tv 2019 Energy Budget Request CSPAN March 23, 2018 4:08am-5:43am EDT
and "american history tv" on c-span3. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. energy secretary rick perry recently testified before the senate energy and natural resources committee on the president's 2019 budget request for his department. he also talked about energy infrastructure modernization and cyber security. his testimony is 90 minutes.
. the committee will come to order. we are here today to discuss the president's budget request for the department of energy for fiscal year 2019. so we welcome to the committee secretary rick perry. good to have you back in front of us. we look forward to your comments this morning. like last year, the request emphasizes funding for the national nuclear security administration which falls outside of our jurisdiction.
in addition, the president's budget requests additional funding for the environmental management program to clean up our nation's nuclear sites. i appreciate these proposals, but the requests offsets them with cuts to a number of energy and science programs that enjoy strong bipartisan support. it seeks to eliminate all funding for rpe, which is a program that undertakes innovative pioneering work. while we should always be looking for places to cut the budget, we should also recognize that innovation is critical to our nation's energy future. it creates jobs, it boosts growth, it adds to our security, and it increases our competitiveness. we need to focus on maintaining our global leadership in science, research, and development. and central to that mission are hard-working scientists and engineers at our national laboratories and universities. although i do not support all of the proposals in this request, i believe that we will find many areas of interest and agreement. i believe it's time to look at
reforms that can reduce the stovepipes at the department and make better use of taxpayer dollars. i'm intrigued by the department's decision to create a new cyber security office. and i look forward to seeing the remainder of the department's budget justifications which will need to be released as soon as possible. so again, secretary perry, i want to welcome you back before our committee. i will note as all members have previously been alerted that the secretary has a hard stop at 11:30, so you can head to the white house. i understand that you'll be taking up some hopefully nuclear-related discussions, and we appreciate your time. so out of respect for our limited time at the committee this morning, i will end my opening remarks here and simply note that i look forward to hosting you in alaska in the near future. senator cantwell. >> thank you, madam chair. the department of energy is a global leader in science and and technology with an unrivaled network of national laboratories. it is also key to our national
security. an important priority for d.o.e. is energy infrastructure security. and our energy infrastructure is under attack. it's under cyber attack, and we need to do much more to protect it as a national critical asset. russia has proven its ability to disrupt the grid, and last week the trump administration announced new sanctions on russia's four attacks on the u.s. infrastructure, the department of homeland security, and the federal bureau of investigating characterize the activities as "a multi-staged intrusion campaign by russian government cyber actors who gained remote access into the energy sector networks." the fbi and department of homeland security state that since at least march 2016, russia has targeted government entities and multiple u.s. critical infrastructure sectors, including nuclear and energy sectors. a year ago i called for a comprehensive assessment of cyber attacks to our grid by russians and repeatedly asked the trump administration to
tackle this urgent task and make sure that we have an assessment. if the fbi and department of homeland security's recent admission is not a siren, then i don't know what is. i hope that the belated response is the first step in turning that around to being a robust response to protect our critical infrastructure. at a hearing last week, mr. secretary, you appeared with your colleagues in the commerce committee and said that you are not confident that the federal government has a broad strategy in place, maybe we can elaborate and talk a little about that in the q&a. as we discussed at a hearing earlier this month, establishing a new d.e.o. cyber office with marginal increases is not a substitute for the serious investment and meaningful action that we need. you told this committee earlier this year that it is cyber, one of your key priorities. so i hope that we will see meaningful action from this administration. we don't need rhetoric at this point, we need action.
i want d.o.e. and the administration to be more aggressive, and i hope that we will get this assessment of where we are with our grid as a milestone to what we need to do moving forward. we do want to defend against what could be widespread blackouts and devastation to our economy and the other harmful security risks. i know you and i spent many of hours at our national laboratory in the northwest discussing many of these issues. i know you know this very well. on other budget issues, obviously the department of science is a -- the department of energy is a science and technology powerhouse. yet the president's proposed budget slashes many of d.o.e.'s essential programs, and i think would be devastating to our clean energy economy. it would kill science, innovation, and d.o.e. jobs by eliminating rpe and making drastic cuts to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electricity and the budget
would raise electricity rates in the pacific northwest by auctioning off federal utility assets. so i think these are obviously mistakes and i will ask questions about them. the budget would also undermine u.s. energy leadership and kill jobs. as the chair noted, for the first time china is expected to surpass the u.s. in total r&d expenditures. and according to the international energy agency, more than $30 trillion will be invested globally in new renewable energy facilities and energy efficiency between now and 2040. so the cost of clean energy and energy efficiencies, like solar, l.e.d.s, and storage, have dropped between 41% and 94% since 2008. and much of that was driven by the r&d of the department of energy. this is why we think this is so important to continue this science mission. the decreases in those technologies have helped consumers save money and have
created jobs, and they have just in the energy efficiency and clean sector supported over 3 million u.s. jobs. so the success story is built on lots of d.o.e. work through our national labs like the pacific northwest laboratory in richland, washington, and through many other laboratories across the country. president trump's budget also, i think, besides eliminating rpe, the weatherization program, the state energy program, which provide highly leveraged state-controlled funding to about 50 states projects, eliminates loan programs which lever billions of dollars in energy infrastructure, draconian cuts to the energy research, 65% for the energy efficiency, and 59% for the electricity delivery system. i could go on. but i have to get to hanford, mr. secretary. i am disappointed by the administration's approach to the hanford cleanup. the trump administration proposal for fy-19 cuts $32
million from fy-17. instead of the cut hanford needs an increase of $32 million in order to keep workers safe and meet milestones. more complex than budget cuts have been justified by saying "the decrease from 2017 enacted levels reflect the demolition of plutonium finishing plant to should be on grade." so pfp is still standing and there is not even a date to resume demolition work at pfp. and rightly so. but d.o.e. and the contractors have been unable to protect the workers and as you and i visited again we saw firsthand how we need to work in a safe environment at hanford, what are the technologies that we need to do that. so i think the administration's proposal comes up short under this budget. the department would only be able to maintain status quo without making progress. as you well know there is agreement, a milestone that have to be met. so we will look forward to asking you questions about this in our q&a.
