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tv   Energy Secretary Nominee Rick Perry Testifies at Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  January 22, 2017 3:44pm-4:47pm EST

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senator risch: thank you.
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my time is up. i know you are a fan of the reactor being developed and we developed the reason and produce the space better if they got on these missions. we will talk about that. my time is up. thank you, senator risch. another king? : governor, at the risk of beating the eternal order of governors to the ground, i remember meeting you 16 years ago tomorrow, standing next to each other at george w. bush's inauguration. the amazing thing to me as neither one of us have aged a day. this is the only committee around here you can use the word aequester" and expect positive response. nowhere else to you get that. mr. perry: yes, sir. senator king: people talked about these cuts. you will be called upon to lead in the next several weeks and months. the cuts being proposed, if the
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this morning are correct, are devastating and the go to the heart of what we're talking about today. i hope the people proposing is cuts are watching this hearing, because they heard senator views that technology is the way forward. you have talked about it. we have talked about the role of the department energy and fracking research and just moments ago, you were talking about advanced computing. that's one of the items on the cutting board, apparently, which is absolutely beyond me. eliminate the office of electricity, office of energy and renewable energy, office of fossil energy -- this is absolutely not in terms of the future of energy in this country. it seems to media we has essentially two functions. one is the nuclear enterprise, which you have discussed, and the other is research, and basic research that can be then taken by the private sector and turned into the revolutionary changes
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changing our society, whether it is an fracking or renewables or offshore energy, whatever it is. to have to going really do some hard pushing back on this, because assuming this is true -- i find it is almost self parity to be cutting energy research at this moment in time -- self-parody to be cutting energy research at this moment in time, but can you commit you will be lionhearted in this endeavor to protect your agency, because they are cutting the legs out from under you? mr. perry: senator, i have a rather interesting background, not unlike yours, of defending from those who are in the know, and sometimes -- meator king: it's hard for to believe that the people recommending these kind of cuts are in any kind of know.
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mr. perry: [chuckles] i will allow your statement to stand. my point is, i know what the department of energy should be good at. i have spent enough time making aware of talking to agencies inside of the agency, individuals who have been there before -- senator king: i don't want to cut your off because the chair is rigorous on our times. i hope that you will be strong on this. i think you have indicated you will. an entirely different subject. we have talked about lng exports. here is what of concern -- what .s of concern to me we have approved 20% of the total production for exports. in the queue is 71% of the .roduction for export
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if that happens, there is no way in the world's congress cannot repeal the law of supply and demand, and there is no in the world that that will not drastically and significantly affect domestic prices, which is been one of our advantages vis-à-vis the rest of the world in terms of bringing manufacturing back and sustaining our economy. the natural gas act back in 1938 says for the department of energy to issue a permit, it has to be in the public interest. my request of you is to ensure that the of interest definition public interest definition includes prices. will you commit to that? senator, what i will commit to is finding ways we do not artificially affect supply and demand. while i will suggest to you is there are decisions that have been made in washington, d.c. that have artificially affected
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supply and demand, and it has been on the supply side. i would ask the epa and the department of the interior, and whether it is congress on the tax and regulatory side that they can effect, to make sure we have the ability to fill the supply, because the demand is going to be there, and if we produce it in america, it makes abundant good sense to me to sell it to the world. king: unless doing so significantly increases domestic prices, which is exactly what happened in australia where they are now exporting almost all of the natural gas and their natural gas domestically, i think, tripled in price. that would be a disaster for the economy of this country. mr. perry: and i totally understand that. my point is when we look at this entire issue globally, we need to make sure we are not making decisions here that is affecting the ability to supply so that
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the demandp addressed and a thoughtful and fair way that does not drive up the cost to where and -- we areing bases trying to bring america back in a strong and powerful way -- would be affected in a negative way. mr. perry: and low natural gas price is -- senator king: low natural gas price is an advantage i would hate to lose. >> thank you, senator king. >> thank you, governor. i enjoyed our meeting. apparently it was not as stimulating as the one here as your one on the couch with my colleague for minnesota. but we talked about a number of subjects. one was importance of having uranium enrichment capability. in ohio, we at a plant that produced uranium until about
