tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 16, 2016 6:30pm-8:01pm EST
. . >> my understanding is that we have had a great deal of success in eliminating extensions of time for all of our program. we are mostly keeping to those windows. are there additional challenges with genetically engineered products? if they are then that is where the science comes in and we ask for it. they are not treated differently than looking at how we always look at pesticides, which is by the science try to stick with the legal timelines and window that we had to make-- >> i will follow-up on a question on the science issue the president has stressed the
importance of transparency and epa's act is to ensure the use of sound sign it-- science. epa is increasingly reliant on epidemiological and modeling data looking at their correlations and extremely unlikely scenarios to essentially overrule volumes of actual hard science, laboratory at monitoring data realize all around the world for decades. why was this fundamental change in policy not put out for public notice and comment so that impacted stakeholders would have an opportunity to, on this transition to such a heavily reliant on the worst-case scenarior model and chronological studies. >> i am not aware that there has been any change in policy direction, sir. >> and i will look forward to that answer. i am under the understanding that there has been quite a
transition away. >> i am happy to answer it. am h. >> last question. let's keep dealing with this raw data, hard science. i have heard about serious matters regarding epa policy based on human research data that may not be reliable and four years epa has relied on hundreds of quality studies evaluating all aspects of human susceptibility to pesticides. these include studies designated to make sure children would be protected and we want that. even though epa uses those high quality assessments for 20 years epa now relies primarily on epidemiology studies and some general ardell-- articles. again, seeing the raw data to determine if these studies are reliable or accurate, case in point i am told columbia university who conducted a key study refused to provide the raw data to epa even though epa
partially funded the study. epa is likely relied on information based on raw data that cannot be reviewed for accuracy. i am running out of time and i will submit this question. is a corrected the epa has not gotten access to the raw data or are you simply refusing to disclose and if you have the information why are you not disclosing that information for the public to review? i look forward to your answers to that question and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. adminstrator mccarthy, thank you for being here. let me start by calling attention to a letter i sent to you last month in regard to a company called oh wood products in oh washington and as you know we have had the last two years
record-setting catastrophic fires, wildfires that have had a tremendously negative impact on our communities. this company is one of the largest employers in this small community and i think over 185 people look at the mill, 60 million-dollar impact in the community. unfortunately they have announced recently that they plan to shut down at the end of february. people in the city of oh are working hard to find someone to come in and take over the mill. one of the issues is that they don't have an operating permit. two years ago epa promised the rewrite of the permit that would more accurately reflect operation of the plant and i can tell you without that permit they are having a difficult time finding anyone interested in reopening the plant, so if you could look into that i would appreciate it. >> i would be happy to.
>> a couple of collections, section 303 of the clean water act clearly gives the states the authority to develop water quality standards and submit those plans to you. to make sure they comply with the cwa. >> corrective. >> i don't think section 303 gives epa power to establish those criteria for the state laster epa indicated it would reject the state of washington's water quality standards on the basis of two things. number one, doesn't account for consumption of 175 grams of pit-- fish per day. which i might add is that equivalent of eating 38 cans of tuna. number two, for people who actually consume that much fish it does not account for the cancer risk level of 10 to the minus six or one to 1 million,
so i'm concerned your agency's proposed rule is significantly more stringent than required to protect human health and it's inconsistent with human policy and could cost my state billions of dollars for compliance. could you discuss for me briefly on how epa arrived at these levels and explain why your agency is seeking to impose standards that far exceed your own water quality guidelines for states. >> well, i am very familiar with this issue in terms of work going on between the state of washington, and epa. the state of washington has recently proposed water quality standards and we have been starting a process to do that ourselves. we are perfectly happy to defer to the state on their water quality standards should those come out in a way that we think does two things. is safe for human health as well as protect the tribal treaty
rights, which we are obligated to protect under treaty law. >> let me follow up. as for your proposed cancer risk level in order to have 10 to minus six, you we need to reduce some of the agents on the pollutants list to get this less than a naturally occurring level and that means the river as it flows naturally would not meet the levels. 2013 study conducted by washington state industry found that even the most advanced technology available and with billions of dollars in upgraded resources, few facilities would be able to meet those standards, so my question is where does epa think it derives the authority and power to tell stacy had to meet these standards and that they have no part in formulating the number two, are in no way grounded in sound to silence? >> we can certainly have this
conversation and i know we are running out of time, but i will assure you that the regent working on this, our region 10 is in close contact with washington and stakeholders. to understand how we can come to a conclusion either through the state effort or our own to be reasonable, rational, make sure we have standards that can be issued and know we take about a-- take away the flexibility states have in terms of how they achieve it. >> i appreciate that answer and i do have more questions, but i will have to submit them for the record. >> mr. kelly, for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you administrator for being here. in my first question is three rears ago mississippi farmers created a store ship program to cooperation and communication between the key present
