tv Energy Policy CSPAN June 15, 2018 2:20pm-3:23pm EDT
earliest years and what i was like when the city is first developed. >> and then a visit to two jacks one of the city's oldest restaurants. >> food here takes a much larger piece than it does anywhere else. we love to eat in new orleans. >> watch chance's cities tour of new orleans, louisiana, saturday at noon eastern on c-span to's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates exploring america. >> interior policy council vincent devito talked about the trump administration's energy dominance agenda and discussed how the department out workings with other agencies to streamline its permitting and approval processes, including making more decisions at the local level. this atlantic council conversation lasts an hour.
[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. welcome to the atlanta council. i'm david livingston and i'm the deputy director here in our global energy center. responsible for our advanced energy and climate portfolio. as we work to build out a robust set of programming aimed at technologies, policies and the markets of tomorrow, it is a great pleasure to be hosting mr. devito here today for an excite can event on the role that the department of interior plays in america's advanced energy future. it's also a pleasure to be hosting this event today with so many familiar faces in the audience and such a distinguished set of guests. i'd like to thank the department of interior for its cooperation with today's event and i'd also like to thank our terrific staff
here at the council, especially becca for putting this event together today. the don't of interior is an gamp overlooked pillar of the american energy architecture and manages a fifth of the land in the united states, 335,000-mile -- 35,000-mile money offered coast lon, and it also oversees 700 million-acre owes subsurface minerals. it is responsible not only for managing the wealth, this natural capital, if you will, but also overseeing the conditions under which some with is responsely and sustainable transformed into income in the form of energy production. indeed the department of interior is the seconds largest source of government revenue after the irser is. while the majority of these revenues have been generated through fossil fuel production, there is also a significant opportunity to harness america's abundant renewable energy
potential on public lands. from offshore wind to large scale solar power to ocean wave energy, to geothermal power the lands and waters to the united states are replete with opportunities to produce clean, modern and affordable energy. against the backcrop it is a great flour welcome today mr. vincent devito, counselor to second zinke. her has responsible for coordinating energy policy of the many individual bury rows as well as with other government agencies and has been an advocate near role that advanced energy cack and should play in the trump administration's energy policy. he previously held several senior leadership roles at the u.s. department of energy and in many state energy offices. following his address, mr. devito will be joined on stage for an armchair conversation with cynthia
quarterman, fellow here she has send in key leadership roles in the department of transportation, and the department of the interior, including serve has former direct orow in minerals management service in the clinton administration image think of no one better to lead a pragmatic and frank conversation on the role of advanced energy across american land and american weares. so, i without further adieu it's a pleasure to wok to the podium vincent devito. [applause] >> thank you. an outstanding introduction. appreciate it. thank you everybody for coming today, and listening to us. hopefully you will have some good takeways to share. thank you hereafter from the atlanta counsel 'obut this together and every from doi as well.
if lou you love you starteds with the stats. i happen performed remarks but never use them. they're very gut by'll start with the predded stats. one of the things that i have learned being at interior over the past year or so is that's enormity of that department and its responsibilities. one of the figure that wasn't mentioned, which is appropriates for today is that we are the seconder largest producer of hydroelectricity in the nation with our generating dams, which is remarkable, and i have decided to learn that because my background as a corporate attorney was focused on the energy space and i -- as the electricity market on my long suit. if been able too bring that background to bear. part of interior spans 12 time zones. i believe it or not. 70,000 employees and we have about 2600 operating locations,
and by some measure, at least with the scientists in our -- in the usgs office we manage the largest holdings of energy resources in the world. bar none. and before i started saying that publicly i went up one side and down the other with the scientist quizzing them on that, and they kept on coming back that way situation so i've been saying that for quite some time and i call them holdings because we're managing these assets not on behalf of the government but on behalf of the taxpayers, which gets to a little bit to the point of why i am doing what i'm doing and why the position was created by president trump and secretary zinke. for context, maybe helpful to know that i've known sect zinke for quite some time.