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2000. and we shut down. it is now being cleaned up. inn president obama ran 2008, he promised to accelerate that cleanup. the opposite happened. it has gone from 82024 -- from a 2024 timeframe. i amisappointment -- disappointed in the department of energy. and prickly, it's really difficult for people who work there. they never know if their next paycheck is going to be there. it usually happens around christmas time. atld you be committed looking at this cleanup effort in a more logical way, helping to make sure we have the funds necessary to expedite that cleanup, which again, provide security to these families, but importantly lowers the cost of the taxpayer by getting this cleanup done. senator, i commit to
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you i will become educated on this issue in the most expedition -- expeditious way i can manage it an employee management skills and capabilities. i, again, without knowing the deep details of this, but my instinct tells me that this is an issue of execution, of good management. >> i thank you for that. secretary moneys committed to come to the site to read we never managed to work that out. i would love for you to see the site. about 1000 acres. incredible infrastructure. would be a great site for a future plants, nuclear power plant. the community is very supportive. would you commit to come out and see this, to cb huge investment the department of energy has made in this facility? senator, i would commit to that and i would suggest you know how to get a hold of me if i do not do that on a timely basis for you. we started aan:
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new centrifuge project. in late 2015, without notice, the department of energy shut that down. they had spent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money up to that point. the centrifuges are still there. they are up nearly going to be sent to the desert, which is in a norm is waste of taxpayer money. we have no ability to enrich uranium in this country. we have to allow -- we have to rely on foreigners at a time when we have increased both children globally. we as americans do not have the ability to enrich uranium. would you also be willing to look into this issue and i'm not going to ask you for specific commitment today on restarting this because i know you need to research it, but i hope you will give this your personal and objective consideration, because it seems to me we need to have enrichment capabilities in this country. do you have a response to that?
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mr. perry: senator, i will give it the appropriate and thorough .tudy in addition, i will save you and richmond of uranium in the united states is a national and one that i take very seriously. i look forward to working with to not only understand this issue better, but, if it is concluded, as i suspect it will, but this is indeed a national security issue that needs to be either by the united states congress and/or the will have aon, you willing partner in making sure that the doe does it in the most efficient, most effective, and most economically feasible way it can. you,portman: a thank governor. it is an national security issue. we also have enriched uranium
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for the stockpile and, of course, we need to have enriched uranium for nuclear navy. i know we have stockpiles now, but we don't have the ability to quickly be able to enrich. it probably takes a decade to we this back up and going if shut it off altogether at enormous cost to the taxpayers. one last question. we talked about energy efficiency in our meeting. this committee unanimously -- overwhelmingly voted on a bill, and we passed it in the in total senate 82 to 15. the ranking member in the chair have been on the forefront of this issue. i would like your commitment that you will work with us on energy efficiency and help us get that legislation across the line. as perry: yes, sir, use me you see fit. sen. portman:: think you, madam chair. senator duckworth. senator duckworth: thank you for being here, governor terry.
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i look for to your visit -- governor perry. i look forward to your visit to deal wii's crown jewels. when i served in iraq, i risked life and limb protecting diesel fuel supplies and i saw firsthand the painful price this -- pays for our lines on foreign oil. for me it's not only about the environment, jobs, competing and other nations making huge investments in clean energy. it's also a very clear national security imperative for us. under your leadership, texas progress andve wind energy production, but i do worry you have made statements opposing federal government involvement to encourage investments in any energy sector. with investments you have seen in wind energy, i know you recognize that these gains could not of been made without federal
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support. our wind industry would not be where it is today without the federal government and i want to replicate the success you saw in texas under your leadership. i would like to do that in illinois and across the nation. will you maintain the support of programs at doe that promote renewable energy programs that strive to move us forward and away from our heavy reliance on fossil fuels? mr. perry: senator, thank you. just as an aside, i want to say thank you for your service. there are few people in this room that have made the commitment to this country that you have. senator duckworth: thank you. mr. perry: there are some in this audience that have, but we collectively thank you for your service. i had a pretty broad ranging conversation about the alternative renewables that are out there, the least of which is not wind.