pesticide applicator's. this has increased not just good will between these two groups, but we expect to find this is increased health as well. unfortunately, despite the good work that mississippi is doing that epa is undermining those relationships. while both are farmers and beekeepers that they addressed many of the issues, farmers in my state are losing access to key products and will be unable to protect their crops threatening their livelihood and additionally the keepers have concerns that an economic hit to the farmers would mean they would be unable to host b's on their farms. please ask lane to me what epa is doing to make sure my constituents will have the time proven product and the new affective products available to meet their needs. >> one of the things-- we should really talk about where this concern is coming from because i know in working through the pollinated strategy we recognize that one of the key things that needed to be done is the agreement and an understanding
between beekeepers and their own farmers. about how to protect in those pollinators while at the same time allowing those crops to be properly. if there is a disconnect there i would love to understand because it would-- was one of the highlights and with that said the federal government does not need to get involved in this as long as i communication is working and happening, so if we have missed the boat i would love to be able to work with you on it to figure out how we might be able to turn that around. >> i will make sure we get that you-- get you that information. >> this is the conversation we wanted to have happened. >> second, and i don't know i was going to joke about our accents because i didn't know if we needed an interpreter or not, but we speak a little bit different english. >> i can understand you. >> after the hearing today, you know, i'm not sure we are not different in more ways than just our accent and i think one of
the smartest terms i heard to date was regulatory humility and i have not seen that displayed. i think if you look back i think you have 32 states who are filed lawsuits over wotus and i think you have both the house and senate through the majority of members regards of which party think it is not implemented correctly. i think you have courts that are saying that it's not been implemented correctly and what i see is the epa sticking a flag in and saying we are writes and the rest of america is wrong. we are writes and we will defend and i have heard several times you say, we defend this action. i don't agree with what the courts set on that. i don't agree with gao that we broke the law. we will defend our science and we will do this. that is not humility. that is arrogance. i am smarter than you. i don't care how many of you
there are or have a different backgrounds you come from, but i am smarter than you and i am right and you're wrong and i think a member asked you earlier , repeal wotus, do away with it. it's not that it's a bad idea, but the rule we have now, i can tell you the majority of america does not believe protects them and they believe it is punitive and not helpful. we need clean water. no one understands that more than me. one of the most crucial resources we have in america is clean drinking water. water to water outcrops. we all want the same thing, but the rules we have now does not accomplish that, but we are so entrenched that we have to have this rule and i think if you would repeal the rule, step back, get with congress, get with farmers, get with environmentalists, get a whole group of people in a room and say what do we want to achieve and what is the most effective way to do that and let's all take pride out of it because we are all prideful regardless of
what we are, but to get back to the humility to the sarpy when the room, get a group or commission together and let's come out with a wotus that works because i can tell you businesses, farmers, legislators , courts, everyone right now knows this wotus ruled that we have is not the right rule. let's quit sticking a flag in the ground and defending the something that doesn't work and let's come up with something that does protect our clean drinking water and mr. chair, i yield back. >> five minutes. >> thank you mr. sharon. welcome, adminstrator mccarthy. i want to go back further than wotus and talk about the epa's chesapeake bay scheme because that really is the precursor to what's going on nationwide with wotus. and i think you would agree that the-- it is both significant and
unique for variety of reasons. early in the implementation process epa documents mentioned many specifics were novel in comparison to past epa tml's in this blueprint could serve as a template for other watersheds are out the nation, the concerns voiced by arboriculture, for street and homebuilding industries in addition to some local communities and to the numerous legal challenges speak to the enormous impacts that the epa's actions have had and will continue to have in the bay region. given this, shouldn't the epa have conducted an analysis to estimate the cost of such unimportant rule? >> it is my understanding that we have been in that process-- >> says 2009 and you are almost to the halfway assessment point
and you implemented this process, but have never done a cost benefit analysis to determine whether the cost of this to these parties and the taxpayers of my district and all of the other districts in the six states isn't greater than the benefits to the bay? >> well, sir, i think what we try to do was to allow states the flexibility to choose their own path forward and because of that, it would have been extraordinarily difficult to provide any certainty about what that cost might be. >> that is actually not-- that is not what happened, if i made because the states have for a past quarter-century done just that and that is what the clean water act provides for. it says the federal government gets to set the standards and the states get to write the plan and implement the plan to meet the standards and a lot of progress is made over the 25 years. sedimentation has been reduced in the bay by more than 50%, nitrogen and phosphorus by more than 40%.
before this ever even began. yet, the epa said that is not good enough and went ahead with putting pressure on the state, threatening the states that if they didn't change the way they did it, that there would be cost and other consequences to them. so, in fact, up until march of 2009 your agency had assured us that no tms el would be implemented before there was an economic analysis, so how much has this a cost that affected state and on average how much has this cost the average farmer or producer the chesapeake bay watershed? >> i cannot answer that question is. >> i know you can because you never did the homework. ..
you get lawsuits rather than progress. their agency has been implementing for several years now. i understand next year you will be releasing the midpoint assessment. therefore it would seem that you have had ample time to conduct such an analysis. why did you not conduct an economic analysis prior to the implementation or at least at some.in the last few years? >> we are in the midst of that progress.
