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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 5, 2013 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

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advantage plans. just coming from a completely bipartisan perspective, what can we do now moving forward, what would you like to see in medicare advantage that we can move to that we can make a difference because we are going to have to make changes in medicare, yes. and i would like to know from both of you what your thoughts are on what we need to do in medicare so that we can make it better for our seniors. program in the future both financially and because of the care that seniors need that's different than when medicare was founded. medicare advantage is a great steppingstone to the future. it's not the end but it's a great steppingstone but it needs to be preserved, not wither on the vine in the next five years spent but we need financial backing. >> the near term would be risk adjustment issue that dr. margolis mention. buries his concerns in terms of
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funding. >> mr. kaplan, very quickly if you can add to that. >> my simple answer is that partnership, public-private partnership has been very successful and, therefore, in my mind we should invest in debt and make it better as opposed to cutting it back. >> thank you so much. thank you to all of you, and thank you to the chairman. i went over my time, so thank you for allowing me to do so. >> the chair thanks the gentleman appeared that concludes our first round of question. we will go to one follow-up per site. and dr. burgess, we'l we will bn with five minutes of follow-up. >> dr. holtz-eakin, i want to follow up on the stuff we were talking about earlier in that first round. it appears in washington today there is a crisis in common. the president has sold the affordable care act on just a raft of false premises. you can keep your plan. false. you can keep your doctor. faults. these are broken promises and these in fact are the opportunity cost that americans are paying for the affordable
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care act. there s aom there was a promised me to seniors as well. the promises we are going to use medicare dollars as a piggy bank to fund the affordable care act. in doing that, we will improve medicare to last seniors to keep doctors if they like. so do you have an opinion as to whether or not this is yet another broken promise? >> it is. >> and is it fixable? packages fix about medicare advantage. i don't believe fee-for-service medicare and his fixable. the focus should be on fixing medicare advantage in the way we described earlier. the promises are just that. their promises it if you like your individual, keep it. the funding are the odds of promise. the promise can't be all true. >> fixing it would involve ulceration funding? >> absolutely. >> at present, d.c. anyway or
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any mechanism by which that could have been? is there anything to give you optimism that funding in fact could be restored? >> under current law, it won't happen. we need to change. >> let me ask you this. i was entering 1980, 1989. i don't know if you were involved. >> i'm old, yes. [laughter] >> kinross kautsky of the ways and means committee put forward a catastrophic care program. he was very proud of it in the past congress bipartisan vote as i recall. they went home satisfied with what they had done. then something odd happened. people rejected the law that was passed. they rejected it largely because in a similar way of funding around in a way that would be deleterious to their rookie. so then, do you remember what happened this spring after that
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would >> after they got to build chase them with the umbrella to repeal the law. >> so there is a mechanism by which this problem could be fixed off though if we followed in 1889 repeal it. >> there's no question this is bull. it requires the congress to act the president is dying. >> the people with the umbrellas and we can meet committee. >> no comment. >> i have to address the issue or ask. we have all these experts in front of us. we get reports that the cost of medicare has come down. in fact, we are going to get, by the end of this week, the congressional budget office will give us a projection on the cut in the sustainable growth rate or not, which is likely less than what everyone was anticipating. in the improve the score for repeal again. a lot of opinions as to why this cost reduction was occurring. the administration and "usa
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today" wanted to take credit for it. i don't know that it's really a time. certainly the recession is playing a role, but i don't know if that entirety of it. we are here 10 years past the signing of the medicare modernization act with the provision of medicare advantage in the medicare prescription drug and if it. if we really to believe it is better to a stitch in nine states nine and better to treat early before it needs to well-established, perhaps we are in some benefit from passing the medicare modern nation at. too many of you have an opinion as to whether or not and maybe playing a a role in the cost? yes, sir. >> i know how much of the current slowdown in health spending growth we can attribute to prescription drug therapies, but we know the cbo and others have found the part d program reduced cost elsewhere in medicare. that's an important part of the
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change in the cost structure of medicare. it's also an important part of these rupture of the entitlement. the part d program will have its 10th anniversary on sunday is probably most successful entitlement. we should try to model for reform as closely to possible. >> is constructed to be like insurance and less like impediment if i recall the discussion. i think everyone on the panel. i know it's been a long morning of mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i now recognize the ranking member for five minutes for a follow-up. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just wanted to say, i'm going to ask my question to mr. baker, but i want to say with regard to mr. holt deakins testimony with regard to a ceos, i just disagree. you know come aco traditional medicare, seniors have the choice. they can see any provider they
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want. they are not opting for a yearly er with an m.a. plan. that is my opinion. when i heard you say, talk about aco, i wanted to express my view, which is that they are not locked in. they can choose whoever they want in a traditional medicare plan. mr. baker, i want to ask you how medicare advantage can be improved. all of us here today agree the medicare advantage program is an alternative to traditional medicare, especially individuals with complex health care needs. in your opinion, based on your organization's work in assisting medicare beneficiaries on the way back from nations do you have brought the medicare advantage program could be improved for beneficiaries? >> of course. the promise for managed care when it was initially put forward in the mid-90s, the big push was that it would actually save the federal government money and provide for me to care an additional benefit to people with medicare.
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we talked a lot about the advantages of medicare advantage. some of the promise hasn't been met. some plants are better than others, but overall the level of ordinary care does vary widely. we think that our monitoring and oversight to make sure those promises are kept. once again, better information about appeals within those programs. we oversample for complainers in my program. people call us then we have problems. consistently what we see our problems with access to care with utilization management or other barriers put to a variety of care. we were physician and plans to ease those barriers for people with medicare and medicare advantage. having that information available about which plan and how they really kind of setting up may be unnecessary barriers to care would be help full. and enable people to not only
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compare benefits, but also how those benefits are administered by particular plants and making sure people are choosing plants that are fulfilling the promise that a lot of us have talked about with regard to courteney day care. i think once again, with this idea of custom tailoring stars if you will, the nurse program while it is good, needs to be better and people really want to know when you're looking at your two cars in consumer reports, there's not ours overall, the engine performance in other kinds of performance measures. we will get to a place where i think we can customize even more and that will also help folks choose between the program. i want to reiterate that i think the original medicare program with the traditional medicare program we've had defied is the bedrock, something people continually knows eric go back to.
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it has, regardless of a lot of a lot of what we've said, if you look at over the last 30 years, medicare, the traditional medicare program and private insurance have done about the same job curtailing costs, good or bad. so i think there's a lot of improvement made in the original medicare, but also a lot of improvement that could be made in medicare advantage as well. >> i only have a minute left. some people, including you suggested we should consider establishing a medicare party that was appointment original medicare without having to pay for the overhead profit to private insurance plans. it intrigues me. could you elaborate on how you would envision that would be structured or how would it be an improvement to the current medicare structure? a whole minute. the commonwealth fund and others have put a more comprehensive proposal on what is called party medicare. recently what it would do is combine part 8, part b, part d
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prescription drug and medicare supplemental in a government run program. this would go toe to toe with medicare advantage and with the original medicare program as it exists now. once again, it is an alternative comes a thing that would exist along side and allow more choice for tumors and could have a lot of these coordinated benefit and coordinated coverage that we've been talking about today. so i think it is something that would put together in one place government run programs that have all of these components that people with medicare value in need and could save money. >> thank you so much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chair thanks the gentleman. the chair thanks all the witnesses for your testimony. this has been an excellent hearing. very informational. the numbers may have follow-up questions. we ask you to please respond promptly remind members save 10 business days to submit
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questions for the record said they should submit their questions by the close of business on day, december 18. without objection, the subcommittee is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] imac
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[inaudible conversations] time i >> house speaker john wagner spoke in the capital today. he's hopeful republican congress and paul rankin come to an agreement on next year's budget. he said he's open to a one-month extension of the farm bill. >> well, i am hopeful that paul ryan and patty murray will come to a budget agreement that can pass both the house and the senate. paul ryan came in today, give us another date on where they were. i am hopeful that they will be
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able to work this out. there is clearly no agreement. on the farm bill, you know, i've not seen any real progress on the farm bill. so if we've got to pass a one-month extension of the farm bill, we will be prepared to do that. [inaudible] >> all at the chairman answer that question. i think all of you probably have extended for a month. listen, i have made it clear the house is going to the next friday. he won't know me pretty well. i mean what they say and i say what i mean.
