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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 2, 2015 10:00pm-12:01am EDT

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so between those two things there is an opportunity to still get a solution. >> essentially taking your experience and how that would be the proposal that you will use going forward with takata. >> and let me just add because i have not had a chance to say this you have just raised one of the core questions we have been asking how long do you wait we could not wait a year to
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come up with an answer or not in love with an answer. that is part of why we had pushed to take the driver seat to get a focus on a remedy and supply and all the other factors that will make a difference. >> thank you. you. thank you for your work on this. you are right. we cannot wait. i encourage her persistence and fighting for this. thank you. >> the chair thanks the gentle lady. recognize the german from illinois for five minutes for questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here and answering our questions. those who have been asked, i just have a couple probably won't take all of my five minutes. you talk about the coordinated remedy program every what will be involved and learn in when we will you have a plan for acting as the central coordinator for the coordinator remedy program? >> thanks because that gives me a chance to focus on the endgame here. i keep talking about sitting in the driver seat because up until this time it was unclear how this was going to happen. now we have a plan to be
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meeting with manufacturers. we have manufacturers. we have made contact. we will meet with suppliers. we have had joint meetings. our intent is to have a public meeting so that there is transparency. we're hoping for that hearing to occur in the early fall. >> okay. all right. and recall logistics expertise, who will be leading the coordination? >> actually, right now there is an internal team overseeing this. i have people from the engineeriengineeri ng group a group dealing with a legal enforcement issues and communication. those three groups of come together to basically provide oversight. >> and you believe that they have enough expertise to carry out this process? recall logistics expertise. >> at this time yes. i think yes. i think during our development of a future plan if we find other resources are needed i will be the 1st to let everyone know.
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>> so you would be willing to look at outside or whatever you need to get this done right. >> yes. >> you have answered pretty much all the questions i have. >> thank you. >> i will yield to you. >> i thank the donors that. mr. rose klein as you are probably aware last night at the rules committee we do the rules for the transportation appropriation bill. recognizing we were having a searing today asked the subcommittee of the transportation subcommittee and appropriations if they would share with me the spending plan submitted to there subcommittee by nets that every agency and department's is required to submit a spending plan to the appropriations committee or appropriations subcommittee as they do
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there work and build the appropriations bill that we we will then vote on. i have got to say what i've been given is pretty sparse. i am going to give you the benefit of the doubt. if you would like to provide me with a spending plan that you have provided to the appropriations subcommittee i would be happy to review it and review it with you if you would like. the chairman made reference to the fact that we need to make sure the appropriations are in line. that has been talked about. again i will make this available to you if it is as written. that is that is fine if you think there is a different spending plan that i should be looking at's. i we will be happy to do that and happy to follow up with you. you have always been very good about keeping me informed about what you are doing and for that i am grateful. i am i am filibustering a
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little bit because mr. ingalls allegedly on his way here. let me ask. >> yes. please. >> i want to thank you for that opportunity. the pres.'s budget has much detail. >> i have to enter a few you there. the president's budget never gets a single vote. republican democrat, democrat the house senate, no one would even offer the president's budget for a vote. that is -- and this is not unique to the obama administration. president bush's budget when i was here in the majority earlier frequently those were not pass on the floor of the house and senate. sure the president sends up a wish list that balance is never. yeah. it has everything funded to a level that would be great if we lived in a world of a limited resources, but you are the administrator. i run a business. you.
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you understand that as the administrator sometimes you must prioritize spending. that is what we are really looking for you to do to know what we want you to do same as the dir. of nih same as dr. freedman at the cdc. we want you to prioritize and spend appropriately. i will give you the benefit of the doubt this looks then to me. i welcome the chance to go through with you. finally last year on a bipartisan basis this committee requested the government accountability office review the internal structure and procedures to assess the agency's ability to keep pace with advancements in vehicle technology. at at the committee hearing in december deputy administrator freeman committed to cooperating with the government accountability office review will you reaffirm this commitment to cooperate with gal's? >> absolutely. we already are. >> i appreciate that very much. okay. at this time we will forgo questions. i apologize.
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any member of the community may have further questions. seeing are no further members wishing to ask questions i do want to thank the administrator for being here today. this will conclude our 1st panel. we will take a brief recess. thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> back to order. i thank you for your patience and for taking time to be here today. we will move we will move into the 2nd panel for today's hearing, follow the
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same format as the 1st panel. each witness will each witness will be given five minutes to summarize there opening statement followed by questions from members. for our 2nd panel we want to welcome the following witnesses, kevin kennedy, executive vice president of north america takata. david kelly, project director command independent testing coalition. mitch, president and ceo of the alliance of automobile manufacturers and mr. john bowles hour chief executive officer of global automakers. we will begin our 2nd panel with mr. kennedy. your mr. kennedy. your recognized for five minutes for helping statement. >> chairman, ranking member distinguished members of the subcommittee i am honored to be here on behalf of takata and our employees throughout the united states for takata safety is the core of who we are and what we do. we are proud of the takata
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airbags that have saved thousands of lives and prevented serious injuries and hundreds of thousands of accidents. it is unacceptable to us for even one of our products to fail to perform. we deeply regret each instance in which someone has been injured or killed. we are committed to doing everything in our power to address the safety concerns raised by airbag ruptures. ruptures. our chairman has made that commitment personally to administrator rose kind. let me tell you what we are doing. after months of testing and extensive analysis we have agreed to take brought actions in conjunction with automakers to respond to your concerns and those of the public. we have recommended dramatically expanding recalls, including national recalls that go well beyond what is suggested by the science and testing. most of the ruptures on the road and all of the
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fatalities in the us have involved all their takata driver airbag inflator's with batwing ship propellers propellant wafers, pardon me. they they were originally subjected to previous recalls. and most of those have incurred in the regions of the country with high heat and absolute humidity. nevertheless, we are proposing expanded national recalls to replace all of these batwing driver inflator's from the start of production through the end of production in any vehicle registered anywhere in the united states. the recommended recalls will proceed in stages. the final stage will include the replacement of all batwing driver inflator's previously installed is remedy parts. takata will cease producing the batwing driver inflator's altogether. there there have been far fewer field ruptures involving passenger airbags. nevertheless, our agreement
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also contemplates significantly expanded recalls for passenger airbag inflator's, including a nationwide recall for one type of inflator. the the recall for the other passenger inflator's will cover specific vehicle models ever registered in the high humidity states but with the potential -- excuse me for recalls to expand to other states as ordered. we will continue to test inflator is beyond the scope of the recalls to determine whether further action is appropriate. for both driver and passenger airbags all analysis to date indicates that potential for rupturing is limited to an extremely small fraction of older inflator's. that that is not meant to minimize the issue. one ruptures too many. it does explain however why the filing states safety-related defect may arise in some of the inflator's not all of the
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inflator is covered by the supposed to five propose recalls are effective. based upon 50000 tests to date and research involving leading experts from around the world our best current judgment is that potential for rupture is related to long-term exposure over many years to persistent conditions of high heat and high absolute humidity as well as other potential factors including possible manufacturing and vehicle specific issues. nonetheless, we have proposed a broader remedy program. nixon will play a central role in overseeing this program. takata will prepare a plan outlining steps to help determine the safety and expected service life of the remedy parts. we will also work to get the word out to consumers who helped maximize recall completion rates. in addition to increasing our own testing we are actively supporting the
