tv House Natural Resources Hearing on Climate Change - Scientists and... CSPAN February 12, 2019 3:43am-5:38am EST
coexecutive director of the zero hour movement. dr. kim called, director of the global change program, and the georgia institute of technology. miss bullet, special advisor, cdp, north america. rev. lennix, mr. derek coley, president of region america and dr. judith curry, president of climate applications that work. as of the first panel, you are limited to five minutes, your entire statement will be part of the hearing records. i explain the lights, yellow, that means you have a minute, red, for the sake of everybody having their questions and additional time to engage with the witnesses today. we would hope that you would stop at that point. and i want to thank the chair,
let me begin, let me begin with miss lazar. your five minutes, thank you for being here. i appreciate it. i look forward to your comments and your perspective. >> thank you for inviting me here today. i would first like to acknowledge that we are on the land of and disease try. my name is nadia, i am 16 years old and i'm a junior in high school in baltimore, maryland. i'm an artist and environmentalist. i dedicated my time and efforts to community and animals on this planet since i was 12 years old. i am the founder of the youth
by climate organization zero hour. he say this is zero hour because this is zero hour change. to educate their peers about, justice. lima change is already impacting my future. signed to say we will be in error irreversible climate chaos by 2030 if we don't drastically reduce our missions right now. i'll be 28 years old in 2030. our world is already experiencing the impact of global warming, and living conditions will only get closer and closer to the extreme. humanity has pushed this planet to the edge and for my view it seems that few and policy in the political world are paying attention to the consequences of our actions over the generations. the climate crisis exasperates problems that are already prevalent. especially in developing nations. clean water, vital element to life, is becoming even more scarce. extreme weather and and natural disasters are not the norm crating new crises against verbal populations.
the u.s. is historically the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but those who are facing the most severe consequences are the people in developing countries, and those in lower income communities. people in poverty have less access to resources needed to survive when climate extremes take place. marine life such as sea turtles and whales and other species are facing a mass extinction because of the warmer ocean waters that we humans have caused. my community in baltimore depends on chesapeake bay. the woman what is not only harm future generations of my community but will also have generations around the world that rely on bodies of water for their livelihoods. the policymakers have been other private industries, the people, the wildlife in this planet. the lives of my generation have been disregarded for far too long. we should put the interest of your future generations first.
not because it's the right thing to do but because many of us have the right to vote in just a couple of years. we care about clean air and clean water and will be voting for those who want to address climate change head-on. some of my friends say they don't want to have children, because they're worried about the kind of lives they will have to live on a warming planet. as a rates will be higher, less access to food, and more extreme after disasters and whether will occur, all to the climate change. it only threatens the future of my generation, but it continues to displace and kill people. my family in india experienced floods that occurred there this past summer. the floods displaced approximately 800,000 people, and killed 483 people. around the same time my friends in maryland experienced floods that caused his landslides. climate change has been happening, climate change is happening, climate change will continue to happen.
, change is my future, unless you do something about it right now. my generation includes your children and your grandchildren. i see climate change is an issue that connects everyone and everything on our planet. this is not just about changes in the weather. it's rough these changes will impact places all around the world. if there is no food, that can cause were. in the most formal populations, resume, majority, colonial colonialism and will be the one to suffer. these are the people who are so often left out of conversation about the quality of the air and water, about energy, about how we treat this land. we have zero hour believe that not only the voices of the nations have been ignored by others as well. women, people of color, indigenous communities, and some of the most vulnerable populations. how can we progress toward an
equal and equitable society of justice if we can't listen to those who make up our country. i believe that everyone must work together, united, and with compassion on this issue. those who hold the most power and influence in our society should work with those working in our local communities. i asked of you, congress, to work with the grassroots climate movement, including the use, and listen to them in order to bring sustainable change swiftly in time for my generation and i to be able to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. thank you. >> the floor is yours. >> my name is elizabeth, on the culture of the climate justice alliance. it's more than 68, the movement neck were networks.
rooted in indigenous and african-american, asian pacific islander and by committees living on the front lines of climate change as well as the industries causing the climate crisis. i'm also executive director of up rose, it's a woman of color led intragenerational organization founded in 1966. dedicated to environmental social justice. we are home to the largest gathering of young people of color and climate justice. we are located in sussex park, brooklyn, diverse community of color made up predominantly of people of color and immigrants. we have a poverty rate of nearly 26% above the city average and far above the national average. from a climate perspective, we are in industrial waterfront community, explosive flooding from hurricanes and surges, as was the case thousand 12 the super storm sandy hit. like climate change the conditions of our communities
are the consequent of a long history of extractions, we share legacies of fighting colonialism as well as a race, class and gender oppression while advocating for environment justice. our committees of the first most impacted by the storm, fires, floods and droughts, and disproportionately burdened by the pollution, part poverty and systemic violence associated with the multinational corporations driving this these ecological crises. lego is the most recent example, people left to fend for themselves after years of colonialism, and neglect. harkin maria, hurricane maria and armah, created an opportunity for disaster capitalism. and economic devastation. the same thing to place in the gulf south, for black in indigenous committees after hurricane katrina. climate change solutions must honor human rights, and respect front-line leaderships. elsewhere the extracted economy
continues to harm entire committees such as uranium mining in new mexico which affects over 60 indigenous nations. it was declared a national sacrifice zone in the federal energy policy of the 1970s. this means the environment safeguards were not enforced, thus endangering human life. drinking water tainted with uranium and arsenic and there's a high rate of cancer, heart disease and lung disease. uranium mining is a key element of nuclear energy which is considered renewable energy, and most federal energy or clean energy policy initiatives. you can understand why we do not support the use of large- scale biomass, mega-jams, nuclear energy or energy derived from burning waste. there developed in our backyards, where we live, work, play and pray and they do not reduce the emissions of resource extraction, only prolonging any resolution for
climate crisis. to effectively tackle climate change you must invest in a just transition. it would not be smooth but it must be just leaving no worker or community behind. front-line communities and economic framework that moves us away from extraction must be at the center of any effort to address climate change. all around the country there are examples of front-line communities developing projects that engage in innovative infrastructure, and create jobs. summer in the early stages while others are ready to be scaled up and replicated. they will benefit more people, and communities, of the political will, public investment, and incentives to do so. fossil fuel industry refuses million and subsidies, and imagine what communities already forging with the allocations of these subsidies. might organization recently partnered with the new york city economic development corporation so we want to create the first community owned a solo corporative in the state of new york. on a larger scale we advocate
for turning areas of the industrial sector into economic engine able to build for the climate and adaptation future. it can deliver power to places, but just as importantly, it would position the city at the center of this emerging industry driving local economic development. for years and another part of the country, the residents of highland park, michigan, suffered high energy costs and blackouts along with massive flooding. when they were in a financial crisis, local energy company repossessed thousand streetlights, leaving the residence of the dark. dairy, a local environment justice group stepped in and designed a system for installing solar power lights. solidarity created a purchasing program that is training residents and so insulation and weatherization, readying them to step into clean energy jobs. they are using education and organizing to literally make light of the dark, dark situation.