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>> as you walk in, they are tables in front with lots of pamphlets. prior to entering the gun show. the pamphlets are a hot the government has tried to take away their license to own guns. obama during the setup and obama cares terrible. but those are the guys they wanted to talk to because they were the guys with the leaflet, the ideas. i said to them, is this your stuff? they said yeah, who're you. i said i do not .. i'm doing research on these organizations commend these ideas and try to understand.
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he looked at me suspiciously and said asked me questions. i said look, here's what i am. i don't get it. here's my job. i want to understand how you guys see the world. i want to understand that your worldview -- book, you will not convince me and i will not convince you. that's off the table. what is on the table as i want to understand why you think the way you do. >> last month, epa administrator gina mccarthy testified before the house science committee on the agencies will science and technology activities. the committee examine the policy of transparency practices on clean air and water acts and hydraulic fracturing or cracking. we bring you that kerry now.
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i'm not [inaudible conversations] >> to commit inside space and technology will come to order. welcome, everyone to today's hearing entitled strengthening transparency and accountability within the environmental protection agency. we're going to recognize myself or fitness for a doping statement and then i'll recognize the ranking member for hers. the environmental protection agency like every other governmental institution should answer to the american people. everyone agrees we need to protect the environment, but we should do so in a way that is open and honest. democracy requires transparency and accountability. yet epa's justification for regulation are cloaked in
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secrecy i asked. it appears the epa been a lot of stretches of science to justify its own object disappeared americans impacted by the agency's regulations have a right to see the data and determine for themselves independently these regulations are based on sound science for a partisan agenda. the epa's efforts to expand its regulatory reach across u.s. represented troubling trend. her example, take epa's current clean water act. it seeks to expand the definition of waters of the u.s. to give the agency unprecedented new authority over private property. according to media reports on this expansion of epa regulatory power could include almost all man-made and natural streams, lakes and ponds. this undermines states rights and increases federal control private property and could lead to the epa in our own backyard.
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the epa's efforts to demonize hydraulic fracturing are another example of implementing a partisan agenda before it takes the time to get the facts. the epa made wild claims of groundwater contamination but was forced to retract those claims but it could produce the evidence. perhaps the most worrisome examples of the agency's disregard for transparency and accountability are found in the epa's clean air program. we all agreed then ensuring clean air is essential. the epa has a responsibility to establish rules that balance environmental concerns and our economic needs. nearly all of this administration's air quality regulations are justified on the basis of the data. these regulations cause billions of dollars at the epa claims the benefits of these roles justify the cost. these claims can't be verified if the epa used the secret science. more than two years ago before
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this committee and then a administrator mccarthy said this was available for independent review and verification. a few months ago, the president sound science advisor to the same position. when epa failed to live up to those commitments, the committee issued a subpoena requiring the agency to reduce the data. three months later the agency still hasn't provided the data necessary to verify the agency's claims. let me be clear. it is the epa's responsibility to ensure that the science he uses his transparent and that its claims can be verified independently. recently, epa provided us with copies of letters they received from scientists explaining why they believe this data cannot be released to the public. it's unfortunate it took us two years in a subpoena to get here, but now even the epa knows the truth. the agency itself cannot publicly verify its own claims. so not only do we have a lack of transparency, we have been agency regulating without the
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facts to back up the claims. we need to know whether the agency as telling the truth to the american people. the epa must either make the data public or commit to no longer using secret science to support its regulation. without this, congress would have no choice but to prohibit the epa use of secret data moving forward. i want you this legislation in the next few weeks that will stop the epa from racing regulations on is closed and verified information. we can and should continue to look for ways to protect your environment. these efforts must be open, transparent and based on sound science. only then can the american people decide whether the cost of the epa's regulatory agenda is supported by the facts. that concludes my opening statement in the ranking member come to javaone from texas is recognized for her opening statement. >> thank you very much and good morning. i'm very pleased to welcome
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administrator mccarthy to today's hearing. she's had a distinguished record at the environmental protection agency prior to her being selected to be epa administrator. by all accounts, has been doing an exemplary job since assuming the position. while i think her regular performance and integrity speaks for themselves, i thought it was important to review the mission of the agency. first, the mission is to protect human health and the environment. as someone who worked in public health before i entered politics, i can think of no mission of the federal government that is more important or noble than not. as a member of congress, i should be doing all it can to encourage epa attempts to carry out a challenging mission. i think too often epa has made a target for funding cuts and his
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leadership said jack did to harassment and denigration. unfortunately, ira committee has not been immune from employing these type x. mr. chairman, i am a texan and i'm no stranger to the oil and gas industries in the economic benefits it can bring war to the pollution and health and environmental impacts those industries can also bring. i know the epa's actions have consequences for companies sometimes negative. i have also noted epa's actions have important consequences for help of our constituents. especially those who are young or elderly. those consequences have been very positive indeed over the 40 years the epa has been in existence. we all want a healthy economy. but we also want a healthy quality of life for citizenry.
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epa staffers have played a critical role in achieving these goals since its inception. as members of congress, i think we should strive to educate eric h. units, not scare them. i hope today i can resist the temptation to try for provocative soundbites from my district and instead use today's hearing to better understand what epa has been tasked to accomplish, howard is doing on those tasks and how we in congress can help it do it's job market really. administrator mccarthy, i know you have a very tough job and i want to commend you for your willingness to take it on its side of all the hurdles to you in your agency face. i look forward to your testimony and i look forward to working with you to help epa achieve the goals that the nation has asked us to carry out. i thank you you know that my
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time. >> thank you, ms. johnson. members can submit them for the record and they will appear at this point. or witness today's the honorable gina mccarthy, administrator of the environmental protection agency. prior to her appointment as administrator, she was the assistant administrator for epa's office of air and radiation or she advocated to protect public health and the environment. during her career, which spans over 30 years, she's the head with the state local levels on environmental issues and helps coordinate policies and academic growth, energy transportation and environment. administrator mccarthy received a bachelor virge degrees social anthropology from university of massachusetts and a masters of science and environmental health, engineering and planning are the tests university. at this time, i yield to the gentleman from connecticut for additional comments. >> thank you, chairman smith and ranking member johnson for holding today's hearing on the environmental protection agency. i'm very pleased gina mccarthy
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who served as environmental protection and a system administrator. administrator mccarthy, wonderful to see you again. congratulations on your confirmation. you have an important role and responsibility as head of an agency charged with protect the environment in the public's health. i appreciate all of your hard work to that end and we are very proud of you in connecticut and very pleased to see here today. thank you so much. >> administrator mccarthy, we welcome your testimony. you may proceed. [inaudible conversations] >> i'm so sorry. good morning, chairman and ranking member johnson and the distinguished members of the committee. i am pleased to talk about the central role that science plays as the united states environmental protection agency. let me begin by stating that
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science is and always has been but that of the epa's decision-making. the agency's ability to pursue its mission to protect public health and the environment to the integrity. i firmly believe environmental policies, decisions, guidance and regulations that impact the lives of all americans must be grounded at the most fundamental level in science and sound, high-quality transparent science. because we rely so heavily on fine-tuning our mission on behalf of the american people, msp conduct them in ways that are transparent free from bias and conflict of interest and of the highest quality integrity and credibility. these qualities are important not just within our own organization and the federal government, but across the scientific community with its long established and honorable commitment to maintaining strict adherence to ethical investigation and research.
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that's why the agency that has a scientific integrity policy that builds upon existing agency in government by policy. explicitly outlining epa's commitment to the higher standards of scientific integrity. that commitment extends to any scientist or organized patient who wishes to contribute to our efforts. all epa funded research cryogenics, whether conducted by epa scientists are outside grantees are collaborated must comply with the agency's rigorous quality assurance requirements. to ensure we had the best possible science, we have committed to rigorous independent peer review of the scientific data, the models and analysis that supported decisions. peer review can take a number of forms ranging from external reviews by the national academy of sciences or the epa's federal advisory committees to contract a coordinated reviews.
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consistent with guidance we require a peer review of all epa research projects and for all influential scientific information and highly influential scientific assessments. among the external advisory committees is the epa science advisory board. our sap reviews are conduct did by groups of independent non-epa scientists at the range of expertise required for that particular advisory topic. we invite the public to nominate experts for the panel sent to comment on candidates being considered by the sab by epa for sab panels. epa evaluates public comment and information submitted about epa as nominees. the epa's review expert confidential financial information is available to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest.
