tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 18, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT
i too took the same journey on nuclear. it was something i opposed for a long time but i took on climate and the challenge and the dangers of climate and it occurred to me that i simply could not oppose a carbon free source of energy at this point in time as we transition. can you talk a little bit about the role that the -- that is something that is really challenging as we try and transition away from certain types of energy. how do we maintain baseload while we bring in the new other carbon free sources of energy. >> right now the nuclear fleet of 99 reactors around the country provides to third -- two thirds of the energy generation. those plants tend to operate
around the clock. whenever they have fuel its is around the clock with 95% reliability. one of plant goes out the next day all around the country the thing that gets tuned up as a fossil fuel power plant. it is a swing fuel. calculations i have done unfortunately indicate that in order to replace that baseload amount of supply you really have to come up with orders of magnitude more investment in renewable energy just to replace it. renewable wind might have a 40% as opposed to 95% output for every piece you put in the ground. solar is close to less than 20%. you have to have four times 26 times to eight times investment
in those in order to replace something that is going off-line. we need to make forward progress so i would like to see us building a transition on these reactors that enables forward progress that we have already seen on cost productions and renewables. replacing on that scale is hard in terms of backsliding. thank you so much for the honor. >> anthony rogers right. -- wright, the policy and organizing director, he has taken part in a variety of progressive organizing campaigns free years. he worked as a policy analyst and urban lanner in san diego, los angeles, and denver.
in addition to ensuring that proposed projects complied with environmental statutes such as the national environmental policy act, clean air act, clean water and emergency planning and community right to know act. he was also responsible for evaluating the complaints with executive order 12898 environmental justice. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for this opportunity. it is my hope that we will heed the calls from a talented group of speakers who have talked about climate change. our climate, our children and frontline communities of color are looking to you to promulgate a platform that communicates the need for radical change. while climate change affects all this it does not affect all of us equally.
as dr. robert lloyd reminds us communities of color are hit first and worst. the response of our government to address this disparity is usually past and last. they remind us that environmental and public -- disasters are not randomly distributed. it should be no supplies that the poor in the u.s. have the worst health and -- live in the most degraded environments. there is no industry that engenders this clematis condition more than the fossil fuel industry. right now the bureau of ocean energy management is considering five-year leases that will allow big oil companies to axis does it needed oil areas. while there has been much discussion about the implications of this plan in spite of calls from mainstream and environmental groups are has been less attention to the gulf coast. this despite the fact that of the 13 potential leases 10 are in the gulf and three are in the arctic.
this transmission of urgency proves that the gulf is one of if not the preferred sacrifice areas and why we must cease thinking about women changed solely as a nefarious natural phenomenon. it is a system of oppression for the intersection of justice. cannot address climate disruption without addressing disruption to all forms of justice. that includes the nexus of cancer alley, the denial of federal recognition for tribal nations and it is home to the
first u.s. tried to lost 90% of their land to the encroaching gulf waters due largely to drilling operations. the call -- gulf coast remains one of the two -- poorest areas. while i applaud many of president obama's and the democrat's efforts to address climate change it is important to distinguish between acknowledging and acting on climate change. this discrepancy was put on full display during the climate summit. my organization was honored to assist students and faculty from historically lacked colleges to participate because we believed it was important for the stories of the gulf coast to be given attention and many faculty members and students were residents. the president and fellow democrats were negotiating
lifting the crude oil export ban. they made impassioned pleas to democratic senators declaring the band must and but to no available. this can indicated to us and i believe the gulf coast that the president and democrats called to address climate change were meretricious and vacuous. we knew that lifting the ban with lead to more offshore drilling. there is an inconvenient truth. climate denial is not limited to gop bogeyman like centered james in half and ted cruz. democrats are denying the signs of i'm a change. the science telling us we must keep 80% of fossil fuel deposits in the ground and the proposed five year offshore leasing program would think -- [indiscernible] which is the equivalent to the commissions of 3.6 million cars. frederick douglas said where justice is tonight, where
ignorant travails and where anyone classes made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to my neither persistent property will be safe. there are no better words that are trade the situation on the gulf coast and this is why we're seeing so many we skiing their lives to disrupt and abolish fossil fuels with the same fervor as abolishing slavery and it is why the movement has been called the new abolitionists. there is no time for half measures, perfunctory proclamations or policies derived from incrementalism. this is a radical system that requires radical action. the coast cannot afford another blowout or oil spill and the
people cannot be captive to injustice that robs them of land and economy. depression words of mr. lewis will be vindicated as the entire lannett will exist in a type of reality. according to a poll by van jones 68% of voters of color favored immediate action to address climate change and a 2014 survey informed us that 85% of african-americans support global commitment to act on climate which is the largest percentage of a demographic group. they predicted climate change will be a major issue for lack voters in the 2016 election and furthermore 82% of latinos and 89% of african-american support measures to regulate and reduce carbon emissions. no democratic candidate for the presidency has won the white
vote in this country since 1964 with lyndon b. johnson and the average of white support is 39%. the dnc and the democrats are dependent on the participation of people of color for electoral success. the dnc must prove that our health and the health of our communities are as important as our votes including a ban to demonstrate this. there is only one choice. offshore drilling must be replaced with offshore wind powering a just transition from a fossil fuel economy to a fossil free future. the fossil fuel empire and political puppets can no longer use the excuse that energy production is to expensive. even bloomberg nudes -- news concluded that -- the only thing that is keeping us from a transition is a lack of local will. a line in the sand has been drawn and i call on the dnc to exercise political valor and
stand with our children and the planet. write a chapter in world history and do something it uncle by calling for the cessation of all also drilling -- offshore drilling. thank you for this opportunity and i welcome your questions. >> first of all, thank you so much. one of the two or three hype points of paris was eating to talk to your crew of students. that was fun. that is what i wanted to take you for moment. he talked about some of the demographic realities for the party. as we are imagining the democratic party of the future, can you talk a little bit about
your sense of young people and their relation to these issues and maybe help us think beyond just november's election as we write this platform. what do we need to have in mind if we are going to be a party that five or 10 or 15 years from now is competitive? >> absolutely. it was great to see you in paris and thank you for addressing the students. i do think that we have seen a slight bifurcation in this primary season between younger voters of color and older voters of color. i am turning 40 next week so saying younger voters of color is starting to mean something new to me. that said i do think that there is a heightened amount of urgency that we are seeing from younger people. they do not like the idea that they are going to be inheriting and uninhabitable planet. we see the sense of urgency and how they vote and how they disrupt and through direct action as a mentioned.
as we are moving forward we do have to think about down ballot elections. i would talk about the senate in this case. steve phillips brown discussed how a lack of investment in these communities of color led to the loss of senate and house seats in 2010 and 2014. it would behoove the democratic hardy to not treat the red states as sacrifice zones. invest in these communities and you will find that they are very keen on what needs to occur for climate change. that is important because -- we will not collect the landmark supreme court decision. the supreme court increase the burden to use the civil right act so high that it is virtually impossible for especially frontline underfunded communities of color to bring suit and i would add in the presence of our sister deborah that the lack of recognition of
the united, nation precludes them from getting justice from bp and many think that is politically motivated because if they were federally recognized they could tell bp that they could not drill on their land and we would see the same program happening in seattle, washington and native communities across the country. >> thank you so very much. you have given us a major challenge in terms of the ways in which the democratic party at times itself has been complicit with some of the things we are concerned about. it reminds me in many ways of my 11 colleague at princeton, talking about the value gap in the practices of inequality. when we talk about ecological crisis, our brothers and sisters on the reservation or the barrio or the hood have more done you then our precious white brother or sister in a manila suburb. can we seriously deal with impending ecological crisis
without there being some diminishment in corporate power, incorporate influence on government? we come over and over again, we do not have the political will. the people want it. something is standing in the way. there is a major impediment here. as a corporate power, is a corporate greed in which those the -- in the corporate elite are able to deal logically, the priority is profit rather than public life? a smaller version of that question, can we significantly deal with ecological crisis and at the same time support tpp? >> thank you so much for the question, brother west.