for my communities and know what is at stake. the question is, will legislation eight our communities, future survival or hinder it? i hope for all of our sakes will be the former. the bottom line is, that there are no sacrifice zones and they have been for too many years. >> i think the chairman for allowing me to contribute to this important conversation about our nation's future. my message today is simple. the data and the science could not be more clear, it's time to act. there are many no regrets and win-win actions to reduce the cost of climate change but we are going to have to come together to form new alliances in our home communities across our state, and yes, even in washington. i know i speak for thousands of my colleagues when i say that
scientists all over the country are willing and eager to assist policymakers in the design of data-driven defenses against both current and future climate change impacts. as a professor at the georgia institute of technology the last 15 years, my research uses samples quoted from the remote pacific, to reconstruct past climate variations. our records are consistent with countless other records, indicating that the rate and magnitude of recent climate change, over the last millennium. i love my work. but three years ago i witnessed something that would change my life forever. in 2015 we received funding from the national science foundation for a series of field expeditions to document the evolution of the strong of the new event project did that winter. i waited 15 years since opportunity. however, little did i know that warming ocean temperatures, 60f more than average would kill up to 90% of the coral at our study site. and i had a front load or front row seat that carnage. 26 he would go on to become the
worst global scale bleaching mentality event on record and warmest year on our planet since records began. personally, 2016 was my wake-up call. unfortunately the last years brought a number of dosing wake- up calls much closer to home. hurricanes harvey, lane, and florence decimated anti- communities with record- breaking rainfall with hurricanes maria, and michael, decimated
>> beyond these deadly streams, a host of additional climate change impacts represent a growing threat to communities and ecosystems alike sea levels are rising with up to six feet of global see rights protected this century. this threatens water supplies across the u.s. with no end in sight. the oceans are becoming more acidic. as of today, 2018 will officially take its place as the fourth year on record behind 2016, 17 and 15. climate change impacts are now detectable all across america and they will get worse. that is the bad news. i'm sure you're ready for some good news and there is plenty to go around. the good news is that science can help and for measures to protect communities as well as our oceans, waterways and wildlife from the most devastating impacts of climate change. early action is essential to success of these approaches delivering vast returns on investment. many jurisdictions from local to the federal have developed a
suite of climate adaptation measures informed by rigorous science, stakeholder engagement and cost-benefit analysis that we must accelerate these efforts. the national climate assessment provides an blueprint for such adopted measures including in- depth assessment on ecosystem functions and services. it is not too late to avoid the most damaging impacts of future climate change. we have the tools. we have the tools we need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and in doing so, we will enjoy cleaner water, air and healthier communities. the rapid expansion of renewable energy across the nation demonstrates a strong appetite for carbon free clean power. even so, u.s. greenhouse gases were up 3% last year. the bottom line is we are running out of time. comprehensive federal policies are needed to see the transition to low carbon energy
sources. top on the list must be a price on carbon to reflect the true cost of continued fossil fuel emissions and to incentivize consumers, companies and the market to find the cheapest most effective means of reducing emissions. with or without a price on carbon, increased energy efficiency is a win-win strategy that can deliver energy cost savings while reducing harmful air pollution. there is a strong case to be made that we can employ our best coastal marshes in service to national carbon. this means designing strategies to safeguard these environments with their rich carbon reserves in the face of continued climate change. as a climate scientist, i have to wonder how bad will it have to get for us to recognize that climate change represents a clear and present threat and to act decisively to protect ourselves. i am heartened by recent polls showing that nearly 3 in four americans are concerned about global warming and support a range of policy options to support it. as a mother to for young
children, i am inspired by the sea of young people demanding that we not squander their chances for climate stability. i urge this committee to capitalize on the vast robes of climate science findings by protecting our national resources and the communities that depend on them from known climate change impacts and using federal lands to advance climate solutions rather than expanding the scope of the climate change problem. thank you. >> and thank you for the opportunity to testify here today. a no doubt disclosure information on our cdp platform touches all the states represented on the committee that's my committee and i thank you for your service. the carbon disclosure project is a nonprofit that operates for the public good. today roughly 500 companies in the united states including 70% of the s&p 500 is close to us and through us and their qualitative and quantitative information about environmental
performance and the imperative today proceeds. i standardized annual information request is signed off on by roughly 500 investor enterprises who represent over $94 trillion in committal of assets and most of the financial services sector of the world. are signatory used disclosure as a gauge on corporate strategic advantages and vulnerabilities and a reference for making investment decisions. if you scroll through our data, you would find there are more than 15 years of evidence of the durability, desirability and necessity of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change expressed voluntarily by companies themselves, many of whom shareholders are public pension funds and thus relevant to much of the american people. >> as for me, you have my full resume but despite -- suffice to say, i have seen the climate change issue from 360 degrees from carbon markets working closely with both economists to
help and design the world's first integrated -- trade, the pioneering chicago climate exchange and with cousteau being the first president bush at the oval office to discuss climate change. president bush signed the united states to the landmark framework convention -- to which the united states remains a signatory even if the u.s. has pulled out of the power agreement and we now stand alone among nations outside the global consensus and also likely missing out on opportunities to use coherent policy, state and local, and federal to maximize jobs creation and future proof -- improve our crumbling infrastructure. sometimes it is said that american companies are afraid that strong policies will hurt business. on the contrary, committees are quite concerned with climate change itself and following, i will share with you a few examples from almost all of your districts and states and probably all. i refer you to my written
testimony and other written materials of cdp for further details. and arizona and colorado, for example, arizona public services, employees are serving 1.2 million customers has said, -- forest fires are not new but scientists have indicated that as the global temperature increase, there is a greater risk of drought and a correlated risk of forest fires. the potential threat is very real. we have heard very much today about the burden in california not only the trees, the downgrade of most of the utilities in california affects directly american people. the credit rating downgrade is very significant, rating companies from stable to negative. in connecticut, stanley black & decker, they employ nearly 60,000 american tested climate change can have potentially devastating impacts on our supply chain to drought or flood. in ohio, american electric power which is 17,500 employees
and 5 million customers across 11 states including texas, louisiana, and kentucky and west virginia, and their sec filing, they have said climate change risk is considered a major material issue for aep. on the issue of regulatory uncertainty, aep is on the record of saint additionally in recent years, legal challenges to almost every major epa rulemaking have added additional uncertainty and cost while environmental regulations mentioned will have a large impact on our operation. the uncertainty regarding climate change regulation or legislation is a more challenging risk to manage. in texas, companies such as chevron, dupont have described risks and their disclosure pertinent to the need for storm barrier protection. florida, harris corporation, has 70,000 employees is worried that their data centers will be affected as temperatures rise and they lose quote ambient cooling potential. on the supply-chain front, johnson & johnson-based new jersey with 134 employees --
134,000 global employees are worried about climate change, extreme weather disrupting not only demand for products but disruptions in manufacturing and distribution networks, afraid that it will affect the overall design and integrity of our products and operations. atlanta, coca-cola, 90,000 companies worried about agricultural products including sugarcane, corn, and citrus. coca-cola has said the affordability of our products and ultimately our business could be negatively impacted. in nevada, even caesar's palace is not immune from climate change. it's parent has said they are virtually certain to see short- term increase in cost due to a shortage of precipitation. even before the paris agreement, we were getting risks on supply-chain. it wasn't from soup to nuts, it is to to tomatoes. campbell's soup cited water is very significant and of concern and conagra has said quote they have seen delayed tomato
harvesting due to unseasonably cool weather. dr pepper of course is worried about water. it is one of their main ingredients and has that a portion of our cost of sales were $2.5 billion could be at risk for increased cost to our supply chain. i could go on and on. i will not. i know my time is up and i will be happy to answer any questions. thank you again. >> thank you very much. the floor is yours, sir. >> thank you to chairman it grijalva and the entire committee for having me here today. thank you to the other panelists for your commitment to solving climate change. my name is reverend -- the president and ceo of caucus and all of you republicans and democrats are invited to be a part of the hip-hop caucus, a little joke there to start off
the testimony. let me get right to it, as americans, we face challenges head on. climate change is not a democrat issue or a republican issue. it is a human issue. this crisis is complex. it impacts all of us in future generations and those with the least resources are impacted first and worst. we know how to solve this crisis. we must make a just transition off of fossil fuels to a 100% clean, renewable energy economy that works for all. many communities, cities, and states across our country are leading the way on climates solutions. i urge every member of this committee to visit places and people who have gone through climate disasters and visit
communities, projects and businesses that are implementing clean energy and climate solutions. when you visit these communities, it will become a very clear that climate change is a civil and human right issues. in 1960, four african-american college students sat at the wallboard lunch counter in greensboro north carolina to desegregate the south. they were courageous beyond belief in standing up for equality. today, young people like nadia across the table from me and across this country are courageously standing up not only for equality but for our existence. climate change is our lunch counter moment for the 21st century. young people are organizing, marching, and coalition
building, and they are leading the call for solutions like a green new deal. they are doing it because they know that the science on climate change is undeniable. but also because like all of us here today, they have watched as people have died in hurricane harvey, maria, or may, katrina, and super storm sandy. they have seen the families who have lost everything to fires, that have lived across the west. they have been part of peaceful movements led by people in the arctic refuge. so the question is what are you as members of this committee going to do? it is my prayer that you call up at least as much courage as young people standing up around the country, and that you act.