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if ebp reviews are conducted in public sections in compliance with the open government requirement of the federal advisory committee act. the public is invited to send him provide oral and written testimony for consideration at the sab. public comments help to ensure that all relevant science and local issues are available to the sab as it reviews the science that will support our environmental decisions.
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of those assessments, enhancing and increasing transparency. so that issues are identified and debated early on in the process. in 2009, the epa made significant inhanments by announcing a new seven-step assessment development process. since that time, the national research counsel has made recommendations related to enhancing the development of the irs assessment. the epa is making changes still to the irs program. to enhance our ability to respond to those recommendations and to maintain a science integrity. these changes will help the epa produce more high quality assessments in a timely and transparent manner to meet the needs of the agency and the public. a newly released nrc report is largely supportive of the
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enhanced approach that epa is now taking to go develop the assessment in this case for inorganic arsenic. as i mentioned in the opening statement, mr. chairman, science is the backbone of our decision making. and our work is based on principles of sign integrity and transparency that are expected and deserved by american people. i'm proud of the epa's research efforts. and the sound use of science in technology to fulfill epa's important mission to protect public health and safe guard the natural environment. i want to thank you for the opportunity to meet with the committee for the first time and to provide testimony. and i'm happy to answer any questions that you might have. >> thank you, all right mccarthy. i recognize myself for some questions. the first one is this. when you testified before the committee, in september 2011. you promised to provide the data behind epa's health benefit
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claims. yet to my knowledge you have not done that. yet the agency continues to justify major regulations based upon the studies. now you have given the committee some information, but do you agree that the information you have given us so far is insufficient to validate these findings? >> mr. chairman, my understanding is that we have submitted information that you requested. >> right. i don't deny that. is the information you have give up sufficient to validate the findings that you've come to? >> it is sufficient for you to understand the -- >> no. i know, it's sufficient to understand. can we validate independently. is the information you have given us validate independently the findings you have concluded? >> i believe that it's sufficient for you towns we have relied on peer review. >> let me say we got a letter from the epa saying it was not sufficient. so you might want to check with other individuals within the epa. we have not gotten sufficient
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information to validate the findings. >> mr. chairman, if you look to replicate the studies. i would agree with you that all of that information isn't available to the agency but we have sought to get the information provided for you and providing the information. >> the information you provided. i'll make the statement again. it's validated bay letter sweffed from the epa is not sufficient to validate your findings. let me go on to my next question. next year the epa is seeking to change the national ozone standards. a move that the agency admits could be the most expensive regulation in history. i think perhaps exceeding a cost of $100 billion to the american people. were you specifically commit to not rely on secret science and hidden data in the rulemaking for out zone standards. in other words will you make the underlying data public? >> the clean air science advisory committee we rely on as a peer review entoy take a look at the national air quality standardser ensures that we make
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our information publicly available. >> okay. >> transparent as we can. >> the information will be made publicly available. >> in the same way we have done it before, mr. chairman. >> well, -- the same way before wasn't sufficient. i'm wondering for you're saying it will be made public if it's going to be -- >> we rely on thousand of studies. we provide an inte graded science assessment. >> let me take you at your word. you said the information would be made public. data you rely upon for the issues. >> the same way we have done it always, mr. chairman. >> we have to disagree on that. i don't think you have always do it. if you say you'll do it now. i'll take you at your word. >> have you give the committee the subpoenaed data in epa's possession? >>? >> if you're referring to the fm data you have requested from the agency? >> i'm saying the. >> i'm sorry. we have a number of subpoenas.
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i just want to make sure. >> we're talking about the one from the science committee. have you given the committee all of the information we have subpoenaed in your possession? >> i believe we have as of september 20th. those were related to some specific studies. one was outstanding until september 20th. so we can make sure we looked at confidential and privacies. >> okay. thank you. will the epa produce all of the correspondents with outside entities regarding efforts to comply with the subpoena? and this would include e-mail, texts with, and other electronic communications? >> i believe we're responding to the request today, mr. chairman, if you have further questions, after that response, and you don't believe it's adequate. we'll certainly get staff together and we can converse. >> otherwise you'll say it's freedom of information act and give us that response. >> we actually respond to respond to a number of freedom of act requests mr. chairman. if -- >> don't let me confuse you. you're going give us the
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response you have engaged in with the nird party to try to get them to comply with the subpoena? >> we're going to respond your request for that, i believe, today. >> okay. thank you for that. >> my last question is this. epa has a draft clean water act rule that can give epa unprecedented authority over private property. the law clearly states that at the time such proposal is sent to other federal agencies, it was also be made available to epa science advisory board. for peer review. in september they sent the proposal for obm for the inner agency review. according to you the draft has not been made available to the board. why didn't you comply with the requirement before formally proposing the rule? >> mr. chairman, i want to assure you that we going to be and complying with our statutory obligations. what you're referring to is a rule that is very, very early in
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the process. >> right. you submitted to omb you snitted to the science advisory board. it hasn't been done yet. >> we actually have a process as that's is established at epa for how we communicate with the science advisory board on those issues. it's a process they've agreed to. >> submissions are supposed to be concurrent and yet you submitted the rule to omb but not to the science advisory board. are you expected to do that immediately? >> again, mr. chairman, the science advisory board right now has an opportunity to look at the science that would underpin that rule. but we're very early on in the process. and we'll make sure -- >> regardless where you are in the process. the law says so you to submit it to your advisory board at the same time you give it to other agencies. you haven't done that. i'm wondering why. >>. >> it's not a question we haven't done it. it's a question we have a process in place. >> so you have -- >> so you have submitted the rule --
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>> advisory board. >> you have submitted to the rule? >> i don't believe the advisory board has the rule, as far as i know. we're early in the process. unfortunately, you may have it. and they are likely to have it as well. because it's been publicly released. but -- >> it's early stage. >> there's a law that says you are supposed to submit it to them immediately. you haven't done that. it's not following the proper process. >> mr. chairman, i'm happy to supply you with the articulated process that we use to -- comply with that. but we believe are -- >> the process is very clear. it's the process required by law that you're not following at this point. i hope you will. that concludes my questions and the ranking member is recognized for hers. >> thank you very much. i'm a little confused myself. i've seen stacks, huge stacks of materials that have been submitted. and i don't know what is missing
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that you have access to that has been requested. downside what is being requested? >> we believe we co, and we believe we have complied with those requests to the best of our ability. epa has provided thousands of pages of material that's been requested of us, and we've done it because we agree with the committee and its mission to ensure we have sound science and transparency. that that is a commitment of this agency. we will fulfill that commitment. >>. >> thank you. i'm really trying to follow the line of question of the chair to understand exactly what the real problem is. how go you interpret what the
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questions have been for your understanding, and what else do you think can happen? what can we give them? >> well, we have provided information. when we do rulemaking like national air quality standards. we look at the thousands of peer reviewed studies that are available to us. we also find studies ourself and conduct studies ourselves. when we fund those studies, and the information and data we gather to fund those. we have to make sure now under the shelby amendment that underlying data is available to us. we have done that. but there is much information that we look at that is peer reviewed literature. which is really how science works, ranking member. we rely on rigorous peer review data. epa relooks at that to make sure it's been peer reviewed before we rely on it. but we don't have the wealth of data underneath all of the thousands of studies. but clearly researchers
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including epa can enter in to agreements to gather the data. much ends up being considerable or private. we have obligations under other statutes wells omb to protect the privacy. in the case of the national air quality standards. we have the data on-air quality, we have the data on death. what we don't have available to us with the full breadth of raw data is the culprit data. which follows individuals. so when we have the data we have to protect it. but we don't need to see the wealth of raw data under every study to know it's been rigorously peer reviewed and question rely on it for our decision making. >> has there ever been a time when the congress requested raw data that is unique? >> we did, actually, face similar questioning.
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frankly, about the exact same issues. want pm studies. the particular matter studies from harvard university and from american cancer society. we were asked similar questions back in the early '90s, as my understanding, and we funded through a contractor 30 researchers to look for three years at all of that underlying data. they had available to us because they could enter in to a considerable contract with the researchers to access that data. so the private information was protected. they did a complete reanalysis of that data in the methodologies used. they came out with the same types of conclusions. it -- so we have verified even with the underlying data available. these are studies that can be relied on. these are, in fact, studies that the world relies on. now just epa. they are well done, they are credible, and and they have not
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changed the methodologies substantially since the last time we looked at the raw data. we're very confident in the underlying science and we've done the right thing and paid attention to that. which is what epa is supposed to do. >> thank you very much. i yield. >> thank you. the gentleman from wisconsin, former chairman of this committee, recognized for the questions. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. ms. mccarthy, on june 27, 2012, you sent a letter to me relative to the issue of ethanol and the waiver on e15. and i asked a question, does the epa remain confident that e15 will not damage car engines from vehicles of model years 2001 and later. the letter you signed responded the epa remains confident in the trnl basis for the e15 partial waiver decision. this question can be answered simply yes or no.