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and my home state aggressively and very positively supported that. when i think about the doe as we move forward, as we continue to find technological advances, whether it is turbines, blade design, some other aspect, one , in emerging technology fund grants that we made after i helped create that program was on nano foot tonics otonics and recruiting top scientists in the world on the solar side. my commitment will be to look at every program, senator. i think you know my record. i am of fiscal conservative and i don't back away from that. i think that's a badge i wear with honor. i do believe there is a role
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for us to play -- both at the state level and at the federal level -- to continue to put forward -- funded by our technologiesars, that can make us more efficient, make us more economically viable, improve our quality of life, and that's my record. stripes onhange the the zebra. i mean, it's just the way im. it's what i believe in. the administration knew that when they asked me to serve in this role. and i am committed to the continuation of using these , theiant scientists private sector, our universities, in collaboration to finding the solutions to the challenges, whether it is on renewables or whether it is ways
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to use resources that we have in a more efficient, safe, effective manner. senator: thank you. of have spoken quite proudly -- senator laboratories and major employers. storage andeloping the smallest building blocks of matter. we spoke about need to store and use nuclear fuel. who toldh the students fighting to say, "go zb's." nuclear storage and spent fuel, we have not found a way to take care of it. i want to make sure that you are
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committed to that. >> i will not burn your time by reiterating my commitment to managing that issue. i would suggest to you that it is both political and management that is challenged. . >> we have finished the first round and we will have another opportunity. i appreciate that you have been sitting for a considerable amount of time. throughy, we will move
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this round and not put you through too much more, if you have the endurance. here at your am service. >> i appreciate that. i was looking at my news clips where i went to high school and it says that the temperature is 52 degrees below. it is cold at home and, when it .s, you need to stay warm sometimes, it can be costly to stay warm. we talk about the all of the above energy policy in alaska and we really live it. itthis time of the year, the is all about your ability to
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stay warm. people in fairbanks do not have the benefit of natural gas. they are a community that relies on home heating fuel and is expensive for my sister to keep the house that i was raised in warm during the winter. we look to find solutions and we are looking at the prospect and the ability to access natural gas from the slope for the benefit of alaskans and the country. i look for to your commitment to help us work to facilitate the natural gas pipeline. we also have more. we have the wind. we do not have a lot of solar. we have incredible opportunities. comes to us from
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hydro-power. viewednately, it is not as renewable and i would like to change that. and it isve coastline a lot of water and energy. .t is hydro-kinetic it is bountiful. we have biomass potential. utilizeto be able to micro-grids. right now, it says you have to have the ability to connect and .isconnect from the grid if you do not have a grid in the first place, it does not qualify. we need to make sure the federal government is not standing in the way of innovation from
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innovators on the ground who are working to facilitate this. we need you to help us cut through a lot of what has been put in place that holds back the innovation and keeps the people in fairbanks right now that are trying to stay warm and it cost them a pretty penny to do so. workingok forward to with you on those specifics. anything we don't have is nuclear. we have a small population. small,spect for what modular nuclear reactors -- and i would like to have you address that as you talk about the --ader panoply of options but the potential for the small,
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remote communities, whether military installations up there or full word-operating bases and -operating- forward ones and outposts, reliance at risk fuel supplies can be life-threatening, so the relationship with reactors and more advanced reactors, i think it holds a great prospect for us. can you speak to how you view advanced nuclear reactors? >> i am not sure that i can do it. these are the things the department of energy should be
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focused on and funding. i will share with you that i will help you in any small or -- there needs to be legislation that changes law and i will help you do that. it makes good sense. this is that classic, "one size all." fit -- mya really great idea home state is not attached to the federal grid and it works. we are a diverse country with different geography, people, regions. thoughtfully put into place energy policies that take into account that diversity is really
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important. you have my commitment and im a strong supporter of this new technology. we want to look at it from a from theandpoint and point of securing it properly. , and senatorces duckworth and i had that conversation, from a military application, that powers those bases, of which you have a number of in your home state. it may be a good starting point with those and you can plug those in to the nearby neighborhoods and have the alternative form of energy that can come out and be made available and affordable. >> thank you.