you act now and you act boldly and courageously. if this committee and both chambers of congress will urgently come together, put the people of this country first, put god first, and put your political parties to decide to solve climate change, we don't make it beyond 12 years from now without huge amounts of death, destruction, and suffering. as an officer in the united states air force reserve, i have to ponder the unique relationship between military and faith. in the military, we need our faith not only to strengthen us in battle but we need our faith to guide us to do what is right. we need you to use your faith to guide you to do what is
right. if you are approaching climate change as a partisan political issue, your faith is leading you astray. we the american people need you to have courage to do what is right. it is your courage, it is your courage, it is your courage that you put our country and the world on the path of solving climate change. in the words of doctor martin luther king jr., we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. thank you and may god be with you and with us all. >> mr. holly, the floor is yours, sir. >> thank you for the opportunity to speak. i am the president of regent
america, the organization i organized to address issues in the african-american community. we are focused on solutions and what makes sense for a more united america. one of the issues that we do the most work on is addressing and reducing energy poverty. what is energy poverty? it exists when low income families or individuals spent upwards of 30% of their total income on their electric bill. when that happens, it puts people in tough situations and having to make tough choices like do i eat today or do i pay the electric bill? do i get this prescription filled or do i fill up my gas tank? i cannot even give the kids a couple of dollars today because i have to pay the electric bill and for many americans particularly in the minority community, we face the challenges every single day. the community, the african- american community, we do not have the luxury to pay more for green technologies.
we need access to affordable energy, help heat our homes and power our stoves and get back and forth to work. i have had the opportunity to reach and talk to thousands of african-americans who all talk about one thing, a question of rising cost of energy along with the fees and subsidies that they have to pay if they do not benefit from them. and how they struggle to keep up with it. now my passion for energy is deeply rooted. when i first graduated from college, i worked for norfork southern railroad. i could switch the tracks and tighten up the brakes and do everything. so i worked at lamport's point in norfolk virginia. our job and responsibility was loading coal ships to transport coal all around the world. so i have always asked myself the question, if our natural resource is good enough for other countries, why is it not good enough for us right here at home? in addition to that, my grandfather was a black coalminer in southwest west virginia. it is safe to say if it wasn't
for the energy industry, i would not be here to talk to you all today. >> when the government creates policies, it's first priority should be the welfare of the people especially those impacted the hardest rather than big business and special interest groups looking for a handout. i am also a member of project 21, national black leadership organization. in our blueprints for a better deal for black america, we focus on 10 key areas for reform including minority impacted areas. this would be a major step towards increasing economic opportunities and having input from governors and community leaders much the same way that qualify opportunity zones were developed, would create a level of trust and communities that never existed before. after all, the government requires involvement impact studies and statements of projects like roads and buildings, should the
government act similarly when it comes to how regulations impact the population? a minority impacted assessment will create a list of all positive, all negative impacts supposed regulation would have and the factors including employment, wages, consumer prices, job creation, etc. the regulatory impact would then be analyzed for its effects on minorities in contrast to the general population. the bottom line, any policy that contributes to energy poverty is a bad one for low income and minority communities. fortunately, our nation has an abundant supply of natural gas that is a solution to our nation's energy questions. recent polar vortex temperatures last week dropped so low in some areas that windmills could not even turn. we have to have a plan b. natural gas is clean. u.s. energy information ministration reports that almost 2/3 of the co2 emissions
from 2006 two 2014 came from the fuel shifting towards natural gas. natural gas is reliable. it is efficient and it meets the needs of our nations. natural gas is affordable and for many americans, this allows them not to have to choose to keep the lights on and feed their families. so in closing, i am all for protecting the environment. i am a licensed captain. i had the opportunity to take my boat to florida and back in intercoastal waterways. it is beautiful so i am all for the environment. however, until we have to mentally figure out a way to harness the sun and the wind and sustain ourselves, we need to use what we have a specially if it can lower the cost of energy, create jobs, and boost the economy. that is my time. thank you. >> doctor.
>> i think the chairman, the ranking member and the committee for the opportunity to offer testimony today. i am concerned that both the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified. this oversimplification has led to politicized scientific debates and policy law. my testimony is presented today in the spirit of acknowledging the complexity of the problem and proposing pragmatic ideas that can break the good law. climate scientists have made a forceful argument for a future threats from climate change. man-made climate change is a theory whose basic mechanism is well understood but the potential magnitude is highly uncertain. if climate change were a simple problem, everyone would agree on the solution. because of the complexities of the climate system and its societal impacts, solutions may have surprising unintended consequences that generate new vulnerabilities. in short, the cure could be
worse than the disease. given these complexities, there is plenty of scope for reasonable and intelligent people to disagree. based on current assessments of the science, man-made climate change is not an existential threat on the timescale of the 21st century even in its most alarming incarnation. however, the perception of a near-term apocalypse in alignment with the range of other social objectives has narrowed the policy options that we are willing to consider. in evaluating the urgency of emissions reduction, we need to be realistic about what this will actually accomplish. global co2 concentrations will not be reduced if emissions in china and india continue to increase. if we believe the climate model, any changes in extreme weather events would not be evident until late in the 21st century. the greatest impacts we felt in
the 22nd century and beyond. people prefer clean over dirty energy. provide that the energy sources reliable, secure and economical. however, it is misguided to assume that current wind and solar technologies are adequate for powering an advanced economy. the recent record-breaking cold outbreak in the midwest is a stark reminder of the challenges of providing reliable power supply in the face of extreme weather events. with regards to energy policy and its role in reducing emissions, there are currently two options at play. option number one, do nothing, continue with the status quo, or option number two, rapidly deploy wind and solar power plants with the goal of eliminating fossil fuels in one or two decades. apart from the good law, by considering only these two options, in my opinion, neither
gets us where we want to go. a third option is to reimagine the 21st century electric power system with new technologies that improve energy security, reliability and cost while at the same time minimizing environmental impacts. however, this strategy requires substantial research development and experimentation. acting urgently on emissions reduction by deploying 20th century technology could turn out to be the enemy of a better long-term solution. since reducing emissions is not expected to change the climate any meaningful way and so late in the 21st century, adaptation strategies are receiving increasing attention. the extreme damages from recent hurricanes, the billion-dollar losses from floods, droughts, and wildfires, emphasize the vulnerability of the u.s. to extreme events. it is easy to forget that u.s. extreme weather events were actually worse in the 1930s and
50s. regions that find solutions to current impacts of extreme weather and climate events will be better prepared to cope with any additional stresses from climate change and to address near-term and social justice objectives. the industry leaders that i engage with seem hungry for a bipartisan a pragmatic approach to climate policy. i see a window of opportunity to change the framework for how we approach this. bipartisan support seems feasible for pragmatic efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather events, pursue no regrets, pollution reduction measures, and better land-use practices. each of these efforts has justifications independent of their benefits for climate change. these efforts provide the basis of a climate policy that addresses both near-term economic and social justice concerns and also the longer- term goals of mitigation.
