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tv   Energy Secretary Perry Testifies at Ovesight Hearing  CSPAN  October 12, 2017 10:08pm-1:12am EDT

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amherst college at his biography gorbachev." he trusted the american people to take an summer of he had never been before, democratize his country in a few years. he trusted them to follow him as he moved the country from a common economy to a market economy. he trusted them to follow him and trust him as he made peace in the cold war against their ancient enemy, the united states. so he trusted them too much, it turned out. announcer: sunday night at 8:00 eastern on spans q&a. energy secretary rick perry took questions on capitol hill about the administration's energy strategy. some of the topics included federal subsidies for the coal industry and efforts to restore power to puerto rico after the recent hurricane.
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he was also asked about his use of chartered aircraft as energy secretary.
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>> welcome mr. secretary, it is great to have you here. the hearing will examine the department of energy management admission parties -- priorities under the leadership of secretary rick perry. i'm very pleased to welcome him this money for his first appearance before this subcommittee. d.o.e. performs essential security missions. it plays a central role in ensuring that the nation's domestic energy security. and also stewarding america's strategic energy interests in the international markets. it performs challenging cleanup operations to address its vast environmental and nuclear waste liabilities, and it provides key energy data and support the foundational science and technological development to advance the benefits of all forms of energy and energy
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delivery to ensure the long-term security and prosperity of americans. the success of these diverse mission requires sound management and robust rarities. and >>ocused attention resources to address the most pressing priorities in light of current and anticipated energy and security situations. in this context history will -- this hearing will help the committee gain insight into the 'priorities regarding the department. it will help the secretary understand our perspective on priorities as lucius essential for d.o.e.'s mission going forward. when it comes to energy policy key priorities include d.o.e.'s role to ensure energy security, reliable supply delivery of energy, and the strategic value of our domestic energy resources and energy technologies. a changing energy landscape in the u.s. has produced profound impacts in our national security policies, and its respective
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departmental missions should be oriented. although we are in an era of domestic energy abundance, new threats to energy security have been growing and requiring more urgent attention. in the previous congress the committees work along these lines informed enactment of several bills to address emerging threats and update the departments energy policy and security priority. for instance we enacted , legislation to support modernizing to improve its emergency response capability and we enacted other provisions for d.o.e. to improve emergency preparedness for energy supply disruptions. protect energy infrastructure physical and cybersecurity and , prioritize energy security and federal decision-making. we also lifted the 1970s the -- the 1970's era export - restrictions on crude oil. continuing the skunks to the policies that enhance the delivery and supply of energy. we're also taking a comprehensive look at electricity market structure in recent developments and challenging for the way that we
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generate, transport and consume electricity in the nation with an eye toward updating the relevant laws governing our electricity sector. with the able assistance of vice chair joe barton, we will be looking at just what is necessary to ensure d.o.e. is positioned for new energy and security challenges. all of these efforts aimed to update the nation's energy policies to ensure a more secure reliable and affordable energy. , in recent weeks the secretary has demonstrated the resent relevant regarding -- the resent nationally relevant roles regarding energy security and reliability. the series of devastating hurricanes hitting texas, florida and puerto rico highlighted the vital nature of robust energy systems in the department choco emergency response capabilities. 's the department capabilities. also recently demonstrated that he is willing to take action in the area of electricity market regulations.
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is an area, this that the energy subcommittee is currently engaged in, with seven hearing less far under our belt including two last week. while i reserve judgment on the policy solution, the fact dissector stepped into this complicated debate reflects the current need to have a broader conversation about the function of the nation's electricity markets. whether it be interventions to the tax code or through federal , and state and private policies mandates all have played , complicated role in the market-driven economic outcomes currently affecting the generational profile of the power grid. reliability and resiliency are important attributes to begin the conversation but none of these issues can be addressed in a vacuum, as economics, technology security and how to , address other externalities such as environmental attributes all will have a role to play. i look forward to working with the doe and ferc as we can to oversee the process, the rise of cyber, the transformation of power generation, the regulatory
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challenges that continue to affect the availability of all energy and its cost all require , a strong voice our national energy policy. that is what congress envisioned for d.o.e. 40 years ago and it is still important today. i yield to my friend and colleague, the vice chair of the subcommittee, mr. roche from illinois. five minutes. >> thank you. >> he switched parties overnight. [laughter] is the front page of politico, the ranking member. i know he probably prefer to be vice chair. >> no, i wouldn't switch parties. just to become a vice chair, know that. mr. chairman, i want to thank you so much for holding this long overdue hearing on the department of energy's missions in management parties. mr. secretary you have the
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, distinction of being the first agency head of the current administration to actually come before this subcommittee. so i would like to thank you for gracing us with your presence here today. mr. chairman, as we know a , budget proposal highlights the priorities within an agency, and i must say that i have many concerns with fy 2018 budget proposal put forth by this administration. for starters, there are devastating proposed cuts to some of the most important federal investment in clean energy programs, power grid operations, nextgen energy technologies, and cyber attack management on energy systems. 's d.o.e.dent
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budget proposal would slash energy efficiency and renewable energy by 70% while eliminating the weather related assistance completely. mr. secretary, as a former governor i'm sure you understand , that getting rid of a benefit -- a program that benefits so many low income families nationwide is a nonstarter for me, and many members of congress on both sides of the house. additionally mr. chairman, the advanced research findings --arpa-e would also be terminated in the president budget, and it makes absolutely no ends to eliminate a program that is spurring innovative energy technologies in how we produce, store and consume energy. in fact mr. chairman, arpa-e
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findings have led to $1.8 million in ireland funding and launched more than 50 new companies since its inception. additionally, the office of nationalhich finds 17 laboratories would face a 17% decrease from fy '17 levels, namely impacting the world's largest single investment in basic research. mr. chairman, while i am concerned regarding the and inty and leadership the agency of itself for that matter, i cannot support the steep cuts proposed in the president's budget. the budget proposal while will even cut -- they will even cut fossil energy research by more than half, even as the areident's supporters
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focused on the idea of saving cold. as the most recent ill-advised -- it makes more sense to invest in the technologies of the future to create jobs at home also can be -- jobs at home which also can be sold overseas. mr. chairman i look forward to hearing secretary perry's vision for the 21st century grid, and if he agrees with the majority of stakeholders that we've heard from during our entire empowering american series. series.ing americans many of these experts who represented industry, technology companies, rbos and consumer advocate groups all degree that -- all agree that customer behavior is a driving force in
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shaping what the grid will look like in the future. these consumer driven trends include greater access to data and more control over their energy use, greater demand for cleaner renewable sources of energy to compete both traditional fossil fuels and increase indiscriminate generation battery storage and , demand response resources, more energy efficiency initiatives, as well as the demand for lower energy costs. so mr. chairman, i really look forward to engaging secretary perry on his vision for this department that he was wanted to infamously abolish. and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. >> the jam's time has expired. the chair will recognize the chairman of the full energy and
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commerce committee for an opening statement. mr. walden. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary welcome to the , energy and commerce committee. we are delighted to have you here to share your thoughts and views with us and answer our questions and we appreciate your leadership. i understand d.o.e. held a ceremony yesterday to celebrate its 40th birthday as a cabinet agency. i think you have to agree lots of change in this country and in the world since congress created the department of energy, especially in the international security and energy security space where d.o.e. provides critical functions for the country. while the domestic and international energy posture substantially is different from what was in the 1970s, i do not believe the importance of d.o.e.'s role serving the nation and public interest has diminished. this past august secretary perry joined me at an energy roundtable of local official and energy leaders at mcnary dam on the mighty columbia river in umatilla county, oregon which produces power for the administration. secretary perry could not leave
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the county without one of our famous hammerson watermelons which i know you enjoyed, the best in the world. i believe secretary perry also left with a greater appreciation of the tremendous zero carbon emitting power resource we have that is helping grow the economy in oregon and throughout the northwest. i think you learn texas wasn't the only big open white space around the poses difficulties -- that poses difficulties getting too, as he crisscrossed the great northwest. the next day, i have the pleasure of accompanying the secretary to the doe's pacific northwest national he laboratory and then to the hanford site just up the columbia river from it on district oregon. a couple of observations from that visit are pertinent for today. first it was evident abundant energy was critical to the historical success of the industrial operations which built nuclear reactors and produced plutonium vital to winning world war ii and later maintaining the nation's nuclear deterrent program. hanford and its cleanup
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second, operations led to advances in engineering practices, research and development programs and ventas of activities that are necessary secure site' s safe and operations. i was pleased to see the improvements being made in the cleanup. that is not always been the case and it seems like they are finally on track. these advances led to the development of a world-class national laboratory and today the pacific northwest national lab in collaboration in partnership with d.o.e.'s 16 of the national laboratories, they -- 16 other national laboratories, that are spread out in remote places around the world other country, provide scientific and technical breakthroughs to meet our national security and energy security needs from securing our electric grid to advancing storage technologies. does we examine the management priorities today build on the work i've asked , vice chairman barton to undertake with you to look at what a 21st century energy department should look like, we should keep in mind the benefits of the interconnected nature of the department's missions that
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these nations across the enterprise can be expensive and difficult to manage. so it is the responsibility of the secretary and this committee and congress to ensure the department is appropriately aligned to perform these nations -- missions and a cost-effective manner and to the maximum benefit of the text there. as chairman upton is indicated the energy threats today are not the same as the threats from the 1970s but there remain significant. -- taxpayer. the opportunities do as well. this committee will work in the coming months and through this congress to ensure the departments organization and missions are lined with the best are aligned with the energy security challenges of our generation. and as i said at my direction, the vice chairman, not the vice president, has already started to facilitate incarnation with -- in coordination with the energy subcommittee work to ensure that doe resources are focused on the core missions of nuclear energy security, environmental remediation, mission enabling site and r&d programs. at the same time the committee , will be examining expired
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d.o.e. authorizations many of which , expired over a decade ago to ensure more fully appropriate program alignment. i look forward to your testimony, mr. secretary, and it would be helpful to both sides in our work here in the energy and commerce committee. i would also like to ask you to address the recent questions that have arisen regarding travel expenditures as part of your discussion with our community today. in closing, i look forward to working closely with the doe and my colleagues, as well as we introduce -- we ensure that the agency is well-positioned for the energy security challenges that lie ahead. again we are delighted to have you here today, mr. secretary, and i've enjoyed waying with you along the and we look forward to your testimony and answers to our questions. with that i just back the balance of my time. recognizesrman ranking member of the energy and the commerce committee, mr. pallone for an opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman kind of welcome secretary perry to the committee. we're pleased to finally have you here after all, it's now the middle of october and you actually are the first cabinet
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member we've had before so this year so i hope that this is the start of a trend. mr. secretary, there is certainly a lot for us to discuss today, particularly your recent proposal to and competitive electricity market by providing an unduly cool --tial rate to regeneration. the substance of that proposal has serious flaws in my opinion under the guise of a crisis of grid reliability this proposal props up coal and nuclear generation with the goal of protecting fuel secured plants that have 90 days of fuel stored on-site. the d.o.e.'s own grid report issued earlier this year stated that electricity markets and a i quote -- currently function as designed to ensure reliability and minimize the short-term costs of wholesale electricity. ." furthermore, a recent study of major electricity found between 2012-2016 less than a a fraction of 1% were due to fuel supply problems.
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so the majority of outages are actually caused by severe weather impacting the distribution system, a problem exaggerated by climate change. this leads me to question the motivation behind the proposal, and to that end i'm sending you a letter today asking for detailed accounting of the process used to develop this -- the process you used to develop this proposal including , the records of meetings you and your staff had and the taxpayer funds spent developing a proposal that seems directed at helping a selected group of favored energy sources. it's an ironic proposal considering that epa administrator pruitt stated as part of his announcement in rolling back the clean power plan, and again the recording, -- again, i am quoting -- that regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers. mr. secretary, that is exactly what you are doing here to read you are distorting the market, damaging the environment and delivering reverential treatment to favored industry. at the end of the day killing off competitive electricity markets just to save generation assets that are no longer economical would lead to higher prices for consumers.
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if you are truly concerned about reliability and resilience, then the discussion we need to have should center around the nearly 90% of u.s. citizens in puerto rico and u.s. virgin islands who are without power. the electricity grid in puerto rico and much of u.s. virgin islands is badly damaged and we much rebuild them to be stronger and more recent get -- more resilient than before hurricane marie has struck. we can't replace outdated or structure with the same materials and the same technology as we did after hurricane standing rock this is -- after hurricane sandy. and this is an opportunity to modernize the grade in these areas so more prepared for the next major storm that will inevitably strike. all of this requires congressional action and the federal government must now act so that puerto rico and the virgin islands can rebuild stronger. this morning after seeing the presidents latest tweets on concern the president cindy does not understand the scope of the devastation in puerto rico and will follow through on his threats to remove feedback from -- remove fema from the island well before it is actually recovered.
