tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 23, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT
>> thank you. i'll answer that. the -- the very question that the chairman and i asked ourselves about the aumf now several months ago -- and you i actually testified about the aumf -- asked ourselves two questions. one was did this give us the needed flexibility and authority to conduct the campaign that is necessary? and the second is did it -- would its passage clearly signify to our people that can -- our people meaning our pen and women in uniform and the other members of the department of defense -- that the country is behind them in this fight? those are the two things that are important about the aumf to me. the features -- the first question is affirmative for me in the version that the president submitted because it
was flexible or broad in its definition of isil and the enemy, so to speak, because it was not geographically limited because we know isil is geographically limited. it had the three-year piece in it which is not anything to do with the military campaign. i can't tell you that in three years the campaign against isil is going to be over. the three years in the aumf is recognition of our constitutional system, the fact that there will be a new president and that congress and the new president ought to be able to revisit a strategy seems reasonable to me but it's not really a military thing. the only restriction within it is about long-term large scale offensive combat operations, which we judge for all the reasons we've been describing earlier today are not part of our strategy and we don't think are going to be needed to combat
isil, therefore, i'm okay with that provision in the aumf the president has submitted. so those are the wes we asked ourselves and on both of those grounds i hope that it will -- it will pass. i can't say whether it's legally necessary in any sense but i think it would show support for the troops and in that sense it's a good thing. >> all right. for secretary carter again last week an additional 450 troops were deployed in support of operation inherent resolve, however, you have said personally that, and i quote, we can do -- nothing that we can substitute for the iraqi forces will to fight and following the fall of ramadi you also made similar comments. i think you made comments as well today. i think many of us here in congress are gravely concerned that the administration is considering committing a substantial american ground force to the ongoing efforts to combat isis as it has been ten
months and we have slowly seen a ramp up of u.s. forces in iraq and syria. are options being considered to redeploy a is substantial ground combat force to the region to combat isis? if not at what number will the line be drawn for american forces in iraq? i think we all want to know how does this end and where do we draw the line on american involvement in this conflict? >> the essence of the strategy is not to have u.s. forces substitute for capable and motivated local forces, but to have u.s. and coalition forces enable those forces. and the reason for that is -- is that that's the only way to get a lasting result. american forces, outside forces
can combat but then it comes time for them to sustain the victory and that can only be done by local forces. that's the reason why our strategy is not to put in 100,000 american troops. it is to put in smaller and carefully selected groups that can have unusual leverage. that's the point about takatum. it's not the number of people that are there, it's the level they will have. they are in the middle of sunni territory and we want sunnis and it's right in the middle of where the anbar operations center is where we can help the iraqi forces. >> thank you. hugh mr. chairman. >> mr. could have pan. >> first of all, general dempsey i want to thank you so much for your decades of dedicated service to this country and although i certainly feel that you have earned that retirement we will miss you. i think this country will miss your service to our country.
there is i guess a position of this government of no boots on the ground, and i just want to drill down to what that means because i agree that we shouldn't have u.s. military personnel back in iraq as the ground component maneuver element, taking the fight away from the indigenous forces there, iraqi security forces but i also have a concern about that definition in terms i do feel that there ought to be some u.s. military personnel forward with iraqi forces forward air controllers to make sure that we have effective close air support, advisors not simply behind the wire, but with the iraqi units. i served in iraq with the marine corps and what i noticed in going out in joint patrols in
the western euphrates river valley was that it really emboldened the confidence of those iraqi soldiers. so what is the position of the administration right now, because i have heard critics complain about the effectiveness of our close air support in terms of the number of missions and the effectiveness of those missions the number of sorties and the effectiveness of those sorties. general dempsey? >> thanks congressman. on the -- this boots on the ground issue, i don't know what the administration's position is long-term. i can give you my military judgment here today and that is that i would not be -- i would not recommend that we put u.s. forces in harm's way simply to stiffen the spine of local forces. if their spine is not stiffened by the threat of isil and their way of life nothing we do is
going to stiffen their spine. on the other hand, when they become offensive and as a military man you will understand the distinction between defense and offense. when they go on the offensive and if there's a strategic target and we want to ensure that they succeed in that strategic target i would certainly take general austin's advice and go to the secretary of defense and have that conversation about how we could -- how we could make the chances of success better but not just to stiffen their spine. in terms of the success of the air power the air power's limitation is not about forward air controllers or j tach's or u.s. servicemen and women forward, it's about the intermingling of a significant number of groups. so in any particular place, let's take ramadi, you will have the intermingling of the iraqi security forces conventional pain their counter terror forces which are special operators, some elements of the shia
militia militia, some of which are working on behalf of the country of iraq, some of which we are very concerned about, and tribes. so we're very precise and very deliberate about the use of air power so that we don't actually undermine our own campaign of trying to focus this this effort on isil. >> just because you asked about the administration i don't want to put the chair nn in that position. i agree with everything the chairman has said and i am open to that judgment in the future. what we need however, is an iraqi ground force and then we can provide the leverage for them. again, not just to stiffen their spine, not to substitute for them but to leverage them. the last thing i will say is there are boots on the ground in iraq. evening about them every day. i appreciate any of you that visits them. they are not just in baghdad, they are around the country but the job they're doing is to build the capable and motivated
ground force that, yes, as you say, we can then leverage and we'll revisit or visit that question when we have the ground force to enable it. >> let me make sure he understand both of your positions. that is if iraqi -- forward iraqi forces are in contact with isis or enemy elements, then -- and close air support would be effective in terms of influencing that battle influencing the battlefield, sapg the battlefield then in fact you would support u.s. military personnel forward with iraqi units in the form of say forward air controllers? >> we'll take that one for the record congressman. >> mr. bolton. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
general dempsey when i walked into your office in baghdad as a lieutenant and you tried to figure out how a lieutenant was supposed to report to a three star you proved to me that you are not only a great national leader as you have demonstrated for the entire country but you are also a very good boss and i'm grateful for being able to serve with you as well as have you lead our country in so many important ways. so thank you very much. when you say, mr. secretary, that putting u.s. combat troops on the ground is no sub tut for local forces because only local forces will produce enduring results my concern is that the plan that we are really executing now as far as training local forces does not look materially different than what we were doing some time ago, it's a much smaller scale. i think that the missing component here is really an enduring political plan to ensure that the iraqi government can hold itself together because
ultimately it's really a political failure in iraq today and i think we all agree on that. so talking about how important this this first line of effort is building a more effective inclusive multi-sectarian governance in iraq, i'm concerned by my experience on the ground there when i visited am february. because i didn't see a single american commander on the military side who knew anything about a political plan. when i talked to the u.s. ambassador in baghdad his position was essentially that it's up to the iraqis, it's not for us to influence. but it's not about us influencing it or a sovereign iraq state it's about either us influencing iraqi politics or iran influencing iraqi politics. it concerns me as well frankly, mr. chairman, when you say that you don't know what the administration's long-term plan is because if we don't know what the long-term plan is then i'm
not sure it's worth putting these troops at risk in iraq today. at a personal level the most frustrating part of going back to iraq in peb was seeing so much of what we had fought for and achieved during the surge really gone to waist. and i want to make sure that we do have a long-term enduring political plan so that whatever effort is made by these 450 and others on the ground in iraq today, it doesn't go to waste and we don't find ourselves sending troops back again five years from now. >> i just want to make sure because i didn't -- i didn't intend to inn ply that i don't know what the administration's plan is. i think we've tried to lay that out. what i meant to suggest was that as this military campaign has evolved, when we have approached the administration for additional resources within the context of the strategy they've taken our advice in every case. i just haven't gone forward yet with any further
recommendations. >> i want to just second that and that's kind of the answer to mr. coffman's excellent question as well. with respect to your also excellent question, that reinforces that the first line of effort is essential, the first rhine of effort being an iraqi government that will not behave the way maliki's government did and that is something we can influence, we don't directly control but we can influence and that's why the first line of effort and the is ekd and third, why i'm so intent and i know the chairman is on aligning the political with what we're trying to do. >> so mr. secretary, what are we to go to influence it? to drill down to a specific what are we doing specifically to counter iranian political influence on the ground in iraq today? >> well, we are -- have made it clear to prime minister abadi
and all the parties there and they have supported the point of view that we are -- that we are not going to support militias or shia forces supported by iran or otherwise constituted that are not under the control of the iraqi government. so the ones that we're going to support and the ones that we're going to enable and therefore the ones that we intend to be successful as part of our strategy will be under the control of the government of iraq and they will be the successful forces >> and are they responding to that leverage? because i spoke with the iraqi ambassador last week and he said the difference between american supports and iran's is that they have a house on fire, america comes with these conditions, get fire insurance and we will support you, iran shows up with a fire extinguisher his view is that they're being much more effective as leveraging iraqi politics today >> well, we have spoken to prime minister abadi and the members of his government about precisely this point and he is
asking for our help. now, does he speak for everybody in baghdad? no. but he is asking for our help. he says he prefers our support. >> thank you both. thaw, mr. chairman. >> mr. hunter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, mr. secretary thanks for being here. i guess i don't know they've been asking about isis pretty shot and heavy here, we will keep it in the middle east. you're familiar with two years ago i asked secretary hagel to institute a hostage policy review, i asked him to appoint a hostage point person for dod, it ended up going mike lumpkin who is now asd solic and secretary agel did that, the white house instituted a hostage policy review. all of this came about because things were brought to my attention by a lieutenant colonel a approximate marie special forces sold earlier, fought in afghanistan, was working in a section of dod working in hostage policy and
hostage recovery for dod. he is now being investigated. he's being basically drummed out of the army. you would not have a hostage policy review unless secretary agel started it on my own without my request. i would not have requested it you would not have had a hostage point person in mike lumpkin is not for lieutenant colonel amarie. senator johnson wrote you a letter asking you to look into secretary mchue his -- let's say investigatory policies within the army possible abuse by cid within the army and the case of lieutenant colonel amarie in particular. i would ask you right now, i would just like your commitment that you would look into this because none of this would have happened if it weren't for amarie who has now had to claim whistle-blower status because he helped the united states fix its botched hostage recovery policy.
