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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 11, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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have to make hard choices about not being represented in some countries. >> i would hope not. as i said, i would regard the network as being the crown jewel. we may wish to look at some of the subordinate posts in some countries. >> you mean consulates. >> and general and so on. and we've cut down on the number of consulates in europe because we found the 24-hour call center model works effectively. so we have to be flexible and o innovate ive about this. but the last place we want to go is reducing principal overseas posts. >> are you going to gather the evidence you need to make decisions of this kind? is there a special process that you are going through, a special unit? are you asking some particular individuals or groups to look at this, given that the international priorities shift,
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a country which is useful at this time might suddenly be a place receiving 20,000 refugees in three days or something like that. >> one of the things that we are already doing and have to do more of is theable to surge staff between posts and also between functions within the foreign office in london so that we have a more flexible structure is that can respond to reseissly sh -- reseissly the reality that priorities can change and change rapidly and we need to respond in a way that is appropriately agile. >> can i ask you about another area of your budget. at the present there is still an fco grant to the british council. is that one of the areas that you may well be getting rid of, and what are the implications to you do, for the branding of the british council and the sense of its identity with the soft power of our country. >> well the british council plays a vitally important role
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in projecting the u.k. soft power. but it has been generating an increasing proportion of the resources it needs to do that. i should -- i should have said earlier on, that of course the exercise that the treasury has asked us to do is in relation to non-order deposital resource budget. the ota resource budget is in a different category because of the amount of oda will increase as the economy grows in size because of the gdp. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> well some will be spent in support of refugees rehoused in the u.k. in the first year in accordance with the rules. but what this means is that what i am talking to the british
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council about is a further reduction in non-odo funding, granting aid, and looking at the options for the british council to spend more odda funding. and i think where we'll end up, and i don't know if it is in this spending preview or in a future spending review, in a british council that does not receive non-oda aid but which receives more grant in total from the foreign office but with a much larger proportion or more of it being oda. and that will mean that the british council will need to generation its non-oda spending from its own recyclable resources while using grant and aid and work in oda eligible countries.
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>> would you sense a danger of relying on overprotected funds such as oda and that steers the direction rather than having a strategic comprehensive view which you would have done if you had the resources that weren't targeted or protected in that way? >> i think what we have to recognize is that by making a decision to spend a percent of our gdp on oda, we have made a decision to focus on oda rellithible countries. >> but that affects -- but i'm not talking about the department for international spent, i'm talking about xeo spent. if the fco is relying on oda funding to fund certain things, does that not then shift the focus and the priorities of your department? >> well it clearly means we can only bid for oda funding to do things in oda eligible
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countries. it is a new stream of funding available to the foreign office to address priorities that we find in oda eligible countries. and many of the challenges that we're dealing with, mainly conflict and stability type challenges do present themselves in oda eligible countries. >> can i finally ask you about the bbc world service. from 2014, the funding of the world service was taken away from your budget and was given to the responsibility of the bbc. as a result of that, the license fee payer is now responsible for funding the world service. as you know, the bbc is going through a very difficult, long-term review. and i was struck that the new director general of the bbc, on
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monday, implied that he might be seeking public funding to support new services, including a korean land, north korea, russia, some arabic services. have you had any zwudiscussions with the treasury about whether or not the foreign office might go back into questioning the funding of the world service and so reversing the decision that was taken two years ago? >> no. >> is that likely? >> um, i don't think that that would be a discussion that we would be likely to have. it may be a discussion that the director general has had with the bbc with the culture secretary, i don't know. but i suspect that would be the correct channel such a -- >> so you wouldn't envision that part of the funding for the world service might come from the bbc and some come language
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services from a grant in aid from the fco as was the previous arrangeme arrangement. >> it is not inconceivable. but facing the challenges in the spending review, we're not exactly looking for new bids for grant in aid funding from the foreign office right at the moment. but it may be that the bbc has ideas to work up bids or proposals. it is certainly entitled to do so. but i think the way in which the world service is funding and perhaps as important the scope and extent and direction and alignment of the world service agenda is an important subject that we need to consider, and the bbc needs to consider. and i think the director general's intervention on monday was a helpful step in that, ahead of the renewal process next year.
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>> we've had evidence in the last parliament, we asked your predecessor about question of a korean language service to north korea and at that time we -- the view that we got was not a very positive one. there was thought to be comm committal cal problems or whether it wouldn't beective. do you have a view about whether the bbc should be broadcasting into north korea. >> if there was no resource, constraint, i think that the bbc, is generally speaking, around the world, a very highly valued resource. it is maintained the reputation impartiality in a way that has made it a very, very strong brand. and i would prefer to see a bbc service in a country, in a local language, rather than not be such -- >> so that is a yes, then. >> but in a resource constrained
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environment, if you thought whether i thought broadcasting to north korea was a top priority. >> would have some doubts because i suspect there are other channels of information being broadcast into north korea, including, i'm told, having just come back from there, widespread availability of south korean domestic broadcasting material, albeit it is illegal to receive it in north korea. i understand it is not unknown for people to illegally receive such broadcasts. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. just a quick question on my great favorite subject which is ukti. and i wrote a report in 2002 having interviewed literally hundreds of british sme's to get their perception of the service, the level of the service they
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are getting from the ukti and i will send you a copy of the report because there is a great deal of dissatisfaction amongst them about the traction they are getting from the ukti. with all of the issues of budget for the foreign office can i ask you for your evaluation of what changes, if any, will be made to ukti in terms of funding. it's structure and its accountability. i'm very much hoping you're going to be the foreign sect that will make the tough decisions needed to get an effective ukti going. >> well ukti now has a separate budget allocation. it's a body that answers to both the foreign secretary and the business secretary. the new trade ministers lord mort is conducting a review of how ukti operates and will be making recommendations for
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reform in the way ukti operates and we'll look at those and consider them across government. we recognize that there is a need to change the way that ukti operates. we look, i think it is properly fair to say that we look enviously of the models that some of our competitors have for supporting smaller businesses in foreign markets, which are often based not on central government machinery, but on chambers of commerce. >> exactly. >> this is a different model. we don't have statutory changes of commerce in the u.k., in the way for example that germany does, and therefore we don't have the level of affiliation. i think i was told something like only 10% of british businesses belong to a chamber of commerce, where of course 100% of german businesses belong to a chamber of commerce by necessity. but looking part at the work that lord mort has commissioned
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is a comparative study of how our competitors support their businesses, including small and medium enterprises and we're very much -- we very much recognize there needs to be a reform to make ukti work. in all its phases. in upstream, as we call it, in terms of encouraging u.k. enterprises to export and encouraging them to take the plunge into the market and downstream working effectively on the foreign office platforms around the world to roll the pitch for british business and to identify specific market opportunities that british companies can exploit. >> we encourage lord mortgage on his expertise. >> i'm sure he's aware of your report. >> and moving on to migrant and the refugee crisis. we'll ask steven gejis to lead us on this. >> i'm sure you would agree that
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the refugee crisis over the last days, weeks and even years is a european problem. i've been working with the european partners on these issues. in the coming days the european commission is holding a meeting to distribute 160,000 refugees. i think that builds on -- well it is 120,040,000 from previously. will the u.k. be taking part in that meeting and will you be traveling to that meeting? >> we will not -- we will not take part in the quota system that is being proposed. we've got the justice and home affairs -- this is more properly a question for the home secretary but i'll do my best to answer it. we've made clear that we, because of our justice and affairs, we will not take part in this quota allocation system. we have doubts about whether it's the best response.
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and we have, however, as you know, made a separate commitment to take a significant number of syrian refugees, 20,000. and to take them directly from the place where the most vulnerable are, the camps in and around syria. we are not convinced that simply reallocating the fit and the able who get through what is a pretty brutal filter of making their way from syria to europe, is the best way to deliver a humanitarian response. what we are proposing to do is to take 20,000 of the most vulnerable, those who perhaps are not able to make that highly risky journey to europe and to take them in and offer them a place of safety here.