my mother in forced my education to include your teachings and i will also be enforcing your teachings in his education so thank you so much. you are talking about corporate influence and it does not just have to do with our politicians. i mentioned this in the greatest transmission of urgency. it has to do with how we are fed information. our major new sources are controlled by five or six corporations. we have been talking about flint. we are right here in arizona right now where there are families of navajo nation people living on seven gallons of water a day due to poison water sources from uranium ruling that we do not talk about it. it is not a part of our consciousness. that might have something to do with corporations. i do want to talk to you about tpp because this is very important in my eyes and in my view.
it is all about the expansion and fast track exports of liquefied natural gas which would increase fracking. when you look at some of the countries who are involved, specifically japan which is one of the largest importers of lng and you combine that with the natural gas act of 1990 or 1992 which compels the u.s. to fast-track natural gas exports to countries we have free-trade agreements with you can see where we are going with this equation. i do not believe that you can act on climate while also promoting free trade agreements which are contributors to emissions of fossil fuels and the continued extraction and use of fossil fuels area they are antithetical and it would be like asking the fox to have jurisdiction over the safety of the chicken. to remind the members of the committee we are half an hour behind and it becomes unfair to the people that come at the end because it will have no time to testify in the questions. i want to make the answers brief and the questions brief, please.
>> great. i will be brief. i want to thank you for your focus on the environmental concerns of african-americans and how resident this issue is which is really vital. i also noted your criticisms of president obama and i wanted to ask you what our attitudes of african-americans toward president obama's environmental record? >> i obviously would not claim to speak for every single african-american. >> you cited polls. >> i would say that an environmental justice circles, you will find some discrepancy on what people think. some people will call him a champion and some people would say that some of his policies have been inconsistent specifically with what brother west just brought up. the free trade agreement and
once again it will lead to more fracking and someone else will talk more to that we know that fracking disproportionately impacts communities of color particularly native communities. they would take some umbrage with a policy like that and while we were in paris people like bill and ms. brown herself fighting for a global climate policy while this is going on back home, watching unfortunately eurocrats in the president capitulate to the republicans that led to the crude oil export ban being lifted was also very disappointing. that said, we always want more of our politicians and we want more from our presidents and i think that is why this election is so important. whoever ends and being president we are going to be asking for even more because as i said, we do not have any more time for perfunctory instrumental policies and in all of the above approach which the president adopted will not work to avert global climate catastrophe.
. it was a pleasure to meet you last night. i do want to thank you for bringing the ej issue and. communities of color suffer disproportionately. that is acceptable. i want to thank you for the work you do with hbc. they are an important part of building the movement to address climate change. i would beg to differ with you on mr. obama. i think there are many important as we can point to but the next president to your point will need a congress. there are things you can do within your executive authority, we should make sure that happens but ultimately we need a different congress and i think
your discussion about the down ballot candidate is particularly important. we cannot continue to elect climate deniers to the senate. this is a long way to say thank you for what you're doing and i encourage you to keep up the good work. >> thank you so much, and thank you, everyone for this opportunity. thank you. [applause] >> ms. schaefer has a question. >> have one comment. you do not have to answer. it just and i probably should not say this, i will get slammed. if al gore had won the election we would not be behind the eight ball. that is my comment. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> sonnier -- sonia ramirez. she served as the deputy director of the governor of
affairs for the bc tv. and she served for over six years as the government relations representative for the afl-cio where she worked as the chief immigration lobbyist. she has been a resource to working families and -- in the latino community, serving as a political organizer and government affairs representative. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. it is an honor to join you today to discuss our nation's energy future and explain the use of north america's trade unions. north america cost building trade units are representing 3 million crafts guild nationals in the u.s. and canada. our members -- on behalf of our members i welcome the opportunity to describe how our lu-based business model and our
world has training capacity plays an integral role in the construction and maintenance of america's energy production and delivery infrastructure. currently, we estimate that 50% of our membership in the u.s. and canada is employed in energy-related industries. our success is predicated on delivering the safest, most highly trained, and productive skilled craft workforce found anywhere in the world. that is why our rank-and-file members and our signatory contractors collectively funded to the tune of $1 billion annually, a nationwide network of 1600 joint apprenticeship training programs. we're working with community organizations and partners to leverage public and private investments in energy
construction projects to create structured training opportunities for historically underserved communities such as women, communities of color, and veterans. through these efforts and others we now most 100 apprenticeship readiness programs which prepare applicants for the academic and real-world challenges of thing a union apprentice and the construction industry. in real-world terms, it means that in right to work states like south dakota, specialized the link trades members working on energy project average $35 in our and that means workers are able to provide for their families while receiving union provided health care and pension benefits. the national building trades unions are committed to building a 20% -- 21st century energy system that provides affordable
and reliable energy for american families and businesses. and creates good paying middle-class jobs and meets the climate challenge before us. we believe that keeps options on the table. nuclear power provide 60% of all zero carbon generation in the u.s. and supports tens of thousands of union jobs. building trades members are improving efficiency in buildings, schools, and hospitals reducing costs for taxpayers and student's by cutting energy waste. reducing costs for taxpayers, students, and patience by cutting energy waste. we strongly support the growth of renewable energy and want to ensure we are creating the kinds of high road jobs that can support a middle-class family in the process.
the kind of jobs our members currently enjoy in the nuclear, oil and gas, and coal industries. a common sense partnership between labor, industry, and government can make that possible. take nearby california as an example. through the engagement of state and local governments, are california's building trades council has ensured that large and complex utility scale renewable projects are built with highly skilled, certified crafts women and men through direct contractor engagement, california's building trade unions are making sure the local workers are recruited and trained an incumbent and unemployed workers are retained, all to reap the benefits of the economic growth and job creation. these jobs in the energy sector put a floor underneath the middle class. through prevailing wage and project labor agreements, we can guarantee our members rights are
protected. the local community concerns are addressed, and the safest, most highly trained workforce in the world is able to build a new generation of energy projects on time and under budget. we support an energy policy in which the democratic party's commitment to grow our economy and rebuild our middle class, and protect our environment all go hand-in-hand. that means raising working standards, fostering common sense reform, and unlocking the trillions of dollars on wall street sidelines to build the energy infrastructure we will need to power 21st century economy. it means taking advantage of all options, from her doable new we are to natural gas and coal with carbon capture sequestration two of -- create affordable and reliable energy while reducing emissions and meeting the climate challenge. if instead we put ideology over middle-class jobs and practical solutions and start taking options off the table, we will miss an opportunity to experience an economic wave that moves us closer to a cleaner
energy future and leaves this world a better place for our children, our grandchildren, and generations to follow. thank you very much. [applause] >> any questions? >> thank you. i want to make a comment. thank you. >> they were incredibly well versed in what they did and they were great. thank you for all the training and commitment you all have made to renewables. >> thank you. michael is the founder and
president of clean line energy. he started the company to help ring about thousands of megawatts of new renewable energy. he took energy from a two-man company to a national leader. he has developed a thermal, biomass, and wind energy projects. he is a board member of the american wind energy association. thank you. >> thanks very much. it's an honor to be here. my mom would be very proud. i became a democrat shortly after we moved here from ireland when i was a small child because my mom wanted to vote against richard nixon. we all became citizens.