it's very important that we continue to make progress on the largest nuclear waste cleanup project in the world. it is thorny. it is challenging. but we need consistent investment. i trust you're not going over to veterans affairs. i hope that you're staying right here and making sure that hanford is cleaned up. thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you, senator cantwell. mr. secretary, again, welcome. if you would like to provide your comments to the committee, and then we'll have an opportunity for our questions and your responses. welcome. >> chairman murkowski, thank you for your hospitality, and ranking member cantwell, it's an honor to get to be in front of this committee and each of the members. i thank you for your hospitality, your commitment to service to this country today to discuss the president's fiscal 2019 budget request for the department of energy. and if i could, let me just say a quick thank you, chairman and ranking member, for allowing me
to be able to depart at 11:30 today. i'll try to be brief and allow you the opportunity to ask the questions so we can be productive today. obviously it as great privilege for me and senator cantwell, fyi, i'll be here. i'm not going anywhere. it is an honor to serve as the 14th secretary -- >> well, you know my suggestion is that the energy secretary should be for life or till hanford's cleaned up, so i'm happy to apply that to you. i've asked that of every other one. >> yes, ma'am. we'll take that under advisement. running this department requires a significant expert tease. and that's one of the other things i want to thank you for is being able to get the
nominees through this process in a very timely way, get them on the ground, and we've done that. i think we have now nine presidential appointments with senate confirmation that are on the ground and working. and thank you for that assistance. this budget request underscores the d.o.e.'s commitment to stewardship, to accountability, to service that is respectful to the american taxpayer. i hope that our interactions with you and the other congressional committees over the past year have underscored the commitment to service and to transparency. in total the d.o.e. leadership team appeared before congressional committees 23 times in 2017, and we're proud of the strong relationship we've built with congress, which brings me to a topic that i want to address before getting to specifics. i am fully aware and i'm very
displeased that some of this year's budget request documents were not released in a timely fashion. it's not how i operate. nor my staff, for that matter. so let me just tell you that you may be assured that we're going to continue to refine those processes and improve the transfer of information to you all. so when i first appeared before this committee last year, i committed d.o.e. to advancing several key objectives. i know that we needed to modernize our nuclear weapons arsenal, continue to address the environmental legacy that the cold war programs left us, further advance our domestic energy production, better protect our energy infrastructure, and accelerate
our excess scale computing capacity. the fy-2019 $30.6 billion budget request for the department seeks to move us forward on these and other goals. our greatest duty is to product our citizens and nuclear deterrence is a core part of the d.o.e. mission. this year we requested an 8.3% increase for that purpose to align ourselves with the president's nuclear posture review and the national security strategy. we're also focusing on addressing the environmental legacy left at the department whi sites which produced the materials that helped us win a world war and to secure the peace. last year we promised to focus on that obligation. and this year we're requesting additional funds to do so. i know the department's environmental management program
is a high priority for this committee, especially for those of you like ranking member cantwell with a major project in her state. my visit to hanford last year helped shape my commitment to that just cause. we also have a duty to advance a fundamental mission of our department, and that's america energy independence. and thanks to u.s. ingenuity and innovation, we're on the cusp of realizing this mission objective. for the first time since the 1970s. in the coming years, we will produce enough energy from all our abundant fuels not only to meet our own needs but or friend, our allies, our partners as well, as we export to them. last year we became a net exporter of natural gas. today we are exporting lng to 27 nations on five continents.
and because technology's also making our energy cleaner, we can purdchassue an all of above policy that will efficiently use all of america's energy resources. innovation can grow our economy and protect our environment. we drive further energy innovations -- i should say to drive those energy innovations, we're requesting continued funding of our energy program offices as well as funding for research and fossil fuels and nuclear power, including advanced modular reactors. now if we have a duty to advance domestic energy production, we also have a duty to ensure that our energy is delivered without interruption. that's why last year i promised to step up our efforts to protect and maintain america's energy infrastructure in the face of all hazards. the devastation caused by the 2017 hurricanes and the impact to the electricity sector highlighted the importance of improving grid reliability and
resilience. this committee has significant interests in our hurricane relief and restoration efforts. and i thank you for your continued support there. but we also need to protect from manmade attacks, including cyber attacks. so this year we requested funding increases to strengthen cyber security as well as the agency's cyber defenses. we're establishing a new office of cyber security, energy security, and emergency response. it's called caesar. going to be led by a new assistant secretary. since much of our nation's greatest technology breakthroughs affecting energy have come through the work of our great national laboratories, we need to ensure their funding as well. i could speak extensively about some of the great work they're doing, but today i'll only mention two. our effort to accelerate excess scale computing systems in order to keep the u.s. at the forefront of super computing is extremely important, therefore,
a 31% increase in that line item. this will have positive implications on everything from artificial intelligence to some of the great work we're doing to improve the health of our veterans. ta chairman murkowski in my first year i visited nine national labs with four more coming up. i've visited the nevada national security site, pantax-12, mcnairry dam, and hanford. and in a few weeks looking forward to being in your home state and joining you there in alaska. wherever i go, there's one thing that is made abundantly clear to me. those who work for the department of energy are dedica dedicated, patriotic, committed to serving the american people. and in the end, it is you, the people's elected representatives, who will decide how to best allocate the resources of our hard-working taxpayers. my commitment to each of you on
this committee is that we will do our best to use these resources wisely in the pursuit of the vital goals that i outlined. and i thank you and will do my best to answer your questions. >> very good, thank you, mr. secretary. senator heller has asked that a letter he has provided to the committee be included as part of the record. so we will include that and you will see a copy of that as well, mr. secretary. senator cantwell has mentioned in some detail here the cyber security issue and the joint alert from department of homeland security and the fbi regarding russian government cyber actors and how they have targeted critical infrastructure here in this country, including our electric and generation sourses. know that i share senator
cantwell's concern on this. i want to make sure d.o.e. is cooperating with dhs and the fbi with implementation of actions in response to this. also to make sure that d.o.e. is taking the lead as this sector-specific agency. mr. secretary, you and i had a conversation yesterday just about making sure that d.o.e., which does have this legislatively designated authority as the lead in the energy sector when it comes to cyber, that again that continues. so i'd like you to speak specifically to that with regards to d.o.e.'s role. and then i've got one more quick question for you. >> yes, ma'am. senator, thank you. we work very closely with the
department of homeland security. there's clear bifurcation, if you will, of our responsibilities and certainly the department of energy. we are the sector-specific agency that partners with the energy sector to ensure infrastructure security and resilience and coordinate response and recovery. this caesar office that we make reference to that we're standing up here is our response to the clear challenges that this sector has relative to these sometimes nonhave state players or state players that are coming in and attacking, notpetcha, that attack last year that the russian government was involved with.
