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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 18, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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up next [video clip] on [video clip] "washington journal" host: good morning and welcome to the "washington journal" on this april 18. here are the headlines. it is day three of the capitol hill senate -- spending scandal. also, for democrats will unveil their 2013 budget proposal. on the campaign trail, mitt romney heads to charlotte, north carolina ahead of the national convention. we will be covering it all here on c-span. first, let's get your take on the gsa/ secret service
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situation. the number to call for our republican line is 202-737-0002. the number to call for our democrat line is 202-737-0001. the number to call for our independent line is 202-628- 0205. also, you can post your comments and send your questions via e-mail, a printer, and a facebook. "usa begin with today's today." it goes on to say that peter king, who heads up the house, says there is no reason to believe that national security has been compromised or that the president's security was ever affected.
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that could mean they were not in their rooms when recognized. it goes on to say that it is unclear how long the investigation will take, but there is an ongoing investigation by the pentagon to see who was all involved in this situation. that is the latest on the secret service situation. and then the gsa. testifying yesterday in the second hearing on capitol hill. it is part of a pattern. it says here in october the man who is at the heart all -- at the heart of all this took a nine-day trip to hawaii to attend a ribbon cutting.
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the inspector general sank yesterday that there was a pattern here at gsa. we turn to you to get your take on this. what do you think this says about washington culture here? how do think it can be changed? what are some of your ideas? let me just show you what a republican in california had to say. he is on the subcommittee that oversees the public buildings. he is in charge of that. here is what he had to say about the situation. this is a culture we're going to get to the bottom of. this is a culture of a fraud. that is what he said yesterday, quoted by "usa today." they say this about gsa.
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barbe it goes on to say that the greatest -- it goes on to say that it is a fiscal problem -- it is not. two different perspectives for you this morning. "usa today" saying that this scandal is rare. the situation in washington is not reflective of this inbound. and then jeff then not saying this is a deep culture here. what do you think? bob, a democrat in new york. go ahead. caller: good morning and thank you for c-span2 and i guess i am first. host: you are. what do you think? caller: i am a fiscal
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conservative, but i'm a democrat. for the few people who may be a way, i do not want to blow anybody's mind here. i believe that this gsa matter is really -- could shed a light on these kinds of excess of spending that really needs to be gotten rid of. there needs to be a way to, in a fiscally conservative way, invested it all these kinds of matters without spending more money to investigate the very kinds of expenses you're trying to save. government needs to be looked upon like anybody who would be running a business. there is so much waste that it is really over the top. >> let me bounce this off of you from "usa today." they say this is --
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"usa today" says the amount of dropped amounts to about .00000 2% of spending. caller: i am not the expert on how many departments we have in government. i guess there is a federal government, state government, local government throughout this country with all kinds of budget. this 0.00, and i'm not mr. spot
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where the numbers. if you look at this across the board, on all the nations, different levels of government, you're talking about such an amount of money that we could pay for a national health care system. a single payer health care system that would compete as one of the best health care systems in the world and take it off of the backs of industry cost of health care. take it off the backs of individual families. again. to rep for the time. i would love to take you out to dinner sometime. host: [laughter] all right. there are hearings in capitol hill this week. we are hearing it now the situation goes to the senate side. we're covering the third hearing today on c-span3. live coverage today at 10:00 a.m.
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their republican in lakewood, washington, what do you think about all of this? caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i agree with bob. i am a veteran. i am looking at the amount that you said -- $3,800. i look at what i make a month. this is literally, every month, as a permanently disabled veteran who is unemployable, if i get a nice pension. but, roughly, with all of the disability i require every month, i have about $37 to $3,800 a month. it is just me. i have no children and no spouse. i have a hard time making it. when i looked at them wasting its vast amounts of money and i know that i'm getting shoddy
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health care at the v.a. that is the complete our is dead when i say, why don't we have better doctors and nurses? why don't we have coverage? as a 100% unemployable veteran, i should at least have dental coverage but i do not. what was it? $400-something? >> it was above -- host: it was above a $10,000. caller: i do not have c-span3. host: if you want, you can watch it on your computer on our website. caller: awesome. thank you for telling me that. if you think about that amount, almost $1 million. they're all wasting that
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expense. there was an article a few weeks ago about some trips that obama had taken that were put on the taxpayer dollars. that upsets me. then i look at the same thing is happening in the republican party. as a republican, it offends me because they're representing me supposedly and my views of america. but how are they representing me? i have never spent that wastefully. host: "the baltimore sun" says this. other than being embarrassing, what does it mean?
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caller: i do not think that is fair to say. if anyone really knows how the government works in the presidential protection process, they would know that the united states marine corps is actually the people who really protect the president. the secret service protects everybody else. but when it comes down to it, the naval traffic controller who used after bringing things for the president, i know for a fact the first face i see is not secret service. there the last people we would see. the first people we would see, thank you mr. clinton for serving, it was the marines. host: an independent in florida. caller: i think it is the tip of the iceberg. it is a culture in washington
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that believes they can take individuals' money. it does not matter if you make $10,000 per year or $1 million per year. they can give it to whoever they want to empower and then come up with ideas. like, if you make $10,000, we will give you something back. and then if you make $1 million a year, he should make more in taxes -- you should pay more in taxes. that is not fair. if you go to a christian church, a lot of people believe you have to give 10% of your income to the church. if you make $1 million, you only have to give 10%. if you make $10,000, you'll have to pay $10,000 -- you only have to give 10%. this culture is not fair. i cannot take money from a millionaire at and say you have to give money back to a poor person.
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this is not fair in this country. the last time i got that newspaper "usa today" it was free at the hotel. i never read that paper. host: all right. there are lots of other papers here with stories about the situation with gsa and the secret service. here is "the washington post." host: that is "the washington post" with that story. they're doing 82-day series yesterday and today. -- a 2-day series yesterday and
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today. it takes a look. it ran yesterday and then again today in "the washington post." we continue to get your take on gsa, a secret service, and washington culture. we go on to texas. caller: i am for obama in texas. actually, this whole situation. these people really make me very angry. i think they should be prosecuted. these people are stealing $800,000 of the taxpayer money. they cannot go to jail. but if you let a homeless person steele $50 because he needs to feed himself, they get 10 to 20 years. they feel entitled to use
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taxpayer money however way they want to. we need oversight so this will not take place. these people need to be supervised. a smaller government will not do. a smaller government leaves and no watchdog to watch the people who steal the taxpayer money. i do not know why it people be grudged the president and his wife. i think the only reason they are is because our president is african-american. host: all right. the other editorial, they say the secret service scandal is an no joke.
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"usa today" saying that the secret service alleged misconduct is no joke and could be a deeper cultural problem. the white house spokesperson was asked about that yesterday at the white house press briefing.
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here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> the president has confidence in the director of the secret service. he acted quickly in response to this incident. he is overseeing an investigation as we speak -- into the matter. beyond that, i'm not going to go into, as the president did not, speculate about conclusions that the investigation might reach because it is ongoing. host: gsa and the secret service in washington culture. carl, you are up next. caller: this is a perfect example of why the tea party came into existence. you know, i guarantee you. you keep reading those articles in the paper, you will find something that blames it on george bush. as a matter of fact, there have already been articles in the paper stating that this was done
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under george bush. when are they going to stop ?laming george bush ta this is another example of why the republicans keep talking about small government. we do not need all this bureaucracy. if romney is to become president and he does away with a lot of these unnecessary cabinet positions in the government. host: what did you make of mitt romney's comments that were overheard the other day about getting rid of the housing and urban development program? caller: absolutely. and the department of education. they take the money from paying these bureaucrats of their and send it back to the states. it would serve a much better purpose than paying money these bureaucrats who are probably spending their vacation in hawaii on government money. host: that is the headline in the "the washington post."
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host: that is then "the washington post" this morning. an independent in new hampshire, good morning. caller: my comments are based on may gsa -- on the gsa. this happened almost 2.5 years ago. i would like to tie in with the time the house and senate is away from session.
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it is ridiculous. most people get a day off for memorial day or july 4. if they take one week to 10 days. easter vacation. there were gone before. these things are going on. where is the general inspector? where are the oversight committees? why aren't they meeting on a regular, ongoing business? i think they are not there. host: what do you make up for hearings on this? caller: that is what i am saying. everyone is back. ony're ready to do battle this schedule. where were the meetings two years ago? don't the oversight committees here from the gsa inspector general stacks turn on c-span on monday morning. excuse me.
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you do not see the senate. a very rarely. nine times and out of 10 day turn the lights out and put up the cat. everyone else is gone. a good example for the country in these economic times. changed their schedule. i let the people see there in that session and working together. have more people in the house and the senate with these meetings and broadcasts. that is about it. i will just keep relative repeat myself. host: ok. here is the e-mail. host: that brings up "of the
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christian science monitor" peace. -- "the christian science monitor" piece. host: long island, new york. democratic collar. what do you think? caller: good morning. they pretend that smaller government will solve problems
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of waste. in reality, they want smaller government so the wall street bankers and the corporations cannot rob the treasury with tax cuts, loopholes to the oil companies. that is what they really wants more government of four. there information that working- class and poor people do not count. they do not need the services that government provides. there has always been a waste in government. lookit the wasteful wars in afghanistan -- look at the wasteful wars in afghanistan and iraq. i talk about george bush. i am sorry, but that is true. this scandal looks bad.