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we still believe that for the majority of syrians and for the sake of the future of syria, the best response in most cases is to provide generously for the support and the security of those people as close to their homes as possible. and i think, if i may, i just take the opportunity to pay tribute to the extraordinary generosity of the turks, the lebanese, the jordans, who have taken in literally hundreds of thousands of refugees and have bourne this burden for -- for actually many years now. and i think we should be proud of what we have done to support them. we are the second largest donor after the united states. we've just increased the level of our spending by another billion pounds to 100 billion pounds and we continue to
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believe that these points close to the point of origin in the hope and belief we will resolve the problem in syria in the new course, that there will be a new syria to rebuild and we should encourage the people to be part of the syria's future, not to simply disburse into the comfortable of europe, and leaving them of the most capable citizens. >> i'm sure i speak for other colleagues, not very much, but the extraordinary generosity of the people of jordan, lebanon and turkey and taking people into their homes and i'm glad that you mention that, foreign secretary. but let me focus in on the european issue for a moment. are you saying that if we have 160 refugees in europe, that is not our problem, that we should take them from source rather
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than work with our european partners than to deal with those already here. >> we want to work with our europe around partners here, we do. but it is about how we can best contribute. but the 130,000, already in europe, are by definition safe. they are in the european union and they are protected in the europe an union. and we want to take those not able to make their way under their own steam to the european union and that does two things, we think it is a humanitarian response to get to the most vulnerable and avoids creating a pull factor. you see as well as i did, articles in the newspapers this morning subjecting that the announcements that have been made about reallocating people around europe are already generating a new wave of
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immigration towards europe. a message that the door is open, will inevitably drive the traffickers to more and we have to be careful to act in a way that is responsible and delivers echkt to those who need it most, rather than to those who perhaps need it less because their already in a place of relative safety. >> but i mean, people aren't going to stop coming to europe. isn't there a question of european solidarity. the united kingdom is in relative terms a rich and big europe yarn country. are we leaving our colleagues in hungary and poland and elsewhere, to bear the brunt of this crisis rather than showing solidarity with them. and actually foreign secretary, dare i say it, building some friends and -- >> and of course we want to work with our europe an colleagues.
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our friends in pole and are re -- poland are resistant to take any migrants. >> refugees. >> the mang ort will end up in germany because they have made an offer towards them. and we want to work to try to ensure an orderly process in europe where if we can help with support to border security arrangements, of course we will. if we can work with european colleagues, we will work with european colleagues on addressing the upstream problems. clearly in syria. we've rehearsed the upstream problem and it is upstream from there. but they are not only coming from syria. a majority are arriving from germany are from the western balkans and we can work together with european union to address
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the drivers of european migration in upstream countries. >> and on the issue of the 20,000 -- yeah, on the issue of the 20,000, you mentioned last week, it is welcome, but it looks like it is just a start. the u.k. could take more. is it just a start. could there be more taken? >> i would say simon mcdodd, who has the benefit of me, of having just ceased to be the british ambassador in germany tells me it is 40% of refugees coming from the western balkan. so i will correct the record there. and the prime minister said very clearly on monday, although he was challenged many times from -- in the house, that he thought that the number of 20,000 was about right. he thought that we got it about right. but that --
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>> over five years. [ overlapping speakers ] >> that was the prime minister's response on monday. i tend to agree with him. >> so you think 20,000 is an appropriate response over five years. >> if i may say so, you're falling into the trap of only looking at part of our response and i said earlier and i spent some time elap or ating the view, that what we're doing in supporting refugees in the region is equally important. and i think a response that said we'll be the largest european donor by far of providing safety and support and sucker in the region and take 20,000 of the most vulnerable, these are women, children, people who are sick, and people who have suffered particular trauma and we will deal here with their needs which could be complex. i have to say i think that is a more measured and generous
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response than simply saying we'll take a quota of able-bodied young men, something like half of whom who have graduate level education. we are dealing with the real humanitarian crisis here. >> and let me just finish up. i know you want to move on and other colleagues want to come in on this. you say it is equally important and i think foreign secretary, i did acknowledge the work that your department has done and also the people of jordan and lebanon and turkey who have a huge burden to bear. but you say equally important. this is still an important part of it. and at the moment, there is a huge amount of criticism, i don't think it is unfair, that the u.k. is not playing its full reel from the european context. 20,000 represents over the next five years. >> where is that criticism coming from? >> everywhere. humanitarian groups. you haven't seen my post bag yet.
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humanitarian organizations and other groups who want the u.k. to do more. i think working with our europeeurop european partners and showing them solidarity would be a good place to start. >> all right. thank you. and i totally see where people like steven are coming from, that the good will that it is based upon. but as a tori rebel, i always fought the government, but i think on this, prime minister, and yourself, you are completely spot on. presumably your effort is to help the many rather than the few, by helping people in that area. is that what your -- >> yeah, well we can certainly -- we can certainly help a lot more people by helping them in the region, in europe. and there are some people, and this is the u.k.'s position,
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there some people who need to be brought here because they are particularly vulnerable and that is what we've committed to. there are eithers that -- others that can be supported in the region. what we're seeing across europe is people, most of whom, because they are almost by definition, you know, not the most vulnerable, but they've been able to get themselves from the region to europe, which is a pretty arduous journey, people that could be supported in the region, but who understandably, and i don't blame them personally for this, prefer to try to get to europe. i think if we're looking at how to make the most of our resources to provide the maximum humanitarian response the way we're seeking to do it, maximize impact in the region and bring the most vulnerable to our own country for protection and it's
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not just housing them -- some of these people will have suffered deep trauma and have psychological scars, physical scars that need to be healed and dealt with and we have the capable to do that here in the way we couldn't do in the region. so i'm afraid i think we have the balance about right. and while there is clearly plenty of scope for different views on this, we have to make a judgment and the judgment that we have made is that accepting 20,000 of the most vulnerable here, while stepping up our program of providing support in the region is the right task. >> some years ago i lived uncover in a refugee camp in france and my overriding feeling from this time was that the vast majority of the people in that camp were economic migrants. and if i came from a poor country i would do the exactly same as them. what sort of analysis do you or
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simon have of the percentage of people who are currently on the move within the european union, what percentage come from countries where there is war as opposed to countries that are less wealthy than our own? >> i'm not able to give you a figure. and clearly those who are coming from syria almost entirely will be people who are fleeing the effects of war. but it is also clear that not all of the people arriving are from syria. there are people from -- i'm told from afghanistan, from pakistan, turkey i understand has a policy of not requiring visas from citizens of islamic countries, which creates an
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opportunity for people, traffickers, but also for enterprising individuals who are seeking to move towards europe from other parts of the world. so while i think we all understand the motivation of those coming from syria, and it is very easy to understand that, there will be people from other parts of the world who are seeking to join in this flow of humanity and to try to obtain a better life for themselves in europe. and i think we all understand, this is the complexity here, of an individual level, we can all empathize with people wanting to improve their standard of living, to create better conditions for their families on an individual level, that is an entirely admiral thing to want to do. but equally, we understand that collectively, we can't accommodate all of the people in the world who would rather have
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a european living standard than the standard of living they currently enjoy. we have to distinguish between those fleeing persecution and the effects of war than those simply seeking better economic conditions. >> would to be safe to say that you and the prime minister -- you and the prime minister see what a lot of european leaders don't see, that potentially hundreds of millions of people could be motivated to move into the european union if we give the impression, the impression -- the reality that the doors are currently open. >> of course, i should have said, when we're talking about syrians and afghans and pakistanis, we're talking about people coming from mainly the mediterranean route. the focus of the route until recently, people coming across from libya, is dominated by africans, there are some syrians
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in there as well but it is dominated by africans. so many alanys and sudanese and a majority of them are economic migrants. so clearly there is a very large potential pool of economic migrants and we have to tackle it in three ways. we have to be clear and robust about our threshold for granting people admission and settlement in the european union. we have to help reinforce border controls in countries of origin and in countries of transit. and we have to invest through our aid and development budgets and not only the u.k.'s, but i would urge european union partners to focus aid and development on investing in the countries of origin to reduce the push factors.
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of course it is not as simple as people leave a country in which they are settled and they've grown up just because they could have a higher standard of living in another country. they don't, by enlarge. they leave the country of origin because they don't have any standard of living at all. they can't get work. they can't support their families. so creating conditions where people can enjoy some prospects of being able to support their families, even though it may be at a much lower standard of living they would enjoy if they were settled in the european union is likely to have a very positive effect on migration flows and i think it is important. >> and finally, i heard from one of my constituent today, the thrust of what they were asking if the italians or issue travel documents or allow them to become citizens of germany,
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800,000 people from syria, and more broadly if the european union is open and economic migrants as well are issued with european passports, presumably those people would settle in the u.k., if they chose to, if they have european papers. >> under the system of current movement, once they are nationals of e.u. member states they would benefit from the rights available to e.u. nationals of free movement, yes. >> so if we remain members of european union, we could see many hundreds of thousands of people from less wealthy countries of the world and also refugees coming into the u.k., so we'll be taking more than 20,000? >> well theoretically. clearly we are one of the richest countries in the e.u. and while there is concern about movement of migrants within the
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e.u., into the u.k., it is not the case that the poorest countries in the e.u. have emptied as britain has tilled up. so clearly the number of people who moved because of the gradient of national income, as it were, was limited -- bulgaria still has a lot of people in it, even though the gdp per capita is far lower than germany or britains. so it is an impact at the margin. but of course, your right, that those 800,000 people, if they turn up in germany and they eventually become german citizens, will add to the 80 odd million people already in germany as people who potentially could choose to come to the k. >> but i'm told it takes years to get german citizenship. >> how many years? public would like to know? >> on average over ten.