i do not know when it will be completed. mycompleted. my understanding is that it is being worked on by the agency. >> you may well be well past the midpoint assessment before you ever determine whether this should have been done in the 1st place. all the costs that have gone forward, the epa should not have issued regulations without having not done 1st. as the epa not view the financial impact of the rules inflicts and homeowners and taxpayers in small communities that dot the shenandoah valley in my district? do you not view that financial impact to be of important? >> one of the reasons we do it the way we are is to allow not just us to consider a more effective path forward but to allow the communities themselves. >> my time has expired, but i must express my ongoing dismay for all these many years that we have been talking about this. talk and no information that
would justify this major impact which has quite frankly been the guinea pig. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i am representing michigan. would like to talk with you about the flatwater situation. and >> neighboring county and would like to talk with you about the flatwater situation. as of yesterday there were concerns raised by family. youfamily. you may have heard these concerns, but the.was most of mayors you are there on
february 2. the focus of blame is on the state. now, the governor has apologized, people have lost their jobs the epa region five administrator she knew that she had already become the focus of attention. a courageous act on her part. i'm not saying anything should have happened. inadequacies of the state oversight.
the authority under the law. had done some kind of thorough analysis. >> the epa was aware as of february of last year raise levels of lead. above the enforcement action level epa did nothing. >> i would say that i believe that in april of last year was in the state actually told us and corrected in this impression they gave us that corrosion
control is not happening. epa vigorously recommended to the state that they take action to get corrosion control up and running. that was the focus of our attention. we did oversee this and recommending appropriate steps. >> ms. walters had four children had lead poisoning manager at the epa midwest water division that flynn is not treating water with standard corrosion controls that prevent lead pipes from leaching lead. also the taps were being
pre-flushed for several minutes prior to sampling limited water tests. that is february 25, the epa was notified that corrosion controls are not being implemented and that the testing process is flawed. my understanding is under the safe drinking water act you have the authority for action authorized and there is imminent and substantial endangerment to health. if you do this in february why was there no action taken for almost a year? >> my understanding in february was that we did asked the state of michigan whether or not corrosion control is happening. they gave us an indication that it was. we relied on that. at the same time we did work specifically to test
ms. walters home, and it ithome, and it is not unusual nor an indication of corrosion control happening are not to have a high lead level in a particular home. one house does not dictate whether corrosion control is happening but in no way did mcgill ignore this individual. >> i'm not saying the gilded. the upper levels of the epa did. use the right testing mechanism, there were lead levels of nearly four parts per million. that is march 3. almost a year ago. nothing happ. i want to go again to
june 24, again, when mr. del toro wrote to the head of the epa drinking water division calling the flint lack of corrosion controls at major concern. again no action from the epa. finally, i am told that rather than taking action a legal opinion was requested on the authority of the epa to step in.in. i have to believe that anyone who looks at the documentation of law would be able to give the opinion that the epa has authority in this matter. would you not agree with that? >> when you say no action was taken by epa, i think you minimize the communication that epa has that we normally have the states that are very clear that erosion control should of been done from day one and it needed to continue.
the state of michigan that was challenging whether or not an additional testing was necessary. >> and people that lost their jobs. now the question is, if you knew it wasn't happening why did you not take action? >> i can explain to you my interaction, but it is a much longer conversation. we clearly did everything we could to get the state of michigan to do what they were supposed to do when i became aware and engaged. that is when you sign enforcement action taken. >> my understanding is the communications between the epa region five regarding this matter of been requested,, the governor has released all of its communications. when can we expect to see the documentation from region five? >> numerous requests. >> there is nothing more important than getting that
claim water. >> you are well over. >> i would like to know when you are going to have those documents published. >> of the happy to take that back. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. administrator mccarthy, did your staff prepare you for a question for me about individual assistance the including? >> no. >> they did not? >> i believe last time i said they should be fired if they did not do it. this would be my 4th time. do you believe individual septic systems are included in the language?
>> i am not familiar with the issues. >> i will remind you that a joint hearing i did ask you the same question. their response was that we don't regulate individual septic systems. but you do and i still have yet to have my question answered. if they would be considered under the sewage treatment facility exemption under the existing rules. i don't have a lot of time left. i'll get back to you. i am disappointed that your staff once again did not have a prepared answer on this knowing that i was going to ask. that just makes me as a member of congress no this is more of a check the box
issue and i'm sorry they did not prepare you,. >> i don't want you to think -- >> as a former staffer i would not put you in a situation like that. this is very disappointing to us. i'm disappointed in those sitting behind you. you mentioned earlier that you are trying to ensure there is a better working relationship, you know, there are a lot of folks that don't think that the epa actually counts for the economic consequences of the regulatory proposals. i also asked to last event, last hearing we had whether or not we have worked with usda to employ them to cover.a member of agriculture, that was my language. what is the status of getting that person
appointed? >> on the standing committee? >> yes. >> as recently as last week we met with usda so that we could finalize it. we understand how important it is in have been working hard to make sure we respect people's interest and will be working with usda. >> i appreciate that. this is something i asked you about before. i just don't think the epa actions and again i don't expect you to take away from every hearing our concerns, but i do expect the folks sitting behind you to follow up. my legislative intent was to get someone from agriculture to work with you so that maybe when you came here today you would not offended talk about how you work to bridge that relationship, bridge that gap with her
agricultural community. it is very disappointing. you wonder lawyer ask your has taken two years for a simplea simple request to appoint someone to a standing advisory board has not been done, why they don't trust the epa. it is very disappointing on my end. i would hope that by the next time we meet that we could see much more progress on this. two years has been long enough. you would prove it a lot by accomplishing this task in getting someone on the advisory committee. with that i want to make my chairman happy by yielding back to remainder of my time >> you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here.