of which we had none. i mean we had talked about this, you had fbi, state dod and other -- the intelligence communities all in their own lanes doing their own things for hostages. that's going to change now. you're going to have your own hostage policy now that that review is underway and the house and senate our n stchlt a was passed, that had the parameters for your -- for the administration's new hostage recovery policy set up in had it, that's going tos pass the senate. so you are going to have that now. that would not have come about without the guy who is under investigation for making it all possible. all right? >> congressman i am familiar with the case. you have my commitment. it's under investigation now by the inspector general. i am familiar with the case. i can't comment on it because it's under investigation but you have my commitment that i will keep in touch with that
investigation as appropriate. you also have -- i wasn't -- i can't speak for the history of course, but you certainly have my commitment with respect to a reasonable conclusion of a hostage policy review. and since the chairman may have been present at the he creation of that review if you would like to comment, chairman. >> yeah, obviously congressman, we can't comment on the investigation. we're both a i wire of it and we're certainly enthusiastic to move ahead with the hostage rescue issue and make it more coherent across government. >> thank you. and i would just stress, i mean, one of the reasons the army puts things under investigation is so that you can't comment on that, i understand that, that's happened to me in the past. number two, i would just ask that this i think is bigger than one particular service. i think when you look at this case in particular and jason amarie and what he has done he was in service to the entire country and to the constitution and he was doing his duty. i think if you don't have -- if
you don't conduct some oversight on the investigation itself, the investigation of the investigation, i think we're not going to have the outcome that we should have which is amarie being cleared and not excoriated anymore but being praised as someone who actually got something done within the system even though they had to go outside of the system to us. i would hope that every single one of those gentlemen sitting behind you all in uniform knows that if they didn't work within the system that they can come to congress. that's what we're here for. when you're in the box you can't always fix yourself. that's what we're here to do. with that i yield back mr. chairman. thank you. >> ms. cabot. >> you know, we've heard a lot of discussion about this first line of effort that you outlined in your opening remarks to address the political and sectarian situation this iraq and i think it's important as we
look at this question of what is our strategy to defeat isis it's important that we operate in the world that actually exists, not the one that we hope or we wished could exist or would exist in the future. it's important to recognize that while these ideals are good to have we're operating in the world that exists today. so even as we look at this administration's policy, the previous administration's policy, the billions of dollars and thousands of lives that have been spent in holding on to this unified central government policy, even as we hear rhetoric from prime minister abadi the reality is that experts both who wear the uniform and those who have studied the middle east for a very long time all day for practical purposes you have three regions in iraq, it's a fractured country with the kurds in the north, the shias from their strong hold in baghdad essentially and you have the sunni territories, largely
to the west. so when you look at this question and you look at, mr. secretary is your answer to mr. o'rourke's question with regards to give us an example of how there has been a plan or there is a plan in place to allow for this and support governance and the ability for, for example, the sunni tribes to secure themselves and you talked about how this would happen in the future. help the iraqi government put a plan in place for governance as territory is recovered, but my question goes to tick treat this is an offensive that took place not that long ago, i questioned before this occurred two members of the administration, what was the plan, and there was no plan at that time and we saw as a result once tikrit was taken sunni families were terrorized by shia militia, homes were burned town, businesses were looted and as a result you continue to see why
these sunni people have no motivation to go and fight for this so-called iraqi security force, this iraqi government that shuts down bridges when they're trying to run away from isis. so as you say it's essential sunni fighters are brought into the fold i think we all recognize that the sunni people need to be empowered but this is why there's no faith by many in congress and the sunni tribes most importantly at that there is a plan in place to empower them. >> i very much respect your expertise and your perspective on this and one of my favorite sayings is hope is not a strategy. and this is a strategy -- the strategy, the particular part of the strategy which has to do with the integrity of the iraqi state is a challenging one. no question about it. for all the reasons you describe. it is -- if it can be achieved
better than sectarianism for the iraqi people and for what we want which is isil's lasting defeat. is it difficult to achieve? yes. does it involve as an essential ingredient empowering the sunnis and giving them the will to participate? absolutely. is tikrit a good example of what we are trying to achieve? no. that's the whole point. that was not an ordered operation under the exclusive control of the iraqi government and it did -- it had the kind of aftermath that exactly incentivizes us to be trying to get sunnis into the fight because if you put shias into the sunni fight you know how that ends. that is not lasting defeat. so that's why we're trying to get the sunnis into the fight.
i think you are asking exactly the right question. i think it's more than hope, i think there is some prospect at that we can do this we're determined to do it. there are plenty of iraqis who say they will support that strategy and that we can make it succeed. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i would just continue to urge the administration to consider changing its policy on supporting this government in baghdad. you mentioned sectarianism is the problem. i would argue that this government in baghdad is further adding fuel to the fire of sectarianism by allowing these shia militia by allowing this sectarian persecution and a op pregs to continue which only allows further oxygen for isis to continue to exist and to continue to grow in sunni territories. thank you. >> thank you. mr. bridenstine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank the secretary and chairman for coming and
testifying today. i think i'd like to follow up on the line of request he go that we were just going down. you know you mentioned earlier general dempsey, about general mcchrystal and you've got to defeat a network with a network and his commitment to that. certainly he was also very committed to the counterinsurgency strategy that was deployed in afghanistan. you were the deputy commander of centcom when we em employed counterinsurgency in iraq and i think you eventually became the acting commander of centcom under the counter insurgency policy. and my understanding is we employ that kind of strategy so that we can come to the diplomatic and political solutions that she was just talking about. the idea is that we have some space to maneuver so that parties can come together and we can come to a governing solution that is reasonable for all
involved. can you share with us our time there, why was it successful? why was the counterinsurgency strategy in iraq successful? >> well, you know, i think that the counterinsurgency strategy was if he can sieve when the lines of effort that the secretary outlined at the beginning are -- are applied. not just the military instrument. and as you know in those years when there was not much else going on in the world actually we invested enormous resources into that effort. i don't think you're suggesting -- i guess you should probably ask if you're suggesting whether we should make that kind of commitment again. rather it seems to me that we are trying to accomplish the objectives of a counterinsurgency, but adapting based on what we've learned to ensure that most of that lifting is done by regional partners and by the government of iraq itself. >> i'm not suggesting that we
return to counterinsurgency in iraq. what does concern me, though, is we heard over and over again from this administration that we had to end the gains of the counterinsurgency because we didn't have is a status of forces agreement, and the reason we didn't have the status of forces agreement according to the administration is that they couldn't get it ratified by the iraqi parliament. we've heard that over and over again. now somehow even though we had to leave because we didn't have a status of forces agreement now all of a sudden we're putting thousands of troops back. can you tell me today do we have a status of forces agreement? >> no, we do not but we have diplomatic notes that guarantee the immunities and protections. by the way, we have 3,500 servicemen and women on the ground so it's a much different order of magnitude. >> so originally, then when we is it the counterinsurgency since there wasn't an iraqi parliament we didn't have a status of forces agreement or
was that just an exchange of diplomatic notes as well? had. >> i don't know the answer to that. i can take that for the record. you're talking about back in 2011? >> right. my point is if we can have an exchange of diplomatic notes and sustain the gains that we had from the counterinsurgency i think it was mr. moulton that talked about the blood bought gains. i mean, it this is very ticket for us as a nation. if we can do that with an exchange of diplomate letters then why wouldn't we do that with an exchange of diplomatic letters instead of just saying the iraqi parliament won't ratify it therefore we have to leave immediately. all of a sudden everything we fought to achieve including me, including you, it seems to all be for not. this is a lessen -- we can't go back an unwind what has already happened but we have to be cognizant as we go forward because these kind of conflicts are going to happen again. the commander in chief needs to make a decision that he doesn't get to change the policy that
came before him. we have to make decisions that we inherent the policy from our predecessor, we have to make decisions in the best interest of our country regardless of whether or not it was his war to begin with. that's my point in all this. >> the only thing i would add is that you would have to concede we have a much different part they are in prime minister abadi than we did in prime minister mall aky. >> that's correct. it was also true that prime minister mall aky would have wanted us to be there had we had the opportunity to do it with an exchange of diplomatic letters which he wanted us to do and instead we chose to reject that. with that mr. chairman i will yield back. >> ms. board aloe. >> you have certainly have tremendous challenges on your shoulders and i tlau for your service. this question that i'm going to ask i think both of you may have comments on. as we've announced additional deployments of service members