this ends my testimony. thank you. >> thank you very much to the whole panel. our appreciation for your valuable and important testimony. let me turn to my colleague for questions. >> first, i want to thank the chairman for holding this hearing. it is a breath of fresh air particularly for us new members who just joined the congress at the natural resources committee, that they are taking on this important work on such an important topic. i would respectfully disagree with doctor curry in terms of your framing around the existential nature of this issue. i think limit change is an existential threat. i think of this in the context of being a new young father. i am 34 years old. my wife and i just had our first child. much of our work here in congress is ultimately making sure that the world she inherits is perhaps a better one than what we inherited and
one need look no further than the ipcc report and a variety of other studies to just see how catastrophic the consequences of climate change will be for her generation. if we do not take decisive action and if we do not do so now. i can tell you it certainly in my community in colorado, we are filling the impacts of climate change already. i have report here that i will respectfully as to be submitted into the record by the most recent report from the department of interior. i represent the second congressional district, northern colorado. 82% of my district is federal public land and we see very clearly the impact that climate change and elsewhere. my constituents see it every day. rising temperatures have led to snow melting faster which causes increased flooding and erosion and negatively impacts colorado's freshwater supply. 70% of which comes from our snow. rocky mount national park, studies have shown that
amateurs have risen three or four degrees affecting the plants and animals that call the park home. i am very excited about the opportunity to take comprehensive, holistic, and significant action to solve this issue, actions like the green new deal which i support along with several of my colleagues. i have introduced legislation to protect over 400,000 acres of public lands in my state and colorado so that we can ensure that those lands are not sold to the highest bidder and opened up to oil and gas development and the rest. so at the end of the day, i think this was a defining issue of our time. i think the witnesses with respect to their activism and trying to push for commonsense solutions that will ultimately protect the planet for all of our children. my question goes to mr. holly. i heard your testimony with
respect to energy, poverty, i think as you described it and the issues around affordability. i do not know if you are aware of this. you referenced natural gas as being quote clean. according to the naacp cleaner task air force, air task force report, african-american community is an elevated risk of cancer due to air toxic emissions from natural gas development and over 1 million african-americans live in counties that face a cancer risk above the epa's level of concern from toxins emitted by natural gas facilities. i'm curious how you would respond to that sadistic. >> my response would be all of our energy sources have some type of downside to them, even call. we look -- >> i would agree with you there. coal certainly has negative impacts. >> if i could finish, sir. even the wind, turbines, this winter, a couple of weeks ago, could not operate, downside.
we know for a fact that liquid gas, natural gas, is the cleanest way and the most affordable rate right now for people in this country. >> i'm not sure i understand your comparison of windmills to the toxins, the potential cancel risks associated with natural gas emissions but nonetheless, i understand that you have written a number of editorials and obviously from your testimony today, support the development of fossil fuel -- fuels. >> energy expirations. >> understand your organization, reaching america, you have used that organization to make those views known. is that a fair -- >> that is a fair assessment. >> i also understand that your organization is a partner with a group called explore offshore. is that correct? >> we are a member of that organization, yes. >> that is an organization of the american petroleum
institute. does your organization receive any funding from fossil fuel companies? >> no. we do not. >> thank you, mr. chair. i am curious. from your testimony, it sounds like you support the green new deal. is that fair? >> that is correct. >> okay. you mentioned your position as a chaplain in the military and some of us have real concerns about closing every base and cutting our military by 50%. that is interesting that you support those. >> the military has a spoken, was one of the key institutions of our government that has spoken about the threats of
climate change. >> right but that green new deal is going to take care of that but making us basically indefensible with 50% cut. we will not be able to protect ourselves properly from the threat of russia, china, or even isis. enclosing all bases overseas. -- in closing all bases overseas. i couldn't help as i listened to mr. holly, your testimony. think back to just a giant here in the u.s. congress named john dingell. he was chairman of the energy and commerce committee when democrats took the majority back in january of 2007 through january of 2011. i mean for 50 years, he and his father had wanted some kind of universal healthcare and he was thrilled that he was going to
get to chair that into being. my understanding was the speaker of the house, now speaker again, wanted to things out of his committee. they one of the universal healthcare bill, obama care, and cap and trade and he made the public statement because that jacks up the cost of energy like you have been talking about. as you know, the people that are impacted, it isn't the rich. they can afford it. so he made the statement that cap and trade bill is not only a tax, it is a great big tax and of course, the nation's poor are the ones that would be most impacted. because of his comment, he was fired as chairman of the energy and commerce committee. mr. waxman was made chairman and as he famously said, we not only don't want your input, we do not need were votes and so
he pushed it through. it never became law. as you testified, that does come back to mind. i had an 80-year-old lady say i am scared my cost of energy to feed my home is going up, and i was born in a home that only had a wood-burning stove and i am afraid i'm going to die in a home that can only afford a wood-burning stove and i said i am really sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but probably your wood-burning stove is going to end up being a legal. it is tragic, and it is the poor that suck it up. when we push these kinds of things. so i appreciate your perspective very much. doctor curry, let me ask you quickly. has there ever been any climate change more dramatically than
what killed off the dinosaurs? >> climate has always very. sometimes they are extreme events, like maybe an asteroid or comet impact or something like that, but the ocean, volcanic eruptions, there is many sources of natural variability on all timescales. so when you see the climate changing, you cannot immediately assume that it is all caused by humans. there is a strong natural. >> do you think we are causing the polar ice caps on mars to melt? >> no. >> that is probably the sun. my time is running out. i appreciate all of our witnesses. the comparison of the civil rights effort, that was unconstitutional activity by
the government, and it just strikes me so ironic that if the climate change and the green new deal comes into law, it is saying we are giving up our freedom and putting all of our faith in the government because the civil rights violations to begin with. it is just rather ironic but my time is expired. i will give it back. >> thank you, chair, for this opportunity to finally after many years have a hearing on climate change. i want to thank our witnesses along with our governors who signaled a bipartisan desire to see strong federal action. let's cut to the chase. the overwhelming scientific consensus has left no doubt that we are facing a climate crisis. it is long past time to stop undermining science and evidence. the report that we saw this morning from a no and nasa
shows the five warmest years recorded since 1880 are the last five years. this is it that hard to figure out. now must be the time to accept reality. this is reality. we have got to begin focusing on solutions. i want to thank the young people who were here for leading the way on initiatives like the green new deal. we must not wait to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy or energy efficient buildings or the electrification of our infrastructure. i'm from the great state of california were i've been involved in climate energy policy for a long time and i have heard the naysayers every step of the way. what we have done is we have demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that if you protect the environment and innovate with the clean energy jobs of the future, you will grow the economy at the same time. our soul industry in california is a clear example of that. we must also not advocate our global leadership on the issue of climate change or
subcontract or energy and environment policies through a handful of big polluters who ignore science and common sense. we must not sit by as unprecedented climate change impacts the health and safety and economy of our communities. know i am confident that a strong majority of the american people are with us. even a strong majority of my colleagues in the house and senate. the question is whether we have the courage to act on climate and this hearing is just one step of many that we are going to need to take in that direction. the transitional on a more sustainable future has been my life's work and it will be a critical aspect of my service in congress. i hope that we can put politics aside if even for just a moment and focus instead on science and evidence and our future. like my friend, i have two young children at home. this is about leaving the planet better for them than how i found it.