experts believe that over 70 ped we have seen a dramatic decrease in production. the season's harvest is 69 million boxes. that testing closed captioning . speak to your agency is doing? is there anything you need from us to help facilitate that? >> we are taking the situation extraordinarily seriously. i know that we met with the house delegates, delegations to talk about what we have already done on recent registrations bringing more tools to the table, but we are also in the middle of looking at an emergency
exemption request we are working with the cdc and fda and we are going to try to get that done as soon as possible. >> if we can help facilitate or extrapolate whether it's is the apples were anything like that come our state and thus people would be greatly appreciated. >> am concerned farmers and not getting access to the tools they need. 40 percent of global crop production could be lost because of the effect. i understand the average research and development cost for just one new pesticide to reach the market is roughly $256 million. the average timeframe is about ten years. and i understand we have to
do our due diligence though we have products approved by the epa and polled after this kind of effort. what are your thoughts on that? >> we certainly should look at the full range of effort and with the averages, but i want to look at more recent data and see if we have been able to do much better job. it is clearly a desire to do her job safe and effectively. >> absolutely. >> i don't think that the timeline you indicated is the timeline that the agency operates under at this point. >> and i justi just want to kind of -- i am concerned about how long it takes to approve new product, and i am also concerned the epa is
drifting away from its goals set by congress which includes basing decisions based on sound science rather than on input from outside persons trying to limit the use of options for farmers. some of the nonprofit groups who oppose the use of pesticides no matter what their value and addressing world hunger no matter how safe they are, those interest groups should know that the crop protection greatly reduced malnutrition for millions of children and adults by safely protecting crops, safely increasing yields. they will also keep costs in the us lower. when you commit to me today that as the law requires you will base your decisions in the epa on sound science and only on sound science. >> yes. >> and we see this, some of the pesticide that the outside groups are saying,
on the honeybees. >> i want to indicate relative to your 1st question one of the most important things is to get new chemicals on the market that are much less harmful and much more effective. you are absolutely right on those questions in their linkages. >> i would like for you to structure caught -- show strong leadership with 26 states suing the federal government and the epa until it can reach a better solution if you would just back off. and then the standard of testing methodology that we have seen with the lead situation in michigan, you have to run the water or don't run the water. there is not a standard. if you don't have a standard you could get skewed results. >> we have grave concerns
and we will. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, administrator for being here today. right here. >> i don't know how i lost you. >> the lights. anyway, i have learned a lot here today. learning about some of the things that we have to deal with. i am a new member of congress from georgia. there is an obvious disconnect between the american people and your agency. your ability to carry out the laws. i guess my question is what have you learned from this hearing today and what do you plan to do about it? >> i think that i have learned that we have
significant not just differences of opinion but an understanding of what the agency is doing. they have a lot of work to do to have a trusting relationship to be able to talk to one another and to listen to those concerns and effectively get them in their policies and regulation. >> would you do this? we are -- what i would like to see is a plan by your agency to do just what you said you wanted. layout a strategy somehow that we are going to get on the same page and how we will do that because we have differences in science. you have an important job. we have issues. we have brought them before you today. went out in colorado with their mistakes. i will say is a long-term
member of the business community that part of that strategy needs to be prioritization. you are doing things that are affecting the economy, affecting our farmers ability to operate there farms and then letting out a thing slipped through the cracks. neither reprioritize your systems. the other thing relative to the economic impact, white what is the us, again, we talked about where that will comes from, and you need to understand that over half retiring. in only 56 percent is there. obviously command you feel
our frustration. and our frustration is there frustration because we start talking about taking people's property away from them because they have retained water so that they can sustain there farm that is a serious issue. millions of comments on the thing. so you can certainly understand the concern. from an economic standpoint, is your agency at all connected to the fact that this economy is growing in less than 2 percent and has been for the last seven years? what responsibility does your agency have? >> these are jobs are talking about. 90 million people who are
not working today. one of your strategies that i would recommend is that you go back and look and see what your agency can do to grow this economy. going to move forward. >> no, sir. i will certainly take to heart what you suggest. we tried hard to understand how we can meet our vision in a way that actually advances the economy moving forward, but i have no question that there are challenges in agriculture and that those challenges have to be part of the discussion. >> and you realize that has to be bottom-up? >> yes.
