Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 28, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EST

9:00 pm
nd say why is coke involved on this? why are you involved in criminal justice? i thought i would answer that question here today for those of you who might have the same questions. and let me just start by saying as i say, it goes back over ten years. and, first, we're drawn to these issues because of our belief and the rule of law and particularly, the true gene yusz of life. we believe those rights must be a reality and have fulfilled a providence in all americans. it provides a blue print. the rights containing the bill
9:01 pm
of rights, it's important. they cannot be taken from an individual. these are natural rights. an unalienable rights.eq/úñ they weren't given to us by the government. it's an important thing to remember. we must be engaged to help all people. particularly the fifth and sixth amendment. that's why it says the fifth amendment, we've got to make sure before we take anyone's life, liberty or property, you have to have a due process of law. the sixth amendment guarantees the right to defense counsel. we need to remember that as we
9:02 pm
work in the coming months to try to fix the system that's not working now. and i don't need to go4l into the over criminalization issue. you've heard it here today. you'll hear more of the impact it has on everybody across the board. and i want to talk just briefly about why did we come to the table? why coke industries? here's the story. many years ago, our employees met with the texas tate environmental regulator, disclosed inaccurate report filed and that we were out of compliance. our people said we were going to work diligently. pretty straight forward. these meetings happen like this every day around the country.kñ
9:03 pm
some cure yousz activities during the grand jury process were a key piece of evidence where the state regulator had been ma nip lated to create a falsz narrative. we were told by ourself lawyers, and we were lucky, we could afford the best."7ujñ plead guilty, cut your employees loose and let them fend for themselves. we did not do that. we could not do that. we did not believe they had done anything wrong. six years later, the government's case clapgsed.
9:04 pm
after that, we looked internally and externally. what can we do to try to make the world a better place extermly. we fixed our compliance standards. and then we started to work on criminal justice reform. we did that. we as a large company --
9:05 pm
but once we were there, once we got involved, we couldn't stop. every one of them touched points in the system. from enfrill to exit. >> and then to the next point about what happens in sentencing and what happens ink5 reentry you've got to fix them all. i needs to be comprehensive. it needs to be big. and we need to do it. this will have such a positive impact on so many people's lives.
9:06 pm
about a month ago, there was an op ed.e=lvç since then we have seen so many letters, e-mails doctors, defense lawyers, public defenders, educators hourly workers, law enforcement, inmates, prison officials former prison officials young old, urban, rural.1x everybody has a story here. this is something we can all work on. that's what's such a great thing. we think we have a great opportunity here with all of these groups and all of you in the room. we think we have a great opportunity to improve our criminal justice system and improve society for all americans we need to try and
9:07 pm
seize it. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank, mark. i think that mark's observation there the beginning on the good job that's done in the system is well-worth noting. in talking about over criminalization and treatment in the prison, pat likes to talk about the fact that we spent too much time punishing people that we're mad at when what he we shoumd be using the prison system for is to deal with people that we're afraid of. nothing should be taken an an
9:08 pm
endorsement that we should be lean yent. p even the worst offenders need to be treated with some dignity. [ applause ] >> i've already commented on the fact that it's midwesterners that are really concerned about these issues. great crowd. thanks for warming them up. i want to thank the constitution project for hosting. thank you, david, for the
9:09 pm
introduction.&irrx it's quiet a feat to bring together a group of speakers in such a broad array of backgrounds and perspectives. and i think that speaks to the importance of this and making our criminal justice system fairer and less extensive.n i want to thank all of you for being here today. it's not a particularly devicive issue. or should not with. and, again, the fact that david
9:10 pm
introduced me can all agree that the state of overinkarst5 krags and the united states is damaging to the health of our communities and our economy. and it is a tragedy. is that is the use as a substitute for a fully functioning mental health system. the statistics speak volumes in the nation's three biggest jail systems. approximately 11000 prisoners undergo health treatment on any given day.
9:11 pm
as the sheriff put it in my hometown, local jails are the largest men tag health facilities in this state. and this holds true across the nation. and burden of the criminalueás o justice system serving as a substitute mental health system goes with cases involving people of untreated mental illnesses. this doesn't make sense for public safety.& it certainly doesn't make sense for taxpayers who are stuck with a bill for overcrowded prisons. and the cost of addressing mental health needs within the
9:12 pm
criminal justice system and just the incredible waste of human capital and the waste of human beings, lives and time.> the reas must not stigmatize as those people are a vibrant part of our communities. is that's why i plan to reintroduce the jmhca very soon.
9:13 pm
jmhca would reauthorize myqd! kra, that catch chill acronym is the mentally ill offender treatment and crime reduction act. it would make improvements to the mental health justice system. it would emphasize the use of mental health-based practices and health programs are proven to reduce ra sidivism. it would also provide veter ran's treatment courts which are instrumental in addressing the needs of veterans.
9:14 pm
34 of whom are likely to suffer from p.t.s.d., may be involved in substance abuse to medicate the invisible wounds of war. last congress, we came very close to getting this piece of legislation enacted. the bill had the support of 54 co-sponsors in the house.íolzág i had a republican carrying it in the house. again, it was extremely bipart san. we almost got this done. it was held up by someone who put a hold on it.
9:15 pm
and that person has retired. which is good. [ laughter ] >> as far as the bill is concerned. tremendously fine, fine fellow. most importantly, this willmake a real difference in communities across the nation. a little over a year and a half ago, i was in columbia heights mn mm, which is a suburb of the twin cities to do a round table on crisis intervention training.
9:16 pm
>> so i was at the columbia heights and the county sheriff wasn't there. he was supposed to be there but had something else. the county attorney told me that everybody there had gotten the c.i.t. training. he was there on a monday. and, because of it on tuesday, he did not kill a guy. i said oh, can you give me a more garden variety story? so there was a policewoman there and said can you do that? she said well, okay u let's see. a fill few months ago, i was out on duty and i heard this woman screaming. and i thought it might be some domestic abuse thing or something like that.