there has been ransomware that's been stuck in, wanna cry was the code name for it that we've seen. the formation of the caesar, this office, if you will, enhances the department's role in the sector-specific agency for the energy sector. and it better positions the department to addressee merging threats and natural disasters and support the department's expanded national security responsibilities. the reporting relationship to the undersecretary of energy will ensure the importance and the direct pipeline of information, if you will, back to the secretary of energy. and i think this placement is very important to bridge the gap
between science and technology development and the operators and implementers focused on securing our systems. so there is a clear role that d.o.e. plays on cyber. we are committed to being as technically advanced as possible. and it's the reason that we request the funding. and the reason we have structured the agency -- not the agency but the department as such to clearly send the message that this is important and that we're going to fund it as such -- >> let me ask you, mr. secretary, the same question that i ask every other cabinet member when they're in reporting to us on their budget. and this relates to the arctic. because this is an area not just of interest to me but really of
interest around the world. and my complaint or my fear has been that administration after administration fails to really appreciate the opportunities, the challenges, that the arctic presents. and so i ask the same question, effectively. what is contained in your budget request that is specific to arctic-related activity, and how you view the department's mission and role, effectively in the arctic? >> senator, i think it's good news for you that i've been there before, i've been on the north slope, i have visited that part of the state. as an appropriator when i was in the texas legislature, and even before that time pent in your state, taking in the grandeur
and the beauty and the diversity of that state. i think it's very important to have people with eyes on, situational awareness, if you will, of the state, of the needs. one of the reasons i'm going with you is i'm going to see some things i've never seen before. whether it's micro grids, the importance of micro grids, or it's having the conversation on small reactors, is there a role they could play in a state as diverse as thinly populated, if you will, as your state? the idea that a transmission system as we have in the continental 48 united states is going to work in alaska -- it's a myth. it can't. it's going to take some unique ways to address challenges that
the arctic has. we're committed to those. our national labs. the office of electricity. we're going to be working with you and a commitment to you to be very open to the innovation and the technology that can serve the people of alaska in hopefully a way that they've never seen before. >> i appreciate that. my time is up. i will just note not only for you, mr. secretary, but for the other colleagues on the committee, that alaska is hosting the national lab day the end of may. which will be an opportunity to not only have national labs understand what the arctic holds, but vice versa. so thank you. senator cantwell. >> thank you, madam chair. mr. secretary on hanford, the cleanup budget, you've made some assumptions about the plutonium finishing plant that i actually think are off in this assessment of cutting $230 million out of
that. will you go back and review those assessments as it relates to the plutonium finishing plant and live up to the tri-party agreement? make sure that as you're making these budgets you're going to live up to making the milestones in that? >> yes, ma'am. i think it's very important for us. as you said in your opening remarks, that there are some real challenges there. and going out there and spending the time, my deputy secretary spending multiple trips to the area, and others. i think it's really important for an edification process for us to understand just the complexity, the breadth of the mission there. and i am committed to finding the solutions -- >> and living up to the tri-party agreement? >> yes, absolutely. >> okay, great.
on the p and l side, we saw great technology, whether that was in cyber, smart grid -- >> batteries. >> batteries, thanks. you remember, good. >> yes, ma'am. >> all right. so why cut this area of the budget? i'm not the only one here representing national laboratories. >> absolutely. and i hope and i lay on the table a history of being a manager of a rather large enterprise as the governor of the state of texas. i was an appropriator and an agency head in that state as well. so the experience that i bring, just because there is a reduction of a line item doesn't necessarily mean that there's going to be a reduction in results. and i hope there's some comfort that what we're doing is prioritizing in these national
labs. are we going to be able to fund every line item the way that the line items were funded back prior to the 2018 proposed budget? probably not. but that doesn't necessarily mean that the results that we're going to have out of those national labs are any less consequential. >> well, i'm not sure i agree with that, but i hope you're right. and i definitely want science to be a bigger priority within this administration. but let me turn to cyber for a second. because you were i think at a house committee, i wasn't sure -- this was before the commerce committee, you were also there with a member of the cabinet. you said you were not confident the federal government has a broad strategy in place as it relates to cyber security. i don't know if you were talking about duplication or issues. but my concern is that we still don't have an assessment. we don't have a risk assessment. so if we don't have the risk
assessment, how do we know what we are really budgeting towards? now you took one step which -- i think given everything that's happened, a 10% increase is not where we need to be. i've called for a doubling. but i could see where i am wildly underfunding what is one of the most serious threats to us as a nation right now. so what can we do to get this threat assessment done by these agencies, and i think i mentioned and our colleagues at armed services or homeland security, the military silt at the very table you're sitting at, and then tell them, yes, this is a real threat, a real problem, but d.o.e. has to fix it. and then here you're sitting with a 10% increase and no threat assessment. so what can we do to get both a better understanding of our real
risks and an accurate budget increase to fund what is critical, critical to our national security? >> senator cantwell, thank you for recognizing the challenge that we have. it is very real. it is ever-changing. and again, i don't want to belabor this point of a 10% increase being less than what you think is appropriate for this. that's why we have these hearings is to discuss these areas of conflict when it comes to you believe it needs to be more, i might believe it needs to be a bit more myself, but the fact is, we're spending some dollars in other areas in our budget that are going to have real concrete effect on cyber. i'll give you an example.
in excess scale computing. in our ability to be able to manage massive amounts of data is going to be i think, tantamount to our success in combating the cyber attacks that are going on. that amount of money has been increased by 31%. so it's not just in that line item on standing up the cyber -- >> senator, do you believe that we need a risk assessment as a nation? do we need a risk assessment of this problem? >> i think that's going on as we speak. we have three different areas in d.o.e. that are focused on cyber and have been meeting and having these conversations before -- the coordination and the conversation is ongoing, senator. >> well, i am sure that all of us, either in a secure room or publicly, would like to see the government's risk assessment. i hope you agree they need one, i don't think we've gotten it
yet. i hope you can help us get one. thank you. >> thank you. senator cassidy. >> secretary, how are you? >> how are you, sir? >> this committee advanced the small-scale lng access act of 2017 allowing greater access to liquefy natural gas. a rule announced last september this bill to put a plug in it benefits american workers, the american economy, american geopolitics, and lowers global greenhouse gas emissions. so there's some objections that somehow this would raise domestic natural gas prices. but according to the cia world fact book, the entire energy demand of all caribbean nations combined is 1.2% of the u.s. given that only small-volume projects are eligible to benefit from the legislation and the 1.2%, the low energy demand, what do you think will be the impact of this legislation on u.s. natural gas prices?