>> i yield back. >> we're almost there. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome. published an interim recommendation. one of the recommendations excludes several credible standards including the sustainable forest initiative and the american tree farmer system standards. the recommendation was made without consultation by the department of agriculture. it will also publicly see the sustainable forest initiative and the american tree farmer system
furthermore, it is based on a determination by the department of energy that has no formal analysis behind it. explain the basis of the recommendation? >> the four service or department of agriculture determined that this is a sustainable thing. >> who are actually utilizing a certification program that was up and running. but we have recently been asked to consider opening that out. >> what is the certification?
>> the widely used certification processes. >> there opening up the discussion. no interest in taking away the opportunity to use a legitimate and well tested third-party certification. >> why wouldn't you consult the department of agriculture? >> i'm not sure that wasn't done. you are right. we should be consulting appropriately. >> when will that be fixed? >> you said you will look into it. >> we already are. i just can't put my finger on it. it is part of the work we are doing ongoing. >> is the timeline a month? >> i don't know. >> three years? >> i can get back to you. >> i yield back.
>> the gentleman yields back. >> thank you for your indulgence. try to keep this to asking for an off-line clarification and then a yes or no. you are gracious with us. to bring your attention quickly, presidential memorandum issued recently call for the mitigating impact. so i don't expect you know this on the slot -- on-the-fly. mitigating impacts on natural resources and then encouraging related private investment. it appears to be carrying the weight of an executive order, quite a significant departure from current policy and go back and
reassess every possible attack at the man-made activity might have. so do you plan to follow this policy and can you walk me through how you plan? >> i have not been made familiar. i will have to get back to you. we have very little ownership of federal land. >> it might have an effect on all federal land. i would appreciate if your office and clarified to that. and on the previous question several of my constituents on the 404 exemption the current claim water relations provide a
discharge was it changes in the area war. i have familiar with that. regulations came in. take swabs were change waterways, things of that nature. they things. but since we do have this 404 exemption does this regulation really truly mean what it says? >> my understanding is yes. >> was this regulation intended to ensure farmers that it would not be regulated under the clean water act? >> that would be its intent. >> might be repetitive. plowing is not regulated under the clean water act? >> waters to dry land? >> if it is changed.
>> the other way around. >> water land to dry land. >> and farmers continue to rely on regulations. they continue to rely on the regulation and continue compiling your fields. >> yes. >> okay. thank you. thank you for your time and indulgence. >> another couple quick ones. we were talking earlier about water jurisdiction. he said that biological chemical must exist to determine if the water. yet the rule uses biological chemical. so can you clarify which is
which? >> it would be over. >> so it's a much broader interpretation. also, i know you are tired of talking about it but one of the things comeau whatever you do however you do it not to be an audit trail, a path for which we can trackback. use of the tool like thunderclap, can you commit that whatever your going to do with social media that you will use tools or leave in place an audit trail, inability to see where it came from and who did it? >> i certainly know who worked on these issues internally. >> right.
>> was not able to retract that. one of the things i try to explain although i don't agree with gal come i am not disrespecting their decision. the guide in on how you would use this command we followed it and will make sure. >> there other information is coming in. anonymously do things. >> the one thing you can be sure. >> i got you. well, 1st and 2nd. there are other offices that are like ovens. our system doesn't know the difference between winter and summer time. i apologize. we have a number of members have a numbera number of questions we would like to submit for the record.
>> and a way to track the government as it happens. >> i think it is a great way to stay informed. my colleagues are going to say i saw you on c-span. >> there is so much more c-span does to make sure people outside of the beltway know what is going on inside it it. >> next, secretary of state john kerry joins a discussion with the foreign ministers of the uk,
russia, munich. this is 35 minutes. >> john, if i can invite you to the podium. this is a particular important moment for us and i hope for you, too, because under normal circumstances this might actually be the last time you speak here as the secretary of state. so welcome. we are really happy to have you. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you for reminding me that everything i am doing now
is a last. it is a little bit depending on what i decide to do. so maybe not. [laughter] >> i am really happy to be back in munich and happy to share thoughts with this 52nd edition of the security conference. 1963, the first year of the munich security conference, if you think back, this forum has always been about the pursuit of peace. and back then here in germany, as elsewhere, the cold war felt pretty hot. the wall was a concrete indication of a new reality. barbed wire was strung across the heart of the country.