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testing work of the automakers. we also continue to support the work of the independent quality assurance panel led by former sec. of transportation sam skinner and we are continually ramping up production of replacement kits. in december we were producing approximately 350,000 hits per month. we are now producing more than 700,000. by september we expect monthly production to reach 1 million units. half of the replacement kits we shipped contained inflator is made by other suppliers. by the end of the year we expect that to reach 70 percent. we have confidence in the inflator as we are making the integrity of engineering and manufacturing. we believe that properly made and installed these will work as designed to save lives. we will continue to do
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everything that we can to ensure uncompromised safety and the success of the recall efforts and keep congress, netzer, and the public updated of progress. >> the chair thanks the german. >> chairman, ranking member members of the subcommittee thank you for the invitation to appear before you to discuss the activities of the independent testing coalition. the itc is comprised of ten automakers that have takata airbags and a in a passenger vehicles and is committed to an independent and comprehensive investigation of the technical issues associated with takata airbag inflator's. i look forward to the results of this process as we focus on the safety security, and peace of mind of all motorists. our primary goal is to find the root cause of this problem. as we start to look at the issue of energetic disassembly it is apparent that there is no silver bullet or easy solution to be found. the public the public needs
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to understand that experts have been studying this problem for years. if this was anything but the complex project that it is a root cause would have been identified by now. unfortunately, that is not the case in the final determination is not imminent. we have devised a detailed testing plan that when completed will examine every identified aspect of this problem. we will conduct tens of thousands of chemical tests alone. this will be supplemented by a similar number of nondestructive tests and many thousands of advanced computer simulation runs. in addition, there will be a significant amount of data generated from our tests that then must be analyzed. this issue is too important for any stone to be left unturned. i want to stress that we intend to conduct our investigation and its independent manner. we will work with takata netzer all of the affected parties' but we will
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conduct this investigation in an independent manner. we appreciate input and suggestion from all parties but we will do our own analysis of other data in testing procedures. when we finish our investigation we intend to make our findings public. thank you. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. >> chairman, ranking member subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity. the 12 leading -- the 12 leading global oems including the us company and non-european in japanese -based companies. i appreciate the opportunity to testify. i would like to make for summary points. the hearing today is timely and welcomed and we are committed to doing our part to successfully complete this recall while continuing to build on a significant
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safety advances. the magnitude is unprecedented and global. there are no easy answers are quick fixes which is why we support the administrator's decision to use authority to organize and prioritize affected manufacturer remedy programs we all want a clear unified approach. we share the share the community's frustration and it is difficult for us to tell our customers your constituents how long this will take to be fully resolved. second, with the logistics of a global economy with about 80 million units sold around the world highly complex and there are legal impediments to the industry led coordination. the key challenge is more basic, getting consumers to take advantage especially in older vehicles. vehicles. the average consumer participation rate for live vehicle recalls about a year and a half 83% 83 percent for newer vehicles. it falls to 44 percent for vehicles five to ten years old and falls further to 15 percent for vehicles older than ten years. because of these concerns
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our members have passed to conduct the most intensive public opinion research ever on recalls. what motivates some consumers to respond and why others do not. what motivates consumers to go into the dealership and get it done what messages work to what messengers are most effective. work is underway now and we will share the results to help forge a multi- prime effort. third, we call policy is vitally important and we are committed to strengthening the process for resolving defects. that said, there is one piece in the safety equation shared fatalities on the road a relatively fractional one. 90 percent plus result from human error principally impaired driving and failure to use seatbelts. we are seeing profound gains and safety and especially over the last decade technology offers the
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promise of even greater advances as we build on crash avoidance. >> nalley's. the driver driver assist, b2b, be to ask and ultimately self driving vehicles part of a continuum that will save thousands of lives. this is not speculation. finally, let me state the obvious. passionately committed to improving safety and proud of the results we have achieved both because it is the right thing to do and because it is good business. safety innovation is critical. automotive companies are investing a hundred billion every year in research and development to compliant to compete to comply with the various policy requirements and to compete in the globally dynamic marketplace. that investment is paying off. our polling shows your customers and constituents see progress. relative to ten years ago
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there constituents say cars are safer by 86 percent. better fuel economy and higher quality by 79. the progress is being recognized, and that is terrific. thank you for the opportunity to share. we are ready to work with you and our staff. >> the chair thanks the gentleman and recognizes mr. mazzola. >> ranking member, members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. global automakers represents international automaking manufactures the design, build, and sell cars and light trucks in the united states. our members all 43% of new vehicles purchased in the us last year and produced 40 percent of all vehicles built here. individually and jointly our member companies are committed to working toward a future in which there are zero highway fatalities. the safety of americans traveling on our roadways remains a priority.
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mr. chairman, this hearing presents an opportunity to further this important discussion on improving auto safety. the recall is an unprecedented situation. the number of manufacturers and the number and age of affected vehicles involved along with the sophistication and complexity of the technology makes this unique. as such, affected automakers are taking extra ordinary measures to locate and communicate reconfirmation to vehicle owners so that the noticing vehicles in for repair. members have gone far beyond what the law requires attributing multiple rounds of recall notices and sending express mail to ensure the notifications are not discarded using multiple platforms' such as advertising, social media and electronic communications working closely with dealer networks to ensure the dealers have the capacity to service vehicles with open recalls and additionally created the itc to conduct independent testing. of course we cannot --
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recall campaigns are only one component of creating a safer driving environment. the takata recall highlights the complex nature of the industry and the challenges that we face today. all stakeholders must work together in the effort to improve vehicle and highway safety. critical areas of focus include proper oversight of existing safety systems the development and introduction of new technologies and driver and passenger behavior. this committee through its authorship of the tread act has given the ability to require reporting and tracking of safety related data that better allows us to identify problems and the existing fleet of vehicles and to address and solve them. in part, the number of recalls that has occurred is evidence that the requirement of the tread act, the ongoing vigilance and commitment of the
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manufacturers start advancing the goal of improve vehicle safety. automakers are now deploying advanced technologies which we will accelerate the move from crash survival to crash avoidance and in putting forward collision warning and breaking and sin vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication. according to the dot vehicle to vehicle communication when fully deployed could address 80 percent of crashes involving unimpaired drivers a realistic approach must include human behavior which plays a role in a voluntary recall system. for newer vehicles the recall completion rate is upward of 80%. the completion rate falls dramatically as vehicles age. this is a key challenge in resolving the recall and raises an important question. are there limits to the success of a voluntary system? global automakers and members are exploring ways of the that the industry can achieve better outcomes working with officials and a happy to talk with you about new methods for getting useful, effective, and actionable recall information to customers
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such as including recall notifications and annual vehicle registration processes. it is it is important to keep in mind that highway safety is improving. we announce the traffic fatality decreased by 3.1% 3.1 percent over the previous year and by nearly 25 percent since 2004. 2004. however, there is clearly more to be done. regarding the recall the most important thing that we can do is to make sure that people are aware of the status of the vehicle. every vehicle owner should go to a safer car .gov and enter their vehicle identification number to determine whether additional action is needed. this needs to be done now and it needs to be done several weeks from now when manufacturers will have posted a specific bands of the vehicles that have just been added. i did this myself for my vehicle and my children's vehicle and it gave me the peace of mind. global mind. global automakers in our members will continue to work toward our mutual goal.