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finally, and no term in walden mentioned this earlier, i continued to be concerned by the amount of money this administration is spending when it comes to noncommercial travel for members of the cabin and her -- cabinet and their staff. when the reports first came to light regarding your colleagues at hhs and ba i asked the , inspector general if those agencies to conduct an investigation and they agreed and those investigations are taking place. but today in light of the $50,000 you spend in taxpayer dollars for noncommercial travel, i make a similar request to the energy department 's inspector general. this is a particular concern given the extreme budget cuts the trump administration propose d for the upcoming fiscal year including successful programs that help everyday americans. i know chairman walden mention it today but he also mentioned it at one of our markups earlier this week, that this investigation is something the committee will look into so i appreciate that, mr. chairman. so mr. secretary, i appreciate your willingness to testify
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before the committee today and i hope to work with you going forward. this type of hearing is critical to making our government work better and i hope we will see you here again and hope we'll see some of the other cabinet secretaries and agency representatives as well. thank you. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. at this point we will welcome the secretary's testimony. it is made part of the record in its entirety and we will let you summarize it. following that, we will do questions from the dais. so welcome again. thank you. chairman,ou, mr. ranking member rush, it's my privilege to be in front of you and the other members of the committee.
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i'm proud to be able to represent this administration in front of you, proud represent the department of energy. been a couple of months since i appeared before congress and want to take this opportunity to highlight the progress that we made towards achieving our goals at d.o.e. i'll make every effort to be brief as we go forward in my oral comments, and respectfully request that my full remarks the -- remarks be inserted into the record. i would like to start this morning by mentioning how refreshing it is to see a subject energy policy that has so much bipartisan support in this congress. this committee has been a strong partner to the department of energy over the course of the years and i look forward to working together with you to enhance our energy security and further our national interest . since taking office, my priorities for d.o.e. have focused on reorienting the department of energy on its core
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missions, ensuring america's energy security, spurring innovation, enhancing national security, and addressing the obligation of legacy management and nuclear waste. we are making solid progress toward these goals, but there's much to be done. there is a distinct role for congress to play in supporting our work, and i look forward to our ongoing cooperation. our work together on energy and security policy is paramount for america to exert leadership necessary, both here at home and abroad. let me talk for a moment if i could about america's energy security. america's economic and national security depends on our energy security. we are putting the united states in a more stable and secure position to address the domestic energy needs by establishing reasonable and reliable energy policies.
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we realize that energy security begins at home. we have taken concerted steps to address years of insufficient gridn regarding resilience and reliability. the department addresses not only addresses challenges to our but those ofity natural disasters as well. the department has played a critical role in the coordinated federal response to recent natural disasters. we had been an almost daily contact with our industry partners since hurricane harvey began to threaten the gulf coast, and that coordination continues through this day. we currently have more than two dozen technicians from d.o.e. in the western area power administration in the virgin islands. we will have almost 30 in puerto rico in the coming days. we will continue to support the work to restore power in the virgin islands and puerto rico.
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not only are we dedicated to our recovery efforts in the south and east, but we're also turning our focus to the west. we are working closely with our partners in california, who are now facing some historic impacts with these recent wildfires. i would like to switch over and speak about innovation just a moment if i could, and d.o.e.'s role in innovation and advancing science, which is key part of our mission. as chairman walden mentioned, we had our 40th anniversary of the creation of d.o.e. yesterday, 40 years of energy innovation, and that's a perfect description of what d.o.e. has been doing since its inception in 1977. energy security, we americans enjoy and take for granted would not of been possible without
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american ingenuity. and clear focus on innovation. leader rush, as you point to in your remarks. i'm very proud of the advancements that d.o.e. research and development have spurred, and much of it from our national labs system. our national labs put a distinctly american stamp on a last century of science. in fact, nearly 1/3 of all nobel prize-winning work in the fields of physics and chemistry are d.o.e. associated or sponsored. that is a pretty impressive show from my perspective of the investment that you all have made in the labs, in the previous years. let me switch over to the national security issue through nuclear science. and i want to touch just briefly on what i think is an incredibly important issue facing our department today, and that's nuclear security.
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as a member of the national security council, i have a unique and a vital role in ensuring our nation's security. and i undertake these responsibilities with the utmost gravity. for more than 70 years, the cornerstone of our national security strategy has been a credible and reliable nuclear capability. this strategy has served the united states and our allies well. our work on nonproliferation is equally important. the department's national security, excuse me, national nuclear security administration is a leader in our nation's efforts to ensure nuclear weapons and materials do not fall into the hands of rogue regimes or terrorists. in short, we seek to deny nuclear capability to those who are not friendly to the united states, while reinforcing the america idea that we are a steadfast ally to peaceful nations.
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let me shift over to the legacy management, if i may, and nuclear waste issue. the national security mission comes with a final responsibility, and it's the department's environmental management side. every secretary of energy upon confirmation has met with the size and the scope of the department's cleanup mission. it is staggering in its scope and in its size. it is our solemn obligation to clean up the environmental legacy of the weapons programs, the sites, the communities that helped us win world war ii and the cold war. my direction has been to put d.o.e. on a final path to achieving the cleanup mission across our enterprise more safe, more streamlined, sooner, and at less cost to taxpayers. there's more work to be done and
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we will need congress' assistance in or to achieve our environmental management goals in streamlining state regulations. the department of energy, from my perspective, has another obligation, a moral obligation, to advanced solutions for the long-term disposal and storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste. the american people deserve a solution to this problem, and we can no longer kick the can down the road. i would like to commend this committee for the leadership on this issue. this committee's bipartisan approval of a nuclear waste policy bill by an overwhelming, , stands as a clear example to the american people that we can work together and
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look forward to finally find a path forward. mr. chairman, if i may, to issues chairman walden's of this travel issue that has cropped up and been in the media and what have you. i want to address it straight on. as a former governor of a fairly good-sized entity, i totally understand the idea of having oversight on travel, to spend our money appropriately, thoughtfully. i was the agriculture commissioner of the state of texas for eight years. southwest airlines does not go to dumas, texas, and so there are multiple ways you can get there. you can drive. boy, it takes a while. i guess you could take the bus.
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i suppose you could even hitchhike. you could get there, but you are not going to get much work done. and the point is, a lot of these jobs are different from the standpoint, and d.o.e. is kind of unique in that sense. and when leslie groves was choosing the places to start national labs and to do the manhattan project, he wanted to go places that were pretty difficult to get to. hanford is one of those. and when you think about where our national labs are in the places that i've been required to go and will continue to go to to do my job, and i might add , during my confirmation hearing, and in front of senators and obviously going and speaking to a number of you, almost every member invited me to come to the district, to come see what you have in your district, to see what you have in your district.
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and i am obliged to do that. and so it's going to require travel. one place i went, mr. pallone, this is in the report that you have, i was, i was invited and accepted to go to a mine that is dealing with rare earth minerals , withleton, pennsylvania another stop the next day to spend the entirety of that day in portsmouth, ohio with the senator. the point is, it's really difficult for us to have gotten there without taking that private aircraft to hazleton. i mean, you can get there. i'm not going to tell you you can't, but to conduct the business -- and i think we looked at this closely.
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we've been thoughtful about how we did it. we haven't, i mean -- i'm a frequent flyer on southwest airlines and united. and the last time i was on united, i think i was in seat 10d. there's nothing wrong with seat 10d. but the point is, i travel a lot to do my job. i do in a way that i think is thoughtful with the taxpayers in mind. i did it for 30 years as a house member, as in agriculture commissioner, as the texas governor and now as the secretary of energy. i'm going to continue to do my job. i'm going to make my commitment you to you that i'm going to try to do in the most thoughtful and the most reasonable way to do that, but realizing that from time to time if i'm going to be in those places and we're going to be there in a timely fashion, we may have to do it in a way that does expend some taxpayer dollars.
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but i hope at the end of that process, they can look back and say, you know what, these folks expending our of dollars and getting the job done. and i think that's really the goal here. so let me just finish by saying to each of you, thank you for allowing me to come, and inviting me to share my vision of what d.o.e.'s opportunities are in the future. i look forward to working with every member of this committee. gene green and i've been working together now for coming on long time, 35 years or so. and we will continue to be a partner with each of you as we find the places that we can serve the american people. and again, thank you for your, thank you for your service. thank you for your standing up and saying that you are willing
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to sacrifice much to serve this country. thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. secretary. we appreciate your testimony. at this point, we will engage in questions, alternating between republicans and democrats for the short term here. so mr. secretary, as you know , the great resiliency and the notice of proposed rulemaking issued two weeks ago has attracted lots and lots of attention. in august, d.o.e. staff report erc expeditethat f its effort with the rto and isos to improve energy price formation. i have two quick questions. what prompted d.o.e. to act under section 403, and would be fair to say that d.o.e. exercise its authority under section 43 because there is a level of urgency wasn't perhaps being addressed elsewhere? secretary perry: mr. chairman,
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the base reason that we asked for this, for ferc to take a look at this and to act, is for years this has been kicked down the road, if you will. mr. olson has, in his time being in congress, has looked at this issue, as a number of you have. pete and i, we've had this conversation about the resiliency, the reliability of our grid. and making sure -- i give you one example to those of you from the northeast. the idea -- let me back up before i go into that. one of my great concerns as the governor of texas back some years ago, before we were making the transition to substantially
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more and cleaner generation of power, kind of in between the shale gas revolution and getting those plants built, we had some brownouts in dallas, texas, in central texas and parts of the state of texas. when it gets to be 108 degrees and your grandmother's house loses electricity, there are calling the governor going up, "what in the hell are you doing?" not taken careu of this?" one of the things as an elected official i never wanted to have to explain to somebody why we didn't have the vision to put into place a reliable and a resilient electrical power system. and we started working really hard, our grid and the state of texas, and i think we put in place both the generation and
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the distribution to never have to have that call. and when the polar vortex came into the northeast back in 2014, and that event occurred, i don't think any of you want to stand up in front of your constituents and explain to people why the decision had to be on turning the lights on or keeping our family warm. and so making sure that there is that resiliency there, that there is that fuel on the ground, on the plant facility itself, i happen to think is really important. not only from a personal security standpoint, the goodwill of your citizens, but also from a national security point, and those military bases that are in that part of the world. so with that as a background, mr. chairman, i think having this conversation, and that's what i wanted to do. as i got into this and i started taking a look at it and grasping this issue better, i realized
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that one of the ways that we could have this national discussion was to send this 403 forward to ferc for them to consider. >> do you know what the timetable is going to be? secretary perry: i don't. >> i know they are an independent 80 -- independent agency. 60 days, ierry: think. hurricanes,cent enhances the importance of energy security. we are all very, very troubled with what's happened. year, mr. rush and hrassed a bipartisan bill,
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3050, enhanced state energy planning and emergency preparedness act. the bill reauthorizes an important program that helps states prepare for hazards such as hurricanes. what has the state energy program and the state energy assurance planning played in the recent hurricane response efforts? secretary perry: well, we learn something new in every disaster. that was one of my lessons as the government of the state of texas for 14 years, and we had a number of major events. none as impactful as harvey. i don't believe that in that 14 year timeframe there was a storm of any greater consequence for florida and irma, and certainly what puerto rico and the virgin islands are facing today, but each of these we learned a new lesson in. and i think it's important for the governors of those states to come forward working with our counterparts at fema, at the other agencies of government that are dealing with this, to give us new ideas and hopefully bring forward, here are
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solutions, here's something you hadn't ever faced before. puerto rico is a very, very unique challenge. i'll give you one example. when texas and florida, or any other state for that matter, you could pre-position your utility. and just as an aside, each of you have utility companies in your districts. the men and women who volunteered and in many cases to go into harm's way into texas, into florida, and pre-position and go in and get that electric power back on in record time. there were some 60,000 utility workers in florida. i hope you will pass on to them your great respect for the work that those utility workers did. it was herculean, from my perspective. but i think it's really important for us to take these
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lessons learned, and then forward them so that the federal government can be more efficient as we deal with the next event that occurs. >> i know my time is expired so i will yield to the ranking member of the subcommittee. i just want to say that we intend to have a hearing in the next couple weeks as to the lessons that we may hopefully have learned based on those hurricanes, and yield to the ranking member of the subcommittee, mr. rush. mr. rush: i want to thank you, mr. chairman. since the new issue including the subtitle, "premature retirement of fuel secure generation reliability and resiliency from the power system." however, mr. secretary, the
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study that was conducted by own agency indicated that diversity made the grid more reliable and a senior official testified in june stating that the state of reliability in north america remains strong and trendlines show continuing improvement --r-over-year," you'd quote.er-year, and of mr. secretary, how did you arrive at the conclusion that -- [indiscernible] somehow more reliable and resilient and other sources of generation and, therefore, should receive additional compensation? secretary perry: mr. rush, thank
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you. one of the things that i think is really important is that your life experiences kind of inform you about future events. and this is a great example of it, and i respect the ferc s, you know.w i think their picture is one that is a snapshot of time. there are blue skies, the sun is shining, the winds are blowing, the pipelines are carrying gas. all those things are what we consider to be normal operating procedure, and in that scenario, our grid is fairly, well, it's reliable and it is resilient. but that's not the world that i've been asked to participate in, is to oversee normalcy, to oversee the everyday blue sky , wind blowing scenario. what i think one of my roles is to think outside the box.