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>> thank you very much. [ inaudible ]. you anticipate there will be bumps along the road, in the course of implementing the iran deal. what are your greatest concerns about the terms and about its implementation? >> i'm comfortable with the deal. and i think i've said this to the committee before, but i believe that by approaching the negotiation -- i'll pass over to simon gask in a minute who led the british team in the negotiation in vienna, by approaching this negotiation on the basis that we don't trust them and they don't trust us, it took us a long while but it does mean we have a deal which is probust. but i also take the view, and that is my personal view, that we wouldn't have a deal at all if the iranians hadn't taken a decision at some point that the
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cost to iran of continuing to defy the world by pursuing a nuclear weapons program was just too great and that it was not in their national interest to do it any more, we wouldn't have had this deal. so i'm clear in my mind that iran has taken the decision to abandon that route. not for reasons of altruism, but because it is in iran's national interest to abandon that route. so i'm confident that the deal, once ratified and gone through congress in washington and passed through in tehran, as we now understand it will have to, will be implemented. iran will not gain any sanctions relieve until it has carried out the steps of compliance that are required under the agreement. repov the core from the iraq reactor so it can no longer produce plutonium.
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dismantle the majority of its centrifuges, abandoned a large part of the r&d program, exported 90% of the stock of enriched uranium, et cetera, et cetera. we have a robust regime in place and i'm confident that the nuclear part of the deal, the nuclear deal will be implemented and will be delivered on. what i think i was referred to in bumps along the road is the potential for a broader rebuilding of a relationship with iran. iran is a major power. it is none important country in the region. 70 million people. the world's second largest oil reserves, fourth largest gas reserves, an educated population
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and we can't ignore them and we need to engage with iran and iran needs to engage with the world but we don't see eye to eye on many issues and we'll continue robustly to challenge iran on the issues where we disagree with them and they will continue robustly to challenge us where they disagree with us. and so i envision this will be a difficult relationship but better to have a difficult relationship than no relationship. >> so how do you respond to critics who say, well, iran is still free to continue to research and develop more advanced centrifuges, the ir 6 and the ir #, or that iran will assign the protocol for the nonproliferation treaty but will still have 24 days from the request from the iaea, and they must provide information about military damage to the pars program, but if that answer is not satisfactory, no one will
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know what the answer is because it won't be made public and there is no way of knowing if they've given the full answer. the restrictions on production of fissile material will only last 15 years. so give me your response to people who say these things, as you say, if we start from the point we don't trust them, they don't trust us, do we trust them enough to research and development advanced center funerals. >> all of these issues were discussed at enormous length and clearly if we had simply been invited to write a list of all of the restrictions we would like iran to be subject to in perpetuity and that is that, we would have included more things than are included in the deal. but it was a negotiation. it was a deal. and we are confident that the safeguards that we have, the restrictions that we have, are adequate. but i'm going to ask sir simon gask to answer that because he
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was sitting up all night pouring over the numbers and the expert opinion. >> [ inaudible ]. >> that is what i'm lining him up for. >> well, thank you. let me deal, albeit very briefly, with the four points that you've raised. on research and development, this was a very difficult part of the negotiation. iran has a substantial number of people involved in the nuclear industry and it clearly wanted to maintain the argument that when the restrictions are lifted, it will be able to follow a civil nuclear program with generation and so forth. so we did put constraints on the research and development so that it will not undermine a break out period of at least 12 months for at least 12 years. after that period, iran will be able to gradually increase its research and development, that is true. but of course, as with everything in this agreement, we need to contrast it not as the foreign secretary said it with
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the perfect world but the world we would live with, with the agreement, and they already had advanced center funerals which they cannot complete their work on. so we have pushed the research and development program a long way down the track. on the inspection period, of course, the additional protocol is itself quite an in trucive mechanism. but it works in a way which refers problems to the board of governors of the iaea. what we introduced in the agreement which is unprecedented is the time window which is your back stop if things go wrong. and of course, as others have said, when you are processing uranium, you can't remove the traces within 24 days or insteed 24 weeks. everything can still be traced and in fact the inspection post is more intrusive than the additional protocol.
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on the past military dimension, the iaea have agreed to a program with the iranian government which they need to pursue in order to allow sanctions to be lifted. i don't believe anybody agrees we'll get a complete understanding of everything done in iran. that probably was never going to happen. but i think that we'll get a pretty good sense of what past activity have been undertaken. and last, your point on 15-year restrictions, this is an agreement which as you know has different time scales. some things happen after 10 years, the limit of 15 years, the limit of stockpile is under 15 years and the limit on 3.67% enrichment is within 15 years and other things limited to the uranium processing which lasts for 25 years and some have no limit. so we are confident that we are dealing with this problem very
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substantially for a long period of time and that iran will have every incentive to abide by its nonproliferation treaty for much longer than that. >> thank you. clearly we're committed to the deal. foreign secretary, do you think that commitment to the deal, are we paying the price for losing support and influence with some of the -- of iran's neighbors who are less happy with the deal? >> well i think we have to distinguish a concern, which is perfectly legitimate by iran's neighbors about iran's behavior in the region, in the neighborhood, from concerns about the deal itself. i think most of the regional powers an the regional countries when they've understood how the
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deal works are reasonably comfortable that it will be effective in preventing iran from developing nuclear weapons. there is a line of attack that says the raubans -- iranians will always cheat. i heard this when i was in israel a couple of days after we did this deal. i expect i shall hear it tomorrow when i meet prime minist minister netanyahu, that the iranians will always cheat and can't be trusted. >> but it is not just israel saying that. other countries in the region are saying the same thing as well. >> there is a suspension of iran. and we've approached this deal on the basis that we don't -- we don't do it on trust. we do it on the basis of robust mechanisms. we start with an assumption that they're going to try to cheat and put in place mechanisms to make sure that it won't work. i think the more -- the more serious challenge from our
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interlocketers in the region, is you shouldn't do a deal with iran, because they're doing bad things in the region. and i have some sympathy with the line of reasoning. but it is flawed because the deal that we've done is a deal to lift sanctions that were put in place specifically because of iran's illegal nuclear program. if iran now ends that illegal nuclear program and we can verify that it has ended it, we must, in all conscious, if the integrity of the international system is banned, we must lift the sanctions related to that program. now what some of our interlocketers in the region would really like is for the sanctions to be rolled over to deal with iran's broader behavior. you're not doing nuclear weapons but there are a lot of things that you are doing that we
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really don't like and we want you to change that behavior as well. we share that view, that iran should change its behavior in the region. but we recognize that we can't use the international sanctions that were put in place because of the illegal nuclear weapons program to address iran's other behaviors. we will, however, continue to press iran on its behavior in the region as will other countries in the region and other international powers. and we hope that as iran reengaged with the world, it will rethink the way it wants to engage in the region. there are people who will say that that is a naive view. and we will have to wait and see. but i think it is self-evident the case, the lesson of history, that when isolate a country, as we've done with iran for very good reason, it is likely to become more bellicose in its
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behavior than if it is fully engaged, trading with and enjoying investment from and exchanging students with the rest of the world and that is what we have to hope, that this reengagement will strengthen the moderates in uranium society, will -- iranian society and will have a stake in the region and wishing to reengage in the region as an important nation state, an important player in the region, rather than as a destabilizing force in the region. >> and in your recent visit, did you manage to talk about these incursions into neighboring countries or interference with the iranians? >> yes. and we have a different point of view from the iranians. we see these things differently. we see hezbollah, hamas
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differently. we see the situation in bahrain differently and the situation in yemen differently and that is perhaps not surprising. but the fact that i was in tau iran talking to the senior players about how we see these things differently i think is a step forward. and again, we have to hope that as iran reengaged with the world, just as it did with nuclear weapons, it will start to make decisions based on its assessment of its own national interest to modify some of its behaviors it is not going to happen open night. and it will do so for reasons of national interest and not altruism, but actually responsible nations acting in their national enlightened self-interest within the international rules is a game we can all play, even where we
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don't agree with the policy objectives of the nations in question. >> is there a plan b. if the u.s. congressmanages to deny the u.s. government support for this deal. >> the numbers today are looking like the president may not even need to use his veto. we're clear that he already has more than enough support to sustain the veto. so i don't think that's a contingency that we need to plan for now. we do, however, know that in the iranian system, they will have to vote on this deal and there are plenty of people in the marshes who are picking holes in the deal as there were plenty of people in the u.s. congress who were picking holes in the deal. but i'm pretty confident that it will get approved both in the