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thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. the chair thanks the entire panel for testimony to read we're moving to the question portion of the hearing. i will recognize myself for five minutes request is. i have a couple of questions that relate to the appellate inflator. mr. kennedy, i will primarily ask you. you have information because of your independent testing. please feel free. is takata the only airbag manufacture that uses sodium nitrate in its airbags? >> it is ammonium nitrate. >> nitrate. >> side. >> i believe we are the only one that uses it as a main propellant. there are there are other manufacturers that use it as a supplemental propellant. >> is there any other airbag other than those
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manufactured by takata that has experienced this energetic disruption? >> i cannot really speak to recalls for the other suppliers chairman. i really don't know the answer to that. >> it is just that we have had -- the 2nd hearing i have been involved in this issue. ammonium nitrate just keeps coming up. a pretty powerful compound. and it just begs the question, is there a linear relationship between ammonium nitrate used as an inflator and these accidents that are happening? >> the studies that we have done and the research that we have from some of the leading experts in the world seems to indicate that ammonium nitrate is certainly a factor in the inflator ruptures. there are many, many other factors. i think you heard doctor rose can't talk about some. you heard mr. kelly talk
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about some. it takes a long time's. seven at 12 years. it takes high absolute humidity, high heat. what is difficult what is difficult about the situation is you can put to inflator is in that situation. one is fine and what is not. that is really what the struggle has been with getting to the root cause. ammonium nitrate appears to be one factor that contributes. high humidity is an issue. my understanding is some of these are manufactured to absorb humidity which would then go along with the seven to 12 year timeframe of presumably what they will get completely used up over some time. is that correct? >> i don't know that it would get completely used up it depends upon it depends upon the amount of moisture in a particular inflator and the amount of desiccant. many of our later generation
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inflator's do contain desiccant along with ammonium nitrate. we have not seen this issue with those inflator is in the field. so we know that is a factor that contributes to the life of the inflator. >> does takata manufacture any airbag used in any make or model vehicle that uses sodium -- i'm sorry ammonium nitrate? >> yes. all of these inflator's that are involved in these issues we are talking about how ammonium nitrate without desiccant. >> are you still manufacturing ammonium nitrate without? >> the few platforms we are not transitioned out of yet but we are working to transition as quickly as possible. >> i'm sorry. you go out and buy a brand-new car and it could have one of these instruments in it? >> it could have an ammonium nitrate -based inflator that does not have it. that's correct. >> is there any obligation
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to warn the consumer that they are buying something that may be problematic? >> the recalls that are in process at this time are for certain time frames certain vehicles certain technologies. those would not be involved in a brand-new vehicle at this time. that is why we are continuing as part of the consent order to test outside of the boundaries of what is involved in the recall to really understand what the total scope is. >> i'm sorry you're not providing me much reassurance with that answer let me ask you this. you say that by september you will be up to a million units. >> and we will continue to go up after that. >> but under just simple math 34 million vehicles. i mean, almost three years timeframe. >> it is -- roughly -- the exact number is in the dir. but the additional is about
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16 or 17. i do not mean to minimize it. it is obviously a huge number whichever way you look at it. previously there had been 18 million that had already been under the call. we have supplied over 4 million already since january of last year and now we are up to 750,000 per month going to 1 million per a million per month. >> i don't mean to interrupt but my time is up. are any of the replacement modules you are reinstalling in vehicles that are brought in to have their airbag system changed out are any of those ammonium nitrate propellants? >> some of them are. on the driver side we are completely transitioning out
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and we will be using either a desiccated inflator how we will be using a competitor inflator. >> thank you. my time is expired. >> i want to follow up on the chairman's questions. you have talked about the possible reasons including ammonium nitrate perhaps being part of the cost. you are saying if i understand you correctly that you are providing replacement bags that have ammonium nitrate without a desiccant. >> a desiccant. >> yes, ma'am. that's correct. >> i don't understand that. what is under recall right now? >> certain model years, certain designs on certain vehicles. >> but why? why? why is ammonium nitrates --
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why would you and why would i buy -- why would you put in a car and why would i buy a car that has a potentially dangerous airbag? i'm not understanding. >> we are working to move away from them as quickly as possible. in a vehicle it is not as easy as just changing the color of the car or changing a bold. >> your not talking about replacements. >> yes. >> so the replacement could be as dangerous as the current. why would you even replace it? >> as i said without exactly understanding the root cause and continuing to test outside of the bounds of what we have already recalled we're trying to determine. we're trying to understand exactly the factors that lead to this, this, and should we do something different than what we're doing right now? we know -- you heard doctor rose kind say it takes seven have to 12 years.
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putting in a brand-new part is a huge improvement in safety. as we continue to test if it shows that we need to take additional actions we will take additional actions. >> so, does the recall affects cars that are over ten ten years old? >> some of them. i think the original recalls these new ones i would have to look at the dir and see because of that overlap that i talked about. some of them go back to as early as i think 2000, 2,001. the 1st ones involved. >> my understanding is that you are doing that on older cars but you are not required to do so. i wanted to ask you if takata has taken a position on the vehicle safety improvement act hr 1181. >> no we have not publicly. i am aware of the bill but not the particulars in the bill.
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we certainly we certainly support any effort that would help improve the return rate on recalls. >> so let me give you some of the items in the bill and see if you would support that. hr 1181 would increase the quantity and quality of information shared by auto manufacturers with nets a, netzer the public command congress specifically requiring manufacturers to include in there quarterly submissions additional information on fatal incidents, possible because by a defect and assess why the answer may have occurred and it removes removes the limitation on the number of model years that should be reported's. is this something that sounds supportable to you? >> well, well it is a little disingenuous because it is not a requirement for a company. it would seem like that would be a good idea in order to increase visibility on issues.
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>> do you think it would be a good idea to not limited ten years the number of recalls the part of the required? >> i did not know that there was a limit. some of these vehicles at 15 years old. >> would you think it is a good idea to have new eminent hazard authority to expedite recalls? >> again, that is a difficult one for a supplier to answer. but i think anything that improves the safety on the road is certainly a step in the right direction. >> do you think there's any reason to support regional recall as opposed to national? >> obviously our started off as a regional.
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and the reason -- a couple of reasons, number one because that is what the science and data showed where the issues were command there will be cases where i think that is probably correct. >> people don't drive their cars other places. >> that is true but the other thing i was going to say it helps with getting parts into the priority areas as quickly as possible which is part of the core dir that we came to agreement on in the last couple of weeks. >> can i work with you as well obviously primarily with the members but talk to you about legislation? >> absolutely. >> thank you. i yield. >> the chair thanks the gentle lady in recognizes the gentle lady from tennessee. five minutes questions. >> thank you. i'm going to stay right with you.
