Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 16, 2014 9:00pm-11:01pm EST

9:00 pm
to direct and tell the president this is not accurate and to stop saying that. finally, the president's plan is doing too much too fast. americans -- scientific american justice month had an article entitled "the long slow rise of solar and wind." they cited each widespread transition from one dominant fuel to the other has taken 50 to 60 years, and there's no technical or financial reason to believe renewables will rise any faster. yet we're trying to force this beyond reason. they go into some length about that. madam chair, thank you for having a hearing. these are important issues. we need to wrestle with it and i think we can begin that today. >> thank you so much. there is dispute about what you said, and i will put some things in the record at the end of the hearing, and i will be happy to share them with you, senator.
9:01 pm
we'll now go to senator carper. >> for years i've been working with my colleagues here in congress and administration and all kinds of stakeholder groups across the country to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our generation, and that's climate change. i believe climate change exists and we're living on borrowed time. the longer we wait to address the issue the more damaging and expensive it becomes. before the recent session we had members from both parties including myself put forth legislative proposals that would grow our economy and provide for a safer climate. this was a time when our climate change debates focused on how we would grow our economy and clean our environment. it's not a novel idea in the 1970s and 1990s, republican presidents and majority of members on both sides of the aisle supported, as you'll recall, the clean air act and the clean air act amendments of 1990. these clean air protections protected our health but allowed
9:02 pm
our economy to grow exponentially. unfortunately in recent years we've seen a shift in the debate and are unable to find none ground on climate legislation. today our climate change debates are focused on science instead of solutions. our debates focus on back sliding current clean air laws instead of improving them. we're back to debating whether we can have a robust economy or clean environment. history has shown this is a false choice. as congress fights over what to do our communities are feeling the first tastes of the harmful effects through record droughts and storms. coastal communities like those in my own state of delaware, vulnerable as oceans slowly rise and more extreme storms like super storm stan difficult hit our coasts. these climate impacts are costing our country not just in lives impacted but in true economic costs. in fact, for the first time in history the government accountability office last year listed climate change as one of the biggest fiscal risks facing our country in the annual high risk reports of the gao.
9:03 pm
federal emergency management agency alone obligated over $80 billion in federal assistance for disasters declared in disasters through 2004 and 2011. despite the warnings and reality, congress remains gridlocked over this issue, over our impacted communities, our children and the rest of the world await our leadership. i don't think the world can wait much longer. that's why i welcome the president's comprehensive climate action plan. i think it's a big step and a big look forward to hearing today what progress we've made to date and what work remains. at the end of the day, i still believe the best path forward to combat climate change is through legislation. i hope in the near future members of both parties as well as leaders in the private sector and other stakeholders will decide to come together on common sense environmental protections that are good for our climate, our health and our economy. the last thing i'd say, if i
9:04 pm
could, administrator mccarthy and i were together on monday of this week in detroit where gm won car of the year, truck of the year, international competition against the best in the world. we also saw unveiled a new updated f-150 truck, the top selling vehicle in america, the ford f-150. they had taken 700 pounds out of the weight of the vehicle, madam chair, 700 pounds. the epa mileage of that truck, believe it or not, highway is 30 miles per hour. 30 miles per hour for an f-150, who'd of thunk it? i saw internal come bus eun engines using turbo chargers from honeywell and other americans companies getting 40, 50 miles per gallon. saw clean diesel engine that's getting like 60-some miles per gallon, i think it was a volkswagen jetta and i think a
9:05 pm
mazda product getting 70 miles per gallon. they're working and spending money on fuel cells and on that particular approach to production and propulsion. a lot of good stuff is happening. a lot of good stuff is happening. part of it is because of the work we did, legislative work we did on cafe that basically said these are going to be the goals we're setting, the milestones we want to reach. by golly, we're reaching them. it's exciting and creating jobs. it cleans out the environment and reduces our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, but actually creating a stronger economy, not a weaker economy. last thing, we have a new chairman of gm, new president and ceo whose name is mary barra. at the ceremony that monday morning gm was announced car of the young, corvette stingray, and they had a huge crush of people around mary as she tried to leave the press conference.
9:06 pm
i shook hands with her and gave her my business card. on it i wrote "proud mary, keep on rolling" because they're rolling. they are rolling. not rolling just to make more money and provide more jobs, but also clean up our economy. >> that's the win-win i see. senator fisher? >> thank you madam chairman and ranking member for holding the hearing today. i welcome and thank the witnesses for being here as well. i'm especially pleased that we do have four witnesses here from the administration. congressional oversight, especially over epa as it rolls out rules that jeopardize the affordability and reliability of american energy is critical. americans are very uneasy about a plan being enacted via executive fiat and with what seems to be a total disregard for the costs associated with it. owners of coal plants have announced that a total of over 55,000 megawatts of coal-fueled
9:07 pm
generating capacity will be shut down by 2025. of this total, epa regulations have been cited as a factor in the closure of over 45,000 of those megawatts. 303 coal units in 33 states. the american coalition for clean coal energy conservativively estimates these shutdowns will cost the loss of up to 17,000 jobs. in 2012 national economic research associates analyzed the impacts of several epa regulations affecting coal-fueled electricity generation. comply ans costs for the electric sector averaged $15 billion to $15.7 billion per year. u.s. employment losses average 544,000 to 887,000 per year. given epa's recent new source performance standard proposal
9:08 pm
which hinges upon unproven carbon capture and sequestration technology, americans can only expect even higher energy prices and greater job losses. countries that have made shifts away from fossil fuels are now finding such policy positions to be untenable. "the new york times" reported last year, quote, europe faces an energy -- a crisis in energy costs. in britain climate changes and charges add 19% to the electricity prices that large manufacturers pay. steel production is down about 30%. britain, where the average annual household energy bill has doubled since 2006 is approaching a tipping point where large numbers of people decide to switch off heat permanently." the "wall street journal" reported, quote, support for the european union's climate and
9:09 pm
energy policy eroded further friday as the czech republic became the latest member to denounce subsidies for clean but costly renewable energy and pledged to double down on its use of fossil fuels. it followed poland's declaration that it would use its abundant domestic coal supplies for power generation rather than invest in costly, renewable energy facilities. spain abolished subsidies for foetable take power generation in july. the uk's power market regulator last month froze solar powered subsidies for the rest of this year, closed quote. a head graph in "the tell grach" russell spear's european industrial massacre sparked by energy costs. quote. in the article a european commissioner warned that europe's question sayic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable
9:10 pm
levels. likewise australia is learning tough lessons from its costly carbon tax. in the year after the carbon tax was introduced, household utility prices rose 15% and the number of unemployed workers has risen by more than 10%. meanwhile, australia's carbon dioxide emissions have actually increased and will continue to increase until 2043 according to their government. i would urge us to heed these lessons and proceed with caution before needlessly damaging our economy and adding to the burdens of our citizens. thank you, madam chair, and i look forward to today's testimony and questions. >> thank you, senator fisher. senator boozman. >> thank you, madam chair. again, thank you for holding the hearing. i'm glad that we're reviewing the president's climate change -- president's climate regulation plan.