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but, you know, it is really a small amount. i think of the waste that is going on is giving loopholes for oil companies. giving aid to countries like pakistan who do not really deserve it. that is even more wasteful. these people should be punished. no question. secret service people, you know, they put themselves and the president in a compromise situation. but look at what soldiers to overseas. they commit atrocities. this is part of the problem of the empire of government. host: on the issue of the secret
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service being punished, "the washington post" reports that it will not have a deadline to finish its inquiry. u.s. government agencies have a varying restrictions regarding the solicitation of prostitutes. the state department, which aims to eliminate human trafficking, specifically forbids all foreign service employees and contractors from engaging in prostitutes. that is according to "the washington post" this morning. let me incorporate some facebook comments for you. go to our website. here is deborah.
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host: richard, a republican in in new york. what is the name of your town? caller: good morning. and who gives people the right to just after gsa when they ought to get after the hotels setting price tags, pricey rooms and pricey food. might as well put golden the food and rooms, too. -- gold in the food and rooms, too. come on. price? really. too high is at too high. host: we told you about campaign
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2012 news. mitt romney going to north carolina at the democratic convention there. more coverage later today. here is "the boston globe" this morning. that is "the boston globe" of this morning. and then mitt romney was able to get the support of house speaker john boehner and the minority leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell, yesterday. this headline -- and below that -- a couple of callers have brought this up already about the first lady's travel.
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here is "the washington times" opinion this morning. host: that is a "the washington times" opinion page this morning. we told you mitt romney speaking
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in north carolina. let me give you the time, it is about 3:40. what is your take on washington culture and these alleged misconducts by gsa and as a good service? caller: i feel that what they said, the gsa first of all, i believe that everyone deserves a vacation from their jobs. i worked many years and i was entitled to two weeks vacation a year. i got paid for two weeks vacation. i was allowed to spend that money the way i wanted to. i believe this is what the federal government, anybody who works for the federal government, should be paid on the hours they work. and they should be compensated for our vacation time based on
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their salaries. but it seems like everybody gets to washington. these politicians all run, and that they want to stay. the benefits must be excellent. because none of them want to leave. and then we have the gsa which is supposed to monitor how the money is spent. and they spent nearly $1 million having a grand old time. now that thislize new generation, we have a cell phones, we take pictures. there is someone watching all of the time. i am disabled now. i live in a hud housing. -- youey want to cut hud
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have to call them. that is not fair. what is fair and should be fair. host: all right. a democrat in philadelphia, what do you think? caller: i want to leave the secret service sting out of here and just address the gsa issue. i think the timing of this coming out is pretty strange when at tax time is due. second of all, i see this in a broader context. i'm not excusing the gsa. i blame their supervisors.
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-- they give individual bankers, this gsa is not even $8 million. you have box business or fox news. you tell me what is fair and balanced. host: charles, a republican in arkansas, we go to you next. good morning. caller: all these problems -- problems are in direct respect to the size of the federal government. such as the education department. they have not accomplished one thing. the education of the children has not improved.
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they are just as much to blame as the federal workers. based on that, they will do anything for a vote. host: following up on yesterday's show, we talked about the organization that looks at impacting state laws and its membership includes corporations and state legislatures.
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host: and then the "the wallstreet journal" weighs in.
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host: new york, jim, independent color. good morning to you. . cal -- independent caller. caller: america is under judgment right now and people do not see it. the scripture says we will be under the beast. ron paul has been trying to wake us up about the federal reserve national corp. that destroyed the country in 1913. i am a navy veteran. i worked at a veterans hospital. i do not know if you have ever heard of john crapper, he is the man who invented the indoor
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crapper. we're 26 people short in my division, my housekeeping division. i work every evening and i take care of my veterans. we should declare one month of prayer. it is nonsense. the pornography, the waste. ron paul is the only one who understands that. host: all right. we will go to our democratic line. caller: good morning. i want to say thank you for c- span and you do an excellent job reading on the air. i worked very hard and had a lot of responsibility.
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now it seems all kinds of federal employes are being at demonized. our unions are being attacked. even the very postal service. host: is that something new? you are a retired postal service worker. is that something new for you? or did you, throughout your career, feel that government workers were demonized? caller: throughout my career, occasionally someone might say something, but very few people. just recently, i would say since obama's has been in office, i would say the republicans have been trying to defund the postal service. they want to privatize it, i think. in lieu of the gsa and the secret service, obama has the most to lose in this. he will be demonized.
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both sides of the aisle tend to demagogued these issues. accountability in the forefront for obama. i think he is doing the best he can to strengthen this kind of thing out. it is embarrassing for a country. hopefully, they get to the bottom of it and can reassure the american public it will not happen in the future. host: a couple of economic stories for you. "the wallstreet journal." and then below that, the situation in spain not looking good. and then, domestically, as we told you, democrats will be bringing up their budgets for 2013. you can look for that today.
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also, secretary died there will be talking about the u.s. economy. we will have live courage of that this morning, 8:30 eastern time. tune into c-span2 for that. brouwer the two different headlines. here is "the new york times." "the washington times" puts the store on the front page. here is their headline.
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host: he will not hold any amendment. we'll be covering that conference. go to our website,, for more details on when that will air. alexander, virginia. charles, a republican. good morning, you're on the air. caller: yes, hello. i just want to say i have 12 years of a federal service. a case to be military, state farm, commerce department, defense department -- i used to be military, state department, commerce department, defense
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department. i have met dedicated public servants who have walked away and could have made five or seven times more money. but they choose to work for the federal government. great people work for the federal government. i am not one of them. i am a private citizen. i also want to say there are people under federal government who did not pay the rent because they cannot make it in a private sector. that is the ying and the yang. please. we have the scandals, but go back to classic "star trek." keep that in mind. host: an independent in new york. caller: as an independent, i'm going to say it is a cultural problem. some of the other independencts, they're going to blame the
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president. usually he is the most honest guy in there. like romney is going to stop all of this. it is just like other people were saying. one week, a month may be, i do not know. maybe two weeks, there's always some kind of recess. nobody is watching what is going on. we have no oversight. it is a thing of entitlement. we are lacking in moral compass. people are just taking advantage. they think the government is like a big fat hand that lays golden eggs. until the culture is changed, counting on a republican or democrat to fix this thing, until they fix the culture, it will just be the same old same old. host: here is a moment from yesterday's discovery flight from florida. it traveled 148 miles.
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this is the style section of "the washington post." you can see they captured it's making its way over the washington monument in in dc. it did several laps with thousands of spectators at capitol hill, all over washington stopping what they were doing to watch the discovery shuttle make its way to washington, d.c. it will be housed at one of the smithsonian's here in washington. the last flight for the discovery shuttle. some quick international headlines for you. "the wallstreet journal" front page. egypt oppose the election there. and then the situation in syria not seeming to improve. pushing paris for more pressure on syria. florida, and the, you are our
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last on this discussion. a democrat down there. go ahead. caller: good morning. i was a rescue worker. i have seen when americans come together, all different nationalities came together there. really, americans are good people. but i believe in bigger government. any money that president obama has spend has gone to unemployment, extending unemployment for people who have no jobs or something like that. i believe in bigger government. with bigger government, there is more taxes paid. the country has to have taxes to run. it has to. if people have to pay taxes. the rich people don't want to have bigger government so they can run the show and make us all slaves. i live down here in florida. i see people coming out of the
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woods with their families with suitcases and little children. this is not right, you know. it is crazy. host: all right. up next, we will turn our attention to another domestic issue. oil and gas prices. here is the headline in "the washington post." we will talk about with two members of congress. up next, frank pallone. a followed by phil gingrey, a republican in georgia. we'll be right back. >> this weekend on both tv on c- span to. -- on booktv on cspan2.
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and at 7:30, call in with your questions for steven ross. author of "hollywood left and right -- how hollywood shaped politics " ." and at 5:00, a panel on secrets. the entire schedule for the weekend is online at >> from the colonial area, -- colonial era, to prohibition, to today. a history of alcohol in america. regale with tales of the year in
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america. saturday night at 8:00 eastern as part of american historytv on c-span3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with frank pallone. president obama announcing yesterday that he is going after them. what did you make of that? guest: it is important because all the gas prices have been based on speculation. basically, he is talking about one official and higher penalties. and some other things, but those of the key. host: it says here at the "the washington post" that either obama or any aid pointed at any example that the speculators were responsible for prices.
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guest: the bottom line is to suggest that the president or the government can absolutely impact gas prices in a particular situation or any particular week is a false presumptions. a lot of it has to do, with what you just said, what is going on in the markets. it would be trying to make sure there is a speculation in the marketplace. host: if it is not the direct cause, why go forward? on the surface, it looks like politics. guest: i think it is. i brought with me today, all i want to read it to you, a lot of indications the speculation is the major cause of the problem. all i am trying to tell you is we will not always be able to
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effectuate an answer. that is all. host: let's see if president obama had to say yesterday. [video clip] >> congress should provide immediate funding to put more cops on the beat it to monitor markets. this would upgrade technology so that our surveillance and enforcement officers are not strong buy older sophisticated tools than the traders are using. we should strengthen protections for american consumers -- not got them. -- not gut them. congress should increase the penalties for illegal activities. my plan would toughen key financial penalties not just per a violation, but every day a violation occurs. third, congress should give the agency responsible for overseeing oil markets a new authority to protect against
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volatility and access to speculation by making sure that traders can impose an appropriate margins. that simply means they have the money to make good on their trades. congress should do all of this right away. a few weeks ago congress had a chance to stand up for families already paying an extra premium at the pump. congressional republicans voted to keep spending millions of americans hard-earned tax dollars on more subsidies for oil companies. here is a chance to make amends. a chance to do something that will help consumers in energy markets. host: how you protect consumers? can you explain that more? guest: i think the president is saying he wants the tools to go after the speculators. he needs some flexibility. one of the concerns i have is that on the republican side of the aisle they keep bringing up issues that do not relate to this, like, for example, they
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passed a bill out of the energy subcommittee, my committee, that says we should reduce regulation of clean air. that has nothing to do with gas prices. i think the president is saying, give me the tools to go after speculators. i think that makes perfect sense. he needs flexibility. host: the republicans are critical of the policy so far. here is the a quote from the likely gop nominee, mitt romney. bguest: i disagree with what romney said. the president has said all along that he wants all-of-the-above.