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[inaudible conversations] >> i was listening to your statement and i think i must have missed something because you talked about manufacturing -- stopping the manufacturer's. you never mentioned the ammonium nitrate. you kind of lost -- left the propellant out of the mix in that addressed it with mr. burgess. this is from an explosives expert. he said the following about ammonium nitrate. it should not be used in airbags but it is cheap unbelievably cheap. do you agree with that statement? >> unbelievably cheap or that it should not be used? i would not say it's unbelievably cheap. i cheap. i would say it's competitive with some of the propellant formulations.
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which we use is a blanket statement this is it should not be used as. i don't agree with that. we had issues. many have performed well. >> are you an explosives expert? >> no. >> all right. let's go to what ms. czajkowski was saying. you are still using this. isn't it true that ammonium nitrate is a a dangerous substance to be used in airbag inflated? >> no. i don't believe it's a dangerous substance to be used. >> you do not. >> we use stabilized ammonium nitrate. most of the issues are it is
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losing its base stabilization. >> isn't it true that ammonium nitrate is cheaper than other compounds? >> probably. at the time when we started the use ammonium nitrate the competing material those two are very similar in cost. there is not a huge difference. >> you are an engineer. isn't it true that your own engineers warned you about using ammonium nitrate? >> well, from some of the newspaper articles i read i assume your frying to mr. lilly's comments. >> mr. benton and mr. lilly. >> i can tell you every development program, every product that any supplier makes there is always a
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spirited debate about the right components, the right design. and there are trade-offs. the previous materials we use extremely toxic the unwanted effect that when deployed is a did not burn cleanly and there was a lot of effluents put into the vehicle and a lot of people and respiratory issues were bothered. every propellant, every design there is always a spirited debate and you can probably find people. >> i want to move on. given given that you are recalling cars that may have already been repaired have there been field incidents reported? have you had any occurrences
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>> not that i'm aware of's. >> all of the replacement parts have performed 100 percent satisfactorily? >> well, what i said was i'm not aware. >> would you double check that and get back to us and let us no? >> yes. >> what does takata believe we know from testing today that we did not know your ago. >> we know a lot and not just from our testing. i heard some of the dillman referred to the report that was released. we brought doctor no it's into our facility in february. we bought a team. >> what kind of changes are you making? >> as i said we do have later designs. the alternate propellants.
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continuing around does a. you will see our production go down. >> i yield back. >> the gentle lady yields back. the chair recognizes the german from massachusetts for five minutes for questions. >> thank you. glad to come back. you expect the use would decrease? >> it certainly got a bad reputation through all of this. as i said command it is a contributing factor that everyone believes is involved in this issue. >> signify or guarantee that as long as it is used the products are safe? >> can you guarantee that the products are safe?
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>> we believe properly manufactured and designed ammonium nitrate can be done properly. >> so you indicate in your written testimony that in certain circumstances these conditions can result in an alteration and propellant wafers in the inflator's that could lead to overaggressive combustion. your statement is if it is properly manufactured and under the right circumstances those conditions would not exist. >> we have seen those in very rare cases. that goes back to the root cause discussion we were having earlier. we we do not have the definitive root cause. we know more than we did based on the testing that we have done and all the testing that are outside experts of the. >> the testing you have done has indicated that the
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ammonium nitrate on the conditions of humidity and heat over time to lead the malfunction. >> exactly. and exactly. and that you are going to five year plans are to phase out the use of ammonium nitrates and products. >> we have been facing them down and phasing way propellants, but a lot of them's poor with desiccant. we had gone from non- desiccated to desiccated. >> and is a similar? >> yes. >> why not adopted earlier? >> we made investments in order to process. we were having good success. it was competitive. it had a number of these other advantages to it. it was not something that
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until recent issues really give us a reason to rethink. >> a significant disadvantage of late. >> am sorry. >> fairly significant disadvantages of late. >> yes. >> 's i think you try to touch on this. in an article in the new york times yesterday indicated that the headline says takata says it will no longer make side inflator linked to airbag deflects. >> what? >> it will no longer make side inflator linked to airbag defect. will not be using ammonium nitrate. another piece another newspaper saying is still would be manufactured in the peace and writers that said it was not going to be. can you clarify for me is
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it still being used? should people -- what should people do?
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directly from the transcript of the december hearing had asked her colleague about this matter and had stated the current view based upon reliable information does not support a nation my determination's of safety defects in all vehicles equipped. this is not the view of the agency of the federal government. so you are dramatically and diametrically in opposition to the view. is that accurate?
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and then this was discussed with a colleague. there was a translation problem. then answer the question and said yes. that that is our statement. then i went on the same conclusion that we will be asking november 26 there was a national record amended. of course that was not the view of takata. what has changed between then and now? >> much. much. >> one additional death. >> the one additional death. >> that certainly has changed. >> and taxes. that was also mentioned. a vehicle that have been recalled four years ago. >> but not to the owner.
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>> that is an important factor for the american people to know. >> a a very important factor. i agree. to your original question of what changed at that time we had i think 8000 tests done. now we have 50,000. we have seen patterns emerge in some of the testing and data that we have accumulated. that has led us and all of the other testing and analysis that has been done by outside experts. we hired experts. you have seen the fraunhofer report. >> moving on the issue of ruptures was 1st known in 2,004. the 1st six this occurred in 2,009. so this has been ongoing problem of great significance. in the last six months how much have you been find?
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i i believe it's 14000 a day's. how much in total have you been find? >> i believe -- >> am asking for your answer >> i believe the tolls up to about 1.2 million. >> of you paid that? >> to my knowledge no. >> y? >> as part of the discussion and negotiation. they have agreed to suspended as part of the consent order but they have reserve the right to incur further penalties as they see fit. >> now based upon your testimony to the chairman and ranking member is it possible that the placement airbags will continue to have ammonium nitrate in the? >> yes. some of them will. >> and you are confident that they will be safe for some time?
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>> we feel that they are safe. that is why as part of the consent order we are continuing to test outside of the scope of the recall and continuing to test to make sure that the remedy parts are safe. >> should those who are having an airbag replaced ask whether or not the new airbag will contain ammonium nitrate? 's. >> i'm not really sure how to answer that. >> are there new automobiles russia police and the line. >> yes. >> thank you. you indicate that the rate of compliance drops dramatically.
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did. did i here you write that it is 15 percent for older vehicles? explain exactly the years involved? >> i don't know that i mentioned exactly the numbers. you are exactly right. the trend is that further out the recall completely is lower. >> second and 3rd owners. difficult to find. manufacturers are doing what they can. >> thank you. in conclusion i am concerned about those vehicles that are purchased not new. people who might not be aware necessarily.