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u.s. and in iran. and move forward to implementation over the next couple of months. >> you met with the embassy two weeks ago. we've taken previous evidence from your predecessor. that there were obstacles to the working at the embassies and how were those over come, the very specific obstacles. can you show us how those were overcome. >> well these things are always a judgment call and you have to balance the different priorities and agendas. our judgment was that we've moved for enough on the key issues that the situation on the ground has changed far enough and the assurances that we have received were reassuring enough that on balance it was now right
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to reopen the embassy in order to obtain that greater level of dialogue with the iranians and in order to support british businesses in pursuing business in iran as that country opens up. >> so just very specifically foreign soekt, i just want to push you slightly on this, on the equipment that we need to be able to get into our embassy, was that clearly not interference. did we receive assurance about the security of our staff and has the iranians agreed to take back the nationals who overstayed in the u.k., something which was reported to be a condition for opening the visa section. >> well on all of those areas, we've made sufficient progress. but we believe that we can now move forward. and we -- and none of these was
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sort of ideological position. they were practical issues where we needed to see practical ways forward. and in all areas, we to proceed. which allowed us to go ahead and reopen the embassy. that doesn't mean to say we won't have continuing and robust discussions with the iranians about some of these issues in the future. but we are confident that there has been a conscious decision in the iranian system to accommodate the reopening of the british embassy in tehran. and we shouldn't underestimate the significance of that for the iranian regime. britain enjoys a special place in iranian mythology. we are uniquely historically -- we carry unique historical baggage, i think it's reasonably
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fair to say. and to take the decision to push ahead and facilitate this was a serious political decision, and made within the regime, that was used -- you know, somebody has decided to use political capital to do it. so i think we have to regard that as a real commitment. >> so if we can move on to the final section on egypt. you had a question? >> yes, on egypt. obviously we're concerned about some of the things happening in egypt over the last number of years. also, the invitation that was given to visit the united kingdom in the foreseeable future. i think a number of people are concerned about the issue of some of the human rights, and the things done by sisi's
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government over the last few years. and i want to talk about three specific cases. when we -- there was acceptance, i understand at the time, an agreement, that an agreement would be carried out by the government and assisi, but it doesn't appear anything's happened in relation to that. now i understand humidity rights watch have applied to the u.n. council, the human rights council for that to be carried out. can i just ask what are they doing in relation to that? asking u.n. bodies to get involved in this? >> first of all, we share your concern about many of the things that are happening inside egypt.
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and we raised these issues regularly with egyptian with the counterparts, and the egyptian foreign minister was in my office yesterday and he's having a meeting with the foreign office junior minister today on some specific consular cases. but we also recognize that egypt is a very important country. a huge population. a vital component of stability in the middle east. arguably one of the most important countries in africa. britain's national interest, as well as the best interest of the egyptian people, requires us to engage with the egyptian government. we can't ignore a country of 90 million people, which is little more than on our doorstep. so we engage with them. we judge that engaging with the regime, talking to them about these issues, is more likely to
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elicit a positive response than refusing to engage with them. and, you know, shouting at them from a distance. i've had personally discussions with president assisi where i have found him willing to engage and talk in a calm and detailed manner for him the most difficult subjects. this is someone who is willing to engage and discuss. our judgment is that by engaging with egypt, by recognizing that egypt faces some very big challenges, economic challenges and security challenges, that we have a huge amount of shared interests, particularly in the security challenge. and by working together, we will get a better outcome for the uk, a better outcome for the
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egyptian people, and a better chance of addressing some of these very significant human rights problems. in particular, the concern we have that the political space in egypt is shrinking, not expanding, which is what it should be if we're going to have a long-term sustainable situation in egypt. >> i'm one of these people who believes in talking to people. but i think what people would like to know is that there has been discussion on the subject, or is there any real answer given by the egyptian government? is it a case that they accept this in a year's time? any concrete response? >> i haven't got the briefing here. i'm happy to write to the committee. we have discussed this specifically, this question of the inquiry. but i need to check the record
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before i write to you. >> i was there in 2013 three times, in july and september 2013. and it was the thinking under which we were going to reengage with the egyptian government, that they were going to commit to an inquiry. >> as i've just said, i recall that we've discussed this incident. but i need to check where we are in terms of what commitments have been made, what's currently happening. and i'll write to the committee. i don't have the briefing papers with me. >> and also about two other issues in specific cases where we've had 183 people being charged with, i think, the murder of 16 police officers. in a very much kangaroo court. they've all been sentenced to death. has there been any discussion
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about this mass execution, this quite clearly -- >> first of all, i don't think mass executions are taking place. >> no, no, the mass -- >> the sentences, yes. >> one thing i would like to know is, do we know as to how many people have actually so far been executed as a result of that sentence being imposed? and is there going to be, you know, are we taking up this issue about the way this trial is carried out? i know the issues are having a big trial, but that many people in one go -- >> yes. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i've discussed these issues both with president assisi and much more regularly with the foreign minister. and the egyptians take the
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position, which you would recognize, that there is a judicial process, and they cannot interfere in the judicial process. but there is also -- there are also executive powers which only come into play once the judicial process has run its full course, including the appeals process. my understanding of the trial that you're referring to is that those sentences are now subject to appeal. and president assisi's position in the discussions i've had with him has been consistently that he cannot intervene while a judicial process is ongoing, but reminding us that he has an executive power of clemency once the judicial process has ended. and i think engaging with the executive power, where there is a separation between the
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judicial process and the executive, and making clear that we expect those executive powers to be used to achieve acceptable outcomes, even where the judiciary -- where the judicial process does not throw up an acceptable outcome, i think that is the right way to engage. it's certainly the best way to try and get a result. and simply bludgeoning the egyptian government over decisions made by trial judges is not going to achieve the objective. so again, i recognize, you know, we have to live with the fact that we will be roundly condemned for talking to people while these processes are going on. my judgment is that the most likely way for us to have any influence on this process is to engage. >> without putting words in your mouth, from what i understand
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you're saying here -- >> just say you were a trial lawyer. >> i understand what you're saying here. please disagree with this. but your thinking is once the judicial process is over, and it gets into the executive issue about clemency and mercy, president assisi is saying, look, at that point he will be exercising it? >> what i'm saying is, at that point we have the relationships built. we have the ability to access the decision-makers. and if our relationship is strong and growing, we have hopefully the leverage to make our voice heard. >> can you please confirm this is correct. we understand about 40,000 people have been, over the last year or so, been detained in prison, and some are being tortured.
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are you able to give us any idea as to how extensive that is, and if that is accepted, that is the situation again? >> i wouldn't disagree with the number. i don't have an exact number, but i wouldn't disagree with that number. and we -- i mean, egypt is facing a counterterrorism crisis. but our consistent advice to the egyptians is by confusing the counterterrorists' response with a broader political clamp-down that they're making a mistake, that will ultimately be -- it would mean that the policy is unsuccessful. we consistently explained to the egyptians and to others that our own experiences, the way to deal with a terrorism threat is to focus on isolating the hard-core terrorists from the soft-core
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passive supporters. and clamping down on the soft-core passive support is not in the end a successful strategy. so we do not think that rounding up thousands of people, tens of thousands of people is a credible counterterrorism response. we explained that quietly, patiently, using examples from our own history. and we try to persuade, to encourage, to inform in a way that we hope will lead to a more productive and constructive approach in the future. but we can only do that by engaging. >> to clarify, i think myself, and a few people here, agree that the engagement is the way forward. but obviously these issues have an origin. >> i understand. >> just finally on egypt, given
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the seriousness of the indictment, the essential indictment around the actions of the egyptian government in august 2013, that there's some suggestion there might be third-party action to cease and detain. on charges of crimes against humanity. do you have any concern about that, if he does come to -- >> yes. as a head of state, he will come with special exemptions. >> i think -- one further question on one other subject. and then i think we're dry.