9:17 pm
and i found her and she was just screaming. when i started coming, she ran to a railing.2d she would have dropped not to her death, but would have hurt herself in the playground below. i used my training and i talked her off the railing and i started talking to her and she said that she had been sexually abused as a child and that the abuser had left her life for years, but had recently come back. so i said to her, well, i think i can get you some help.oñ show got her some help. well, a couple months later, two, three months later, i was working a street fare. and the woman comes up to me and says to me, you saved my life.
9:18 pm
and i said okay, that's the garden variety story. and she said i used c.i.t. training every day. practically every day. i'll holster a gun once in my career, but i use it every day. they said, you know, when you watch msnbc on the weekends i don't know if any of you guys ever watch msnbc. but on the weekends, they have a prison -- what's it called? "lockdown." >> one of my favorite shows. >> good. your favorite show. well, the guys are referencing it for me because they said, you kno/miyñ when the
9:19 pm
guys -- like when the guardsáw,s have someone they can't deal with and they have to put all this equipment onto go in and subdue the guy and tackle him and get him down, you can avoid all of that if you just have c.i.t. training. and he says, very often if you just talk to the guymñ you don't get there. he said, boy, that saefs a lot of wear and tear on us. ñ÷ so the brands that support programs like crisis intervention training are the only ones within the criminal justice system. so the work we're disz cussing today is incredibly important.
9:20 pm
we cannot let another congress go by without letting this legislation get across the finish line. i'm really asking you to help me with this. i'll keep fighting. i have colleagues on both sides of the chambers. we're very serious about this. but we need your help to get this bill passed. and your support of the effort will be critical on educating other members and ensuring that we finally get it done. now, i've got to go back to a judiciary hearing. but i want to thank you, again, for having me. and for all the work that you're doing together. and i look forward to working with all of you to continue working with the criminal justice system. thank you.
9:21 pm
>> thank you, snats xx franken. staying in the midwest, but moving over to the republican side of the aisle, rob portman from ohio is here. senator portmanl÷ in the house and the senate, has really been a champion in this whole area. and we would like to welcome him to make a few remarks. and then we've got an announcement from vanmented and then i'm going to let you all go to lunch. [ applause ] >> thank you for the sustained effort. _ i rook around the room
9:22 pm
and see some of you are on the legislative side. senator corey booker is here listening. i love that. we've talked a lot about these issues on the floor of the senate. they are left-right issues. they are issues that i think go to the very heart of how to empower people, how to help people when they're in trouble. and everything we do on the economic issues, international issues and so on are important. but ultimately this is about the people we represent. i'm sure that they and their families have the ability to achieve their god-given abilities. so thank you all for being here adding a little hollywood flare to the whole thing, you know. my co-sponsor is an important
9:23 pm
piece of legislation. i'm going to talk about a great opportunity and a bipartisan basis to make in the next couple months. this is legislation that passed the house about ten years ago. i was in the author in the house but worked very closely with danny davis. and danny took over the bill when the majority shifted and actually got it done. and it's one that we kept bipartisan all through the process.(tñj that's sometimes tough. no republicans would support what that approach was. and they said no we want to get
9:24 pm
something done here. same on our side of the aisle. and that's what we've got to get that has to prevail. and if it does we will get this legislation introduced in probably two weeks through the process again. this is a reauthorization of second chance.[ñ it's really exciting because you're getting so many people engaged. $19 million has gone to ohio under this program. our residivism rate has gone down by 11%. we're really proud of that. we don't measure it in those numbers.
9:25 pm
we measure it in terms of lives saved. talking to the folks who have been helped recently in cleveland, a guy named melvin in and out of the system five or six times. obviously, he had a tough time holding a job, has an addiction problem, he's been clear now for four years. because of the second chance act, he not only had the opportunity to get some help, but, also, job training, he's got a full time job. he's a supervisor in a kitchen. most important thing of all, he has a home. and in his home, he has a daughter who he had
9:26 pm
washington has played a key role in the last ten years of privilege bringing up the awareness and helping to leverage a lot more activity at the local level. often, this is going to be addressed in a successful way at the community level. and i don't mean a state level, i mean, like, the district. people understanding that this is not just about saving taxpayer money from incarceration, which it is. and republicans take note, in is about fiscal conservative.
9:27 pm
it's not just about pure crimes in the neighborhoods, which it is. those concerned about crime rates, take note. two-thirds of people who dpet out of prison are re-arrested within or three years. this is crazy. so many of them are non-violent offenders who have a mental health or a drug problem where they don't have the job skills to be able to legislation addresses. it's about all of that. but it's ultimately about our neighbors. as i said at the outset, it's about what kind of country we want to have. and this issue is one i have found does bring people together not here in washington, but back home. we hope to have introduction on both sides, the house abds senate within a few weeks.
9:28 pm
this has already gone through the process once.(pañ i appreciate he began and my team. thank you for your work on it. sibs i got it can i mention two others? one of which i think you heard about today. a little change in committee, but the idea is apply it to the federal prison system to provide credit for;k people who go through so that's one i hope you'll all be able to work with us on two weeks.
9:29 pm
think about federal prisons. and more focus on that, which is, again, we, at the federal level, can play a particularly important role. and the final one is cara. i think you were in a discussion about that earlier. this is a comprehensive legislation that deals with addiction. and it is me, sort of the broad picture, because it has addiction recough ri. but, also second chance, essentially mplt it goes back into the prison system in about 80% of people getting out of prison have some kind of issue with substance abuse. i think this haz a really good job of getting across the house floor and trying to get it through. it would make a big difference. in ohio today, heroin overdoses
9:30 pm
are overgrowing. heroin being the biggest growth area and are now the number one cause of death. this is true in a lot of our states. i can't go anywhere in my state and not hear about it. sometimes it's a situation where a guy calls in to talk about something else. he says by the way, i lost my son to addiction. and it ]m heroin and i think he thought he could try it and everything would be okay. what do you say to a guy like that. again, this is about all of us and reaching out to our neighbors and reaching out to make sure that they have the information they need to make the right choices and, at the end of the day, we can, all of us in this room make a huge difference in the lives of that
9:31 pm
family and the families around the countries. thank you all. >> by the way, one of the great leaders who is unsung in heroin, anne ketchie. give her a round of applauses. she's been pulling us together behind the scenes. >> i have an announcement. this is the beginning of a conversation. there's going to be many, many more.[+ incredibly powerful on this. we're joining forces.