9:11 pm
oversight is a good thing and we appreciate you all being here. in fact, we need to have you up here more often discussing not only these issues, but these really important problems that we face as a nation. today the question is not whether greenhouse gases trap ped, they do. the question is whether current climate science can predict and adequately explain the complexity of climate change. can it do so well, do it to the point that our politicians here in washington can manipulate the earth's temperature from their desk as we speak. certainly their track record in that regard in the past has not been very good in a number of different things. the question is whether expensive regulations would have significant impact on the global climate and whether the president's policies are worth
9:12 pm
it. sadly, this plan appears to be all pain and no gain. the president once said his climate policies would make the cost of electricity necessarily skyrocket. now he says his plans won't cost much. the president may promise that, if you like affordable energy, you can keep affordable energy, but like his other promises, we know that's simply not true. we hear many claims, but the actual climate is not doing what the models pre dipthed. as one of our witnesses said last year, the models have not been successfully field tested for predicting climate change and so far they're record rate should preclude their use from predicting future climate change. so what does all this mean? let me explain it in my terms. i'm an opt tom tryst. my brother was an ophthalmologist. we had an eye clinic. when a patient's symptoms were
9:13 pm
complicated or unclear, we never pretended to be certain about a diagnosis. instead, we would take a scientific approach and be thoughtful, ask questions, investigate. we were honest with our patients. we would not prescribe a risky procedure if we were uncertain whether we would do more harm than good. climate change is similar. there's uncertainty. we see symptoms, but they's strong contradictory evidence, some evidence that's missions have some impact on the climate but we don't know how much. beyond that the consensus breaks down. so the diagnosis is unclear. the president's climate regulations are a series of risky procedures with potentially harmful consequences to treat a possible problem that we don't actually understand. so the scientific approach despite what's being said and
9:14 pm
being actually done, the actual scientific process is to be thoughtful, ask questions and investigate. sadly, those who raise legitimate questions are portrayed as, quote, anti science. there's nothing wrong with asking questions. political science are not science referees, cutting off debate when it suits one side. no political party has a mon opinionly on the facts. when reviewing proposed rules we must be honest about both the benefits and the costs. sadly, the administration recently disregarded well-established omb cost benefit guidelines to generate an increased social cost of carbon. in other words, they broke the rules to make emissions look more costly. they cooked the books to meet their needs. instead of creating climate millionaires who benefit from
9:15 pm
carbon trading schemes and regulations, let's remember that pain falls hardest on low income families. these rules will drive costs hurting american workers and creating foreign factories that emit far more than we would save. this can't pass congress and i understand the temptation to ignore our systems of checks and balances. pretend the constitution doesn't exist and implement whatever plans the president would like. but what's now -- that's not how representative democracy works. the rest of the world is retreating as we heard earlier. instead let's find common ground in all the above energy. we'll continue to reduce carbon emissions, newer lar power can produce vast quantities of energy. new innovations offer great
9:16 pm
promise. in short, regardless of whoever's views, we can work together to reduce emissions without this job killing climate plan. let's find that common ground. i very much look forward to your testimony, thanks. >> thank you so much, senator. last but not least, senator wicker. >> thank you, madam chairman and thank you to members of both panels. it's about to be your turn. in federalist number 47 james madison stated there can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body of the magistrate. i fear members of our current administration are anointing themselves as both legislators and administrators with this climate action plan, and i hope we have a dialogue about that today and in the coming weeks. i also hope we have a reasonable dying log as senator boozman suggested on the science, on
9:17 pm
different views on the matter of climate science. i hope we can discuss the various views in the room and in this country with respect to what is called for in regard to global science is a comprehensive dialogue. already we've heard it suggested by some of our friends on the other side of the aisle that to question the science of climate science is -- amounts to scandal. i hope we can avoid that. this morning i hope we're able to engage in a productive exchange of our concerns about the president's plan and about executive over reach and this agenda's affect on jobs. i think we should be able to talk openly about climate science issues such as the link between climate change and human activity as well as the
9:18 pm
challenges of making long-term climate predictions based on models. here are facts. according to analysis by dr. john christie at the earth science center at the university of alabama huntsville, predictions maepd by 73 computer models cited by the united nation's latest intergovernmental panel on climate change, ipcc, fifth assessment report, do not accurately predict the lack of temperature rise as seen in the past 17 years. in other words, the ipc models have been inaccurate. the past 15 years, according to world temperatures -- recorded world temperatures have increased at only a quarter of the rate of ipcc claimed when it published its last assessment in 2007. further, the 2007 ipcc report included predictions of a decline in antarctic sea ice, but the latest document does not explain why this year it is at a
9:19 pm
record high. antarctic sea ice is at a record high. in addition, the 2013 report states most models simulate a small decreasing trend in antarctic sea ice extent in contrast to the small increasing trend in observations. the reality differs from the models. the 2007 hforecasts for more intense hurricanes, after this year was one of the quieted hurricane seasons in history. this from a leading group of international experts on climate science. a recently published article in science magazine titled "in the hot seat" says, the fact is there's little or global evident that gloeshl warming steered sandy into new jersey or made it
9:20 pm
stronger. scientists haven't tried to link climate change with particular fires. despite this knowledge, the administration has based many policy decisions on the link between specific extreme weather events and climate change as well as predictions on climate models. climate modeling is difficult by nature, and there are large degrees of uncertainty in the resulting predictions. anyone who suggests, as has been suggested in this room today, that climate science is not complicated is simply being naive. many of the president's policies will negatively affect our constituents by preventing them from earning a living. how can we expect to assure these people that their sacrifices will benefit them in the long-term when we do not have the capacity to accurately predict regional climate changes? again, these discussions are
9:21 pm
important, and they should be had in this congress without either side being accused of engaging in scandal. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you. well, it's your turn, panel. i'm sure that you were fascinated with all of our comments and mesmerized by them. now it's your turn to mesmerize us. the honorable jean mccarthy, administrator of the environmental protection agency, please. >> thanks chairman boxer, ranking member vitter, members, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. in june of last year the president reaffirmed his commitment to reducing carbon pollution when he directed many federal agencies including the environmental protection agency to take meaningful steps to mitigate the current and future damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions and to prepare -- can
9:22 pm
you hear me -- >> sorry. i have little cold. it's going around. -- and to take meaningful steps to mitigate the current and future damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions and to prepare for the anticipated climate changes that have already been set in motion. climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. responding to this challenge is in urgent public health, safety, national security and environmental imperative that prengts both an economic challenge and economic opportunity. both the economy and the environment must provide for current and future generations. we can and must embrace cutting carbon pollution as a spark for business innovation, job creation, clean energy and broad economic growth. the united states' success over the past 40 years makes clear that environmental protection and economic growth go hand in hand. the president's climate action plan directs federal agencies to address climate change using
9:23 pm
existing executive authorities. the plan has three pillars, cutting carbon pollution in america, preparing the country for the impacts of climate change and leading international efforts to combat global climate change. epa plays a critical role in implementing the plan's first pillar which is cutting carbon pollution. over the past four years the epa has begun to address this task under the clean air act. in 2009, epa and the national highway traffic safety administration, along with the auto industry, the uaw and other stakeholders work together to set greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for modern year light duty vehicles 2012 to 2025. over the life of these vehicles, the standards will save an estimated $1.7 trillion for consumers and businesses and cut america's oil consumption by 12 billion barrel while reducing
9:24 pm
greenhouse gas emissions by 6 million metric tons. the president asked epa to work with states, utilities and other key stakeholders to develop plans to reduce carbon pollution from future and existing power plants. in march 2012 the epa first proposed carbon standards for future power plants. after receiving over 2.5 million comments, we made the decision to issue a new proposal based on this input and updated information. in september 2013, the epa announced its new proposal. the proposed standards would establish the first uniform national limits on carbon pollution from future power plants. they do not apply to existing power plants. the proposal set separate ral national limits for new natural gas fired turbines and coal fired units. the rule provides flexibility by the operators of these units by allowing them to average emissions over multiple years to
9:25 pm
meet a somewhat tighter standards. the standards reflect the demonstrated performance of efficient lower carbon technologies that are currenta used today. we look forward to row best engagement on that proposal. and for existing power plants, we're engaged in an outreach to a broad group of stakeholders who can inform the development of the proposed guidelines which we expect to issue in june of this year. these guidelines will provide guidance to states which have the primary role in developing and implementing plans to address carbon pollution from the existing plants in their states. when we issue the proposed guidelines, a more formal public process will begin providing an additional opportunity for stakeholders and the general public to provide input. the climate action plan also calls for the development of a comprehensive interagency strategy to address issues of
9:26 pm
methane, to reduce emissions of hfcs. epa is working on these aspects of the president's plan as well. the president's plan also calls for a broad array of actions to prepare for the impacts of climate change. epa is incorporating research on climate impacts into the implementation of our existing programs and developing information and tools to help decision makers better understand these impacts. epa is also working closely with our federal agency counterparts on several other aspects of building our national resilience. working with the state department, epa is also engaged in international discussions with our partners in other countries in reducing carbon pollution through an array of activities. in conclusion, the president's climate plan provides roadmap for federal action to "meet the press"ing challenge of climate change, promoting clean energy solutions that capitalize on
9:27 pm
american innovation and drive economic growth. epa looks forward to working with other federal agencies and all stakeholders on these critical efforts. thank you again and i look forward to an sergs your questions. >> thank you, so much, administrator mccarthy. we turn to the honorable daniel ash. >> thank you, chairman boxer, ranking member vitter and members of the committee. i want to also thank you for the chance to testify on behalf of the president's climate action plan and the u.s. fish and wildlife services role under that plan. the best science available to us today supports the conclusion that earth's climate system is undergoing rapid and significant change, and i believe this is the greatest challenge to current and future management of our wildlife resources. i was trained as a scientist and i lead a science-driven organization. we always begin with what we know through observation. the earth's climate is changing.