so we were friends before we started to work together, and i'm pleased pleaseed to report e still friends. the realities is, the department of interior has had the vast energy portfolio since its inception, however, it hasn't had the type of priority that the current administration, political leadership, has been providing it. so, in other words, department of interior has a strong mission of conservation and it is a strong steward of the environment, and there's no better friend than any of us could have with regards to conservation and the environmental stewardship than secretary zinke. however into addition dose functions this administration has added a management --
corporate manage next business sense of the energy portfolio. so the secretary, decided that it would be functionally smart to have somebody there hat could coordinate the policy of management of all the energy portfolio which permeates all aspects -- we used to say nine out of the ten agencies but really it's ten out of the ten agencies so we can have armonnized energy policy across the board and the purpose for that which was mentioned earlier, really does have a strong revenue function within the department of interior. for the federal government. and what we noticed when we began was that revenue was way, way down. an offshore alone, in 2006, was about $18 billion of revenue coming into the federal government through the department of interior.
by 2016, it was down to 2.8 billion, and so that's about a loss of -- that's a loss of 15 billion over the course of time, on average $10 billion a year. so why did that happen any was fortunate enough to be invite bid this position to examine that and so looking at is there a way to remedy that. one of the first thing its learn doing due dial generals, look to go numbers -- diligence, look at the numbers in the energy economy which is something i was close to, there was a lot of investment going on and a lot of growth going on. however there was no growth going on in federal lands. so you had investment in private lands, state lands and other countries going like this, and you had investment going into federal holdings, going down like this. so, that's a problem because as
the fiduciaries on behalf of the tax fires manage the artsies wave to fire out a better run on our equity. so, i'm going out and talking to folkses and looking at policies and examining how the dollars were flowing the way they were. ... other places for energy investment dollars to flow as places of competition. one of the first things we did
is address the cultural change. you probably saw that developing pretty strongly not only politically but also economically in this country over the past few years. but inside interior, , recognizg across all the agencies that the energy portfolio is not something that we should not be promoting. in fact, it's the opposite. we should be promoting our energy assets and wearing thin probably on our sleeves. the reason for that is that they energy economy in this country is as important as any other aspect of our economy, and as i said earlier, it's growing. so the concept is promoting our energy economy, being proud of it is not a new notion. other countries do it. most of the country do it. canada does it. mexico doesn't. brazil, you can go down across the maps and pick out countries.
here in the united states i think a little bit because we grow up as a woe is me consuming nation relying on the wind of opec that we haven't quite realized it, but now since everything has shifted in a record production mode, we need to start wearing our energy economy on a sleeve proudly. and our responsibility within interior, it's to make sure that that cultural shift is also happening but without displacing the environmental and conservation focus as well which, by the way, is kind of hand in hand. a lot of the conservation programs that we have are funded by the revenues that we receive from bids, leases, and royalty rates. that's also an important component, money that flows out there to space even to protect parks as well. all of this kind of works
together. as we start looking at reducing the cost of compliance, how would you do that? one way to do it is to see if we could shorten time on terms of permitting, , consultation, and things of that nature. because if you look at what's of the federal government was doing, it took about seven years to get through a process. that wasn't all across the board incidentally in the federal government but it is way too long. these folks, they do have, especially the offshore guys when they are investing in their energy, in their energy portfolio, they understand it takes a certain amount of time before they can get the production. the reality is an order to drive dollars back to the federal government we had to lower as i said before the cost of compliance. one of the ways of doing that, the costs of compliance, i'm talking about the cost that is basically more money to do business with the federal government that than it does wh
other folks, and that's because in order to drive those dollars back to federal holdings, the federal government has to be a better business park, more reliable business partner, just like folks do in everyday transactions. my transactional background brings a lot to this position to help the department of the secretary, achieve the mission of focusing on that. going back to bring down the cost of compliance, shortening the time it takes for investors, those want to invest in federal assets, to receive their permits, is a function we can do procedurally. we have issued a slew of secretary lew orders to achieve just that. the reality is this is nothing new for the federal government. one of the other things i have in my background is being up federal energy realtor commissions were, not that ever worked at but ever-present folks on the outside before and ferc
has a nice process. it has a one year, three application phase and then it has another year for the formal application and then within working with staff and working through litigation matters, you can generally predict as a project proponent, as investor what you're permitting timeline, certificate thomas going to be with ferc. ferc doesn't have to do, doesn't have any other nepa in any other federal agency. we all operate under the same nepa and none of us can change nepa by the way. that will take congress. it's how you process the required environmental protocols. when i don't say what we do is streamlining. because streamlining the least of to me and to many stakeholders meet you actually cutting away certain elements that need to be considered. we are not doing any of that.