back to the middle east to enhance the train and equip higs i've been really troubled about the effects it will have on the readiness of our total force. instead of sending complete units it appears that we're deploying piecemeal components and a dis portion that the contingent of senior personnel. so i'm concerned that the portion of the unit that remains at home station or in training will be relegated to preparing only for small unit operations instead of being able to train for full operations. now, how will we mitigate this end and ensure our reconstituting units will get the training they need to recover their readiness? that's the first part of the question. and secondly also will we consider changing the model for how we generate forces for small scale operations? >> excellent questions,
congresswoman. thank you. i will start and go the question -- you're absolutely right when we send in an enabling force, we tend to take certain elements, including the command element, out of a larger unit a brig aid or division or headquarters and deploy it forward because that's the only part of the force that we need and the rest stays behind. that is a readiness dilemma for, in this case the army, and i know the army works very hard on that, but it is, as you say. so the second part of your question is are we thinking of ways of -- i forget how you put it, but estimate advertising and dealing with the ready issues. >> yes. >> absolutely we are. i know that secretary mchue and the general are, i've discussed
that with them. chairman in addition to being the chairman was also the chief of staff of the army and perhaps he would comment as well. >> yes, congresswoman, we are adapting our global force management process to account for the fact that, as i mentioned earlier, for the first time in a very long time we have both the issue of dealing with potential threats from state actors and from nonstate actors. so though it's always our instinct to apply coherent units, that is to say units that have been organized trained and ee equipped and had a long relationship with each other we're going to have to find ways to account for our global challenges with a hybrid solution to global force management. frankly we have a much different army i'll use in 2015 than we were in 2003 when this all began and we can figure it out, but we would be happy to describe for you how we intend to approach
that. >> thank you. thank you very much. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. dr. wenstrup. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you gentlemen both for being here. as i sit here and we go through all this i just can't help but reflect as one of the couple hundred thousand who served in iraq and saw us go on to victory to just have my stomach turn when i think of my friends that were killed in certain areas that are now under control of isil. it's very difficult to sit and watch what's taking place today. today we have also the possibility of a resolution being brought forward that asks for the removal of all u.s. troops from iraq or syria. what do you think the middle east would look like if we did that, and what effect would it have on our national security? >> that would be a mistake congress pan, for obvious reasons. we have united states national
security interests within iraq and we also have united states national security interests in maintaining credible safe and reliable allies in the region and our withdrawal from this issue would -- would challenge and put us at greater risk over time. no question about it. >> i would agree with you on that note. i have another question concerning our counter messaging and our humanitarian efforts. obviously i think those are key components to whatever military mission we're engaged in. is it it helping with the recruitment on the local level for our allies in this fight? does our -- is our countermessaging having an effect? we talk all the time about the messaging of isil and the social media, et cetera et cetera. is our countermessaging helping recruit those that will be in the fight with us? >> the honest truth is that at
the moment our countermessaging is the truth. we don't have particular ways of getting on social media and prop fwandizing the way isil does and i don't think you're suggesting that we should do that. >> no i'm asking -- you mentioned countermessaging earlier, i'm just asking you what that looks like. >> exactly. and i understand the drift of your question. and the critical form of countermessaging by america gets back to the word the chairman started with which is leadership. when we accept up and indicate that we're in the game we're not substituting for the game but we're in the game whether it be here or anywhere else, i was just in southeast asia last week, there is a hunger for american leadership. we've played that role for decades in many parts of the world, same thing is true in
europe. i think that the best message we can give against all of these threats to our friends and allies is one of resolve and stead yeens. you made an earlier reference to continuity over time, i think that's important as well. the stead yeens of american leadership and it gets back to all the things we had a conversation about the budget earlier, i believe we need steediness there as well. that for heartening our friends and getting them to do more that's the best kind of countermessaging. >> what about the humanitarian side that was mentioned as well? i look at how we turned the tide in iraq before and part of that was our humanitarian efforts where i saw people of iraq began to trust us more than their own government because of the way we lived with them and we endured what they endured and we offered medical relief and things like that. are we doing things like that, is that part of our humanitarian
effort that wins over the hearts and minds of people that we need if we are going to be successful? >> it is. i don't think we've had the full opportunity to deploy that. when we begin to take back territory, i think the gist of your question is we need to help the iraqis who do that to restore services, make sure people are getting food power all these things that just make up normal life. that has to be the sequel to a military defeat of isil, otherwise the tide will just turn back again. and that's essential. again, we are not going to try to do that all by ourselves, but i think that we will as we enable the fight we need to enable the aftermath as well. and to get back to your part about partners -- many of the partners and allies are very willing to do that and we have some experience doing that including in afghanistan, some of our european friends and allies for example, are very willing. it's not like the united states has to bear the whole burden
there. >> i brae and i hope we can deploy those measures. thank you. >> mr. ashford. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you general dempsey, mr. secretary. i -- a little on topic and probably it's been asked and answered a couple of times but when i was in iraq with congressman moulton and he asked the question that he asked today several times and it's a compelling question. when one of the -- there was quite a bit of optimism when we were there in february it had to do primarily with the fact that in june there would be an operation in mosul and so forth and so on. one of the factors -- but much has changed since then obviously and you've addressed that. one of the -- for me and what i reported back to nebraskans was
that i saw emergence of to some degree leaders in the arab countries who were ready to stand up and try to union guy these groups in a less sectarian manner and king abdullah of jordan was one of those. and it was -- it was very -- to me at least, someone who is new to this -- it was very optimistic kind of a report. he talked about his idea of bringing sunni leaders together in -- i think at that time in april or so and to -- but since that time obviously the jordanians have been impacted by significant challenges not the least of which are the refugees and some of the al qaeda issues for them. number one i guess my question, mr. secretary would be how are
things going with jordan? and do you see that sort of exception in a list kind of approach that he was taking, being able to move forward? and i apologize if this has been asked before, but -- >> no, it's a key question, it was alluded to before but you're hitting the nail on the head which is where are the other particularly sunni-aligned powers in the region in this fight which is essentially for a big swath of sunni territory by a group who -- where religion is the center of their political ideology? in the case of jordan there's no question about that. the level of insight and commitment by the king and the tremendous support he has in jordan, in part because of the tragic burning of his pilot.
>> right. >> he's all in. and a very committed partner and we're doing everything we can to work with him. the ref u swrees are a challenge to a small country like jordan so definitely a worry. when we had the gcc countries here in washington about a month ago, and they were raising issues in their region, including iran, which they are very concerned about so we were talking about iran as well but we were also saying, hey, it's not just iran, there's isil as well. and you are uniquely positioned to play a greater role in this campaign. >> right. >> and they indicated some willingness to do so. i think at the moment we're trying to help them build the capacity to do so because post of them don't have the ground tors that could participate in
principle in the campaign in iraq and maybe more acceptable an outsiders. >> and obviously at that time we were talking about the training mission, which is being undertaken and you've talked about that and you are doing more of that. to me it seemed then that you -- and does now as well listening -- that you can -- obviously there is a military objective and that has to be followed through with but it isn't -- maybe i'm wrong but it isn't so much that we have to wait until the military objective is absolutely done. that there's also a parallel course of bringing these other leaders together to try to find more political solution. it seemed to me when i left that was what i was hearing. there is -- it has to be parallel, you can't just go from one to the other, it has to be sort of a parallel thing. there's only a few seconds, but if you could comment on that. >> i completely agree with that. all these -- another way of
saying it is all the lines of effort of the strategy have to be synchronized and the political and military in particular have to be synchronized. >> thank you. >> mr. mcsally. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you gentlemen for sustaining for the long haul here today. i do want to say that i do have serious concerns about what appears to be an inn coherence in our regional strategy related to iran specifically. we're marching towards a nuclear agreement with them yet we're supporting saudi arabia as they're striking their influence on the houthis in yemen yet -- leading the ground offensive to take back tick treat while we're supplying the air force. i know a lot of that is your participants but not fully responsible for i want to say on the record that i think it's that incoherent strategy that's impacting some of the lack of commitment of our allies in the political nature specifically in iraq.