indeed the heart of europe. and that was the year that president kennedy spoke and said to all who doubted the courage and the resolve of free people let them come to berlin. many of us here remember the start of that period of time very well. i was a kid. p my dad was the legal commission advisor to the commissioner in germany and i was privileged to be dumped off at a school in switzerland and didn't know where i was at age 11-12. i saw firsthand what europe was like in the first years emerging from the war. everything you talked about was the war and the remnants of the war. i used to ride my bike and see
the churches and the burned out steeples. i knew what that was about very well. it is clear today that while the cold war is long over the need for the same qualities that brought people through that, for the courage and resolve in defending libberty and peace, i just as vital it was half a century ago. obviously everyone in this room doesn't need a secretary of state or a state of great britain or the foreign minister of germany or anybody else to come in here and do the long list of the litany of the crisis we face. it is pretty obvious that never in history have we been dealing with as many failed states and a
nuclear program and everybody understands that. you wouldn't be here otherwise. daesh's cam ppaign of terror is well beyond iraq and syria. and the syrian civil war is still waging. we are facing, we together, the gravest humanitarian crisis in europe since world war ii. as many innocent, many women and children, are either trapped inside a country without access to medicine and food or they have been forced to flee. and the flood of desperate migrants has now spread well beyond the middle east as we know. 50% of the people knocking on the door of europe with a whole industry that has been created
to try help move them and some very preverse politau politics places that turn the dial up and down. half now come from places other tan than syria. pakistan, bangladesh, afghanistan. the burdens of europe which is facing a complex political, economic and social strain is more intense. i want to make it clear to all of you. we in the united states are not sitting across the pond thinking we are immune. we are not sitting there saying this is your problem not ours. no. this is our problem. the united states of america understands the near existential nature of this threat to the politics and fabric of life in europe. that is why we are joining now
in enforcing closing off a key access route and working to you to stem this tide because of the potential to the damage of the fabric of the united europe. the truth is that in every decade since its founding the eu has been tested by forces internal and external that benefited from the house divided. we know many europeans right now feel overwhelmed by the latest round of challenges including concerns about the uk as a potential exit from the eu. here again, however, i want to express the confidence of president obama and all of us in america, that just as it has so many times before europe is going to emerge stronger than ever provided it stays united and builds common responses to
these challenges. obviously the united states has a profound interest in your success as we do in a very strong united kingdom staying in a strong eu. let me understore -- [applause] >> let me underscore those who claim our transatlantic partnership is unraveling or those who hope it might unravel could not be more wrong. they forget or they never understood why we came together in the first place. not to just sail along in the best of times. but to have each other's backs when the times are tough. they forget as well that the ties that bind us are not some kind of fragile strings of momentary convenience. they are rugged, time-tested
cords of democratic values; liberty, justice, decency, justice, rule of law. and nowhere is that more clear than our joint unwavering support for a democratic ukraine. our european products, you deserve enormous credit for showing the resolve you have shown and the common purpose you have summoned to stand-up to russia's aggression. and we will sustain sanctions for as long as they are necessary and providing assistance to ukraine until the sovereigny and protection of ukraine is protected. again and again we have made it clear, and i make it clear here again today, sanctions are not an end unto themselves. witness what we see in doing n
context of the iran nuclear agreement. but we should not forget why they were imposed in the first place. to standup for ukraine's fundamental rights. rights that have been accepted since world war ii and were part of what the great battle is about. russia has a simple choice. fully implement this or continue to receive sanctions. the path is clear: insure all ukrainian hostages are returned, give free access to occupy territotea territo territoryies, support free and fair and monitored election under ukrainian law, and restore ukraine's control of its side of the international border which
belongs to it. put plainly, russia can prove by its actions that it will respect ukraine's sovereignty just as it insist on respect for its own. after two years, ukrainians still have work to do. neither ukraine or the partners in the international community believe enough has happened inukraine either. it is critical that kiev upholds its end of the bargain. but ukraine's democratic potential is clearly far brighter today than it was when he met here several years ago. far brighter than the brave
protest and with our transatlantic support 2016 has all the potential possible and the good work laid through the support of other countries to make 2016 the year that ukraine proves reform and triumph over correction. we call on people to give the courage demanded. the united states has significantly upgraded our commitment to european security with a planned four-fold increase in our spending on the european reassurance initiative to $3.4 billion. this will allow us to maintain a division's worth of equipment in
europe and an additional brigade in eastern and central europe making our support and nato's more visible and tangable. meanwhile, and i think everybody knows this, that is not the only way we have to approach what is happening in europe and around the world. millions of young people in countries where there is no hope, food, job, education or future. if we leave that unattended to then we are simply turning our backs on what we know is a responsibility for how we will stem the tide of violent extremism. we will continue to build on our unparallel economic partnership and support new jobs and spur growth on both sides of the atlantic including completing negotiations on the transatlantic partnership this year will strengthen our
economy. and let me be clear, nothing in the ttp requires europe to reduce or undo important regulations or weaken existing standards. that is false. on the contrary, the agreement will underscore our support for the inclusion of high environmental and labor standards and trade agreements just as we have done in the transpacific partnership which encompasses 40% of the gdp. we have the highest labor standards and the highest environmental standards enforceable by law. ttp can showcase our marketplace of free markets and demonstrate the preeminence in the global conversation about the economic standards and the defense of
free trade. perhaps more urgently europe and america are defining what is the challenge of our generation; the fight against violent extremism. the terrible attacks in brussels, beirut, san bernardino, and so many other places have only reinforced our determination to defeat daesh as soon as possible. and i am absolutely convinced we will do just that. every day our military is meeting. everyday the coalition is working. everyday we are taking additional steps forward and the global countermission we began some 17 months including every nato and eu state and that is the very definition of solidarity. we have known from the beginning
tat defeating daesh is not an overnight proposition. it is going to take time. but i tell you this: president obama has determined it will not take too much time. and he is every day pushing our military and every other sector, and there are many other sectors involved in this nine lines of effort. he is pushing them to come up with new propositions. new ways to push this fight. we welcome the announcement of countries in europe that have sided in other countries to join this fight. we are going to defeat daesh. i have no doubt about it. but even as we do that there is a lot of work that we have to do on a measurable manner. first and foremost we are going after their fighters. our coalition has launched more than 10,000 airstrik pstrik10,0.