>> in a simple statement, i would suggest it would be minuscule even if identifiable at all. >> how do you think this would impact the energy markets that we're targeting, those in the caribbean and central america? >> i think opening up those markets are incredibly important. whether it's being able to modernize, get away from some very ineffective fuels from the standpoint of both cost and to the environment, being able to bring the lng to play in those markets would be good. >> many on this committee are concerned about global greenhouse gas emissions.
you'd probably prefer texas. but u.s. natural gas what would that do for global greenhouse gas emissions? >> yes, texas gas does burn cleaner. in all seriousness, we saw a major transition from older, inefficient plants in my home state in the 2000s, to gas plants, sulfur dioxide down by 60% plus, nitrogen oxide down by over 50%. >> and that is not even using venezuelan sour crude which many of these folks do. >> that's right. >> you're using something cleaner than that? >> yes. so the point wes know that you can see emission reductions and substanti substantial emission reductions when you transfer away from older, inefficient plants, and particularly plants that are
using -- we can get into a whole other discussion which we don't have time for about the northeast being forced to use some pretty ineffective fuels because they do not allow the transport of natural gas across some of those states -- >> let me ask you something else. texas was a leader in wind power, probably is the leader in wind power. >> still is, yes, sir. >> one thing that we've noted is that using more natural gas, because you can have your startup plant and background work that actually you enable expansion of renewables by converting your baseload, if you will, to natural gas. any comments on that? >> no, sir, you're correct. >> we saw you get .8 incremental increase for renewables for every unit of 1, if you will, increase of that. so anyway, just to kind of explore that with you, thank you. one more thing that is of concern. there's a mox plant being built in south carolina. i won't ask you to comment on
this too much except there was an order for a kind of contractor collaborative process to rebaseline that order 413.b from the department of energy. and i'm not sure that that has been updated in this collaborative process. so can i have your commitment just to review that and get back to us on that process? >> yes, sir. >> i appreciate that. i yield back, thank you. >> thank you, senator. senator -- i guess it's cortez masto. >> thank you. secretary perry, yesterday i september you a letter on current yucca mountain activities and expenditures and update on expenditures that would be associated with a restarted yucca mountain licensing proceeding. it's important that my constituents have an accurate understanding of the balances of the accounts for nuclear waste disposal and what expenditures are being made in regards to yucca mountain in the absence of
congressional direction. would you commit to giving this letter your attention and providing a quick response within the next two weeks? >> i literally just have it in my hand this morning. and i'm going to review it and give you as timely a response as possible, senator. >> thank you. >> your budget recommends spending $120 million to bring high-level nuclear waste to nevada. prior to your confirmation you were asked about yucca mountain and you stated to this committee in writing that "i cannot at this time make an assessment about the time and cost associated with the yucca project, but i am committed to learning more about the project and helping to resolve this national problem." i want to focus on the first part of your answer, which is the time and costs. in regards to costs, are you aware of the last year in which the department of energy completed a total system life cycle cost assessment for yucca mountain? >> i am not. >> let me tell you, it was 2008. more than a decade ago. are you aware of the detailed estimates this report included on the total costs for yucca mountain? >> i am not.
>> okay. in 2007 dollars, about $96 billion. and it has not been adjusted for inflation. are you aware that this report also indicates the department of energy will need $13.5 billion, again in 2007 dollars, and 10 years, just to obtain a construction authorization and license from the nuclear regulatory commission? >> i take your word for it, senator. >> thank you. one of the many yet to be addressed concerns regarding engineering safety and costs pertains to d.o.e.'s design for titanium drip shields that are supposed to sit over each of the thousands of waste canisters in yucca mountain's underground tunnels to keep out corroding water. no plan has been made to design these structures, no pay-for has been determined, which is crucial considering the amount of material required has been said to exhaust the nation's supply of titanium. and no plan has been made on how to install the shields.