i want to focus my questions on specifically the targeting and the air campaign in iraq. just led over to the region, met with the commander, met with the jtf leadership. they felt like isis was on the defensive and then a couple weeks later obviously ramadi fell. i have been involved in the targeting process at the co-come level down to the pilot. i am concerned. i know you mentioned we're hitting all the targets we have except for when collateral damage is a factor, general dempsey. i want to quote general deptula who is the smartest guy on air power op-ed in the "washington post" a couple weeks ago. the fastest way to end the war is to eliminate its source in this case the islamic state as quickly as possible. gradualism and rolling thunder air campaign in in vietnam. the current gradualist approach in increasing the lost of innocent life. those associated with air
strikes pale in comparison with the savage acts being carried out by the islamic state. what is the logic of a policy that restricts the use of air power to avoid the possibility of collateral damage while allowing the certainty of islamic state crimes against humanity is the question he poses. i think it's a very valid line of argument. if we're trying to avoid one civilian casualty yet in not hitting a legitimate target we're allowing the islamic state to continue to commit atrocities and murder against the people on the ground how do we balance that? so my question is -- and you may need to answer this in a classified manner what percentage of the strike sorties are coming back with their munitions on board as just an indication of kind of our limitations and how many targets have we actually identified? we've gone through the pflt id we have a valid target but we haven't struck them specifically because of the collateral damage limitations that are much tighter than the law of arm conflict requires or because the approval process takes so long
we are unable to hit it. what's that number? how many are we not hitting the legitimate targets because of this ex ream con stlant that we're putting on for collateral damage? >> first for the record let me tell you i couldn't disagree more with retired general deptule. i would say that as general dmp see and at some point citizen dempsey. the targeting that we do is based on intelligence and we fuse as you know very well, we fuse umet -- >> some say we have the pid but we don't strike because of the cde. >> that's right. and that decision is made by the commander on the ground. >> so do we have a number, though, that it's you know, 80% or 20%, don't get hit because a cde not because of pid. >> i would like to answer you in a classified version. >> okay. >> because i think we don't want to signal our enemies on how they might avoid being -- into it just gets to the indication of whether this is the thing that's allowing us to not
achieve our objectives. >> in my judgment this is not the limiting factor. >> fair enough. the question i want to follow up we talked about earlier, we have over 1,600 pilots every day, could have an engine issue and then a potential pilot being captured. they remain outside iraq primarily because of limitations of boots on the ground and responsiveness is really important for combat search and rescue to be able to scoop him up right away. we're allowing 450 more advisors to go in iraq but not our combat search and rescue forces to go into iraq. have you advised the administration to move them there or are you comfortable with them being so far away. >> at this point they are operating from locations outside of iraq and they can and they can lighter and we're not taking any more risk at that point. if we go into the point where we were going to accompany the
iraqi security forces that will require not just -- that's why it's important -- you know this, but it's important to understand this is not just about putting three jtacs forward, it's a medevac capability and combat search and rescue and a qrf. so 15 people might require 150. >> but one f 16 pilot people into syria needs that same responsiveness. >> we have pr in hand right now. if we expand this at some point we will have to address it. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> very good questions. mr. norcross. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and somebody has to be last and certainly is appreciate your service. i just want to follow up right where we're sitting we had king abdullah probably here -- actually, it was the day after they released the video of his pilot being burnt to death. you can imagine his attitude. but he made a couple points that resonated with me through today. one is that this is our fight,
indicating that it's not going to be a christian or muslim, that they had to fight. certainly they want our help and we are doing that. but something that really stuck with me to this day is i've been fighting this fight for 1400 years. 1400 years. so it sort of reminds me what we're following the teps here is if anybody has been to an arcade it's called whack-a-mole, you hit them here they come up over here. this is the question i'm going to -- what is considered a win in much of the discussion today has been around iraq but those lines are simply lines on a map. this is about the middle east. what do you see as a win? is it geographically based? and is it short term? where are we in five to ten years? what is a win when we're discussing the middle east and in particular with isil?
>> well, i think that this gets back to the previous question about how complex and varied are the problems of the middle east. the way we ground ourselves in our strategy is an american national interests. and so in these different circumstances, we're trying to pursue our interests. our interests in the particular fight against isil are to stop this movement from becoming something that endangers friends and allies and therefore our interests in the region or that is capable of striking the homeland so success in the campaign would be eliminating, not every mole, as you -- to use your metaphor but every mole hole and make it such that there
is no safe haven for the kind of savagery that isil represents from which it can continue to destabilize places like jordan or even further afield. i think that's what we're trying to accomplish. and it's difficult. it will take some time but that's what the strategy is about in that particular region for that particular problem. but this is a varied region. and there are other problems, as well. we have talked about iran as a challenge. so this is one but not the only one. >> general, just to follow up on that, from a strategic planning perspective, we can take out the hole as you menlgtioned but don't we have to look at this long term and we want to make sure you have the tools that are needed but this is long term, ongoing because if we defeat them in one area, they're going to regather and come up in another area, thus the 1,400 year fight that the king was reflecting on. do you see this as an ongoing?
>> congressman i absolutely do and have said so at every opportunity that we needed -- that's why we need to put ourselves on a sustainable footing across this channel that runs from afghanistan and we could certainly argue all the way over to nigeria. a sustainable footing allows us to keep pressure on the network to build partners to keep pressure on the network and to make regional stake holders with more to lose or gain than we do in the lead of it an enthat's the path we're on. >> so predictability from america -- >> budget -- >> your friends are going to be there and continue to be there. >> absolutely. by the way, i don't want to turn it into a budget hearing but predictability in a budget would help us accomplish that. >> when we were over the uae, that's what we were hearing is they're seeing that america potentially could walk away from their commitment or their friends in the area and that's last thing we want to see so predictability is a single most stabilizing eñforce. would you agree with that?
>> i'd say predictability and perseverance. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. gentlemen, i appreciate it. mr. secretary the thing i broet down that i kept thinking about today is hope is not a strategy. and so i hope we have thousands of sunnis who flood into the training that we're going to do that get energized to go fight isil. but we've got a -- i have -- there are concerns about whether they're going to do that and trust the central government. we have a provision in our bill that says unless you can certify that iraq is an inclusive government then we can directly arm the sunni tribes and the kurdish pasmerga. again, hope is not a strategy. hoping for an inclusive iraq with sunnis joining the fight you know, i hope it happens but
if it doesn't happen pretty quick, obviously we didn't have have isis continue to grow. on a similar note i would hope we have defense budgets grow at a predictable 5% to 7% every year for the next 10 years and not only y'all but the industrial base could plan on that and it would be a much better, more efficient system. on the other hand we are not in that world right now and if the president chooses to veto two defense bills an authorization and an appropriations bill that provide exactly as much money as he asked for because he doesn't like the label on the -- on some of the money or because he wants to put more money or leverage it for more money for the irs or
the epa that has serious consequences for the military. we're at a cr for the rest of the world. i mean, for the rest of the year. i so i hope not only you two but the president, as well, can use hope not as a strategy but look at the real world consequences of some of these decisions because as we've affirmed several times today, this is a y'all are welcome to comment. you don't need to but that's my parting thoughts after having been here. >> i think in this as in every other part of the world, we need to be practical and where practical turn hope into
reality. but practical. that's the meaning of that slogan. i think i'm echoing what you just -- >> that's a great point. how do you get from hope to reality, it's a strategy. that's why we had the hearing today. to hope we get from where we are today and a long, winding very difficult road in the middle east. let me ask all our guests to remain seated so that secretary and the chairman and their party can make their way out. we have held you longer than we intended and so if everybody will stay seated for just a moment while our witnesses depart, again thank you all for being here. we'll look forward to other engagements.
>> with that, the hearing stands adjourned. >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the congress with color tos and bio and contact information and twitter handles. also, district maps, a foldout map of capitol lil and a look at congressional committees the president's cabinet, federal agencies and state governors. order your copy today. it's $13.95 plus shipping and handling through the c-span online store at c-span.org.
i'm not one of those who believes in the psychiatric examination of people. you know? i believe that most of these people, these psycho historians should be on the couch themselves rather than to psychoanalyze people they have never met. on the other hand, when i meet people, i don't judge them in terms of whether they have a firm hand shake or whether they have eye contact. but what i try to do when i meet people is to listen to what they say. you don't learn anything when you're talking. you learn a great deal when they're talking. >> one of the many tragedies of richard nixon was that he was not very self aware. nixon -- well, endless ironies here. he did have a psychiatrist. he was an internist. not technically a psychiatrist and he later said he was careful not to have nixon think he was analyzing him. it wasn't -- nixon went to him with psychosomatic symptoms.