expediting is different. expediting is making smart, reasonable, well thought out decisions in a quicker timeframe and holding folks to it. you may have noticed, a lot of people have not, but in this review may have, a few weeks ago a bunch of agencies got together and signed a memorandum of understanding that's called the one federal decision. and you will see that it mirrors that to your process. in fact, the president mentioned in his state of the union earlier this year, but the reality is also some other interesting elements in it, in the m.o.u. provision. one is if you have jurisdiction, you need to be a cooperating agency. i'm a huge fan of cooperating agencies. i been promoting that for many years now, and i would even encourage state agencies to be a cooperating agency with the federal energy regulatory
commission because it gives you, doesn't he be decision-making power but it gives you a seat at the table and i think it's a more efficient way to do business. their arguments against it which i will like it too now but it is part of our one federal decision m.o.u. the reality is if you give any jurisdiction of the environmental review for a major project, you have to be a cooperating agency, which is key. key. that something else we have mirrored inside the department of interior. used to be that all the agencies would operate independently within entry. park service and efficient service and blm, there were not necessary cooperating and they work necessary communicating, so early on to the park service against the blm record of decision and it just didn't make any sense. under the same roof interior, you are having different
decisions across the life for a single project. more importantly, back to the cost of compliance theme i think i'm running with today is that when you're in project proponent, you have to deal with several different agencies across the board, inciting trigger. you know what that means. that means several different staff, different field biologist, different biological opinions. go down from everything is different if they are not operating together. so we are changing that as well and that is also part of the cultural shift that i think the cultural shift is important because as was mentioned earlier, department of interior is a management organization which makes it a a really fun place to work. i think for everybody there. everybody, and this is what i learned there, too, has some type of serious management function. i had some express at department of energy where there seems to
be more of a program agency where they collect money and distribute it out to various r&d programs and the labs, side on the port in nuclear portfolio. interior a lot of the career professionals and political appointees are actually managing. so it seems to be when you make these cultural shifts in terms of priorities, or adding priorities which have early always been there in the first place, there is an element of excitement about that. but to memorialize that, what the secretary has initiated is a reorganization plan. so it's important from his perspective, this administration perspective that if you are going to be a better business partner, if you're going to make decisions that are focused on environmental stewardship and if you're going to make decisions that put conservation as top priority, a lot of his decisions don't need to be made here
inside the beltway because most of what we manage outside of offshore wind, is way out west. so the secretary and his reorganization would like and has been encouraging a lot of these decision to be made by senior executives throughout the department closer to where the impact the actual communities to gifford the second to talk about it from the beginning, part of interior needs to be a better neighbor. the way of achieving that is to do this reorganization where you shift personnel and decisions out west. another way of doing that is to change the way department of interior makes its decisions and does business. so his proposal which you may have seen includes 13 regions so that when a particular decision is made for a specific project or specific policy, those within
that region across all the agencies within doi can participate. he also has been talking about the joint command at the structure so that there is, and you've seen the something to do corporate world. turkey also see in the military world where you see a shifting of leadership over those regions so that everybody has an equal opportunity to be a leader and learn and communicate and share. so this reorganization is something that is going to have longevity to it. these type of cultural shifts and organizational shifts are going to achieve efficiencies. when you achieve efficiencies and achieve decisions quicker, those type of policy changes seem to outlast eight years of president trump and beyond. because they are just good
commonsense government. the important thing here, too, it is creating better documents and making better documented decisions. we saw early on that the amount of judicial review in a negative way was pretty painful that we were absorbing. from prior administrations when it, with the decision dated going to the courts and into judge of the judges say, one of the agencies didn't do the job, go back and do their job. that's a problem because the documents were a sufficient and we have examined that and when the reasons why documents were defective, according to judges him is that there seem to be a lot of cutting and pasting going on between projects. not picking on any particular consultant but we could see. it was evident.