9:32 pm
march 26th there will be a bipartisan summit it's newt gingrich, donna brazil, pat nolan, dan jones, trying to bring everybody together for a day long.qtd÷ we have major celebrities that are coming. major athletes that are coming. they will probably be presidential contenders. a major elevation of this entire issue. and i think it's posht to point out it won't just be the big people. they are also going to be the people who are drektly impacted. i've been blezed. i spent ten years working on this issue in california. we were spending $120,00 a year per kid locked up. by that time you could have acceptability three kids to yale for the cost of sending one kid to jail.
9:33 pm
it's happening at the state level. i gist want to thank you for the opportunity. mark your calendars march 26th. thank you very much.9ñ >> thank you. van piper, pat and mark and all the rest who participated. thank you all for being here. you know we talked a little bit about the federal system and about what52.q"s to be done. a ltd. of of the activities taking place in the states from texas, mississippi georgia new york places where some might not expect this to happen. the governor imaginaged to make some real systemic kinds of changes that will benefit people
9:34 pm
incarcerated there and will i suspect reduce residivism in that state. there's a lot out there that's working. a lot of examples of people that are devoting time and effort to make ing making the system better, to making the country better. there's so many pieces 06 it. we think it's a very important discussion to have. thank you so much. >> on the next washington journal, we'llm#wc look at president obama's attorney general nominee, l h lynch. and get the latest on her senate
9:35 pm
hearings. later, we'll talk to politico congressional reporters about loretta lynch's nomination and the senate confirmation process. we'll take your phone calls, e-mails and tweets. washington journal live each morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span.5q
9:36 pm
9:37 pm
>> great panel here to talk about railroad issues as 2013 andd,2014 freight rail delay service is highlighted. it's critical to our nation's economy. south dakota farmers scrambled to find rail cars delay inging shipments in our state. however, those delays were not just limited to the north central united states. they also extended across the
9:38 pm
country and impacked every shipping sector in industry. the large esz class ii railroad in the country with over a hundred short line and regional railroads about the opportunities and challenges the rcp&e and other railroad lines face. from automobiles to coal to ethanol to agriculture and moves from factory to consumer marketplaces in the country and across the globe. fragt rail moves roughly 40 tons per person each year. as a nation, we rely on cost-e firkt, timely service to move food on a daily basis.
9:39 pm
mplts 2014 freight traffic increased 5% onoh 13 levels and we should seek stronger freight rail network to increase demand. finalized over 15 new rules since the passage and the rule improvement act of 2008 and many of these regulations will take effect in 2015. not only is the positive train patrol the deadline, but the rail regulation to be published around may of this year. although the ptc deadline is quickly approaching, it remains unattainable. through the end of 2014, railroads invest over 5 bill$5 bill billion in ptc and they expect
9:40 pm
to extend billions more in the coming years. it's important and the deadline will not be met until the proposal to ensure the benefits are realized. i look forward to working on a legislative fix to set a realistic imp lemtation time line for this safety improvement.
9:41 pm
. without question, we must improve the safety of our nation's rail system. but i am concerned about the fh unattainable deadlines like the ptc mandate the federal agency set unreasonable and many times unachievable deadlines. among other things, the d.o.t. issued this proposed rule without analyzing the car needed to retrofit or replace over 100,000 d.o.t. 11 trank cars. i look forward for a realistic timeline. while safety can and certainly will be improved, we do not need to build delays and congestionó like we witnessed in the past year and a half. connecting port to rail to truck.
9:42 pm
dereal delays, burdensome regulations to work together toqd find workable solutions. in addition, we must ensure that the surface transportation board which is tasked with the disputes in reviewing railroad mergers in providing effect ef oversight to the railroad i e industry. >> did you know that most of the witnesses are from florida? >> there's one from missouri. >> three of the five.qc, and just like your state is so dependent upon railroads, so is
9:43 pm
so many of our states. and my state of florida actually developed a railroad south. and as he brought it down the east coast to florida, so developed florida. said back in the old days, when henry flaggler would bring it as far south as a place like st. augustine, he built a hotel which is now the flaggler hotel. it's a part of flaggler college the oldest, continuous settlement in the united states, by the way. we are celebrating 450 continuous years.óz and then he would move further south. he'd build another hotel. palm beach, the breakers, a place that two gentlemen to my right, have been many times
9:44 pm
and so it used to be said in the old days the old-timers in florida, back in the early part of the last century all the natives which are called florida crackers, of which i'm one, they live off of fish and alligators during the summer. and they live off the tourists during the winter. as flaggler would bring them further south.a i would say that the u.s. department of transportation
9:45 pm
estimates that the tonnage of freight moving by rail is going to increase by 88% through 2035. and if we're going to handle this future growth, we have to prepare and improve, starting today. and some recent events highlight the challenges that we're going to have to overcome.
9:46 pm
9:47 pm
9:48 pm
9:49 pm
>> on main line's used to transport passengers or certain toxic materials. ptc is designed to prevent accidents in four spefk situations. around and stop the strain e fran e train if the operator does not respond. this is not an ez e easy task. highly complex technologies that are able to analyze the many variables that affect train operations. as you can imagine the length of time that it takes to stop a train depends on the train speed, the terrain, the number and dise distribution of locomotives and the number of empty freight cane e cars on that train.
9:50 pm
pdc mist take into account all of these factors to stop the train. the task of deploying ptc in the united states includes equipping locomotives can computers designed to know when the take control of a train and bring it safely to a stop. completely rebuilding systems interacting with the ultramodern system. completing a g.o.spatial survey. building a nationwide system and developing back out the systems to proceed the exact requirements. with each of the 40 railroad developing ptc on their main lines since locomotives and
9:51 pm
trains operate on the main lines of another. in 2013, the fcc required all communication towers undergo statutory review. this required significant engagement with the state historic preservation societies. thanks to the efforts of all involved and the efforts of of this committee we believe the issue is behind us. it's spent over $5 billion to date and expected to spend $9 billion before it's fully operational.