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you remain confident in the technical basis for the e15 decision? >> i do. >> okay. >> here is what others are saying. ford says sphord doesn't support the introdestruction of e15 to the marketplace for the legacy fuel. ford is not approved in the owners manual as considered misfueling and any damage resulting from misfueling is not covered by the warranty. her say does benz, any ethanol blend above e10 including e15 will harm emission control system in the mercedes-benz engines having significant problems. honda, vehicle engines were not designed or built to accommodate the higher concentration of ethanol. in appears to be the potential for engine failure. aaa, aaa automatic engineering experts revailed the available research and believe additional assessment is warranted but more fully documented to what extent the sustained use of e15 in both
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new or older vehicles will cause significant problems such as accelerated engine wear, fuel system damage, and false check engine lights. and the cost guard increasing the blend to e15 can be expected to exacerbate any fuel system deor it fuel leaks cause an unacceptable risk of fire and explosion. my question to you is are the auto manufacturers, the aaa, the small-engine makers, and the u.s. coast guard wrong? how can the epa continue to ignore these concerns? >> congressman, i'm not going to speak to their issues that particularly the manufacturers might have relative to their liability and warranty considerations. what i can tell you is that epa with doe did extensive testing
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of e15 on cars. we understand there are challenges prior to 2001, which is when some new more robust engines were required in the vehicles. we have done extensive testing. we continue to believe that e15 is appropriate. if it were available it would be being used by individual for vehicles that are 2001 and younger. >> well, that is not what the manufacturers say. that's not what the aa says. they don't make cars. they represent motorist's interests. that's not even when the coast guard says. we are dealing with small engines, marine engines, lawn mower, things like that. >> congressman. >> i'm going to ask you a question. >> i'm sorry. >> going to ask you a question. >> okay. >> i have a limited amount of time. >> all right. >> you will make a good senator
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if you would like to filibuster. i have a bill that this committee has report favorable belie out to require the national academy of science who conduct an unbiased assessment of the science surrounding e15. there seem to be enough questions relating to epa's conclusions on this. why don't you support further testing of e15? why are you opposed to an unbiased referee making call on the fuel? >> i don't recall, congressman that have spoken to the issue. >> will you support my bill for more testing on this issue? >> i'm sorry, i have not read the bill. >> the bill has been around for a long time because it was sponsored in response to your letter where there's a disagreement on whether the epa conducted unbiased research. how about having another look at this. before people's engines get wrecked? >> additional research that is
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done credible belie and transparent is always welcome. for you supporting my bill. maybe we can put it on the floor. we have sufficiently done our analysis. >> i guess having an unbiased view is something that you won't always support. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. the gentleman from oregon is recognized for questions. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for appearing before us today. the work you do to protect the health of our constituents is very important and very much appreciated. i want to briefly mention the epa's work on the portland harbor super fund site. an issue that has been important for years. and the distinct i represent and the region. one where i think we can agree the work has not progressed as expeditiously as it should.
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and when i met with you in april to discuss the issue, you had to be confirmed as administrator. but we still had a productive conversation, and i want to say encouraging conversation about increased cooperation between the epa headquarters, the oregon congressional delegation, and expressed an interest in improving the relationship between the epa region 10 and the local stakeholders. so far i have seen positive signs that have happening. i wanted to say they look forward to working with you and the epa to we hope finally take care of the super fund site in the portland harbor. thank you for your work on that. >> thank you. >> on the topic of epa protecting public health. you focus how important it is that good science be used to determine when public health is in danger. after all, that's one of epa's critical missions. in the first hearing held by the environmental subcommittee in a hearing held by environmental subcommittee earlier this year, a look at the state of the
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environment. one once, richard, said that looking too lowly at the problem could overestimate the need far solution, he said. when one puts anything under a microscope when necessarily will find something ugly to gawk auto. when considering public health it's hard to imagine because something is small it should not be evaluated to determine the impact on public health. surely our constituents can be harmed by pollutant they cannot see. can you talk about the process that epa goes through to determine when a problem is severe enough to address through federal action. then i want to save time for another question. >> we addressed the signs in many different ways depending upon what we're actually focusing on and where our authority lie. epa doesn't agree with the statement that says that we shouldn't be focused on both mission as well as appropriately
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doing our job. that congress gave us. we look at both doing independent review of the science, we do that rigorously. we do it something called the iris process i mentioned earlier. which is a health assessment that underpins many of the decisions we do that helps us understand what the science implications are. what the health implications are for people exposed to chemicals and other hazards in the environment. it's extremely important for us to look at the issues. then when we look authority congress has given us. what responsibilities we have. and address the responsibilities in the way which congress gave us to address those. that's how we make improvement in public health. that's how we have successfully done it for almost 3 years. >> march of this year the environmental subcommittee had a hearing on the epa science advisory board.
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since then they passed legislation modifying the makeup of the board. some have asserted that industry voices are not represented, and that academic interests dominate and others of us acknowledge that the industry perspective should be heard. we're concerned about making sure we don't have conflicts of interest. you discuss a bit in your opening testimony will you please expand how industry scientist might contribute to the science advisory board while also avoiding conflict of interest. how do you as administrator ensure that the advise you are receiving from those bodies are not tainted with policy-related judgments. >> the science for the science advisory board, we believe that epa meets and exceeds our responsibilities our legal requirement. and more transparent and look more closely to make sure that we look at the ethics and government ability as well. the scienced a rise i are board and our process for doing that is something we are proud of.
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when we do panel and put them together, we publish of our consideration who the panel members should be. we ask for comments on that. we respond to that. we look at making sure that the panels we put together are well balanced and that they have all of the range of expertise we're looking for as well as a variety of perspectives. >> can you discuss the conflict of interest issue. i want to make sure we get it that's in. >> we look closely at conflict of interest which we look at both whether or not there are financial problems that are real or the appearance is there. we make sure we do a thorough analysis of any investment opportunities of financial considerations with just recently established the new process we were looking at as well for external contractors as well. we look at the issue whether they are perceived or real. we do them publicly, transparency, we take comments
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every step of the way to make sure that the panel has the expertise as well as the credible it needs to speak from a sound, science, and transparency perspective. >> thawp. i see my time is expired. >> thank you. the gentleman from california, the vice chairman of this committee is recognized for his questions. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. following up on my colleague from oregon's line of questioning. i appreciate her. and appreciate you being here with us today. >> thank. about the science advisory boards. and there is serious concern that the epa regulatory science has become somewhat of a closed loop the agency sets regulatory goals based on whatever motives those goals are based upon. then develops the funds and the science that it needs to justify those goals. the agency then creates its own
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regulations, and is solely responsible for interpreting those regulations. making matters even worse, the courts largely defer to the epa especially when questions involve the analysis of the science. therefore, the most critical requirement for america to trust this regulatory policy or system especially the regulations set forth by the epa is scientific integrity. unfortunately, as i say there are worries, and at least i seem to believe there seems to be serious reasons for being worried about it being a closed loop. it's not going give us the type of science we need.
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believe there are especially this is evident in -- you were discussing with my colleague from oregon. the independent peer review of the epa science. believe, and i would like to ask you a few questions whether or not it's been comprised. you are responsible for appointing members of the epa scientific advisory boards. and let's take a look science advisory board such as number one, the science advisory board and the clean air number two, number two the clean air science advisory committee. you have called these panels independent review board. your predecessor describe them as being made up totally of independent expert scientists. and that's pretty well you agree. and that's still -- what your goal is what we're
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trying to do. i would like to put in to the record some information prepared by the congressional research service that calls in to serious question the independence of the experts that sit on the committees. >> without objection be made upon the record. >> okay. according to the crs, almost 60% of the members of these two panels have received epa grants since 2000. that's totaling taxpayer funded grants worth roughly $14 0 million. a majority of the clean air advisory -- the critically vaulting the epa's particular matter standards that finallyize that was finalled at the end of 2012 had received a majority had
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received epa grant directly related to particlate matter since 2010. you have someone investigating or passing judgment on things they themselves have been given grants and been involved in the research supposedly overseeing. mr. administrator, in the past we have heard epa witnesses express the point of view that scientists who have received the epa grants are immune from any potential conflict associated with these grants they're involved with or future grants. do you consider the recipient of the epa grant. do you consider that -- someone actually involved in a grant and done study about something there supposed to now review that would comprise that person's ability to have an
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independent judgment? >> no. not inof itself long to make sure they are fair-minded. there because of their expertise. >> fair minded just means they don't have -- we're talking about a built-in bias here. you're trying to somebody somebody has been given a grant and reached conclusions is someone we can have to an unbiased view. >> we understand there have been concerns expressed about that. we also understand that others have expressed concern about having people in the industry that we're discussing. >> that's correct. that's a -- someone would be concerned about. ..