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and when we talk about baseload and we talk about -- no one in the country was involved with developing wind energy in a greater way then i was -- way than i was while i was the governor of the state of texas. we created inside that state, helped develop more wind energy than is produced than five -- produced by five countries. this happened during the 2000s. so my commitment to and all-of-the-above energy strategy is not just some words and it's not just theory. there is a real track record of how we help create diversity. i brought that to the department of energy. the president elect, when he asked me to serve in this role, knew that record.
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i'm still committed to and all all of the above. but the wind doesn't always blow. the sun doesn't always shine. a gas pipelines don't always, i mean, they can't guarantee every day that that supply will be there. mr. rush: with all due respect, mr. secretary, are you saying that [indiscernible] in the study that was completed came up with a separate conclusion? are you saying that your gut is, presents a strong enough rationale against the study? and you would take the position you are taking now? it seems like you're saying my gut feeling has more of a priority, rather than what these experts have said. is that, and i reaching the
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right conclusion here? secretary perry: i can't answer with definitive what the conclusion is, but i can tell you that i think it's ok, you know, you and i might disagree from time to time on a particular position. but i hope what we can agree upon is that the 403 that i put forward was a way to kickstart a national discussion about resiliency and about reliability of the grid. the best i can tell, we're pretty successful in doing that. we are having this conversation now that we really haven't had in this country and to think it's important for us to do. we're not always going to agree. i'm not going to agree completely with the ferc chairman, but i hope that we can have this very thoughtful, respectful conversation about
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making sure that, no member of congress has to stand up in front of their constituents explaining to people why the theyricity wasn't on, why were not able to keep their constituents, you know, safe and comfortable in their homes because we didn't make the right decisions dealing with national energy policy to make sure that we have a broad all-of-the-above energy strategy in this country. mr. rush: i yield back, mr. chairman. the chairman would recognize the vice chair of the full committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. barton, for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, governor, sector, friend, head leader at texas a&m. this is your first exposure i think to the house, first exposure to our committee. but what you will find out is
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those of us who have and are by bythose of us who have an r our name will tend to be a little more friendly. those that have a d will be a little more frisky but we are all on your side. we all want a good robust energy policy and nuclear policy for america now, i've got questions about policy since the chairman has asked me on a bipartisan basis to the together an energy department reauthorization bill and that's when going to focus on. thingdo want to put this about travel to bed. how many times have you flown on charter flights as secretary of energy? secretary perry: one. one.arton: and that was to hazleton, pennsylvania, is that correct? secretary perry: in route to
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portsmouth, ohio. mr. barton: and that was at the request of a member of congress, is that not correct? secretary perry: correct. and a number of the senate. mr. barton: and in your knowledge, you violated no federal law. secretary perry: that is correct. mr. barton: and you fully disclosed it. to the appropriate sources within d.o.e. and the accounting department and all that. secretary perry: in addition i might say ran it through all the appropriate, historic ways to get that approval. mr. barton: you understand that generally we expect, just as we have to as members of congress, when we fly, when at all possible we fly commercials. you understand that, and i assume you understand that. secretary perry: yes, sir. and i've been a good frequent-flier. mr. barton: i happen to know that you and your sweet wife, anita, have played up. but y'all have a place you go alone outside of austin, texas. on most weekends you like to go
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back to texas, is that not correct? secretary perry: that's my goal. i can't say that every week and -- mr. barton: i didn't say every weekend. secretary perry: we had some international travel, cut into that from time to time but my goal is to go back -- mr. barton: just out of curiosity, when you go back to texas, what airline, how do you get from washington, d.c. to austin, texas? what airplane to use? -- airline do you use? secretary perry: i make southwest airlines pretty happy. mr. barton: southwest airlines. secretary perry: yes, sir. that's the transparency airline. how many times do you think you've used southwest since you been the cabinet secretary? secretary perry: i have no idea. i'm sure someone has a record of it.
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mr. barton: but more than one. secretary perry: more than one. dozens of times, sir. mr. barton: i think we are ok if the energy secretary flies southwest airlines to texas and flies commercial when at all possible, but every now and then when you're going to hazleton or hanford, you know, sandia all the 17 national laboratories that are out in remote places intentionally, if it's expedient and doesn't violate federal law, on occasion you use a charter flight. and i think doe has planes of their own. i don't know what the protocol for the cabinet sector you to use the planes within your own agency whether our government , correct? secretary perry: that is correct. for instance, to get to hanford, i get next to chairman walden district commercial flight to seattle, and then from seattle down to hanford is a pretty good hike. it's on the very -- mr. barton: if a reporter wants to catch you catching a flight he's got a better shot at catching at the southwest airlines counter than at some --
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secretary perry: i think they have multiple pictures of me on the drudge report that showed the southwest airlines reading the drudge report. mr. barton: is ok to fly american. we will let you fly american, united. i mean, but. secretary perry: i've been on all of those carriers as well. i respect congressional oversight and what have you. is ii would offer you think you sent a letter asking for the breakdown of the travel. and what i would like to do with your permission is direct the agency as well to look back at the previous secretary's travel in recent memory to look and see if our travel is pretty much in line with what -- mr. barton: look at secretary hazel o'leary.
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party jets, internationally. did.o not do what she my time is expired. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. at least if he continued to fly southwest, no one will accuse you of flying first-class. secretary perry: well, that's an argument that could be made. mr. barton: hopefully he gets in boarding group one. recognize mr.ill khan from new jersey. pallone from new jersey. think it is our
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responsibility to fully help the people of puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands as they worked to repair the damaged electricity grid and it's important we remember that these are american citizens who are without power should judging by the president tweets this morning, i'm not sure he fully grasp the fact because he seems to be talking about puerto rico as it were some foreign country of where they have the -- have deployed humanitarian aid. i know that doe has people on the ground. you stated in your written testimony that more than 2000 technicians from doe are on the ground working to restore power. three other administrations across the country. technicians or staff from bonneville or southwestern power authorities of puerto rico and virgin islands? if not, are there any plans to employ additional personnel from these other pma's, sir?
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secretary perry: certainly we are not interested in pushing people out just for the sake of pushing people out, just to check off a box that says we have people there, so i think a thoughtful approach to this, which i'm quite comfortable that we have a thoughtful approach to this. one of the things i will share with you is this is a really different disaster, as i shared with the committee my previous remarks. every disaster is different in some way. puerto rico is very, very different for a lot of reasons, the least of which is not that public utilityhe company in puerto rico was already in bankruptcy months before the storm ever hit. the storm really complicated the issue. i don't want to go over all of that, but the point is that if we have got me core of them --
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corps of engineers, and the first time in my memory and you may know better than me, but the first time in my memory that the corps of engineers has been pushed into place to get this rebuild going. i also know that there are substantial amounts of private sector utilities that are ready, willing and able to go into puerto rico as well as the contracting process occurs to get the country back. from early on, we said this is not going to be like getting texas a lecture he -- texas electricity back on or florida electricity back on. this is going to be a challenge. the commitment for this administration and certainly doe is to do this thoughtfully, look at it and make a decision about what is the best rebuild and improving the infrastructure there so that when the next storm comes, and there will be a next storm sometime, that we
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don't have the same results. mr. pallone: i just want to get to a second question. if you could back to me or the chairman about whether or technicians are these other power marketing administrations. i wonder if there's some way to deploy them so that they are there. the second question i have, i have to go to this quickly is , that what goes to the notice of proposed rulemaking, many companies have been retiring or proposing retirement at their coal and nuclear fleets simply because it makes the most economic sense. there are marketplace dynamics that completely contradict the premise of the proposed , onmaking in ferc electricity markets are a liability issue does not support the basis. the details as to how this proposed rule would work, even though proposals are completely changing electricity markets operate. my question is do you have called the doe labs crown
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jewels, you've relied on them to prepare a study that did not recommend the approach are now taking. what specific analysis or model did you have in the information administration prepared to determine the full impact before your proposal was released? i'm just concerned this data differs compared to the database -- the data used in august. to what extent did you take into consideration these other suggestions that seem to contradict your proposed rulemaking? secretary perry: i'm not sure i consider them to be contradictory. i don't know whether or not from my perspective, the grid study we put forward earlier in the year addresses the specificity of the events unconcerned about, i don't want to go back and beat this horse again. the polar vortex we had in 2014 that had the potential to be
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devastating to the northeast. the idea that those nuclear and coal plants should be part of mix i happen to think they , should be. i can make the argument that if you lose those coalfields in the northeast and the ability to have the power that they currently produce, you can never replace that, or you cannot do it in certainly a timely way. and so, my point with this is i want to drive this conversation because, as mr. olson and i have discussed earlier, this has been talked about a lot. but there hasn't been any action. i want to try to push the ferc and this country to take action so that we don't face that event in the future where people's
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lives are put in jeopardy or the country's national security is jeopardized because we just refuse to buy into the concept that we needed a very diverse energy portfolio. that is really at the basis of this. i wanted this country to go through exactly what we are going through right now, which is an open, thoughtful conversation about our grid resiliency and liability. mr. pallone: mr. chairman, can i ask if he can get back to us with the analysis that they have the national labs are energy information to prepare before their proposal was released? >> if they provide that for the record that would be great. the chair recognizes mr. olson from texas. i thank the chair.
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howdy, governor perry. i'm so sorry. hard habit to break. howdy, secretary perry. you have come aboard, my friend, at a very historic time. power sources are changing rapidly. you propose that ferc access the power source with a slight preference for nuclear or coal. you said you want to start the debate. well, my friend, mission accomplished. the response for our friends in texas and across the country probably makes you feel like the aggie of all aggies, colonel earl rudder, 1932, was fire -- with fire coming down all around you. a friend of ours at a big energy firm in houston said, quote, the
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administration has declared war on natural gas, end quote. attacks are coming that said you prefer government control over the free markets. --both know that the pile that is a pile of longhorn o poo-poo. for 30 years in austin, texas, there's been no bigger proponent for free-market energy than governor rick parry. made texasrnor, you number one wind power in america in the world. the south texas power plant took
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a direct hit from hurricane harvey. never flickered. power kept flowing. but 90 miles north of their in , the power plant has eight generators for coal, for natural gas and had to shut down gotcoal because the coal wet. i just want to ask you, can you talk about the biggest problems you face? what you trying to address with these changes? secretary perry: you said it very succinctly early on and that is for us to have this conversation, which we are doing. i think the idea that there is a free market in electrical generation is not a bit of a fallacy, it is a fallacy. every state regulates the energy
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industry, it is why we have a pvc. there are different phases. there are different states of regulation. and each state has to decide which is the best one. back in the late 1990s, in the late 1990's, we decided we were going to start the deep the deregulation of the electrical industry in the state of texas. mr. olson: what deregulation means is competition. mr. perry -- secretary perry: the issue there is to let these companies be more competitive and less regulated by the government, state government in this case. and so, in the previous administration i think it is fair to say that any particular philosophical favorite in the energy industry and they put
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their thumb on the scale. i think there is probably multi-decades of either disregard or whatever. i'm not going to sit here and tell you i know why the nuclear energy industry was disregarded the way that it was, but here is the challenge that we have in this country today on the nuclear side of things. if we are going to continue to be a leader in nuclear energy in the world, we have to support this industry in this country. the question, mr. chairman, is do we have a national security interest in the nuclear industry? i think the answer is yes, and if we do, we have to make sure we are supporting that industry , because if we don't, if we lose our supply chain, if we lose our intellectual chain of bright scientists because they basically pushed the nuclear
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industry back, then we are going to lose our role as the leader when it comes to nuclear energy in the world and that is in turn going to affect our ability to address the weapon side of it. these are all interconnected. and i think making sure that we above energyf the strategy, that it says free market as it can be. you are correct, but the idea that there is a free market in the energy industry is a fallacy. >> the gentleman's time is expired. beat lsu.uest, california,n from mr. mcenery. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary. thank you for your interest in veteran issues. i do want to say that your
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budget proposes deep cuts in programs that care deeply about. energy efficiency, energy reliability, science, innovative technology. i feel these problems are necessary for economy and national security. let me ask you this. do you think the climate change is anyway a threat threat to our nation? secretary perry: yes, sir. i do. if i could -- go ahead and ask questions. >> that was my question. secretary perry: yes. >> ok. do you see relationship between the events we've had in climate -- we have had and climate change? secretary perry: most likely. yes, sir. mr. mcnerney, before we take a lot of time on this issue, let me just say that we are probably going to agree that it is happening. we are going to agree that it's going to have an effect on the globe. i think where we may or may not agree is just how much of this
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is man's fault and the decisions that we are going to make here. i don't believe we need to be making decisions that could put america at a disadvantage around the globe, making decisions that we think might have an impact on climate change. i was in the senate and one of the senators said, you know, climate change was 100% man's fault. i don't believe that. i don't believe that climate change is 100% man's fault. you know, are we having an impact on it? absolutely. can we make a difference? you bet. we had 19% decrease in our carbon footprint at the same time we lead the nation in the production of job creation. so you can have economic growth and address your climate in a positive way. i hope that is what we all can work on together. >> we can. it seems to me that the risk of
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climate change is bigger than the risk of reducing carbon emissions. there's a pretty good trade-off in my mind about that. let me go to the next question. in your remarks, you mentioned the d.o.e.'s role in innovation, but your budget calls for a 16% reduction in science. can you explain that? secretary perry: i'm going to give you a little higher level observation about budgets. i have done budgets since 1985 as a member of the appropriations committee in the statehouse. i was an agency had for eight years and as the governor of texas for 14 years. the early part of every session and we only met 140 days every other year so it's a really cool concept. but the governor put a budget forward. generally, the budget governors -- excuse me, the governor's budgets were pretty good doorstops.