9:52 pm
two principle risks illustrate why it's so important to take the time necessary to do this job right. the first great risk is safety. an immature system could create problems. we are finding critical defects in the key pieces of software we are receiving from our suppliers. second an immature system could interrupt the free flow of rail cargo and passengers across the united states that would impact our recovering economy. in manner that ensures the safety and efficiency of the railroad network. despite the railroads best efforts ptc will not be completed this year. thank you mr. chairman for calling this hearing and for your support for a ptc extension. thank you. >> thank you. >> good morning, mr. chairman. my name is david brown.
9:53 pm
i was appointed chief operating officer in 2012. in this capacity i oversee the operation and managements owned by gw. they own freight railroads in the u.s., canada australia netherlands and belgium. we own two railroads and 105 class 3 short line railroad in 39 states. based on the diversity we believe we're able to offer relevant perspective on safety and efficiency of the short line industry. i would like to address for areas for consideration. first, short line regional safety. the intrastructure challenge facing short line railroads.
9:54 pm
we have become an industry leader in safety through an intense multi-facetted approach that focuses on building a culture of safety. as a result of this safety culture 101 of 113 railroad completed in 2014 with zero reported injuries. we believe the same attention to detail translates to every area of operation. our objective is for every owned railroad to stay injury free every day. 86% of all short line shipments are interchanged with the class one railroad demonstrating the independence. this demonstrates the network
9:55 pm
nature of class one two and three railroads. however if a short line cannot handle the same weight of a freight car as the class one connection, the utility of the short line service to it customer services. the speed and weight limitations are most often due to age rail and structure. since 2004 congress has provided a tax credit to help railroad improve their line, replace rail and upgrade bridges all to serve their customers and more competitive freight service. it expired on december 31st
9:56 pm
2014. i strongly encourage the senate to reknew it so asnuknew renew it. ptc implementation is addressed by the class one industry. the little attention has been given to these new ptc systems but will interface with connecting short line operations referred to as frank mentioned. while the fra created ptc exemptations, there's no clear
9:57 pm
guidance on a how to apply them to situations. the technology being used requires ongoing technical support and maintenance that's largely unavailable on short line railroads. the expense and difficulty in acquiring the support can be significant. clearly there's not enough time between now and december 31 of this year for it to happen. i from short line perspective it's amazing how focused one becomes on superior customer service when your railroad has a few customers to serve and they must provide the cash to meet your payroll.
9:58 pm
the private capital across the countries. understand that the economics and financial resources of short line and regional railroads are limited and recognize the burdens and mandates fall heavily on the small railroads. thank you. >> thank you, mr. brown. mr. johnson. >> my name is bill johnson. it's my pleasure to speak with you today. i'm speaking to you this morning as a former director port of maine as former chair of ports council. i'm serving as water and sewer one of the nation's largest
9:59 pm
utilities. beginning on march 1st i step into the role as florida's new secretary of commerce and ceo of enterprise florida. to enforce the need of new infrastructure at the local state and national levels. i strongly believe -- when i became director in 2006, an infra infrastructure that did not neat the needs of a changing economy.
10:00 pm
our region needed to address the challenges posed by the expansion of the panama canal. it's projected that the new infrastructure being completed at our port including the deepening of our channel to a depth of 50 feet will add 30,000 high paying jobs. the average job is over $56,000 a year. fort miami had to address the inland logistics challenges including how to move goods in and off its port. our approach was to implement a
10:01 pm
three part which senator nelson is very much aware of a three-part focused on investment projects that could support cargo growth and not only by virtue of a deeper channel. currently the u.s. army corp. of engineers is hard at work. in fact, miami will be at a 50-foot depth one year advance improvements. the project is supported by the strengthening in order to
10:02 pm
accommodate the larger vessels. this allows us to load and unload containers timely and efficiently. this was a successful project because it involved all three levels of government, federal, state and local. the project opened on time and on budget. it shows what can be done when you partner in an open fashion. vehicles travel from our port and something in the range of 26,000 vehicles a day using the port miami tunnel.
10:03 pm
again, this is another great example of america working smart. today from port miami with our partners at florida east coast rail that's fec, we utilize the same rail system that mr. flagler brought to florida over 100 years ago. this rail improvement allows us to connect to over 70% of the population from our port from one to four days. within four days we can get you to chicago faster and less cost via rail. no port can be successful with undocked rail. rail is essential to the movement of goods and people in
10:04 pm
america. stst all connectivity. it's all about the ability to reach markets faster and safer. we believe the new connections to asia with expanded canal will help america. these are new opportunities for all of us that do business. it should be at the forefront of economic developments at the local, state and national levels. the system demands proper planning and investment to keep it cost effective. infrastructure projects that
10:05 pm
improve the network of entire economic growth in many ways. we know the construction jobs. obviously a wide range of logistic jobs. the bottom line for me, we need to continue to support a smart investment in the rail system. thank you. >> thank you, mr. johnson. ms. teal.viteing me to participate in this hearing. thank you for your support of transportation. i'm so pleased to be here to share the state experience on freight rail safety, efficiency and commerce. situated in the center of the united states, missouri is the cross roads for our nation's railroads. it's the fourth most rail intensive state. we have more than 4800 miles of
10:06 pm
track, 3800 public rail crossings and six class one railroads operating within the state. we're proud to have two of the top three rail terminals in the country. kansas city terminal railway is the second largest terminal in the country. approximately 250 freight train movements occur every day. the third largest terminal in the country. at the missouri department of transportation safety is our highest priority. we do everything within our abilities to make our transportation system as safe as possible. when we saw crude oil increase missouri worked with the railroad and federal railroads administration to make certain the routes received our highest attention.