you could see information and decision or any file for that matter i was completely irrelevant so clearly had come from someplace. in the business world, i didn't cut and paste into and from client to client to project to project it did make any sense. each project was different. each transaction was different. the most documents are created. we pay a closer eye to creating better documents so that they have a better chance of withstanding judicial scrutiny of that's another way of you have longevity in some of these policy shifts. so we're very happy with the way and if you believe the career professionals about the agency are very happy with the way we have been prioritizing and reorganizing and managing the department of the interior. clearly we have been doing an awful lot in a short amount of time but that's okay.
we like to operate, as they say, at the speed of decision. we like decisions being made in the field. a lot of times i think some of the thought process is, well, if i don't make a decision, then i'm not going to get into trouble. that's in our philosophy. there's a discussion that can go with that. the secretary explicitly told the career executives and the political leadership at the department of interior, we are all accountable for our jobs. we all let metrics but most importantly do your job seneca decision beginner stands that not every decision made throughout the department is going to be aligned with his thinking but at least if you're making a decision you are moving the ball further down the field and eventually if it does need the secretaries attention and modulation it will happen. a lot of that the occurred specifically with projects, small projects, large projects
that have been stuck in the mud for several years. once he can escape that cultural message out, please make a decision and we can always re-examine. it's not a gotcha exercise. things started to move quicker and better. there have been projects literally that have been language on somebody's a desk for seven years that we have been able to move within seven months. that's just good government. there is no politics of anything else be had. that's just good commonsense government. government has a job do. sometimes, by the way, our philosophy is sometimes the government doesn't have a job to do, right? one of the best things government can do even though we have the ability to regulate in a certain sector or we have discretion to exercise oversight, doesn't mean that you have to regulate for the sake of regulating. so we are addressing that culture as well. being an old agency, since 1849
which mirrors our address, gives us, we don't operate, we don't have a strongly defined -- to save some of her more recent purchases, like the epa or d.o.e. we were formed at a time when cabinet members had a lot of discussion, and secretary zinke does exercise of that discretion, and i think we're doing it in a way that is motivating not only the career professionals that are there because of being able to make decision, but also the longer-term policy goes of his department. and part of my job, to go back to the beginning, it can help the department achieve more revenues, bringing down the cost of compliance. and the way we're measuring that is through actual analytics. we have an economics office by
merrily with an owing in ra with folks able to look at production revenue numbers and we have reversed the trend to happy to say and where trajectory back up your quick getting month reports now on what that looks like. when i first started, talking about bring some business concepts to the government. we asked for the month reports and we we're told they don't e. well, we are trying to be nimble, efficient, do a lot in a short amount of time. and how can you change in real-time relatively real-time policy decisions if they're not have an effect if you don't have the numbers to back up for our due diligence? lo and behold, went through an exercise, got six-month figures, quarterly and monthly and that's all very helpful. so it's remarkable what one administration can change in a year of the single department that has been doing something the same way over and over again, lease on the energy
portfolio and on the metrics side. with managing assets that are so important to this countries economy and so important to the taxpayers. a lot of, one issue i will address before i give myself the hook, i think i was only given ten minutes, i'm probably there right now, is that we are not, i think there's a thought out there, this wrong thought out there, that we in interview, visit administration is drill baby, drill. her solid we are not. we are all the above and everything we've done so far has been basically unlocking the tools that have been in the shed for the past decade or so. what i mean by that is we have not opened up any new areas yet that have been designated for these purposes by prior administrations or by congress. i think that's key to
understand. we are all the above, we're definitely for multiple use and we always implement best practices and pesticides in all of our decisions. so thank you for having me here today. [applause] >> thank you, counselor. for those opening remarks. very interesting to hear what you are thinking about the department. one of the things that both you and david mentioned, and that either when i was at into department, is a very important it is to the energy industry. i think a lot of people think the department of energy has the portfolio to cover energy for the federal government when, in