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i am not saying that is how you all look at a president's budget, but i will tell you i know how this process works. >> thank you for that observation. [laughter] >> we had a hearing last week of energy producers, and every single supplier said that the market should value their product fairly and be open to competition and that would give the best relationship to reliability and resiliency. do you agree with that? -- whaty perry: in the is the right word? in the mythical world, i would agree with that. in the real world, that is not the case. as i've shared with mr. olson, i don't think that you have this perfect free market world. we subsidize a lot of different energy sources.
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we subsidize wind energy, ethanol, solar. we subsidize oil and gas. and so, the idea -- the question is, how do you make it as fair as you can? you know, we are probably going to argue about that. chairman upton and i would probably have some disagreements about the perfect way to put a system in place and that is what we are doing here. that was really kind of my goal with the 403, to get us talking about the whole idea in the understanding that we have subsidized the energy industry for a long time. i frankly don't have a problem with that. if the concept of the free market is you're not going to have any impact except the market, supply and demand.
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pure -- i don't know if i want to bet my grandmother's, or someone's grandmother's safety and security on whether the lights will come on totally and absolutely unregulated. >> i'm interpreting this saying ferc should not be neutral in the real world. my time is up. secretary perry: ferc ought to have an open conversation with all of us about how we make sure we can keep electricity is affordable and accessible as we can. at the same time making sure the reliability of the grid is in place so that if there is another polar vortex, if this whole climate issue, these storms and all of this goes into your lineup of thought process here, we are probably going to have another one. and if we are, shouldn't it be
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our responsibility to make sure that when your constituents flip the lights on, that they are not a decisionake between staying warm and having light. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary perry, let me start by thanking you in your words for the recent letter you sent me. i share your sentiment the federal government's inability to dispose nuclear race fairly but that might impact communities throughout our country and the federal government has a moral obligation to reach a solution to this dilemma. we are dancing that very solution, as you mentioned in your opening statement. the full committee here passed out the policy act amendments of 2017 with a vote of 49-4. i think my colleagues for working with me to move the
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bill. this legislation provides the tools to successfully complete the adjudication of the pending license for yucca mountain repository authorizes d.o.e. , to pursue a temporary storage program while the disposal facility is completed, allows the repository to host it to constructively partner with doe to mitigate potential impact and refund the nuclear waste to protect ratepayers who have already paid over $40 billion to the federal treasury for this program. do you support resumption of the licensing proceedings for yucca mountain repository currently with the reestablishment of the nuclear waste program as required by the nuclear waste policy act? i was sharingy: with mr. mcnerney that we were talking about budget and the president's budgets and what have you, and if there are certainly parts of the budget that i don't necessarily completely agree with. there were parts of my own budget when i was the governor that i didn't agree with
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completely at the end of the process. the point is, i understand your role in this, congress is very very importants' role in the budgeting process and respect it and i'm going to work within it. the president's budget requests funding to restart the yucca mountain licensing proceedings. i think this is an important point, that it is the licensing proceedings that this money is for. i support that. the most important priority now is for congress to appropriate the funding so we can reopen the nuclear waste program and finish the yucca mountain licensing. at the end of it, those that are against us, they might find out through this process that they were right. or that they are not.
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but until we get to the end of the process, we are not going to know that. the sooner we receive the funding, the sooner the scientists and lawyers can get to work. >> and following up on obviously the authorization language that we passed through the committee, you thanked us for that. you are right. we are on a twofold track. media talk about the appropriation debate and also the authorization of power of the program forward should there be a successful decision. are you encouraged by the language in the committee's bill that will help the department of energy with forward in the interim and long-term solution is problem? secretary perry: 49-4 votes are pretty clear message, sir. >> as you know, all americans are paying the cost of the department of inaction on spent nuclear fuel.
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since president obama weakly attempted to terminate the yucca mountain program, the overall taxpayer skyrocket from $12 million to $30 million. this is money we are spending that a lot of us don't talk about all the time. with another estimate do in the near future that would surely show another significant increase and an current liability. everyday, taxpayers paid millions of dollars to manage used fuel scattered around the country while not working to disclose the material. what specific action do you propose to undertake and reduce these ballooning costs? secretary perry: one of the things that would be wise for us as a country and congress is a partner in this process is to find some alternatives, you know, whether it is at web, whether it is in poseidon in west texas, whether it is something in nevada other than
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yucca, there are a number of places and maybe some states we -- maybe some sites we haven't even talked about or thought about yet. i just tank i don't want to get stuck that yucca is the only place you can go and if it doesn't happen, then we are going to sit here with 38 states having high-level nuclear waste in various places around in their state that are not secure, that have potential for disaster to occur, whether it is man-made or natural disaster. and so, that would be one of my observations and suggestions is that we really look at as we go forward with this funding on the licensing of yucca, at the same time look at the alternatives that are out there because, mr. chairman, you know this as well as anybody. we are going to require all of
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that space to handle this high-level waste that we have in this country. >> mr. chairman, i know my time expired. i just want to say, that's one of the benefits of the interim option in the legislation allows us to start consolidating and reducing multiple hundreds of locations down to the handful. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. peters. you, mr.s: thank chairman. we met at san diego in our chamber of commerce years ago. i represent as you know from our visit to large innovation economy. i want to express concern about the things i've seen out of the budget. maybe you've encouraged me by calling it a door stop, but i would select to know your personal feelings on it. specifically with respect to the advanced research project agency . this program since it was providedn 2009, has
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$1.5 billion in funding to 580 projects that have led to the formation of 56 companies on 60 projects with other government agencies including the department of defense and attracted $120 billion in additional private sector investment. you indicated upfront innovation and energy was one of your goals. why on earth would we be talking about zeroing this out as the budget said? secretary perry: as i said in my remarks in front of the senate, i didn't write this budget and my job is to defend it, which from time to time is counter to what i think is good public policy. this happens to be one of those. as the governor of the state of texas and president trump, president-elect trump knew that when he asked me to take this job, my history of working with the state of texas being involved with the emerging technologies and having a very thoughtful process in place with
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experts that look to these technologies and then recommending to the lieutenant governor and the speaker in the case of ours whether or not these were places we wanted to invest to try to bring those technologies to commercialization. i still think that is a really good and thoughtful and appropriate thing for government to do, whether it is state or cover -- state or federal level. let me finish by saying that this is a good conversation to have. do we have it structured properly? congressman borton will be working on it. i think we can find some solutions where we push forward innovation where the government can identify new technologies, new and efficient that can make a real difference in people's lives and help fund that.
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it is exactly -- is it exactly -e? the structure of arpa i'll engage in the conversation and debate, but i think it's important for us to promote innovation. i give you a good example. darpa was created to make sure america never gets surprised again in a conflict. they've thrown a lot of jell-o at the wall over there, and some really good, extraordinary things came out of it. debate that a thousand -- did they bat a thousand? no. not a bank of america account for every one of our loans we made was a good moment we got our money back. be smart about it. have the right kind of oversight and i think the president would be supportive of having the right oversight and focus. your argument is
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sensible. herethe utilities came in and i asked him specifically, what is the federal role of securing in terms of grid efficiency and reliability, they said research. i would like to offer that is something you can advocate for in the administration. you arey perry: absolutely right and that is happening at idaho national lab. we can go break things and not have to worry about it. >> the more difficult stuff happens outside. one of the questions about the all of the above energy strategy. what role does energy conservation play as part of creating a supply, and is that something we should subsidize if we are subsidizing other energy sources? secretary perry: the answer in the broad sense is absolutely conservation plays a role. we have been able to make a difference. if you can put processes in place to save energy, you
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certainly should do it. we can have the discussion and debate about how you do that, that's really the devil's in the details. about how you do that. i do support the concept of conservation that makes sense. how we do it -- one of the things i learned as a governor is how do you incentivize people? we were able to clean up our air in texas so much partially by giving some tax credits to people who are switching over from older, dirty burning diesel engines to newer more efficient ones and that really helped on the fleet. rather than the subsidization , people say it's not government's role, there may be some thoughtful ways to come up
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with incentives to get people to change. i justime is up, but wanted to say tax credits are subsidies to. >> we recognize the gentleman from west virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. sorry, i was interrupted there for just a minute. mr. secretary, welcome. it's a delight you are here and in particularly appreciative of you continuing this discussion because we have had five or six hearings on this topic throughout the summer. and so it is really important for you to put a punctuation mark on this. for the record i guess i should say, i don't see any daylight between you and me on this subject, particularly as it relates to reliability. i am 100% behind what your position is to give us a reliable grid system for this
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and i am coming from the area of gas. 42% of all the gas produced in america comes from this region that i represent, part of it is in the utica gas shales. i'm very concerned about the reliability of this. you another people have talked a little bit about the polar vortex of 2014. i was here doing a lot of that discussion during that period of time. i think people need to remember what the elements were like, because after that, they came and testified before us that we came within one small power plant of having a blackout on the east coast. talking about 500 megawatts, a small power plant. since 2014, we've had 34 coal-fired power plants closed down. we've tried to replace them with
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gas and wind and other things, and that is to our credit, to the credit of the utility companies. but your own analysis coming from staff and otherwise has said during the polar vortex, 22% of the power generating capacity in the market was lost during that period of time and 55% of that was in gas fired power plants. so i am concerned about, if we think we're going to get reliability simply switching over to gas when we found out there's some issues. that's why i am very supportive of you. i want us to see spend more research dollars on the ways that make guess -- make gas more reliable and ways we can have a 90 day supply on site to be able to do that. i am alarmed people are ignoring
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what's already here that we have , is we've got the nuclear, which is by far the most dependable supply we have once you turn it on, you are good. i'm also concerned with the fact that people don't seem to recognize that since the polar vortex that we still continue to have forced outages in our gas fired power plants and i think we have to do a better job trying to help them find ways that they don't have power outages. 94% of all the outages in a gas fired power plant, 94% about the outages come from gas-fired power plants. i think we can do a better job. in a time frame that is left to you, if we have a polar vortex in the next couple of months, can you paint a picture of what we might be subjected to under the circumstances?
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secretary perry: i'm not sure i want to paint that picture and unduly scare the people of this country. but i think we need to be responsible. i think we need to be really mature in the conversations that we have with the people of this country. i go back to, i don't want in your view to have to stand up in front of your constituents and try to explain to them why they did not have power, whether it's 108-degree day in dallas, texas, or substantially below freezing day in new york city. and i think any of us really know in our heart if you haven't -- if you have a diversified portfolio, you'll be able to serve better than if you have a limited.
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we saw that back in texas in the 2000's when gas went to $14 mcf. >> mr. secretary, don't you think if ferc were to follow through, don't you think we'd have a better outcome? secretary perry: i do, but that's why we're having this conversation here. i do want to have on both sides of this and to have a very robust and open conversation. but i am very comfortable that having this diverse portfolio of energy, of hydro, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, bio makes abundant good sense. to, do i think we ought subsidize all of them from the federal level? some grand scheme? no i don't.