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this is a a great concern and i want to work with you and others to make sure all americans are protected. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. >> thank you and our panelists. the day before the subcommittee hearing in december takata sent a letter with the rejected a national recall. the contention that it was not required by law. not a manufacturer. mr. kennedy this question was asked in december, but i want to hear from you now. do you agree with that statement?
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>> it sounds like a lot of legal. i am certainly not a lawyer. >> it is now legal. it is very simple. it is your contention that you are not required by law to make a good faith determination. conduct a recall because it is not a manufacturer of motor vehicles. >> i really don't know the answer. >> very well. it is my understanding that takata have submitted to jurisdiction. >> i believe that would probably be the proper term. we have come to an agreement.
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>> that's correct. >> yes. >> do you know -- do you now agree takata is subject to the jurisdiction at least as to laws and regulations related to safety related defects? >> again, it is an area of -- your asking me a lot question that i am not really properly qualified answer. i can look into it and get back with you. we as its authority if that's the question your asking. we have worked hard to come to the agreement. >> let me ask you do you now agree to cut takata is required to decide in good faith? >> we clearly did say that a defect may arise. >> is the kind of thing for
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placement airbags? >> i'm not sure what you mean. we're selling them. >> airbags that now need to be replaced. >> correct. >> are you paying for them. >> we are working with our automaker customers to discuss financial responsibility. >> what is that mean? >> that we are having discussions with each one of the automakers. >> your not paying for. >> i wouldn't say were paying 100% for everything with every automaker. >> the negotiating what you will him will pay. >> which is a normal course of business. yes. >> a new york times article stated takata said automakers share the blame for this massive recall because testing specifications prescribed by the vehicle manufacturers failed to uncover faults. >> that was one conclusion. >> is that correct? >> we believe so.
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>> can you explain. >> whenever a supplier provides a product there is a specification your required to meet, a set of tests you have to run command we do that. we do that with every new product and they sign off. these products went through the process. the specifications out there did not capture the issues that we're seeing in the field today. >> the manufacturer failed to uncover the fall. >> the specifications that we tested two and provided parts two did not encompass the scope of the problem. >> you are saying that they failed to uncover the fault.
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>> maybe not going to quibble about the wording. >> you are not taking any responsibility. >> that's not what i said. >> you're saying they should blame because they should've uncover the fault. >> what i'm saying is in the automotive industry products are developed to be specifications. typically if you meet the specification you have provided a part that is acceptable. >> thank you. i yield back. >> trying to provide an answer for you as well. >> i appreciate that. i say this not as a lawyer engineer but the specs that are let out when a contract
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is negotiated the relates to performance specifications and not to the fundamental notion that the product should be safe. this is about the form of the deployment in terms of which car we will be appropriately fitted. there is an understanding that the supplier we will provide a product that complies. part of that is making sure the controlled explosion is a controlled explosion. >> thank you. the gentle lady yields back. you are recognized for five minutes for questions. >> thank you very much. i guess i we will direct will direct this to you as well. understanding, another root cause manufactured to specification. ..
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>> in viewership to that but it fell within that specification is in engineering issue so it seems like you don't know exactly but talking about if you don't know the root cause of, how do you know, the replacement parts that they bring in for the recall will not fail? what is the assurance of that? >> that is a very good question. many of the replacement parts are different designs. pete. >> and about 50% of but we ship tour with our competitors inflator said do not use ammonium nitrate
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that will go up to 70% in the next month. >> but you have replacement parts now? >> but you will bring in the car for a recall how do you know, ? mcfadyen is why the consent order is written that way to require that we continue to test their brevity parts and outside the scope of the recall to make that judgment >> but you do that before the first one? >> we did. it passed the test spec there could be manufacturing defect? mckewon know these replacement parts will not have been? >> we have confidence the process has changed but
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we're using alternate designs but there is a percentage of them that is why that consent order is written the way it is with that analysis. >> earlier you said 700,000 replacement kits into ship daily? >> with multiple trucks back every day from the field. >> had to prioritize? >> up to this point we have been able to keep up with demand for replacement parts. there are a couple that are on back order and those are completed with the expansion with the letters start to go out for consumers but that
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is why we add additional capacity with those coming in and we have additional mines going to the competitors so we are continuing to read about -- rand up and also maintain production. >> will you talk about the replacement part. >> q. are looking at a at the efficacy as part of the investigation. >> to know that complexity is enormous not just the 34 units in the u.s. it is global issues as well so production allocation is
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also usually six to begin to issues that is why in this instance to assert its core nation and there is no other way that guarantees fairness as the expeditious response as possible. >> i would add that manufacturers are doing what they need to do to take care of their customers knowing what they know now. >> when i worked in manufacturing there issues of our product but to find a the recall to recreate the problem we are all anxious to get to that point. >> that is the most difficult part as anyone familiar is unacceptable to us but in that analysis the
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failure rate is so low to turn on and turn off we have not been able to do that then read just one to turn it off to get to the bottom of it. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. >> we have been hearing conflicting reports for mr. kennedy if the replacement parts are different than the inflator is some talk about a change in the chemical composition and the shape of the propellant and at the december hearing they talked about improvements made to the manufacturing process in recent years that said it was the same. is there any difference between the replacement
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players in the original deflective to slater's? >> that was richly different on the driver's side in the driver's side as the most issues on the passenger's side right now there are a percentage that is the design and later but is manufactured at of later time. >> with that defect information takata code that continues to have a small
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number of inflator is. it tends to seize for those rickety carts so when does it intend those as replacements? >> we have a of a couple of car makers that have not qualified the inflator yet. they have been working very hard to do that with us and our competitors. the phase for aha to get that remedy part that i design. >> but what weld takata used to replace? >> it depends on the vehicle
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summer competitors insulators on the driver's side from trw and also a later generation inflator that has desiccant then it is robust. >> are we to assume that is stops the production of these of leaders? >> the back swing propellant was one of the factors that was called out with the testing and analysis with the egg -- c outside experts in order to eliminate that factor completely that we don't make a for production and the longer. >> that could be a problem. >> the city will replace the
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insulators on for stages you mentioned those previously? >> will the previous that are replaced from december december 2014 have them replaced again? give it to anybody that had a the inflator replace would have to have replaced again. yes. that is correct. >> somebody who already has the insulator replacement of realize that they have to have replaced again. how do you communicate that to the consumer? rick that is another great question and another part of the consent order in agreement that we have. we will work with nhtsa and the automakers to do a proactive safety campaign. we have been working with a
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professional media firm that has done these things in the past. honda last year had initiated a media campaign on your cellphone if you called up google it would say to check your airbag. so we're talking to honda to see what worked so we will come back to help increase that visibility for the cars that need to come back. >> the gentleman from houston. >> welcome to the witness is. one thing has come through loud and clear is we still don't know about the root cause.
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of bat wings and all sorts of things that bothers a. the vin number orion of the elektra had had bad defect that means that the o-rings would fall off the plane is hard to find because they did not know what happened they found out so i heard you say there is he to end humidity comment desiccant and propellants in - - propellants now it is dissidents'? how many are there out there? >> 1/2 to check but it is a
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defect in. >> we are 95% humidity so we are ground zero. >> i do not know the number. >> to replace it with a desiccant put that into place right now. >> that is exactly what we're doing. >> but with the ammonium nitrate? >> no, no, no. that is not what i am saying. >> that is the problem. is a propellant why don't you put the desiccant with all propellants?