with akamai actually do have a couple of questions for doctor cobb. i want to thank you for your work. we have seen numerous studies over the past few months. limit change is wreaking havoc on ecosystems. we have potentially lost two thirds of all species that were on the planet before the industrial revolution. so why is the preservation of biodiversity so important for our resiliency to climate change and what steps can we take to preserve biodiversity particularly as the natural resources committee? >> thank you for that question. the opportunity to address that. i think i made clear the testimony that i provided that any number of indicators of how ecosystems health are already showing steady decline with respect to climate change impacts, the national climate assessment lays that out item by item. to your question about
biodiversity, diversity is species is critical to the function of ecosystems and in turn the ecosystem services that we rely on. we might turn to the functioning of coastal ecosystems and recognize the importance of function ecosystems that provide fishermen with livelihoods and any other kinds of tourist related services as well. so this has a distinct value to americans that has been shown again and again and again and certainly science tells us some of the ways that this committee can help to promote biodiversity and increase ecosystem resilience and therefore, support the communities that depend on these services. some of those ways include protecting the lands that these species depend on and using the best science and evidence to inform the supports of these ecosystems and the critical species that support their function. that is just one way. thank you very much. >> i represent a district, california's 39th district,
with over 50 miles of coastline. my friends at the scripps institute of oceanography agree with you that we absolutely must face the reality, the changing temperature of our oceans, the obvious coastal erosion, unprecedented. if we do not act, future generations will regret our lack of action. now is our moment to lead. this should not be a partisan issue. this should be based on science and evidence and if we can actually focus on facts for a change, maybe we will get somewhere and i yield back. >> i would like to make a comment if possible as one of two women of color that is on this panel. particularly because climate change is going to impact frontline communities more than any other and the people who are leading the women of color in these communities, their children are the ones who are going to be impacted. we cannot talk about these ecosystems void of talking about the impact on human rights and on the people affected. more than 5000 puerto ricans died. that is not nothing. it is not just an ecosystem. that was an entire island that
was affected. in the philippines, 10,000 filipinos died. we have had super storm sandy that affected life all over new york city and new jersey and the infrastructure was destroyed. i just really do not want to talk about this in silos as if the we are not talking about whole communities and now they're treating this issue in a way that is holistic. if we do not lead with how this is going to impact the people least responsible for creating climate change, the people who live within their carbon footprint, the people who are engaged in urban forestry, doubling the amount of open space, stopping deciding of power plants, -- >> i am not cutting you off. the time is up and we went to stay within the protocol. >> i appreciate it. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to talk about science and evidence. professor curry, are we experiencing the highest temperatures in the planets
history? >> no. >> when have you seen higher temperatures? >> a very long time ago. at least in some regions, they may be equally as high, about 1000 years ago, during the medieval period. >> they are long before the industrial revolution. >> yes. >> are we experiencing the highest levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the planets history? >> no. historically, we are a little bit on the low side actually in the current era. >> are we experiencing the worst droughts in recorded history? >> definitely not. >> are we experiencing the most ferocious hurricanes in recorded history? >> no. in recent history, in the 1950s, and the atlantic, the hurricanes were actually worse than what we have seen in recent decades. >> i am reminded of a poem by ogden who wrote the ides were
born in march and the rains came in november. i scarcely can remember but our recorded history as well as our climatology informs us that there have been periods where carbon dioxide levels have been much higher than they are today. amateurs have been much higher and lower than they are today. and long before significant carbon dioxide emissions of human civilizations. is that correct? >> yes. >> a study published was a few years ago noted that cold weather killed far more people the and warm weather. what do you see as the greater threat? >> obviously, it depends on the location but i think the statistics overall across a wide variety of locations to support that cold weather kills more than hot weather. >> during the recent cold wave, those states that relied excessively on wind and solar
solar electricity outages. would you see the greatest single threat in extreme weather either hot or cold is a lack of electricity? >> yes. even during hurricanes. what kills a lot of people is the lack of electricity which has all sorts of trickle-down effects on other things that are needed to save lives. >> how does an over reliance on wind and solar generation affect our ability to provide abundant reliable and affordable electricity? >> it doesn't work without natural gas. natural gas is the perfect partner for wind and solar because of the intermittency, because you can fire up a gas burner and fire it back down and energy tradings, natural gas trading is what has i think stabilized the price of natural gas that actually helps make the wind and solar be affordable. so until such time as there is advanced storage technologies,
we are going to rely on natural gas as a partner. >> let me get to that if i can. mr. holly, we heard earlier from the governor of massachusetts about all of their green energy policies and also the governor of south carolina. my home state of california has adopted even more radical policies. they say they are hoping -- helping the poor. in massachusetts, those policies have produced the 11th highest gasoline prices in the country. california now has as a result of these policies the second highest gasoline prices in the country. massachusetts and california are tied for the sixth highest electricity prices in the country. how are poor people helped by paying needlessly skyhigh prices for gasoline and electricity? >> i do not have a research. i only have my anecdotal research when i speak to the thousands of people i speak to who struggle every single day to pay their electric bill. the one thing they talk about
is just the need for affordable reliable energy that we have here in this country. if we could find a way to reduce the regulations that allow people access to that energy, i think it would go a long way in helping them to reduce the cost of energy. >> doctor curry, there are contaminants and six times the carbon content amidst -- doesn't make sense to add more highway efficiency to resolve our chronic traffic edition if carbon emissions are the goal of reducing? >> a transportation policy is much tougher to figure out then power production. it is a very complex issue and we need to, i would like to see us re-envision what that should be for the 21st century rather than adding patches to our current system. >> if we are going to be able to store less moisture in the mountains as snow, does it make sense to build more dams so that we can store surplus water
from what years so that we have it in dry years? >> it certainly does. water resource management is a big issue. there are environmental challenges associated with dams and reservoirs also. it needs a lot of planning to make all of this do what you really wanted to do. >> thank you. >> thank you, chairman. welcome to all of you and thank you so much for taking time to be with us today. i would like to take this opportunity to thank you and my colleagues for entrusting me with the responsibilities of the vice chair of this committee and the chair ship for the subcommittee on national parks, forests, and public lands. i look forward to working with you and my colleagues to protect our public lands and to meet our obligations to our indigenous communities. to that point, this hearing is important and an appropriate place to begin this congress. as we heard from all of our
witnesses, climate change poses an unprecedented threat to our communities and our environments. last year, in my state of new mexico, the parks fire burned tens of thousands of acres while the city of santa fe experienced once in 1000 year flood. meanwhile, a vast methane cloud hovers over the northwest corner of new mexico, and this administration has worked to weaken the rules on methane admissions from oil and gas operations. methane is more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat and is responsible for about a quarter of the warming we are experiencing today. nearby, in arizona, hurricane rosa indicated the nation nearly overtopping their dams, trapping residents behind impassable roads and forcing evacuations. hurricanes have almost never reached this part of arizona before. climate change has forced us to live in a new normal in which
fires and floods, droughts and hurricanes wreck our communities and our natural heritage and it is now time for us to act. i first would like to just thank you for your commitment and your sacrifice to the things you believe in. i almost want to apologize to you and the youth of this world who go to bed every night worrying about what will happen to our communities because of climate change. i just want to recognize your presence here means a great deal to me and to many of us so thank you very much. miss -- i think you are best equipped to answer this question so i will ask it to you. right now, the epa and interior department are run by former lobbyist for coal and oil companies. the new york times reported last year that a call nine it was essentially getting his entire wish list of energy deregulation's approved by this
administration. what role do you believe this corporate capture of the administration will play in being able to address the climate crisis? >> i think that the deregulation -- the climate crisis particularly in front- line communities and indigenous communities, you are from new mexico where you have got nuclear energy and uranium in the lungs and in the water. it is affecting 60 nations and tribes. the decisions that are being made to support an old-school way of thinking about energy are really racing us towards extreme catastrophic events. the truth is that even in places like kentucky, people are moving away from coal. one of our organizations which is with the climate justice alliance, kentucky and for the commonwealth, working at operationalizing just transitions that move people away from having to depend on an economic system that has destroyed their lives and
limited their livability. so while people and communities are doing that, you have got an epa that is racing towards, moving policies that are basically taking us back in time. so it is really dangerous, and it is a contribution to actually making us look like the day after tomorrow. it is unfortunate that this old- school dated way of thinking about how we basically consume and use energy is really creating more problems for our communities. i think that honestly, people in different parts of the world are way ahead of us and that the united states is really looking like this clunky old- school machine that cannot keep up not only with the technology but the science. so it is frightening. epa has always had people in their that are in the pockets of the lobbyists. really slowing down the cog and making it impossible for us to
move as fast as the climate is changing. so now what we are seeing is really dangerous. that is what i would contributes. >> i appreciate that very much. mr. chairman, in the interest of time, i will submit other questions in writing. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you all for testifying today as expert witnesses on climate change. each of you has been your careers involving climate policy and has helped to generate various solutions to the problem of climate change. mr. holly, your work to reduce energy, poverty that has been truly remarkable and in your testimony today, it reflects were well-versed stances on climate change issues one part of your testimony that interested me a lot was where you wrote the government requires quote the government requires and by mental impact studies to estimate the effects of projects like roads and buildings on nature. should the government act similarly when it comes to how
regulations impacted the population end quote. would it surprise you that we try to put that into a role last week and it was voted down by our friends across the aisle? we would evaluate the impact of our policies on cost-benefit analysis. >> sure. i did not know that sir. >> thank you. doctor curry, your testimony reflects your wealth of knowledge on these issues and gives great insight to the climate change debate in particular your discussion of the increasing concern you had that the climate change problem has been oversimplified. i agree with this statement as i feel that an overly simple one-size-fits-all, we are smarter than everybody else and washington dc, as we hurt our opening statements today from our ranking member, approached the climate change should lead to serious issues. what may work for one state may not work for another. would you please elaborate on the problems that inexpensive one-size-fits-all top-down, top- down solution might cause if
implemented? >> a whole host of unintended consequences which, some of which you cannot even imagine right now. because of that, we need to avoid the hubris of thinking that we can predict what the future climate will do and that we can actually control the climate. i think if we were somehow successful in putting all of these policies into place and getting co2 emissions down to zero, i think we would be on presently, unpleasantly surprised at how little impact on the things that worry us most about extreme weather events and things like that. sea level rise, we are not going to turn that one on a dime, things like that. it is very tough to change climate. there is a whole lot of inertia in the system. many timescales, they respond very slowly.