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>> taking on the point about engaging people. i agree with that. we've had a discussion earlier about -- >> i famously did that. >> would it be all right to say, would you agree with this, that we hear about all the people leaving, and the mass exodus taking place in syria over the last number of years. actually, the way it's been reported, we know that there are a large number of people fleeing syria from the urban areas. it's because of the bombs thrown by sudan, and -- sorry. assad. and then the military
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description as well, people are running away from it. do we not feel that there should be other solutions looked at in relation to assad as well? i know you said there's a distinction between not wanting to get too involved with syria, but -- >> it's not -- >> in terms of not necessarily -- >> yes. the precise points that were from the first 45 minutes of the session. >> but the no-fly zone, for example. >> the problem with no-fly zones is they only work if someone's prepared to police them. and syria has a sophisticated air defense system, provided by russia, probably operated in part by russian technicians. and i am not aware of a
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competent air force that is offering to police a no-fly zone. a no-fly zone which exists only on paper, like a yellow line without the parking warden, is, i'm afraid, undermines credibility. if we're going to talk about no-fly zones, and, you know, let's say we, the united kingdom, if we are going to talk about no-fly zones, we'd better be clear that we are prepared to share in policing them. and i don't think we are. >> mike? >> on that point, while it's said that syria has an air system, would it not be possible to actually engage by firing from aircraft carriers parked somewhere in the mediterranean, just taking out one or two of the helicopters which are currently dropping the barrel
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bombs, and then given that assad doesn't have limitless number of helicopters, he doesn't have very large numbers i was told. and if it's true, about 60 or so, maybe more than that. but the fact is, a symbolic shooting down of one or two of these helicopters might then encourage the other pilots not to be flying them, and then saving the lives of very large numbers of civilians, and perhaps potentially reducing the number of people who have to leave syria in order to live. >> that's a different strategy from a no-fly zone, seeking to destroy the air assets that assad is using to bomb syrian people. and it's a perfectly possible military strategy. i don't know whether you're suggesting an appetite for such action on the part of the uk. >> i'm not saying the uk alone.
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i think the uk, the united states, and other countries are making it very clear they want to stop the barrel bombing of the civilian population in cities in syria. >> that's very interesting. of course, it was your party that proposed a very -- it was your party that opposed -- or proposed -- >> i've said that publicly. maybe you should get with your colleagues to -- >> i mean, i think the answer -- i'll follow up by saying that syria's defenses -- defense systems are sophisticated. i think there's a slight temptation to forget that. in all the actions that have taken place, the syrians have not ever engaged with allied aircraft. they clearly made a decision not to engage all lied aircraft. because allied aircraft are not targeting syrian forces, they're
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targeting isil forces. but they have the capability both air defense and coastal batteries. and i think it would be a very big decision to start using coalition assets to directly attack syrian government operational assets. that would be a major step. and i think it would need to be thought about extremely carefully. >> there's one final question on egypt. >> this commission has visited egypt. we met with the president. and we discussed the constraints on the freedom of expression in egypt. and particularly, the imprisonment of the al jazeera journalists. he gave the impression that -- very clearly, that it was an
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embarrassment to him. that it was something that had happened before he came on the scene. and that he wished it hadn't been so. i wanted to see if there was any kind of progress in continuing to discuss with the egyptians about the journalist that has just been sentenced again? >> think it goes back to the exchange i had earlier that there's a distinction between the judicial part of the system and executive part of the system. and the new sentences that have just been handed down are judicial sentences. i haven't yet discussed this case, myself, with our egyptian interlock you turs since that. mr. elwood will be having that discussion this afternoon. and i'll be interested to hear from him what he has said about the current executive thinking about this process. none of this is quick.
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because the egyptian justice system doesn't necessarily work very quickly. but i have no reason to believe that the president's position has changed. >> secretary of state, thank you very much indeed for your time this afternoon. on the next "washington journal," darrell kim basketball of the arms control association, he discusses the iran nuclear deal and the state of nonproliferation. the national journal political editor has the latest on the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. and the recent effort by some republican candidates to stand up to donald trump. ashley messenger, associate general counsel, talks about a french privacy regulator that's ordered google to censure its search results in the name of
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privacy. and we'll take your calls and you can join the conversation at facebook and twitter. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. this weekend on the c-span networks, politics, books, and american history. on c-span saturday at 8:00 p.m., speeches by two republican presidential candidates, first wisconsin governor scott walker vis tats president reagan's alma mater, eureka college. then louisiana governor bobby jindal at the national press club. sunday at 6:35 p.m., two profile interviews with former new york governor george pataki, talking about his political career. and former pennsylvania senator rick santorum talks about his time in congress. his 2012 presidential run, and why he's running again. on c-span2's book tv, saturday
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at 8:45 p.m., jack cashill talks about the scarlet letters. it argues progressives have become intolerant of opposing views. and senator klobuchar on 8:00 p.m. clemson university paul christopher anderson teaches a class on hour confederates viewed reconstruction in the wake of the civil war. he discusses how some white southerners justify and even romanticize their defeat and motives for fighting. sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., the landmark u.s. supreme court decision ruled it was unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriage. at the virginia historical society, history professor
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walenstein talks about the complexities of the case, and how it affected similar legal challenges. get our complete schedule at next, a hearing on the epa's new power plant emissions rule. the house science, space and technology subcommittee on environment met friday to consider the impact on states. this is about two hours. >> the subcommittee on the environment will come to order. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the subcommittee at any time. welcome to today's hearing entitled state perspectives, how the epa's power plan of shut down power plants. i recognize myself for five
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minutes for an opening statement. today's hearing focuses on the epa's final clean power plan rule, and the tremendous impact that this rule will have on the states upon final implementation. i'm very concerned about how this regulation will affect the economy of america. more specifically, access to cheap and abundant traditional energy sources, as well as affordable and reliable electricity. today i look forward to hearing testimony from state regulators about how this rule will specifically impact the citizens of their states. the negative impacts of epa's supposed clean power plan are well documented. a few months ago, we heard from industry groups about some of these impacts. the committee learned that the total compliance costs of the rule could be as high as $366 billion by the year 2030. additionally, according to the national association of manufacturers, the regulation is projected to cause double-digit electricity pricing increases in
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43 states. moreover, the committee has heard testimony that the epa is using questionable legal authority to promulgate the clean power plan under section 111 of the clean air act. in fact, lawrence tried, the leading environmental and constitutional professor and mentor to president obama referred to the method by which the rule was enacted as, quote, burning the constitution, unquote. this committee has also heard testimony at previous hearings that the climate benefits from any reductions in carbon emissions realized by the rule will be negligible on a global scale. we have a rule that the place tremendous costs on the american people for very little benefit, if you believe the models that we've been given by the administration. the u.s. energy information administration reaffirmed many of these facts in a report analyzing the impact of the clean power plan. the committee heard testimony from howard grewenexpect at eia
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who reported the epa's rule will shut down large numbers of coal-fired power plants, increase electricity prices, and decrease the u.s. gdp. many states, including the ones that have -- that we have represented before us today have pushed back on the massive overreach of epa's carbon emission rule. states are uniquely positioned to protect the environment in their states and support their local economies. a key fact that the epa disregarded, in promulgating this rule. my home state of oklahoma which has been leading the charge against epa's onerous rule recognizes this rule will harm reliability and impose massive costs on its citizens. i applaud oklahoma's efforts to fight against the epa and its activist overbearing regulatory agenda. this committee has called many hearings conducting oversight of epa's regulatory agenda and will continue to do so. in order for the american people to understand how this will impact their lives. i thank all of our witnesses for testifying today and i look
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forward to hearing how the epa's final clean power plan will impact your states. i now recognize the ranking member, the gentle woman from oregon for an opening statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you to all of our witnesses for being here today, to discuss the environmental protection agency's clean power plan. i'm especially pleased to welcome mr. jason eisdorfer, a fellow oregonian. i'm looking forward to hearing about oregon's plan. and the successes our state has had in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. i'm glad the title is state perspectives. the mission of the epa is important yet simple. to protect human health and the environment. and the goal of the plan is equally simple, to cut carbon emissions from the largest power source, so that we can lessen the effects of climate change on our states, our country and our