10:07 pm
it spurred m edred m.o.d.o.t. to increase safety and staff. in missouri we value our strong relationships with the nation's second and third largest terminal railroads. we know it's an important national asset moving a significant amount of freight. they allow multiple railroads to use common infrastructure. amtrak and the state sponsored missouri river runner passenger rail service contracted through amtrak used these nationally significant terminal railroads. six passenger trains traverse ktc each day. 250 freight movements occur.
10:08 pm
with positive train control regulations the terminal railroad were only required to install ptc if they had passenger movements with no regard to operation volume population density tonnage or commodities moved including hazardous materials. m.o.d.o.t. received a letter from amtrak regarding ptc improves, which is attached to my testimony. this letter indicates amtrak is receiving invoices from kansas city terminal for the implementation of positive train control. the estimated cost is about 32 million. missouri share for that state sponsored passenger rail service is $20 million and 2 million dollar a year for maintenance in kansas city alone. missouri's cost to fund the entire passenger rail service is
10:09 pm
about 9 million a year. the service operates on kansas city terminal for only about six of the entire 250 miles of passenger rail route. while we agree, p ptc helps improve safety we do not believe m.o.d.o.t. should not bear the entire cost of the system. m.o.d.o.t. sent a response letter to amtrak and another to the faa regarding this issue. i've attached both of those letters to my testimony as well. you'll see m.o.d.o.t. stands ready to work with the fra to address this important issue. we know there will be an ongoing and dynamic discussion we hopes leads to a more informed and
10:10 pm
equitable method. i'd like to thank you for the opportunity to share our views on this very important topic and reenforce that the missouri department of transportation stands committed to improving the safety of our entire transportation system. thank you. >> mr. john. >> we appreciate the opportunity to talk to you today about rail service issues. the fertilizer industry depends on safe and reliable service. the dlir ri is critical 40 to 670%67 60% is due to crops yield.
10:11 pm
it's not a seasonal issue. the sheer production of volume of production in the industry couldn't possibly be transported just two times a year during the spring and fall planting seasons. this takes place year round. if they don't have reliable rail service those plants have to shut down. for example, last spring in may of 2014 the country as a whole went from 29% of acres planted to 73% acres planted. that's 40 million acres planted in a two-week period. as farmers rely on the robustness of the transportation system, especially the railroads now more than ever given our
10:12 pm
reliance on rail service the for the liezfertilizer promotes greater railroad and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation board. we're concerned the recent stb order establishing the boards proposed rule do not include separate tracking of fertilizer shipments. the farmer at the april 2014 stb hearing testify to that fact.
10:13 pm
it could have the unattended for maintenance required on other cars. flammable trains which do not include fertilizer could add significant congestion to an already overburdened network. the trains have significant number of cars that do not contain flammable liquids. while we are very strongly supporting the effort to enhance rail safety, we want to make sure it does not erode the commitment to transport toxic cargo. the reason for that is rail service is vital to the
10:14 pm
transportation which is used as a direct application fertilizer in the midwest. we want to make sure that the 30,000 tank cars that are transported annually want to make sure that we continue to have the right to ship over the rails because it takes four trucks to replace one rail car. that would not be possible to do in a timely manner. in conclusion, i want to thank the committee for allowing us to be here. our partnership with the railroads is crucial in helping feed a growing world. we depend on that cost effective service. we want to work with the committee, transportation board and partners within the railroad to make sure that happens. >> thank you mr. john. thank you for your great testimony. senators will start with five minute rounds and see where it
10:15 pm
goes goes and how much participation we have. i want to start with you mr. brown. as you know south dakota wyoming property, during the early months of the transition following gnw's acquisition, how do short lines manage service with class one railroads and how does that vary among class one railroads? >> we have a great, first of all we're a customer of every class one railroad we're also partners. our partnership with cp as we
10:16 pm
started that operation, we manage it on a very much multiple interactions per day. we rook at ourselves as an extension of the class ones into the first amount, last amount, environments which is a fantastic operation that we've successfully began last year. it's progressed well. we established strong communication channels operationally so that every day, various times through the day we're planning for locomotives and how many cars will be available for our customers. we purchase and brought into that railroad over 2,000 cars of our own. in addition to what cp supplied to that railroads and when it
10:17 pm
was part of their network. yes, sir. >> i'm sure you have to be careful about what you say in terms of your interchanges with the class ones but are there differences between class ones? >> certainly. >> you obviously interact with a lot of class ones. >> every one of them. there are differences. there are differences. there's a lot of attention in class ones, all of them in terms of enhancing their capacity and i'm seeing results that say they're being successful in
10:18 pm
improving everywhere we connect with them. >> we're glad to see improvements as well. there are disruptions that have cascading impact. how can we better manage bottlenecks like in chicago that impact the fluidity that mr. brown eluded to and as a more specific question how railroads change their planning for severe winter weather events like that one we're experiencing now? >> clearly chicago is the cross roads of all of north americans railroad. it's the most efficient way to interchange traffic from west to east and east to west. it's natural place where all railroad come together as it has been historically.
10:19 pm
chicago is a situation where congestion on any one railroad can impact other railroads. chicago last winter suffered from the same of what mr. brown spoke of. there are two ways to help look at chicago. one of those is investment. when you look at the create projects of great public partnership, multidecade series of projects which help both freight railroad as well as passenger railroads. there are a series of committees that are operational on the ground every day. we call it the ctco.
10:20 pm
we have members that sit on that coordination office. that railroad has to bring forward a plan to alleviate that congestion. if they're unable to do so the others pitch in. there's a lot that's happening there. amtrak has put together a blue ribbon panel. many of us have looked at at terntive interchanges. we just opened one northeast of st. louis. if we get into a situation where traffic needs to be diverted or maybe it doesn't have to go at all, we have gate ways to help reduce congestion in chicago.