this unacceptable state of affairs was detailed by former nrc commissioner victor galinski in a "science journal" article in 2015. has any such consideration like this been made? >> senator, i would tell you that in the decade that's passed since that report that you're making reference to, that a lot of technology has changed. i don't want to -- >> has department of energy done a consideration or analysis based on that, to put costs associated with it? >> no. >> okay. and if you're going to make a budget request to restart licensing for a facility that requires such expensive, innovative engineering, wouldn't it be more appropriate to lay these considerations before congress before asking for more money? >> i think what we're asking, senator, is that these dollars are for the licensing side, that the nrc's working on, and for
our operational side of it, just to cover the cost of that. it's not to be looking at the structural issues that are involved there that may or 98 not be -- >> so in that regard does department of energy feel confident in the license application for yucca mountain or would it need to submit a new application for changes? >> i think we would be going forward with the licensing process as the law requires us to. and, you know, i think -- >> is there additional costs associated with it? >> not that i'm aware of. >> would the environmental impact statements for the project require any updates? >> i would suggest it probably would. >> does the department of energy even have a final design for the facility? >> no. >> so why should congress agree to appropriate any funds without answers to any of these questions? >> well, i think this issue's been on the table for a long time. and congress has -- congress funds a number of things without
having a final plan done. so this is nothing out of the ordinary. this is basically -- >> i appreciate that comment, but i disagree. i am sitting here if congress, and i want a final plan, know h spent and i want an analysis and an assessment. it is irresponsible not to ask those questions and it is your job to provide the information. i am looking forward in the future if we are going to go down in this path and had this conversation before, i think you need to come with concrete answer and an assessment cost that affiliated with it. for many things that's happening right now and i disagree with some of the comments you made and have concerns and echo some of the concerns with my colleagues with respect to the budget cuts that are being requested for the department of energy and the impact that'll have for nevada as well. thank you, i know my time is up. >> thank you, senator. se
secretary, thank you for coming back. it is fwood good to see you. as you and i discussed, decommission of the port smith plan. we talked about that and that's not something and this administration have begun. we talked about the need to get rid of it because the barters are illegal. the barter contributed record low uranium crisis. last year u.s. uranium production was at the lowest level since 1950s and we are losing our ability to produce our own nuclear fuel. the administration in terms of our own national security cannot let it happen. can you commit to ending these barters, funding the cost of clean up and decommissioning services exclusively with the congressional appropriations. >> thank you, it is privileged to be back here in front of you. as you and i have had
conversations privately and publicly, i think the uranium bartering process has to be on my list of one o f the most poorly designed policies i have ever come across since becoming secretary of energy. it pits two important objectives against each other and it does not serve either one of them very well. personally, i would like to see a stop completely. we realized what the challenges are. we should focus on the uranium marketplace work as it should while continuing without disruption and important work is taken place at the ports. so, given the needed funded is passed in the 2018, i would be pleased to announce the suspension of the barter program
in 2018 and between now and then decide on physical year 19 budget and certainly committed to working with congress on that. i hope that we can extend ending the barter beyond this physical year working together to fully fund our environmental management clean up through the appropriations process. >> i want to move to one other area. in your testimony, you expressed support of advance america coal industry. the department proposes in its budget to cut funding of yu utilizization and storage. i think it is not the time to cut the funding and expanded use of technology and support the continued use of america of fossil resources that we have. over a month ago, i worked with
a bipartisan group of colleagues to pass legislations and expanding tax credits. we should build on the success of this legislation by maintaining a robust and development program and support this advancement of this technology. what assurance can you give me that the department's budget request is sufficient? >> senator as i sate earlier to senator cantwell, it does not mean the results we are going to have having are not appropriate and our commitment to carbon capture capture ultilization is very strong. we got ccus placed into the list
of different technologies that they're going to be funding and working on in a worldwide way. we were in the uae with substantial fossil fuel developers and promoting carbon capture utilization and innovation to come up with new techniques and new avenues to be able to use coal in a way that it is not only appropriate to the environment but it is also from an economic standpoint very pleased. >> thank you very much. additional questions i will submit in writing. >> thank you, senator.
barrasso. >> secretary, when we met, you promised that you would vote the lab in illinois and i want to thank you for following through with your commitment in voting bo et both of those labs. although i don't agree with all aspect of the bucket, i am happy to see that the work of argon and the lab leaving facilities have priority of the administration. i also want to thank you you and your team for working with my office to provide input of bipartisan legislation to help veterans securing good jobs and clean energy. our nation has experienced renewable energy. today solar energy is the fastest growing in the u.s. and wind energy is becomiing a dominant force of energy. technology is unlocking
additional forms of low energy options and i believe there is tremendous opportunities for our veterans to find career in these energy sectors. will you support passing my bill to create a department of energy program that'll promote the hiring of clean energy. >> you know my commitment to our veterans in a multitude of ways. we look for ways to bring them into the work force because you and i know they are trained up in a lot of different areas that we don't have to retain them or to give them initial training so we are supportive of all programs that help employ those that we have made a commitment to because they have served this
country in a sacrificial way. >> there appears to be several applications for this work in our community including helping to prevent suicides and address heart disease and treating some form of cancer. could you provide recommendations on how congress can support the work of d.o.e. and medicine research and development. >> we will and let me say this broadway that we already have international labs working on some of the nuclear medicine and obviously down in i think jefferson lab in norfolk there, the particle lab, some sciences
going on that has the ability to really improve our the scientific side of the health community in using nuclear medicine there. but, one thing that i would in invite you to do senator, better yet is let me send it to you and i would love to have my active atc active program that we just now standing up that is focused on veterans mental health and it is not just veterans. it is first responders and the nfl is going to be intrigue with this as well as our olympic athletes for that matter of a mother who's got a daughter who plays soccer or any place where concussions can come into place and we are using our massive computing capacity at the national labs particularly in your district for that purpose and i would love for them to
come up and brief you so you have a good handle on this. i know your love for our servicemen and women and veterans as well as the science on this change some people's world in a positive way. >> thank you, i do appreciate the increases in the budget to both of the national labs. we need to remain the forefront of the super computing on a global scale. if we don't, other nation will catch up and actively investing on huge amount of money in that and it is huge to see it is covered in this year's budget. >> thank you. >> i yield back. >> thank you. >> senator poor portman. >> secretary perry, i appreciate you making good on your promise. we heard of that talk earlier in ohio, for 50 years it enrich uranium for our government for
the navy and nuclear power plants and what we need in our nuclear arsenal. the workers at that plant made a lot of sacrifices and health issues and now we are cleaning up that plant. to my colleague from wyoming who has departed, he talked about the need for us to stop using barter, unfortunately, we had to rely on barter because the last administration, they did not provide the appropriations and they slowed down the clean up from 2025 to 2024. it is a huge mistake and not just for r the site and the safety of that area and the industrialization that everyone wants and for the taxpayers. it costs taxpayers a lot more when you extend the light of these clean ups. we need the funding. there is 323 mining jobs last year in uranium when the funding is cut-off, as you know 800 jobs
were on the chopping block. >> yes, sir. >> we have 1800 people who are doing these clean ups. they are great people and doing it in a smart committed way and funding going up and down and barter being pulled would create again this crisis out there and we'll lose a lot of good people. we need them. it is a community that's high in employment already. what i am suggesting today is let's not pull the plug on the barter until we have the appropriate appropriations. i am looking for commitment for you to d that we'll con ttinue e barter program unless adequate information is proved in the funding for fy 18 and fy 19 with regarding to the plant. >> yes, sir, i am committed in the clean up of that facility. my preference is to have it appropriated in the old fashion way if you will from a straight
up appropriation where you're citizens at that plant know that is congress is -- obviously, if that does not happen, and i have shared that with senator barrasso as well, the commitment to that clean up is there and it is solid and it is long-term. >> thank you, i appreciate i don't disagree with you as you know. we are trying to clean this thing up and it is not good for the taxpayers. the other issue as you well know, pulling the plug on the new generation of enrichment. i listen to what my colleague and good friend from wyoming said, if we zrodon't have this mining, we'll lose our ability to produce our own fuel.