even though he went to one, he hated psychiatrists and always denouncing them aafraid in a way of looking at himself in a realistic way. one of the reasons he used to write, i don't carry grudges. i don't carry grudges. hello? richard nixon was one of the great grudge carriers of all time. he could be very unself reflective and hurt him because his lashing out at enemies, of course, is what destroyed him. >> evan thomas author of "being nixon" talks about the victories and defeats and inner turmoil of nixon focusing on the personal stories of the 37th president sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's "q & a." when congress is in session c-span3 brings you more of the best access with live coverage of hearings news conferences
and key public affairs events and every weekend american history tv. traveling to historic sitesings discussions with authors and historians and eyewitness accounts of events that defined the nation. c-span3, coverage of congress and american history tv. tonight, on c-span3, a senate hearing on the epa's proposal regulation of carbon emissions of power plants. then the chair of the senate environment committee james inhofe talks about climate change, followed by a hearing on the renewable fuel mandate. later marco rubio, rand paul and ted cruz address the faith and freedom coalition conference. the environmental protection agency has proposed new regulations on power plants to curb emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. a senate hearing examined the
possible affects of these new rules on public health and the economy. west virginia senator shelley moore capito chairs the subcommittee on clean air. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> welcome to the hearing. i'm going to ahead and begin. and i know senator carper is planning to be here so we'll make time for him to make his opening statement but in the interest of the panelists and others, and other senators i thought we would be best to ahead and move on. so, i want to welcome everyone to the hearing of the clean air and nuclear safety subcommittee. and the hearing is entitled the impacts of epa's proposed carbon regulations on energy costs for american businesses, rural communities and families. and a legislative hearing on my bill, s-1324, which is better known as the arena act, affordable, reliable,
electricity now act. i introduced arena in may and am proud to have more than 30 co-sponsors, including leader mcconnell and all my fellow epw republicans. i introduced arena and holding this hearing today because of the devastating impact that epa's proposed regulations will have on the families and businesses, my home state of west virginia and across the nation. i am not exaggerating when i say almost every day back home in west virginia there are new stories detailing closed plants, job loss and price increases. i have a letter here today sent to me by amars incorporated. which is a family-owned company that operates 19 magic mark stores in west virginia, virginia and eastern kentucky. the letters accompanied by a petition signed by 26,000 magic mart customers calling on epa to end the war on coal and catastrophic impact on local economies. they've been active in the
region for 95 years and according to this letter the present economic crunch is the most difficult challenge this company has faced. let me quote directly. quote, there was a time when your greatest obstacle was your competitor. but if you worked hard, took care of your customers and offered quality merchandise at a fair price, you could compete successfully. unfortunately, that is not the case now. the largest impediment we have now operating our business successfully is our own government, particularly the epa. the rulings issued by the epa have devastated our regional economy. coal provides 96% of west virginia's electricity last year and west virginia had among the lowest electricity prices in the nation. the average price was 27% below the national average. but that advantage will not survive this administration's policies. studies have projected that our electricity prices will rise from 12% to 16%. earlier this month, 450,000 west virginians learned of a 16% increase in the cost of electricity. while there are multiple factors
that contributed to this, compliance with epa regulations played a significant part. if we allow these plans to move forward, last week's rate increase will only be the tip of the iceberg. affordable energy matters. the 430,000 low and middle-income families in west virginia, which is nearly 60% of our state's household, take home an average of less than $1,900 a month and spend 17% of their after tax income on energy. these families are especially vulnerable to the price increases that result from the clean power plant. but this isn't just about the impacts on coal-producing states like west virginia. this is about impacts across the country. it's important to note that all electricity has to come from somewhere. in many states, odds are, it is being imported from a state that relies on coal. but no one is talking about that. we're going to learn in some of the panelists' testimony from reggie, which is the regional greenhouse gas initiative. one of the witnesses we'll hear
from today, mr. martens, and thank you for coming, is affiliated with reggie, a program of nine northeastern states that uses market principles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. mr. martens may not mention that the nine states consume five times more energy than they produce. and my little state of west virginia produces twice as much energy as all of the nine states in reggie combined. there are energy-producing states and energy consuming states. only 13 states produce more energy than they consume. west virginia ranks second and wyoming ranks first. and for the 10 of the 13 states that export energy, coal is critical to have a net positive result. put simply, there is no way that this massive, largely epa driven reduction in coal-fired electricity generation is going to impact only coal states. it is going to impact the majority of states, the families and businesses within them. often, the poorest and most vulnerable of our populations will bear the brunt.
i look forward to hearing in greater detail from our witnesses about these impacts and the need for clean air policies that don't overburden our states and cripple our economy. so with that, we'll just go ahead and begin our panelists, our first panelist is mr. eugene trisko. and i welcome you, mr. trisko. thank you for coming. >> thank you very much, chair capito. chair inhofe and distinguished members. i'm eugene trisko. energy economist and attorney in are private practice. i'm here today to discuss the findings of study of impacts of energy costs on american families. i've conducted these household energy cost studies periodically since 2000 for the american coalition for clean coal electricity and its predecessor organizations. the study i will summarize today, energy cost impacts on american families, estimates
consumer energy costs for households in the year 2016. the principal findings of the study are, one, some 48% of american families have pre-tax annual incomes of $50,000 or less with an average after tax income among these households of $22,732, or a take home income of less than $1,900 per month. two, the 48% of households earning less than $50,000 to vote an estimated average of 17% of their after tax incomes to residential and transportation energy. energy costs for the 29% of households earning less than $30,000 before taxes represent 23% of their after tax family incomes before accounting for
any energy assistance programs. now, this 23% of income is more than 3 times higher than the 7% of gross income paid for energy by households earning more than $50,000 per year. three, american consumers have benefitted recently from lower gasoline prices, but higher oil prices are now reducing consumer savings at the gas pump. meanwhile, residential electricity prices are continuing to rise. residential electricity represents 69% of total household utility bills. a 2011 survey of low-income households for the national energy assistance directors association reveals some of the adverse health and welfare impacts of high-energy costs. low-income households reported these responses to high energy bills.
24% went without food for at least 1 day. 37% went without medical or dental care. 34% did not fill a prescription or took less than the full dose. 19% had someone become sick because their home was too cold. the relatively low median incomes of minority and senior households detailed in the study attached to my statement indicate that these groups are among the most vulnerable to energy price increases. recent and perspective increases in residential energy costs should be assessed in the context of the long-term declining trend of real income among american families. the u.s. census bureau reports that the real pre-tax incomes of american households have declined across all five income quintiles since 2001.
measured in constant 2013 prices. the largest percentage losses of income are in the two lowest income quintiles. in 2014, the average price of residential electricity in the u.s. was 32% above its level in 2005. compared with the 22% increase in the consumer price index. d.o.e. projects continued escalation of residential electricity prices due to the costs of compliance with environmental regulations and other factors. moreover, d.o.e., epa, nera and others project that electricity prices will increase even more because of epa's proposed clean power plant. lower income families are more vulnerable to energy costs increases than higher income families because energy represents a larger portion of their household budgets. energy costs reduce the amount of income that can be spent on
food, housing, health care and other basic necessities. fixed income seniors are among the most vulnerable to energy cost increases due to their relatively low average incomes and high per capita energy use. senior citizens and other low-income groups will bear the burden of higher energy costs imposed by epa's clean power plant but be among the least likely to invest in or to benefit from the energy efficiency programs that the proposed rule envisions. thank you for the opportunity. >> thank you very much. our next witness is paul cicio. who is president of the industrial consumer producers of america. welcome. >> thank you. chairman capito, ranking member carper, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity. the industrial energy consumers
of america is a trade association whose members are exclusively large companies who are energy-intensive trade exposed. these industries often refer to as eite consume 73% of the manufacturing sector's use of electricity and 75% of the natural gas. as a result, small changes in energy prices can add relatively large impacts to our global competitiveness. we use as a manufacturing sector 40 quads of energy. and this has basically not changed in 40 years. meanwhile, manufacturing output has increased 761%. this is a true success story. the industrial sector is the only sector of the economy whose greenhouse gas emissions are 22% below 1973 levels. these industries are very energy-efficient.
ieca supports action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so long as it does not impair our competitiveness. we must have a level playing field with our global competitors. several countries that we compete with control electric and natural gas prices to their industrials. and two of them are china and germany. they provide subsidies and practices to give them competitive advantage. if we were military, one would say that we are engaged in hand to hand combat in competitiveness. all costs of unilateral action by the united states through the clean power plan will be passed on to us, the consumer. as proposed, the clean power plan will dramatically increase the cost of power and natural gas, accomplish little to reduce the threat of of climate change and provide offshore competitors and economic advantage potentially creating industrial greenhouse gas emission leakage with harmful effect to the middle class, the economy and the environment.
the epa cannot look at the clean power plan in isolation from the significant cumulative cost that it will impose on the industrial sector either directly or indirectly through a number of recent rule makings. since 2000, the manufacturing sector is still down 4.9 million jobs. since 2010, manufacturing employment has increased 525,000 jobs. we are still in the early stages of recovery. we do fear that the clean power plan and also the ozone rule is going to threaten this recovery. in contrast, for example, china. our primary competitor has increased employment by 31% since 2000. and u.s. manufacturing trade deficits since 2002 has grown $524 billion, 70% of that is with one country, china. china's industrial greenhouse gas emissions have risen over
17% since 2008 alone. china produces 29% more manufactured goods than we in the u.s. and emits 317% more co2. that's over three times the amount of co2 than the u.s. industrial sector. but despite our low greenhouse gas emission levels, the epa will increase our costs and will make it easier for china's carbon-intensive products to be imported. which means the clean power plan will be directly responsible for increasing global emissions. there are consequences to increasing energy costs on the industrial sector, and it's called greenhouse gas leakage. and the epa has failed to address this issue, and thus, the costs are underestimated. for example, when a state's electricity costs rise due to the clean power plan, companies with multiple manufacturing locations will shift their production to states with lower
costs. along with the greenhouse gas emissions creating state winners and losers. and when they do, it will increase the price of electricity to the remaining state rate payers, including the households. if these companies cannot be competitive, they move offshore, moving jobs and greenhouse gas emissions accomplishing nothing environmentally. one only needs to look at california. since a.b. 32 to our knowledge, there is not a single energy intensive trade exposed company that has built a new facility in california. and the same goes for the eu under the etus. california is importing their energy-intensive products and they are losing or forfeiting jobs. it is for this reason we would urge policymakers to hold offshore manufacturing competitors to at least this same carbon content standard as we in the united states. thank you. >> thank you very much.