[inaudible] thank you. i will tell her you said that. i want to talk about the state of play on wind, where we are and where we think we can get to and some of the challenges the industry faces as we tackle the challenges that have been outlined today. the tax incentives we've had place -- had in place for wind energy for the last 20 years have paid off. wind is now the cheapest source of new power in the united states. costs of come down almost 2/3 in the last 6 or 7 years alone. because wind power is so cheap, we are saving consumers billions of dollars per year. on the jobs front, there are close to 100,000 people working in the wind industry today. those numbers will continue to grow. the labor department says that today's fastest-growing job
description is wind turbine technician, and these are jobs that pay well, they almost always carry health benefits because it's a very competitive market, and companies work hard to hang on to the wind techs they train. it is a fast-growing field. most of thewind projects built around the country are built in rural areas, and the wind turbines create an extra crop for farmers and ranchers. we have talked about the different percentages we can get to around the country. i live in houston, texas. on a good day in texas, we get 40% to 50% of our electric power from wind energy. other states have seen similar levels of penetration. grid operators have become
accustomed to incorporating a variable resource like wind into the grid and they are getting very good at it great in terms of environmental benefits, the wind projects we have online today, power the equivalent of roughly 20 million households, and that is like taking 28 million cars off the road. because of the stability we have seen over the last few years on the wind tax incentives, we've seen a lot of in sourcing of manufacturing. these are operations likely to stay here because wind turbines, these are very large machines and very difficult to transport. it's natural to make the right here in the u.s. in terms of our priorities and what we hope to see in years to come from the public policy side, we have 4 priorities. one is a level playing field. over the next four years, tax incentives for wind will be
reduced. over that period of time we hope to see policies in place that would provide us with the same sorts of benefits that polluting sources of energy currently receive. workable permits -- this is always a tough challenge for our industry, because we are working on projects and we have to strike a balance between different interests, local social interests, environmental interests, etc. we need prospects that have effective timelines and take into account all the variables. transmission, we are building transmission lines that go from the windy parts of the country to the coast. these are complex projects that take a great deal of time, many years to put together, and a stable but effective permitting environment is the key to
getting to the energy goals that have been articulated today. wholesale power markets. if we can create markets that effectively tap into the ability of wind and solar to compete in these markets, we will see a lot more electricity. and some of the areas of the country we will be seeing some of the greatest penetration of new renewables, areas where you have wholesale markets that allow new entrants to participate. i'm happy to take your questions. >> i think you are familiar with president obama's clean power plant rule, which requires states to write plans to reduce measurable carbon reductions. what does that mean to your industry? is hard because each state will write a different plan. do you have a macro sense of what that means? >> broadly speaking, what that
will get us, that will address the issue i mentioned before. if we can have a level playing field so we are producing electricity that does not pollute, if those folks who do pollute pay the cost of that pollution, it will help us compete more effectively and the tax credits will work for the administration. >> thank you. camilla is cofounder of oregon climate, a sustainability advocate and social entrepreneur for more than 15 years. i whitman college she led the largest campus club, a climate action group, and founded a try college civic leadership network. after graduating with honors in 2010, she directed outrage for a regional urban planning project in arizona, worked at the u.s. institute for environmental conflict resolution, and helped found coal, a nationwide musical theater project about fossil fuels.
so you started in college? >> out of the cradle. greetings. i am now the codirector of the campaign, also the cofounder of oregon climate, a grassroots covering pricing organization. i run a carbon tax and rebate campaign and washington, d.c. further climate action network. i'm honored to address such a distinguished committee. you have the power to advance the most important defense against the existential threat facing my generation, climate change. i'm gratefully dnc is open to voices like mine and the communities i stand with. i'm here to talk about why the dnc platform committee should a doubt a carbon tax.
people say putting a price on carbon is impossible, but it was nelson mandela who said it is always under -- impossible until it's done. it's time to get this done. there is too much at stake. my generation and younger americans need our next president to act, to make polluters pay for the greenhouse gases they are spewing into our air. the u.s. needs a climate policy rooted in science, economics, and social justice, and one that will last. we can meet these goals with the carbon tax revenue that goes back to american families. the scientific case is strong. every credible plant stays below 105 degrees celsius planning includes a price on greenhouse gas and mission such as the carbon tax. the economic case is strong. as a market-based solution, a carbon tax empowers businesses to transition to the clean energy economy. a carbon tax could re-energize
small family businesses like the metal fabrication company my grandfather started in rural southern oregon. it will create new manufacturing jobs in america as we -- we retool for sustainability, and it will give people the meaningful work they want and the prize that comes with it. in contrast to the clean power plan, a carbon tax generates revenue, with estimates of at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. that revenue can be turned back into the economy to help families cope with the costs of climate change, to stimulate new investment, and drive innovation. the case for social justice is also strong. most carbon policy is regressive because it raises the cost of energy. low income households put more of their paychecks into energy than wealthy households. a carbon tax, because it generates revenue, can be a deeply progressive policy. by returning that revenue to americans in a way that fulfills
economic justice. this equitable option can further racial justice. studies show that a carbon tax and rebate provides the highest benefit to latinos, african-americans, and asian households. this is only fair, since communities of color and low income families have contributed the least to climate interruption but bear most of the cost. it will take decades to achieve our goal and we cannot afford to fight this battle twice. the american people will defend the solution over time if revenues benefit them in noticeable ways, like a regular check in the mail. this is why including a carbon tax and rebate in the dnc platform isn't just right for the climate, but right for politics. yale pulling shows that 68% of all registered voters would
support carbon dividend legislation. those supporters come from both sides of the aisle. this means it is a tool that can be used to defeat any climate denier on the ticket. adopting the solution into the platform would unify this party. a carbon tax were all revenues are returned to households to the tax code is supported by 85% of clinton supporters and 88% of sanders supporters. the dnc could energize young people who care deeply about real solutions to climate change, like the leaders in my networks, to get out the vote for the democrats in november. it is time to be clear that we have an affordable and inclusive, comprehensive solution that will make america a clean energy superpower while helping working families. that solution is a carbon tax and rebate where polluters pay people to save the planet, our only home. in a world diseased with
distrust, may you all find the courage to commit to this honest solution, and we will commit to you until together we win. thank you. [applause] >> i must ask you, i whitman college where you graduated six years ago, right? they say the climate action group was the largest group on campus? >> that's right. >> i'm going to go back to anthony rogers right, when he was testifying some questions about how much the environmental issues mean to young people. we want to make sure that we are doing those things that are important to our young people, for our young people. can you elaborate on that? it surprises me that would be the largest organization on campus.
>> we have been growing up with the effects of climate change. i was born in 1987, when dr. james hansen testified to congress that climate change was real, and the humans were causing it. this is common knowledge. this is a problem of social and economic justice and mere survivability. 20 of my peers have questioned whether the world is safe to have children. i think we all need to really consider our priorities if that is what this generation in america is asking ourselves. >> thank you very much for that very clear and brilliant testimony. i want to follow up on what you said, diplomatically, and chairmanship like with regard to young people coming into the
fold, i'm going to say it in little bit differently. i want to ask mr. rogers wright this question. we know that young people, especially young people of color, have not made a decision to be democrats yet. they are more independent leaning. as a democrat, and i just want to say this clearly, i want these young people to be part of the democratic party. so what is it that you see we need to do in this platform, because i think most of us agree with what both of you are saying. what do we need to do on this platform to convince the young people to register as democrats? that's what i want to see happen. >> i have been waiting for this question. we need leaders who call for the solution that physics and justice demands are not politically convenient. it's time to stop setting our priorities based on polling and start setting them on what we need to survive. when you do that, you will see that we will rise up and fight for you. that is how social change
happens. it happens when people ask for solutions by name. we need to stop with the buzzwords, honestly, the lack of courage. we need to start asking for what we need, because we know plenty of people, thousands of people around the world dedicated their entire lives to building expertise in what we need to save the planet. it's time to listen to that expertise and find creative ways to make that political capital. we have done it in oregon. we have turned out thousands and thousands of people to turn out creative projects for the carbon tax. without a federal price on carbon, we are not going together. >> thank you so much for your comments and passion and the work you do every day to improve our environment and address this existential crisis we are
facing. i want to ask you a specific question about carbon pricing. what are your thoughts about states using carbon pricing as a response to what they can do under the clean power plan? we are focusing on a series of issues which are vital, but as you know, republicans have a pitchfork battle. they are now using the courts to deny just that basic action. what do you think of states using carbon price as a response? >> i think they should put a price on carbon as a way to fulfill the clean power plan obligations. it's the most efficient way to drive down emissions. with a national carbon tax you would see the same emission reductions in, say, a state like montana would be seven dollars,
to achieve the same emission reductions as the clean power plan objective. if we instead go with this option to price carbon, we will see a lot of unity from both sides of the aisle. it is a solution that many of conservatives and thinkers -- there is common cause to be made in those states and among those circles. >> mr. parker? >> yes. i'm very happy to see some of our younger generation come forward and speak their truth. for many of us, we wait for science to prove that and it's important on many levels, but i think it's time we listen to our young people who had that clear vision. they same a lineal now. i have three children who tell me each and every day that it is so important to protect the climate.