9:28 pm
it's changing at an accelerating rate. average surface temperatures are increasing. ocean temperatures are rising. sea ice and glaciers are melting. sea levels are rising. oceans are acid phiing, plants are flowering earlier. birds are migrating sooner. in general wildlife species distributions are shifting northward and higher in elevation. all of these observed changes are consistent with observations in the rise of greenhouse gas emissions and with the conclusion that human emissions of those gases are driving change in the earth's climate system. it leads to the conclusion that we, as responsible wildlife managers must anticipate that large scale ecological disruption will be an increasing aspect of the daily challenges that we face in doing our jobs. we must prepare or be unprepared to deal with the consequences.
9:29 pm
the president's climate action plan is compelling and helping us to prepare. it asks us to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our nation for the impacts of changing climate and help the world understand and respond to the challenge as well. it's really asking us to be the leaders that we're supposed to be. in decades past, the u.s. fish and wildlife service has been a leader in recognizing and helping prepare the nation to deal with great environmental challenges. market shooting and devastation of migratory birds, indiscriminate use of industrial pesticides like ddt, large-scale destruction of wetlands and species extinction. great leaders prepared the organization and its employees to deal with those challenges. today we see the emergence of a new and likely much greater challenge, climate change. it's our obligation to prepare
9:30 pm
our great institutions like the u.s. fish and wildlife service to meet this challenge. we cannot do this alone, and the action plan compels us to work with other federal agencies, states, tribes, local communities and the private sector and private citizens. in march of 2013, the service worked with federal and state agency partners to release the national fish, wildlife and plants climate adaptation strategy. this strategy identifies key vulnerabilities to fish, wildlife and plants and presents a unified approach to reduce the negative effects of climate change on our wildlife heritage and on the communities and economies that depend on those resources. since it was released, the strategy has bin incorporated to guidance for their planning efforts and is the focus of legislation introduced by
9:31 pm
senatorhouse. the services embracing the challenges presented by climate change to the nation's fish and wildlife resources, we realize that addressing this challenge was a good measure of success in the long term will require commitment, resolve, compassion and creativity. we look forward to working with this committee and the congress to enhance this most important work, work that will pass on our wildlife resource heritage to future generations of americans. madam chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify and especially for your leadership on this issue. during the members' presentations today i heard many things of interest. i heart senator whitejose do your duty. i heart senator sessions say there is common ground. i think those are both words to live by and things.
9:32 pm
>> thank you madam chairman, ranking member vitter and members of the committee. thank you, also, for the opportunity to discuss the president's climate action plan. the president believes we have an obligation to our children to reduce carbon pollution, to protect our future. the climate action plan builds on steps the administration has already taken to cut carbon pollution and strengthen our economy by supporting domestic clean energy jobs. as you heard, the plan has three pillars, cutting carbon pollution at home, preparing the nation for the impacts of climate change we can't avoid and leading international efforts to address this global challenge. a key part of the plan is to reduce carbon pollution in the united states, and the administration is already making significant progress. in the last five years the u.s. has more than doubled renewable energy generation from wind, solar and geothermal sources and we're setting a goal to double
9:33 pm
electricity production from these sources again by 2020. we're also focusing efforts on energy efficiency. as you heard, we've established new fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards that will double the efficiency of our cars by the middle of the next decade and help families save money at the pump and also established the first ever fuel economy -- greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty trucks, buses and vans. the plan promises a second round of standards for heavy-duty trucks. the plan also sets a goal to redugs carbon pollution through energy efficiency and standards for appliances and energy efficiency efforts in federal buildings. since august, the department of energy has proposed or finalized several energy efficiency standards for appliances and other products. when combined with other energy efficiency standards issued by the administration, they will help cut consumer electricity
9:34 pm
bills by hundreds of billions of dollars. we're also focused on making sure the federal government is leading by example. since 2008, federal agencies have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by almost 15%. the president recently directed agencies to consume 20% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, more than double the current goal. even as we work to cut carbon pollution, we also need to take action to address the impacts of climate change that can't be avoided. we know as the earth continues to warm, we can expect more frequent extreme weather events including large storms, severe droughts and heat waves. in 2012, weather and climate disasters cause over $110 billion in damage. last summer the administration released the hurricane sandy rebuilding strategy. the strategy focuses on helping the region build to be more resilient to deal with future
9:35 pm
storms. as part of these efforts, the department of housing and urban development and its partner agencies are investing in safer and more resilient infrastructure and the federal transit administration is strengthening public transit systems affect bid the storm. these efforts can serve as a model for communities across the country. the president also signed an executive order directing agencies to help communities strengthen their resilience. they're to modernize programs to better support local preparedness, better manage our natural resources to improve resilience and to develop information and tools to help local decision makers. executive order also established a task force of state, local and tribal elected leaders to advise the administration. their recommendations will be vital to ensure that the federal government responds to the needs and priorities of communities when addressing the impacts of climate change.
9:36 pm
finally all agencies are examining how a change in climate will affect their missions. last february, federal agencies for the first time released their climate change adaptation plans outlining strategies to reduce the vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. we also understand that our response to climate change must be global and we're committed to playing the leadership role that can support a strong international response. the administration is pursuing this through multiple channels including the united nations freem work convention on climate change as well as multilateral and bilateral initiatives focused on tackling the drivers of green has hous gas emissions. the impacts of climate change are should erd by families and businesses across the country. for the sake of the economy and the legacy to leave our children, it's vital to address this problem head on. thank you for listening. i look forward to your questioning. >> now we turn to the honorable
9:37 pm
dan tag rin any. >> thank you. i appreciate being invited here today to testify on this important topic. last year the u.s. government accountability office cited climate change presents a significant financial risk to the federal government. according to the national climatic data center in 2012, weather and climate related events caused over $110 billion in damage and 377 deaths, the second costliest year on record. the administration is committed to reducing the damage caused and to prepare for its long-term impacts. in june 2013 the president affirmed this commitment by requiring agencies to cut carbon pollution, lead international efforts to address global climate change. gsa is one of the many federal agencies doing its part to assist in this effort.
9:38 pm
as the owner and caretaker of federal properties, our large and diverse portfolio presents many opportunities to increase the government's energy efficiency, reduce our contribution to climate change, save millions of dollars in energy costs and to plan and implement risk management strategies. as part of the president's climate action plan, tsa is undertaking efforts to improve the efficiency of our federal buildings, identify and prepare for climate risks and is working to ensure that we share lessons learned with our partner agencies. gsa reduces energy consumption across its portfolio through a variety of means. gsa leverages technology such as advanced metering and smart building system to uncover deeper energy savings opportunities. we also use rapid building assessments to perform sophisticated energy audits that require no on site work or new device installations. another valuable tool is energy savings performance contracts. these are public-private
9:39 pm
partnerships where the private sector provides the up front capital to make energy efficiency upgrades in a facility and is paid by the federal agency from the guaranteed energy savings under the contract. once the contract ends, the agency continues to benefit from the reduced energy costs. the president's climate action plan sets new goals on the use of renewable energy, increasing the currents goal from 7.5% to 20% by 2020. in fy 201346.1% came from renewable sources and enough renewable energy to power nearly 2,600 homes came from our own facilities. gsa is also working to improve our partner's understanding of their energy use as directed in the december 2013 president memorandum on federal leadership on energy management, gsa is partnering with the department of energy and epa to prepare a green button initiative that will increase our partners'
9:40 pm
ability to reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouse emissions and meet sustainability goals. taken together these efforts have led to a significant reduction in the energy use intensity. in fy 2013, gsa reduced energy usage per square foot by 20.8% ahead of statutory targets. since 2011 these reductions saved $192.7 million in avoided costs. also in fy 2013, gsa achieved an approximately 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding our 2020 target. this amount of energy we no longer use is enough to power over 60,000 homes for one year. gsa is also preparing for the potential impacts of climate change as part of the president's climate action plan. while it's impossible to predict the precise occurrence and cost of each and every climate risk, it's imperative to develop a robust risk management approach. the president's climate action
9:41 pm
plan represents a commitment to reduce and respond to the impacts of climate change. gsa is responsible for buildings and offices throughout the government and across this country. this means we play a vital role in mitigating and preparing for these adverse effects through improved energy efficiency and risk planning we hope to continue to make progress on both these critical efforts. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today and welcome any questions you have. >> thank you so much to our patient panel. i'll start the questioning and comments. sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. and let's take the often repeated charge that scientists are divided on climate change. let's take a look at that. so we've quantified it. there's 98% of the scientists -- i'm sorry -- i'll correct myself. 97% of the scientists who say that human activity is causing carbon pollution, and there's 3% who fight that. so it's 97% of the scientists on
9:42 pm
one side and 3% on the other. and my colleagues act as if it's 50/50. it's just like the scientists were divided on whether or not smoking caused cancer. it was 97% to 3%, and when you looked at the 3%, they were somehow connected to the tobacco industry. and i can tell you that most scientists who say no to climate change have ties to big oil and coal polluters, including the scientist mentioned here today by senator wicker. we checked it out. he's from a think tank funded by the koch brothers. again, when people say there's a split, let's say what the slit split is. >> madam chairman -- >> i'm going to continue and then i'm happy to call on you on your turn. there's also predictions of economic gloom and doom, gloom and doom if we address climate change. and if we move to clean energy.