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oil and gas production is at an 80-year high. we are at the point where more oil was exported last year then was imported. we are getting away from dependence on middle east oil. he talks about fuel efficiency, which consumers want. he is also making it possible to move to alternative fuels like wind power, solar power. i think, in the long run, it will work. for romney to say he is not doing anything is simply false. host: a coordinated effort, it seems, by the other republican organizations. here is a recent ad by crossroads gps on the president energy policy. [video clip] >> will -- oil production to
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miss that it is in charge. >> these increases go back to push-era decisions. you're taking credit which is not fair. >> taking credit for others hard work. typical washington. tel obama, stop blaming others. work to pass better energy policies. host: congressman? guest: it is interesting, because republicans for years have had this mantra, drill, baby, drill. in fact, that is what the president has been doing. whether it has been on public or private land. the actual production is up significantly, yet they keep saying we need more drilling nt is not doing it. it is just false. i do not want to say that is the only answer. you have to work on renewals and increase in efficiency -- increase efficiency.
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yet to have a strategic petroleum reserve. he is doing all of these things. host: rachel is an independent in 40, texas. you are up first. caller: you're talking about wasteful spending. back when 9/11 happened and we went into afghanistan, before that, bush got the security and everything. a lot of them are living here in texas. i do not know why anyone has not brought up the fact that bush and the bin laden family went in together with a big oil reserve across texas. i cannot understand why the bin laden family are still living here. guest: i really do not know much about the family and whether they are still living here. the only thing i would say is we do need to get away from our dependence on oil.
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would not want to be depend on some of these regimes, whether they be the kings or dictators, or whatever in the middle east. that is my only comment i can make in response to what you're bringing up. i just not know enough about it -- about the bin laden family or their whereabouts. host: on twitter, jim wants to know this. guest: right now, it seems like prices are actually starting to stabilize. i got to predict that. he still of the summer driving season coming up. i am hopeful that we are actually going to see some stabilization. again, we do not know because so much depends upon the world market. host: a headline in "the washington post" -- and adapting to $4 gas.
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it's as the prices have neared or in some cases topped $4 a gallon. buying a car so more fuel- efficient. guest: one of the things i need to stress is that consumers want fuel efficient cars. there are reasons for that, but it is absolutely clear. one of the things that bothers me with the legislation that came out of our committee yesterday, it basically said we should get rid of or reduce regulation with regard to clean air. i think the republicans should go along with the oil industry. they are telling us they want more fuel efficient cars. that is what the epa under president obama is putting forth. to suggest that somehow we need to reduce the clean air standards or have less fuel- efficient cars, that is not what the public wants. host: this is from "the
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washington post" -- same article. guest: you know, just by talking to your friends or family. everybody goes out to buy a car, the first thing they ask about the fuel efficiency. they the first is the price, and then the fuel efficiency. this notion somehow that the government should not get involved in fuel efficiency or encourage it, i do not get it. host: talk about what can out of your committee yesterday. your referenced one of the bills. guest: there were two bills. i think they make no sense. one basically said the epa would no longer have to enforce the clean air act by adopting standards that are linked to the
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people's health. in other words, right now, the epa has to make standards that will reduce problems with people's health. that is the key to the standard. again, i do not know anybody that tells me they want to dirty air. they want their kids to breed a dirty air. there is no link between clean air regulations and gas prices in any case. that was one bill. the other one basically says that with regard to the strategic petroleum reserve that if the president were to use this, he has to basically fill it up again by leasing out -- putting out more leases for oil and natural gas on public land. again, i think that is a mistake. you have to be flexible. he now to put a straitjacket on the president and say, next time you may or may not release material from the start because i have to be concerned about how
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i will fill it back in by putting out more leases. you need flexibility. host: frank, a republican in new jersey. thank you for waiting. caller: i have a few things to say and then i'll hang up and listen to the comments with regards to what i have to say. first off, frank pallone, you're not telling the whole truth to the american people about what is going on with drilling in this country. this administration has cut permits and will not allow any new drilling on federal land, which the oil companies know where the oil is. number 2, nobody wants a dirty air. all these new cars that are being made hardly admit any emissions at all. if you want to lower the price of gasoline and oil, you need to let it pass in this country.
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as of right now, all of this clean energy, which i do not have a problem with, all of the money they have spent on a solyndra and all of these places, the technology is not there right now. guest: congressman. i have been critical of the obama administration because of the fact they have given out pieces thought it should not. i am probably even further away from where you are on this issue. you know that the president is moving forward with leasing activities off the plant the coast. i have been totally opposed to that. i think that in the case of the plant thick, including off of new jersey, if we do not have the technology to actually do the type of deep water drilling necessary to really capture anything of the a plan to coast, but the president is actually
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moving forward with leasing and leasing of the that the coast. i think he has gone too far with moving forward on federal property. particularly offshore. given what happened in the aftermath of the bp still. -- spill. host: that was in the panel this morning. "reports from guest: absolutely true. i am on the natural resources committee, the committee of jurisdiction. in the aftermath there was a bipartisan commission.
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there were former republican senators on it. they made a series of recommendations about what should be done for safety in the aftermath of the spill. the republican leadership refused to adopt any of those recommendations. the problem is, you can drill relatively safely in shallow waters, but these deeper waters, typical of the atlantic, there is no reason to believe you would not have another spill like this, or worse. host: democratic caller, maryland. caller: i would like to think the congressman for letting the public know, republicans are telling all kinds of lies about what the president is doing, politicizing green energy, when that is just a really small part
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of any issue. i really want to thank the congressman for bringing to light what is really going on. i just wish there was more outreach and people knew more of what is going on. the president is doing a lot and i am really sick about the republicans and what they're doing. host: that was a democratic caller, but the washington post -- "washington post," editorial accuses the president of pump up rhetoric. they write --
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guest: looked, i think the bottom line is that president obama, more than one else, is weaning us off of middle east oil. i am being partisan now, but what really bothers me about the republican rhetoric is that they always give the impression that -- i call it a false choice. those bills that prompted me to come on the show today that came out of the energy and commerce committee yesterday. this idea that you have clean air or a clean environment and at the same time have, you know, low gas prices. that somehow if you deregulate everything, you can get rid of the clean-air protections, whatever, it will create more jobs and improve the economy. i just do not buy that false choice. i think it even have a healthy
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environment. earth day will be coming next sunday, if i can mention. you have a healthy environment, a good economy, and adequate energy supplies. i do agree that the real answer is energy independence from the least oil, but i think that the president's all of the above policies are moving in that direction faster than any predecessor. host: the congressman mentioned two bills moving out of committee yesterday. they wanted to talk about prices on the house floor. one of them was finalizing regulations until a commission analyzed gas price impacts and strategic energy production and leasing on federal land that the fed -- president releases land from. let's go to pittsburgh, pennsylvania. independent caller.
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caller: my question was -- earlier, the representative said that he had some reading material that he was not going to read. i was wondering if he was sandbagging. why would he not give us the information regarding speculation? my second question is -- are you trying to say there should be no speculation? is this just oil speculation? speculation on gold and silver? >> my information is about to what extent speculation accounts for the oil price. basically, there is a lot of indication that during this last cycle of gas prices increasing, that speculation has played a major role.
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but i do not want to get into a debate about how much of a role it has played. i think that what the president is saying is that he would like to have the tools to prevent speculation if it is out there, rather than dwell on how much speculation there is. i think it is a good idea for him to have those tools, that's all. >> this -- host of this comes from twitter. -- host: this comes from twitter. guest: obviously, the goal is always low fuel prices. if you want to increase domestic manufacturing, the goal of myself and the president, the president always talks about bringing manufacturing back, which it has begun to do in the last few years. low fuel prices are a part of that. one of the things that the president proposed was not only giving tax credits for
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renewables, like oil, power, solar power, but also giving a tax break to companies that manufacture of things here using renewables. he has even proposed, which i agree to, taking away the subsidy that we give to oil companies and following that back into domestic manufacturing that focuses on renewable resources, like wind and solar. i agree that the private sector is moving toward green technology, but i think they could use some help in that regard. maybe we use the subsidies for the oil companies to help to boost that. >> -- host: your on the air with frank pallone, representing the sixth district of new jersey.