even with success in reducing co2 emissions down to zero, it would be a long time to turn the corner on having that actually impact the climate. so we need to do some of the more bottom-up type things, and the states are wonderful laboratories for trying out all of these adaptation resilience kind of policies. i think we should try to figure out how to help that floors. the so-called innovation dividend. >> since you brought that up, last week i had the fortunate opportunity, we had an organization called grand river dam authority that is a public partnership in our state of oklahoma that has been around since the 30s. that was formed originally by the government to build some dams to lock up energy so we could use that to handle
flooding on the arkansas river for the navigation system in the 1960s. we also have in our industrial park and prior oklahoma, the largest google server farm in the company. it relocated there to take over a gatorade plant with the qualification that that they were only -- they would only use renewable power. we had a conscious decision even though it is not in my district, to make on free market enterprise. do we want that they are? we want to go to the cost of upgrading the grid and technology to conform to the purchase of google's 100 megawatts of rex? we felt that the cost-benefit analysis of that made sense. it was a small plant at that time. it has since quadrupled in size and from all the google people i have talked to, they are so proud of the relationship in a free market environment, working with renewable credits to get to where they are at so
there on the grid. grd a has a great mixture of hydro, solar, wind, coal and natural gas to the testimony from mr. holly earlier, you have to have backups on this so that the cost of having a battery top environment when you do not have solar, you do not have wind, that you can actually have power to fuel and to warm our homes and businesses around our particular district and our states and our country. take you for your time and your testimony. i give up my time. >> thank you for your leadership on the most recent issue facing our planet, climate change. i want to thank the panelists for being here. i am very happy to see my good friend here today. reverent, i have enjoyed working with you in the past. >> thank you. >> i have enjoyed working with you over the past two years and i look forward to our continued partnership. i want to start with you.
amazingly, it has been articulated today that there is a mistaken idea that moving towards a clean energy economy will hurt low income communities of color. i need you to speak to what the rising health and economic cost of climate change would be for those communities specifically if we fail to move in that direction. >> thank you, congressman, for that question. first we can definitely fight poverty and pollution at the same time. and let me say clearly that the assessment that mr. holly respectfully, i disagree completely, with what he put forth as the idea that people of color are not concerned about the climate, about climate change, about the environment, about their health, in that aspect. i think that one of the things
here in that, we know that 200,000 americans are dying yearly because of air pollution. we know we have millions of children and adults who have asthma, emphysema, and are getting cancer. we know that 68 we know 68% of people of color, black people are living within 30 miles of coal-fired power plants. we know that the regulations of the mercury rule and the car rule, and many of the rules being rolled back by epa will hurt people of color. one of the things i want to say, and please understand why i am making this assessment. having buried a young girl because of asthma, that mother no longer cares about how much that utility bill would have caused.
that child, i have to bury because of asthma. she would have much more been concerned about dealing with a particular matter in the atmosphere, so the health concerns are one of the key concerns with in the conventions of color. the idea that we are also concerned about our future, and the future generation is frankly absurd. the idea that we don't care that the seas are rising and that we will be's first and worst hurt by climate change is outlandish. the fact for me being from louisiana and seeing what happened with hurricane katrina, and harvey, in houston, those are the kinds of things that have a huge impact on communities of color so to set up your honestly at this critical moment and to then purport the idea that people of color are somehow making the decision that they are more
concerned about their energy bill and their health, their energy bill than their life, that is outrageous litter who literally ludicrous if you think anybody -- this was black history month, and civil rights, the idea also that poverty is put upon with communities of color is outlandish. this is not about poor people of color but poor white people are also in the fact of the matter. they want clean air and clean water. climate change is a civil rights issue. >> thank you very much, reverend. is this jean-pierre? am i saying this correctly? >> yes. >> how do we make sure as we move toward a clean energy economy that we invest community technologies in low income communities and communities of color so they
not left behind? >> weathers in michigan, detroit, brooklyn, richmond, california, whether it's fracking going on in people's back yards, communities of color and front-line communities whether they are in indian country or on transitions, they are looking at different economies of scale. anything from community owned solar to figuring out how they can create food systems that will extend the changes that are coming. there has to be an investment in those communities. we also need to start thinking about governance differently. climate change will disrupt governments. the idea is we need to start creating transformational partnerships with communities that are on the front line and that are engaging in this kind of transformation. the other thing is the needs are different everywhere in the country, so the needs of a rural community are not the same of an urban community. folks dealing with mountaintop removal in appellation are dealing with different kinds of challenges, so it isn't cookie-
cutter, but it is a commitment to try and work with people on the ground and being led by the partnership because that's what it's going to take. climate change is not going to top-down solutions are not going to be safe over time. they don't work. people on the ground have to lead and we are going to be partners in those decisions. sharing and creating a space where we share expertise and information with each other. in my mind, i'm thinking about was floating black bodies, people of african ancestry, that is the truth for all of us all over the united states, right? i think about puerto rico, louisiana, and so i think it is really important those communities that are leading and doing the work, that they not be marginalized, and that they be supported and invested in. >> mister lamberg?
>> thank you, mister chairman. i'm going to concentrate my questions and comments on the proposals that are out there to deal with climate change. i don't want to talk about the science behind it, the man-made role. i want to talk about the proposals that are on the table to deal with it. the proposal i've seen so far is the green new deal. i hear my colleagues on the other side may have some proposals coming forward to flesh this out but right now, all we have is the green new deal. we already have presidential contenders endorsing it. we have the green party talked a lot about. i will use a few of their facts and figures. they say if you go to www.gp.org, will cost $13
trillion. here is our dependence on hydrocarbons. 82% of u.s. electricity is generated from coal, natural gas, and nuclear leaving 18% from renewables and hydropower. when it comes to transportation, we have 30,000 commercial air flights a day. i don't think a single one of those is powered by renewables. we have 250 million cars and trucks on the road. people in the u.s. traveled 11 billion miles a day. the vast majority of that is hydrocarbon powered. some electric vehicles, some are alternatives like propane and biofuel. the department of defense in particular, i am also on the armed services committee, they spend a lot of money on energy. $13 billion a year.
much if not most of that is hydrocarbon based. according to the green party, in their plan for the green new deal, we would have to close all overseas bases and lay off 1.4 billion people, both military and civilian, and to me that is very extreme. this is to do something with the goal of now hydrocarbons by the year 2030. 11 years from now. so i'm just going to ask, doctor holly, i will start with you, is that realistic? >> no, sir. you actually mentioned 80% of our total energy sources come from fossil fuels. i know it's been that way since the turn-of-the-century. it was that way when my grandfather was a black coalminer in south virginia. it was that way when i was working for norfolk southern and even the last epa director
under the obama administration stated that fossil fuels, we are going to need them at least through 2050. >> doctor curry? >> the problem i see with a massively ambitious top-down policy like the green new deal is a. what if we can't do it? what if we are wrong? there is all sorts of things. it's not a problem that is amenable to that kind of solution. that's why i propose more of a bottom-up kind of approach. so the so-called innovation dividend, lots of different things, lots of solutions, and see what works. >> i have to agree with you. i think the ingenuity and hard work, and creativity of the american people is a real solution and should not be left out. like you said, top-down from
government coercion, government control. it sounds too much like a soviet five-year plan. that is simply not going to work. i understand if someone comes into congress, you don't have to be 25 years old to be a member of congress. we have young people that bring a lot of great qualities, but maybe not a lot of life experience. so i guess i can understand if someone has not a lot of life experience and they are proposing something that is extremely unrealistic but also impossible. but what i don't understand is adults and grow knox who are old up older and more mature advocating something that is impossible. i see that with some of the presidential contenders throwing the names out there. they are plugging for something that is literally impossible. with that, i'm going to give you back the balance of my time.