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>> sometimes, administrator, they are asked to give assessments of their own work. in other words, we are now paying somebody to give an assessment of something that is his or her work. >> the time has expired. the gentleman from washington is recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for coming to take your questions today. i have a question regarding
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funding and reprioritization. i represent the district supported by the pacific ocean and includes some of the most pristine natural areas in the country. i want to commend the work of your agency and all of our federal agencies in the state of washington for some of the work that's been done to protect our resources but there's a lot more to be done. ocean as ocean as a vacation, os are just a few of the issues that we are beginning to understand not to mention the effect on the marine industries and on the future of the economy. faced with this task we created the future center recovery caucus to get their support and try to figure out what we can do on a federal level to solve these direct problems that we are facing and also have to be proactive and issues that are just beginning to emerge. with a limited federal budget
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and sequestration receiving funding for these type of problems is an uphill battle that we are still climbing and we need to continue to climb not just because it affects our environment but it affects jobs. i realize the issues we face are similar to many other issues across the nation and we want to find ways not only to highlight the ticket projects off the ground and fix the problems that we need and don't just now went into the future. so the first invitation and then a few questions that i would like to invite your part or should to meet with our members and even to come out and meet with the folks who are working on this in our state. and then my questions are can ou give insight into how we can make progress in light of the budget environment how we can give greater priority to the regional efforts like this where
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the science is clear and we need to start making some progress. i do hope the way that its impacit'simpacted all of the ags something in the upcoming budget discussions so that everybody can agree any more sensible and common sense way to make any reductions that are necessary and to implement the budget effectively. i do know that we have folks working in this area and you probably know dennis but there's nobody in the world knows their kids more about the issues that you've just identified and he does. i do think there are ways that we can work together through a variety of shared technical expertise as well as potential grant funding. we work on those issues together and i have an opportunity over the next three years to make sure that we enhance those partnerships, so i would be looking forward to it how best
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to do it. >> i yield back. >> the gentleman from texas the chairman emeritus of the kennedy is recognized. >> thank you for being here today and the committee has worked to ensure the sound process is in transparency. i think we need a study on the epa blank lack of transparency and accountability and you would be one of the witnesses we would want you back again. one of the areas that concerns us is the very poor track record of science related to hydraulic fracturing and that eta is zero for three. in pennsylvania and in wyoming the hydraulic fracturing had been responsible and three times
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the agency had to back away from these allegations after proper scientific analysis and review. we have had a number of regulators testify where you say today about the hydraulic fracturing and you said you've also testified in the energy commerce committee. nearly all of those that have set the course have confirmed the safety of these unconventional techniques had there been any contamination from groundwater. we have also received testimony from both the science advisor as well as the assistant secretary sitting right where you are under the oath that you've taken with the department of energy said that there's not been a single documented case of groundwater contamination in this country. you probably won't be surprised that i referenced one again a
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comment i've not seen where you've made any apologies for it when you said, and i hope you backed off of this remark you said i certainly don't want to give the impression they are in to create jobs. the statement is that they can't support their children are making car payments because according to the 2012 study by the research company, the investor's business daily estimated 1.7 million jobs in the united states and that number is projected to go to 3.5 million by 2035 and according to the energy information administration natural gas production is expected to rise an estimated 44% through 4040. without the use of hydraulic fracturing technology the nation's security and economic economy would be compromised and
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no jobs would be lost. with that in mind you stated recently in the interview the globe there is nothing inherently dangerous in the sound engineering practices can't accomplish so do you agree that the fracturing is safe and that there's not been a single documented case of groundwater contamination yes or no? i would ask you if you can't answer that way you don't know where you refuse to answer? >> i would like to explain that a little. >> i would ask you yes or no. >> i do not know if a documented case. >> you don't know where you don't care. back then that was a terrible statement. >> actually it was taken out of context. >> it wasn't taken out of context. why would you have made it?
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>> it was celebrating the fact that we have been successful in reducing environmental pollution -- you agree that the hydraulic fracturing -- do you agree to that? >> i cannot -- >> state regulators have the expertise and the experience necessary to oversee hydraulic fracturing. do you agree to state regulators are generally quite knowledgeable about the local and geological conditions in the operations they oversee yes or no? >> they are knowledgeable and they seek the technical advice. >> the answer is yes. do you think the epa is suited for the operations in the state regulators who are already doing so, yes or no? >> with water quality status the first line of defense. >> yes or no. >> i'm trying to understand how.
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>> maybe i can't understand anything you say because you're hard to believe. do you believe that natural gas prices will remain low if the epa has regulations that restart reductions coming yes or no? >> i think that a large component of the nation's energy security relies on the development of oil and natural gas. >> the nation depends on and all of the above energy strategy and use of technologies like hydraulic fracturing and security would need to support it, not detour. i yield back my time. >> of the gentleman from connecticut is recognized for a question. >> thank you, administrator. connecticut as you know exceptionally well has been a beneficiary of the improvements to help the clean air act and so
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i would like you to talk a little bit about the situation. many utilities have already installed the devices on their facilities. if the epa at this time were to pull back on the clean air regulations governing these utilities would they have an incentive to run these devices and what would be the associated impact on the quality and public health particularly for those of us on the eastern seaboard west to east winds are the recipient of wood is burned in indiana, ohio and elsewhere. >> with the control equipment working, that sector remains the largest single stationary sector in terms of the ounce of pollution. we have been working hard with them but there is no question that there is financial incentive to bypass equipment when it's available to be done. i would assume if we were to pull back on the regulations
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what you are goin you're going s increased admission into that results directly in public health impact than the severe as thousands of premature deaths. >> i know that we have seen those rates rise very substantially into those are costs that are borne by prematurely the state governments would then have to pick up the tab and by insurance companies. >> and many because of pollution that comes to you from facilities run very far away. >> certainly members of congress who have suggested that eta has regulations based on the faulty scientific evidence do you explain in detail and i will ask my question then was and how the scientific process that underpins the regulation to
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flush that out a little bit more? >> the process is to establish the peer review panels. we can do this by seeking advice on the national academy of sciences and regulation science advisory board and use consultants that follow similar processes and establish again transparent, robust, balanced here review. the science advisory board is a highly transparent professional entity where we complied with those regulations. we follow all of the guidance that's given in the directives by the office of management and budget and how to do our work. itv that we are a model for transparent high-quality science. the science advisory committee was mentioned that committee was just recently looked at by our
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own ig office of inspector general who just issued a report commending us for how solid our panel was in our ability to have that a balanced and appropriate. we are always working to enhance that but i'm proud of the site's -- science this agency relies on to make us do the right thing in terms of the mission which is the public holds protection. >> i'm shuttling between hearings and currently in the transportation infrastructure hearing we are talking about the cost of sandy and the underwater lions in the state of connecticut and new york and new jersey the impact of the severe weather systems that we see. can you talk a little bit about how in the epa other than the
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curbing of greenhouse gas emissions was other work is the epa doing to look at the scientific and the very real economic impact on the eastern seaboard that we are seeing from climate change and severe weather conditions. >> in 2012 dot the cost associated with disaster response topped $120 billion. that's what happens. and what we know is that in the face of the changing climate, these types of disasters are going to become more and more prevalent if we don't reduce greenhouse gases. if you look at the work of this agency, we have not only been funding efforts at the local level and the state level to look at how you can adapt to changing climate. we put out a plan that requires -- as a pathway forward for the epa to look at how it does its business working with the community is so we look at the changing climate and factor that into our decision-making and our ability to work more carefully
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and collaboratively with local communities and the state moving forward. >> and my heart goes out to connecticut. it is my home away from home. mr. mccarthy, thank you for appearing before this hearing today. >> thanks for inviting me. i have several questions and so if you could keep your answers short and direct as you know setting the level for the new source for the standards, the clean air act requires you to set the best system of the mission reductions for technology that has been adequately demonstrated. we have had several hearings in this committee on the new standards where we've heard testimony whether the technology necessary to meet the standards has actually been adequately demonstrated that of a full-scale powerplant.