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caller: i try to watch as much c-span as i can. i am constantly learning about positions. one of the questions i was going to ask the congressman is how long has been in congress and, in my opinion, that is too long, there should be term limits. the question of energy is -- has the sierra club ever approved anything? do you take any political contributions from conservation groups? do you support the keystone pipeline? several of our neighbors have as much oil as we do and, it seems to me, i would like to hear the congressman's opinion on the natural resources that we have here. i would also like to hear what president obama for his party is going to do to lower gas prices.
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thank you. host: there is a lot there. guest: let's see if we can get to all of it. when i was first elected in 1988, just so you know, my district is along the ocean. it has changed a little, but where i live is along the ocean. back in 1988 when i was first elected, we had all the dumping of debris and garbage, sewage, everything, it was ruining the oceans. our economy was very dependent on tourism. i was always very pro environment. i was always supported by the sierra club and other local conservation groups as well. what was the other thing you mentioned? host: the democratic agenda for helping to lower gas prices.
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guest: i think that what the president has said, even what the post has said, we need to have energy independence. we cannot be dependent on middle east oil. that is important in terms of lowering prices and from a security point of view. i do not want to have to worry about who is in charge in various countries in the middle east and whether or not they will turn off the spigot. energy independence is important from a security and a price point of view. host: we will leave it there. we would rather get some more voices in here. this one is from the twitter page. guest: i think it goes back to what the previous caller said.
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without cheap energy, it will drive the price up for everything. if you want to have domestic manufacturing, for example, increasing to create more jobs, low energy costs are important. host: barry, democratic caller, ky. caller: thank you for taking my call. thank you to c-span. i have learned so much about the government just watching this channel, because i stay at home a lot. my question is -- i thought that the epa was an overseer of gas companies. the hard lines and oil wells. i have oilwells on my property. i have electric lines running across the ground. i have poles that can knock your head off if you are bush
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hogging. i do not know how to get this mess cleaned up. guest: i hate to sound like such a bureaucrat, but i think it is complicated. i think that the epa has some oversight, but it is also under the department of transportation and the department of the interior. she said she was in texas? host: no, ky. guest: unfortunately, it was a lot of jurisdictions. we could look it up as she got in touch. host: she can find your contact information on your web site. guest: yes. host: josh, independent, arkansas. caller: today started out leaning on speculation. we have gone off into ideas of different energy sources. i think we are in the same
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situation we have always been in. we have a high demand in our country for something that we cannot supply ourselves in our country. to blame it on speculation and the same old arguments that have been going on for years and years as gas prices go up and up, my point, my question, in the last couple of months might gas has been about 50 cents per gallon. in recent times, congressman, can you tell me that the sanctions on iran and the inflation of the american dollar and weakness of the american dollar played no part in this? guest: i do not know the we have ever -- certainly not in the recent past, been dependent on oil from iran in the united states. but as the president said, it is
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a world market. as you eliminate supplies for iran to sanctions, those countries, like china and india, who are heavily dependent on iranian oil even now, it will have an impact. this goes back to the same thing. we cannot let the bad guys run the show. my greatest fear with iran right now, and the reason for the sanctions, we do not want them to develop the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon, the scariest thing i can imagine. i think that the sanctions are important and it is important for us to put those sanctions on and try to convince iran that they should not develop a nuclear weapon, because that would be the worst of all. but this goes back to the same thing. we do not want to be dependent on these rogue regimes for oil. host: we have this message from
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twitter. guest: i do not think we have accomplished nothing. will we have discussed, moving towards more efficient standards, consumers are educated now, and they understand it is more important, for whatever reason they are responding to it. we are doing more drilling. there has even been a response to the drill, baby, drill meme. we are certainly providing incentives. i think we need to provide more because the republicans eliminated the tax credits that we wanted to see renewed or expanded. we are making progress. i would like to be faster, but that goes back to the political system of what we can accomplish. host: good morning to you, don.
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host: first time i am speaking to you -- caller: first time i am speaking to you, but i am a frequent caller on the 30 day patterns. you can tell the congressman is lying because his lips are moving. every dollar that the government spends is wrapped up in taxes for senior citizens. retired people, workers. ,ook at nancy pelosi's travel obama's travel, they keep spending money like they are kings and queens, royalty, and the people are ignorant taxpayers that just have to pay more taxes. they increased the debt and do not want to admit that it is a spending problem. they call it a wrap -- lack of revenue. unbelievable. gas prices, when you look at what the epa makes, in pennsylvania you see the drilling that is trying to take
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place to take this economically deprived state and these guys are worried about frakking? they bring out more and more reasons that allow them to take the money that they can send to their selected group, like mr. neely and his two glasses of wine -- host: lets have a congressman respond. guest: you said a lot, but the main thing you said that bothered me in what i call a false choice, you can have a clean environment and grow the economy. they are not mutually exclusive. i am not saying that is what you were suggesting, but you sort of implied it. too much regulation, spending too much money. we have to grow the economy. the economy will not grow just by cutting everything and eliminating regulation. i think you can do both. that is what we're trying to
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accomplish. at the same time, making the water and the air clean so that we do not pollute the environment and hurt the health of future generations. >> a couple more phone calls. josh, democratic line, you are on the air. caller: c-span, television that i pay for. my question is, and as always is something i want to ask people in the oil and gas market -- how much of the oil that we drill, talking about drilling, everywhere the we drill, how much is used by americans? how much is used by americans? with multiple production companies, all of their gas
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prices are basically on the floor. host: you make a good -- caller: -- guest: you make a good point. i do not know exactly what the answer is. last year, for the first time, the amount of oil and natural gas that we exported was greater than the amount of the imported. so, there is a lot of discussion right now in congress and washington about whether or not that makes sense. that there is too much oil and natural gas that we are increasing production of, simply being exported, and what are the consequences? it also has come up in the consequence of the keystone pipeline. a lot of the fuel, whatever, that is going to be transported
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by the pipeline, is actually planned to be exported. some have suggested that perhaps we say that if any production comes from public lands, it would have to be kept in the united states. i think that sounds like a good idea. how that impacts prices, that is not clear. host: bill, independent caller, you are the last for the congressman. go ahead. caller: you are taxing the republicans. i do not know how many times i have been listening here. in reality, your the one that does not want clean air. the democrats killed the flex fuel amendment in the energy bill last year. if you were to pass that amendment, the flex fuel standard for every car sold in the united states, that one amendment was the most
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important one in the entire bill. that would have brought us energy independence, clean air, and low fuel prices. guest: i was just reacting to what happened yesterday, which was i guess my reason for being on the show. republicans are in charge in the house and they passed a bill out of committee saying they wanted to eliminate the requirement that the clean air act be responsive to the health of individuals, children, and all that, which i think makes no sense. look, to sum up, the most important thing here is what the president calls the all of the above approach. if we are going to try to end up with cheaper energy, and if we want to wean ourselves off of middle east oil with energy independence, we have to do all these things. almost everything that is being mentioned here. i think that that is the answer
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in the long run. you have to increase production in the long run. you have to look toward renewable energy as an alternative fossil fuel. i am just trying to say that i think this president has done a lot to move us in that direction. the republicans have hindered it to some extent in the house. host: on the issue of middle east oil, we have this tweet. host: can you tell our viewers where we get our oil from them and not just the middle east. guest: all different sources. nigeria, mexico, latin america, africa. from the middle east as well. and, of course, there is domestic production. from all different sources.
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host: thank you for being back on "washington journal," and talking to our viewers, congressman frank pallone. guest: thank you. host: later we will turn to our spotlight magazine series. the cover of "wired," for april is our topic. but first, a news update from c- span radio. >> house speaker, john boehner, remarking to cbs news, says the president obama cannot run for reelection on his economic record, so his campaign will " pull out every boogeyman that they can." last summer the president lost his courage, according to john boehner. his campaign will start running its first spanish-language television ads in colorado, nevada, and florida, states
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with a growing hispanic populations. they are to be the first in a series of ads of this nature. united states and its allies are looking to pull away from the front lines in afghanistan next year. officials are working on finalizing the handover program and looking at world support. at the same time, a senior u.s. defense official is insisting that australia remain a solid combat partner and not allow early. yesterday the prime minister announced that the country expected to pull most of their troops out of afghanistan, and it was interpreted as an outline for combat withdrawal next year. officials say that the plans have not changed. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> jury selection began this week in the retrial of roger clemens.
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charged with knowingly lying to congress in february of 2008 on performance enhancing drug use in baseball. >> let me read what his wife said. "i oppose and state in 1999 or 2000, and he told me that he had had a conversation with roger clemens in which roger admitted to him using human growth hormones." mr. clemens, once again, i remind you that you are under oath. you said this conversation never happened. if that was true, why would she remember and be telling her about the conversation? >> once again, i think he misremembers a conversation that we had. our relationship was close enough to know that if i had known that he had done hgh, which i now know, we would have
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talked about the subject. he would have come to me to ask me about the effects of it. >> washington, 2008 testimony, on line. with the order -- over one quarter century of american politics and public affairs, on your computer. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with phil gingrey, continuing our conversation about oil prices and gas prices. yesterday president obama, talking about oil speculator is and what he wanted to do about that, responded to criticism of his energy policy. >> [video clip] everyone understands that if -- what they do not say is that we have been drilling more. america is producing more oil than in any time in the last eight years.