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>> we have a alternative later that is what we referred to and that is what we are doing with those of the leaders will have desiccant or from one of the of combat -- competitors. who pays for it? the manufacturer, dealers, takata who pays for the recall? >> consumers and to not pay. that is the critical point. my hunch is there is debate who will bear the cost. >> i will agree that the consumer will not pay. we need to take care of the customer and the supplier
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and the regulator to do so. >> my truck has a recall notice i got that to replace the oil so lerner time is spent on recalls and fixing cars. >> the dealers will come out whole they are reimbursed. with those franchise rules. >> to talk about the last victim of the airbags from texas. buying a used car in 2004 there recall 2011 and had a crash this year few knew the car was defective?
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how can we track the car from the recall to the owner? she had no chance she had no idea. >> is an important point. the fundamental notion of safety and shared responsibility the consumers have the peace certainly nhtsa so we all need to do a better job to trace that ownership. that is why we go through that exercise about conducting research so we have to find a way to turn the trigger. >> is a great question and. as i mentioned we ought to consider looking at the point and which state voter registers for further notification with that
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procedure to be in place to register that used car. >> fed gentleman yields back. mr. -- the gentleman from florida you have five minutes. >> thanks for your testimony on the panel. for those that were recalled for a second airbag replacement? to know those how many are affected. >> tv they have to bring the cars in twice i think the automaker's are quantities of those vehicles.
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>> how do plan to notify the consumers as part of the consent order and we certainly want to do it in conjunction with the automakers said who don't want to do something that would be at odds so we have a media firm that is familiar with these types of activities if we have some ideas on paper that we will be reviewing those with nhtsa. >> but just give me an answer. >> it is a fair question and it is a difficult question. think we heard from a lot of different people with the extremely complex issue. every first started to see
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those issues we had national recalls of a large number of parts we thought we had identified the root cause so then we started to see the sporadic issues that led to the action of last year. it has been very elusive it is very difficult to get a consistent pattern. >> how can you insure consumers that it will be effective knu is serve my constituents that is the case. there are later designs from competitors there are still a few that is part of the
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order we are testing the remedy parts to make sure they will be sufficient for the life of the of vehicle and why we are continuing to test outside of their ranges of the recalls so we tried to cover that i cannot tell you right now that everything but what we have anticipated that problem to have an agreement with nhtsa to allow us to look back and we will take action if needed. >> since the first of later ruptured in 2004 it is true they tested roughly 128 airbags is that correct? >> i am not sure i am not familiar with that number. >> the belief to investigate this issue with the
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potential risk a.m. threat of airbags we were able to identify what they thought was a solid root cause we have manufacturing data data, test data and we could create the problem clearly there is something else going on. you'll save more could be done but with the automaker customers thought was sufficient to get to root cause. >> one last question and with that ammonium nitrate. >> i don't have the answer to that question i will
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report back. >> thank you very much. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from oklahoma you have five minutes. i enjoy watching your show i could probably take a lesson or two from that but at the same time you can tell the frustration we are getting from the panel lady is sitting over your shoulder that bears the scars of a mistake that was made in we're still not getting the answers. i of the business owner. a understand when we fail and make a mistake. but now what? with a solution in was we did recall replaced with
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other things and still faulty? there is no excuse. o. we just want to hear you say we screwed up but but that would cause legal issues but to take blame is just that. who is responsible for this. who made the product? whose was ted whose name was on it? that's why haven't been moving very fast in the rehab no idea how many vehicles? four young men?
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or worse than that? that they cannot finish out their life. what is that worth to? with that was sure daughter? i have three at home. i can tell you do you have a daughter? began the sun. >> would you be pretty passionate to load up to save whatever it takes and what we believe how long have you been making airbags? a more studies you need to have? >> i am not trying to be
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evasive but there are very smart people but there is a multifaceted issue. >> bid is a great term we use political terms here all the time and we talking in circles. but we're looking for ownership. >> diana stand it is complex. >> fortunately i have survived. the other problem is a problem. that you have to figure out to put a dollar amount on it. i don't know how you can.
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instead the say the complexity or the make up but the competitors are finding out. your competitors? it sounds like he will do anything but take ownership. your competitors? i cannot imagine your to sit here to save my competitor will pay for the problem. >> we did that to get parts into the field faster. >> you have known about this since 2004. >> but not since this level. >> you identified there was the problem and you could recreated you knew there was a problem. >> we thought we had a root cause at that time. we did a replacement. >> how did you track them down? with the automakers in all. >> but we still don't have people notified.
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if they end up bin california with mad cow disease with the bar code but at least they could track it back to the farm. we cannot do that with the airbag? >> we can tell you exactly which one to the automaker's taken to you what it is in but the issue for the most part is to get that recall rate of. >> we already found the problem. >> i disagree. >> if we want to find the problem you cannot convince me we could not find a solution. but who will pay for it? that is the roots of the problem. >> mr. chairman i yield back
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>> thanks for being here. and things you for answering these very important issues i asked our panel that includes bmw and toyota and honda if they might share the oleum part numbers with the automotive recycling industry to increase safety. evade express to share part numbers but the secretary said he supports on the manufacturers to provide part numbers to recyclers and manufacturers should provide this information in the easy-to-use format. but with a program or bureaucracy but it appears we have an incident -- an incident where they agree on the approach from the large
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part to share this information will improve safety but are you aware of any discussions to share this information? >> didn't know the answer to your question i will get back to you. >> if you could to be aware of the issue to follow up with my office would be helpful with the issue going forward. what can your organization do to help facilitate this to make this happen? >> we will have a conversation within our
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association and we would get back to you at that point. >> that question is the important priority for everybody and it is a shared responsibility to work with anyone to get the job done as quickly as humanly possible. >> i can yield back. . .
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>> it is worked on is it adapting to carbon dioxide or nitrogen something that would not have the explosive characteristics of ammonium nitrate or the toxic characteristics of the other? >> yes sir, there are a wide variety out there. some of them are cold gas
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inflators, it's a wonder that is filled with gas under high pressure and you have a small igniter that hits a burst and the gas comes out. there are some hybrids that have gas and propellant that kind of heated up and usually it's not ammonium nitrate and most of it. then there are alternate solid fuels out there. including what we are transitioning to. we can provide all kinds of information and if you would like to take a look at this. >> some are better than others. >> what is the barrier forgetting something that is less toxic. >> you know it goes off to some of the trade-offs that we were talking about. size and costs in that is certainly one of them as well. some of them with our bigger, it's harder to get the ministering will so there are those kinds of trade-offs and we can certainly provide any kind of information you are interested in.