they don't have their blinders on, they are aware of what's happening in not only the united states, but in the world. they are far more connected, and it's important we start listening to our young people because they have a very strong voice in the environment. my six-year-old told my mom, tell them not to pollute the waters with oil. he says it very clear, and he wants to protect the fish in the sea. that is a deeper level than what many of us are waiting for the science grade as you drive down the road and see oil refineries, and for us -- many of us live on reservations, and you breathe in the toxins and so your voice starts to go out as mine is right now from the toxins. you have to wonder, what is happening. we try and wait for science or action from the higher levels of government, but the people have
the power and we really hope they take to the streets and that the democratic platform is a representation of the people. >> thank you for your work, especially. for as it is a matter of the integrity of our bodies and a spiritual crisis as well. what a lonely world it would be without fish in the sea and birds in the sky. that's not the world that any of us want. thank you. >> i mean this when i say it, thank you for generations yet unborn. thank you. [applause] next, a resident of arizona, international representative of the laborers international union of north america covering the pacific southwest region. the union represents 1/2 million workers in almost all areas of
construction and physical infrastructure projects. welcome. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today. i am a resident of arizona. we represent 1/2 million construction workers around this country and in canada. building roads, bridges, tunnels, pipelines, buildings, nuclear facilities, wind farms, solar projects, water projects, and virtually any other type of physical infrastructure you can think of. today i would like to talk to you about the importance of the energy sector jobs to the workers who perform them and economic benefits to the nation as a whole. during the great recession, the unemployment rate in the construction sector reached nearly 30%. to the construction sector, it was the second great depression.
if it wasn't for the growth in energy sector that the nation witnessed during this time, tens of thousands of our members would have faced real prospect of losing their homes and not being able to provide for their families. the growth in the energy sector has been a saving grace for tons of our members. the promise of a bright future for tens of thousands of more of our members as a nation transitions away from the high carbon energy generation per allele of the past into a cleaner, low carbon future. this transition is necessary for the future of our nation. we are not climate deniers, we are realists. over the past few years, the united states has reduced carbon emissions to their lowest level in more than 20 years while growing the economy. we are proud of the instrumental role our members have played in
making that possible. the pacific southwest region includes arizona, california, hawaii, new mexico and west texas. our members perform work on the palos verdes generating station, the activity or an, among others, providing reliable and affordable zero carbon electricity to millions of americans. our members work wind and solar projects in the southwest as well. across the country, liunai members built the infrastructure that reduced carbon pollution, improved air quality, and helped americans save money on their energy bills. a space load generation shifts from carbon also fuels towards low 20 carbon options like solar and wind, there must be bridged fuels like natural gas to meet the energy needs of the nation. liuna supports a commonsense approach to addressing the
threat of climate change and the urgent need for affordable energy. i energy costs amount to a regressive tax on those people least able to afford it, but a commonsense energy policy can lower emissions and energy costs at the same time. attempts to derail energy production on a project by project basis is something the environmental movement advocates and will stall creation of desperately needed jobs and raise energy costs for consumers. opponents of energy infrastructure projects have insulted the nature of the work and the workers who perform it. they have never seen the transformative effect of a union construction career. i have been in you put -- union labor for my seven years. my brother has been in union labor for 37 years, and my father was a 49 year when he passed away.
these are not temporary careers. construction jobs bill lasting arrears straight they provide livable salaries, health insurance, and pensions. our members get access to the best training in the world free of charge, which makes him the safest and most productive workers in the industry. without the dignity of a job, none of the other benefits are realized. the u.s. will continue to depend on a variety of resources, including coal, oil, natural gas, wind, solar, and nuclear power. liuna supports and all of the above energy policy like the democratic party adopted in its 2012 platform. the 2012 platform acknowledged that we can reduce our reliance on oil by harnessing our natural gas resources in a safe, productive manner. we believe it's important the 2016 platform recognize the crucial role natural gas will play in securing our clean energy future. liuna also believes the
democratic party should have a strong commitment to the environmental justice. we are particularly concerned about our deteriorating water infrastructure in the more than 450,000 round field sites that currently exist across the country where hazardous pollutants threaten the health -- health and safety of american family straight we support efforts to clean up the sites to protect our communities and create new economic development and job opportunities in the process. we stand ready to be on the front lines of that important work. our hope is that the platform committee and delegates to the national convention embrace a platform of inclusiveness and support energy and environmental policies that don't single out workers in one sector or another unfairly. thank you. >> thank you very much. any questions? thank you very much. the national director of green for all was an early architect
of the organization state policy and workforce efforts, previously served as the environmental equity director of green lining institute, a public policy group that works to empower disadvantaged groups and has received --. she has received awards for her work on behalf of low income communities and communities of color. >> it's a pleasure to be here with the committee, to offer some of the things i've learned growing up and doing this work for over a decade. i lead green for all. our mission is to figure out how to build a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. we have helped to create the country passed first ever green job status, led by congresswoman for losey, signed into law by president bush, and we have since developed dozens of
federal, state, and local programs figuring out how to solve poverty and pollution at the same time. my work on these issues come from personal experience. i grew up in east oakland. one of the most polluted communities in the country. my family and i made a commitment to continue living and rebuilding the community where i grew up. it is where i have raised my twin boys. because of this zip code in which we live, their lives are projected to be 12 years less than a more affluent surrounding community. because our zip codes are better determining of our life expectancy than our genetic codes, we have to start to figure out what are the solutions to addressing the disparities and economic inequalities we face. today i share with you a few considerations as to the drafting of the platform committee. we ask you include language to protect families from unregulated polluters by
directing them to accelerate a mission reductions in hotspot communities so our families living near refineries and industries can begin breathing cleaner air and so there kids can play outside. let's move away from the old idea of trickle-down technology for the poor while supporting the investment in underserved communities trade let's make sure the families who suffer most from pollution are the ones who benefit from the cost savings of clean technology as well as the environment to co-benefit. let's make sure that opportunities created in the green sectors have an eye towards closing inequality in america. we ask that you include contracts for ethnic and small businesses to support wealth generation for all. the changing demographics in america demand the majority minority businesses need to be part of our growing economy, and it is important if we are going to drive the economy. i want to make sure we're addressing carbon pricing. if it is to move forward, as many speakers have suggested, we
ask that you make sure the investment generated from that, the revenues generated from that prioritize communities that have been paying for that pollution with their lives and with their lungs. let me share a story of how this can make a huge change. in 2012i helped to meet a coalition of diverse organizations helping to pass a law in california. california already has a program that requires a 1/4 of the money from the program goes to benefiting communities that are directly impacted. in the three years of implementation, over $900 million has been generated from this program and obligated to programs such as developing affordable housing near transit hub's and installing solar panels on the homes of low income families. we took a year figuring out what are the programs that really benefit communities that are most impacted by pollution and poverty, and how do we begin to reduce the cost of living while
improving the quality of life. that's how we landed at those programs. one woman lives in fresno, california. this is a community that has some of the worst poverty in the country. maria is a single mom struggling to make ends meet. her electricity bill was averaging $200 a month because she was raising her ac in the summer and her heater by the -- in the winters. we as a platform c2 outline solutions that will help reduce poverty and pollution in some of the poorest communities. thank you. [applause] >> any questions? thank you very much. did you have a question? >> i wanted to say how proud i
>> i wanted to say how proud i am of you and green for all. green for all has made a major impact into the overall policy and laws of the land, in terms of clean technology, clean energy, and ensuring we preserve our planet. it is so sad to hear you say your child, your children, their lifespan is 12 years shorter. in 2016, i reference all my family and friends whose life was cut short because of polluters. i wonder if you could talk about briefly in terms of clean technology jobs as being pathways out of poverty and why good paying jobs in the tech sector and in the environmental sector really do create these pathways out of poverty, but
also create a cleaner environment so that your children will not have to live 12 years shorter than most children who don't live in communities that are polluted. >> thank you for that question, and thank you for your leadership. having spent my whole life doing this, it's really unfair than a matter how well i live my boys, they will live 12 years less than somebody else's kids. i think the story of maria was really indicative of the possibilities of how we can get out of this. not only did we help her get free solar panels, she saved $200 a month. that is money she can reinvest into the city of fresno. on top of that, the program that helped install the solar panels trains young boys and men to give back to the solar -- to get back into the community with solar jobs. we help to support a business, help to get a job, help to
reduce $200 a month. now she can have fun with her kid. on top of that, the refinery down the way is cranking out little less of dirty energy and the community the lives around the refinery is breathing better. when we think about the bottom-line effect of what we can do when we think about the copper hints of impact -- comprehensive impact. >> i love green for all. thank you. the funds you are talking about that have been reinvested in the community, those are a result of the trading regime that california is using to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? do i follow you? >> that's right. >> the legislature put in place a requirement that a certain percentage would go into local communities, but it is because of this trading scheme? >> yes.