our next witness is mr. harry alford who is president and ceo of the national black chamber of commerce. welcome. >> good afternoon, chair capito ranking member carper and distinguished members of the subcommittee. my name is harry alford. i'm president and ceo of the black chamber of commerce. the nbcc represents 2.2 million black owned businesses within the united states. i'm here to testify about the environmental protection agency's proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and the potential impacts of those proposed regulations on energy costs for american businesses, rural communities and families. in particular, i would like to focus on the potential adverse economic and employment impacts of the clean power plan on low-income groups and minorities, including individuals, families and minority businesses. while increased costs often come with increased regulation, the clean power plan, in particular,
seems poised to escalate energy costs for blacks and hispanics in the united states. according to a recent study, commissioned by the national black chamber of commerce, the clean power plan would increase black poverty by 23% and hispanic poverty by 26%. result in cumulative job losses of 7 million for blacks and nearly 12 million for hispanics in 2035. and decrease black and hispanic median household income by 455 and $550 respectfully in 2035. for these minority and low-income groups, increased energy costs have an even greater impact on their lives, jobs and businesses because a larger percentage of their incomes, revenues are spent on energy costs. what may seem like a nominal increase in energy costs to some can have a much more harmful effect on minorities and low-income groups. our members are very concerned about these potentially devastating economic impacts of
the clean power plan. and we appreciate the opportunity to highlight them for our committee. for the committee. in light of these concerns, the national black chamber of commerce undertook an effort to examine the potential economic and employment impacts of the clean power plan on minority's low-income groups. on june 11, 2015, the nbcc released a study on the threat of the epa regulations to low-income groups and minorities. the study finds that the clean power plan will inflict severe and disproportionate economic burdens on poor families, especially minorities. in particular, the rule will impose the most harm on residents of seven states with the highest concentrations of blacks and hispanics. the epa's proposed regulation or greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants is a slap in the face to poor and minority families. these communities already suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates compared to the
rest of the country. yet, the epa's regressive energy tax threatens to push minorities and low-income americans even further into poverty. i want to highlight some of the key findings of the study. epa rule increases black poverty by 23% and hispanic poverty by 26%. and 2035, job losses totaled 7 million for blacks and 12 million for hispanics. in 3035 black and hispanic median household income will be $455 and $515 less respectively. compared to whites, blacks and hispanics spend about 20% and 90% of the income on food. 10% and 5% more on housing, 40% on clothing and 50% and 10% more on utilities respectfully. the rule will especially harm residents with the highest concentrations of blacks and
hispanics. arizona, california, florida, georgia, illinois, new york and texas. the study demonstrates that the epa clean power plan would harm minorities' health by forcing tradeoffs between housing, food, energy. inability to pay energy bills is second only to the inability to pay rent as leading cause of homelessness. business groups like the nbcc are not only the entities expressing concerns about the pleen power plan. states which would be responsible for implementing the clean power plan have criticized the plan for numerous deficiencies. officials from 28 states said that the epa should withdraw its proposal citing concerns as higher energy costs, threats to reliability and lost jobs. officials from 29 states have said that epa's proposed rule goes well beyond the agency's legal authority under the clean air act and 15 states have already joined in lawsuit. the nbcc totally supports the
a.r.e.n.a. act, s-3124, and we certainly encourage all members of this committee to put the bill to vote and make it law. thank you so much. >> thank you very much. our next witness is joseph j. martens, commissioner new york state, department of environmental conservation. welcome, mr. commissioner. thank you. >> thank you. chair capito, ranking member, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for providing me with the opportunity to testify this afternoon. my name is joe martens. and i'm the commissioner as dec as was already pointed out. i'm also the vice chair to the board of directors of reggie, inc. a program of nine northeastern states that uses market principles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. i thank the committee for providing me the opportunity to discuss the success that we've had in reducing carbon emissions in new york while creating jobs and keeping energy bills in
check. i've spoken with many of my colleagues from other states across the country, and i've heard many of them discuss their concerns about the rule. i recognize that each state faces different circumstances, but i think that in reggie, we have a successful model in reducing emissions while creating jobs and reducing energy bills. other states can use similar approaches to comply with the clean power plan, tailored to their own circumstances. reggie was started in 2005 by a bipartisan group of northeastern and mid-atlantic governors. it sets a declining cap on emissions and allows the market to determine efficiently where the emission reductions will occur. in addition to their participation in reggie, each of the states has aggressive energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. the reggie cap collects the cap of these efforts under a single emission cap and ensures that the carbon reductions from these programs are realized and accounted for. in proceeds from reggie allowance options helps fund many of these initiatives
creating a virtuous cycle. our program has been a resounding success. the state greatly exceeded their original 10% reduction target achieving a 40% reduction by 2012. to achieve even greater reduction, the reggie state acted to further reduce the cap to 50% below 2005 levels in 2020. we achieved this reduction in an economy that grew 8% over the period from 2005 to 2013, adjusted for inflation. in new york, we have realized economic benefits from reggie and associated programs, including creating jobs and reducing energy bills. for example, governor cuomo's new york sun program has made new york fourth in the nation for solar jobs. as of the end of 2014, we've committed more than 550 million in proceeds from the auction of reggie emission allowances to programs that will provide
energy bill savings of over $1 billion or other benefits to over 130,000 households and 2,500 businesses. beneficiaries of programs funded by reggie proceeds include low-income families and businesses. for example, two energy efficiency programs that are targeted specifically at income-eligible families are providing 100,000 low and moderate income families with more than $80 million in cumulative energy bill savings. and to those who say that reducing emissions will cause electric rates for businesses to rise, we've actually reduced industrial electricity rates while reducing carbon emissions from 50% over the national average to 13% below. we've enjoyed similar outcomes across the reggie region. an independent analysis undertaken by the highly respected analysis group concludes that the reinvestment of auction proceeds from the first three years of the program is reducing total energy bills in the reggie regions by 1.3 billion, adding 1.6 billion to the regional economy and creating an estimated 16,000 jobs.
reducing emissions also provides substantial public health benefits, including saving lives, reducing illness, health care costs and lost workdays. our experience demonstrates a group of states can reduce emissions substantially and grow the economy at the same time. therefore, instead of asking whether we can afford to reduce that pollution, a more pertinent question is whether we can afford not to act now to reduce the emissions that are causing our climate to change. in new york, we are already experiencing a destructive effects of climate-driven extreme weather. three years ago, hurricane sandy decimated many communities and tens of thousands of homes in new york and new jersey at a cost of $67 billion. over 70 lives were lost in the area struck by the storm. a year earlier, hurricanes irene and lee caused 66 deaths and 17 billion in damage. these storms disproportionately harmed low-income families and smaller businesses and communities located in low-lying areas, most vulnerable to flooding.
our nation -- our choice as a nation is straightforward. we can invest in clean energy, creating jobs as a result at little or no net cost and reap the benefits of better health, lower health costs and reduced risks of climate change. or we can ignore the science and expect more frequent storm events causing tens of billions of dollars in damages. to new york, the answer is clear. we have demonstrated that it's possible to use energy more efficiently, stimulate economic growth, provide healthier air and reduce the potential damage for climate change. that concludes my testimony. thank you. >> thank you. and our final witness is dr. mary b. rice, instructor in medicine, harvard medical school division of pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine. welcome. thank you. >> thank you. my name is dr. mary rice. i'm a pulmonary medical care physician. and i care for adults with lung disease. most of whom have asthma and emphysema.