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>> i would appreciate you making that available to the subcommittee and i think that that would be helpful to us. and seeing that there are no further members to ask questions, i want to thank all of witnesses with anticipation and today's hearing. pursuant to committee rules i remind members that they have 10 business days to submit additional questions for the record and i asked the witnesses to submit their responsive and 10 business days upon receipt of the questions and without objection and the subcommittee is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> tomorrow the homeland security committee holding a hearing on the recent shooting in texas involving gunmen who attempted an attack.
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officials from the homeland security the national counterterrorism center and the guy are going to testify about terrorist use of social media as a recruiting tool and you can watch it live at 10:00 a.m. eastern time on c-span3 and >> this weekend the c-span cities tour. learning about the life of lincoln nebraska. >> she was given almost every literary award possible in her lifetime before she died except for the nobel prize, she was known for some of her masterpieces death comes to the archbishop, a lost lady and many others.
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in which you did not want those letters to be quoted. there are at least 3000 letters that we know about. and furthermore she left one other thing she left it to the soul and uncontrolled discretion of her beneficiaries and whether or not they expressed her wishes. and we ought to know more about her. >> an important historical figure was solomon butcher. >> he was a pioneering photographer in western nebraska. he took photos from about 1887 in 1886 through about the 1890s of homesteaders and was able to tell the story of this important
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development in american history. and i'm going to show you one of my favorite images on this collection, it's actually a photograph of the christian sisters. it is for sisters that each took a homestead claim in custer county. and the shows women homesteaders. it was the first time that women could own land on their own. it did not belong to their husbands and it did not belong to their fathers. a single woman could own her own land and that was a really big deal with the homestead act. so each sister each of these sisters took a homestead near their father's ranch. and they each built a small house on the homestead which is part of the homestead act. and they would take turns singing each others' houses and working each other's farms.
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so the sisters really pulled together and made it together in nebraska. >> you can watch all of the events from lincoln at 6:00 o'clock on booktv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock on american history tv on c-span3. >> the ongoing drought in the western united states has led california officials to order a 25% reduction in water use by non-foreign consumers. officials from the interior department and the arizona and washington state government testified about the crisis at a senate environment and natural resources hearing. this is two hours. [inaudible conversations]
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>> good morning, we are calling together the full committee on energy and we welcome everyone this morning as we meet today to discuss the drought conditions. i do not know about the rest of you, but i was completely dumped on yesterday, i've never seen it rain so hard and i've been thinking about the drought as we were battling the wet weather here. but truly the drought conditions that are facing the western have garnered the attention of so many of us. much of the west has been in the varying degrees of drought for the past 15 years. according to a survey released last week at the u.s. drought monitor, approximately 57% of the west is now experiencing moderate to exceptional drought.
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all the records range from severe to exceptional drought. and in the impacts of this. california is in the fourth year of severe drought and it has for the first time imposed 25% reductions by residents and businesses. many farmers in california continue to face unprecedented reductions in water delivery by the euro and the state, which are often the primary sources of water. these farmers have contracts in the state. today in the absence of water their livelihood is being dramatically impacted. drought is leaving behind hard decisions for these folks saying which fields do they lay fallow, do they change the certain crops, do they plow under crops such as fruit trees. i was in fresno several months ago and i saw oldfield's of
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beautiful citrus trees, healthy citrus trees that were bulldozed over because there was no water. and in certain cases the drought has led farmers divide of business entirely. the impacts are not just on farmers some communities no longer have running water and there are losing jobs. as much discussion goes as far as what drives these decisions in the state, during the course of the four year drought for example many have said that the large amounts of water had been released at various times in various forms were held back and have been done to ensure protection of fish at the expense of cities and farmers. we have heard repeatedly that the farmers in the state use 80% of the state's water. so the question that needs to be asked is if it is accurate. my understanding is that the california department of water resources needs to look like this.
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10% urban youth, 41% agriculture use. and a majority of 49% use for environmental management. the wetlands as well as in stream flow requirements. one of the real westerns that we should discuss regarding these circumstances and potentially elsewhere is to what extent is the very important balance between water or fish under state and federal law being given equal legal support for that of water delivery to meet the needs of people in cities and towns and farms. and if the balance is not equal, then why not are there regulatory imbalances. can the federal government be helpful in addressing the imbalances. in the west the situation though perhaps not as dire is trending that way. in washington state the governor declared a statewide drought emergency on may 15. in oregon, the governor has the layered a state of drought emergency in seven counties with another au request and
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designation. across the colorado river basin with 40 million residents in seven states relying on water from lake mead on the colorado for residential industrial and agricultural needs. the drought in varying degrees has been a fact of life 15 years. the streams are starting to show most notably where lake levels at lake mead have fallen 130 feet in the last 15 years. at the current rate in the next few years, users in arizona and dealt where could see reductions in their allocations under the colorado river contract. hydropower operations could also be curtailed as well. and i have mentioned in this committee and in other is the potential hydropower impacts that remind us of the strong nexus between energy and water and the strain the drought puts on those necklaces is something that i'm watching and am very concerned about.
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in the challenges stemming from drought, water users and others are working to ensure delivery of water where it is needed. these actions include state and federal officials working together to facilitate water transfers and farmers agreeing to delay the deliveries of water to develop this. many farmers have turned to groundwater consumption to meet their needs. so there's hard questions that i think need to be asked here. the current actions are they sustainable in the face of multi-year drought, are all parties giving sufficient attention to long-term planning and related actions, and what is the federal government's most appropriate role in addressing longer-term solutions given tight budgets and much of what happens is actually managed by the state. are there innovative efforts on the ground that should be replicated. also what new ideas for water storage conservation and other
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things should be reconsider. we have an impressive panel of witnesses and i look forward to hearing from those on the ground and how they are meeting the challenges and i look forward to how everyone can be helpful here. i will turn to my colleague. and i will note to the committee that we have a vote scheduled at 10:30 p.m. so we will keep the committee going and i will ask members to go out and then come back. i would like to turn to the senator. >> i would like to thank the chairwoman for scheduling this hearing. as you mentioned the governor has declared a drought emergency as he has done in 11 other states. i hope that we can use this hearing to better understand the magnitude of these droughts across the western states. i want to emphasize as well that we hope to have a robust discussion about solutions.
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things that we can do as well as things that we can plan for in the future. what is working what is not working, what are the federal government actions that need to be addressed to face these drought issues and long-term. if they are likely to become the new normal what we need to do to usher in a new era of solutions. this year many states are experiencing the warmest winter on record and no impact at the mountain level which keeps rivers flowing in the spring and summer are now at 9% of lower levels. eleven snow sites where they monitor the snow they were snow free for the first time ever for example hurricane ridge is normally covered in several feet of snow this year and it's completely snow free.