9:43 pm
we're already hearing the money we're saving by going to energy conservation. let's go back 40 years. 40 years, when in this committee we had a robust debate -- i wasn't here then -- on the clean air act.
9:44 pm
107. and what they said then contrary to something senator session said, which he has a right to believe, he said that carbon wasn't covered. while the supreme court said, and i quote, that the statute i unambiguous. the clean air act coffers carbon
9:45 pm
dioxide, hydro floor carbons without a down. so then my question is -- >> madam chair. >> i will continue my -- you will have your time. you will have the time. >> i would like to correct your interpretation of my you can tae entire five minutes. i don't care. now could you stet the clock back and give me another 30 seconds? thank you. here we are in clear court case supreme decisions followed by another one in 2011 that said absolutely you have to move on these power plans. isn't it true if you did not move forward with the action plan, if you did not try to regulate this carbon pollution which is so damaging and covered by the supreme court, that you could be sued and harmed if you
9:46 pm
didn't do this. >> madame chairman, we have been petitioned and we are in litigation about raising common pollutants. >> sued because people think you're not doing enough? >> that's correct. >> because what you decided is a pollutant, epa is obligated to look tatd tat the public health environmental impact. >> so you're willing being sued by those in the public who think epa is not doing enough. while people here say you don't have a right to do anything. it's very clear if you read the case. >> but the president made the sensible and common day decision to tell us to focus on power plants first. power plants represent 33% of
9:47 pm
the carbon emissions thatting are bemitted edbeing emitted f. so we're trying to be deliberate and careful in how we apply the clean air act. >> and i believe that you are. the remanding was found under george w. bush. that was completed under the obama administration. so that was common ground. >> thank you, madame chair. administrator mccarthy, i'm going to have five or ten minutes talking with you. i want to focus on the very new consequential regulations. but i first want to ask if they call a separate hearing on the investigation and circumstances, and if you're invited to testify along with other appropriate witnesses, would you come and testify then? >> whatever the chair wishes,
9:48 pm
sure. >> whatever. is it fair to say whatever the committee wishes? >> if i'm invited, i will always appear, yes. >> so you have no hesitation talking about that subject. >> none at all. >> thank you. miss mccarthy, i want to focus on one area where i think there's a clear overstep. that's the greenhouse gas new source performance standards. now you've said as you relooked at that, quote, we did what democracy demanded. we paid attention. we read the comments. we thought about them and decided we needed to update the proposal, closed quote. talking about the initial wave of comments that came in about that. you further stated, quote, our best defense is to do it right, to do it correct under the law. closed quote. however, the energy policy act of 2005 clearly prohibits epa
9:49 pm
from considering certain federally funded projects, when setting the standards. and yet, three such projects formed the majority of epa's discussion regarding new plants. there's mention in the over 400 pages of the proposal. a recent press reports you were unaware of this conflict with the epa act requirement until it was pointed out by colleagues in the house of representatives. how did the epa miss this? >> senator, i will advise you that epa is -- understands that concerns have been raised. about epa. to address the concerns we have provided to interagency, we did review a notice of data
9:50 pm
readability so the package is very clear. we believe having this specific consideration of epa makes no change in the standard as proposed but it's important that the public have this information and provide us more clarity on the issue. >> is all of this since issuing the new rules, or did you evaluate that before the issuance. >> i can't say what the individual staff was aware of or not. i was not aware that we should raise that issue specifically. we're going to address that issue specifically. we are looking at evidence in data well beyond what's associated with the epac funded projects. we're very comfortable with the stan dpards proposed. we're looking at the facilities in constant with all of those. which is perfectly appropriate. >> as you know, these three
9:51 pm
projects that you can't consider, they form tmajority o your discussion. you said they read all of the comments. they underscored this particular issue. they pointed out this law is in direct conflict with what you're doing. with your evidence and support for doing this. i wanted to point that out. this is very concerning. this is direct. this is underscored by the fact that litigation has been filed over the direct legal filings, clearly by the epa's own submissions and writing, the
9:52 pm
mf majority of the backing. >> but, senator, our understanding of the reading is we can't solely make a determination on epac funded facilities. nothing in the law procluds us from considering those in the context of a larger, more robust data set, which is actually what we are doing. >> i want to move to the social cost of carbon process. many of us have written you and others at the epa. we were in september of last year. we wrote another high ranking deputy in november with detailed suggestions. we got a response at 8:18 a.m. this morning. i appreciate that. i think the timing of that response says a lot. we're going to be -- i'm out of
9:53 pm
time. so we're going to be submitting detailed questions as a follow up to you and the other witnesses for a record regarding the social cost of carbon process. because it's being used to justify all sorts of regulations we believe without adequate backing. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, chair madame. i thank all the witnesses for their public service and strong leadership on the issue. i want to ask you a question concern i concerni concerning one specific consolidation, but buildings play a huge role in dealing with the carbon emissions. we had the president taking swift action so the president as a leader of reducing carbon in our buildings. the committee on the
9:54 pm
consolidation of the fbi, our resolution makes it clear that the practical administration should require that they efficiency or storm water management in accordance with the executive order, this is the largest public works consolidation probably of this decade. we also want to consolidate the fbi. it's also causing excess energy used in a larger carbon foot fingerprint than we need. the committee is pretty clear when we say we want a consolidated headquarters facility. giving 2.1 million rentable square feet and up to 55 acres. the appropriations committee just recently in its report accompanied me made it clear that the fbi headquarters consolidation is expected to
9:55 pm
resolve in full consolidation at the fbi headquarters. can you assure this committee that passed the resolution that you'll be in full compliance with both the environmental issues as well as the plan that is ultimately selected? and that's going through a competitive process but will provide for a full consolidation. >> that's definitely in our interest, having these employees spread out over more than two dozen facilities is not helping the ability of the fbi to meet the needs of that agency, but certainly causing undo expense. but damage because of the additional environmental impacts. it's our effort to cooperate fully with the fbi. we also have to see what resources are available to us through the exchange process and what resources we would have to bring into the project. so as we've talked about, we are at the the beginning stages of
9:56 pm
identifying the value of the current facility, identifying sites, competing a fair, transparent, competitive proces process. >> i fully support that. i think it's pretty clear that they expect full consolidation. i would hope you work with congress. we expect full consolidation. let me make a point that you raise raised on the administration's actions. we tried a few years ago to pass a different framework. framework that would give more flexibility and then how to reach the caps.
9:57 pm
an alternative to the regulatory process under the clean air act. we couldn't get that done. our friends on that side of the aisle decided that was not how they wanted to move forward. clearly the american people want clean air. the clean air act is important. you have the responsibility to carry out that law. we should help you. we try to do that. we didn't get cooperation. now we're getting complaints. so i would hope we'll find ways to define the common ground and you quoted one of the members of the committee, that i don't want to quote. but let me, in the 40 seconds i have remaining, the failure to deal with this causes us to concentrate on adaptation and resill generalsy. significant resources were made available through the sandy appropriations, et cetera. you talked generally about it.