we have lost it already. we don't have domestic control enrichment process in the country because we shut down pipes and we were on track under the previous administration through the acp program to create that with this new much more energy efficient technology called central fuse. my question to you is are you aware of the fact that there was going to be a re-evaluation of the obama administration approach to this. i know you talked about it in your confirmation. what's the results of that? do we have any senses of where we are going on the next generation in retaraining? >> yes, sir, the short answer is we are working towards that as we speak. i think my commitment to bringing the civil nuclear program in this country back to one of stability and frankly to lead the world is pretty much on
display. it has been. we think that there has been for ever reason, a, i am not going to call it an anti-nuclear mentality. several nuclear business have been left by the waste side whether it is committed to small reactors. we have tried to reinvigorate that since clear messages that this country needs to lead the world in nuclear technology and these central fuses are obvious lyan ly an important part of that. >> i appreciate it. we need it for our nuclear navy. we also need it for ou ouour -- our -- finally from a national
security point of view in terms of non proliferation, the single most important thing we can do as american, if you don't enrich -- iran being the greatest example. we'll provide you that enrich uranium, we cannot do that anymore. we do have a stockpile admittedly but we have no program to continue that. by not having a commitment to it to restart is going to take billions of dollars and years. i wish we can get started now so we have other capabilities in the future. thank you very much, i have got other questions to ask and appreciate your service. >> thank you for holding this hearing. secretary, it is good to be with you. i am reminded that our friendship goes back to our days as governors in 2005 that we really knew each other quite well during katrina and you took
hundreds of thousands of people from legal cause buona and and -- louisiana and mississippi and helped them. we have been hooked together ever since. also, you have been quite busy fulfilling all your promises in a bipartisan way and visit all the states that you had. i want to thank you, too. you came to virginia and looked at the plants that we had. morgantown is working on the clean coal technology which senat senator barrasso asked you about. we are looking for different technologies there. also, the story chub that we'll talk about and the element that we have found to extract and be self-sustaining in america. those are very important. you have been supportive. what i would like to ask you on
title 17, long guaranteed program from the d.o.e. i know it is recommended to be phased out but there is still an awful a lot of mileage that's left in there. also, the storage hub which is extremely important to us and i think the security of our nation so your concern of the program being eliminated and despite the strategic importance and also do you agree or disagree on that program and what we can do to make it even more stronger? >> yes, sir. senator, thank you for your long time friendship. coming to your district, sitting down with you and the leadership over at west virginia and governor's office, economic development and folks in that community really turned on a
bright light for me on a standpoint of how to develop that region of america sitting on top of marcelle and yutica and creating the duplicative national security of refining capabilities. it was a really important trip for me. to the long office, the keyword is from my perspective in a realistic way is phasing out. there are billions of dollars there that are already appropriated. we can certainly with your guidance use a very thoughtful way that can affect a lot of citizens.
i think that -- i am not going to try to get into anybody's head other than to say if this committee and congress collectively decides to go forward with that program, that we'll operate it with the type of oversight and transparency and the results that you will be proud of. >> you and i spoke directly on this storage hub for the national security of our nation but also with the tremendous findings and new resources that we have in the fracking that we have done in west virginia, kentucky and ohio and pennsylvania, a tremendous boom for our energy independence if you will. with that, we have promoted a storage hub which will give us the product and keep it in a safe location also and strategically away from our weather torn area such as your state gets it quite frequently
and so as louisiana. i didn't know how you are going towards that or how you support or did you feel it is a great strategic direction for our nation? >> as the governor i wake up in august and september and say a prayer that category five hurricane did not come up to houston ship channel. i have seen that model before and it is devastating, not just in the number of people that lose their lives but in the d devastation that it does for our country. to have a duplication of that in a region of our country that's protected from that type of natural disaster would be invaluinval invaluable, not only in an area that economically could certainly use the shot in the arm and sitting on top of a great natural resources of the
marcellus and utica can transition to the region of the america that's economically. of your support and the administration support is vital and needed for this to be accomplished. it is something that i think drastically needed in the economic impact of this $36 billion almost at the turn of the switch but on top of that, the security of your nation and your attention to this is greatly appreciated. >> we are focusing on this and you are absolutely correct, this is one of the projects that i see the government can help with and not have to fund. the private sector will supply the funding. they want to make sure the permitting processes and the ability to get done of what we are asking them to get done can be done expeditiously as
possible. >> i appreciate you bringing up the program. there are many of us who feel that well that program needs some reforms and we suggested those in our energy bill that we had moved out of here. we got some funding that's left in it that we think it could used to leverage some infrastructure there. senator guardieor garnier. >> thank you madame chair. i had the honor to join a couple of our colleagues in a visit to the middle east a couple of weeks ago. as we were flying over garden and right around dust, i could not help but look down and s see -- think about what if the great inventions surrounding us had not been discovered by people in america. i was looking down at roads that were filled with cars, henry
ford perfected the assembly line and looking at houses that were lit up by lights that thomas edison helped invent and all of whom played an incredible part of who we are today as a nation. i wonder what happens if those next inventions are not from the united states and what happens if it is not america that discover those things but it is china or india or russia or somebody else. what happens is that the great thing that transform our economy comes from some where else. when i look at the budget, i am concerned of some of the areas of research and the advance research in particular. i want to make sure that we continue to advance in this country. what happens if that great next energy discovery is not in the united states but it is indeed in china or india and they're able to manufacture and they are able to capitalize those jobs on those jobs and the next time we fly over whether it is denver, colorado and we don't see the
impact that america has had but the impact that some other nations have had because we took our eye off the ball. we are proud of the contributions that the national laboratory have done in colorado. we have achieved so much. we cannot get rid of that sort of idea that we have the opportunity to partner and building funding opportunity. the benefit for the nation and energy resilience si and ability and r economeconomic jobs and e advantages to this research. we'll on be able to achieve them as we continue our research facilities. can you give me the assurances that many of us need to continue our strong support sive nationa lab and that you understand it and you will support it going forward. >> senator, the thing i have been most proud of in the year