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i look at wind and solar kind of like i look at my kids. you know, i supported them through their growing years. once they got out of college, they are kind of on their own. we did that with wind and solar. we subsidized those, and they have become very, very good at what they do, and innovation has allowed them to become incredibly efficient. so, the idea that we need to be subsidizing them going forward -- >> unfortunate, my time has expired. the chair recognizes the general from texas, mr. greenstreet -- mr. green. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, welcome. you and i have known each other since the 1980's, when you were a democrat. in our younger years, we played basketball together, just like i
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did with chairman shimkus. has had amittee here number of hearings over the last few months, and it seems like every panel we have, they talk about how texas got it right in our fuel blend. other states ought to look at that. when you were governor, you created basically a free market system with the wind power, natural gas we only have two , nuclear power plants in our state. but the me read you a quote from your nomination. unwillingness to develop natural cap -- and tap shale formation reduces carbon footprint, but we truly advocate all the above strategy in your time as governor. texas took the national lead in wind energy development. texas is still one of the leading states when it comes to wind power, and many of your
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policies are responsible for that. my concern is, and i'll quote my colleague, congressman shimkus , as well as the chairman of the subcommittee on environmental economy. there are fundamental questions about what constitutes the base load power plant. something parry -- perry and his request laid out of having 90 days of fuel on-site. during harvey, our coal plants in texas had to switch to natural gas because the coal was underwater. when it did get out from under water, it was wet and couldn't be used. we can have a conversation of power sources. our natural gas plants continue. in fact, our nuclear plant that the hurricane came right over continued to function. that is my concern. it seems like with your new effort, you are gaming the
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system and not doing what you are doing as governor of texas and doing a free-market program. let me go to our national coverage now. as governor of texas, our electricity is as follows, 40% natural gas from a 20% coal, a -- 12% for wind sources. compare that to overall sources in generation for the country last year. u.s. got 34% of electricity or from nuclear,0% fromrom renewables -- 15% renewables including wind, solar and hydro. that's why i question your internal d.o.e. report from july . "the system is more reliable due to better planning, market discipline and better operating
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rules and standards." why do you find there's now immediate reliability crisis that needs to be addressed in extremely short fortified a comment period because we got so much touched on in her own committee about the liability of being an issue in why do we need to do this? secretary perry: thank you. let me address your first question about the issue of coal and it is being impacted by floodwaters, in this case. we learn something new in every disaster. i'll give you one example. you remember when we did, and i think it was ike, we did a big --traflow on interstate 45 actually 45 and 10. >> only have about 15 seconds left and i have one more question. secretary perry: you learn
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something new every time, and i suggest the coal folks learn something new this time about how they store coal. i don't consider that to be anything other than the bit of a diversion for them to look at. what was your last question? >> well, let me go to another one, though. it seems like we are socializing now by this effort you are trying to do, instead of doing the free market system, the cheapest supplier could be nuclear because those plants could run for 30 years and even extended. right now, natural gas is wind, so wed also are using all we can with that. it seems like you are putting your finger on the scale and not doing what we've done in texas for the last 15 years or so to try and let free-market deal with it. like i said, i don't have enough time, but the chair will let you answer that. secretary perry: i will briefly give you the same answer i gave. >> it is hard for those of us
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from texas to talk fast. secretary perry: yes, sir. i understand. a key as there is no such thing as a free market in the energy industry. do you agree that there's a free-market? secretary perry: i don't. not even in texas. we had the government picking winners and losers every day by regulations and what have you. i'm think i'm at least honest enough to say -- not that you're not. >> let me interrupt. i have the right to challenge you for my electricity in my home. the person who delivers that can also use whatever power generator they have. so that is the free market we have. secretary perry: the competition side of it, you know me, i'm all about the competition because that is what we did. we deregulated the market and the competition came.
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the idea is we had an administration before that had their some on the scale -- their thumb on the scale. i think you'll agree that he liked green energy. that is where the subsidization came. that's where they pushed down. i happen to think because there is in 2005 by the gave a pretty good speech here we found it all. there wasn't any more. taking a snapchat in time right now, $13, $14 mcf of gas today is substantially less than that. i don't know what it's going to be five years down the road. one of my responsibilities is to look over the horizon and see what the future is. again, we have to make decisions to make sure we have a diversified portfolio so if the wind quit blowing, if the sun quits shining if the gas , transmission line is corrupted in some way, if there's still -- in some way, there are still people who are going to get power. >> the gentleman's time has
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expired. we recognize mr. harper. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you and welcome. always an honor to have you here. you've been a breath of fresh air as you look at the way we are doing the policy and study those rules, having the foresight to we thank you for your efforts. this past february, gao reported that the doe is responsible for most or hundred $70 billion worth of environmental liabilities. thet $4.5 billion of agencies and fire mental programs are spent on operational and release -- operational activities, and to fund the capital asset construction projects needed to support operational activities. while there's a lot of focus on , where notnds convinced there is enough attention to ensure operational spending results in cleanup and
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thus reduce future taxpayer costs. can you talk about your plans accelerating the environment the cleanup work? secretary perry: yes, sir. that was one of the reasons i wanted to go out, at chairman walden's request, and the senators from washington and government of washington state. the governor and the environmental commission. and see firsthand. i will take you, historically there's been some decisions made that weren't in the best interest of taxpayers, not in the best interest of a timely cleanup. i think what we are seeing out , it appears they are moving forward in an appropriate way both budget wise and
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timewise to be able to get that plant up. i have encouraged them to even be ahead of schedule, that that would be a very good thing. i am confident that in some of these really big projects, on the cleanup side, that we are and as youress, rightfully stated, as we speed these processes up, we save substantial amounts of dollars going forward. >> your environmental management office recently performed a 45 day review of operations. can you speak to whether that will produce more effective cleanup? secretary perry: it will. whether it is out at portsmouth, which i was there about two
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weeks ago. back online in carlsbad, new mexico, and they are again taking shipments. we've got the chromium issue at oak ridge. theirs is making progress. savanna river is making progress on their tank waste out there , which is the largest environmental risk at that site. this is a monumental task, as you've talked about. the amount of money and the amount of time that they are talking about here is pretty stunning. >> i want to talk for just a minute in the time that we have left. our national laboratories. i know you visited a number of of those during your tenure.
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the department's national laboratories developed as an outgrowth of the manhattan project. i think that's the crown jewels of our nations federal research framework. over the last decade, congressionally chartered expert panels, nongovernment organizations have noted the doe micromanagement to say that perhaps they hampered innovation result in an efficient processes. what is your perspective on how system isratory currently operating and what steps you might initiate to enable the energy security and the innovation mission. secretary perry: there is a balancing act that goes on between management at the top of andgency of 16,000 people
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over 100,000 contractors versus allowing for laboratories complete and total freedom to go to whatever they want to do. hopefully my experience as ceo of a fairly large entity, as a matter of fact, one larger than , informed meears about how you put good, thoughtful, capable men and women into positions of management and free them to go manage and to make the right decision. that is what you can expect out of me because that's what my history has been. so if we have a lab that's having some challenges, and los alamos had some challenges over the last couple of years and we are addressing those. but by and large, my approach is hire to be higher -- be
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really good people. >> the time is expired. mr. secretary, we have about another 45 minutes or one hours worth of question. if you shorten your answers, we can get down the road. i will quitrry: filibustering. >> online to remind you. i recognize my friend from pennsylvania, mr. doyle. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, welcome. i would note that many of your responses to the questions regarding the polar vortex. pjm, which is in my area responded to that crisis with new rules to address those capacity issues. and while i don't think the rules are necessarily perfect, but there's many different levers to pull here or smaller for -- smaller tweaks.
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i would also like to point out that this committee has held eight hearings on markets and reliability. we have actually been having the conversation that you claim to be starting. greenbrier reported last week you claim that the 43 you sent to ferc wasn't a directive. you said you were hoping to have a conversation and you said that many times today in this hearing. however, it includes phrases like "the commission must act ", "the secretary is requiring the commission," and the document contains the word must multiple times. it seems to me that your quotes in front of this committee today and the document you sent ferc
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seems to be at odds. so which is it? is this a directive to do this or is it a conversation? secretary perry: both. >> so it's a directive then? secretary perry: my words are what my words are. i don't back off from them. >> what you words said and what you are saying here today seem to be at odds. which one is it? secretary perry: it is both. it can be both. we can have a conversation and i think they must act. we've kicked this can down the road as long as we need to. >> do you think there are any -- what you're proposing in this 03 ishree -- in this 4 extreme. you talk about putting fingers on the scale. you are putting a heavy finger on the scale here. if you claim to be in all of the
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i am,energy person as this is going to result in major destruction in the energy markets. are we in conversation mode or -- mode and then there's going to be a decision, or have you given a direction to a ferc to do something about a conversation up front? secretary perry: i think you are wrong and one thing you said. >> i have been wrong in many things i have said. i'm sure you have it. secretary people -- secretary perry: trustee, i've done it in front of 4 million people in a debate setting. that was when i could just remember them. the point is i hope nobody thinks that i take credit for starting this conversation. chairman olson -- excuse me. >> you're forgiven for that. secretary perry: this has been discussed for a long time. i just think -- again, i don't
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want the folks in pennsylvania in your district to be calling you up and saying, congressman, why -- >> our rto made these adjustments. we're pretty confident about our capacity in pennsylvania. you are good at filibustering. i want to ask some questions. your predecessor released a report, the quadrennial energy review, finding the short run markets may not provide long-term investments in an appropriately configured capacity. i do think that is an issue. also, resource valuations tend not to incorporate subordinate network or the social values such as resilience into resource where it an investment decision-making.
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the increased importance to overall greater liability may require adjustment to market mechanisms to enable federal valuations. i think nuclear is to have better valuations than it has to date. i want to ask you, do you think there are any better alternative options that should be examined instead of no ferc? sec. perry: i've no idea there's better options. that's one of the reasons the one on this conversation is to bring us up and discuss them. i'm not saying that my letter to ferc is the be-all end-all, but it is obviously been very successful in the conversation going. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from ohio. chairman.ou, mr. secretary, thank you for being with us.
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like you, i believe in promoting american energy security and that means energy policy in the united states and i'd like to thank you for your recent actions about energy they expend markets. chairman. secretary, thank you for being i'd like to focus on a couple of items of legislation i've been working on. in addition to the mandatory efficiency standards, there is also a volunteer program called energy star that identifies as those appliances that go above and beyond the federal efficiency standards by allowing them to care the energy star label. this allows consumers and appliances to easily identify which models saved the most energy. in 2009, the obama administration shifted the lead role for the voluntary program in the doe to the epa. many have complained epa is the wrong agency to handle what is fundamentally an energy program. do you believe the energy star program is one that should be led by the doe? or the epa?
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led by the d.o.e. -- or the epa? sec. perry: from a scientific standpoint, that question answers itself to the national labs that have the scientific ability to look at these programs and actually analyze them in a scientific way reside over d.o.e. >> thank you. given that d.o.e. has been applying for 30 years, do you also believe your agency and not the epa has the relevant expertise in the standard you just said, asking -- would you also support legislation that would clearly make the d.o.e. -- the doe the lead agency on the energy star program? also support legislation thatsee your call, but it makes abundant sense to me that is going to be a good spot for it to reside in. >> thank you. >> mr. secretary, i appreciate your previous words of support.
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in january, the house passed the development act by a voice vote. this legislation will help pave the way for american innovators, engineers and entrepreneurs to design, develop license and ultimately deploy the next generation subnuclear reactor technology. the department of energy plays an important role supporting these technologies in addition to appropriately coordinating with the nrc to assure that those technologies will navigate the rigorous approval process. mr. secretary, what is your vision for d.o.e.'s advanced technology programs? and how do you plan to ensure appropriate alignment with the nrc on those advanced reactor?
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industry today is because we've been losing that race, if you will. we don't want to get to the point in the globe we are the only people have the technology, that have the supply chain capability are the russians, the chinese and/or the koreans. that is a concern to buy that we're headed that direction in this country today because of the lack of support for the nuclear power industry. the national lab has a substantial project, hopefully we can see the funding go forward on those small modular reactors, and that ten years down the road people will look back and say we made the right decisions about focusing on
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advanced reactors and that the country is better served in america. takes its rightful place. in fact, is the lead on innovation and supply chain and the brain power in the nuclear side of the equation. >> thank you very much. and mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. >> i believe you are the first one to yield time. ms. castor is recognized. rep. castor: welcome, mr. secretary, i won't ask you about -- i want to ask you about puerto rico because would never in the u.s. virgin islands because an history of america we've never seen an electric grid devastated to the extent that we have after hurricane maria and as of right now 84% of customers of puerto rico are without power and the u.s. virgin islands figure stands at
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86%. st. thomas at 80%. 80% in st. croix. percent in st. john's, -- 100% in st. john's, and even after hurricanes, and harvey so widespread outages in florida and texas and the gulf coast, yesterday we had a break from the department of homeland security feedback, and army corps of engineers and they they said that current law the stafford act all we can do right now is do some repairs. we cannot do what we need to do to build a modern resilient dread in puerto rico and the virgin islands, yet there are a lot of by person discussions. it's not contained in this said that current law the stafford act all we can do right emergency supplemental to begin that are change with the stafford access. -- the stafford act says. we've got to protect the taxpayer. we cannot just rebuild what was there before. we've got to build according to national laboratory research, your group at d.o.e. oftentimes planning and conversations don't cost anything, or not much at all.