9:58 pm
could you supply us with specific programs that you're dealing with you should your jurisdiction to deal with in light of the realities that we now have a different climate pattern? >> let me be very brief because i think others may want to interject. all of the agencies that developed climate adaptation plans that have been publicly commented on. we're taking the plans to develop implementation strategies. clearly epa has a number of issu issues those are of primary importance and raise the concern about moving towards green infrastructure, which keeps water local, and can help provide more livable and safe communitie communities. >> i think probably the most cig
9:59 pm
capital relevant piece is we received $102 million under the sandy supplemental funding for resilience. to look at building resiliency into that middle atlantic coastline, as we do restoration from hurricane sandy. so it provides us really for the first time the opportunity not just to rebuild, but to rebuild it in a way where we're thinking about making our coastal infrastructure and our human and natural infrastructure more resilient in the future. >> thank you, madame chairwoman. in the opening statement i brought up something that i told you before. it seems to me the delay of placing on the registry was done for the political purposes that
10:00 pm
i outlined. you can remember, and i can remember back in 2012, prior to the election i named all the rules and regulations, no matter how damaging they would be, would come out. so this is not a new issue with me. is there any time that during this process that you or the epa had a conversation with the white house in terms of the timing of the release on the the federal registry. >> sir, i will assure you that as soon as that proposal was released we had submitted it to the federal office. the delay was solely the backup in the federal registrar office. we frequently asked when it was going to come out and how quickly. because it was available on our web page, we wanted to start the
10:01 pm
formal public process. >> if you started it, wouldn't that start the clock run sng. >> it would have started it. >> let's assume if you submitted that before, wouldn't that start the 12-month clock are upping? >> it would have started the obligation. >> so that would actually end up then, in october as opposed the to in january when it actually comes out. >> senator, we had every opportunity to put out a reproposal when we wanted. we tried very hard to get it published. >> so that gives us something to look at. under the unemployment insurance bill i had an amendment that
10:02 pm
kind of reemphasized section 321a of the clean air act. you're familiar with that. that's the one that says the administration will continue evaluations of potential shifts of employment, which may result from the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter in application of implementation plans. it's very specific that the reason for this is we wanted to make sure way back in 1977 this place, not knowing who would be in office in the future, that we would know what affect they have on jobs. and this is something that, do you feel you can comply with section 321a?
10:03 pm
in spite of the fact that my amendment didn't pass? >> when we look at major rules we do look at employment impacts to the extent that peer reviewed science and modeling allows because of the senator and his efforts to have us relook at whole economy modeling, we're pulling together an expert panel to continue to look at these issues. >> that's good. can we say we will not implement the rules until we have the information? >> well, we actually provide a significant amount of information. whole economy modeling is appropriate for some rules and not others. we believe we are complying with that portion of the clean air act at this point. >> and from this point on, and maybe you've done it in the past. we are not going to activate the regulations until such time as we know the effect it will have on jobs and the economy. >> senator, when we do rules,
10:04 pm
we'll do it to the full extent that the analysis can be done in a way that's consistent with the requirements. >> that's good. we will be looking forward as the clock moves onto make sure that is being done. mr. ash, first i want to thank you on the record again for all the cooperation you've been on your word to approve the range wide plan on oil and gas. we have talked about this for a long period of time. you were kind enough to make two trips, not one, but two trips out to oklahoma, talk to these stake holders, and again, i just appreciate it very much. i know senator udal was here earlier. they are working very hard to enroll this into their program to success flu conserve the
10:05 pm
species in a way that's voluntary. like the partnership i'm so fond of, it doesn't assume that the stake holders don't want to clean up their system. and protect endangered species. do you think that range-wide plan can preclude the need for listing under the endangered species act? >> senator, i think i met with the members of the partnership two weeks ago in texas. and i think they're poised to make some significant steps forward. they already signed up between a million and a half and two million acres of oil and gas lands. and they're working on the possibility of several million more. so the question is, you know, can the implementation of the plan potentially address the threats to the species? will it? i think it's a question of performance.
10:06 pm
and we have a little bit of time left to see if that will work. >> sorry to cut you off, but we've gone over quite a bit. we're going to turn to senator whitehouse. >> thank you very much, chairwoman. let me first say to my cleeks on the other side as we solve the problem of carbon, i'm prepared to accept that there are going to be impacts on families and it's important in the resolution that we address the concern. because that's la legitimate concern. what i can't accept is the coal and iron jobs are the only ones affected. not when the ski season in the northeast and all around to utah is shortened. not when foresters in oregon and across the west are losing their jobs to the pine bill and to the loss of having a vibrant national forest.
10:07 pm
not when we have the impacts throughout the economy. that's just economic impacts. we also have health impacts in rhode island as these increase. we are losing our state at the the coastal verge. the houses are falling into the ocean. i am not going to ignore those factors out of a desire to protect coal and oil jobs. i will work with you to a solution that solves our mutual concerns and helps those industries, but i'm not going to ignore this problem. the suggestion that climate change has stopped, i think, flies in the face of realistic evidence. and when that claim was made, it refers to surface atmospheric temperature. one specific measure. but this is not debatable. this is something math me tigss do all the the time.
10:08 pm
you plot a trend line and that's what you get. it's clearly going up. what you can do is cherry pick. you can pick different periods in the rising step process. then it will look like it's flat through that period. but it doesn't last. the underlying trend is upward. step after step after step is always up. there are one, two, three, four, five, six separate occasions when a denyer could say climate change isn't happening because it's gone flat and every single time they would have been wrong. in light of that, on the spectrum between wisdom and recklessness, where would you put placing a bet that this evidence shows that climate change has stopped and that we should stop worrying about
10:09 pm
carbon? >> climate change is happening, and i've been worried for a while. >> and one of the reasons that might explain this is when you look at what's actually happening in climate change, the carbon pollution is hitting our oceans pretty hard. 30% of the actual carbon goes into the ocean. that's why the senator talked about the wipe outs of the oyster hatches in his state. acidified water came in in which oysters could not build shells. 30% of the carbon. 93% of the heat. 93% of the heat. the atmosphere, 2.3% of the heat. so if anything changes just a tiniest bit in the ocean, imagine what affect that has in the atmosphere. something is happening that creates that long-term friend
10:10 pm
oscillation, that creates those steps that if you cherry pick them can create the false impression that this thing has stopped. but if you really look at the problem, you have to look at the role of the oceans, and i'm telling you now, it's very hard for me. let me ask you. does anybody on this panel doubt that the oceans are in fact warming. that sea levels are, in fact, rising and that the ocean is becoming more acidic. is there any legislatimate deba on those three subjects? there is none, correct? there is none. >> for the record, reflect unanimous agreement from the witnesses. >> record reflect nobody spoke up. okay. let's go ahead and have them all say if that's what the senator wants. >> i don't believe on those points that you raised. those are based on observations. >> it's measurement, not theory, correct? and does everybody agree it's
10:11 pm
correct. speak now or else i'm going to count you as yes? >> i defer to my colleagues who actually know something about the subjects. >> general services administration is not expert in this. i can appreciate that. a ton of carbon is released from a power plant, does that do more or less harm than it released from a boiler? >> same. >> so at some point we should look at boilers that release tens and thousands of tons of carbon as well. >> point taken, sir. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. we're going to call now on senator baruso. i'm going to give the gavel to senator whitehouse while i step out for just a moment. >> thank you, madame chairman. miss mccarthy, i would like to follow up on what the senator has asked on the carbon cap sequestration and your new proposed rule.
10:12 pm
this week a news story ran entitled epa assertions on c carbon capture viability sparked concerns by white house officials. the article quotes the the white house about saying about your new rule that epa's assertion of the technical feasibility of carbon capture relies heavily on literature reviews, pilot projects and commercial facilities yet to operate. it goes onto say we believe, this is the white house saying we believe this cannot form the basis of a finding that ccs on commercial scale power plants is quote, adequately demonstrated. and as you know and is stated before, the law requirements emission control performance standards must be, quote, adequately demonstrated. so the white house is saying the
10:13 pm
carbon capture sequestration is not adequately represented. so my question is, what does the white house know that you haven't acknowledge d. >> senator, i don't know what you're referring to. you can be assured this proposal went through interagency review. you can be sure omb cleared the proposal, and i am very confident that you will see that ccs is prove on the be technically feasible in the day that that we have provided. >> i'm going to have to disagree with you. the white house disagrees with you as well. it's not just one person. you look at other testimony in the house. the administration testifying that commercial technology is currently not available to meet the epa's proposed rule. it's much to high to be
10:14 pm
commercially viable. it just goes on and on about the lack of viability and availability of what you're proposing. it seems to be a level of denial by the epa as to what is actually available, and the the white house seems to have called you on that. so i would be interested in you getting back to specifics. i would like to read you to a report saying e-mails show extensive collaboration between epa, environment alist organization. help groups gather petitions. the article stated the deputy epa administrator attended in april 24th meeting with leading environmentalist groups including environmental defense funds. the defense council. according to a notice of the meeting sent by his assistant terry porterfield. upa porterfield's e-mail to the
10:15 pm
environmental groups. the purpose is to create a photo op and narrative beat for the gathering efforts on the issue. porterfield wrote. groups will use the material from the event to communicate with supporters. via news letters, e-mails and social media. is this the standard practice of the epa to work with environmental groups to coordinate on getting comment signers that are favorable to your proposed policy? >> it's very common practice for epa to meet with a variety of stake holders. the meets are public. if you look at the history of the epa you meet with history groups and environmental groups.