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planet. the clean power plan offers enormous flexibility of the states as they tackle their individual carbon emissions targets. and the collective goal of reducing carbon emissions by 32% by the year 2030. in inaction is inacceptable. for example, according to the national climate assessment, the snow pack in the cascade mountains has decreased by 20% compared to 1950, and what snow remains melts about 30 days earlier than usual. these changes are putting additional pressure on the region's water supply. along the coastline, the health of our commercial fisheries are threatened by rising seas, and ocean acidification. thousands of salmon from the columbia river died this summer because the water's too warm. these and other changes have the potential to negatively affect not only the safety but also the economic security of my constituents. thankfully oregon is a state that has been proactive in efforts to mitigate and adapt to
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climate change. as a result, oregon can be a resource for states that are just beginning to address this important challenge. as a former member of the oregon legislature, i helped establish some of the state's goals. for example, in 2007, oregon set a target of reducing statewide emissions by 75%. by the year 2050. we also set the goal of having up to 25% of our energy generated through renewable sources by 2025. these efforts and others have put oregon in a position to not only meet, but likely surpass its clean power plan carbon reduction goal. and all of that while maintaining a healthy and vibrant economy. oregon is a leader in renewable energy technology, and many businesses have developed new products that add jobs to our economy and our energy efficiency. one example is lucid energy. which is developed technology to generate electricity through hydropowered system in existing
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city water pipes. some today will likely contend that regulating carbon hurts the economy. but a recent report by gps adds to the growing body of evidence showing that this simply is not the case. the report states, we are not climate scientists, nor are we trying to take sides in the global warming debate, rather we are trying to take an objective look at the economics of the discussion. to assess the incremental costs and impacts of mitigating the effects of emissions to see if there is a solution which offers global opportunities without penalizing global growth. the authors conclude the incremental costs of following a low carbon path are in context limited and seem affordable. the return on that investment is acceptable and moreover the likely avoided liabilities are enormous. when you have climate scientists and economists agreeing that action to address climate change is necessary, and that the
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benefits outweigh the risks, then it's time for our country to stop dragging its feet and move forward as a nation and a global leader. the clean power plan builds on the efforts of states like oregon by creating a unified national approach to our biggest environmental challenge. the clean power plan represents an opportunity for american inji new ti that will allow us to benefit from the much-needed transition to a low carbon economy. thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to our witnesses for being here this morning. i want to ask that the gps report from which i quoted be entered into the record. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. i now recognize the chairman of the full committee, mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you also for holding this hearing today. over the last year, the environmental protection agency has released some of the most expensive and burdensome regulations in its history. these rules will cost billions of dollars, place a heavy burden on american families, and
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diminish the competitiveness of american workers around the world. today's hearing will examine the clean power plan, in the manner in which the epa has used secret science, questionable legal interpretations, and flawed analysis to place tremendous and unlawful burdens on the states. and yet despite these issues, this administration continues to force costly and unnecessary regulations on hard-working american families. in august, the obama administration ignored the outcry from stakeholders and from the american public when it issued the final rule on the power plan. the clean air act was never intended to regulate carbon. this final rule is another example of the president and his environmental protection agency sidestepping congress to push an extreme agenda. it is well documented that the final plan will shut down power plants across the country, increase electricity prices, and cost thousands of americans their jobs. my home state of texas would be one of the hardest hit.
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the state would be forced to close affordable coal-fired power plants which also provide reliable electricity during peak usage times in the summer. additionally, the rule will cause double-digit electricity price increases across the united states. despite epa's statements to the contrary, this rule goes well beyond the regulation of power plants, even reaching down into americans' homes to control electricity use. higher energy prices mean the price of everything will increase. and low-income families already struggling to make ends meet will be among those most burdened by this costly rule. the so-called clean power plan is simply a power grab that will force states to try to reach arbitrary and often impossible targets for carbon emissions. the epa asserts that the clean power plan will help combat climate change. however, epa's own data demonstrates this is false. the data shows that this
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regulation would at best reduce sea level rise by only .001 of an inch, the thickness of three sheets of paper. this rule represents massive cost without significant benefits. in other words, it's all pain and no gain. under the clean power plan, americans will be subject to the constant threat of government intervention, so the epa regulations continues. i look forward, mr. chairman, to today's hearing and to hearing from the witnesses about the impact of these burdensome regulations on their states. and i yield back. >> i thank you, chairman smith. i now recognize the ranking member of the full committee for her statement. >> good morning, mr. chairman. and thank you to all of our witnesses who are here. epa's clean power plan is a step in the right direction. the scientific evidence shows we cannot afford to wait.
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we must act now if we are to stand a chance of lessening impacts of climate change. record temperatures and increasing heavy rain events and rising seas are a few examples of what americans are confronting now, and can expect to see more frequently in the coming years. as the largest source of carbon pollution, cutting emissions from power plants is a key to any exclusisolution. that's why i'm supportive of the clean power plan. and its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 32% by 2030 from the power sector. the final rule we'll be discussing today is responsive to more than a 4 million public comments received by epa. it sets reasonable limits that
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take into account the characteristics of each state. it provides states with an additional two years to formulate and implement that compliance plan. it responds to concerns about grid reliability, by including a reliability safety valve, and requiring states to consider reliability concerns in their state implementation plans. and finally, the central feature of the rule is the enormous flexibility provided to states. epa is not prescribing any specific set of measures, but instead states will choose what goes into their plans, and they can work along or as part of a multi-state effort to achieve meaningful carbon reductions. today i suspect that we will hear some of the same old arguments about the clean power
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plan, that we hear about nearly every regulation issued by epa. that it will cause nothing but harm to our economy, that the federal government is overstepping its authority, that the rule is unnecessary, and that it won't make any difference in the long run. however, we know that these assertions are just not true. rather, as history has shown us time and again, stricter pollution limits have led to creation of new technologies, that end up creating jobs, while protecting our environment. i am confident american industry will continue this record of innovation and job creation as the clean power plan is implemented. additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the clean power plan sends a strong and
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much-needed signal to the rest of the world about the seriousness of the united states in addressing climate change. such a position is critical to meaningful international engagement on this issue. i recognize that implementing the clean power plan will not be easy, and there are real costs associated with transitioning to a low carbon economy. but the bottom line is that the cost of inaction are even greater. i look forward to today's discussion. and to hearing more about how we can achieve the mission target in the clean power plan. i thank you and yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, ranking member johnson. to introduce our first witness, the chairman of the texas commission on environmental quality, dr. brian shaw. i yield to the chairman of the full committee, mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chair.
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and let me say it's nice to be able to welcome a texas colleague. chairman shaw was appointed to the texas commission on environmental quality, tceq, in 2007. since then he has searched on the texas environmental flows advisory group and is chair of the texas advisory panel on federal environmental regulations. he was appointed chairman in 2009. prior to joining the txeq, he served as an environmental protection agency science advisory board committee on nitrogen. he also served on the epa sab environmental engineering committee in the ad hoc panel for risk and technology review assessment plan. additionally, he is a member of the u.s. department of agriculture, agricultural air quality task force. in addition to his chairmanship, dr. shaw serves as associate professor in the biological and agricultural engineering department of texas a&m
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university. his research there focuses on air pollution, air pollution abatement, dispersion model development, and emission factor development. chairman shaw received his masters and bachelors degrees from texas a&m. and his ph.d. in agricultural engineering from the university of illinois in champagne. thank you, mr. chairman. and i'm pleased that chairman shaw is here to testify. >> thank you, chairman smith. i will now yield to the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson, to introduce our next witness, mr. craig butler, director of the ohio environmental protection agency. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and it is indeed my distinct pleasure to introduce director craig butler, the director of ohio's environmental protection agency. director butler received his bachelor's degree in geography and environmental science from mansfield university, and his master's degree in environmental science from ohio university.