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we have opened up new areas for exploration. we have quadrupled the number of operating rigs. we have enough oil and gas pipelines to circle the earth and then some. host: congressman? guest: the thing the president did not say is that if he had approved the keystone pipeline, about 700 million barrels of oil per day could come from alberta, canada, down from western canada. the entire amount, -- contained in the strategic reserve. he is talking about manipulating and short-term fixes, well what is that? releasing oil from the strategic reserve, which is for strategic emergencies. not to be used for his own political emergency. host: on the issue of tax
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prices and policy, looks like gasoline has reached its peak, might come down, driven by consumer consumption. people are driving less and not spending as much money and gas. it says that the federal highway administration says the number of vehicle miles driven in january was lower than in any year since 2004. it goes on to say -- guest: well, i do not know, honestly. last friday, the price of oil and gasoline at the pump in one area of the united states was $3.96 per gallon. it is going up. it might dip down, but the summer vacation time is not even here. i think that we could very easily see $5 per gallon at the
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pump by early fall, deep into the election season. clearly, it could be a political problem. especially for this president. host: how does he plan to respond to the democratic agenda? guest: honestly, we had responded. what you saw in the subcommittee on energy and power yesterday, the bills that came out to say -- one, if the president thinks the solution is to release from the strategic reserve in like amounts of increased production -- by the way, as he pointed out in that clip a minute ago, we are producing more oil and gas than ever before. on private land, not public land. that statistic is not disputed. and that each should allow more drilling on public land, if any
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amount of oil is released from the reserve. if only he had approved the pipeline, per day the total volume in the strategic reserve could come to this country in the way of increased production from canada. >> this deals with the epa and their clean air decision making power. what do house republicans want to do on that? guest: it simply says that if the epa is going to continue to have burdensome rules and regulations on the gas and oil industry in this company -- this country, and they think that is the solution, let's wait 60 days and get an interagency study to include the department of energy to see, truly, if what they're saying is actual facts before we have more rules and regulations. we already have far too many from the epa.
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host: your colleague on the committee, who was just with us, said that that is not necessary when you look at statistics that are quoted in "the washington post," this morning. people want fuel-efficient cars and clean energy. that this trend is having a tectonics' impact. the university of michigan said that the fuel efficiency -- guest: well, my party, the republican party, the majority party is certainly not opposed to clean air and the clean air act, and we understand the need to be rules and regulations, but the president himself in an executive order one year ago said that before any additional rules and regulations are proffered and put in a public
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register, you have to have an economic impact study as well. so, this is just an extension of his executive order, this bill that the chairman in the republican majority passed yesterday. host: first phone call for you comes from a democratic caller in louisiana. caller: i would like to ask the congressman a few questions. is he aware that to date, last month, last week, according to the oil industry, we have 2000 more rigs in the united states than we had last year at this time? when obama came into office? also, are you aware that china has purchased controlling interests in the tar sands? it will shake yield down to the keystone pipeline. one of the questions, you talk about public land. are you talking about drilling
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in the grand canyon and yellowstone? the president at that time testified that at least 4% of the oil one year ago was from speculator is speculating on oil. i will hang up and listen to your answer. guest: i appreciate all of those very good questions. you pointed out that there are more oil rigs in the united states this year than last year. as i said earlier, when we listened to the president's clip from yesterday, yes, there are more. there is more domestic production this year than last year. but his reasoning in going after oil and natural gas in this company on private land, like the shale and -- shale in pennsylvania, or no dakota, not
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on the outer continental shelf, there is still essentially a moratorium put in place by the president. it exists today. the other question that you brought up about china buying a controlling interest of oil in alberta, indeed, the prime minister of canada come only after president obama made that decision, and i think a very political decision, as a tribute, if you will, to the environmentalists that support him, to not approve keystone and bring 700 million barrels of oil per day down to the refineries in the gulf coast area, yes, the prime minister canada decided to go ahead and cut a deal with china and build a pipeline to the west coast to ship it in tankers. 70% of the spills have occurred in the last 10 years have been
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tanker spills, not drilling rigs in the gulf of mexico. the last point brought up about drilling in the grand canyon or yellowstone national park, you know, we all know, all the listeners know that there is no drilling, nor will there ever be drilling in our national parks. most of this twitter question -- -- host: we have a question from twitter. guest: that is of course what the republican -- democrats continue to say. the republican governor there has not said that is the problem. that nebraska has worked that out. if you listen to the senior member and vice chairman of the energy and commerce committee from nebraska, clearly that is not the problem. the state department studied this issue over 2.5 years ago
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and said that there was no problem and that they were just making excuses for inaction. host: an e-mail from stephen. guest: the president, he may be the nicest man in the world, he may have the most wonderful family and a great personality, but he has had a failed presidency. host: morton, new hampshire, good morning. caller: i am happy to be on. i have been trying to get on for this subject for some time. one thing that disturbs me is that we keep overlooking the economy when we talk about oil. i do not think that the american
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people are aware that the taxpayers actually own a great supply of oil in the and what preserve, alaska. right next to the alaskan pipeline, owned by the state of alaska. it troubles me that we do not consider, historic way, the economic health of alaska. one answer is that tax time, which we are in now, every resident in alaska gets a check of profits from the alaskan pipeline. how much do they get? $3,000 each year. we have many, many times more oil, in 12% of the preserve, the alaska had in previous reserves. this gentleman is correct.
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the president has not -- he has steadfastly refused to open it up, which is owned by the taxpayer. it is controlled by the department of the interior, where they acknowledged, all the experts say that there is a potential gold mine, if you want to use the phrase. host: let's have the congressman respond. guest: you have -- you are absolutely right. the supply coming from the field has diminished and the utilization of the alaskan pipeline, there has been such a tremendous success, and by the way no danger to the care bill, , it is underutilized and jobs are lost. you talk about the alaskan national wildlife reserve, hundreds of millions of acres, and we are talking about 2,000
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acres of frozen tundra. clearly, that needs to be opened up. we have been debating this for years. it is time to open it up. talking about jobs, think about what is going on in north dakota in the oil field of natural gas that has been discovered up there. people are willing to drive to north dakota. some of them have to live in the back of their pickup, because there is no housing yet, but people are making $70,000 per year taking jobs in the fast- food industry. you clearly bring up the point in the economy of how important domestic oil production and natural gas production are in drilling for our own resources in an environmentally it safe and clean way. we will make sure that that continues to be done properly, but that is one great way to stimulate this economy and get
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this joblessness rate below 8%. it has both -- it has been above 8% since the president was inaugurated, so it is time to put an end to that. host: this question from twitter -- guest: well, it is something that is very important, because if we allow states along both the eastern seaboard, the west coast, for example my own state of georgia, or california, they share in a profit. they get the fees for the leasing rights and they get to
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share in those about royalties. -- though -- share in those royalties. there are so many additional benefits, other than energy independence and national security, it is the economic health of the states that are at risk here. host: cleveland, ohio, mary, republican line. caller: thank you. i am a republican. i love c-span. one of the things that is incredibly frustrating to me is when a republican sits up there and spins this pile of padlam. transcanada was given her permission to put a pipeline wherever they wanted to. they actually threaten the american citizens with the ability to take away their property to run their pipeline,
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even though the route had not been approved. i have heard of people paying -- getting anywhere from 100,0002000 jobs, but it is actually only 6000 jobs. the china -- china was going to -- i have heard people getting anywhere from one cuts -- 100,000 job to 200,000 jobs, but it is actually only 6000 jobs. nebraska farmers are also upset. guest: mary, you sound like such a republican. i am glad you called on the republican line. you can question the number of direct jobs that would be created if president obama had approved in keystone xl pipeline. would you agree that there is a minimum of 10,000 direct jobs? that is a fair compromise. we have been saying 100,000
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indirect jobs. would you agree to compromise at 50? we are talking about at least a minimum of 60,000 jobs created by the pipeline. i have to respect fully agree with my fellow republican, mary, we should build the pipeline right away. host: this is doug, from twitter. guest: well, again, the market is a global market. certainly, the more production that we have, the more domestic production that we have, we are probably importing something like 45, maybe as much as 50% of what we use on a daily basis. most of that, of course, and frank was on earlier, a democrat, pointing out that oil
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comes from a lot of different sources. most of our imports come from canada. mexico may be as well. the opec nations are probably less than 20%. less money was transferred from our people to china or these other countries that are players in the market, even though clearly they are a player. we need to have increased domestic production. more than anything else, that will bring down the cost. host: members of the presidential panel that investigated the bp oil rig explosion --
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guest: quite honestly, deep water drilling, this was a tragic accident. as i pointed out earlier, the think that the exxon valdez oil spill had anything to do with drilling on the outer continental shelf? absolutely not. this was a tanker that ran aground and literally destroyed the environment for years in the pacific northwest. is that what we want? we want to stop all the drilling in the gulf of mexico and have these partnerships with
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big rigs coming from cuba? that is what is happening. we took the exact wrong policy toward this. asking people like steve, and other congressional members, even mary landrieu, from louisiana, about what they think about safety and what we should have done in the aftermath. host: these drilling regulations dealing with safety in place before the oil spill, are they adequate today? guest: they were up -- i do not think that they were adequate. as a result of that tragic accident, i think that drilling is safer. but to put up a moratorium and say that we will wait, just like president obama is doing with keystone xl, waiting after the election, when the political climate is more favorable, that
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only spells economic disaster for the country. host: what about the panel? they are saying that congress needs to act. guest: i think all allegis threat -- legislation regarding drilling safety has been done. time to get the economy stimulated. host: they are saying not one piece has passed. guest: that is not true. i probably have a list of 30 different bills we have passed in the house that we have sent to the senate. they just stacked up on harry reid's best like firewood. he does not want to have to take any tough votes and offend the environmentalists, labor unions, any of the democratic constituency. that is why this has not passed.