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senator sanders has not had an opportunity's yet. senator sanders: thank you. welcome. 2011, cbs news -- rick perry said he does not believe in global warming science and suggested that it is based on scientists manipulating data. he says that the climate has been changing since the earth was formed and that the issue of global warming has been politicized and argued that america should not spend billions of dollars on a scientific theory that has not been proven and from the perspective of governor perry, is being put into question. against the entire scientific community that has studied climate change. fear that i speak to
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climate change is the crisis we face and we need to move forward to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. do you still hold the views you expressed in 2011? do you agree with those scientists that it is imperative that we transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency to leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable for kids of future generations? >> i believe the climate has changed and i believe that some of it is naturally occurring and others are from man-made activity. the question is how we address it in a thoughtful way that does not compromise economic growth and doesn't affect our energy affordability.
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talked aboutwski individuals in her state -- bernie sanders: i don't mean to be rude, but we have a short time. a senator made an important point on that's, we are in danger of spending god knows how many billions of dollars to repair the damage done by climate change and drought is major impact on agriculture. let's get beyond the rhetoric. the scientists i talked to, a majority who have studied the issue, they feel that climate change is a global crisis. it is not a question of a balance of this and a balance of that. global crisis that requires a major cut in carbon
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and a transformation of the system of energy. how do you respond? rick perry: i like getting past the rhetoric. yes, sir. i think it is important to talk about the 12th largest economy while i was governor. you are asking me -- bernie sanders: i am asking you if you agree with the scientific change isthat climate a crisis and we need to transform the energy system. perry: i believe that having an academic discussion, whether with scientists were with you, it is an interesting exercise. do i have a record of affecting the climate in the world and in this country? the answer is, yes. byowered carbon emissions 17% and sulfur dioxide by 66%
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and don't you think that is a good thing? bernie sanders: i think it would be a better thing for you to say that you recognize that we have a global crisis and that the united states of america should lead the world, working with china, russia, countries around the world to transform the energy system. let me change subjects. you mentioned that 60% of the department of energy's budget deals with the nuclear energy. many americans are concerned elect trump'st supporting more countries getting nuclear weapons. the united states under democratic and republican administrations, for many decades, has been strong in saying that we want to not be testing nuclear weapons.
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can you give us some assurance that you are within the mainstream and saying that the testing of nuclear weapons is a dangerous idea? thatperry: i can tell you i think it is really important for the united states to have a nuclear arsenal that is modern, know, if we had a general here, he would tell us .hat is probably the case bernie sanders: the question dealt with nuclear testing. onyou support the ban nuclear testing? rick perry: obviously, the scientists we have at the department of energy and the private sector, i will rely upon their observations as to whether there is clear technical ability
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to use the technology that we have today. i think that anyone would be of we don'ton that, if have to test another nuclear weapon, that would be a good thing for the united states and the world. >> the senate has confirmed two cabinet nominees. confirmed james mattis and john kelly. the senate meets tomorrow at 3:00 to debate the nomination of mike pompeo to be cia director. it would require a simple majority. you can watch c-span live. >> on the communicators, tom
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wheeler talks about his tenure as the head of the commission and his major decisions and issues he sees facing the trump administration. >> the idea that you should scale back the fcc and give responsibility to the ftc is something that the networks have been pushing for years. before i took the job, there is an headline in the washington the that said, "here is how theorks intends to gut fcc." it would be tragic if that happened. >> joining us is a syndicated columnist

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