10:21 pm
to your winter question, last winter took many of us by surprise. we have winter every year. it's a question of extreme it is, how much snow how cold it may be. we did make sure they were as up to date as possible. it's making sure we have the supplies of the right components for freight cars and locomotive and rails that are sensitive. we also have invested in new equipment. it's how we clear the road of snow and ice to make sure that the equivalent of the exit ramp off the main line remains fluid. then it gets down to communication and making sure we understand where certain trains may be the trouble this getting crews and additional power out there to rescue a train that might have had a locomotive
10:22 pm
failure or track failure. >> my time is over. i've got some ptc questions, but i'm sure my other colleagues will get to those. >> you all have been trying to implement positive training control. there's been some complications. what can we do to help you and how does the extension figure into that? >> we're appreciative of the committee and your sponsorship and senator blunt's sponsorship that you introduced in the last session. we look forward to continuing that discussion with you in this session of congress.
10:23 pm
23,000 locomotives in my opening testimony. the hardware deployment will continue significantly in the next three years. it starts the process of testing in the laboratory and in field to make sure it works in an operating environment. i think it's important to remember the amount of money and dead indication dedication. we have thousands o off people working on positive train
10:24 pm
control. >> the tunnel for trucks, the rail rail. share quickly why the rail connectivity was so important. >> miami is at the end of a long peninsula peninsula. both have had rail improvement.
10:25 pm
you don't need 50 feet of water be the ability to move there product there an intelligent road system and rail system is vital whether it's the port of la, whether it's the port of miami. without that interconnectivity you cannot connect your port to america and dploe bally. it was that ability to partner with washington with our state government, governor and of course local and our private
10:26 pm
sector partner. a true win for my port. i think it's a win for america. that was part of bill that was trying to give an economic jolt to the country back in 2009. given the fact we have problems with fiery crashers, oil tankers on the class one.
10:27 pm
>> we support standards that have currently under way. we have, overall the g and w owned properties we have established some safety protocol protocols and precautions. the volume as well as the existing level of maintenance of instructure.fra infrastructure.
10:28 pm
we look at where it might be operating and enhance our infrastructure maintenance as well as apply operating protocols and procedures for safety. thank you for being here again. this is the second time we had you testify on a couple different issues in the last year. we appreciate you being here. what's the status of positive train control now as it relates
10:29 pm
to the department of transportation? >> right now we operate that service on mostly union pacifics rail line. union pacific being a class one is installing the ptc at their cost. mike mccarthy is here today. they're in a tough situation. were it not for the passenger rail activity they would not be required to install ptc. every year it's challenge to get the 9 million dollar we need to
10:30 pm
operate amtrak. to come up with an additional 20 plus million in a small section will be a real concern for the state of missouri and possibly impact the future of passenger rail. we're really concerned about that in particular in regards to those terminal railroads. amtrak has been working closely on try to figure out how to pay for this but ultimately the way the law and the interpretation is today those will fall on the
10:31 pm
railroad exemption. >> it would fall on the terminal railroad or the state as the sponsor of amtrak. >> amtrak has some national routes that flow through st. louis and kansas city terminals. >> you know can tell from the comments that we've been concerned that the government itself has been one of the obstacles to meeting the deadline and where will railroads be by the end of 2015 and what would be a reasonable
10:32 pm
deadline to, now that hopefully the fcc and others are working with railroads to get this accomplished? we're working closely with the fcc on what we call the tower on antenna height waiver. we need that to get through the fcc. there's some cross border issues between the united states and canada that have to get resolved also. in order for it to be ptc enabled when it hits the boundary it has to begin to converse with ptc while it's still in canada. we have to get through that cross border issue. at the fra level we meet with them quarterly and discuss issues.
10:33 pm
i think the dialogue has been very candid. at the same time, as you all know, when congress passed the rail safety act about one page of that legislation was positive train control. it has turned into you know, hundreds if not thousands of pages of regulation which just became final in august of last year. some six years after the legislation was initially passed we have the recipe, so to speak from the regulatory perspective on what we're required to do. >> on the tower side of the issue your railroad is impacted by that? am i right on that? >> we are impacted by it but the industry has about 20,000 towers that have to go through that process. we have our fair share. >> my last question is, is the fcc now doing what they need to
10:34 pm
be doing for tower sighting to happen or are we are still looking at an obstacle? >> we're still looking at an obstacle. we have to get it to the fcc in order for them to review it. every tower every one of those 20,000 sites has 100 days or so review process it has to go through. there still will be obstacles there based on the streamline process. >> if everything goes well, that's a huge caveat to the answer. our plans take us to 2020. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator blunt.
10:35 pm
>> thank you. from fossil fuel products to agriculture products we're the second largest port with the combined seattle-tacoma alliance. freight movement is critically important to keeping our competitive advantage and also very important for us, as it relates to the growing market outside the united states. a doubling of the middle class around the globe in the next 15 years is a great economic opportunity for the united states. i do want to make one note. your comments earlier my viewpoint on the rail car issues that we should go faster. the administration should get those new recommendation
10:36 pm
implemented. my constituents who are seeing the trains through every state just because the way they're entering the state. they are hitting spokane up through tacoma, seattle. these rail cars are going through every major population center. seattle is debating whether they want to keep new requirements keeping the commuter trains and rail trains that go into the same tunnel at times, make rules for that. it's a big issue for us. i'm anxious for them to react. i wanted to make that point. i hope we play commerce plays a big role in surface transportation issues as that debate happens throughout the senate and throughout the house. i feel like our committee has some very important role to play on safety and security on those. we'll look forward to that. i wanted to ask our witnesses,
10:37 pm
again, because freight is so important, mr. johnson or mr. longgrow about implementation about the fright mobility boards recommends recommendation and what would your recommendation be on how to improve for the competitiveness of the infrastructure. >> typically your ports will approach it with the rail partners. we work closely with florida east coast rail because they are truly or partners. we're looking for their advice input. we are concerned in terms of implementation of cost and delay.