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i would ask your colleagues from the department for number of occasions if they could give me examples of where the full-scale powerplant far located at their testimony is none of them are operating anywhere in the world. they are not operating with the technology how can you say that has been adequately demonstrated? >> we believe that the technology has been adequately demonstrated. the technology is proven and available and in fact the technologies and facilities that you see being constructed today are actually utilizing. >> can you provide me an example of a full scale plant that is currently operating in this technology? >> i can give you examples of two that are 75% complete and an example of others that are coming up that are also in the
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planning stages. >> so what would those be? >> we have the facility that's 75% complete and there is another project in canada that is also you utilizing it in the way that's proposed in the new source. >> the clean coal power initiative funding. >> it's my understanding that there has been funding supported by the doe. they continue to have funding available for these type of projects. >> so they are receiving the funding. >> yes. that's my understanding. >> it's kind of interesting than because the energy policy act of 2005 clearly states projects receiving funding from this program can't be used to prove technology is adequately
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demonstrated so the examples are receiving funding and you can't use those, so can you explain your logic on that? we are regulating and proposing this under the clean air act which is specific in both its intent as well as its history of application. there is no question that the technology is available. the components of ccs have been in place for decades so the question is it reasonable in cost and is it available for this sector? they have proposed that and we are open to comments to you we will be getting to that shortly. but i think through that process you will see that this technology is well known and available and being invested to
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date and it's going to work and be a pathway forward going into the future. >> to summarize what you've said that there is no full-scale powerplant operating in this today is that correct? >> these components are being obligated -- >> that there is no full-scale powerplant operating in these. >> but the ones being investigated would operate at higher levels. >> and you are using federally funded ccs projects to argue technology is adequately demonstrated, yet the 2005 act prohibits you from doing that. >> we think it has been adequately demonstrated. >> but not on the full-scale basis. >> we have it on other applications. it is being invested today into two of the facilities are 75%
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complete and on their way. >> no plans can be dull to without utilizing this technology and we don't know that it's adequately demonstrated for these plans because we don't have a full-scale model. >> we believe it has been adequately demonstrated. >> that's not on a full-scale model. >> it has been utilized in other industry sectors. >> but not on these plans. >> i've already indicated to you we know who are being constructed today. >> we don't have any history that has technology is to accomplish that and a second come into beats any kind of cost-benefit analysis. >> the cost-benefit analysis, is that what we are talking about, sir? >> you don't have a model where this technology is.
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>> we know the industry sees the ccs technology is a pathway forward and we see it as one that is available to it and ones that we are hoping what assistance it will continue to progress and it will get less and less expensive. that is how technology gets developed. but in this case all of the components as well as those together have been demonstrated over and over as being viable and effective and we b the we be that debate will the path forward for coal. it's a big part of our energy supply. i know it's going to continue to be a big part of our energy supply. we've tried very hard to make sure we look at the technology available today so it continues to have a path forward. >> but we don't tend to use research funds for things being determined. we are using research funds to try to prove this up and you were using it as an example that is demonstrated. it doesn't make sense.
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>> we are coordinating very closely and if you have listened and heard from the folks today you will know they share our opinion about the availability and that it's been demonstrated but it's exciting to think that we could make it more cost effective moving forward and that you could expand the range of sequestration opportunity. so they are actually working very hard with the industry to continue to move technology forward. that is only good news. that is not bad news. >> we do not know if it is adequately demonstrated. >> pursuant to the discussion earlier about the sufficiency i ask and i must consent to enter into the record and butter from the texas commission on environmental quality and about committee received just last week that makes it clear that data provide makes it impossible to replicate the findings in the
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epa and they will be made a part of the record and we will go now to the gentleman from maryland, ms. edwards. >> thank you mr. tremaine and mathematica in a straighter. i appreciate you being here and/or patients. we have heard described on the committee and the congress frankly questions about the epa reliance on faulty and secret science, questions about the epa transparency and accountability and i want to thank you for the transparency and accountability the epa has provided for the volumes of data correspondence that the committee has received and i'm just curious but sometimes they ask for information and sometimes documents that is evidence by questions here today. i'm a strong supporter of congressional authority that i
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really am concerned about whether we may be overstepping our authority in terms of what we are requiring of the agency. we are just one committee of hae many that's making these types of requests to the epa so i wonder if you can tommy how much time and energy is spent by your colleagues in responding to these volumes of requests? the. >> congresswoman, we know how important it is to be transparent, and we will do our best to respond to any requests congress rings to us. it is a significant burden in terms of resources. but that's just the amount. i don't mean a burden in a negative sense. we want to be open and responsive, but we receive thousands of these types of requests. we do our best to answer them as expeditiously as we can. i think the times when we have had difficulty is when we have been asked to release the data that the epa does not have available to it.
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then it becomes an extra effort for us to make sure we bridge those gaps. when we fully expect that researchers themselves will access that data as they have always done and work it out that way. >> let me ask you this because we have heard some discussion of conflicts of interest. and i can understand and we have heard testimony in the committee that when you are forming -- when there is peer review and you are delving into an area of expertise is a very narrow area there are only so many folks that have the kind of experience that you can draw upon. some of those media an may be ay into some of them may be academics who've received grants. when uss conflicts of interest -- and i'm just like a chief lawyer. so i always thought the idea behind the conflict was revealing the conflicts and having them as fast and then making a determination about
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whether that conflict would prohibit adequate performance and independent performance in a peer review situation. is that how the epa looks at conflict of interest? >> that's exactly how we do that. you're right that there are opportunities or instances where we have a very narrow expertise that isn't a presented that's critical to a fellow science technical question and in that case we do a thorough investigation. we posted the results of that so that people can know the background and we can make sure that it's balanced, fair, equitable discussion and about as transparent as we also believe can be. and so we do that but for folks who are the scientists as well as folks that bring their history in the industry to the table. >> is there anything necessarily exclusionary whether a person receives billions of dollars in the company profits from an
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industry or whether a person receives thousands of dollars from the administration in doing research. is there anything exclusionary that would prohibit service on a science advisory panel? >> i don't believe so but what it means is we must have a rigorous and transparent review process and we must share that information with the public so that before the panel they can offer their suggestions in comments and criticisms and we can make sure that we have the most robust, fair, comprehensive science available to us. >> i want to ask you about your work on climate change because there is a lot of discussion also. is it your view from the administration that you have sufficient data to back the work that you're doing around climate change into that in fact it's
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happening and there are certain effects that would enable you to do cool making in that area? >> iadb that i have a wealth of data that is more than sufficient and i believe that the supreme court has agreed with me, which is nice. >> can you tell me about some of the rulemaking that you are engaged in going in that direction and relate that to the mission of the epa protecting our public health and the environment? >> the president's climate action plan identifies the mitigation opportunities with reductions in greenhouse gases as well as addressing adaptation and then international issues. the epa is involved in all three of the most important i want to get at is our opportunity through that reduced greenhouse gases so we can try to mitigate significant impacts associated with increased emissions and higher levels of climate change.