first, the revenue did come from that trading scheme. i'm not here to champion the fact that it has to come from a cap and trade program. it can come from carbon pricing, a carbon tax. it can come from any of the other were other ways we generate revenue by making sure polluters are ratcheting down there pollution and we are accelerating the investments generated from this carbon pricing program into the community's most affected. it was written so at least 25% of the total cost from the cap and trade program of california is invested into the program told to us by the community. we asked, what are the programs that are really doing good in your community, doing outreach? what are the programs you really need? only after hearing a year of those surveys did we say, we
will take those as our marching orders, and we advocated for those programs. we got everything the community asked for. >> i have always thought it green for all was the most helpful thing in the country, just to give people a sense of what you are talking about in terms of zip code and what it means, can you just may be remember back and describe briefly that day when the alert went out from the refinery and richmond to people there? that struck me as hard as what happened in flint in a lot of ways. >> i was in the bay area when that happened and flint shortly after. we heard about what was happening. in richmond, when there was a refinery explosion, a lot of people did not understand what it was. it was loud, there was a lot of light outside. people thought it was fireworks or a game. they opened the doors and walked out. though there were alerts on tv
and otherwise in the community saying it's not safe, go back in the house, it wasn't in the language of the people who lived in the community. a lot of the people were southeast asian. they did not understand what is happening. there were literally breathing the pollution into their lungs. it's important for us to understand that even when we have these communities, we have to make sure they are being forced to be good neighbors. >> thank you very much. a native arizonaian and solar advocate, solar city. formerly served on the staff of janet napolitano and nancy pelosi.
jose is an installer based out of solar city's phoenix warehouse. >> it is a distinct honor for both of us to be here speaking before such a distinguished, legendary panel. i'm here with jose to talk to you about why we care so much about solar and why we hope the democratic party will adopt a pro-solar platform. we work at the same company here in phoenix. i will let jose tell you about his job as an installer. >> good afternoon. my name is jose. i am working for solar city in the phoenix office. i came from new jersey, relocated my family out here thanks to solar city, the company i work for. i'm here to mostly advocate for the benefits of solar and encourage the democratic party
to go to a stronger pro-solar program. just to touch a little bit on myself, i come from a large family in new york city. eight of us, to be exact, grew up in a one-bedroom apartment. i would never have imagined i would be in arizona. thanks to the solar industry, i was able to relocate my family and provide my kids with a better way of life. >> i also work for the same company. not only do i work in the industry, i'm also a solar customer. my wife and i installed solar in our roof 4 months ago and we were proud to show our four-year-old boy and two-year-old girl that our house is now 100% renewable. our rooftop system also protects our family from increasing rates as our kids get older and discover hairdryers and game
boys and things like that, and now we have more money in our pockets to buy diapers and things we need, and peace of mind to know that we are shielded from rate increases that may occur in the future. for us, solar doesn't change. that is one of the benefits. we think it's critical we support the adoption of renewable energy. to be successful in doing so, our party needs to include support for pro-solar policies. solar gives consumers choice, creates healthy market competition, and leads to a cleaner, stronger electrical grid. going solar used to mean a big upfront investment in cash. with technological development and innovative financing, now people can go solar affordably. with the solar lease loans,
customers get all the benefits of clean energy and save money because competitive solar choices can offer them solar power as a cheaper rate than what they currently pay their utility. solar is more accessible than ever. it's no longer just for the wealthy. low to middle income customers are enjoying the monthly savings that solar provides. more people have a better choice now. >> is also the largest industry in the united states. there are currently over two hundred thousand solar jobs in the united states. 300,000 solar jobs were created last year alone. solar jobs will continue to increased her medically. perhaps most importantly, the jobs cannot be outsourced. supporting solar policies and supporting economic development. perhaps best are the environmental benefits.
to reduce the greenhouse gases emission, as well as dangerous pollution that affects our public health, successfully combat climate changes. we have adopted more reusable energy. that does not support solar policies that increase as energy independence as a nation. additionally, it is well documented the higher concentration of elements surrounding traditional power plants, clean power is better for everyone. we can change this planning one panel at a time. >> thank you all very much. let me say this, after the freddie gray incident in baltimore about a year ago, a number of youth were complaining that they cannot find jobs. what has happened is that the
solar industry has become a big employer of so-called disconnected youth. these folks are making very good money, they feel good about themselves. of course you have the environmental advantages and all the things you just talked about. we have residents saving a lot of money on their utility bills, but it solves a problem in trying to find careers for a lot of our young people. do you hire a lot of young people? are there a lot of young folks in your company? >> the majority of installers are in their 20's. this provides them wealth, financial state to be able to move forward with their family. i have two young kids myself and my kids are looking at going into the solar energy field as well.
>> in arizona, 50% of our staff come from low income neighborhoods. >> thank you both, which leads into my question. it's difficult that you talked about affordability for solar. as we look into the neighborhoods and our panel about poverty and how many are working two jobs just to pay for their rent and their heating, so how can we get solar into these communities who are impoverished? i'm happy to hear they are providing jobs, which is very encouraging. how can we get solar and bitter green energy practices into impoverished communities and tribal reservations as well? >> i worked with individuals who
are interested in getting rooftop solar. most of the folks i work with our hispanic because i live in tucson. as long as they qualify for a 650 credit score, they can get solar at zero dollars down. there is a monthly fee associated for 20 years, and it is less than what they are paying. they save money right away. in fact, that's what my wife and i did. >> i had a problem with the electrical company where i live right now. when i moved out here, only been here about a year and a half, i close down my house on february 13. srp just happen to pass the rates to jack up the rates that made it almost impossible for anyone to get solar in the srp area.