>> let me put in a pitch for myself. >> mister chairman, with all due respect i want to say our movements have been led by young people. all led by young people. let's not try to put them in a box. >> the protocol and decorum for this with all due respect, i am trying to run this meeting in the way that is orderly. while you might have an opinion and want to interject at that moment, unless you are recognized, you can't. let me put in a plug for myself as an all-time or. i happen to agree with what some of the colleagues are saying here today, and some of our witnesses have said today. i don't know if that puts me on step with my age group, but i would suggest the vast majority of americans feel the way i do. ms. velasquez. >> thank you, mister chairman, ranking member.
i am very proud to be the representative of a leading voice and activist on climate change. thank you for your service and for your activism. would like to ask you the first question. as an advocate for climate justice, with its ethical and political implications, what would you say to someone who thinks we should ignore climate change despite low income communities being disproportionately at risk from its impact? >> congresswoman, it's wonderful to see you. you have been a champion for environmental justice for years, since even before it became a sexy thing. you've been doing it for your districts for so many years, i am honored to be speaking in front of you.
i don't engage climate deniers. i think it slows us down and waste our time. i engage people who are at the margins, who don't know they are living at the intersection of injustice and climate change, and i try to inspire and provide information to those people so that they know their lives are at risk and the future of their children is at risk. i want folks in our communities to know things like power plants that are run by gas produce noxious gas and all of those particulates that get trapped in the air passages of our children and elders because our elders are going to be tremendously vulnerable in the face of climate change. that's what i do. i try to reach people's hearts and minds but first they need to have hearts and minds. >> thank you. mister bernard, which countries do you see businesses making the greatest efforts towards addressing climate change? and why is that the case?
and i'm sorry if this question has been asked. i was absent from this important hearing because i am the chair of the small business community and we were holding a hearing on the government's shutdown impact on small businesses. >> the question wasn't asked and as a new yorker i am delighted to see you and thank you for your decades of service. with regard to countries and our country, it's not that they are not doing anything. they see the risks as i said earlier, and they are being driven to take proactive measures to protect their business supply and so on. with regard to your question, these companies off rate in a global environment more and more. for example, the european union has instigated very strong regulations, particularly looking at the fiduciary responsibility of companies and are they operating within parameters that recognize the risk same a safe and they are
very often ordinary people, not just rich people. with regard to interesting things going on, for example, china i know there's lots of controversy about china but china has declared an ecological civilization. it's built into their program. they are making tremendous investments in solar. morocco is making massive targets. this is not an either or situation. precisely we need an energy mix. we have to use a bit of natural gas to make renewables less expensive. this is not an either or. and it's not a chance between top-down or bottom-up. it's a very complex problem which has been stated. everybody has a stake in it, and companies would very much benefit from the smoothing of requirements so they don't have to have different operations from one country to another. that is very expensive.
>> jean-pierre. a huge buyer for sustainable communities whether large or small seems to be waste management. as a member of the transform trash campaign, how can we urge largely populated cities to be aggressive when asking steps toward zero waste? >> i was invited to speak in amsterdam by an international organization that is trying to get businesses to become sustainable and take responsibility for their practices. all over the world, businesses know that they will suffer and they will lose income because of climate change. locally, we have been working with small businesses to become climate adaptable because they are literally the heart of the economic driver in our community.
i think it is going toward zero waste is really important. we started working with small businesses trying to get them to move away from what do you call that, the styrofoam. we also presented them with alternatives that were affordable, and the idea of creating cooperatives so they could reduce the costs. there are so many things we can do with businesses to move them away from using products and working in a way that makes him unsustainable. that's happening locally. >> thank you. i yield back my time. >> thank you. i just heard we are citing china as a good actor? china accounted for 34 of the 61 megawatts that were generated by coal power plants. china is the biggest polluter in the world.
we are right behind them. mister holly, i have to come back to you. i've heard statements that climate impacts different communities. what communities are hit most by policies like the green new deal. >> low income and minority communities because we cannot afford the rising cost associated with these policies and many people are struggling right now to pay their energy bills. >> this is interesting because i keep hearing this thing about interesting. are you familiar with david versus intermittent energy? >> somewhat. >> base energy happens all the time. 24/7. intermittent is like solar and wind where if the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine, it doesn't work so there is a very big difference along those applications. the problem that we got with new technology is salts, batteries don't work real well. the other side is not interested in the mining capacities of those that help us with battery
capacity so we've got a problem. it's convenient in phoenix, arizona when you need energy in the middle of the day or at night time when temperatures are at 120 degrees. it's kind of hard to tell minority groups to just live with it. >> i would agree with that. that's one of the things i would disagree with the reverend here on. i never said we don't agree that climate change does not exist. however, my point is until we find a way, a solution to harness those renewables to sustain us, we have to use what we've got and we have an abundance of affordable, reliable energy in this country. we need to use it. >> i agree. one of the companies in northern scottsdale, arizona uses some during the day and gas at night because it delivers uniform delivery around our grid. but i want to concentrate on something else. i am a dentist so science is a big deal to me. if we're talking about carbon
sequestration it seems to me like what we want to have is a very dynamic, engaging force. doctor curry, would you agree? >> i think land-use is a very big deal including -- >> i want to get more specific. photosynthesis. plants take in clean oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. now, they are teaching carbon dioxide for this oxygen. they take dirty water and produce clean water. it seems to me if we want to address this, we want to look at the best carbon trap you've got, which is a healthy, vibrant forest. i've heard over and over again that climate change is the problem with our forests burning up. that is not the case. i am from arizona. we have 40 to 60 trees per acre. that's what a healthy forest should look like but what we have because of lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit is we have 800 to 1000 trees per acre. so we have starving trees
raising to the sunlight and when we get these fires, they are no longer landscape fires, they are treetop fires. i want to quote what we saw last year. wildfires produce more than one key pollutant particulate matter in california and nationwide. particulate matter is a mixture of microscopic particles and liquid droplets that can affect the heart and lungs, causing serious heart problems. i heard this all along this panel about asthma and all that stuff. listen to this. according to the u.s. geological survey, wildfires in california 2018 released the coven of 86 million tons of heat trapping carbon dioxide. the same amount of carbon emissions produced in a year providing electricity for an entire state. so if we're going to
concentrate on carbon sequestration we ought to be looking at our forests being adaptive. i am part of the western caucus. we had a number of different opportunities to look at good neighbors. one of the most livable bastions of my state, coconino county, passed a barn levy to start beating the forest so they had a dynamic interface to stop the fire number one and number two give it more sequestration. would you agree with that synopsis? >> most of it. the lifecycle of a forest you know i have a complex interaction with co2. at some point, it becomes not so much of the sequestration too managing forests to prevent wildfires, and to maximize the co2 uptake is sensible policy. >> one quick indulgence. young trees needing growing trees. what we know is young and medium growth trees produce more carbon or oxygen than they do carbon.
the older the tree gets, the less they do. >> thank you, mister chairman. >> thank you very much, mister chairman. i am very excited that you have given us this opportunity to really have a robust discussion around climate change. this is an issue that is very important. it's important to the future of our children. my oldest son, who is a freshman in college asks mail the time when is congress going to act to address issues of climate change? as we have heard here today, the impacts of climate change become greater every year. at my home state in nevada, a desert state, it's particular vulnerable to climate change. by 2050 it is projected the city of las vegas will experience 106 days per year with temperatures upwards of 105 degrees.
to provide context, las vegas currently averages 70 days per year with temperatures more than 100 degrees. it's hot in vegas, but the fact that we are having those many days per year over 100 degrees is just one example. even more concerning, but 2050, the typical heat wave days is projected to increase from 15 days per year to 55 per year. according to the ready public service campaign at the department of homeland security, extreme heat results in the highest number of annual deaths along all weather related hazards. mister chairman, sadly, seniors and children are at greatest risk of death during heat waves.