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and so, what we are really looking at is first and foremost regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector of the renewed facilities and existing. we have already issued a proposed rule for the new facilities and we are beginning listening sessions and discussions on how we can best put out a proposal next june for existing facilities. the reason why we want to do this is that climate change is not an environmental problem. it's a serious public health and economic problem as well as an environmental challenge. and so, what happens with a changing climate is that the weather gets hotter and when the weather gets hot at the ozone levels increase and when the ozone levels increase, your kids go to the hospital more often with asthma. in this country one out of ten children have chronic asthma. we are talking about a serious public health challenge treated allergy season extended. we are seeing over impacts from
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different types of mosquitoes and other diseases moving north as the weather gets warmer. things are changing and not for the best in terms of public health and a changing climate. it threatens the health, safety and well-being of communities and individuals and it's something we must address now. >> thank you for the testimony and for the work that you do to protect all of us. >> the gentleman from illinois is recognized. >> thank you mr. tremaine and administrator mccarthy for testifying today. i believe that what you're doing is important. that being said, i have a number of problems with how the epa has done its job without adequate stakeholder input or their full grasp on the negative impact on the rules on the regular americans agree i think it's important to point out how far we have come even according to your own data since the implementation of the clean air
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act aggregate emissions have dropped by 72% while energy consumption has increased by 47%. vehicle mile traveled has increased by 165% and more important gdp by 219%. that is why i will continue pushing your agency to base regulations on sound scientific principles and practices to make the data over the public for review and to utilize commonplace statistical measures and methods all of which the epa has seen when the facts don't necessitate what often appears to be a politically predetermined regulatory approach. as you know section 316 of the clean water act requires best technology available to minimize harm to aquatic organisms living in water that are withdrawn through the cooling water intake structures for power plants today for the last three and a half decades the state permitting authorities have been setting up the necessary controls on the site-specific
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basis, but unfortunately it now appears that the epa is again attempting to rewrite the rules to expand your regulatory power. when relying on the science that epa hasn't been able to justify this cool making and that is because the costs always outweigh the benefits. your agency has recognized there will be no benefits to human health and the economic benefits for potential improvements to commercial recreation bodies the benefits will not justify the new rules cost either. since the agency has been unable to justify with their standard method i'm troubled with the idea of the non- youth benefits that you are attending to put in place and even more troubling is the way that t they tend to assn value to the benefits. i think every member in the room can attest the inaccuracy and it's troubling to me that the epa would turn away from science into a public opinion when the epa did their survey asking how
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much money the public was willing to spend to save, to give a number of fish the numbers productively came back and did. then they handed the issue to the advisory board. it could be interpreted to force power plant owners to monetize the benefits and perform willingness to pay surveys for the specific control technologies on a site-specific basis. although it is the first attempt to justify the rulemaking with a willingness to pay the surveys i i'm also worried that this country virgil methodology won't encroach into other rulemaking. if this happens public opinion polling will become the backbone of many epa regulations instead of science that i think it's important states are allowed to continue exercising permitting discussion and asking can you confirm that the final 316 will will not require states to consider the nonuse benefits or require plant owners to conduct a willingness to pay surveys in the permitting process?
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>> the final is at the office of management and budget so i am constrained about going into too much detail but we have heard similar comments during the public process. the survey that we did was appropriate on a national level to get a handle on people's willingness to pay for the types of improvements that these technologies would bring. we don't expect that to be the way in which they make the case by case decision. >> the most important thing is on the public opinion polls. you can ask us how we feel about them and the accuracy of them based on a scientific decisions into the cost on them is very troubling. i have another question i hope to get answered regarding when they plan on publishing rules addressing the volume requirements for the renewable fuel standard. as you know in the predictions made when designing or not being realized by those predictions haven't been realized the agency
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is everyone else downstream asked to get answers in the early adjustment for this requirement that i think everyone was pleased that the first came at a time a manner which hoped to bring certainty for all parties involved. the final rule for the adjustment was published in the beginning of the summer of 2010 and the rule came in january of that year. what is troubling is how long it took the epa to issue the final rule for 2014. it didn't happen and how the middle of august. it's important that our businesses and farmers be able to plan ahead for this can you give the committee assurances that he will focus on getting a final ruling in a reasonable amount of time and if you can get a perspective date or time frame when you expect to have this rule published. >> of the rule to establish limits for 2014 is soon to be proposed. it will take some time. we did a tv set in the 2014
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proposal. the only thing i want to make sure the committee is aware of is the levels that we are talking about for the renewable fuel to get into the system are not predictions. they are congressional mandates that we are dealing with and trying to understand the authority congress gave us. >> my time is winding down and i want to be respect for the five minutes. so, the issue is bringing certainty to the businesses and the sooner we can get these the earlier -- i would just ask you for my farmers and my business is to have it as quickly as possible and with that i yield back. >> the gentleman from california is recognized. >> thank you administrator mccarthy for your testimony today and appearance before this committee. it's frustrating to me to sit here and listen to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle beating up on the epa. my colleagues and i have seen firsthand how the epa -- my
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constituents and i have seen firsthand how the epa into the clean air act has improved air quality and advanced public health in my district. the stories were just as compelling. a study by the epa shows that by 2020, the benefits of the clean air act while outweigh the cost by more than 30-1. it's helped improve public health by cutting down the cases of asthma, heart disease and infant mortality and by 2020 is expected to return to 17 million lost workdays because people are healthier. iab leave the epa is a driver of innovation pushing the industry to adopt new standards that protect the environment and improve public health and create jobs in emerging fields. administrator mccarthy, could you go into more detail about how the rules have actually
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created jobs and what has grown because the epa action? >> it helps me to put the job in a little bit more perspective. i think you would see as we have done a considerable amount of analysis as we do with every rule about every significant rule looking at the job implications we have been able to meet these considerable reductions at the same time as we have been able to continue to grow the economy here in the u.s. we are looking at a publishing control technology industry that now tops around $2 billion annually. we are leaders internationally in those issues. it's because we have been moving in a concerted pace to get better and better at how we reduce pollution and we are doing it in a way that is affordable and extremely beneficial to the public health. we are talking about saving millions of lives. we are talking about improving the health of our most
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vulnerable populations, our children and elderly and have growing jobs, not taking them away and we can provide you with significant more detail but i would appreciate your asking the question because peta is about public health but we always do is conscious of how we can reduce in economic impacts and actually build the economy at the same time. >> matt and i just want to clarify something. my colleague mr. rohrabacher cited a report which indicated an inherent conflict of interest found among academic members of the advisory committees. however this report which i have right here made no such conclusion. rather i if noted that these grants are actually two the academic institutions where the member is employed, not the member and only a very small portion of any of the clan may be paid to the member.
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is that your understanding as well? >> yes it is. >> with a conclusion, mr. chairman, with a discussion of the committee regarding the harvard and american cancer society studies, i would like to enter into the record letters the chairman received on october 30 from harvard, brigham young university, acs, the american cancer society. these raise concerns regarding the release of individual health information. >> without objection, those letters will be made a part of the record but for clarification the letters are addressed to the epa and not to me. >> thank you mr. chairman. madam administrator, if i understand the science advisory committees, the industry is in your opinion the industry is adequately represented on the committee's for a full balance
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of views? >> the members on these panels don't represent specific sectors. they do represent expertise and knowledge and experience. and for my experience in working with these panels is that folks that worked in the industry usually provide a perspective that's necessary on the panels so it is a broad and balanced panel when we pull them together. that's required under the law and we go up o of and beyond to ensure that that's the case. >> there was no such closed loop that these are open-minded panels that are not contained by a particular ideology cracks. >> that is what we are required to do under the law and i think we do a very good job ensuring that it's not at all close. it's very open. we just look for good expertise so we can get the best science. >> thank you mr. tremaine. >> the gentleman from georgia is recognized for his questions.
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>> thank you mr. tran. administrator mccarthy, i have a limited amount of time and many questions so please answer as quickly as you possibly can so we can get through. i'm a physician and want to make sure we are on the right page about the basic principles of toxicology, one of which is that the dose makes the poison. a good example is to aspirins help relieve a headache and 50 is a toxic dose to read what you agree on the premise that those makes the poison? >> i don't want to speak to the -- the dosage is very important to us. >> so the answer is yes you even though five particular missions have dropped 55% over the last two decades, it is noted on your own website, the epa website for air quality trends, your agency has been very concerned with health effects associated with a fairly low dosage, low levels of particular matters. it's been the basis of much of your recent clean air act
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regulations agency analysis suggests that hundreds of thousands of americans die from exposure every year. according to your website come in numerous scientific studies have linked particular particle pollution exposure to penetrate after mccants or, nonfatal heart attacks and aggravated asthma. as the science suggests pm can cause cancer? >> i do not know. i cannot answer that i'm sorry. i don't know what the words suggest is and i don't know how the scientists would interpret that. i'd wait until they tell me. >> the most recent assessment of pm stated that there was, quote, strong epidemiological evidence linking, short-term exposure as measured to cardiovascular respiratory more mobility. is that still true?