fact, much of the resources on federal lands are being developed within the department of the intricate. it's very important. i want to go back to your explanation of your position because it is a a new one in ts administration, what is it that you would be doing that is different from past administrations? how are you courtney with the other bureaus within the administration, assistant sector for example, for land and minerals, the white house, other departments? how does it all work together now with you there? >> it works very well. it's been working great for the past 14 months or so. one of the tools that the secretary used to establish his position was a secretarial order, which is key. it's one thing to be in these secretaries office and have -- a great think him he go around the country and get a lot done. it's another thing to have a
secretarial order behind the position in your office which assign specific response was to know what else in the department so that folks understand where those decisions are going to be made and how, to your point, coordination in operations going to continue. i think starting off with the secretarial order was a great tool to have. one of the things were established in that in terms of communication throughout the various agencies, office and peers across the country at doi was establishing and energy liaisons. at the very beginning i asked every director, didn't have them could be anybody, appoint somebody who could participate in this energy liaisons group that i chaired. we started off with that and that was primarily a communication channel. i was surprised. i was a little skeptical is
going to work or not but eating folks to participate and continued to participate in person at a conference calls as a been a remarkable channel not going to discuss the secretary priority but also to receive feedback. initially, i received so much information from the field, as it's called, that it was overwhelming. we were able to triage and address a lot of issues under project site that were important. didn't feel that they were able to channel effectively the hallways. the hallways are that different, as you know, is what we call a flm or blm, et cetera, it's just their main offices. but they felt going through the hallway that we encourage people to respect the hallways, but it just seemed to be a slow process. all we do essentially is when
were given information that bring certain questions to it, we just ask for additional information and we have conversation. if a decision needs to be made one way or another and the sector he agrees with it, it just seems to happen quicker that way. that's one of the other tools wherefore coordination. >> the decision-making process is still within the bureau or is it at the secretarial level or at your level? doesn't depend on what the decision is? >> not everything rises to the level of the secretary's office, and i think overall, the message, the department wide message of priorities coming from the secretary certainly resonates, but each decision doesn't come to our office. at the beginning a lot of the decisions were being made in washington. it just seemed to be, that's that have sexy ones who see
things shake out. we want the decisions to be made out in the field, closer to where the committee's that are impacted by these decisions. however, we found that the beginning there was certain things, whether it was dealing with big issues like venting and firing, or big projects that were languishing, we certainly got involved. i'm kind of ideal lawyer. i don't mind getting into the weeds of a deal. it's something i enjoy doing. we are kind of enabled to do as we examine what the opportunity or examine what the challenge is, whether not we want to get a directly engaged. >> past presidents have talked about energy independence. i think president trump is the first to use the term energy dominance when talking about his goals for the united states. and i'm just curious, most
people when they hear that i listen to the president and to the secretary zinke they think about oil, gas a lot about call as well nowadays. how does the death of the renewable energies fit into that puzzle of energy dominance? >> energy dominance is something that we talk about picketing energy dominance strategy, is really what it is. as i mentioned earlier we are all of the above and argue specific examples to that. just a little context i think, when i talk to the department of energy, we would talk about energy interdependence, then we would talk about energy independence. here now we are talking about energy dominance, and one of my recent meetings with the state department, they have been talking about, and energy
superpower, which ultimately may be the best place to describe exactly who we are and what we do and what energy superpower, perhaps by our energy dominance strategy. one of the fun things about this administration, comparing it back to my prior experience without being negative about prior administrations come is that this administration amongst its agencies is remarkable in its communication with each other. there's a lot more, lease based on past experience, , discussion with state department, department of energy, epa, commerce, defense, you name it. in fact, which i don't think has been done before, this administration, we have weekly meetings, , standing meetings oa calendar with myself, the chief of staff about energy related agencies. we don't meet every week but it's on our calendar.