10:16 pm
it's our job to understand what preserves people and how we work with them to make sure we're doing the job appropriately. these e-mails that have been found seem to say your goal is to recruit additional kmebt comment signers to generate support for positions that you're taking and the most liberal of all environmental activist groups, rather than just bringing in input. >> i'm happy to take a look at that, senator. >> is it proper behavior -- is it prop per behavior for the epa to go out with these groups for the sole purpose of recruiting additional comment signers to then go ahead and support this? >> i certainly don't want to interpret what you just read, senator. i don't know what the occasion was. i'm sorry.
10:17 pm
>> do you believe it's proper activity on part of the epa? >> it's appropriate for epa to connect with all of our stake holders. >> thank you, madame chairperson. >> i would just say to my colleague from rhode island, i mentioned it. i don't know if you were here. i was at a place that i have gone for a long time. builds more cars per capita than any other state. we lost them both within months of each other. i still go to the detroit auto show. as you know, a major source of air pollution is our motor vehicles. we're there from the top companies all the way down. that's the thing i commend you for doing.
10:18 pm
had you been with us and i want to invite you to go with us next year. i have a question. maybe just one or two here. administrator mccarthy, with respect to new performance, i want to take a minute or two to focus on epa's efforts to implement carbon collusion standards for power plant. i believe in the 1970 clean air act, nothing new. and your agency had a long history of implementing this standard. is that correct? >> that is true. >> tell us what the agency's experience has been with these type of standards. how has the industry worked with stake holders already and expects to do so into the future when it comes to greenhouse gas standards. what has the past experience been when determining what is
10:19 pm
adequately demonstrate d technology when determining new source standards? >> senator thanks for the question, first of all the agency has had a long history of developing new standards. we've done dozens and dozens of industry sectors. there's two types. one is looking at new facilities and is very clear that it is intended to make sure that we continue to develop advanced technologies moving forward. so we take advantage of the best and brightest technologies and move innovative technologies more broadly into the market. the work has been ro bust. our challenge is to work with states to develop guidance, and then they develop plans to do their job. when i looked at the standards, the proposal that we put out for
10:20 pm
111b, which is new sources, it was done the same way we have done dozens and dozens of those. we looked at data available. we looked at technologies. we made a determination that ccs was the best system for emission of coal facilities moving forward. because it was technically feasible. it would amount to significant emission reductions an it would continue to promote the development and deployment of advanced technologies. so we did it the same way we always do. which for a long time we've been doing vsh successfully and businesses continue to grow. >> and a question if i could for sully. i think you mentioned in your testimony when i was out of the room the president's task force and climate preparedness and governor jack markel is a
10:21 pm
member. i suspect this it will be passed down and implements throughout the federal government. >> thank you, senator. the president directed us to establish a task force of state, local leaders and we're great to have the participation of the governor. this is a very important task force for us in helping to ensure that the kinds of policies and programs that the federal government as a whole is considering in terms of making sure that we're prepared and resilient in the face of a changing climate will help states, tribes and municipalities to prepare their communities to deal with the impacts of climate change. so we had the inall ral meeting and a lot of good ideas. having the second one very shortly.
10:22 pm
and so the input and the recommendations that we gather from that group will be very helpful in helping us to look government wide at the the resilience council at the thing the federal government can do, not only to prepare the federal government to deal with the impacts on climate change. >> my time has expired. nice to see you again. thank you for your testimony and for the good work that you're doing. >> senator sessions. >> thank you, madame chair. i would agree with the 97%. the action caused more co2 to be admitted into that. and i don't think any scientists do.
10:23 pm
the clean air act did not prohibit carbon dioxide. global warming was not considered at the time. i don't believe any debate considered that question. it came before the supreme court and what the supreme court said, miss mccarthy is epa should make an endangerment finding. you've made that endangerment finding. that was a 5-4 decision, by the way. only 5-4. and it's coming back before the court. # and i would note congress is never, since then, every passed legislation that prohibits co2 into the atmosphere, directly doing so. and the white house used a chart that showed surface temperature data that he described as surface atmosphere. and i'm not sure, but what the ipcc models used, what
10:24 pm
scientists have referred to over the years as atmospheric temperatures. # the kind of data we showed the models aren't the heat around many land stations that record temperatures and they're not as accurate as the tropisphere temperatures. second, the chart suggests 93% of the heat is absorbed by the ocean but it doesn't the answer the question about the amount of temperature change in the ocean. evidence on panel two suggestion the oceans may have warmed, but only by .05 of a degree over the past ten years. he's a democratic witness and he testified here today.
10:25 pm
and mr. ashe you strongly stated more than your written statements said, that we've had more in america. and if we're going to have common ground. and if we're going to reach and discuss them together, we have to agree on the problem is. we have to be honest about the facts. he supports president obama. and this is what he said about disasters and storms. it is plain incorrect to claim disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate time in the united states or locally. you said directly opposite of that. have you conducted any investigation yourself of storms and disasters? have you done an independent review of that?
10:26 pm
yes or no? i presume you haven't. he went onto sigh the losses have not increased since 1990. u.s. hurricanes have not increased in frequency or intensity sbins 1900. he said that since at least 1950 the intensity and frequency of floods in the united states have not increased. he went onto say the frequency of tornadoes have not increased since 1950 do you still standby your testimony? >> i'm not a researcher. i have not done independent research. i was speaking of observation. >> well, i will just say that i
10:27 pm
hope you will review that and be accurate when you discuss as a public official the facts when you relate them to the american people. and i believe your facts are wrong. now miss mccarthy. the president has said that we -- repeatedly. at least three times that the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than predicted ten years ago. >> i do know some of the facts. >> i'm asking you, has it increased faster than predicted or not? >> i do not know what the president's context was for making that. you believe that the temperature in the united states has increased faster than predicted in the last while?
10:28 pm
more than ten years ago? >> i believe 2012 was the warmest year. >> i want to know whether or not you believe the data shows -- >> the long-term data clearly shows that. >> do not interrupt. please let me ask you. do i not have the the right to ask the director of the epa a simple question? it's relevant. so i want to ask, is the temperature around the globe increasing faster than ten years ago? >> i can't answer that question. >> why can't you answer that? >> because it's a narrow statement in a large wealth of information. zbr do we not have the tropesphere temperature reports and do they not show that it's
10:29 pm
increasing anything like what the predictions were? >> senator, i don't dissect the information and provide it to you in a way that claims that i'm a scientist. >> you are asking us to propose billions of dollars in cost on the economy and you want to question whether this is an accurate statement or not. >> i just like at what the client scientists tell me. i don't dissect the information in ways that would impress you. but certainly i'm not qualified. >> not me. climate scientists are telling you it's not warming to the degree predicted. in fact, it hadn't really warmed at all in the last 15 years. >> thank you, madame chairman. my time is up. >> i'll give everybody an extra two minutes like i gave senator sessions. so you're going to get seven minutes senator fisher, senator boseman and then each an extra two minutes to close. >> thank you, madame chair.
10:30 pm
i hope i won't take that amount of time. >> we're happy to have you do it. >> you staid the united states should have a global response. in your testimony you recommended working in through the united states. what specifically can you tell us that the obama administration is doing in that regard? in working through the united states in your words? >> well, with we participate in the convention on climate change, which involves, i believe, over 190 countries. the u.s. continues to be a participant in that, and the current activities are around developing the post agreement for post 20/20.