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could you go specifically into what conversations you had already with the army corps of engineers, bondholders, what is your plan to build a more distributive grid with modern technology that is that our fingertips? sec. perry: you have just pointed out the real challenge that this country faces in dealing with the territory and the citizens of puerto rico. that is already a country that had smitty they are americans. -- that is already a country that had -- rep. castor: they are americans. it's not a country. can you do get since the time is limited. sec. perry: that's what i call it a territory. i apologize for saying country
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but the territory has a a challenge in front of it already because of the oversight -- rep. castor: i know that. i just want to, can you say specifically what conversations you had and what -- sec. perry: we've had many conversations about how to deal with this. the challenges are real. i can't tell you that there are any quick and fast solutions at rebuilding the back toward people have power right there is number one goal, getting that power back on. sec. perry: is there an interagency meeting at d.o.e. or in washington to speedy we have interagency meetings all the time? specifically on speedy yes, about this issue. >> ok. well, the entire committee and everyone would benefit if you could report back on come with greater detail and specificity so that we can be as helpful as possible. i have to say it's so disheartening to see president trump state this morning that we cannot keep fema, military and first responders in puerto rico forever. i hope this doesn't echo across the administration and the great folks at the department of energy, and the congress. i hope instead that vice president pence's statement
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would prevail that we will be with our fellow citizens every step of the way. so on the grid resiliency crisis role for a consensus is for me very quickly that this is a very misguided effort. it's not based on science. i know you said before we can maybe, we don't know in our hearts are made we can find it in our hearts. fortunately, when it comes to electricity market would have to rely on what we feel. we have a very best scientists and analysts. in fact, right there in the department of energy in your own august grid study they said that the grid right now is reliable, it's strong, it's actually more reliable than ever. we also rely on the north american electric reliability corporation, nerc. they said recently that u.s. power system reliability is strong. so there's really, it just is no american electric reliability corporation, nerc. rational basis for this new ferc roll your kinder through as
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ferc rule your trying to push through as quickly as possible. and i am concerned especially that the whole discussion about how much is going to cost consumers and businesses all across the country is been short-circuited. we have experts you last week the city we are looking at multibillion-dollar cost increases on our neighbors back home. so what is the department plan to actually hear from these consumer groups that stand up for our neighbors? we hear about from special interests and lobbyists in washington, but how do you in your role of representing everyone -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired. >> these massive cost increases appear to be on speedy the -- we on speedy -- >> the secretary can answer the question but the time is expired. sec. perry: ms. castor, if the request, if the letter to ferc
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is what you say does they won't go far with it. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for being here. thank you for your service and i'm really excited you are in the position you are, thank you for all the good work you were doing. i think nuclear has been talked about a lot. i'm going to touch on and i have another question. you mention the decline of the domestic base in terms of being able, international competition with nuclear. i think that's an important point to reiterate is the fact we've always been really the world leader in nuclear and thus help for my national security perspective, too, in terms of nuclear nonproliferation, writing the rules of the road. that's a base we are losing. i was heartened to hear your mention of that and the fact that is essential not just to the economy, not just to grid reliability, not just to electricity but to national security. that's a very important thing. i also support, i also want to
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thank you for being supportive of the smart reforms at the nrc. mr. doyle and i have the nuke act which i think is a lot of support and is really appreciate all that pic is of vital part of our economy. illinois gets a significant power of its energy from nuclear and the country gets a very significant amount of that. since it has been hammered a lot, i do want to ask you in the , energy independence and speedy act of 2007 the bureau was created at the state department. it is giving the states its own energy office. there's no requirement for state to consult or collaborate with the d.o.e. and even though d.o.e. has forward technological expertise on energy matters and especially nuclear matters, can you describe how d.o.e. and state were together on energy policy, and can you provide areas that
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may be improved? sec. perry: i can't. >> ok. because? sec. perry: i am not aware that they even have an energy effort over there. but if they did you would think they would have contacted us. and if they have not aware of it. >> that makes sense, wouldn't it? can you talking about maybe a role when it comes to things like lng exports and blunting the russian energy weapon in eastern europe and pushing back against blackmail that the russians can use against our allies? >> and i'll try to be brief here. you've done a good job of basically laying out the facts. united states is blessed after the revolution of being able to produce. we are a net exports of lng as of this year. i believe in two years will be the next exporter of all u.s. energy.
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that is an incredible blessing. to be able to use that for america's best interest, from a weapons standpoint, if you will. you think about that russia uses energy as a weapon, then america needs to have the largest arsenal. that is an incredible blessing. and so our ability to deliver lng to you, whether it's a country ukraine along with coal to poland, to european union. this is a powerful diplomatic tool of which we need to use wisely to support our allies and he to send a message to those that would use energy as a weapon, that we will not be, we will not be allowed to be pushed back with it and we're going to support our allies. >> i thank you for that and i think it's a very important point. i think the energy revolution in this country borders miraculous. ten years ago we thought we
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always be reliant on middle east energy, and would find basically today that we have way more that we have that and we can access a -- access it for a swing price. blunting energy weapons not just rush but from all over. i want to thank you, mr. secretary, for your service, for being here and spending your time. i will use back 50 seconds to the chairman. >> we got a good tradition started. we'll go to mr. sarbanes of maryland for five minutes. >> i'm going to break the tradition. thank thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. the u.s. intelligence community as you know i think has taught a definitive conclusion that russian hackers were in a string with our elections last year, and i know the president and if -- and a fair number of people within the administration are resisting that conclusion still. but i want to talk to you about the potential exposure with
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respect to our grid and our energy security that is posed by hackers, by russian attacks, cyber attacks. do you agree that the grid is at risk from cyber attacks by russian hackers or other hackers for that matter? sec. perry: yes. >> and i'll note the back and 2015 the congress approved the fixing america's surface transportation act, the fast act. that was a bipartisan bill. there were provisions included that chairman upton put in there that expanded d.o.e.'s authority to counter cybersecurity threats. and those provisions actually designate your department as the lead agency for energy sector cybersecurity. so i'd like to, maybe you could speak for just a minute or so about what actions you are taking as the lead agency with respect to these cyber threats
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to our energy security and our grid to give us some confidence that this is getting the attention it deserves. sec. perry: over the past year, the department has worked with the entire energy sector with the national labs, with the federal agencies that are involved with this, with the industry specific to develop a comprehensive strategy and a plan for the energy sector cybersecurity. the strategy for the energy sector is to leverage strong partnerships with the private sector. we've got three labs that specifically, their role is called cyber corps. their role is to focus on the cybersecurity issues which with the private sector to strengthen today's cyber systems and risk management capabilities. and i might add to develop innovative solutions for
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tomorrow. >> appreciate that. i would also appreciate, maybe we can get this arranged, i know the traffic you agree to breathe members of this subcommittee on efforts to address the report of symantec, for example, that describes these potential cyber attacks that are happening or the ones that are happening right now. would you also agree to pull together a briefing of the members of the subcommittee on the reports we've heard of of these russian link hackers targeting the electric grid? is that something would be willing to do? >> yes, sir. >> we will try to make that happen. i want to switch gears quick. i have two minutes left. i want to go back to the travel situation, not to beat a dead horse but because actually i have see -- i see an opportunity here given your willingness to address this up front. i have been cheering -- chairing
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this task force force. we are releasing a report today called trump's highflying cabinet, which details what i i see is kind of a culture of entitlement among many of the cabinet members in terms of using these private jets at public expense to kind of jet around the country in ways that i think are offensive to the average person out there. you have spoken to the critique that your agency has a seat and you've received with to that, and i appreciate that, and had to sit in the context of the report, that the conduct that you have been criticized for is not as egregious as most of the rest. that may be damning you with praise or perhaps in the length gas in the land of the ethically in the land of the ethically blind, the one eyed man is king, or something like that. but i did want to speak to the fact that i think and the last couple of days the acting head of the office of government ethics sent a memo around to agency heads.
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did you receive this memo which talks about the role of agency leaders in promoting an ethical culture? is that something you are familiar with? sec. perry: i don't know. we will look and see. >> i commend it to you. says among other things the choices you make in the work that you would do have profound effects upon our nation and its citizens, the citizens deserve to have confidence, and every integrity of their government. i'm greek-american. i always invoke my greek heritage. it was an ancient greek philosopher who wandered around the daytime with a lantern looking for the honest man. you could be the honest man. you could start a cultural revolution within the administration that says we're going to pay attention to ethics. i encourage you to do that and i thank you for your testimony. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair now recognizes mr. griffith of virginia for five minutes. griffith: griffith: thank you y
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much. it's never a bad thing to be compared perhaps with -- i think i was a veiled kopelman and look forward it to you striving to meet that challenge. i have to tell you, i think you're doing a good job explaining things this morning and i agree with most everything that you said, particularly i agree with your proposed rule related to making sure that we have those the systems available that have fewer on-site, coal and nuclear. those facilities are resilient in cases of emergencies like we have with the polar vortex. it's almost like we have forgotten that natural gas while it never completely shut down, the price went from three to $4.100 cubic feet or 1000 cubic feet to over $100 and many places had to shut down jobs et cetera because they couldn't afford to pay that price. because supply didn't keep up with demand and a think it's important we remember that and i think you are doing to make sure things are there are very important. as you said to congressman doyle, pretty confident, just won't get it. if something happens it's owing to be, folks looking you say why
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did you do something? i appreciate you trying to do something in advance of the problem. earlier this week the epa minister announced the proposed repeal of the clean power plan. the rule represented an unprecedented intrusion into the state's control over their energy policy threatens to raise rates, in fact, grid reliability as well as harm energy intensive and trade exposed industries. under this rule the epa was basically establishing the nation's de facto energy policy. yes or no? wouldn't you agree that's your job at department of energy? to establish the nation's energy policy? yes.perry: >> thank you. sec. perry: well, let me yes, working with congress. >> i appreciate that. as secretary with you commit to challenging other federal agencies if their rules and regulations raise energy prices, limit energy production or
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otherwise impact the department of energy prerogatives in national energy policy, yes or no? sec. perry: yes. >> thank you. in addition to the clean power plan the past administration epa issued standards for new power plants that typically mandated carbon capture sequestration coal generation even though as the committees over that shows -- committee oversight show the technology was not yet truly viable for commercial power generation. yet the previous epa failed ford with an unworkable rule. i think dob has the appropriate expertise to collaborate with the epa on technology decisions affecting the energy sector. viable for commercial power would you agree with me on that, yes or no? sec. perry: yes. >> what role do you see for the to ensure future epa rulemaking reflect appropriate assessment of the two commercial viability of technology? sec. perry: there's a good working relationship between the cabinet members and their
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agencies. and i think you bring a good point that we don't work in silos, and then we should be looking for partners in different places so that, number one, we are not duplicating something that's going on in another agency. but there's also some synergy that can come from that. one example and excuse me for diverting, but the department of energy stand up an office of veterans health and we're working with the v.a., with health and human services and working with with the dod through darpa and mr. mcnerney who has been a strong advocate for the va and for the veterans in particular, not necessarily va but for the veterans. and that's a great example of how we can talk to each other, court with one another and come
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up with a better product for for the people of this country, whether it's on innovation, on energy policy or for that matter how we take care of our veterans. >> that was when the problems one of the frustrations i had with prior administration is i would agree with the department of energy even in the prior administration but the actions of the epa prevent us from getting places. when they push and when -- when they pushed on one technology like carbon capture and sequestration which are not against them let's make sure it's viable, basically tabled a lot of other things like one of my favorite chemical looping to the doe was putting money into which i i encourage you to continue to do. at the same type epa wasn't looking in that direction at a think they created a situation where we had two different agencies going in different directions. i would encourage you to work with your colleagues and let's all row in the same direction we get more done for the people of the united states. thank you for being here and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the chair recognizes distinguished gentleman from vermont, mr. welch.
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rep. welch: thank you, mr. secretary. when the areas of bipartisan effort has been on performance contracting. and i know you have made some remarks, that is a promising area because it doesn't burden on regulations that it's not regulatory dependent very much in partnership with the private sector. you are going to be developing or the administration as an executive order that would be released in the coming weeks, and i just want to really make sector. sure that you will do everything you can to make certain that the performance contracting is embedded in it. that something colleagues on this committee have worked on. mr. mulvaney when he was on work on it. just some reassurance on that. sec. perry: yes, sir. you can expect both myself, and i think other members of the cabinet, along certainly with mick -- rep. welch: will you set some goals, targets? we had significant ambitious target in the obama
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administration. we need a target to reach. sec. perry: i don't know whether there will be numerical targets or not, but certainly the concept and we will push forward . rep. welch: i would like to follow-up with the administration on that and i think a lot of us would like to work together with you on it. wassecond thing, mr. latta asking about energy star, and again many of us have our support for that and there's this question about whether there should be some changes in your department has some responsibility epa has some , responsibility. what are the responsibilities in the epa that would not be done if, in fact, everything was turned over to d.o.e.? sec. perry: well, i'm not sure there would be anything that would be lacking. rep. welch: you have jurisdiction over others. what do you have jurisdiction over? sec. perry: my jurisdiction, if
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you consolidated in the department of energy, what would get discarded and i'm not sure if it were necessary discard other than a lot of bureaucracy. rep. welch: i get it on the bureaucracy, less is better. i'm with you on that but functions that have to be performed that now are done by the epa with respect to maintaining the energy star program. my question is how would your agency meet those requirements? rep. welch: -- sec. perry: any requirement the required the scientific, scientific look where you are taking in, that's going to be d.o.e. rep. welch: here's what i will ask. bipartisan energy star want to make it strong. if there is going to be a discussion about having it all be done in one place versus two, we've got to make certain the integrity of the program is maintained. i'd like to work with you on that, ok? sec. perry: mr. welch, here's
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how i will finally address this. you make the rules and we will follow the instructions of congress. rep. welch: all right. thank you. >> would the judgment yield? rep. welch: sure. >> we're going to do a d.o.e. reauthorization bill and were trying to make it bipartisan. and if that happens, your suggestions will be seriously considered from this side. rep. welch: i appreciate that. thank you very much. another issue here is your proposed rule that was going to focus on coal and nuclear, i get that, but it is extensive according to studies. about 809, to 3.2 billion per year. this isn't exactly your area of concern, but it's the concern many of us on the committee including mr. mckinley and mr.