10:38 pm
the big thing is making sure on the regulatory side things don't become overly burdensome but also there's a focus on really supporting the necessary dollars for the infrastructure. that really is the key for us. the tiger program was instrumental for our ports. that project will not have happened. we're really focused on that infrastructure plan. i think that's true for most ports in america. >> getting those recommendations implemented. >> i think in terms of the
10:39 pm
partnership that we talked about, shortly the short lines are major partners about 20% of our freight either originates or terminates on a short line. certainly the ports are big. customers and partners for us as well. certainly the funding on both of those will be really important. our job by in large is to work with our customers to develop properties where they can site new rail service facilities whether they're at the ports or in the ports. we have hired thousands of people that can run trains. service is important for us and
10:40 pm
the plans tobalance to regulation on the economic side will keep that in balance. >> thank you. apologize for my absences. i attended a small business hearing upstairs. great to have you with us today. in your testimony today in the written testimony you talked about the need to improve safety on the rail systems which congress, we passed the law for that purpose and you've talked about the effort made to respond to that law. we also heard about a number of technical barriers that delayed the rail company's ability to test and implement this technology. all of us are in strong support of railroad safety and the safe rail system. i know everyone here is as well. what i didn't hear too much about today and i'd like to get into a little more is another type of safety. that deals with our national security. that concern being the issue of
10:41 pm
cyber security. the safety technology requirements from the law allows a computer to overrule human error when operating change. as we hear more about cyber attacks i'm concerned that not givinge inging enough time for this technology to operated could open up for cyber attacks. is there an issue we're not addressing that could make our rails less safe. >> thank you. i believe that we are working on cyber security in the realm of ptc. we have one of the most well known national labs that's looking at it from an independent third-party perspective to make sure the cyber security challenges are accounted for. as i know you're aware cyber security is always a defensive measure. every day there are new ways
10:42 pm
that either nation states or individuals can attempt to infiltrate whether it's governmental or business or personal accounts and technologies. i think the important thing in the ptc realm is the data transmissions and communications networks are encrypted. the messages and a data transmissions are secure as anything else we're able to transmit today. the other thing and i think it's important to note where you talked about the technology coming in and taking over control of the train. the only interface of ptc is to the braking system. if there's no throttle control for positive train control. the fail safe mode for positive train control is to bring the train to a stop. >> ifn your opinion if anybody would like to address the question is there adequate time to provide the kind of testing
10:43 pm
you're carrying out? >> no is the answer. essential not against a december 2015 deadline. the security elements, the safety elements of testing all of this and hire smart teem to try to break into it are things that we will do. you can't do that until the system is complete. >> i yield back. >> as you can tell my voice is not what it should be, which is a cause for rejoiceing in many places around the country and in this complex i will not spend a lot of time questioning today. i want to associate myself with comments of my colleagues in senator blunt. i have a number of questions i'll submit for the record about issues can for the transporting of crude which is one of
10:44 pm
reasons i support the pipeline. one of many but it's one of the major ones is transportation of crude across my state is an every day occurrence and something we're concerned about in terms of overall safety. this issue is complex. it's hard. i want to state it's unacceptable we would interrupt passenger service over this issue. we have tens upon thousands of people that rely on the train in missouri. it isn't like the northeast corridor but it's essential in my state. i would like to see, every one knows that congress will probably adjust this deadline and i would like there to be a more realistic target for the deadline which gives us time to try to work this out among the various players that need to weigh in and help hear. this can't be all on amtrak or
10:45 pm
m.o.d.o.t. the question is whether this is the right way to put all of that responsible there because of what the rule currently states. i hope we can get quick action on the ptc delay bill in order to give some more certainty to have the environment in missouri so we can make sure we have and continue passenger rail service. i apologize for my voice. i'll submit the rest of the questions for the record. thank you. >> thank you. senator fisher. >> thank you. everybody up here has some health issues today. i apologize as well. could you talk a little about your overall capital investment plan and what might happen to that plan if government did things to either restrict your revenue or change your regulatory structure based on how much revenue that you
10:46 pm
generate? >> as luck would have it we just released the details the of our capital plan to our customers. one of the things we've done in the last few month s open up a transparent dialogue with our customers around service as well as around the capital expenditures. rail is a capital business. we're going to put in 3.2 million cross ties. we're going to rebuild 95 locomotives, buy 200 new ones. it's what aisle call the
10:47 pm
aggregate weight. i think it's aen important thing. as you get into reregulation topics, anything that constrains the top line will constrain the abilities for us to re-invest in the railroads. >> when we look at the stb revenue adequate standard that will affect your ability to invetsin invest in future? >> it could. looking at the future of growth opportunities that we have if we're unable to build capacity in order to handle that additional growth then, yes it could. >> one question on the ptc this you've been asked about on the regulations there. what are the challenges that you see getting it installed. what do you see as that and when
10:48 pm
it's finally deployed what are the challenges that you will be facing. >> a fair interpretation is what have we been doing. >> how are you going to do it in the future. >> we literally started from scratch. many have testified that it's been around for a long time and it has. it did not it wasn't able to comply with the requirements that we've received as part of this. the most mature piece of software was the on board system and yet we haven't severed a final version of that to be able to comply with these requirements. those vz to be integrated in such way they can speak the language of ptc.
10:49 pm
the railroad signaling infrastructure, which runs a safe railroad, has to be re replaced to get up to the technology. we're replacing prematurely, the signaling system. we have built our own brand new radio network. we're all blessed with cellular technology. in more rural parts of the country and out west cellular is not a communications vehicle. we had to invest in our own radio frequency in order for that to happen. making sure it's safe and secure to the earlier question we had is an important thing from an i.t. perspective. moving forward, what are the challenges? the challenges are technical and scale because of the reasons i just mentioned.
10:50 pm
the care and feeding of the system will be expensive. we'll spend $1.9 billion on ptc. in the new signaling siftystem and the technology and retro fits to locomotive locomotive much of that is hardware and software that has to be replaced every few years and have a maintenance cost every few years. hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental costs will go to the railroads to continue to support this technology going forward. >> do you think it is wiser to look at seeing the implementation of this on a regional basis or do you think we're going to reach a point where we're going to be able to flip a switch and have the whole country lines up? >> i absolutely don't believe we'll flip a switch and to what we call a hot cut over. it technology needs to be phased in. there are people who need to be trained so specifically crew
10:51 pm
bases that run our trains the engineering or what we call maintenance of way and communications and signals work force in the field all have to be trained on this. we have about 32,000 people in our company and 80 to 90% of those folks will have to be trained on positive train control so the training element of things you know, all of the timetables, what we use to run the railroad will have to be updated. the dispatching system runs the railroad by segments so those segments have to be cut over into ptc. we see a very methodical phase into this hopefully starting with some of the easier territories or less dense traffic territories first and ultimately getting up to places where interoperability will be of a significant magnitude. think of places like chicago where you have so many railroad that's are coming together. washington d.c. and northern virginia will be similar in that vain. >> you said 2020 for ptc.