that i spent as a second tereta energy is being able to go to these. i never met any committed individuals as those who are working at our national lab. the support of them from congress is very powerful. it will continue and i know that. . to address with specificity of what you brought up in a beautiful observation about this country, the dollars that you all are going to appropriate, the dollar that we asked for will make the biggest impact for all of that type of research that you are making reference to and the innovation that's going to come out of labs. it is going to be expedited substantially by the commitment
at the super computing capacity that we have at those and our commit is very deep and broad in that arena. >> mr. secretary, i look forward to working with you on that funding as well as a number of other areas to make sure that we are continuing to be the pride of our state and more than that of our innovation of the world. switching now real quick to grid cyber security issue. the opposite of electricity reliability has led an effort in coordination with the labs to talk about the technical challenges of modernization and many cases these assets that we are working with privately owned and don't have the resource and developments on our own. d.o.e. have provided a lot of support. the budget request splits the
office into two. one is focusing on cyber security and one is on electricity/delivery. i am going to ask you a few questions and maybe we are running out of time. the grid modernization laboratory consortium, to address the challenges that the grid has faced from a cyber security inner storage standpoint. the cross cutting initiative has been a success and i think most people would admit. it is posimportant that the d.o to lead this program. this week we heard a lot about foreign nations attacking our grid. we have the possibility of a foreign nation that has attacked or colorado department of transportation, the virus shutting down 2,000 -- are you confident that the department
budget request ensuring our electric grid remaining secure, is there something that we can do to mistake sure our infrastructure has cyber security and the tools. i am out of time. >> thank you. >> recognizing again the secretary's time schedule. we have four more colleagues and we'll try to get through quickly. >> thank you, madame chair. mr. secretary, good to see you. a little bit of northwest business, i told the bush administration, george w. bush, his folks that -- it is not going to get sold off in my watch and it is not going to get sold off either. >> yes, sir. >> we are concerned of eliminating the national technology lab in albany which i think is doing singularly good work. i was in albany, oregon a couple
of days ago and i heard it again. i want to ask you about hampford, the project director for the treatment plant sent a private contractor a letter demanding the company explain why it could not document steel use that the plant was up to safety standards. the project director says that this was a potentially unreco r unrecoverable quality issue. what it means in english is they could not open the plant after billions of dollars had been spent and decades of efforts if that was the case. a week later, mr. hamel was transferred and i would like to believe the best in people but it is hard to see that it was a coincidence.
i want to ask a couple of yes or no question. i want mr. hamel to promptly provide the committee with a detailed history and explanation of this potentially devastating safety issue at the $17 billion waste treatment plant that have not yet treated an ounce of radio active waste. will you yes or no direct him to provide us that information? >> yes. >> great. secon second, i would like you to make mr. hamel available to us so we can ask him directly without interference about this issue, will you do so? >> i am not sure if i can make him do that but -- >> will you -- you will tell him that it is acceptable to you for him to sit down directly with us. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. that just allows me to wrap up and save the chair a little bit more time. this is extraordinarily
important. >> yes, sir. >> we have seen billions of dollars go into this. you now got the project director saying that there is a potentially devastating safety issue and he has just been transferred after reporting this. so, this story really needs now to get to the details. it is a whistle blower story, it is a safety story. it is an accountability story. when you met with me privately before you were confirmed, you said that on those kinds of issues, we could work together. the answer is you have given this morning are constructive. i need follow-up and we need to have this done promptly. if it is not we have to go to route of inspector general and i rather not have to go that route and by indicating that you will tell him to provide us the information, the detail history
and the explanation of this potentially devastating safety issue. that's a constructive first step and you will tell him it is acceptable to you that he meets with us without interference, that's a constructive step. i look forward to pursuing this and talk more about it in the future. >> thank you. >> sounds like you got a plan. >> senator manchin. >> thank you. secretary perry, welcome. i want to talk about laboratory directed research and development, l.d.r.d. it is an important investment in high risk and high reward activities that are nationa national -- anows our signs in places like -- as well as other labs around the country to pursue innovation solution to some of our nation's most
vaccine energy and national security problems. do you agree that l.d.r.d. is important and viable to the lab's ability and retaining the best and brightest scientists and engineers? >> yes, i do support it. >> do you support 6% authorized by congress for l.d.r.d.? >> i will follow with congress. >> if you all think that's the appropriate number we'll work within the parameters of that. >> let me ask you a little bit about, i am still trying to wrap my head around given the advancement that's been made there with solar cells and power control and lithium-ion battery. >> senator, i come from a background of having worked in that type of environment if you
will. that was what i did when i was a governor of the state of texas with the emergency technology funds. i know the results of really well managed program. i know that there are people on both sides of the isle who are supportive of rpe. i looked at the results of it and have found some very, very positive things that came out of it. so let me leave it at this. if this congress, if this committee they support the funding ofun funding of that. it will be operated in the way that you are mostly please with. >> i support that. i think it is important if we revisit some of that. >> enter. >> moving onto storage, secretary. your testimony indicates that storage remains an important area of focus, we certainly see
huge strives in storage in the last few years. i am pleased to see the requests for storage funding for energy storage and innovation, and i hope the hub will be renewed and reauthorized. yo and, starts a new beyond battery initiative, talk to me a little bit about your focus on storage and then explain what the beyond batteri battery initiative is. >> in the broad sense i think that battery storage is the holy grail of the energy storage side of things so when we are able to do that. i have great confidence and it
will come out from a national app, some of the work coming out of the national app. programs grow. they mature. i think that's what you are seeing happening here beyond battery is a visionary quest to find us in a position to lead the world in battery storage. now materials. it is one of the reasons this country needs to be self-sufficient as we can be when it comes to rare earth minerals of what senator manchin was talking about and his district and deposits there that are very positive in that direction. so, i hope that you will look at this, senator as the next step, an appropriate next step. d.o.e. have been historically done early stage financing, get innovations to particular
places, commercialize them and those programs are mature and we go onto the next challenge. >> i am running out of time before long. i would make the argument. i am intrigued by what beyond batteries would mean. i think we need to be opened to new technology. lithium-ion has a huge impact of our market. that's still the same level of development. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. thank you senator henreich. >> thank you.