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griffith. the coal miners have been hammered, and they have lost their health care, and we took steps in congress to address that, but they have lost their pension, and if we're talking now about spending $800 million to $3.2 billion a year for the coal companies, but we don't address the pensions that these miners have earned going into those mines day in and day out, many of them for 30 years, the pensions are like $540 a year. where's the justice in that? mr. welch, what of -- one of the things i can share with you is that if whatever reason the companies that are still being able to hang on by their literal fingernails to -- fingernails go under, then the pensions that those companies have come the healthcare that those companies are putting forward today was
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just exacerbate this problem even more. but that's not the main reason we're talking about what we're doing with the 403. the main reason we're talking about doing this with the is for 403 the resiliency and reliability of the grid. >> the gentleman's time has expired. rep. welch: thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. rep. johnson: mr. secretary thank you for being here today. , we call to several titles, mr. secretary, governor. a lot of folks don't realize the long before that you wore another title. you were an airman and as an air force veteran, i want to thank you for your service and a look forward to working with you to advance your concern for our nation's heroes and our veterans. that's important. as you know, mr. secretary, eastern and southeastern ohio is blessed with a wealth of resources, energy resources on the abundance of coal, oil and
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gas, and critical nuclear technologies. and it truly has every major resource to supply our state and our nation with the energy that we need. so we are well-positioned to advance the idea of energy dominance and making the corridor or all that i know you and the president and administration all that it want us to be. i look for to working closely ct and following closely ferc's work regarding your recent request relating to the power markets. these are complex issues surrounding the power markets and ferc's been looking at these power issues, power price issue for some time now, especially with an eye toward grid stability, and i think
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encouraging the commissions were and ferc's been looking at these -- the commissions to continue to work in that regard and on those issues is very helpful. i also want to thank you for your recent visit to ohio. as you know, hiked in his home his home know hiked in to a skilled workforce. you talked about workforce in your comments today. that workforce being capable of operating critical domestic uranium enrichment technology. and the cleanup efforts underway at the former portsmouth gaseous diffusion plant is equally important to repurpose that property, to make it another job creator for southern ohio. i look for to working with you on those issues specifically insuring that america has a a domestic enrichment capability to meet our national security needs along with keeping the cleanup operation on track.
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now, mr. secretary, like to discuss energy exports. as president trump has made that a clear priority with his energy dominance agenda, encouraging exports, whether that's coal, natural gas or nuclear technology is crucially to ensuring these industries remain a vital component of our domestic economy, along with strengthening our geopolitical ties. and i don't have to remind you that d.o.e. plays a critical role in the vitality of america's civil nuclear industries engagement and international commerce through what is known as the part 810 process. energy and commerce this committee has long recognized the economic and national security value of a strong american president, presence in these foreign markets pick the previous administration initiated some targeted process reforms which i understand are still being implemented.
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so do you, mr. secretary, acknowledge the critical importance of maintaining our american presence in international, civilian, nuclear markets, and will you provide your commitment to implement a further efficiencies in the part 810 approval process? sec. perry: yes, sir. rep. johnson: ok, great. additionally, under your leadership d.o.e., and we talked a little about this, you partially answer this question already. under your leadership d.o.e. has approved multiple lng export applications. in your view, what should congress due to ensure the u.s. cultivates and maintains a leadership role in lng exports? barriers toe any lng exports that should be addressed and we focus on? sec. perry: obviously the ability for the united states to be a leader and exporting lng, jobs, the economic impact that sec. perry: it has certainly in your area of
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the state where you are sitting on top of, i suppose you're part of the state that still has part of the marsalis and -- >> all of it. sec. perry: underneath that. and so coming from a state that has been blessed with an extraordinary amount of gas, other areas, and it may be places who we don't even know yet that we might innovate. -- that we may have identified. i go back 10 years ago there was a guy making a pretty good living giving the peak oil speech. we found it all and we didn't -- well, maybe, maybe not. but the point of being able to send that gas around the world as i said earlier, i won't repeat all that but it's incredibly important from a domestic economic standpoint and from a global national security standpoint. >> the judgments time has expired. rep. johnson: thank you, mr. secretary. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> we want to recognize the gentleman from new york.
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>> thank you, mr. chair. thank you mr. secretary for joining us. are you asked about the arpa-e program. just want to understand your answer clearly. do you oppose the elimination of the program? >> i am sorry, which program? >> arpa-e. >> no, sir. i hope i particle in my remarks that it think the arpa-e program has its place. does it need to be restructured and chairman barton and i and are in a conversation about that in this particular point in time. is it called arpa-e, something else? i'll let you -- sec. perry: do you disagree it should that be eliminated? rep. tonko: here's what i agree with. i agree that innovation is the real lifeblood of this country and government does have a role in making sure that technology gets to the commercialization and government plays a point in that. sec. perry: it is a beneficial program to districts like might add epitope that we would groat, not reduce or eliminate it. he excluded many numbers have both substantive and process concerns with your recent notice of proposed rulemaking. it was reported you said the
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obama administration had its thumb on the scale of energy markets to the detriment of baseload industries. can you provide examples of what you mean by that? sec. perry: yes, sir. what i mean by that, administrations get elected and elections have consequences and for eight years president obama wasn't the president of the united states and he had a clear philosophical -- rep. tonko: examples so we can get right to that. sec. perry: yes, sir. whether it was putting money into clean energy programs, whether it was putting money into bad restrict sometimes they get right to that. don't. i'm going to suggest to you celinda was a good idea. maybe that one wasn't the place. so it's about using good, processes for it the reason i created when us back in the state of texas -- rep. tonko: examples. sec. perry: i just gave you one. rep. tonko: others.
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sec. perry: whether, the clean energy across the board, and speedy are you talking about renewables? rep. tonko: are you talking about clean energy? sec. perry: i'll tell you what i will do, i'll try to get jealous of all of those programs and do that. rep. tonko: ok. did it include renewables? sec. perry: if you consider battery technology a renewable, yes, i guess of what. rep. tonko: but renewable power itself? sec. perry: i'm not sure what you, what you mean by -- rep. tonko: investment tax credits or production tax credits. are you upset with that? is that a thumb on the scale? sec. perry: i'm not upset with him. i think it's a conversation we need to have -- rep. tonko: is it example of what you mean about the thumb on the scale? sec. perry: i'm talking about when you are sending clear messages through, whether it's the epa or whether it's through
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the d.o.e., that these other programs, these are the places that we want the administration to expend dollars. i'll be more than happy to try to get you a list of -- rep. tonko: so where with a part of that in? sec. perry: had they been used as a way to influence the market? yes. rep. tonko: were they not passed by congress? sec. perry: that doesn't everything that congress does i agree with. rep. tonko: ok. you are crediting, or pointing the finger at the obama administration but i would suggest that they were reauthorized by this congress, congress in 2015, when your party was in control. but if you can get us a list, all right. do you agree with the d.o.e. -- with the doe assessment that distribution systems are responsible for over 90% of total electric power interruptions? question.: ask the
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rep. tonko: rather than lack of generation. do you agree with that report? sec. perry: at 90% of -- tonko: of interruptions were caused by distribution systems rather than a lack of generation. sec. perry: i don't know the details of the report about all the ways that it was studied. i think the idea to be making a black or white, yes or no decision on that question is -- rep. tonko: let me ask this then. what factors did you consider when deciding that it would be more cost effective to support specific types of generation to enhance reliability rather than shooting right at improving infrastructure? sec. perry: i think the cost effective argument on this is secondary to whether or not the lights are going to come on. and i think it's really important for -- rep. tonko: did you measure cost to the consumer when you did these? because -- >> that would be the last
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question. the time of the gentleman has expired. sec. perry: i think you take cost into account, but when it comes to -- what's the cost of freedom? what does it cost to build a system to keep america free? unless you're a want to just put at straight out on the free market and say ok, whoever can build the cheapest delivery system here to keep america free, that's the same argument i make on -- rep. tonko: my businesses and manufacture upset about the cost to them for your proposal. sec. perry: i'm concerned about a citizen that's calling you up and saying why did you not address this issue when we had the opportunity to in 2017. >> the gentleman's time has expired. sec. perry: electricity in my house is not on. my family is freezing. mr.ida -- rep. flores:
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secretary, great to see you. i'm thrilled that president trump picked at texas aggie to serve in your position. it's honor to have you here today. i'll give an example that you can use to respond to questions like the one you just had when you were badgered a few minutes ago. australia had a large blackout. it started out as a weather induced incident of what the quickly found out is they had an imbalance in their grid. he didn't have sufficient baseload capacity to back up their wind capacity and as result several million people were without power for quite a long period of time. so that's something that you can use to talk about what you were trying to prevent with your order to ferc that i think would be helpful. i'd like to move onto nafta for a minute. as you know nafta has created robust energy trading market between the u.s., mexico and canada. and a particular following liberalization and privatization on the energy business without a huge increase in energy flows across the border particularly between texas and northern mexico.
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this has resulted in a trade surplus to the united states or for the benefit of the united states. i am concerned the u.s. trade representative is making proposal with regard to nafta that would short-circuit those gains that we had interns are -- in terms of our ability to export energy to mexico. are you consulting with the administration with the u.s. trade representative about making sure we get nafta 2.0 done correctly so that we have a robust energy market with mexico and canada? sec. perry: we are, and i've been in direct contact with my counterpart in mexico as well as jim carr, my counterpart in canada. we are going to have a trilateral meeting in houston the 13th through the 15th of november to discuss this and other issues, particularly in north american energy strategy. we think it's really important
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that, actually western hemispheric but in particular north america region is attached to the hip as we can be and supporting each other and developing an energy strategy that will take care of us. rep. flores: particularly and please tutor you will stay engaged in the process because i think it's important for united states as a whole and in texas in particular. i liked the approach of energy dominance that you and the administration have adopted and it has huge geopolitical applications as the united states becomes energy secure. a great example is lithuania. they have a ship called the independence. imagine that name, independence. they use it to liquefy lng that is imported from around the world but take it from the united states. that has changed with the way from being dependent on russian gas to being an ad net energy supplier to its baltic neighbors.