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where our leadership, under speaker boehner, we have done this before. guest: -- host: todd, wisconsin, what is the name of your town? caller: [unintelligible] host: go-ahead. caller: the earlier caller about the keystone pipeline, i know we keep regurgitating this, but if anyone thinks that putting a keystone pipeline in is going to bring down the cost at the pump or what you pay for your heating needs, it is a lie. it is not going to happen. they will put it on a barge like they do right now and they will ship the access to a foreign country. you will still pay the world market price. the price will not go down. i do not care how you explain it. it is not going to happen. but we keep regurgitating this.
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host: we will get the republican response. guest: you seem to agree strongly with mary, who quite coincidentally called in on the republican line. maybe she is a personal friend of yours. in any regard, there is a strategic reserve of petroleum heating oil in the northeast. recommending that the president solve the problem by releasing some of those reserves, these are strategic -- that is why it is called that -- reserves. the country is in a situation where, let's say, all the opec nations decided that there would be no more shipment of any
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petroleum products in the united states. that is a strategic emergency. that is a reason to release i do not know, 50, maybe 100 million barrels of oil. but if you release it all, it would only last 75 days. but that would be a reason. but just because the price has gone up inconveniently for president obama in this pre- election year, to take the chance of releasing these reserves for political reasons is absolutely a mistake. host: denver, colorado, frank, independent. caller: i am an independent. i was a democrat until 2002. i understand the conservative fought very well. the previous caller is correct. we are putting about 1 million
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cars per day on the road and the republicans are going to dictate the price of oil to the world, we will sell at on the open market because that is the capitalistic way. there is no way all the drilling in the world, all the pipelines in the world, will bring down the price of gas. guest: than what are you suggesting? that we continue the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the gulf of mexico? that we do not drill off of the outer continental shelf? that we do not open up the public lands? of course, not the national parks. to increase drilling? that we continue the moratorium on the keystone xl pipeline? that we do not go after the reserves in alaska? that would be up to $2 billion
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-- 2 billion barrels per day. is that what you are suggesting? we have been criticized, the congressman before me, and myself, that these do nothing congressman, that even when jimmy carter was president back in the late 1970's, that we have just ignored one crisis after another. are you suggesting that we simply do nothing because if we increase domestic production we will somehow seep into the global market? that does not make any sense. we are for and will continue to before, we republicans, and all of the above approach, just as we were in 2008, when we stayed here during the so-called summer august recess and literally sat on the house floor and talked to the american people every day about and all of the above approach.
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i am not going to sit here and suggest to you that i am opposed to fuel standards and clean coal technology, as an example, or carbon sequestration, to promote solar and wind energy, but we cannot give away hundreds of millions of dollars to companies who have a cockeyed approach to developing solar panels as political favors. host: you represent the 11th district of georgia, representing marietta, rome, and carter still. bringing up another issue, medicare solvency. you put this release out yesterday. host: what is your report about? what did you find out?
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guest: this was issued by tom coburn, dr. brass so, and myself. three of the four doctors and orthopedic surgeons. we know what we speak. what we're trying to point out to the american people, particularly the seniors, is the fact that when the medicare hospital insurance becomes insolvent, and one of the trustees appointed by president obama, by the way, just came out with an op-ed piece reports suggesting that obama care has created a 10 year deficit of something like $350 million to $500 million, it is not saving anything, because you cannot double count the money that was taken out of the medicare program to help fund this entire entitlement program called the affordable care act.
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what we point out in a press release is that when the trust fund becomes insolvent, seniors, please understand, do not think that your doctor can continue to see the -- see you and have the claims honored from payment from the general treasury, from the general fund, it is against the law and cannot be done. it is against the anti- injunction act of 1898. it is very important for people to understand that the president and democrats in the senate, as they continue to whistle past the graveyard, it is a serious, serious -- i do not think it is an exaggeration to call with a deadly mistake. we have to solve the medicare problem now. we have worked very closely to make sure and encourage them to
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get that message out to seniors. not just to say to them -- do not let congress take away your medicare. make sure that they serve and protect. we absolutely will, but we have to strengthen and be on the trajectory not to let hospital insurance trust funds go bankrupt. it could happen as early as the year 2016. host: what is the game plan from house republicans? guest: the game plan is very much what senator widen, the democrat from oregon, and paul ryan, the chairman of the budget committee, have recommended. they have had a profitable budget for well over three years now. i can only imagine that harry reid does not want his members to take a difficult vote on a
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budget document. but it is required by law. both the house and senate produced a budget and come together with the document so that we know how much money we have to spend and how much we have to borrow, basically. clearly in the house republican budget is a plan to save medicare. what is the president's plan? it is a patient an i/o board to limit and rationed care. that is no solution to a long- term problem with the insolvency facing us in medicare. host: back to our viewers and their thoughts. julia, st. joseph, missouri. caller: good morning, sir. host: good morning, julie. caller: how come they did this under bush? is the epa not one of the primary drivers of the price of
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gas? because of the required land? i know that nancy pelosi, when she controlled congress, they passed a law that released the government and senate, right, over what is required to be met from gas, but the fuel does not even exist. because it is not mixed, it is being penalized and added to the cost of a gallon of gas. that is when i read in "the wall street journal." guest: listen, you bring up important points that need to be addressed. i think, basically, the point is the cost of gasoline has many factors. it is multi-factorial, if you will. the biggest cost driver, of course, is the price of crude oil. when it is $100 per barrel,
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rather than $40 or $50 per barrel, you will see that at the pump. the you cannot take a barrel of crude oil and put that in tear gas tank. it has to be refined. multiple plans are required. penning upon what the epa has made us do -- depending upon what the epa has made us do. transporting that oil in the pipeline to the major metropolitan centers and into the trucks to the gas station and you pull up and get a gallon of regular and you find that it is $3.87 a gallon. the president would want the american people to believe that
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the problem is the horrible speculators who are trading on the commodities future trading exchange in chicago. he knows chicago. he does not understand the commodity futures exchange. no more than 30% of the people who trade on the exchange are speculators. the airlines -- i am sure the big airline commercial carriers have to hedge their bets if they are going to have any kind of a bottom line. the president is determined to try to shift the blame as he has done in so many areas and this is crass politics on his part. thank you for that question. host: democratic caller from florida. caller: how much of the keystone
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pipeline will be exported? how much of the alaskan pipeline is being exported? what are we doing subsidizing oil companies, the most profitable companies in the united states? that is one of the biggest problems. thank you for taking my call. guest: jim a good point. i have heard this brought up by my colleagues. who knows how much of the 700 million barrels of oil that could come from canada down to our refineries in texas and louisiana by way of oklahoma in this keystone xl pipeline? i do not know. this is a global market. all of these resources get nicked.
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the united states reserves are plentiful. we know that. it is available. why should be any objection to some of the oil that is discovered, recovered, refined in this country, ending up being used in mexico or canada or brazil? i do not get your point there. the other question you asked escapes my mind. host: subsidies for oil and gas companies. guest: exactly. i mentioned solyndra and some of these subsidies that of come from the department of energy in the obama administration and this has cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in these failed ventures.
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when you give tax incentives to oil and gas companies -- exxon mobile employees tens of thousands of people in the united states. if you have a retirement, a pension plan, 401(k) and you have a few mutual funds in that account, go look today and see what portion of your portfolio is invested in xm mobile or one of these oil companies in your county -- invested in exxon mobile. host: chris gray on twitter -- guest: chris, i am so glad you
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brought that up. you know i'm from georgia. we have a great company in georgia called the southern co.. the division in georgia is georgia power. we have four nuclear reactors. the nuclear commission has given approval for two additional reactors close to my home town in augusta, georgia. they depend on gravity for cooling. if there was a catastrophe, i don't think you would get a tsunami in a portion of georgia. if all power went out, you still would not have a problem with meltdown because the cooling is
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a gravity system. fukushima was a time to look at the study and consider and think if there are additional safety factors that need to be put in place. if other power companies that also would like to be licensed to bring reactors online. none have been brought on line since the days of jimmy carter, after a three-mile island. we know that nuclear power is safe and reliable and efficient. it has been expensive and it is still expensive. when you're paying $3.97 a gallon at the pump. now is a time for more nuclear power to come online.
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host: it will cost more if it does not go well. guest: if $14 billion is a correct number. that is an estimate. the rate-payers in georgia are paying as we speak even though those reactors are not online yet. we keep putting this off and putting it off and it is -- what is the amount of nuclear power in this country? 20% of our electric power generation. the average is less than 20%. it should be at least 25% of the mix. georgia is a leader in that field. host: charles in virginia, independent.
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good morning, charles. caller: good morning. my name is charles addams. i have a question for mr. gin grey. i'm not here to address you down this morning -- to dress you down. the containment company -- which you asked that they produce a patent number for their so- called -- before the june 20 sale? thank you. guest: i have been here for most of the allotted time this morning and all the questions have been good and tough. i felt capable and adequate in handling but your question has stumped me completely.