unfortunately, i cannot get solar until the bill is passed or something can be done about it. but i do have the credit, i do have the income to be able to go green. but unfortunately, the electrical company won't allow it. >> we have the income now because we have our jobs now. >> yes. >> thank you. [inaudible] when you made the decision to install solar panels -- many people who have solar panels are able to sell their electricity back to their local utility if they are not using it. are you able, and what role does that play in your decision to install the solar panels, the local decisions about how we are going to price all of this and really recognize the public
health and environmental benefits? >> i meet with a lot of people with that question, and they are concerned in arizona about losing that benefit and we do have net metering in arizona and it's fantastic. this is a great time to go solar in arizona, until they change the laws. right now we do have net metering. we are compensated 100% for the electricity we generate during the day. at night it's not producing anything. at night i have to drop from the grid and they compensate me dollar for dollar for those credits. >> that's an important issue for people in making these decisions to be part of distributed clean solar. >> otherwise all that extra generation i have today is going to my neighbors and utility gets to charge for it but i'm not compensated. >> we send more energy back than what we actually use. a lot of the homes have certain panels and they send a certain
amount of energy back to the grid, which can be used at night. a good percentage of that is going back to the electrical company. >> it's a great policy. >> great. >> thank you very much. i wish you the best. thank you. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, coming by skype is josh fox. josh fox is the founder and director of the w.o.w. company, which works closely with actors and nonactors from diverse backgrounds, including members of the u.s. military, activist communities, and sustainable energy and designs. it encompasses designers and filmmakers from around the world to address current social and political crises. founded in 1996, international
w.o.w. has new work in 8 countries with a rotating network of over 100 actors and creative artists spanning 30 countries on 5 continents. sounds very interesting. mr. fox? >> yes. i think what i'm known for is creating the documentaries "gasman" and "gasman 2." thank you for the opportunity and honored to testify before you on the important need for the party to adopt a ban on fracking in its national platform. in 2008 my family was offered a gas lease to frack in pennsylvania near the border of new york. the industry's offer sent me on an eight-year investigation into the truth about fracking.
my investigative work became two feature-length documentaries that premiered on hbo to an approximate audience of 50 million people. "gasman" was nominated for the oscar for best documentary. my investigation brought me to hundreds of locations, interviewing hundreds of scientists and elected officials. what i found is horrific. an industry with no regard for public health and safety and a deeply flawed and unregulated will process that is inherently contaminating and dangerous. fracking causes rampant pollution, and a public health crisis among citizens exposed to toxic air and water with effects ranging from brain damage to cancer to birth defects. fracking components released have the potential to damage every human system.
the industry has been found to use over 900 toxic chemicals that are projected directly into the earth, creating toxic waste that has been shown to contaminate sources of underground drinking water. 70 million americans live within 1 mile of fracking. they are in danger of adverse health effects. that has spurred a huge movement against fracking across the country. when i started in 2008 there was virtually no science on fracking. now there are studies that prove the damage fracking causes. i have toured to over 350 cities nationwide. what i have seen is one of the largest and fastest-growing social movements on the planet. there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people in the movement against fracking. it is an incredible gathering of people from all walks of life.
the movement to ban fracking is mighty, popular, enthusiastic, dedicated, armed with science and the facts, and motivated by protecting our children from harm. and we vote. many major fracking states are swing states. the democratic party needs the votes of those people who will be motivated to go and vote based solely on fracking issues. ohio, florida, colorado all have significant numbers of people who are anti-fracking voters in these key swing states and we need them to assure victory in
november. people like myself will work tirelessly to elect democrats if it means we can and the horrific destruction caused by fracking. in march a poll revealed the majority of americans oppose fracking. even republicans have the biggest drop in support of fracking in the last year. on june 8, a diverse coalition delivered over 90,000 conditions to the dnc demanding a ban on fracking be included in the party platform and a massive protest is planned for philadelphia on july 24, the march for clean energy revolution. it is demanding a ban on fracking and its demands have been endorsed by over 400 organizations. fracking is the primary emerging battleground. most disturbing to me as the language of the democratic party that has been taken directly from the natural gas industry. cambridge fuel policy means we will switch a huge section of electricity generation to fracking natural gas.
that means hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines and probably 2 million new fracking wells. that is a regime change in american energy to fracking. that would be an utter disaster for the climate and surely push us beyond the stated goals of the democratic party. methane is 86% more powerful than carbon dioxide in the short term, which is why peer-reviewed research shows shale gas is worse for the climate than coal. if we push 300 new shale gas power plants, other infrastructure, it will be catastrophic for the climate and democratic hearty. fracked gas is a gangplank to a global warming calamity. pursuing a new energy regime -- for the united states to have signed those climate accords in paris, it means we have committed to dramatically reduce emissions and move towards
renewable energy vigorously. the only way we do that is to stop fracking and phase out natural gas immediately. because 90% of the gas wells in the united states are frack, that means moving away from all natural gas swiftly and decisively. thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> any questions? yes. >> walk me through what happens if we do discontinue hydraulic fracturing, if it's the case that this currently produces more than 1/2 of our current natural gas and 1/2 of our current oil. are we then depending on the free market to then make these adjustments? you will be answering a question that comes from someone who is
suspicious that the free market provides benefits to all of this. or will the petroleum industry fill the demand that currently exists through means that are a clever little -- equivalently or perhaps even more use to our goals in the area of climate change. what is the guide path here? >> we are in the process of regulating out cold. we have low ceilings for carbon dioxide emissions. we have to adopt a ceiling that natural gas power plants cannot survive. first of all, the force industry is expanding. it is not being phased out.
we have to phase of the use of fossil fuels and keep them in the ground. one of the ways we do this is by banning fracking. what is happening in america right now is enormous grassroots movement is motivated for political change. if we pursue an agenda where we incentivize the creation of renewable energy and do that in concert with what i believe is an incredible grassroots force, some may call it a political revolution, on the ground, and we give people the incentive to go out and educate their neighbors and create incentives for renewable energy, i think we can both phase out coal and natural gas on the way to hundred percent renewable energy. elijah cummings: thank you, mr. south. warren gunnels: thank you for your testimony. it was very moving. you were talking in your testimony about hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that have documented the harms of fracking.
i went to add one more, one of the major reasons why new york banned fracking, is because of its report from the environmental conservation that no amount of regulation, none, can safely guard against the dangers of land, water, natural resources, and public health. the question that i wanted to ask you is, do you believe fracking can be regulated, do we put more regulations on it to make it safer, or is that just an impossible task? josh fox: that is an impossible task, and that is according to the industry. natural gas oil and gas know they are in a lease.
