submit it at the same time or the same cay. i would say that's a exacting science. >> we actually sometimes quality them even before it goes to the interagency. >> you're to be commended. it you don't submit that at the same time as objection earlier, in essence you're going around the law you just said you're here to commit science, american people in following the law; right? you're actually going around that law that's not what i --
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>> that's not what you said. i misunderstood i apologize. let me go on. you said there are researchers that have contracts to verify data in your earlier comments. you don't recall that. well, i was taking notes. you have contractss toerer fie data. do you ever get biased results? >> actually, our entire peer review process is designed to minimize any possibility of that. >> right. >> i think we do a good job. >> and so mr. chairman, mr. hall mentioned parker county earlier where you had epa retracted statement where they said fracking contaminated the water supply. are you aware of that >> i'm aware that the epa developed data and provided that data. >> okay. okay. and when mr. stintson questions
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you on the standard for fuel efficiency, you said pretty much, quote, you weren't here to speak to manufacturing warranty and liability. >> i can't speak to this -- >> right. >> statements to about it, no. >> and as essence if effect an entire car industry, it doesn't matter -- >> very much so it matters. it matters to us and we will be attest forking that reason. i'm not -- that's not -- >> let me move quickly. he said on grant recipients, he said you said in response to him that you have spread -- procedures to ensure they are fair-minded let me submit as as by owner. if we put business people on the science advisory panel can't you apply the same procedure to make sure they are fair-minded? >> we provide the same procedure to anybody that is on -- >> so you would be okay having more business and industry exparts -- experts on a panel as well as fair-minded. >> our job is to balance it and
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make sure hay are doing their job correctly. >> quickly i have carbon capture sequestration. i'm district 14. $400 million was the cost of that project of some 60 was supplied the d.o.e. for the aara. so you said that ccs had been demonstrated to be cost-effective in your exchange -- >> i'm sorry, sir. i said reasonable cost. >> a reasonable coast. okay. let's go with that. $400 million project. 60% of the $2 40 million come from the federal government. do you think it's reasonable to believe that industry can duplicate that. if 0eu67% of the money has come from the american taxpayers? >> i think in our analysis that has been put out we're taking comment on would indicate this cost is reasonable for new facilities moving forward.
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.. be to be in the business, it's not a tricky question for you. would it be before

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