some of us get, not if you has to the bucket together and to indicate people are fully function and there's a lot of cooperation, a lot of teamwork in this administration which i think isn't necessarily recognize because why would you recognize and lush on the inside? i've been up because of the coordination aspect and a trigger a thought in my mind when of the pleasures of being interested administration is its level of cooperation. the reality is, we're sorely where what d.o.e. is doing on the advanced technology front, and they are aware of what we are picked one of the things we are promoting engines of the energy dominance strategy, it's domestically produced, is offshore wind. so the renewables economy that is coming online in the united states is a new part of the energy economy and it's something that secretary zinke, myself and others are focused on at department of entry. pretty interesting to be on the
ground floor of a new energy sector in the united states. because there had been certain lease sales but we really just trying to work on that. i get into my point at least wearing my hat, is actively maximize the return on that investment for the taxpayers? because the first lease sale for off shore wind block was $200,000. plenty of money. the one after that was in new york, shortly after that, was $40 million. we're going to be doing some more lease sales and those already interest in it but i can't wait to see how much money the taxpayers are going to be making off these blocks that we put up for bidding. because this whole component of offshore wind industry hasn't really been fully explored before in the united states. it's really thrilling to be part of this advance technology. talk about advanced technology.
these are nine mw turbines, holy mackerel, which pretty frankly i thought that was prototype or concept. no. they are actually producing them, right? this is the technology that brings, being brought stateside. our goal and all that is to encourage that technology by creating a pipeline, a supply chain because that will end up being, these are generation units that are too large to ship so that means jobs in norfolk or wherever the end up doing it, and that's all part of energy dominance, domestic supply, security and economically, economic drivers that are help to us all. >> the last administration spent a lot of time indenture department talking about advanced technologies and that sort of thing. wondering come have you made any
changes to the existing regulations or policies, or deeply to plan to make any changes, or are you happy with where you are now? >> we made a lot of changes in a short amount of time with the primary focus of not displacing any of our environmental stewardship mission and maintaining our conservation but also at the same time examining technical aspects of the regulation that may not achieve the desired outcome and disk in the lower part of our economy to thrive. a lot of our changes upfront which is modulating prior regulations to ensure that the energy economy on federal land would be equitable with that on state lands as well. a lot of the relations are state lands were not, not too much different than what we are exercising out under federal side.
.. to be submitted for a new change we adopted from europe. there is a lot of tools in the shed that we are unlocking. at the same time we are trying to be a little innovative by best practices, with things we don't have immediate experience with. >> i know you went to denmark and use other technology pair they really are leaders in this area. what did you take from them to bring back to the united states and how do you put that into regulatory law?
>> i'm a reluctant traveler. [laughter] a lot of traveling. and several stakeholders insisted i have to go check this out. and i said, oh my gosh! i have to go to denmark could we know the drill. anyway, i was convinced. i got so much more from that trip -- we have busy lives and we have family lives. and we do a lot in a short amount of time in these trips. that trip, i extracted so much knowledge and information. i think when i came back you can see the shift in the federal government at the department of interior. it has traditionally been i think dragging his feet a little bit on the offshore wind program to developing that
pipeline so we can see jobs in the future. in that sector. my take away i think, from a bureaucratic sense is a one-stop shop that their energy ministry has. it is one of the reasons we are doing that because of what we learned there. but again, communicate with some of the other agencies, department of defense also has this as well. the interior does not have it but we are developing that as we speak. another take away primarily was you go there and you see the manufacturing shipyard site. where these turbines are being made and there is a lot of white hats going around. you can see the opportunity for real jobs that we don't have in this country yet that could come over here. i came back, maybe being somewhat of a skeptic -- around
2008, i know everything about up at the offshore wind stuff, having been in boston and seeing the way that played out, i was a skeptic as anybody. which may have been my reluctance to do the travel to denmark. but i am glad i did because everything has changed in my head. >> it is funny you should mention that because when i was interior in the 90s they came in for the first time. at that time we had no idea whether we even had afforded the offshore wind and the program. i will ask you one more question, generally, about advanced technologies. i think we need to open it up to the floor for questions. that is, you hear about ocean wave, ocean currents, perhaps offshore solar. is any of that near happening now? >> i would think, the closest
thing i think happening in terms of next generation is going to be the floating turbine. because if california wants to meet -- my opinion is, they will be able to do it all solar. a lot of land, solar is difficult to swallow sometimes because once you put a solar array up that is all the land is good for. they cannot do multiple use strategies with that. the other aspect of solar, especially with the csp, it gets very hot and birds to get affected by that and they get zapped, for lack of a better word. they die. insects, and the more insects come than the birds come. so solar has some hiccups. i think floating, i think some of the floating turbines, not
so much that title, document happening with the title. i would also, the aspect from my point, also the hydro portfolio. we are examining how all of that stuff, it is the government, we want to address that. perhaps with new revenues we are making. but i think bringing some of the better hydro, more efficient hydro technology to the non-generating -- will be key aspect as well. >> when we open this to the group here. >> the microphone is coming. >> how does the administration view this on tribal land? is it a focus? >> absolutely.