>> this budget goes in the wrong direction by cutting 66% of renewable energy and energy efficiency. 66% of electric grid modernization. it is not only hawaii moving to sustainable energy, there is a huge future of global market and clean technology. your budget would weaken the united states and -- according to a report by bloomberg, china invested in $52 billion of clean energy. china is reducing its investment. why should the united states, i want to ask you what -- i think we are going in the wrong direction. so, why are we doing that? >> i know that you said we are
continuing to provide research and fossil fuels and nuclear power, where is the commitment to renewable sources of energy when you are facing these kinds of budget cuts. >> they are still there and almost $700 million of funding for that and we are focusing on early stage r.n.d. and we'll maintain the united states leadership p leadership position in this transfo transiti transformative signs. i am comfortable that the commitment is still there. we had great success stories whether it is dealing with hydrogen and fuel cells or automobiles or whether we have exceeded our goals of the last
five years. in short, we are hitting our ex exceeding our goals and then you know, you set new goals, some of the work that we are doing on carbon capture utilization. >> i understand the importance of the early stage of r.n.d. but if you don't go on early stages, the technology that's developed can never be utilized. >> in september, the subcommittee held a hearing how to foster innovation with emphasises on the roles of our energy labs. the strategy for duke energy, one of the largest electricity utilities companies in the country. utilities need to know that a
new technology fully works before they trusted on their power system. it is not necessarily fundamental sciences but i would call early stage of r.n.d. the fact that the matter is we cannot operate out of a system of technology solution that don't have history. anybody who says national lab infringing on the potential of the private sector, does not understand the complexity of the system that we are operating. electric systems asked last congress to support and demonstrate how to integrate energy storage, rooftops and solar and other advance electric grid technology. i do think the chair ranking members for including a grant in their energy bill and i wish the president's budget has the same foresight. we need to support beyond thor stage stuff. i hope that you recognize a
continuum needs for the alternative energy sector. >> okay, i do. >> thank you, senator. senator smith, recognizing we are trying to keep the secretary on time so we'll be very quick. >> thank you very much madame secretary. mr. secretary, very nice to meet you, thank you for being here. i am very glad that senator hurono asked the question of energy sufficiency and renewal of office. i strongly support that and i hope it is a willingness to working with us hitting that budget number up to a place that'll work much better for my state. i have a similar request i will say on the importance of weather aigs of assistants. it helps seniors stay in their
homes and voyoung families affo their home because they could afford energy better. it is so important for minnesota. a former business person, i appreciate the return on investment on this program is good according to oak ridge national lab, we see $1.72 benefit for every dollar that's invested in weatherizing home. it creates a lot of jobs, too. i want to ask you would you be, i would like to work with you on this as well and see if we can find some common ground on keeping the weatherization assistant program working well for minnesota and our country. >> senator, we'll work with you. as a governor, i think it is important for the state to play a very important role in that arena as well. >> yes, i agree with that and our state does play an important role and we look for a good partnership with the federal
government. >> thank you senator smith. >> senator king. >> i am going to try for 30 seconds. >> go ahead. >> governor perry. thank you. >> you are supposed to call by your highest title. >> i am not going to get into that, sir. >> i am glad to be here in any role. >> three quick points, number one, congratulations on the formation of the cyber security and response office, timely and important. a great initiative and look forward to working with you on it. this is an area of huge national vulnerability and the fact that you create an office to focus on that problem exclusively is commendable and i certainly as i say looking forward to working with you on that. >> thank you, sir. >> number two, please maintain the focus on research. i believe one of the most porn things a federal government can do is do research that's not necessarily going to pay off right away because commercial
sector does that very well. but, we all know that we would not have fracking or the revolution and the price of oil and gas that we have but for support department of energy many years ago, we need to be thinking in the future about that kind of support for future technology and we cannot imagine now. research, however, it is defined and which ever department it is in, it is one of the most po important functions. i hope you will continue on that focus on things like storage which you characterize ds od on the most important of this country, committed. >> yes, sir. >> weatherization, that's really important. i want to echo my colleague in minnesota. we face situations in maine where people had to choose medication, heating their home or putting food on the table. weatherization is a great way and a great way of avoiding expenditures in the future. please if the congress refunds,
reestablishes that, i hope the department will continue to actively promote it because it is very important to our constituents. >> senator king, the department is going to be a good partner. but more importantly if having been an appropriator and one of my previous lives having been the secretary of energy and governor, i respect this process. and if you see fit, this committee sees fit and congress sees fit to fund particular line items, i give you my solemn oath that it will be administered and managed and successfully as possible. >> mr. senator, i cannot ask for more. >> thank you, senator king. >> this is well ahead of
senate's time. we are one minute over your hard stocks. i think we did very well. i think you heard the concerns for many about these budget category areas, we'll look at them as we focus on our important priorities whether it is clean up cyber but we appreciate the opportunity to work with you and your team. >> senator, thank you for your thoughtfulness and allowing me to walk out. thank you all for your pleasant experience. >> happy to be with you. >> committee stand to adjourn.
the march for our lives rally against mass shootings take place in washington, d.c. watch live on saturday beginning at noon eastern on c-span. sunday, yale university professor amy chua talks about "political tribes." >> we need to be able to talk to each other as americans again and not to say you are the evil ones. it used to be people on the
other side of the political divide were just people that we disagree with. now, it is like the people that voted for the other candidate are immoral and they are enemies and not real americans anymore. this because -- i study really democracy arounies around the w places like libya, what's the difference of libya and the united states. libya is a multi ethnic country, too, 140 different people. it is a failed state. it does not have that over arching strong libyan identity, strong enough to hold the country together. it was a colonial construction but we do. this is what makes us special. >> q&a at sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. monday on landmark cases.
join us for wainwright, he spent his time in jail studying the law and he challenged the state of florida which denied him access to attorney. gideon verses wainwright. are you ready for trial? >> do you plea guilty of this charge by reasons of insanity. >> gideon v. wainwright, examine this case in the high courts ruling with paul clement. he serves during the george w. bush administration. and reid amar, watch on monday