10:52 pm
mr. brown, where do you see your railroad being -- >> in our system we have to work with all the class ones. every one has some unique qualities to what they are developing although similar but some unique qualities. it depends upon the completion of their project. i really can't give a date without having every class one come to the table as mr. lonegro mentioned, the phase in of their systems, everywhere that we interphase with a class 1 as it is phasing in its system we will phase in our system. it very much depends upon the class 1 timetable. >> thank you. senator danes. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing today. i represent the state of montana montana. we're home to over 3,000 miles of railroad track and we move a lot of products. in fact, we hefavilyfavily are
10:53 pm
dependent on ag industry it's a $5 billion industry and about 80% of our wheat crop is exported over seas so it's our connection from the rails to the ports that allows us to grow our businesses back home. we've had a lot of success in growth certainly in the energy industry as well. we see a lot of coltrainal trains going by. the balkan spills into montana as well. i fact today i meant with the montana grain growers. they ship over 130 million bushels of wheat to the pacific northwest terminals each year. we've had some constraint and been working with our rail carriers. but it should be noted today we're going to be having the keystone pipe line and hopefully get this keystone pipe line passed in the senate. did some quick math. the keystone pipe line, they'll be oil coming into an onramp in
10:54 pm
baker mont err montana. what that means is 4,000 rail cars a month. that's just the montana ail that will come into the keystone pipe line to allow us maybe to reduce some of the constraints that we see right now in rail. so it's yet another argument for the need for the keystone to allow us to more efficiently transport our goods to market. mr. lonegro, i realize you do not have operations in montana but, i was a supply chain guy back in my days with proctor and gamble and the complicated nature of logistics and forecast and so forth, we've had some rail capacity constraints in montana. it's a by-product of economic growth which better to have constraints probably than excess capacity but nonetheless constraints, how have you addressed rail capacity issues in other areas of the country
10:55 pm
when you look at solving some of the these challenges . thank you senator. we don't serve montana but we do take interchange from railroads that do serve montana. 2014 was a situation where winter hit us first and e essentially for the first three months of last year we were a bit under siege because of the weather but the volumes in the first quarter really didn't drop off. in the second quarter, littererally the first day the sun came out, we began to get significant growth. when we plan for say 3% growth and we get 6 or 8 or 10% growth that's a significant uptick for our business. the other thing we experienced last year was a bit of a geographic shift in our business. we saw a lot more traffic that went between say chicago and st. louis into the mid-atlantic and into the northeast. so, you know, not only did we have abnormally unforecasted growth we also have twice that much on that part of our railroad. what are we doing about it?
10:56 pm
when we got to the point in the second quarter of last year where we believed the growth would be sustained rather than penned up demand from the harsh winter we began to pull a lot of levers. the first was to hire more people. our train crews take between six and nine months from somebody that you hire off the street to get qualified to actually run a train in operating service. so that length of time, that lead time on that particular resource was pretty significant. we hired about 2,000 people last year. a little less than half of them are in the pipe line which will come out on the job training and qualification in the first four months of this year so train crews are a really important thing. locomotives are also an extremely important part of the equation. we brought 400 locomotives into our fleet last year. a combination of leases plus what we had in storage. again as the seasons ebb and
10:57 pm
flow, you have those in storage and we took all of those out of store and we issued a purchase order for 300 more locomotives in the high 2.something million per copy. >> what was the lead team on a locomotive. >> upwards of a year. we're just dpiningbeginning. we have the first two that came out of that purchase order literally today. we will see the first 75 of those out of the first five or six months of this year. the remaining 125 wheele'll get in the second half of the year and 150 out of the heavy repair program so we literally will have another three 00 in serve300 on top of the ones that we put into service last year. >> what metrics do you use to measure customer service, jd power is certainly a measure that we look at both internally as well as allowing the customers to have verb it im
10:58 pm
comments to jd power being an independent agency helps understand quantitatively. candidly, our local service to that first and last mile that mr. brown talked about in his opening statement was one of the highest score that's we saw. certainly the network because of all the factors that we already mentioned. we saw some degradation. >> you have internal metrics. >> absolutely. cta. committed time on arrived. on time arrivaled. on time departures. the number of cars online. we have a measure called lsm. local switching -- >> what's been the challenge in the last 12 to 24 hours in achieving our customer service goals. >> it's really been resources. if the growth hadn't been as great as it was. we're all thankful that the economy is growing. at the aimsame time when we pull
10:59 pm
our customers what do you guys see. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> the senator from massachusetts. >> thank you mr. chairman very much. in massachusetts there's nearly 1,000 miles of freight track which supports millions of dollars of goods that move in and out of the commonwealth each year. we need to clearly continue to invest in our ageing infrastructure and modernize our systems for the 21st century. safety on our rails is also paramount. passenger trains often share the same tracks as freight trains. certainly trains carry hazardous materials through our communities and pass through our back yards. rail lines and roads cross often creating dangerous intersections. for all of those reasons safety is important. i look forward to working with the members of the committee on the important safety issues that are under the jurisdiction of
11:00 pm
the commerce committee. unfortunately, the increase in oil shipments by rail has come with an increase in horrible accidents. 2014 was a record year for spilling oil on railroads with 141 reported unintentional releases. these accidents resulted in explosions polluted ground water, destroyed property and city wide evacuations. in 2013 a train derailed and exploded in a small canadian town just miles from the main end of new hampshire borders, killing 47 people destroying much of the town. and we need to make sure that we do everything to avoid another catastrophe like this. so i am very concerned about the department of transportation's failure to adopt new rules that address the retiring of old dot 111 tank


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on