we have a bureau of indian affairs. i also chaired something called the world policy committee. where we have academic, tribal, industry and public sector representation. we are very much focused on helping energy development on tribal land. matter of fact, it was raised in one of the meetings i was participating in with the president. what we are trying -- if you talk to the leadership, tribal leadership, they do not want federal government involved at all. i'm not speaking for anybody but generally, that is the message we received. we believe there has to be an element of oversight and cooperation as well. i think the economy is a skill for the and efficiencies. the secretary, i'm unique, right? most senior executives at the department of interior are from
out west. i happen to be from the northeast. massachusetts, of all places. right? and historically, i am not -- i have not dealt with those issues. no one knows those issues and i was more deeply into them than him. it is a focus. we were at a meeting with him this morning where these issues came up. he deals with them personally. >> another question right here in front. >> hi, i am bob, a consultant. had to do with the trade-off energy, environment and cost? >> sure! in our perspective, there are not any trade-offs. for instance, it is important to notice that even though we
are focused on increasing production and revenue we are not increasing the footprint. right? we have other issues that can be resolved there. and from our perspective the trade-off is that in creating, and doing better environmental reviews, creating better records of decision, the environmental benefits and the impact and economic impact of specific projects. that is what the president issued early out of his administration. the result of that is a more thoughtful, thorough examination of all projects and environmental and other documents that go into a record. i do not think it is a trade-off.i think it is a benefit that is being thought through. which is helpful to not only the energy economy and making sure we are focused on it because reality is, any
production here is going to displace production elsewhere. it is just part of the global market. nobody does energy production better than the u.s., period. we are cleaner, more responsible. we meet with these executives and we meet with you know, the folks working in the field. in alaska, if they are smoking a cigarette, they do not like it in the snow in the grass. they put it off site. the secretary said he is a boy scout model which is great because i enjoy that program as well. but you lose your sight -- those in the field of doing this. they have that same -- >> hi pull up that question,
there are those on one side that say you have to spend a lot of time working on that it is so important, in the other side is almost limited to the least amount of time as possible. i always say to people, it really is process rich. you do not decide what is going to happen based on, it is just a process you have to follow. i'm wondering, when you cut down the time for the record of decision, if you have a two-year process, do you perhaps, shoot yourself in the foot? by not having going through the process thoroughly enough to defend against those judicial suits that will probably come up as part of your decision-making. >> part of that expedited process is also project specific. so some of the policy choices
that could be made with regards to nepa procedure is how big an examination has to be done for a particular project? do we have to require a proponent to do a study on impact 20, 30 or 40 years out? or can we look at studies we already have in a specific area that are helpful? do you have to create new information where information already exists? and, do we have to ask for information that is not necessarily relevant? that is one of the ways we can address the process, what i say is protocol, which we cannot tinker with. we can adjust the process to meet the requirements of the protocol. >> any other questions in the audience? in the back. >> hi, i'm with the canadian embassy. thank you for your remarks. i was wondering if i can get
your views on how actions on steel tariffs and quotas could affect the infrastructure construction that is needed for the energy dominant strategy. >> the tariff and trade discussion is part of a larger conversation which is not necessarily in the purview of the department of interior. i will say, so far i have not -- we get lobbied or advocated before in all of these issues which is great. because one of the other fun things about this administration is because of the communication, people come to us on issues that are not directly within our purview to special interest and see how we could be helpful if it's a reasonable thing to do or simply to see what information we will be able to share with them if that is an appropriate thing to do.