lake mead supplies water to more than 90% of las vegas and roughly 25 million people throughout nevada, california and nevada. it continues to deplete due to increasing temperatures caused by climate change. in 2016, lake mead, which is fed by the colorado river, reached its lowest level on record, and now holds just 37% of its original capacity. as extreme heat rises, the depletion of the colorado river and lake mead is projected to worsen in the future. more than 1.2 million people living in nevada or 46% of our state's population live in elevations at elevated risk of wildfires. as extreme temperatures increase, especially in drought years, the risk of wildfires will continue to rise. the people of nevada, like the people across the united states, they are looking for
solutions, and they're looking for this congress to act. so i want to ask you whether your organization, which works with businesses to understand the business-investor impacts, if you can talk to me about the heat wave and drought, and how they are of significant concern, and how water issues, around companies and investors are dealing with this particular issue and if there are examples you know of in our home state of nevada. >> as a matter of fact today, we are having our supply chain conference in las vegas. as i mentioned in my testimony, caesars entertainment is concerned about the cost of water. they have facilities in very dry areas. dr pepper, also concerned. every company is worried about water. doctor cobb mentioned carbon
pricing. i think it would be interesting to know most places in the country including oklahoma gas and electric are using internal carbon prices to gauge the potential cost of these hidden hitchhikers, which are these trends that go into the atmosphere that we don't see, but which cost us something. people are using an internal carbon price in anticipation of regulation or to deal with existing regulations in jurisdictions where they are not covered on the water matter because of increasing water scarcity. companies have also begun to set internal water prices because they need to come to terms with increasing costs of water. the increasing scarcity and more to the point, the increasing lack of usability. whataburger is portable or workable. we are having less portable and less usable, unless we spend a lot of money to clean it. here is where the impact on the poor is potentially
catastrophic because they will have to pass that cost on. there will never be another drop of water on this earth. it's all here. so you can't make water. so we are into an ultimate scarcity. i think i can provide you with a lot of information from our water disclosure. company after company is concerned about water and eit industry, in particular because they need to cool those data centers with water. cooling is becoming a very big cost, so it is a complex system. you can't tease it out but you are the government of the entire country. we all look to you to put the pieces together. thank you. >> thank you, mister chairman. doctor calvin, i missed some of your comments earlier but i understand you raised concerns about river production and fisheries. i wanted to make note we
produce more offshore water than any other state. i think if we take the other states that produce and multiply it by four, that is how much we produce. we are also the top fishery producer in terms of continental fisheries, so there is a habitat created by the energy infrastructure. i don't think we have done a good job managing that in regard to -- i think we can take advantage of programs but i wanted to make note that's really the hotbed or habitat for many of the fisheries in louisiana. in the first panel, i brought up a letter from may 2018 signed by senator schumer and senator markey. it was asking that the president work with opec allies to increase global oil production.
senator mendez, senator cantwell and senator schumer in may 2018 asking the president to work with opec to increase oil production. saying that increased production will result in lower energy prices. yet, it was interesting that some of the governors that were here talked about how their efforts to reduce emissions were benefiting everyone, but i looked, for example the state of massachusetts that was represented here, there kilowatt our electric cost was more than twice that, more than 200% of that with my home state of louisiana, which i thought was interesting. mister holly, could you share reflections on the balance of how do we pursue a climate policy agenda legislation while at the same time not adversely affecting our citizens, and how
do we strike that balance? >> i had the chance to visit your state over the summer. >> come back any time. >> we had the opportunity to see where all the onshore operations take place. when i took the tour of portland jean, they talked about how countries come from around the world to study the gulf because it is so rich in wildlife. that's says to me energy exploration can compete with the environment and coexist with the environment. as long as we had that to look at and use as a gauge, i think that is a great place to start. >> we have some extraordinary coastal challenges. and i'm not a climate denier. i just really struggled with how do we find the right
balance and criteria to move forward. doctor curry, one of the rule changes i tried to make in this committee was a rule that would cause us to evaluate a job impacts, and neck economic impacts, temperature and see rise impacts on legislation we progressed. do you have any thoughts on how do we properly use criteria or metrics to determine which legislation is actually going to be helpful in balance, and what may be way to too hard toward job loss or too hard toward other things it's not really advancing a public win or goal? does that make sense? >> sort of. this is what i call climate change problems. why myself and others refer to it as a wicked problem. it's hard to even define the problem. the boundaries seem to ever
expand. the impacts are very wide. no matter what policy we propose, there is bound to be unintended consequences. it's a big challenge to sort through all that. the approach to me that seems to work the best is where communities and states work to secure their common interests, which are very specific to their location, their economy, their vulnerabilities, as we try to sort through this, rather than a big, top-down mandate. that is my thinking on the subject. i wish there was a simple solution, but there isn't. yield back to you 8 seconds. >> role was being called. before adjourning the meeting, let me thank the second panel.
as many of the questions and perspectives my colleagues have brought up when they of asked questions, rather than repeat the same ones over again, let me just thank mister cozart. thank you very much. i think were present here and testimony talks about us looking beyond our noses as members of congress. think about the future. your generation product generations to follow. this issue of climate change, what i did learn today is that maybe we are not in full-blown and full throated denial, as we were. we are in to a different phrase which is climate change avoidance. what can we do to stall, change, tinker with the science, raise issues that are meant to so any solution seeking more policies, or
legislative initiatives to deal with this very urgent problem. thank you very much. the front line communities and communities most impacted in a disparate way by unabated climate change, an afterthought in policymaking, we make sure those are front and center in the discussion around issues of justice, equity, access, and inclusion. i want to thank you for that. that is very, very important. we also make policies at this level and then i have to backtrack because obviously the impact was never dealt with. as we seek solutions, equity has got to be part of the discussion all the way down. doctor cobb, thank you very much. thank you for bringing to bear what i think is essential in the solution seeking, and empirical information, and
fact. we will go from there. having been absent in the last two years, that is no longer going to be the case. our guidepost used to be science and facts, and critical information. those of the guideposts we can move forward and i have every intention of making sure that is central to the discussion. i also want to thank miss aparna bringing to light about businesses and with or without regulations, in anticipation of what is coming. they are preparing. and just as the economic engines of this country in this world are preparing for climate change, we should be preparing for everyone else to make sure
we confront this and deal with it. i appreciate your information very much. and on that note, let me thank you. it's the first hearing. i appreciate your indulgence as i failed to manage the clock accurately but it all worked out. we will go forward. each subcommittee will now take upon itself for our this committee to have a similar hearing dealing with that jurisdiction, as we go forward. this committee, as mister bishop said, has a lot under jurisdiction. we feel over 20% of the legislative adaptation and solution. public lands, waters, sessions, and the jurisdiction that is broadened. we intend to pursue it that way. it's a task that we can ignore.
your testimony today made it abundantly clear to something we cannot ignore and an urgency we must deal with with haste and not stall, avoid, or ignore. thank you very much. meeting is adjourned. >> tuesday, the senate armed services committee hosted the commanders of the u.s. and pacific command, and u.s. forces korea, to discuss their missions and operations. our live coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span 3.
t-mobile and sprint executives testify wednesday before a joint house committee on the proposed merger between the two wireless companies. watch live wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3, online at www.c-span.org or on the free c- span app. there are nearly 100 new members of the house of representatives this year. ohio, west virginia, maryland, mississippi, and washington. how five of the states added one new member. representative anthony gonzales was a football star at ohio state before the indianapolis colts drafted him in 2007. after injuries cut short his professional football career, representative gonzales earned his mba at stanford business school. he is the first latino elected to ohio's congressional delegation. representative carol miller served over a decade in the statehouse before voters in west virginia's third district elected her to congress. politics runs in her family. she is the daughter former
congressman samuel devine, whose seat would later be filled by future ohio governor and presidential candidate john kasich. congressman michael guest was a local prosecutor in mississippi for nearly 25 years. the last decade as district attorney before his election to the house. he is also a sunday school teacher at his local baptist church. representative david cohen and his brother opened a small liquor store in delaware in the early 1990s. the company eventually moved its headquarters to maryland brand has expanded to become the largest independent fine wine retailer in the country. washington's eighth district elected representative kim schrier, a pediatrician, and the only female doctor in congress. new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span.