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craig and his team have done some tremendous work for ohio. the respect that they have earned from people across our state, both within the energy sector, and in the state agencies is clear. their high standards of an exceptional work ethic is evident in everything that they do. for instance, the comments that director butler and his agency submitted to the u.s. epa in response to the clean power plan proposal are viewed by many as some of the most detailed, extensive, and informative comments that the u.s. epa received regarding this regulation. they clearly highlighted the many shortcomings of the clean power plan, such as its potential impact on grid reliability and energy costs. director butler, i want to
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personally thank you for being here today. i wish i could stay and hear the entire testimony, but with it being the last day of the week, we have multiple hearings in conflict. and so i've got to go to another hearing that is getting under way as we speak. but i want to reiterate, thank you so much. the work you're doing in ohio, and the example that you're setting across the nation, boy, i sure wish we could get along and work out a working relationship with the federal epa the way that we've done it in ohio. you're to be commended. and i welcome you. >> thank you, mr. johnson. our final witness today is mr. jason eisdorfer. utility program director for the oregon public utility commission. and i'd like to yield to the ranking member for an introduction.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. it's my honor to introduce my fellow oregonian, mr. jo son eisdorfer, who has served as utility program director of the oregon public utility commission since 2012. he oversees a staff of approximately 77 employees and provides directions to formulate policies, recommendations and practices regarding the regulation of investor-owned utility, gas, water and telecommunications utilities. previously, mr. eisdorfer was interim director of strategy integration at the bonneville power administration. and before that, he served as bpa's greenhouse gas policy adviser. in this role, he served as senior adviser to the agency on policies and programs related to climate change. he served as legal counsel and director of the board of oregon for 13 years. his co-authored state legislation related to climate change in electric utility restructuring and operations,
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including the electricity restructuring law in 1999, and the oregon renewable energy act and climate changie integration act of 2007. his additional state legislation is concerning storage technology pilots, and natural gas utility, carbon reduction programs. mr. eisdorfer has served as an adjunct professor of law at oregon school of law and northwestern school of law at lewis and clark college. teaching classes on energy law and climate change and policy. he is a graduate of the university of chicago, and he received his law degree as i did from the university of oregon, go ducks. thank you for joining us today, mr. eisdorfer. >> thank you, ranking member bon a mitchy. in order to allow time for discussion, we're going to move to witness testimonies. please limit your testimony to five minutes. your entire written statement will be made a part of the official record.
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i now recognize chairman shaw for five minutes to present his testimony. >> mr. chairman, ranking member, thank you for the opportunity to be here. special thank you to chairman smith for the kind introduction. my name is dr. brian shaw, chairman of the texas commission on environmental quality. my job is to ensure we carry out mission, which is to mitt great environmental risk on sound science and compliance with state and federal statutes. in every case, where texas disagrees with epa actions, it's because they're in the consistent with these principles. the clean power plan was signed by the epa administrator on august 3rd, 2015, and is currently waiting publication in the federal register. the final version of the plan is raddic di different than epa's proposed plan. and as such, we're continuing to study and evaluate the impacts of the final rule. currently the following concerns associated with the rule have been identified. first, epa's methodology for
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determining the best system of emissions reduction, or bser, in this role marks a radical departure from historical practice, and i would argue the plain language of the clean air act. the epa asserted the power to determine best systems emissions reductions by evaluating deck nolgs and methods outside the fence of the facility that claims to be regulating. these methods could be applied to the source itself. or materials being used by the source. in the past, best systems evaluations have included installing scrubbers, low-emission technology, treatment of fuels and a myriad of other systems that the facility operator actually can control. in this case it's got an energy policy as a whole. the final clean power plan establishes rates for
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subcategories, steam generating units, and applying building blocks to the bser. the final rule allows states to use statewide goals, these goals are derived from the same performance rates. only the first of these blocks, the efficiency improvements, on existing coal-fired power plants is in the historical approach of how epa is determined bser in the past. redispatching generation from steam-generating units, and increased renewable energy on the increasing the generation of which most circumstances are not located in the same area. and for most forms of renewable energy, are not subject to the clean air act. it's based on the method of electric generation they prefer, not methods that can be feasibly applied to the existing sources. another major concern is that the plan has an insignificant
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effect on carbon dioxide concentrations, global temperatures and sea level rise. the final rule does not provide a benefit. the epa's benefits are based on the budgets, social cost of carbon. and that we put the united states in a stronger bargaining position at the president's upcoming climate summit in december. aside from objections i have to this line of reasoning, i submit a regulation this expensive that entails an unprecedented irrigation of power to the executive branch is fuzzy math. the epa is claiming wildly the claimed benefits. from the reduction of nongreenhouse gas pollutants, and these benefits are suspect. not only are they not the purpose of the plan, the majority of the claim benefits are due to changes in ambient concentrations of the ozone in
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areas already attained at the standards. it is irrational for the epa to claim pollution in the area that the current concentration is adequate to protect human health. in areas not attaining this standard, it requires the states to develop plans to address them. one final issue before i close would be a more technical concern about the leakage that the epa is including in the final rule. it's a shift of generation from existing units to new units not subject to the clean power plan. this results in a net increase in emissions and epa is requiring states that use a mass based approach address this leakage. also they approach to address that in the final plan if it includes a mass base approach. the motivation for the leakage policy is to remedy the nonsensical approach, much more stringent than the standards for new fossil fuels. you would have the more stringent standard for existing
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sources than for new. this makes that very detrimental and unworkable moving forward. it's important for me to bring this forward and i appreciate the opportunity to testify today. >> thank you, chairman shaw. director butler, you are recognized for five minutes. >> chairman, and ranking member, and members of the subcommittee, and representative bill johnson. thank you, my name is craig butler. i'm with the epa in ohio. thanks for the opportunity to provide testimony on the now final clean power plan issued by the u.s. environmental protection agent sill. when i provided testimony back in march, in the house subcommittee on energy and power, the cpp was only a proposal. the epa was in the process of collecting and evaluating what turned out to be over 3.4 million comments. while we continue to review the final rule, presented by u.s. epa, our fundamental and technical concerns persist or continue to grow.
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ohio has strifen to derive the output over the last few years, driven by affordable and reliable power, countless energy intensive industries including manufacturing, steel, glass production iron reside in ohio. this manufacturing rebound has been due in no small part to the shale gas production in the eastern part of the state, and like our locally mined coal that provides a foundation for predictable and relatively stable low-cost power to industries and citizens in the state of ohio. while working to revive our manufacturing output, we have achieved significant emission reductions from our coal-fired power plants. between 2005 and 2014, carbon dioxide emixes from these units were reduced by approximately 30%. given these reductions, one might think ohio is wl on a path to comply with a final cpp. unfortunately u.s. epa suggests using baseline for emissions since 2005, but in reality
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they're using 2012. emissions prior to that are not considered for compliance for the reduction target. it will continue to improve the operation efficiency, however, requiring additional pollution control measures will be costly and undermine long-term viability of these plans. ohio is experiencing a dramatic loss in generating capacity. losing some 6,100 megawatts between the years 2010 and 2015, primarily due to u.s. epa's mercury and air toxic standards. further reduction in the coal-fired generation is the biggest means for complying with the final cpp and a serious concern with respect to end users, cost, infrastructure, reliability. epa released the three rules that will have an adverse effect on the electricity generation across the country. finalizing new electronic generation units was the first rule released and it will
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prevent nicole plants from being built across the country. sequestration, the only technology described in that rule, is proving not to be ready for wide scale technical implementations, costs are escalating to the point that projects are being abandoned. the second and third rules work together. the second is the final version of the cppp, and the third is a back stop or federal plan for states that are unable or choose not to comply with the final cpp. these rules will result in an unprecedented overhaul of the power generation transmission systems by dramatically reducing power generation, and establishing aggressive renewable targets. these rules together circumvent congressional authority by creating large-scale program to revamp the power industry, and replace the long-standing economic model for generation of electricity based on environmental model. u.s. epa made changes in response to the cpp.