from the standpoint of water contamination, there is no way to ensure with any degree of reliability you are going to preserve underground drinking water. there is no way to do that according to the industry's own science. i would be happy to give evidence that shows 8% of all oil and gas leaked upon drilling, and over a 30 year period, 60% begin to leak. the well casings themselves, the drill pipe, is surrounded by cement. an inch of cement. it can get brittle over time. nothing with fans temperature changes down there, and it is not a way of creating steel around this. so the position of water contamination, it is not possible to regulate. the other problem with respect to climate is that so much of the natural gas infrastructure
is leaking right now. you have cities leaking in huge percentage rates. you have 2% in new york city, 5% washington, d.c., 4% boston. the frack gas process leaks a lot of methane in the delivery and down stream phases, downstream and delivery phases. i think the estimate was $22 billion to replace every natural gas by plane in new york city. that is half the price of a smart fridge for the entire united states. we would be repairing a system that is not good for climate anyway. if you are going to push natural gas from the standpoint of water contamination, these two things are unsolvable problems. in addition, you are creating gallons of toxic waste. no one would know what to do with it. we are putting it back in the
ground. the epa says that is a bad idea, american sitting on top of a pool that will go into the water supply. there is no way to make this work. we are already at one degree of warming for the environment. we have enough carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases to bring us to 1.5 degrees even if we shut off everything right now. our goals and paris are well below two degrees. we have to move to renewable energy as vigorously and as quickly as possible. we need an fdr-like mobilization on renewable energy. that is what real leadership on the climate would be an absolutely number one on the list, stop fracking. elijah cummings: thank you very much. we are going to go to ms. browner from the panel. we have panelists that need to catch a plane, so we are going to try to be as brief as we can. carol browner: josh, thank you
very much for your thoughtful testimony. you mentioned, as you are closing, that we should transition away from natural gas. we have seen other countries make very important steps in reducing carbon, but in making those steps, do them in a timeframe that resulted in an increase in carbon emissions. that is that what we want, we want a decrease. if you can speak a little bit too what you think is a responsible transition, and secondly, i assume as part of the position, you would support reinstating the environmental reduction agency's authority, which was stripped and what is referred to as the haliburton-cheney. josh fox: the haliburton loophole was the exception to the safety water act. check toxic chemicals in the ground and not report them to the epa or have a permit, which is fairly outrageous. [speaking simultaneously]
josh fox: absolutely, right away. we are not actually phasing out fossil fuels with the power plants. we are trading them out. we are trading coal for gas. that is very clear the way the power plant is created. we do not replace all the old coal plants with new fracking gas plants which will last for 40 years, we have to retire coal plants, retire natural gas, and replace them with renewable energy. i have been across the country in the last three months, toured for the by new film and 60 different cities. many are fighting mega frack gas plants, which will create toxic pollution in their neighborhoods. they are fighting pipelines, power plants, fracking lines, that is a huge fight, and the democratic party does not want to be on the wrong side of. when it comes to what is
happening on the ground in america right now, people are outraged. we are going out of the frying pan and into the fire. we need to create safe gas and move vigorously to renewable energy. it is already happening. we just need to take out the transition from coal to gas and move it from coal to renewable energy. elijah cummings: thank you, very much. we will next have mary nichols, who is chair of the california resources board. since 2007, she has devoted her entire career to advocating for the environment and public health. in addition to her work at the airport, she has served as assistant administrator for the u.s. environmental protection agency's air radiation program under president clinton and
director of the institute of the environment at the university of california. thank you very much being with us. mary nichols: thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here. one of the challenges of coming at this point in the program is that pretty much everything that is in my testimony or prepared has been covered by other speakers. you could just say thank you, but what i would like to do is make a couple of points that are not really covered or have not yet encountered this morning. let me start by saying i have been the chair of the research board -- actually, i am on my fourth term doing this under jerry brown. for several years also under arnold schwarzenegger when the state of california passed the first comprehensive climate
legislation. it was passed by a democratic legislature with no republican votes, but it also was signed by the republican governor. the feature of it that i want to stress is that california set a goal, a target, of bringing its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, which at the time was the global goal of the kyoto accord, and give the task of meeting that to my agency. it was given that task frankly because we have had the experience in california of reducing air pollution levels to, from what were once not as bad as we see in beijing or new delhi today. but really ugly and horrible levels to a point where we still violate air-quality standards in particularly southern california, in the valley, and
all too many times in low income communities, disadvantaged communities, committees of color. at the same time, we have flashed emissions by over 90% twice. so in effect, missions today from any facility are about 1% of what they were when i first heard it doing this work. and that is a situation with a population has grown, the vehicle population has grown even faster. our economy has grown even faster than that. so we know that you can push technology, that you can set very strong pollution goals. you can change your energy system, and you can do it in a way that actually benefits the economy. that is what we think should be the policy of the democratic party. now, a lot has already been done over the last seven years under the leadership of president
obama, and frankly in partnership and building on the work of many states and mayors. state governors and mayors, progressive jurisdictions around the country, we have seen goals set, and we have seen very innovative solutions to changing our energy system away from one that is dependent on petroleum. there was a lot of talk, there had been a lot of talk about transition, but the way to make a transition happen is not just to sit back and wait for something to happen. you have to tell the market were you wanted to go, and you have to be giving them incentives to encourage them in the right direction. you have heard some examples of that here today. one that you haven't heard very much about though is transportation sector, which i believe nationally now from more of the greenhouse gas emissions than the electricity system.
so i think it is important that we have a shared understanding, reaching the kind of ambitions, i'm a target, that the paris agreement would call for, does call for. as we look at it, also trying to meet air-quality standards and protect human health, is going to require by 2050 to live in a world where we are basically not burning anything in order to power our economy and move ourselves around. the long-term goal here is really 100% renewability across the board. we are not going to get there immediately, but if we don't start putting the policies in place now, we can consequently predict we will not get there. what we have found so far in our work is that you need a combination of measures, that there is no one magic silver bullet that will get you.
you need a mix of both sectors, regulations like the renewable polio standards that require electrical utilities to deliver 50% of all of the electricity as renewable energy by 2030, or like the low carbon fuel standard, which we adopted and requires companies to supply transportation fuel, meaning gasoline, to reduce the carbon content of their overall fuel by 10% by 2020. what that has meant is investments in not only cleaner sources of liquid fuels, such as renewable diesel, primarily, renewable biodiesel, but oil companies literally buying credits from electrical companies who are installing electric charging stations to
make it more possible to drive electric vehicles. we see a future in which we need to be using all of our ingenuity to try to spread cleaner energies and connect technologies around the states. the issue of environmental justice is, as ian spoke about earlier, one that is a part of the overall climate strategy from the very beginning. it is not there just because it is the right thing to do, although that is the fact. it is there because you cannot make the targets without dealing with the fact that the consumers, the young people who are coming into the world, need to have access to the clean technology, and they can get their by a trickle down program. there has to be direct investment made in communities so that people will have the
ability to take advantage of solar power, take advantage of advanced technologies and metering there electricity, or find ways to move around in vehicles that don't, aren't gas guzzlers, which is where we find the places where we can really turn over the fleece, which is through targets that go for after that dirtiest cars that people are flunking their smog check tests to turn them in, not just get them slightly cleaner, but a car that actually could be zero emitting vehicle. that is a better investment of the funds that the state requires. we also have a cap on emissions that enables us to know we are getting to the target that we set. and we created a market program of allowances, a concentrated program, which gives away to the largest stationary sources in
the state about 90% of the allowance that they need to operate based on their level of efficiency, to reward people for being more efficient in terms of how much they produce with their amount of emissions. but, 10% of the allowances are being auctioned. it is the auctioned revenue that ian was referring to, that was then reinvested in the program that was designed to help reduce emissions and also to benefit directly the disadvantaged communities. but that program was adopted as a means of putting a price on carbon because it was something you could do weekly, relatively quickly, by administered of action rather than waiting for the legislature to be able to adopt a tax. we would not have that today if we had to wait for the tax. i see a gavel being raised that i should stop, and i want to say
that we are eager to work with the national party, and to continue to work with the administration as we have for the last seven years, to be able to build on some of the leadership that we have seen for his states and locals. think you very much. elijah cummings: thank you. ms. browner. carol browner: it is nice to have mary here, a real leader in this field. you noted there is no silver bullet, you have had to embrace a whole array of policies, not just stationary sources but also global sources. a lot of sources that need to be addressed, and you need a lot of tools with it. did you guys consider a ban on fracking as you look at all the various tools and kind of decisions that you could take? mary nichols: this has been a very active issue in california as everywhere else. california is in a fully
different position from the northeast in a sense that we have had a lot of experience with oil and gas development in california over many decades. and so, fracking turns out to be a name for a suite of different kinds of technologies used to produce oil and gas, and it was actually going on in many situations where people did not even know it was happening. the first step then is to get a handle on what was really going on out there, and then to develop regulatory program to deal with the water and air and other implications of that activity. i think that the attitude of the governor and the legislature that prevailed after this discussion about should there be a ban come up because california, but should've done this on its own, is that we needed to take a look at how we were using petroleum. it is a little bit like banning the manufacture of drugs and not doing anything about the demand
side. as long as we continue to be such a large producing, not just producing, but consuming state, it did not seem like it was right to focus only on one aspect of the production side. but it clearly needed and is now finally, i think, beginning to get much greater degree of attention than it had before. carol browner: call up for the committee members, california really is the lead on reducing carbon pollution. it is amazing that the state has done. it is a testament to the governor's leadership but also to mary's lifelong commitment, and we thank you for what you have done. warren gunnels: i thank you very much for your testimony. really appreciate what you have to say. one of the concerns of course is fracking again.