10:31 pm
addressing climate change with the aim of reaching agreement in 2015 about what that might look like. so the united states says many other countries are engaged in those discussions right now. >> you know, what i'm looking at are specific actions. you say to leverage more ambitious action by other countries that the administration needs to step forward. i know it's always helpful to work with other nations. it's always helpful to have conversations, but i want to know specifics. what are we doing to help other nations? are we investing in resources? are we providing scientists, or what are we doing? and what's involved in the cost? or are we just in conversations
10:32 pm
right now? >> there are a number of different efforts under way, both bilaterally and unilaterally. for example, perhaps the administrator can talk more about this working through existing international forms to deal with hydro fluoro carbons that have a global warming potential, as well as working on issues around clean energy and promoting clean energy and technologies around the world. >> perhaps you and the the administrator could provide me with examples, and if there are costs involved, i would be interested in thoughing that as well. >> certainly. >> thank you. the epa regulations on coal fired power plants are required by law to be technologically
10:33 pm
viability and commercially available. while the epa insisted publicly that carbon capture technology is technologically viable, there's serious doubt that epa officials actually believe this to be true. i'm going to highlight a 2012 e-mail exchange that was produced through a freedom of information act request between joan cocuet and michael and alex baron, both in the agency office policy at the time. he forwarded an article regarding your comments on proposed ccs regulations. in the article you were quoted as saying, while it's a significant economic lift, the proposed standard will provide investment for new technologies.
10:34 pm
ccs is technologically viable. the headline read coal to remain viable says mccarthy. in forwarding the article, mr. coquette wrote hands on fire. do you have any idea why he would say pants on fire? we all know the saying that goes with that. do you have any idea what that is supposedly about? >> no, i don't. >> do you standby your statement that i believe you said earlier today that the ccs is viable? >> very much so. >> the epa redacted the very brief comment in response to another article five months earlier from politico with the headline, will epa's greenhouse regs wipe out coal? epa did redakt the comment.
10:35 pm
on its face is a curious use of that project exemption. keep the information from the public under the freedom of information act. the epa is indicating whether it deliberates that the climate regulations will wipe out coal. i think the american public deserves to know. does epa believe that the ccs is viable again? could you answer that? >> senator, when i was assistant administrator i believe the information supported that ccs was viable and appropriate as a basis for the system reduction. as an administrator i retain the same assessment of the facts. >> can you tell me why the e-mail was redakted? >> i have no idea. >> could you look into that and
10:36 pm
provide me with a copy of the issue. >> i will certainly look into the issue. if they were appropriately redacted, that would be fine. there's a lot of gibber jabber in an agency that large. the people making the policies and judgments were the people investing their time and providing input into this role. >> i know we all received e-mails and we have no control over that. but it is disconcerting when information like that does become public, and then we have a government agency going through a process of really blocking that freedom of information that i would hope would clarify statements like that. >> senator, we certainly want to be as forthcoming as we can. it's an issue that has come up before on the chee. we'll do our best job to provide you these e-mails regardless and
10:37 pm
only redact when it's appropriate to do so. >> okay, that was seven minutes. senator, you have seven. >> thank you, madame chair. there was criticism by a conservative study. my problem with that is you look at the product and it's peer reviewed, this and that. and dough you have studies that rely, that are being done by environmental groups? funded by environmental groups? is that a criteria for you for good paper or bad paper? >> we looked at the study itself and try to look at whether the analysis is correction. >> i think all of you have people that have worked for environmental groups in the
10:38 pm
past. different administrations, but environmental groups, and the idea that you can't produce a product. in fact, we have witnesses coming up that, you know, are funded by, you know, outside groups. one way tor the other. but the idea that the testimony or paper can't be produced because it's, you know, that you're a consultant for a various entity or whatever, i think it's really not a good situation. and we really need to push back from that. the other thing is, and in regard to just studies in general, it's really hard. we really do want to be helpful in the sense we got some real problems to solve in the environment. it is helpful, though it's difficult to do that if you don't have access to the materials, the scientific studies that allow you to make
10:39 pm
wide sweeping decisions this that record. will you commit to have those studies available so you can see what the basis of your rational is? >> senator, i assume you're talking to me. >> yes, ma'am. >> okay. >> we have been providing information to the extent that we have it. you've already provided information that you've requested. >> okay. so you will, and the studies that we lould like, and this and that, you will give us those completely? >> to the extent that they're in the control of epa, of course. and to the tex tent that we can work together on those, we're more than happy to do that. >> okay. senator white house talked about the oceans, which are having real problems right now as a result of the fishermen.
10:40 pm
is it your decision that if you passed the policies that the president is proposing or you're proposing, would that solve the problems of the ocean that he was describing? >> me again? i'm sorry. i keep thinking you're looking at him. i don't want to be rude. climate change is a global problem. it requires global solutions. there's no question that international effort is required. the issue is should the united states take action on its own that makes sense, that can be cost effective and help us grow economically? the president indicated that answer is question. >> the reality now is in order for that to be effective, we're depending on the chinese and indians and people like that who said they're basically not going to participate. mr. ashe? >> first of all with regard to
10:41 pm
what senator white house sahous when we look at the oceans we have to realize that climate change is an overriding effect. it exacerbates many problems that already exist within fisheries management and wildlife management, contaminate loading and invasive species. and so it adds another level of stress. so i think the things that we are dealing with in talking about climate change will address a major source of uncertainty and disruption in the there and will secure the fishery resources for the future. and i think it's an important step for us to take to learn more and reduce the level of uncertainty surrounding this issue. >> miss mccarthy, are the models that were relied upon in developing the social cost of estimates published and available on the epa's website? >> i don't know the answer to
10:42 pm
that question, senator. i can get back to you. that was work that was primarily organized by the office of management and budget. i'm sure our technical folks participated in those discussions. i do know they're available. the models are public and have been appropriately peer reviewed. >> okay, so the part that you did, it's not available on the website either? >> any work that epa would produce would be publicly available for sure. i just don't know whether those particular models appear on our website or whether they are part of the omb website. >> all right. the other thing, mr. ashe, and i guess one of the problems i have also is we hear a lot about forest fires. we hear a lot about beatles and things like that. the reality s and i've heard many, many hearings and
10:43 pm
testimonies through the years. the reality is a lot of that stuff is poor management. in the sense we had a hearing not too long ago, and there was testimony to the fact that the areas that were privately managed managed out west where you had fire, some of the areas that are publicly managed are tinderboxes. the beetle infestation has been going on for a long time. certainly climate has stuff to do with that. but i do think that there's a tremendous -- you know, let's jump on this. the reality is when you have a forest, instead of ten or 20 trees, whatever it can support, if you've got 150 trees taking up the nourishment, that makes it more susceptible to disease and things like that. can you comment on that, and -- >> just quickly, i would say that management can have a role to play and certainly can make a
10:44 pm
difference, but you have to realize that public lands are managed for a much broader range of use. so if i have a private forest that's managed for short rotation, so i'm just cycling those trees off and harvesting that timber on a regular basis, then mountain pine beetle is going to be less of a concern for you. where in our public lands and wildlife refugees and national forest where we're managing lands for longer term, then pine bark beetle and other infestations can be more of an issue. but i agree with you that management is part of the solution. we have to understand what that proper management is. >> thank you, madam chair. -on want to get gavelled on. >> well, you have 28 more seconds if you wish to continue. >> no. i will get some credit out of you. >> oh, need your credit, that's true. now we're going to complete this first panel, which started a very long time ago, seems like
10:45 pm
yesterday. and we're going to do it this way. i'm going to give senator whitehouse -- take my two minutes. senator vitter -- okay? senate inhoff, senator sessions and then i'll close. everybody has two more minutes, okay? so let's start with senator whitehouse. >> i'll just take a little bit of my time to respond to senator sessions' suggestions that one scientist says that climate change isn't really happening and that there really isn't an association with storms. and i just want to put that into context. there actually is a peer reviewed scientific consensus out there about this. it is massive. it is not unanimous. sometimes is rarely unanimous. there are eccentrics. there are outliers. there are people who have nonmainstream opinions.
10:46 pm
and to be blunt, there are people who are in concert with the polluting industries and delivering phony science, the way they did on tobacco. >> can we have some quiet? our colleagues are talking here. >> so when people pick out what one particular scientist said, it's important to look at that in a context of where the bulk of the science is. and if you don't believe science, then perhaps my friends from the other side will believe in big corporations. and one really big corporation that cares a lot about the climate's effect on storms, the entire insurance industry and the property casualty industry are virtually up in arms about what climate change is doing to their risk profile, and here is a graph that munich reed puts together showing the increase in natural catastrophes worldwide
10:47 pm
that are associated with climate change, a, in the sense that they're happening while climate change is happening. but b, and that we know some underlying science. we know, for instance, it is not disputed, that if you warm the oh, it creates more energy going up into storms, and that makes stronger storms when they hit the shore. so much of the science is way past debate, and if you simply take the sciences way past debate and apply it, you draw the same conclusion. are there eccentrics outliers that can be quoted? sure, there are. but for this committee to rely on anything other than the massive consensus of peer reviewed science, but let's look at the people that are asking us to take action. coke and pepsi. ford and gm. nike, walmart, apple. the joint chiefs of staff.