but at large, i am not, i'm very close obviously to this project. i've seen mary significant or it has been reregistered on the scale of any impact on those thoughts at all other than we all read about it in the trade. up close and personal to these projects and components and stakeholders, --? what about the big wind turbines that would have to commit for the projects? you don't think they will be affected? >> also you can apply for exemptions as well. we have not jumped off of that bridge yet. all i can tell you is from experience in the meetings i've had that it has not been impactful yet. >> are the questions? we have time for a couple more. >> thanks so much for coming. i'm with the british embassy.
i'm primarily with offshore wind but there may be other industries that you might have some thoughts on this on. you talk a lot about one federal decision and even bring in some state authorities. to hear that perspective. what about local communities and a lot of these projects have local consenting issues. i would be curious to hear your thoughts. >> one of the things i'm doing with regards to, i don't do just offshore wind. i do oil, gas, coal. we'll talk about that and did a lot of it is relevant there. what i'm doing with offshore wind, because it is so localized and these stakeholder impact can be, literally at the beachfront. we directly coordinate with the state. in new york, massachusetts, virginia, new jersey and others. we have a direct communication. i personally meet with the had
elite so they understand p1 of the things end up doing is early on, educating that this is actually a part of our portfolio and something we are working aggressively on. that is the fun part to make sure it is focused also to open up the line of communication. more importantly to your point is, when does commit to the actual permitting, that there can be a level of reciprocation between state and federal government. which i am a big believer in. part of opening the dialogue, but i have this is all about that cooperation. however, we've also gotten into and they are focused on the fishing industry, shellfish and fishermen. those are all important components of this feature part of our economy and they have a seat at the table in the administration just as much is
nobody else does. >> will more question over here. >> hello, my name is george. i'm from the work george washington university. i was wondering the extent -- >> because i would just throw this out there because i think of, one of the great things, secretary ryan zinke talks about this as well. it is the largest in the world energy portfolio. i think because of that, i was invited to speak at the u.s. chamber of commerce. for the first time the department of the interior was ever involved in that conference. we talk about that in terms of the larger energy dominant strategy. also, pipelines are important because it also goes towards other infrastructure.
the transmission some is federal land, submit estate land some of it is crossing indian land. how do you deal with all of that? we did these regions. they are part of this, water boundaries, they are not done -- well, we were going to restructure blm but that did not change much. but we did it through water boundaries to get the systems more normalized. we do reclamation as well. but to get one decision for one project from all the agency in the interior and reasonable fashion so that the project components and opponents do not have to run around the department of interior and have several different meetings. if you go to fish and while that there was that we will not issue a permit until then
because blm has not made the decision. we're really focused on making the process smoother. it is just a better government, commonsense government. it has nothing to do with a project component or opponent. a better way for people to deal with the government. >> any final words on some of the other energy issues? i know we're waiting to see what will happen there. there is a offshore five-year program in process. and advance energy that you would like to give us -- >> is perfect. you have the gulf of mexico, the basin. we are focused on making sure that energy economy is something that we are proud of. something that we are managing in a responsible way and we
continually hopefully take away today that we are definitely, i like pinpointing out this economy that is literally coming online very soon which is remarkable. we are multiple use, and secretary ryan zinke is an excellent steward of the environment and i'm happy to be his friend. thank you for having me.>> thank you for coming, really appreciate it. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> president trump spoke out today by his administration stance on immigration piercing in this tweet the democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the border with the horrible and cruel legislative agenda. any immigration bill must have full funding for the wall and catch and release. visa lottery and go to merit-based immigration. go for it, win. here's what the president said this morning. >> i hate it. i hate the children being taken away. the democrats have to change their law. that is there law. quiet. that is the democrats law. we can change it tonight. we can change it right now.i will leave here -- you need their votes! you need their votes. the democrats, all they have to do --
[inaudible] excuse me, we have a one-vote you need 60. we need 10 votes. wait, wait! you cannot do it through an executive order. [inaudible] can we do one question at a time? the children can be taken care of. quickly, beautifully and immediately. the democrats forced that law upon our nation. i hate it. i hate to see separation of parents and children.the democrats can come to us as they actually are, in all fairness, they are talking. they can change the whole border security. we have to get rid of catch and release. he catch a criminal, take his name release it and he never shows up again. he goes into society. we end up getting him in different ways. often times after he has killed somebody. we have to change our laws.