i wanted to point out a report by the american geophysical union, talking about how fracking can cause earthquakes several miles away, not only in the short term, but months or even years as the process takes place. so my question to you, california knows a thing or two about earthquakes, how concerned are you about fracking in california leading to more earthquakes? mary nichols: first of all, quite a bit of the fracking we found that was going on actually was happening in areas off the coast and not actually in the most seismically active areas of the state. the places in the future were there might be consideration are areas where it is very expensive to get at the petroleum that is already there.
the water that is produced by the oil development process has to be cleaned out under our requirements, and is used for other purposes. it is not just reinjected. i am going to defer that question to my colleague, who is right up after me, felicia marcus. she has got the assignment of actually dealing with the water side of the fracking process, where my agency has focused on the air side. our concern was we get full disclosure of the chemicals that are used in the industry, that we not hide behind those ideas, these are proprietary. they could not possibly be disposed were competitive reasons. we think that is unacceptable. we work with local air agencies to come up with regulations that
deal with that. elijah cummings: thank you very much, thank you. nicole hernandez hammer? she works to address the impacts on latinos in southeastern states and nationally, a guatemalan immigrant with cuban heritage, today ms. hernandez hammer works to mobilize the latino community to better address and understand climate change's disproportionate effects on hispanics. nicole hernandez hammer: good afternoon. thank you chairman cummings and committee to talk about this disproportionate climate change that is already affecting communities and latino families. i was born in guatemala and i grew up as it proud immigrant in
south florida. i have seen firsthand how quickly a thriving city can turn into a disaster zone. in 1992, hurricane andrew lou my home away. we were not evacuated. storms was one of the reasons why i was drawn to the natural sciences. i became particularly interested in how sea level rise affects latino communities. i began to look at information and paired it with sea level rise maps. the places most at risk at sea level rise in the u.s. including florida and new york, california and texas, are also the places that have the largest or the fastest-growing latino populations. the same can be said for the extreme heat that phoenix was experiencing this weekend will become more common and more severe in the future. heat and sea level rise are impacts we cannot completely avoid.
these represent increases in temperature in the impacts of sunny day events. this is flooding caused by a combination of the hottest times of the year and the sea level rise over the last 100 years. using u.s. army corps of engineers sea level rise projections, we project in miami that we will go to more than 380 events of significant tidal flooding in miami-dade county in the next 30 years. we are taking similar increase in other parts of the country, including washington dc. i use elevation maps to identify low-lying locations, then i overlay information with income data to identify places that are both low-lying and low income.
i use noaa's information to see high-level sea days, and begin information dispersal. in high latino areas like miami, they are taking impacts to reduce flooding impacts, but in low communities, there is little action. i spoke to people in miami just this fall. some people cannot get out during the high tide because the roads were flooded. kids connected to their school bus stop. one resident had to walk in contaminated floodwaters and had a leg infection as a result. research indicated there is an extreme high level of human feces in these types of floodwaters.
one resident, maria escobar, told me in order to take the trash out, she had to cover her legs and trash bags and walked down to blocks because trucks were not coming down the road due to flooding. all these happened on days when there is not a single drop of rain. my colleagues and i analyzed the flooding and concluded these events were caused by sea level rise, which is a result of human cause climate change. we are working to find equitable and efficient solutions in these communities, and demanding these be carbon neutral. as a fast as an immigrant, i know we are especially resilient. that is why we are here. we need to present our children better options of survival. as you develop plans for the future, may climate change litigation and adaptation a top priority. communities need sound, actionable science, policymakers
really listen to them, and more resources to impact this. the good news is we have the solution to cut emissions, and as we transfer away from coal and finds renewable sources of electricity, the benefits must improve especially to communities of color and low income communities. the renewable energy revolution must be committed in fairness and justice. my partners and community will be there to support you and remind you. thank you. [applause] elijah cummings: questions? thank you very much. ms. rhea suh? ms. suh became the president of the national effects council on july 2015, with nearly 500 policy experts that make up the nrbc, one of the most effective
action organizations. before joining the nrbc, miss sues served as the director of management policy, and she led several cost-cutting initiatives with federal land conservation, climate adaptation, international affairs, and other programs, thank you. rhea suh: thank you, thank you mr. chairman, and thanks to all the members of the panel for the opportunity to be here today. as is evidenced by all of the testimony you have been hearing today, there is no greater threat to the planet or to all of its inhabitants that climate change. this fact has been established by scientists for decades. they should not be any equivocation about the threats or the action required for the next administration. it has been said we are the
first to experience the impacts of climate change, withering drought, catastrophic wildfires, unprecedented flooding, and now we all to regular superstorm's ravaging the country and the world. but we are not the first generation to experience the impacts of our dependency on fossil fuels. the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the lands that sustain us have all been compromised by the pollution created by oil and gas extraction and production. while we all play a price for climate, we must also be clear that some communities have long worn a greater burden. some communities, some americans, usually low income people of color, some families and children are literally burying the toxicity of our dependence on false of fuels in their bodies.
we have a responsibility to act quickly to end our use of dirty fossil fuels and build new ways to power our future. we must fully implement the president's clean power plan cutting dangerous carbon pollution from dirty power plants. we must do it in a way that protects frontline communities providing for a just transition to clean energy. we must ring for energy efficiency standards and feel economy standards for cars and trucks. we must end the fossil fuel subsidies that cost taxpayers $4 billion a year. none of us should ever again be taxed one dime to subsidize the profits of the richest and most destructive industries in the history of the world.
we must end releasing of fossil fuel production on federal lands. it is time to get out of the fossil fuel business and into the business of new jobs and clean energy production from wind, solar, and geothermal. must create the positions to be the leader at supplying clean energy technology, for the world. building a clean energy economy is the greatest economic opportunity in our lifetime and we must push to ensure these new jobs are good middle-class jobs on our soil for our families. the future health of our country and of our families is not only dependent on this bold action, it is dependent on bolstering the framework of environmental laws and regulations designed to keep us safe and protect us with the most basic and fundamental
of environmental rights, the right to breathe clean air and the right to drink safe water. as we have witnessed in the city of flint in these last months it is a calamity this nation must address. what has happened is an injustice. communities where people are treated as though their voices don't matter because they are people of color, because they live in lower income neighborhoods, because the people they elected and the government they pay have betrayed them. bold action is required to fix the aging pipes and punks -- pumps to enforce the standards designed to protect us all. we must strengthen the safe drinking water act and the lead and copper rule to make more effective in protecting public health. we must enact standards that produce solutions. these protections are common sense but also common decency.
bold action is required to confront the devastating reality that even in the greatest country in the world we are failing our fellow citizens in the most basic of environment standards. as people committed to progress in america we cannot stand to see a child unable to drink water from their kitchen tap in flint or anywhere else. we cannot see pollution in waters, and devastating at communities and coasts. we cannot stand to see the most vulnerable among us, our children, our seniors, those in failing health confined to inform and to hazards because of their income, heritage, ethnic background, or color. that is not what justice looks like. it is not what america looks like. we have the opportunity to renew our commitment to each other, to
our children, to our country, to renewal and strengthening of the kinds of environment to laws and regulations that are needed to been the arc of history on environmental and human degradation towards a just and sustainable future. thank you very much. [applause] elijah cummings: ambassador chairman. >> i will be brief. all of the testimony today has been compelling and eloquence. we were sitting here talking about how draft, access to water, access to energy, sanitation, it fuels much of the conflict around the world. it is critical free vpn it states to show leadership because we have used most of the resources of the world and we have to be the leaders to show how to do this in a just and fair way to workers, to our homes, to our environment.
it is important for our discussion of the environment and climate change in the democratic platform that we underscore in terms of conflict around the world and economic justice around the world climate is a fundamental issue. elijah cummings: well stated. any other questions? >> thank you for your powerful testimony. elijah cummings: well stated. any other questions? >> thank you for your powerful testimony. we have so much work to do. it shows today, it showed us yesterday how much work we have to do. what is the single most important step we can take today?