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i do not know one word of which you speak. host: we have about 10 minutes. let me get your reaction to this "the washington post" article. guest: well, i can only say that my colleague from wisconsin who has been in the public eye so much lately, maybe in the vice- presidential mix on the republican ticket. as chairman of the house budget committee, it is his
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responsibility along with leadership to develop a responsible budget. to question a person's morality, again, i think he is a very moral individuals with great integrity. the budget is develop within the budget committee and is presented to the entire house of representatives. there were a number of democrats who voted for the republican budget. president obama maybe the person who took it would suggest he had a very moral budget that the sent to us two weeks late, and not one single member of the house representatives voted for his moral budget. they all voted no.
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host: we have a few minutes left with you. a republican from kentucky. caller: i would like to ask you if you can confirm or tell me if it is true. we cannot get away from oil completely and fossil fuels. look at all the plastic products. we cannot get away from a it until we replace all the things we create. guest: that is such a good question. you know a couple of callers brought up the fact that if we produce more oil domestically or if we import more oil from canada, some of that oil might end up in foreign markets.
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well, god forbid. it is not just gasoline or heating oil that comes from crude. there are residual petroleum products that go into the plastics industry. none of those products can be sold into the foreign markets and yet they complete every time they go to walmart, nine of 10 products say "made in china" or "made in japan." host: 8 democrat in ohio -- a democrat in ohio. caller: i have a commoent. you were mentioning the energy program that the president tried
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to get out. we should not try to invest any money in it. the big subsidies that the oil companies are receiving and they are making billions of dollars of profits perk that doesn't make sense to me. host: i will have the congressmen respond. guest: you make a good point. i am not opposed to the government subsidizing energy production as long as it isn't and all of the above approach, whether it is a loan guarantee to produce a nuclear power plant or research and development tax credits for fossil fuels, clean oil, corn and sequestration, clean coal technology.
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we're going to be using fossil fuel for a long, long time. we can completely eliminate our current footprint in this country. we would have to stop breathing. host: thank you for coming back to the "washington journal." guest: my pleasure. host: up next, our magazine series. the final piece of secret surveillance network that will intercept and store your e-mails and google searches. watch what you say. we'll be right back. [video clip] >> today we go to new jersey to talk with the second prize winner. hi, zach. how are you?
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>> i am well. >> why did you choose that topic to focus on? >> i have been brainstorming all the different freedoms. these are the questions i asked people on the street in my video. all the freedoms were not part of the original constitution. there were amendments to the constitution. that made me hackneyed, because maybe a lot of other people would be doing that. the amendments to the constitution or not as important as article v itself. that is part of the original constitution. >> what did you learn from the random interviews? >> i realize that everybody has
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an esoteric view on the constitution. it is a cursory understanding. they don't really get the full picture of what the constitution is. it impacts the people of the united states. >> you interviewed some experts on the topic. >> i interviewed the lawyers, i got a political perspective. i interviewed historians and i got more than just why we do this or how we do this. how they did this originally. it was the original intention. the constitution is a wonderfully crafted document that was extremely well thought out. >> tell us your favor part in
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creating this documentary. >> when i was in the editing process and all my interviews -- i was not sure how it would come together. after going over the statements and the different talking points, i realized this could be put into something excellent and something interesting. when you see each individual interviewer, each statement after a question, it doesn't seem like it could be put into something so cohesive. once it got put together, it is something awesome. >> we do what others -- what would you like others to learn from your documentary? >> that the constitution is something more than just the
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freedom of speech, the freedom of religion. how that legislation process works and how everything in the constitution is extremely well thought out. >> thank you for taking time to talk with us. here's a brief portion of the documentary. >> what is article v? do you know what article v of the constitution is? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> the congress shall propose amendments to the constitution and then should the joint resolution passed with 2/3 votes in both houses, then it goes to the states where the 38 states, 3/4 of the states will have to
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ratify it before it becomes the law of the land. a provision allows the states in the face of inaction to ask for a constitutional convention to be established for that purpose. >> what makes article v so important? >> you can continue the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we're talking about the recent cover issue of "wired" magazine about the national security agency building a new and the biggest spy center. james bamford is joining us and nsa een following a ththe for a number of years.
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guest: this is a large data center -- it will keep all kinds of communication. it will serve as a cloud. an agency listening posts from different parts of the country will be able to tap into that communication that is stored there. it is a big storage center. host: why is this necessary? guest: nsa and is set communications all over the world. you have to have someplace to put it. that is what they built the data center -- that is why they built the data center. they intercept communications and breaking codes and making
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coats for the u.s. to break the codes, you have to intercept the communications. that is one the nsa has been doing -- putting satellites in space. and sifting through all this data, looking for whatever targets they are looking for. host: of foreign nationals? guest: of whenever targets. anybody can be a target in the united states. they were up to a million people on the watch lists. a lot of them are there because they said the wrong word at the wrong time or they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. host: nsa established by
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president truman. host: on the mission. you write american citizens need to be watching what they say. guest: that was the controversy under president bush. eavesdropping on americans. like the marines or other organizations, it was formed to eavesdrop outside the in the state's -- outside of the united states. the nsa was not used to police the electronics enormous of the united states. it was designed to eavesdrop on foreign countries and foreign people.
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this is a big change. nsa is changing to eavesdropping on americans. this happened during the nixon administration. it eavesdropped on u.s. communications until it was discovered in 1975. there was a history of eavesdropping illegally on american citizens and then lying about it. host: are you saying what they will be doing, that that is illegal? guest: there is a law which determines what is illegal or illegal. nsa has its own internal guidelines. definition of words in terms of "intercept."
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you can pull all this information in but it is not tactically intercepted until you listen to it. there's a problem with definitions and there is a problem with the capability to intercept so much information all the time. host: the nsa chief was asked about your story. i want to show that moment and a congressional hearing just last month. [video clip] >> does the nsa routinely intercepts american e-mails? >> no. >> does the nsa intercept americans' cell phone conversations? >> no. >> google searches? >> no. >> text messages?
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>> no. >> what a judicial consent is required for the nsa to intercept communications and information involving american citizens? if it is within the united states. to conduct the kind of collection in the united states, it would have to go through a court order and the court will have to authorize it. we're not authorized to do it nor do we do woulit. guest: the term was " interception" and the nsa has their own definition of what " means.eptiointerception" they asked officials backed in
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the 197's about it -- the 1970's about it and they denied it. the nsa does not have accountability. there was an offhand comment made by a congressman who happen to ask one question. i think there has to be a good congressional investigation of ensa's capability is host: what are the building it there in utah? guest: senator orrin hatch had a lot to do about it. a very powerful senator. they have the area. it is a very open military base
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in utah. i think the cost of electricity is cheaper than in maryland, where the headquarters is. host: it should be ready in 2013 and the cost is to build an dollars -- $2 billion. >> $40 million a year to run it. it is hard to say how much exactly but some more around that. host: why is that? guest: you need several things. you need all these servers to store all the data. and because is the cooling. -- a big cost is the cooling. you have to cool the servers and
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that takes in one of electricity to run the cooling machines, the air-conditioning. host: especial supercomputer it was built for the utah data center -- a special supercomputer. guest: a lot of information will be encrypted information. there is a lot of communications that people send every day whether you buy a book from amazon or sending a credit-card information. all that is in corrected -- all encrypted.cruste to break the code, you need a lot of data. you cannot break a code if you don't have a lot data.
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they need a computer will look for those patterns and sift to the combinations. they needed a computer that will do that quickly and that is what they are building, the world's fastest computer in tennessee. same place they built the atomic bomb in world war ii. host: how fast is the computer? guest: it operates at petaflop speed. a quadrillion operations a second. some around 10 petaflops now and they are trying to advance a one thousandfold, a zenaflop. very fast. host: you talk about the amount of data going through. some of the terms each route, i don't know if people have heard
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of. people have heard of megabytes and gigabytes. guest: the yottabyte is the biggest. a yottabyte would be about 500 quintillion pages of text. you can store a lot of information in a facility that will be 1 million square feet. you can put a terabyte on a swiss army knife. they have a blade that is a terabyte of data. you can put a lot of debt in a building the size of the nsa data center in utah -- you can put a lot data. host: this is a graphic. who will work there? guest: the building is where
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in. of the jobs come there will be about 10,000 jobs. host: contractors. guest: 200 at the most. it is basically babysitting the electronics, making sure everything is working. the analysis will be done externally by a secure fiberoptic link. host: what they do is top secret. the contractors had to be sworn to secrecy to get this bid. there was a groundbreaking ceremony. how did you get this in formation? -- this information? guest: i did three books on nsa.
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i have been falling it -- i have been following it for many years. one of my key sources for this article was the person who designed the entire worldwide eavesdropping network for nsa. he automatic the network for nsa. he left the nsa after an essay began illegally eavesdropping on americans. he could not be there while they were doing illegal eavesdropping. he explained how the nsa was still in its eavesdropping and where it was doing it from and methods. he said there were something
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like this render 20 million -- 320 million calls a day there were intercepting. , said we're this far away putting his fingers together, from may toilets are in state -- from a toilet to reinstalataria. host: james bamford is the author of the piece is "wired" magazine. robin is a republican in michigan. caller: good morning. i have a couple of comments to make. i remember thinking, 20 years ago hearing about the computer system that had in belgium.
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this one will put the belgian one to shame. the people that became ibm had a tracking system and they were able to round up all the jews. this is an outrage. we had journal patras' saying they will be putting tracking devices in our appliances -- we had general petraeus saying they will be putting tracking devices in our appliances. it is incredible what our country has become. host: a she accurate? -- is she accurate? guest: there are very few congressional hearings on where we're going in terms of surveillance. i think is a cross party issue.