i also care for critically ill adults in the critical care unit. my message is simple, climate change is becoming the worst public health crisis of modern medicine. hundreds of research studies have demonstrated that greenhouse gas emissions have already changed our climate over the past several decades causing heat waves that last longer and happen more frequently, dangerous spikes in ground level ozone, increased wildfire activity, and longer, more potent pollen seasons. and these effects hurt american families. my physician colleagues and i are already seeing these health effects among our patients. the american thoracic society recently conducted a survey of our u.s. members who are doctors from all around the country caring for children and adults. and we found that the vast majority of doctors said climate change is affecting their patients today. let me describe just a few of the health effects that my colleagues and i see. consider heat waves. several doctors commented that their patients with emphysema
who are already struggling to breathe can't handle extreme heat. studies have found people with as ma and 'em if i ze ma visit their doctors more often and get hospitalized more often during heat waves. extreme heat also increases ozone to levels that are harmful to the lungs of people. not only people with as ma and 'em emphyzema but also the lungs of babies and young children. have been found to contribute to premature mortality. the hot conditions promoted by climate change favor forest fires and grassland fires which are at great cost to human health. during a heat wave in may of 2014, for example, multiple wildfires broke out simultaneously in san diego county. and that caused at least $60 million in damage. but this estimate doesn't
capture the damage to the health of family who is are affected by those fires. wildfires can travel great distances and release a mixture of toxins that are especially irritating to the lung, making it harder for people to breathe. a colleague of mine in san diego told me that he advised all his patients to stay inside and keep the air-conditioning on. is this the future we want for american families? one where it's not safe to go outside. there's no doubt that wildfires increase hospitalization for as ma in children and adults and for respiratory illness among the elderly. climate change is also bad for people with seasonal allergies. about 30% of all americans and roughly 10% of americans with asthma. warmer temperatures lengthen the pollen season because plants bloom earlier in the spring and also higher levels of carbon dioxide increase the amount of pollen produced. in the northern states of the u.s. pollen seasons have lengthened by more than two weeks today than they were in
1995. and they are also more powerful. studies have found that when pollen levels are higher, people use more medications and visit their doctors more for allergy. emergency room visits for asthma among children and adults go up. and one of my patients who is a single mother with a teenage son, both of whom have severe asthma, called me on a weekly basis this spring because of trouble breathing. and between the missed days of school for her son and missed days of work for her, this allergy season was a disaster for her family. i'm a physician and a researcher, but my most important job is my role as a mother to three children under the age of 6. one of them, my 1-year-old son has had two emergency room visits and a hospitalization for respiratory illness. when my son develops a cough or wheeze, i'm terrified this could mean the next ambulance ride. and when he's sick, i can't go to the hospital and take care of my patients or my husband can't work. we're more fortunate than many
americans, many of whom risk losing their job or struggle to pay for the next emergency room visit when they or a loved one suffers an acute respiratory illness. my son and every american deserves clean air. i've only described a few of the threats to the health of americans from climate change. experts predict that we can avoid the most frightening scenarios if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions. an better yet, when we address climate change, we redeem immediate health benefits right here in the u.s. when we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we also reduce air pollutants that trigger heart attacks, asthma and emphysema attacks, stroke and death. as a mom, a doctor, and a representative of the american thoracic society, i favor taking firm steps to address climate change because i support clean air and a healthy future for all americans. thank you. >> thank you, doctor. i want to thank all of you all, and we'll begin the questions, and i will begin.
mr. trisko, you mentioned in your remarks about the impacts of the conservation. building block of the clean power plan and how elderly citizens and those on fixed incomes would probably be least likely to be the ones to be the beneficiaries of that or to be able to afford to make those changes. it says that energy information administration projects that consumer energy prices will go up by 4% by 2020. which seems rather low since we just had a 16% rise in our prices in west virginia. how do you see these two converging? the rising price and the really the lack of the conservation and efficiency aspects of this clean power plan for the elderly citizen and those on fixed income. >> senator, excellent questions. let me first address the observation that i offered with
respect to senior citizens being least likely to benefit from the energy efficiency aspects of a clean power plan. that observation derives from two facts. one, the payback period that is required to support major investments such as replacement of windows, replacement of heating and ventilating systems, those paybacks, payback periods typically are too long to be economically feasible for lower income senior citizens. it's also true in general for the population that american houses tend to be owned for a period of about seven years on average. if you're a homeowner looking at a let's say $10,000 window
replacement project, that's going to save a few hundred dollars a year on your energy bills, that payback period is not consistent with the period that typical homeowners expect to live in those dwellings. secondly, and i've heard this from senior utility executives, as well, that one of the difficulties in securing energy efficiency gains from lower income consumers is the quality of the housing stock. that is, the relatively poor quality of the housing stock will not support investments in fairly high cost energy efficiency upgrades. such as windows and hvac systems. certainly, lower cost options the simple things, such as better attic insulation, weather
stripping and the like. those have short payback periods and they're feasible. but the magnitude of the energy efficiency investments that epa is projecting in the clean power plan, which nera estimates to cost some $500 billion for american consumers, those investments simply will not be made. by the elderly and by lower income consumers. i hope that's responsive to your question. >> thank you. mr. alford, the energy information administration concluded the plan could reduce the gdp by $1 trillion. based on the analysis that you did and explained, could you just re-emphasize how you think that's going to impact low-income or minority citizens across the country? >> it's going to be very critical and tragic. it's going to hurt as far as 2.1
million black owned businesses we represent. their customer base is going to wither. and i think the quality of life is going to hurt in our communities and i think people are going to start short shrifting moneys that would be used for health care or education. and i think people who would resort to crime and violence because they're poor and broke would increase. i think it would hurt our communities severely. >> thank you. and final question, very quickly, mr. trisko, part of the a.r.e.n.a. act says that we shouldn't move forward with these regulations until all the legal aspects are settled. as you know, states are challenging this, and will challenge when the final rule comes out. but if states begin to make changes, in the meantime, what kind of scenario does that present to you in terms of how states are going to be able to react not knowing whether the legal issues have been settled as yet?
>> senator, you've hit upon one of the most desirable aspects of the a.r.e.n.a. act. and let me just put it in the context of the current situation that the electric utility industry faces with respect to epa's 2011 mercury and air toxic standard rule or the mat's rule. the mats rule is currently before the supreme court. a decision is expected shortly, within a matter of days. it's possible that the supreme court decision could result in vacature of the rule. and yet utilities in order to comply with that rule already have retired dozens of power plants across the united states and are scheduled to retire even more over the course of the next year. wouldn't it be advisable as a matter of public policy before implementation of the most expensive rule ever imposed on the electric utility sector,
$9.5 billion a year, to know upfront whether the rule is legal? >> thank you. ranking member senator carper, fellow west virginian, i want to say welcome and also ask if he had can do his opening statement and do questions, which most certainly you can. so proceed. >> thanks for holding the hearing and all of our witnesses, it's great to see you, and thank you for joining us again. some of you not for the first time. ms. rice thinking about your son and just hoping he grows up to be 101 or 102 years old and has a great life. okay. one of the issues we always wrestle here with is it possible to have cleaner air, cleaner water and a stronger economy? i go back to -- i used to be governor and for much of my life, retired navy captain. for most of my life after the navy i really focus on job creation, job preservation, what do we do to foster a nurturing environment for job
preservation? you go back to the -- a week in january 2009. actually the week that barack obama and joe biden were sworn into office and our country we lost that week 628,000 people filed for unemployment insurance. think about that. one week. january 2009. 628,000 people file for unemployment insurance. and the previous six months, the last six months, 2008, we lost 206,000 jobs, in 2009, we lost another 2.5 million jobs, 5 million jobs literally in a 12-month period of time. since 2009, actually since 2010, we have adopted regulations new mercury regulations on power plant. that's one. we have adopted new carbon pollution or fuel economy standards on cars and trucks. that's two. and we've also adopted across state air pollution standards. that's three. and since 2010, we have added 762,000 manufacturing jobs.
millions more other jobs. but on three quarters of million manufacturing jobs. what leads me to believe maybe it's possible to have cleaner air and cleaner water and at the same time, actually, do better. by virtue of our economy and economic growth. so i just ask this to keep that in mind as the chairman said i was born in west virginia. coal mining town. and grew up there in virginia. and now representing state of delaware. that's the lowest lying state in the country and we see every day what the effect of climate change and global warming is. sea level rise creeps up higher and higher on the east coast of my state. so it's something that is very, very real to us. for decades for the cost of combat since coming here i've tried to work on climate
compromise that would use market forces. harness market forces to reduce carbon pollution and reduce the cost of compliance. and as part of that compromise, i work with senator verd, and a handful of other coal state senators on language that would have provided more than $10 billion in incentives to support deployment of clean coal power plants. this language along with other language intended to buffer impacts to the coal industry was included in the kerry/boxer bill which regrettably was not enacted into law. instead, coming to a compromise on climate change, congress came to a stalemate. all the while it's becoming clear that price of inaction is much greater than the price of action. the epa just released a comprehensive report that outlines the alarming truth that failure to act on climate change will result in dramatic costs. critically concern for low-lying states like florida and like delaware and others up and down the east coast. without action on climate change, we're going to need to spend billions of dollars on this century to protect our
states from rising sea levels and extreme storms. study also projects inaction on climate change could lead to extreme temperatures and cause thousands of deaths throughout the northeast and mid-atlantic regions of our country. it's clear, at least, it's clear to me that as each year passes without the action, the more severe, the more costly and perhaps irreversible the effects of climate change are becoming. and for those of us who come to states being impacted by climate change, i think the message is clear and that's we can no longer afford inaction. many states such as new york, represented here today, thank you, welcome, and delaware, have already taken action to reduce the largest emitter of carbon pollution and that's power plant emissions. we'll hear the economics of these states continue to grow at a faster rate than the states that have yet to put climate regulations into place. however, we need all states to do their fair share to protect the air we breathe and stem the