we have put special forces on the ground in iraq and syria in order to better operate a number of functions and increased training and equipment to our local partners. together we are pushed terrorist out of about 40% of the territory they once controlled in iraq. and 20% in syria. we have liberated towns and 100,000 sunnis returned home. we liberated ramadi, and kobani, and other areas. we are hammering daesh's heavy weapons, training camps, supply roots, and infrastructure. and the military campaigns show terrorism is expanding by the
day. but it is not enough to just knock them down. you have to ensure they cannot get back up. that is why the second step is critical. destroying their economic line. we have learned more about daesh's source of income which allows us to be more strategic in hitting refineries and elicit banking operations. it means less money to lure and sustain new fighters. they have had to cut their paychecks to their fighters by 50% and in some cases had to cut it off entirely and don't have the ability as a result to continue the expansion. this boost the third line of attacks which is reduce the
number of terrorist attacks. because of tighter airport and border security fewer terrorist are now getting into syria and iraq. in fact, because of lower pay and constant danger we know that more are in fact trying to get out. meanwhile, with arab states in the lead we are doing more every day to minimize the impact of terrorist propaganda to fight back against daesh's apocalyptic views. in the united states we opened a global engagement center at the state department to help expel extremist groups in hateful lies. we hope to take those who were once joined and have them share stories to deter others. we have a new center with a
saudi arabians they will be starting and the malai malasian following. so each individual nation where it makes a difference will have an opportunity to speak to people in ways they haven't yet. the global coalition enforces the fifth effort and that is providing humanitarian relief to the millions that have suffered because of daesh. an entire region is responding to this challenge, my friends. and that is essential because the needs are absolutely staggering. i see the prime minister of norway here and others in london, extraordinary contributions to put $10 billion on the table. turkey has taken in more than 2.5 'million men, women and
children. and lebanon and jordan are giving refuge to a million people each. in europe, you know better than anybody how this is affecting it daily life of politics and the social fabric of europe. unprecedented challenges with characteristic resilience i am proud to say, and grateful for the fact, that europe is stepping up to meet the challenge. i know it is difficult. last night at dinner i heard people talking about how it cost the chancellor. that is the nature political courage. helping so many who need help and across the world people are taking in those who are fleeing violence and saying no to the voices of intolerance and racism within societies. i know how difficult it is to live our values.
but we do try. it is one of the things that bind us together and brings us here to munich. our common commitment to those values which in the end make the difference in defining what life is really all about. [applause] >> in the united states, we recognize that while this crisis is not as real on our shores on a daily bases we have a moral obligation to stand with our partners and do more to assist in the relief effort. that is why i was able to announce in london that we will contribute an additional $925 million to the 4.5 billion we have contributed to the refuges in syria making us the largest single done to the plight of refuges providing emergency care, education, and job health and i think everybody understand, and this is perhaps
the most important point, and this is what motivated us to go to vianna twice with the help of the partners sitting here, everybody came together in commonality with the recognition that writing checks is not going to solve the problem. we cannot just endlessly be writing checks. we cannot be endlessly fighting about what is going to happen. we have to end this war. the only way to do that is somehow bring about the quickest possible political settlement because almost everybody agreed if all one side does is escalate the other side will. and we could have an endless
ese esculation. it takes every koucountry to ho to together to come together. the war in syria has lasted for more than five years. right now, i have to tell you even with the success we had the other day at the table it doesn't yet show the signs we want of burning out. that is why we are so focused on this polittle track. if the international community and the syrians themselves miss the opportunity before us to achive that political resolution to the conflict, the violence, the torture, the bloodshed, the images of the women and children, and the bombing and a anguish will continue. all of the talk that has taken place to date will mean nothing except an increase in the
cynicism of the people in their world who look to their leaders to deliver. the tragedy is if this flounders the call to jihad will increase. and that is why the diplomatic initiative initiative we launched is so important. it includes every major country with a direct stake in syria. parties like saudi arabia sat at the table trying to move forward. they agreed on a list of principles unanimously reflected in the u.n.security council and they reflect a way toward a stable, inclusive, united, non-secretarian syria we all seek but the vast majority of people believe can never be achieved with president assad at
the realm. we made progress advancing the burning need for humanitarian access not in weeks or months but now. the trucks are lined up and the permissions are being granted and they should flow now. in the wee hours of friday morning we declared the aid will been this weekend. first in the areas where it is most urgently needed and then through all areas particularly the hard to reach areas. the u.n.said the trucks are loaded and ready to go. we established a task force that met already and will report regulary on the progress to deliver this aid. the issg agreed to implement the
ending of hostility next week. the modalities have to be worked out first. this applies to any and all parties in syria with the exception of terrorist organizations daesh and al ness. there is a lot of work to do before this can commence and to that end we have established another task force which the foreign minister of russia and i will share and other members and we will work on the modality of how we deal with this. today the vast majority in our opinion of russia's attacks have been against legitimate russian
groups. we think it is critical that russia's targeting change and they have agreed to make that happen. let me be clear. the foreign minister said we need to work together as a group to determine who should be attacked, who is qualified as a terrorist and who isn't. i am say bluntly there is no way to probably put a humanitarian access as ambitious as the one we have embraced in place and no way to deal with the hostility unless we sit down and work together on every aspect from the political to the humanitarian to the military also. we are doing that now. we are not approaching this with some sense of pie in the sky hope. we will work through where this targeting should take place.