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u.s. epa is evident that it raised the reduction from 30% to 32% nationwide. in ohio, our mandated reduction target is roughly 11% more aggressive than the proposed rule, meaning ohio will have to lower its rate by 37%. between 2012 and the final plan. final cpp dictates that natural gas generation be deployed at 75% capacity factor, updated cost projections using the final rule haven't been completed but the public utilities commission conducted analysis of the estimate in 70% capacity factor, predicted wholesale energy prices to be 39% higher in 2025, costing ohioians $2.5 billion more than projected. u.s. epa made profound changes to the rule. the number, nature and overall level of wholesale changes call the epa to release the final cpp and allowing interested parties the opportunity to review and
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provide comment. on numerous occasions, the circuit court of appeals, the state of ohio pointed out the shortcomings. this is why governor kasich asked to stay the implementation of the rule. all legal appeals -- until all legal appeals have been resolved. the cpp is not the answer. with unresolved legal challenges, along with substanti substanti substantial changes, they should wait until the issues are resolved. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thank you. mr. eisdorfer, you are recognized for five minutes. >> chair brightenstine, chair smith, members of the committee. for more than a year now, three oregon state agencies the department of environmental quality, the department of energy, and the public utility commission along with nearly two
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dozen stakeholders have been working together to understand epa's draft and now final rule. we're working on implementing the clean power plan. in our initial comments to the rule, back in october of last year, the director of oregon's ceq wrote on behalf of state that the clean power plan proposal is a welcome federal response to reversing climate change, and is a good first step in mitigating the effects of greenhouse gas pollution across the country. governor kate brown stated that the epa's clean power plan is in the best interests of oregon on many fronts, a healthy environment is essential to ensuring the health of oregonians and protects quality of life for generations to come. we can say that oregon's in pretty good shape. and there is a reason for this. oregon has been planning for this for more than two decades. the risk of greenhouse gas regulation that we have required the utilities to plan for is now a reality. oregon's utility rate payers have been investing in clean energy to reduce the costs and
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risks of carbon regulation and those investments are paying off. here are a few investment highlights. the utilities in oregon engage in integrated resource planning which is firmly rooted in robust analysis that compels the utility to make decisions that result in least cost, least risk future for its customers. this is included, considering the risk of future costs of greenhouse gas regulation in the utilities' decisions about what resources to invest in. oregon's largest utility is retiring the state's only coal plant in 2020. about 20 years ahead of schedule, based on a least cost, least risk determination by the public utility commission. customers of the two largest utilities have been paying into a dedicated fund for cost effective energy efficiency, and we believe our energy efficiency delivery system is second to none. oregon has renewable portfolio standards that directs the state's largest utilities by
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2025. this will put oregon, its utilities and customers in a strong position to comply with the clean power plan. it will reduce the cost and risk of compliance with the plan and keep our utility systems strong and robust. despite these long-term investments, or perhaps because of these long-term investments, our economy is strong. since 2000, per capita carbon emissions have been in steady decline in oregon, and the state's gdp is as good as or better than the national average. it exceeded the u.s. rate in 13 of the 16 years between 1998 and 2013. and oregon ranks among the 15th fastest growing state economies in 11 of the 16 years. the clean power plan provides state regulators with a significant degree of flexibility in determining how to comply, and accommodated states similarly situated. we will decide whether to use a
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rate based system, to their credit epa has revised the plan to address the concerns of oregon, and other stakeholders. the epa has improved the thinking about the the reliabilf the clean power plan and the final rule and understands reliability is of paramount importance to utahs, regulators and the customers. the plan is a variety of state compliance approach he allowing oregon to leverage existing state laws and recognizing under particular approach tess historic investment oregon clean energy. however, oregon is not an island and it's not enough for oregon to comply with the clean power plant within its own borders. rate payers are tied to fossil fuel generation and other states. we are more than interested in how other western states comply with the clean power plant. since our electricity rates depend on how those states comply. as oregon looks to implement its own compliance plan, we are interested in exploring the potential for collaboration with
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neighboring states using market mechanism toes reduce the overall cost of compliance and enhance the overall effect in this at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. oregon is proud of our clean energy investment strategy and we are in a good position to comply with the clean power plant. if the very states collaborate and cooperate, a clean power plant offers the united states a path towards finally addressing the real and pressing issue of climate change and cost basis. i appreciate the opportunity to testify before the committee today. thank you. >> thank you for your testimony. questioning is limited to five minutes. we'll go into a round of questioning here and i'll recognize myself for five minutes. can we pull up -- there's a chart that was given to us by the u.s. chamber of commerce. it's a map of the united states. and you can see that the green states -- i'm having a hard time reading that, but i've got it here. so the green states, this is
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winners and losers from the epa carbon regulations. and it says states that will be able to improve co2 are in green or they'll sell credits to others needing to achieve compliance. states in red must reduce co2 emissions or purchase credits from states in order to comply. so this, to me, this rule has been published -- no, it actually hasn't been published. it's been finalized, but it's not been published in the final register as of this point. but when it goes into effect, it's going to establish winners and losers. "r i guess my question for the witnesses, and i'd like to start with you, chairman shaw, is do you perceive this as a transfer of wealth from maybe your state of texas to the green states?
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>> thank you, chairman. certainly when you look at the fact that the texas rate will have to be reduced by about 33%, that is going to come at a cost and certainly one of the major costs that we've seen and part of the reason that we've been able to have economic prosperity and growth in our state has been due to low cost of energy, the likely extreme increase in rates is going to make it much more difficult for our state to continue to provide those jobs and resources that are necessary for that growth. so, yes, it would certainly make it easier or make it an uneven playing field from that perspective if you're not having to make those investments. and we've made investments. you know, $7 billion in building out transmission lines for our 13,000 megawatts of wind energy or significant investments that we've already made. >> director butler, how do you see this for your state? >> thank you for the question. i look at it two ways. there's two ways for a state to comply, particularly ohio. we're either going to need to shut down additional coal assets and buy more expensive power or buy credits from somebody else.
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both of those will have a significant cost for the state of ohio to reach what i indicated in my testimony, which is a 37% reduction in co2 emissions and that's an 11% increase over the draft plan. >> mr. eithor, it looks like your state is going to be able to sell power or sell credits. you guys will be able to gain a lot, from a rule that did not exist until last month. >> two quick points. one, under the proposed rule, oregon actually did not come out very well in this sense. and, yet, the state really welcomed the clean power plan as a good first step toward addressing climate change. so the final rule did turn the tables a little bit. but the second point i would make is that there are a number of customers of utilities in oregon that are tied to as aettes in montana, wyoming, and utah.
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so in that sense, oregon is tied throughout the west and while this map makes it look like oregon is sitting pretty, we have a lot of work to do and a lot of cooperative discussions done on a multi state basis in the last. >> do you disagree that or will be advantaged compared to texas or ohio? >> again, there are two things oregon has to think about. one is complies as a state and in that sense oregon is in very good shape. the second thing is rate impacts on customers in oregon and we have to work with the state in which thermal resources are outside of oregon, but serving oregon. so it's a little bit of a half a loaf. >> dr. shaw, the epa has assumed that renewable energy sources will increase dramatically as a result of this rule. my home state of oklahoma is already a nationwide leader in wind energy. we're fourth in the country in electricity produced from wind
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accounting for over 15% of electricity generation in oklahoma. do you believe at the pa's targets for renewable energy increases the accuracies our renewable increases are realistic given the existing increases in production in states such as yours and mind, oklahoma and texas? >> chairman, my state as well as yours have made phenomenal increases in wind energy and the rate epa is projected. it appears for years 2023 through '30, we will have to increase our renewables winds being part of that at the maximum rate that we've ever done it every year in that time frame. and i think that's far from typical and would be very challenging to me. >> last question, i'm running out of time, will states like oklahoma and texas get any credit for renewable energy sources implemented in their states? will we get credit for that? >> unfortunately because many of those investments happened after
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the -- excuse me, before 2012 which uses a baseline, we don't get credit for those investments. so it is a significant blow from that perspective. >> thank you for your testimony and i'd like to recognize ranking member bonamicci for her questions. >> thank you very much. i only have five minutes and i have a lot of questions, so i'm going to ask three. one about flexibility, one about the grid and one about costs. and i'll ask them all at once to save time. so you give epa credit for revising the clean power plan to address concerns for stakes and stakeholders. you said the clean power plan provides stakeholders with a significant degrees of flexibility when determining how to comply. i want you to talk about that flexibility will work and how that is responsive to concerns that have been raised. secondly, with regard to the grid, you say in your testimony that there are existing tools and frameworks across the country to protect the reliability of the grid.
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and that's a concern that we've heard raised. can you please discuss how the rule was changesed to address reliability concerns and whether those changes are sufficient to alleviate the grid reliability? and finally, one of the main criticisms and we heard this morning is that the clean power plan will cause electric bills to increase. but according to the epa, the average electricity bills will be cut. and by 2030, the average american family will save $7 on their electric bill per month. so how have consumers and communities in oregon benefited from programs like the energy trust, for example, the state's energy efficiency program and specifically what has been the effect on electricity bills? so reliability grid and cost. thank you. >> thank you, representative bonamicci. we could talk for hours on this, but i'll try to be brief. the flexibility comes in number of ways. i'll list a couple.
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states are allowed to choose whether to go with a mass base or a rate base calculation that allows states to really tailor their particular situation. under the proposed rule, oregon was in a position where we couldn't choose between the two and under the final rule, math base became an option. as we talk to state holders, mass base versus base rate is on the table. the states are going to have a wide discretion on how to allocate allowances. states can choose to go it alone or multi lateral agreements or even go into a trading ready kind of platform. and so there really are a thoughtful number of choices. in terms of reliability, there are a significant number of improvements in the plan.
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states seek a revision of their plan for a plant not to -- under certain reliability circumstances and something that we're looking closely at is the memorandum of understanding between the epa and the u.s. department of energy where there's going to be a coordinated process to help the states address reliability concerns, monitor how that state planned development is going to go and provide support during this position transition period. finally, on the electricity bills, what i think oregon has done extremely well in the last 20 years is planning. our integrated resource planning process really causes the


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