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i think that it's huge implications geopolitically. i appreciate your efforts with the administration to promote this idea of energy dominance. but moving on, how is this new the administration to promote age of energy abundance benefited us and allowed us to position ourselves as a global energy superpower? >> the short answer is, in the next 24 months, u.s. will be a net energy exporter in totality. that's both crude and, which chairman barton carried that piece of legislation, and i'm sure you supported it, but allowing us to be the -- economically, that is a powerful issue. then that you political side of that when it comes to supporting our adolescent giving them some options to other sources of energy. it's going to speak volumes about america's role in global issues going forward. rep. flores: i have a couple of
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other questions i will submit for the record in the interest of time but but i do have one final question. recently the house passed h.r. 2910 which is one of my pieces of legislation called promoting interagency coordination for the review of natural gas pipelines act which improves ferc role in the permitting process. do you agree it would help to have one agency acting as the lead agency for the purpose of coordinating they varies environmental review for pipeline construction? sec. perry: i will put on my previous hat as a former governor of texas. it would make abundant good sense to -- always keeping the people's needs and the safety environmental issues paramount, defined -- but to find more efficient, effective, streamlined ways to permit projects is going to help this
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-- there was nothing we did in the state of texas that sent a more powerful message for economic development than having a stable permitting and regulatory climate. rep. flores: that's great. thank you for being here today. it's great to have you as our cabinet. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. we recognize the gentleman. rep. loebsack: great to have you, secretary. i'm glad you're here. i've learned a lot on the end of the dice here. i get to listen to a lot of questions into the answers. first of all thank you for your service and your commitment to veterans. i have a couple of marine children, one will be deployed any minute now to kuwait so thank very much. i appreciate it. i like which is at the outset that our national security depends upon our energy security. there still question about that. whether we're talking oil imports or whatever the case may be so i do appreciate that. you talked about diversity including wind, solar, upright
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-- solar, a variety of -- all of the above. i'm from iowa and while in the aggregate texas does have more wind energy output that i would -- then i would does -- then iowa does percentage wise as you mention, texas but 12%, i what is up 37%. >> great job. >> moving up all the time. in your confirmation hearing you said adequate if confirmed i will advocate of about energy at all forms and that sort includes renewables unquote. last week epa administrator pruitt attacked this provision by saying he would like to see will advocate of about energy a. and i quote what he said, secretary pruett, again, i would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar. you know that the production tax credit for wind, the investment tax credit for solar have really driven billions of dollars into rural america in particular underrepresented 24 24 counties in south wiest -- southeast
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iowa. i visited a new wind farm that mid-america was putting up recently. it's help consumers of course save money, create all these new jobs. just a very simple question, yes or no. do you agree with mr. pruitt of the cut in these debts we have to end of these these incentives are getting to wind and solar? i can't give you a yes or no. i continue, referring back to to what i said about my children. there is a place for these subsidies as we build innovation and we commercialize it. there's some point that you say you're on your own, you can stand or fall on the market. i would suggest to you that both the solar and wind energy is approaching that very mature stage. you can't, on one hand, say we are this clear delivery of the -- this clear deliverer of the baseload of energy, but we need to be, continue to be treated like we were we were not that
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mature. finding the balance and finding the right time to say you are mature enough, out the door -- rep. loebsack: i will say america is hurting big-time and these investment tax credits for solar, for wind, sosa been very, -- those have been very, very wonderful for rural america, for our farmers and for clean renewable energy and also for making sure that we are secure. the energy sector, and that is national defense as far as i'm concerned. i really was hoping you can could give me a yes or no , whether you agree with secretary pruett or not. i would like to mention renewable fuel standard if i could. again i think it's about 25% of oil we import and i think half of that comes from an area where my stepson is being deployed as we speak. it was very disappointing i think for a number of us in states that really do produce a lot of ethanol and biodiesel, especially when it comes to ethanol.
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it was a very, very disheartening for us to see that the volumes were reduced when it comes to ethanol with respect to the epa's proposal for next year. and this was a bipartisan concern. we have had our senators speak out about this. they are republican. i'm the only democrat in the state of iowa. we are united on this. i guess i want to ask you do you believe there is a real commitment from this administration for the renewable fuel standard? or are our fears confirmed that this administration is backing off of that commitment? sec. perry: i would refer you to the remarks the president has made about iowa in iowa corn growers and ethanol. he's made it abundantly clear to me, i can't speak about any of the other cabinet members but he's made abundantly clear to me that he is supportive of it. rep. loebsack: i can just say this, the president has said a lot of things on a lot of different issues and they're not always consistent from day-to-day, minute to minute or month to month so that is why we
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have a lot of concerns about the commitment of the administration for the renewable fuel fuel standard. sec. perry: i will leave that i argument to some of the folks. rep. loebsack: you have that commitment? sec. perry: exporting american energy is where our focus needs to be. rep. loebsack: i do believe, no offense but it do believe we have to make sure we're not still dependent upon energy being brought in from the outside. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. rep. loebsack: thank you, mr. secretary. outside. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. rep. loebsack: thank you, mr. secretary. >> we have about three more members and we've got lunch in my office which is like 30 seconds if you and your staff have a chance, come down and eat essence we get to the i know you are on a tight schedule but i think it's texas barbecue so i might be worth coming by. the gentleman of north dakota, mr. cramer for five minutes. cramer: thank you, mr.
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chairman. i'm from the very north tip of the texas. i'm the only member, it's hard sometimes to be among all these texans who sticks closer together but i'm proud to be part of the same cult i suppose you could say. i cannot tell you how much i appreciate you being here and how refreshing you are to listen to, mr. secretary. it's impressive and about the fact that you have taken center stage on all things energy, realizing there are lots of other agencies that energy nexus clearly but you are providing real leadership and appreciative. -- and i appreciate that. i especially appreciate the references earlier to the ports of the intellectual value chain of all things new. -- all things nuclear. i don't think that can be overstated so thank you for that and for the fact that we have acquiesced as a country much of our leadership on nuclear including enrichment of uranium. so thank you for that. i want to focus a little bit back and say thank you for your leadership on searching for which you properly compensate the inherently more reliable most reliable sources of baseload electricity.
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i never cease to be amazed by how little regard to is for having lights on 24 hours a day, a year around here. sometimes i worry, mr. secretary, it will require a a crisis of some people to remember how important coal and nuclear arctic thank you for focusing on that. it's entirely appropriate for ferc to take a look at this and give it appropriate value. i find it offensive some people suggest you're putting the thumb on the scale, when the reality is you are just rebalancing the scale. been when theye suggest we are manipulating markets. the whole idea of our deal was to manipulate markets. that's why we have our deal. it's not free market. from the subsidies through the tax code to d.o.e. grants and loan programs all the way to public and states have mandates based on portfolio standards. those are all manipulations of markets.
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your responsibility is right, make sure the lights stay on. i appreciate that focus. i'm going to ask a couple of questions and i don't need to to enter the today, -- need you to answer them today, but i'm hoping you can get back to me on it. in the proposed grid resides the pricing rule resources subject to state regulations are excluded. i'd like to get an explanation as to why. and i'm wondering if what you meant only the sources that don't participate in a ferc regular wholesale market. in north dakota where i was once an energy regulator, we, all of our utilities are virtually, they are either under regulation or they are under regulation by their ownership in case of the rural electric cooperatives but they are subject to great regulations. i want them to be afforded the same economic benefits as an -- as a merchant generator.
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that's one area i'd like to explore with you later. i wonder about the 90 day fuel supply, and i say that because in north dakota all of our generators -- although one small one literally coexisted in the coal mine it so. -- coal mine itself. while they may have a 30 day higher next to the plant, the plant is next to the coal mine and there's an 800 years up like her, wondering if there's not some adjustment that could be made to understand that. with my remaining minute and a half i want, i need to address something that's been set a -- that has been said a couple of times by my friends and the other side of the elder they have referenced nerc. i pulled up some comments from the nerc folks specifically the ceo regarding the concerns that were raised with your order. i'm just going to quote a couple things. "higher reliance on natural gas exposes electric generation and fuel supply and delivery full
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vulnerabilities, particularly during extreme weather conditions. maintaining fuel diversity and secured he provides best for resilience. premature retirements of fuel secure baseload generating stations reduces resilience to fuel supply disruptions. just disruptions." -- disruptions." this is not just simply your heart speaking. this is your experience speaking and this is nerc ceo speaking. "coal-fired and nuclear generation have the added benefits of high availability rates low forced outages and secured on-site fuel. many months of on-site fuel allow these units to operate in a manner independent of supply chain disruptions. you are entirely appropriate and right to challenge ferc with his last we let emotions dictate our policy." with that as my time runs out thank you for your service and the look forward to following up on the rest of these. >> the gentleman's time has expired. last but not least the gentleman
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from michigan, mr. walberg for five minutes. walberg: thank you, mr. chairman. i assume the invitation for lunch in your office goes for us, to that estate to the end. >> excuse me. rep. walberg: as i was is asking -- [laughing] rep. walberg: i was hoping the invitation to lunch was a clear for us as well. >> well, sure. [laughter] i will reset the clock. greg thank you. mr. secretary, thank you for being here, and those of us who sit this far into the dais oftentimes difficult to sit this far into the dais but you been very refreshing today. the fact of your gender, and your willingness to not let issues like climate change like the
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issues of regulatory concerns get in the way of a full , understanding that we still have to do what we have to do for our people. we can debate all these issues and they certainly have debate but in the end, we have provide the power to keep the lights on, and keep grandma and by the way, me, warm as well in the house. so thank you for that, and we also appreciate your humility, even admitting mistakes. i set to you what during a breakfast of supportive of you, and i thank you for your work. i represent a district in michigan that has all of the above in energy production and use. we make things that go into renewable power and ship those around the country. we have the largest coal-fired plant in north america sitting in lake erie in my district. we have the license that
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for permit three which discourages me that right now the lenses is not best the license is not fair. utility is not really thinking about using it at this point in time because of economics and politics. i appreciate the position you have laid out far on nuclear energy and how it relates to our entire life here in the united states and security. but what about that? should we hold these plans and advance? are we going to hold the opportunity for nuclear power to be used and be competitive or do , we just have a license and assume that it is uncertain? secretary perry: thank you, sir. it is important to talk about nuclear energy as part of our portfolio. it doesn't play a more important role than fossil fuel or winter others.
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i think having a healthy, having the sectors all be healthy is really important. i do not think anyone would argue right now that nuclear energy is healthy. it is not, not because of the regulatory burden that has been put on plays, and the political burden. security,r our future both energy security and our national security, to have that industry the healthy is very important. that means having a supply line, both the products that go into those, the hardware, if you will, and the intellectual capital that comes from the young men and women who were going to university pipeline at this particular point in time, to be nuclear engineers, and rhetoric. -- etc.,.
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so what is next? i think that is on of the most important questions. looking over the horizon and seeing the future of may maybe not too clearly because it's opaque in a lot of ways when it comes to trying to decide or know what's going to happen from a weather phenomena when we talk about what it's important for us -- why it is important for us to have that solid, resilient great. but the same is true on the nuclear side. look over the horizon to see what's new. that's what your national labs are involved with, and partnering with the private sectors so that way whether it's , small modular reactors. when you think about the rush: that we. have in puerto rico today, it would seem to me that if we had small modular reactors that we could have airlifted done there and to plug in and make a difference, maybe that is the kind of planning we need to be talking about as a country. and it is not just an island
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environment like the citizens of put we go find themselves in, but in a host of different ways, whether it is you know, events around the world where america can participate. having this nuclear energy industry be healthy again, and have not even mentioned the part about our role in keeping america safe at the standpoint of having a nuclear weapon arsenal that is face and modern. that will only occur if we have bright young minds who are coming up through the nuclear programs to top and populate those. >> thank you, mr. secretary. inp speaking the truth realistic fashion as you do about energy and it need. thank you. >> before we excuse you, mr. secretary, one last question. peopley senate confirmed do you have in the doe right now? >> not enough.
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[laughter] >> your staff is holding up three fingers. >> certainly not enough. not that you have ever had to wait on the senate before,. anything that you all can do -- >> have probably 10 or 12 waiting to be confirmed. >> yes sir, i do not know what the numbers are. >> the chair recognizes the german from illinois for one brief question. seminar, -- mr. senator the office of economic impact and diversity, with efforts to increase diversity in the energy sector, what is the future of that office under your administration? the office of economic impact and diversity? >> mr. roche it's there and the , will of this committee and the will of the congress is going to
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be -- i am going to stick my instructions from you. and from the members of this committee and from the senate. there, i would suggest to you that it is functioning properly, and it will continue to get the attention and respect that it should. >> the part about the reauthorization. >> mr. secretary, we thank you. that sherman has announced that all members have 10 days to submit any written questions. this hearing is adjourned. gavel] [overlapping conversation] [captioning performed by the
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national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ncicap.org] -- creeper cicap.or [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
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>> president trump send a health care executive order earlier. we will have that next on c-span. the house passed disaster aid on thursday in the recent -- to the recent natural disasters. and later, housing and development secretary ben carson testifying on capitol hill. ♪ washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up on friday morning, and author discusses the first amendment. then president trump's relationship with the republican party with the weekly standard founder william kristol. also, a conversation about the health care executive order signed by president trump with a reporter to talk about the future of health care. they sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7 a.m. eastern on friday morning. join the discussion. ♪
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announcer: live on friday, the discussion about renewing portions of the pfizer asked -- thefisa act. the director of the national security agency michael rodgers and the fbi director christopher wray will discuss the position on gathering intelligence on foreigners. live on c-span3. and also, house democrats will discuss traumatic brain injuries caused by contact sports. afterwards,night on historian craig shirley on the life and political career of newt gingrich with his book, citizen. he is interviewed by a former virginia congressman, tom davis. >> this was an era before cable television. there really, not it was before cnn and the,
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little pockets of cable here and there but mostly reruns of i love lucy and the andy griffith show. just was no talk radio, the big media and c-span. and he quickly realizes the potency of giving special orders every afternoon during a five-minute speech. he saw how it carried over cable and into 100,000 homes around the country, and former congressman armey used to talk isut it and say dates, which go and give a speech to hundred thousand people? and he's that of course you would. it onif you are doing c-span on special orders every afternoon, so c-span quickly becomes a political lead and he is getting 700 letters a week from people around the country.
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the junior member of georgia, was there any achieving a national following. >> watch afterwards on c-span twos book tv spend a at 9 p.m. eastern. >> at the white house, president trump/effective order to fix and access to health care insurance by allowing plans to be sold across the lines. the order directs agencies to expand rules for less comprehensive insurance including policies that could be sold by trade associations to their members. [applause]

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