10:48 pm
the u.s. conference of catholic bishops. the garden clubs of america. at some point, people have to come to the realization that the scam that is being perpetrated has got to come to an end. and i hope that that time comes soon. >> thank you, senator. senator vitter? >> thank you, madam chair. i just want to make a brief kme comment about science, too. i think it's a useful transition to the next panel. i want to underscore senator wicker's comments. i think we do a real disservice to science and facts the way we often do a cartoonish gloss over these issues, which are often very complicated and subtle. doesn't mean we don't need to figure it out, but we need to understand the real facts, and i would urge all of us to try to do that. let me just use a couple of examples. senator boxer said 97% of scientists -- clearly, it's a
10:49 pm
clear consensus, 97%. well, 97% is very catching. but what's the underlying question? human activity is causing increased co 2 emissions. well, i don't know why that's not 100%. i think everybody on this panel agrees with that. so let's mark it as 100%. that's not the issue we're debating. give you another example. dan ashe said in his testimony average surface temperatures are increasing. interestingly, that is not in your written testimony. is that true since 1998? >> i think that average surface temperatures are increasing, as senator whitehouse said -- >> is that true since 1998? >> i don't know. i'm not looking at the records since 1998. >> what are you looking at? >> i'm looking at the temperature record, the historical temperature record average surface temperatures are
10:50 pm
increasing. >> over what period of time? because since 1998 -- >> over a period of time that's relevant for a natural resource management, which is looking at since the beginning of the industrial revolution -- >> again, my point is we need to be precise. we don't need to gain words. you also said sea ice and glaciers are melting. did you mean that and did you include continent, or is that not sea ice? >> it is indisputable, senator vitter -- >> are you saying that? >> i'm saying sea ice and glaciers are melting. >> well, they're always melting. >> it's indisputable. >> are you claiming that that's net and are you counting antarcti antarctica, which is a continent. >> we really need to move on. >> if you could provide that for the record, because that's the level of detail and disciplined discussion that i think we need. >> senator inhoff.
10:51 pm
>> let me try to get this out real fast. when considering the environmental impact of a co-export facility license to the west coast. they said it would be outside the corps's control and responsibility for the permit applications. now, conversely, as you know, i believe at columbia university's center for climate change law released a report in august saying that increased sales in coal and asia are in effect the corps's decision, meaning that they should be the scope. do you agree with columbia or do you agree with the corps? >> thank you, senator, for the question. the -- we agree that agencies need to look at greenhouse gas emissions when they're looking at analysis.
10:52 pm
>> i'm really sorry, but we're two minutes and i need to have that answered for the record. i'd like to ask you this to see if you would be in a position to let us know. is there a date certain for finalizing the guidance for including life cycle of greenhouse gas emissions and the analysis? >> senator, we continue to work based on the draft that we put out in 2010, we're working on revising that, but i don't have a date certain yet. >> all right. if you decide you're going to have one, will you try let us know for the record. >> yes, we will. >> preeshlt thaappreciate that, feel we should have one. i know people get hysterical on all this stuff. but when senator whitehouse talked about the just one scientist, i have sev700 scients i listed on a speech on the senate floor probably eight years ago, and these are scientists -- you have richard linzen from m.i.t.
10:53 pm
these are top scientists around totally refuting the assertion that is being made on which we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars. just the bills that they try to do through legislation on cap and trade, that range. no one disagrees with this. it will be between 300 and $400 billion a year. now through regulations it will be etven more than that. in accordance with your predecessor lisa jackson, i asked the question when we pass these things is it going to lower worldwide greenhouse gases, the answer was no. because this only affects the united states. this is not where the problem is. it's in china, in india, in mexico. so in other places. so i just want to say that we're talking about the largest tax increase in the history of this country, if we were to go through with what they're trying to do through regulation they could not do through legislation and not get anything for it. that's my question. >> well, there's no question time.
10:54 pm
we have two minutes, you've gone over by a minute. senator sessions. two minutes. >> thank you, madam chairman. one of the things that we've heard today is carbon pollution. that's sort of a new phrase we're seeing a lot. you might wonder why that's happening. i think there's a great deal of unease in the pro-global warming community about what the supreme court is going to do. the clean air act of 1970 -- i said earlier '74. 1970. did not ban co2 and did not even consider the possibility of global warming. so now, the supreme court said you should make an endangerment finding and you have. without any explicit express authorization by the elected representatives of the american people, under this decision
10:55 pm
you've made, the environmental protection agency can go into any american's backyard, prohibit their barbecue grill, eliminate that. you have that power. it is one of the greatest expansions of federal power without explicit congressional authorization in the history of the republic. you're able to go in any place, where any carbon is produced and regulate that because you say it's a pollutant. and supreme court ruled 5-4 that you should make a formal finding on that. they have not ratified your decision. and with the altering of the predictions and the global warming projections that are not coming true, i would hope that they would not allow you to have that power finally, when they finally rule on it. so i want to say congress has never authorized such an action. they would never authorize it
10:56 pm
today. and you should be really careful about the assertion of power that you have. i thank the chair. >> thank you. just for the record, the d.c. court recently upheld the ruling of the supreme court, so let's just stop relitigating something -- >> going back to the supreme court. >> i don't want to be interrupted. please. i didn't interrupt you. >> well, you used the power of the chair to dispute what i had said. >> i will use freedom of speech to correct folks who i believe are wrong, and i will defend your freedom of speech to do the same. now, let's be clear. d.c. court upheld this. period. and it's moving forward. and if you don't act, you're going to be sued. and the american people want this done. i just looked at the polling. only 3% of younger voters don't believe climate change is happening. you look at republicans. the latest poll i saw said that
10:57 pm
vast -- well over 50% said that if your climate denier, you're out of touch. i wish this committee would find the common ground with the american people. because when you deny, you're doing just what people said when they said cigarette smoking doesn't cause any harm. a couple of other things. 1980 to 1990, hottest decade on record until 1990 to 2000, which became the hottest decade on record, until 2000 to 2010, which is now the hottest decade on record. that's not me. that's not epa. that's noaa. in 2008, the bush administration used a social cost of carbon on fuel economy rules. they used it on air conditioner rules, efficiency rules, and frankly, i never heard a peep out of anybody at that time.
10:58 pm
now, i don't know why my clock isn't moving, but it should be down to a minute. let me just close with this. we know what happens when the environmental is thrown under the bus. it's called china. i'm going to put in the record today air -- how do you say this? air apocalypse hits beijing. on thursday, rez dsidents of beijing woke up with splitting head aches. 1.2 million chinese died because of air pollution. i will do everything in my power to make sure that this clean air act, which passed in this very sacred room, so many years ago, in a bipartisan way, that that clean air act is upheld. and that everything we do is consistent with the law. and this one went all the way to
10:59 pm
the supreme court. and the fact of the matter is we have to make sure we uphold it. now, that's the end of this panel. what i want to make sure -- because senator vitter is very anxious to have another hearing about mr. biel, and i am not. >> to have a hearing. >> we had a briefing. he wants a hearing in addition to the briefing in which he asked 50 questions. it is his right to ask that. what i'm going to ask you, administrator mccarthy, since no one asked you about that, although it was in the scope of the hearing, would you please answer the question and take a week to do it, what is in place now. we know that this con man is going to jail. but what's in place now at the epa to make sure this never happens again. if you would get that to us, the chairman and the ranking and members of the committee in about two weeks -- can you do that? >> yes, sure. thank you. >> and then we'll look at whether or not we need a hearing. i want to thank the panel. it's been a tough morning for
11:00 pm
you. you handled all the questions i think with great integrity. and please now go back to your normal work and we will later epa administrator it was about the president's climate action plan. >> coming up on the next "washington journal" discussion on net neutrality rules and what this week's ruling means. we'll here from michael cops and robert mcdowell both former members of the f.c.c. then a look at how many

113 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on