tide of climate change. the epa's clean power plant attempts to do that. and under the clean power plan, states are given their own carbon pollution targets and allowed to find the most cost effective way to find cost reductions. in fact, it sounds similar to the compromise, i tried to foist on my colleagues a number of years ago. i believe instead of undercutting the clean power plan, we should be working in good faith with the agency to find ways to improve the regulation. for example, regulation could be improved several ways. one, to ensure early action states are not penalized for being climate and efficiency leaders. number two, to ensure that all clean energy, including nuclear is treated equitably. and three, to ensure we meet our carbon reduction goals. no compromise is ever perfect. the worst thing that we could do is to do nothing while we try to find the perfect solution. must act now while the ability to mitigate the most harmful impact is within our grasp. choice between curbing climate change and growing our economy
is as i've suggested many times a false one and instead we must act on curbing climate change in order to protect the future economic prosperity of our country. all right. madame chairman, thank you for letting me give a statement and ask questions. i was delayed here today. we had a caucus lunch today. part of the lunch discussion was about the transportation bill. secured transportation bill authored by chairman inhofe, senator boxer, senator ritter, myself, and i think going to be well received and we're excited about that. and so, we had a little discussion of that before i came. so i got here a little bit late, and i apologize for that. i thought i would joke and i like to joke around a little bit. and thought i was going to come here and say i was delayed, taking a call from the pope. but i'm not catholic. and he rarely calls me. but if he did, we would talk about ash -- you know, i must say i'm impressed with this guy. i'm impressed with, one, i think he's read the new testament and
has a real commitment to the least of these in my society. when i was naked, did you clothe me, when i was sick in prison, did you come visit me? he gets that and calls on us to do the same. the other thing that he gets and those of white house are familiar with the scripture, most of you probably more than me, but the other thing that he gets is we have a moral obligation to make sure we will have a plan wet a decent quality of life and he believes and a lot of folks believe that there's a real serious problem here. and we have a moral imperative to do something about it so we can talk about all those these studies and everything but i would have us keep that thought in mind. now, a couple of questions. fifrs, i'd ask consent to have submitted for the record two items, one is a latest report of the lance it and commission on health and climate change of health and climate change policy responses to protect public health for the record. that's number one, madame chair and ask consent 0 submit the
epa's recent peer reviewed report of climate change in the united states benefit of global action to the record. >> without objection. >> thank you madame chair. okay. dr. rice, mother of three, i -- you mentioned in your testimony that many different -- the many different ways that the climate change has already impacting the health of americans. who would you say are the most vuler in to believe the affects of climate change and what will have the most to gain from reductions of carbon pollution, please? >> thank you for this question senator carper. a number of groups are especially vulnerable to the health consequences of climate change. the ones that i would identify would be the elderly because many of them already have chronic health conditions like heart and lung disease that
makes them especially vulnerable to high heat and high air pollution levels and low-income people. people who have less income have less access to air conditioning during heat waves. there have been a number of studies looking at cities which suffer the most in some ways from extreme heat because of an island effect of the buildings in the cities and the poorer neighborhoods of cities have been found to have the worst urban heat problem. and people who have low income also are the same people who are often exposed more to higher levels of air pollution to begin with. and have less access to health care and resources to help them manage climate change. >> all right. >> and there's a third group i would identify. i know i'm short on time but that's children and as ma is especially prevalent in children and at high prix for all of the issues, high heat high ozone levels air pollution from wildfire. higher pollen levels is a major
consequence for american children. >> good. thanks. one quick yes or no question if you will. study by the lancet, concluded that the impacts of climate change threatens to undermine this listen this, last half century of gains in global health. would you agree with this conclusion. just say yes or no. >> i certainly agree. it's major health problem facing the planet. >> thank you. my time expired. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. madame fischer? >> mr. cicio nebraska's public power state and 100% of our power is owned by the people of nebraska. we're going to be hit especially hard by these regulations that are proposed in the clean power plan. and we're going to see rate increases that i believe will be
substantial. what do you believe will be the impact on our increase that we're going to have in these electricity rates on business operations like manufacturing? what's going to be the impact there? going to be the impact there? >> you know, all of these companies compete globally. there's almost no exception. anymore. and as i alluded to specifically, the competition is very fierce. companies win or lose business based on a cents a pound or pennies on the ton of the product that they make. and so all of these costs are additive. and when we get to, like this clean power plan it's not just the cost of the clean power plan. there's, you know, in the embedded in those electricity rates that give your state a problem, there's already the cost of pm 2.1, 2.5.
there's already the mercury rule cost. for us industrials, there's already the industrial boilerman cost and the clean power cost and then ozone. it is a cumulative cost of doing business that our competitors don't have overseas. and it there's no way around a higher cost and loss of competitiveness and eventually it impacts jobs. >> exactly. >> and most of our jobs are middle class jobs. >> so what's the impact then on american families when we see these costs continue to increase on businesses. that has a direct cost on american families correct? and how would you say the arena act will address some of these issues? what specifically is in the proposed legislation? >> well i'd like to say from a common sense standpoint everyone in the country that has followed this, knows that this is going to be litigated 100% sure. there's no doubt about it. and we know, including the epa
knows there's costs. and the epa does not want to hurt people by higher energy costs, but this rule will. and so it is just common sense to say, let's wait till we have this settled out by the courts before states act to technically shut down as the eia report of last month said that they are not going to shut down 40000 gig watts, it's now 90,000 gig watts of coal-fired power plants prior to 2020. that will have a draw hattic increase on producing electricity costs. >> thank you. mr. alford, i think most of us in this room take our ability to have electricity for granted. but, as you mentioned, there there's a large number of americans who are balancing whether they can afford an electric bill or whether they can pay rent or whether they are
able to put food on the table for their families. that's going to, as you mentioned, lead, i think, to those hard choices that people make and send some of them to the streets when they become homeless. can you talk about more about those tough choices that low-income families have to make when they look at their electricity bills and why you think the costs that are going to be driven up through this action by epa will be so harmful? >> yes i'm a father to six. >> i think you have to turn on your microphone, sir. thank you. >> i'm a father of six. i guess i'm up to 11 grand children. but my wife and i have been the godmothers and godfather of the very extended family. and there are a lot out there who need help, and we do all we
can to connect them, connect them with some of our members who can create jobs for them, but it's an ongoing task, and it's rough out there and i have children in mobile atlanta, los angeles, and it gets worse and worse and worse. and lord knows what happens to someone who does something wrong and gets into the judicial system. they'll never have a job. unless i create a job for them. it is very rough out there. and i think we need a government that is sensitive to what's going on in these communities and to come up with some policy that builds a greater america and a more secure america. not put people on thin ice. >> well said. well said. we all, we all want clean air. we all want clean water, but we need to be aware of what these regulations will do to american
families. thank you, sir. >> i've been having discussions with the omaha black chamber of commerce too. >> good to hear. thank you. >> is that thor markly? >> thank you very much, madam chair. i wanted to follow up dr. rice. the statistics that i've seen say that 78% of african-americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired plant. and that an african-american child is more likely to go do the hospital for asthma than a white child. is there a connection between the coal-fired plants and the higher death rate for african-american children in. >> the health effects from coal-fired plants are very well documented. and it's now well-established in the scientific community that air pollution causes increases
in hospitalization for asthma, asthma attacks, more medication for, to treat the asthma symptoms. and there are also inequities in where people live and where the services are located. that's environmental injustice and communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately exposed to the emissions. if reduce the emissions, those communities stand the most to benefit, right there where the pollution is emitted. >> so to sum rye, you're saying yes there is a connection between the coal-fired power plant pollution and the illnesses and deaths that are disproportionately occurring? i think you said -- >> i don't like to answer yes or no questions. >> okay. well, it certainly sounds like you were drawing an explanation of why that is indeed the case.
the, and you ended on the note that disproportionate benefits from changing the quality of the air go to those most affected. and that would be those closest to the pollution. so public health benefits are estimated to be 55 to $93 billion per year, 15 years from now. that's compared to the estimates of $7.3 billion to $8 billion for the rule. so on the order of 8-1 or 10-1 health benefits versus cost that seems a pretty good tradeoff for an investment when you can get an eight-fold return, and it's a huge quality of life issue. would you share that opinion? >> the public health benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions are tremendous.
and they've been looked at in a number of different ways, including the report that you just cited that showed that the public health benefits from mortality and other health issues far outweighed the i am membertation costs. that's just one study but there are many other studies. there was one done by jason westman, a group at unc chapel hill looking at the benefits of the better air quality from reducing greenhouse gas emissions. not even looking at all the health effects i was talking about from climate change, just the air pollution benefits that would be gained right away. and estimate thad those mortality benefits would exceed abatement costs by 2030. >> in your testimony, you noted the impact on forest fires. this particularly is a concern to us out west where we have
large large ca any of rouse trees. we have seen a huge correlation of more acres of timber burning. you were pointing out in your testimony, i believe the health impacts of that smoke and that smoke plumes can basically travel across the nation. >> yes senator could i give an example. and the wildfire from wildfire smoke can travel very far distances. so there's health effects for communities right there where the fires take place, but there's also respiratory and heart health effects in very distant places. so the wildfires that affected russia some years ago, those plumes traveled the distance from chicago to san francisco. that equivalent difference. that means that thousands and thousands of people in the regions of wildfires are experiencing health effects due to the reduced air quality. >> and since the prevailing
winds go from west to east when our fires are burning out in oregon and california and washington state, the rest of the nation is experiencing those, those impacts it's also an impact on a rural economy. because when we lose both to fire and tobeetles. and i understand that's not your expertise. i'm over my time, so thank you very much for your feedback. >> thank you. i'd like to turn it over to our chairman of our full committee, chairman inhofe. >> thank you, madam chairman. i remember in this room when we had the first appointed director of the epa, lisa jackson, was in the room, and i remember it was right, i tell you when it was. it's when my friend senator markly, it was right before