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as a result, 70% 8% of the state streams are running below normal and runoff is projected to be the lowest it has been in 64 years. and on may 15 the governor declared a statewide drought emergency as working to mitigate the impacts and rule communities which have been hard hit and as well as the states most productive agriculture region, irrigation districts are facing significant cuts in the washington department of agriculture predicts that this could be a loss as much as $1.2 billion this year. so i want to make sure that our federal agencies are working hand-in-hand with the states to provide relief and assistance and to try to address this issue as we move forward. in the meantime the communities are bracing for a severe fire season which also is going to provide many challenges. it's very important that we look at responding to long-term
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changes that are before us and the way that we do business in the midst of this crisis and that we think about the paradigm shift that's in front of us as we face these warmer seasons. we need to develop 21st century water management not only responding to the drought conditions of today but preparing us for an uncertain future. this requires new ways of thinking and collaboration which means exploring all options and not just incremental change at this point in time. and i think that the basin project in my state is an example of long-term basic planning. which has not been done in the past in which the interest groups from farmers to fishermen to environmentalists are working together to try to implement the best possible plan over the long term and i think that there are four areas that we should consider moving forward. one of them is we need more collaborative water sharing
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agreements just like with the basin, this empowers communities to take action on a local level and to be part of crafting the solutions. the second thing is that we need to be more flexible with drought operations and that includes building managing and financing storage and other infrastructure and how we support those efforts at the local level. i know a lot of people don't even want to talk about that especially when they think about how long it takes to get it permitted and authorized. and i think that we have to think creatively about how we build the storage now. we need to do even a small-scale we need to do a better job of leveraging science and technology and i am amazed at what they have done is a country to have such low water resources and yet we continue to be such an agriculture producer. so we need to make sure that we are deploying new technologies that help improve efficiency from everything from the
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hydroelectric dams to agriculture and our homes and finally we need to do a better job of planning for the future instead of just simply reacting. i hope that in the future we can get some of our climate scientists from oak ridge i know the senator is a member. and i think that he is a member of our committee. they have incredible science on what is going to be impacting us as a nation. they have the modeling and i think that we should look at what these normal conditions mean to us because i think that we can see what the economic impact is going to be and i think it's going to be great. i think we need to do a better job planning for the future. we need to do all that we can at the federal level to be flexible in a response to get the right kind of investment to make sure that our communities will be better protected in the future. i thank you for your leadership in having this hearing.
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i look forward to hearing from the witnesses including tom who is the water resources manager from the department of ecology in washington state and i look forward to hearing from all of the witnesses here on this important topic. >> thank you senator. we will begin hearing from eyewitnesses this morning as well as our distinguished panel. thank you for all being here. it will begin with michael connor who is the deputy secretary for the department of interior who will be followed by the gentleman who is the director of the water planning division for the arizona department of water resources. and also from the west from washington, we have calmed, who is the water resources program manager for washington state department of ecology. he will be followed by jim
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ogsbury who is the western governors association director. giving us the view from the western states. and he is the president on behalf of the family farm alliance and we welcome him to the committee. wrapping up the panel is betsy, betsy cody, who is a natural resources specialist. and so we welcome all of you. and so with that, we will lead off with you and when the vote is called i would ask that we move through the testimony here this morning. we want to try to accommodate that. five minutes testimony and your full written statement will be incorporated as part of the record. welcome. >> thank you, chairman. members of the committee.
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for the record and the deputy secretary of the department of interior and i thank you for the department opportunity to testify. the department and its bureaus are taking steps to address the serious water resources issues affecting much of the west. i will be fully summarize my lengthy written testimony. the department is acutely aware of the drought related challenges confronting families and farmers and business is in the city throughout the west. we are doing everything we can to address the situation. we understand the implications and the need for continuous action. given the impacts associated with climate change and other stressors, we have no choice but to adjust and adapt. so the department is taking an multifaceted approach to assist western communities impacted by drought.
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an urgent response to the drought requires a focus on immediate day-to-day operations. we are taking any and all actions to maximize supplies for human use while maintaining environmental conditions necessary to protect the fish and wildlife as well as protecting the interest of other water users. the fourth year of a historic drought in california litigation has been minimal while federal state agencies and water users and nongovernmental individuals have worked together on drought strategies and other agreements to share limited water supplies. the collaboration and cooperation has been as historic as the drought itself. we are also making strategic investments to stretch these over the next several years.
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and this includes grant assistance to the program. they joined this administration as well as congress to help families across the west confronted by this historic drought. finally we continue to assess and plan for the long-term actions were hired to improve our understanding of water resources as well as secure agreements and infrastructure and technology investments needed to address unsustainable water usage that is the source of significant conflict today. and likely to get worse in the future. and that includes the geological survey which is all working aggressively with our partners heard the work is dovetailing with that of other agencies and it's part of the resilience partnership.
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and that includes helping communities manage the impact of drought. these efforts rely on no small measure of the cooperation of the broad array of stakeholders. governors, state and local authorities, conservationists farmers and ranchers and others. from the central valley to the river basin two parklands and indian country collaboration is enabling flexibility to prevent water loss protect recreational aspects and provide irrigation to farmland. our experience has taught us that to be successful ultimately you must be dedicated beyond these results and commit for the long term. take the colorado river basin as an example, that has been the collaborative efficiency measures for 50 years. this program developed in 2007 as well as agreements in 2010 and 2012 with the mexican government through those efforts approximately 1 million acres of water has been conserved delaying the time
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that we will reach critical levels in lake mead. unfortunately the drought continues to outpace conservation efforts and shortages in the royal basin are now possible in 2016 as wills 2017. underscoring the need for continued collaboration and extraordinary operational measures into the future. successfully confronting the challenges the drought will take thorough investment and ongoing commitment. the department will not lose focus on the duty to help western communities dealing with drought and we know that neither the federal government or the community that we serve can build or conserve or lie on only one option to meet the challenges so we need to take a multifaceted approach to diversify the portfolio in working to achieve these results. thank you for the opportunity and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you sir. >> good morning, members of the
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committee. i am the director of the arizona department of water resources thomas buschatzke. thank you for allowing me to present this testimony regarding jobs in the west and its impact on the state, the formula for offsetting and mitigating impacts on the role of the united states. arizona has a diverse water supply portfolio and we use about 7 million acres of water per year and the sources are 40% from the colorado river, 40% from groundwater, 17% from in state services and 3% from the use of reclaimed water. arizona has created institutions that provide certainty for water uses. it took political capital and hard choices over many decades to create the water delivery projects and laws and regulations and interstate agreements that manages water. the result was worth the effort.
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arizonans enjoy a vibrant economy and will continue to do so even in the face of this. uncertainty and portability remains and this is a part of arizona's history and continues to be part of the strategic goals for the state. drought is at the top of our list of challenges. arizona is going to lose 320,000 of its 2.8 million allocation when the shortage is triggered and then we will know in august 2015 if the shortage is going to occur. the probability of this is 33% and increases to 75% for 2017. arizona shoulders the brunt of about 84% of the total taken by arizona nevada, and mexico. if this continues to decline, arizona is going to take larger reductions in california will continue to take no shortage. then another challenge is an
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issue referred to as the structural deficit. it is caused by the volume of water released for delivery losses and exceeding the volume of water entering lake mead from lake powell even in a normal year and as a result the elevation drops about 12 feet per year. greater than normal flows helped to offset this impact. the drought has kept this from happening. ..
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creating a sustainable colorado river. it is imperative that the actions not reduce errors -- arizona's flexibility to manage its own water supply


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