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republicans, libertarians, and liberals are concerned about this issue. 20 years ago, 30 years ago, you could not do that. people completed with -- people communicate with a telephone or the mail, and the mail was sacrosanct. you could not open the mail. today, everybody communicates with e-mail, talk on cell phones, tweets, go on facebook, looked on a globgoogle. you can watch a person for a week or so and get the person's life down pat by watching their electronic footprints. host: that information my
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not tell you much -- might not tell you much. explain about the in cryptic information -- the encrypted information. >> it is more difficult to get into encrypted information. they would do that mostly on large-scale encryption to get the entire network of how works. they would try to subvert somebody in a foreign country that works on computers to try to get the information. it is much more difficult if it is encrypted.
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host: how good is the united states and britain in these codes? guest: that is hard to say. the nsa was able to break the encryption in world war ii. it is difficult to break codes, but that is what their job is. host: we have a comment on twitter. is that true? guest: i cannot say that
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actually. they are up there in the top few. google probably stores a lot. there's probably a lot for facebook. nsa intercepts more communications and they need a place to steore it. i would say that is probably accurate. host: chris, their credit call from connecticut -- democratic caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. you do is very good work. the spend time on the history of the area and you focus a lot on the polygamy that was original there.
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i wonder if you are implying there is an alien mindset that is different from most americans that allows these people to travel our civil-rights. basically using his fingers -- host: let's get a response. guest: 10 is looking into where they were building the data center, they belted in a little town in utah and the only other thing i found there was that it was home to the second-largest sect of polygamists in the country, bluffdale. i had six paragraphs looking at this combination of the secretive nsa people coming into
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town and they are listening to the encrypted messages and then you have the polygamists that were listening to messages from the heavens. they are both fairly secretive groups because polygamy is illegal in the united states. you have the eavesdroppers sharing the town with this second-largest sect of polygamists in the country. the town had to stay in its boundary to incorporate the entire facility, the million- square foot nsa facility. it is an interesting note that here roups tehre cohabiting in the same town. caller: the two-party system
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-- i recommend the best book you wrote is one of the greatest books i ever read. i am an activist. i have been working with the 25% solution. our goal is to get the military spending cut by 25% and to send the money back to the city and states and to help the economy. 56 cents out of every federal tax dollar that we sent to the federal government last year goes to military spending, and part of it is for this entire complex you're talking about. that is outrageous. host: do we know what the overall budget of the nsa is? guest: that is all cigarette but the budget is enormous -- that
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is all secretive. three times the size of the cia. in terms of personal, probably about three times as well, 30,000, 40,000 people. it is an extremely expensive agency because of hardware and satellites. in the article, i show all this new building that has been going on in the last 10 years -- a listening post in georgia, texas, colorado, hawaii, new satellites up, putting new dishes and a listening post in england. the headquarters are spending $3 billion on expansion. then the new supercomputer
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facility down in tennessee. it is an enormous building program. i agree with the caller. far too much military spending. the intelligence, security, and industrial complex gobbling up so much money. it would be good of all this money was used fully spent. nsa missed the first world trade center attack and the attack on the uss cole and on the east african embassy and on 9/11. missed the underwear bomber that flew into detroit and they missed the times square bomber.
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they spend, spend all this money and they collect all this information. they have too much information that they collect. host: supporters might say we do not know how many they have caused. you point out what they have not managed to catch. guest: i have interviewed a lot of sources including william binney. i would have found out if there was a massive terrorist operation that they stopped and i never heard of one. host: we have a comment on twitter. back up.ll, let me nsa is an unusual agency. every other agency was formed in
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congress. there were bills or hearings. there was a bill put before congress and it was debated. nsa is not like that. there were never created in law. there was a top-secret memorandum signed by harry truman. congress to not know about it -- congress did not know about it. nsa was created in a secret method. it has lived in this unique world where very few people are ever allowed to ask questions of i aboutt. -- to ask questions about it. the agency has very little accountability. there's a law -- the
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original law of 1978 put this court, a secret court, between the nsa and the public. that is what the bush administration bypassed and broke the law by doing that. then the law was watered down and the role the foreign intelligence surveillance court in eavesdropping. host: john is a republican from st. louis. caller: i have a member of my not immediate family, a distant relative who is that high- ranking officer in intelligence. he has to be vetted every year.
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they asked him repeatedly why my two sons married foreign nationals. and then the other question gets even more interesting. my hobby is pinball war games -- paintball war games. i freely use terms like -- i frequently use terms like war. they ask about my attitudes towards the government's in great detail. if you want to connect the dots, it is because big brother is listening. guest: that is the problem. you're an innocent citizen who was never done anything wrong.
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your comments could be taken out of context. that is how you get so many people on the watch list. he may not even be on the list as a no-fly list but you could be on the nsa blacklist. if you see really or if you had a relative or a son that wanted to go to a service academy, they might back in because they see from the mistaken intercepts indicate you're not a loyal american citizen or you're applying for small business loan and you do not get it and you do not know why. maybe it is because you are on the secret blacklist that the nsa has. those are some of the dangers. that's why you should you care about it.
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you'll knock it that won't be applied for -- you will not get that loan you applied for or because they think the person is involved in terrorism. host: how is the nsa getting this information -- what is the role of telecommunications companies? guest: they have been doing it ever since nsa was created. let me go back to the predecessor of an ess nsa. it has been illegal to help these agencies do it but they have gone along and done thit. at&t and the other companies do whatever nsa ask them regardless
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of whether it was a violation of the law. they suffered no penalties because congress passed a law that said they cannot be prosecuted or they cannot be sued. there's no incentive for these companies to obey the law. you get a bush or nixon -- nixon used it for political reasons. that's the problem. the next president will come along and use it to subvert his political opponents or to use it for nefarious ways, as the nixon administration did. host: we have a question on twitter. guest: that would be an interesting question. i am not a supporter of doing
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away with the nsa. i am in favor of putting the nsa on a leash. i would like to see some compromise where nsa gets the funding it needs but doesn't get the funding that is so excessive that -- and with no questions asked. the next article i wrote about nsa and i said, who was listening to the listeners? that's the problem. host: was their oversight of an nsa? guest: they do. it has shifted. these committees were
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created in the 1970's. he did an enormous search. that's how they found out that nsa had been illegally eavesdropping for 30 years. congress has shifted its role. now they are a cheering squad for the nsa. they are lobbying for more money. it is a complete switch from this hard oversight to wipe attitude.ical - host: james bamford wrote the "wired" cover piece. this comes with a pricetag of $2 billion.
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all the data will be accessible to the nsa codebreakers and others working at the headquarters and around the world. a democratic caller from california. caller: good morning. i have found -- i have always known they have been doing this. people are getting arrested for things they did five years ago. it is for things they have said on their cell phone. it will be interesting to see how that plays out in california. i don't know if the presia prect
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has been set. anything you say on your cell phone, there are red flags. people find themselves behind bars for something they said five years ago. it is in stsane. the citizens of this country need to take this country back and make it a democracy. host: chris from las vegas. caller: thank you for your work. i have found that the utah center seems to be the crowning jewel of what was inspired under the strom thurmond act of 1961. i find it likely there is a quality that interfaces' it with
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the smart meters to the smart grid system that enables those two-way transmitters on your home to create a virtual wire prison that you cannot see at possibly introduction of mind- altering waves into your home from the frequency. host: that was chris in las vegas. now we go to dallas. caller: good morning. you mentioned that congress needs to launch an investigation into the illegal tactics of what the nsa is doing. how is that possible when congress is allowing and passing legislation to allow the nsa to do what they are able to do?
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guest: all those questions are very good. the question that the judgment just asked -- the question that the gentleman just ask -- that is a problem. the problem with the congress are now is that no congress person ever wants to look weak on terrorism. they know their opponents will say, "you voted against this new bill to put the data center in utah," which is an even a bill a bill.isn' isn't even "we have too much surveillance going on" because they are afraid of the accused of being weak on terrorism. anything that nsa comes up with is ok because it will fight this war on terrorism.
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to be opposed to it is to open yourself to criticism from near future opponent who will say you are weak on terrorism. that is a serious problem. you need congress people that have a lot more of fiber to stand up to these agencies. host: how has the obama administration responded to the nsa? guest: they are weak on the issue of privacy. president obama said he was against what the nsa was doing when he was running for president and he would vote against any expansion of an and would vote against immunity to the telecom companies that assisted illegally nsa. when push came to shove, he
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voted in favor of expanded and in favor of immunity to the telecom companies. since then, the surveillance under obama has increased enormously from the bush years. now they are talking about drones flying over the united states and eavesdropping. general petraeus came out a few days ago or less weight saying there is all these connections now to people's electronics in their houses, dishwashers, their electronic components and that the cia feels it has a responsibility to monitor these things. nobody is saying stop. everybody is saying, war on terrorism, we better let them do
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what they want to do. caller: i enjoyed your books. in 2008, i have attended a conference where an admiral spoke about the fleet. i think the 10 fleet is a reinvigoration of the fdr era. the tab for the one out of corporate and additional 44,000 employees on top of 13,000 employees for intelligence gathering. i would like to know if you have heard of this, about this program. the director was a former nsa director. what their budget is. what their budget is.


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