how we work together in order to be effective so we don't drive people away from the table because obviously if people who are ready to be part of the political process are being bombed we are not going to have much conversation. that is where we are working on. the security council resolution demanded that all parties immediately cease any attacks on civ civs civilians. the violence by regime went up. free fall bombs are being used and they are not precise. we know civilians are being killed. so we hope this week can be a week of change. now some have argued that the reason humanitarian access has been denied and there has been this bombing is because assad and his allies including russia
might believe that by the defined will of the international community they could win the war. that is a proposition that is being discussed. if that is what russia and assad think then i believe they would be missing the lessons of the last five years. the syrians who have rejected assad endured four years of shelling, barrel bombs, gas, chemical attacks, torture, and they may be pushed back here and there but they are not going to surrender. i don't believe there is anybody who believes they will. and the countries that have supported assad and the countries that have opposed him say they are both committed to continuing that. that is not a recipe, obviously, for resolution. so it is critical for all of us to take advantage for this
moment to make this cessation of hostility work. the more successful people are in standing up to assad at the same time they will be at attracting jihad' to the fight. that is the perverse nature of the problem. so this will require a solution in order to make peace no matter what happens at some moment. this is the moment. this is a hinge point. decisions made in the coming weeks and months could end the war in syria or it could define a very difficult set of choices for the future.
everyone here knows what we have to do to get this right. putting an end to the violence and bloodshed is essential but providing syrians with the humanitarian aid they need is critical. the end of this conflict comes with the parties agree on a plan for a political transition that was accepted in 2012. let me close by saying at dinner last night it was interesting. i was listening to the conversation and i listened and chatted with a lot of colleagues over the last few days. it is pretty clear that the uncertainty, even the fear, of what is happening to europe with these refuges of syria, and of
terrorism, it is different and everybody feels that. in some quarters there is a pessimistic attitude in the air. i believe we have good reason to be optimistic about the future. and the reason is the size, the durability, the cow capacity, and the talent and extraordinary resilience of this alliance that has been expressed not just in the formidable attitude but throughout the last century. yeah, there is violence in the world. you better believe it. but you know what? it has changed. the 21st century was designed by state-on-state violence and millions upon millions of people dying. there are actually fewer people dying in conflict today than
ever before. and despite the challenges we face between 1990-2015, remarkable things have happened. the rate of child mortality fell by over one half. life expectancy has increased dramatically around the world particularly in developing countries. in 2001, there were less than a million kids going to school in afghanistan and all of them were boys. today there are almost 80 million kids going to school and 40% of them are boys. more than two and a half billion people have gained access to clean water in the last few years. and the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than one half. it is for the first time in history below 10%. i could run a longer list of things you know we are doing.
productivity and the changes in technology. a century ago the number of peoples brought into the near middle class in china and india and many other countries, a century ago this month the battle of burr done because just beginning. the most extreme challenge that killed one german and one french man out of every five. 75 years ago millions of refuges were streaming not into europe out of europe seeking refuge from a confrontation with fascism that would climax with the holocaust. 50 years ago half of europe lived behind a curtain.
europe was home to an ethnic cleansing that lasted for years. we cannot come to munich and ignore this. this moment isn't as overwhelming as people think it is. we know what needs to be done and most importantly we have the power to do it. the transatlantic community is not strong because we have somehow been exempt from tragedy or strife. we are strong because we are resilient because in decade after decade we have stood together to defend prosperity and values and we have resisted attempt after attempt to divide and make us turn on one another and above all we are strong because of the core believes that hold us together. we need to heed the advice of president kennedy on his trip to
berlin the year the security conference began. lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, he said, to the hopes of tomorrow. if we do that, if we remember the values at the heart of our partnership, if we take the lessons of history of what we have been able to accomplish and what this incredible alliance means, i have absolutely no doubt whatsoever, we will get this right, we will get through this moment, and we will build the prosperity and security and stability that every single one of us wants. we are going to do just fine. thank you. [applause]
>> coming up, roger lowenstein on "america's bank: the epic struggle to create the federal reserve" about the creation of the federal reserve. and jen gerald posner on "god's bankers: a history of money and power at the vatican." and later we talk to menzie chinn about "lost decades: the making of america's debt crisis and the long recovery" on america's debt crisis and afterwards. that is followed by after words with ben bernanke interviewed by sharon brown. >> and now on to tonight's guest. roger lowenstein has reported for "the wall street journal" for more than a decade including his stock market