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>> i believe so. >> if the dosage makes the poison as you indicated and i believe so, too do you think hundreds of thousands die from particular levels of the lowest level why has your agency conducted a series of human tests in north carolina that exposes unknowing volunteers? they have no knowledge of the exposure including those with pre-existing respiratory issues and asthma to the particular concentrations as high as 750 micrograms that's more than 60 times the standard. would you explain please? >> to my knowledge we have not done that. >> yes ma'am, you have and the inspector general has been investigating this, and we found out about this through the
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freedom of information act. were these individuals informed they were being suggested and the epa thinks it causes mortality and cancer especially since many came from susceptible populations? >> it's my understanding that the human studies work that we are doing was recommended by the national academies. it's done with the highest ethical standards. >> i disagree because these people according to the knowledge we've got as they were unknowingly being exposed to these high levels of exposure if particular matter and as i mess -- as a physician this is unethical. let me ask you a question because my time is running out. are you signed up for obamacare? >> know i'm not. >> why? >> i'm lucky enough in the federal government that i have healthealthcare available to meh i signed up for. in a few years when that's not
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the case i will be happy to have other available -- >> the president says obamacare is much better than forcing most federal employees into a obamacare and obviously if you're not signing up, you don't think it is. >> i would yield back. >> the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for questions. >> we have had some problems with the audio system. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you madam administrator for being here and i apologize for the raspy voice. apologies. i just wanted to start off by saying welcome. it's always nice to see another member of the red sox nation here today and certainly in front of our committee. i want to thank you for all of your hard work over the past
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several months. i look forward very much to working with you in the years ahead. i had a couple of questions if you don't mind and first is an issue pertaining to my district. the past two decades the epa has made admirable progress in attacking the lingering pollution and contamination issue in the local municipalities. they have dire long-term health and safety consequences not to mention financial ones. back home in my district in massachusetts i hear concerns about the cost of compliance with some of those regulations in almost every city and town. do you disagree on the importance of the regulations but the struggle to get back on the feet post recession to deal with an already crippling loss of state and federal dollars due to the budget situation here. the price tag of compliance can seem nearly impossible. the city was a combined overflow project is estimated to cost $185 million to date along with 8 million the debt payments
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every year. this is an old industrial city with an unemployment rate around 13% and income that struggled to break $30,000 a year. similarly, looking at $100,000 a year in additional spending for the storm water management. ithey've included a pilot progrm to reduce phosphorus in the waterway of that it is about $111 million up front. a price tag which is borne by the panel and would be felt tremendously by the local business. this around and towns are both looking at the bills of about 75 million to 30 million respectively in the program. when i talk to local officials and businesses, they want -- they have a genuine desire to be compliant. they are bringing up their children and grandchildren in the neighborhood to see the value of clean air and water. they are concerned about the contamination, pollution and other hazards and how baby caddick on their hometown and they know that the cost of the savings that they are stuck. so i wanted to ask you in your
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opinion in the federal government, not just to the epa that the government to give to the strapped municipalities to go on. i have of course understanding the fiscal constraints the government is under right now but knowing obviously this is an issue that's important to you as well. >> thank you for raising those and your voice on this discussion would be freely welcome. we are working on these issues pretty diligently primarily with the conference of mayors because all of them understand the challenge and why it's important for the public health and their environmental resources that we tackle the more challenging water quality issues that we are working on this i and a number f different fronts and the epa has funds available to support this. is it enough to go around? it's never expected it to be. it will be a challenge that we try to prioritize that and make
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sure we are getting the biggest bang for the buck and helping those most in need so we are trying to work on a way to make this a much more collaborative process where we understand the constraints of the cities and towns and we don't expect things they cannot deliver but we work to find the least cost opportunities to make continued environmental progress moving forward. >> and then madam administrator if i can ask, and i apologize i stepped out of moment but there's been two studies discussed today i can refer to them shorthanded a harvard study into the american cancer society is that right? would you characterize those institutions as reputable? >> yes. >> well-known? >> capable and providing well-regarded study rather than? >> i would. >> these studies have been peer-reviewed?
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>> many times. >> through contractors for the agency through the national community and through the epa. >> and sometimes public-private partnerships. so is that review all government-funded? >> no. >> part of the funding that was done by a group that was founded by the automotive industry is that right? i yield back my time. >> you it was at the shortest answers of the day. congratulations. the gentleman from indiana. >> thank you. a brief statement about bias. amy cardiovascular surgeon so i know quite a bit about health and i recently reviewed the data from the american lung association they put out about a particular matter and look at the background o of the funding for all the studies and low and behold, the -- everything they
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used was pretty much very far left leaning, global warming activists are foundations that privately funded these things. and in addition to that, the potential health benefits based on computer modeling, not on actual data but a computer model projecting the data results into the future not based on actual factual data with human studies and to make matters worse, the computer modeling was developed by an individual who had a financial stake in the success of the model going forward. in fact i have the chief medical officer from the american lung association come down from new york to discuss this in my office and voice my disappointment that an organization that is highly esteemed would be using the data which in my view is biased.
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but my question goes in another direction. in september your agency proposed a rule that represents the clearest and first in the administrations war on coal. every coal mine in the state, our state and 88% or so of our power comes from coal. it supports the economy. my dad was a coal miner so i've known this industry forever. i wouldn't be here if it weren't for that. the standards for the power plants will essentially prevent construction at another power plant in this country essentially. in the first few pages of the eta cost-benefit analysis, you admit that this policy will come and i quote, result in a negligible co2 emission change
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or quantified benefits through 2022. in your view should the federal government regulate the coal-fired power plants in this manner if there are no benefits? that is an up or down. >> we should be regulating from the common missions. >> then your statement that you made that was incorrect that there is a benefit through 2022 because the quote in the first few pages of the cost-benefit analysis and i quote again result in the negligible co2 emission changes or quantified benefits through 2022. >> which is a reflection of the industry and the market as it sits today. so even in light of the fact that epa admits there is no benefit to it. >> of the issue is that .. isn't being invested except the few
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instances where carbon capture sequestration is being invested. when we want to make sure we take advantage of those new technologies and make sure that we do with the clean air act says just to underpin those reductions. >> that's fair and i think the industry would agree that constant innovation and technological advances is something that the industry also believes in and will invest in. that said, is the technology currently commercially available on a large scale for indiana and the midwest to meet the proposed standards? >> on a large scale? >> you might quote at the technology is available in some academic setting or in an area of the country say things are very close but specifically related to the co2 emission and capture and all, my understanding is currently there
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is not commercially available large-scale technology to comply in indiana with the regulation. so the regulation is in place but there is no commercially available technology to comply. is that true or not true? >> we be leaving his commercially available. is it going to be broadly disseminated at this point? know we don't be visa because most of the facilities that are being constructed our natural gas facilities. they are the most competitive but where the coal is being invested is with ccs. >> of the gentlemathe gentlemana is recognized for questions. >> thank you mr. chairman and madam administrator i should start by mentioning the first job i had out of college was the epa in washington dc and i left to pursue other interests and here i am back again with you but it's nice to see you. welcome and thank you for your
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service. i want to ask about hydraulic fracturing but for the context of what to call your attention to the work at the institute for strategy competitiveness at the harvard business school michael porter and jan rivkin have done a study what would make the united states the most competitive place to do business in the world and they've identified a lot of things we've heard about like highly skilled immigration, integration of highly skilled individuals, corporate tax reform come overseas profits, international trade and simplifying the streamlined regulation for improving the communication and the infrastructure and the sustainable budget and responsible development of american gas and oil reserves as important component of competitiveness worldwide. first i wanted to ask a little bit about do you think that it's possible to develop these reserves responsibly, is that the epa position? >> i believe so. >> tell me a little bit about
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what you think the approach should be and i want to give you time because i don't feel like -- you get interrupted sometimes when you try to get these answers. what should be the approach to the development of this i would ask you to touch on two things in particular. one is obviously water and supply and quality that the emission of gas including methane which is a super public and and also how you would avoid the double regulation because i understand there's other agencies in the government who may be doing things that are overlapping. >> there's a lot of state governments working on this issue as well. >> i would want to agree with you about the importance of the expanded natural gas availability. it has been a game changer in many ways and it is important for the national security as well as the continued ability to have all of the energy resources available. i think what the epa has been doing is in two ways one is the president has been very clear
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about the fact that natural gas and its availability has been an incredibly important to the country but it also needs to be done safe and responsibly. and i think the kennedy knows that we are working on a large project with other agencies of the federal government to look at what her quality challenges and implications associated with hydro for acting -- fracking. we are in the middle of the study. it's very robust and we have donbeen able to outreach and webinars and we are gathering as much information as we can doing technical workshops and we expect a draft will be out for the peer review in the end of 2014. ..


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