tv Alaskan Oil Spill News Conference CSPAN March 23, 2019 3:10pm-3:41pm EDT
waters. more than 10 million gallons of oil have been spilled with deadly results for wildlife and hardship for local citizens. we all share the sorrow and concern of alaskans and the determination to mount a sustained cleanup effort. our ultimate goal must be the complete restoration of the ecology and the economy of prince william sound. including all of its fish, marine mammals birds and other wildlife. the exxon corporation has acknowledged responsibility for this spill. and its liability for the damages. exxon should remain responsible for both damages. and for employing civilian personnel. necessary to control further damage. however, exxon's efforts,
standing alone, are not enough. and after consulting with the congressional delegation, senator ted stevens, senator frank murkowski, congressman don young. i have determined to add additional federal resources to the cleanup effort. in addition to the considerable for federal personnel and equipment already on the scene. and this new effort will focus on the job of helping recover all now in the water and restoring beaches and other damaged areas. this effort should not in any way relieve exxon from any of its responsibilities or its liabilities. i have asked sam skinner, our secretary of transportation, to serve as the coordinator of the efforts of all federal agencies involved in the cleanup and to work with the alaskan the authorities and exxon. admiral paul yost of the comment coast guard will return to
alaska to assume the personal oversight of developments as we all know the coast guard has many assets in place right now. also at my direction, defense secretary dick cheney will make available u.s. armed forces personnel and equipment to assist in the cleanup. the military will provide personnel for direct cleanup activities, as well as assisting with logistics. the needs of logistics all related to the cleanup. and of course, these efforts must be undertaken carefully so that further damage to fragile areas will not occur. intensive planning now going on as well as appropriate cleanup. -- cleanup training will be completed before ground units are actually deployed. in addition to the department of defense personnel, i've asked my staff to develop plans to enable volunteers to participate, to participate in cleanup activity. by summer we hope to have developed facilities to unable
us to accommodate a core of alaskan volunteers. and when i say develop facilities these gentlemen will , tell you dealing with very remote areas in some cases here. i have asked e.p.a. administrator bill reilly to coordinate the long range planning to restore the environment of the sound. e.p.a. will draw on the expert of leading scientists and i will -- and oil spill experts in this work. we will also consult with other federal agencies that are assessing scientific data regarding the effects of the spill. we will not forget the residents of alaska who have suffered. who have suffered extraordinary economic loss. and when you talk to these congressmen as i have, and who have brought it home on a case-by-case basis we have to be , concerned. and we are concerned. in addition to paying damage
it, we encourage exxon to increase its local hiring for the cleanup efforts. secretary skinner will also work with exxon and appropriate agencies to develop appropriate loan assistance programs to assist those who have suffered economic injury. this situation has demonstrated the inadequacy of of existing contingency plans. and consequently, i have directed a nationwide review of contingency plans of this type. to determine improvements that may be necessary. in describing these measures, we should not be under any illusions. the job of cleaning up the oil from both of the sea and the affected land areas will be massive, prolonged, and frustrating. nothing we can do will totally resolve this problem in the short term. rather we must be prepared for a , long sustained effort. learning from this experience. we also rededicate ourselves to
transportation safety and to realistic planning for accidents that do occur at the same time -- that do occur. at the same time our national , security interest in the domestic energy supplies should not be forgotten. the excellent safety record that was recorded prior to this incident must be restored and maintained consistently into the future. i really do have to run. i will turn this over to the congressmen and senators. >> thank you very much. pres. bush: we want to help and we care about what happens. [laughter] >> thank you. well, we have already begun to implement the president's program. we have met with the department of resource -- department of defense resources, which sick attorney dick cheney will talk about.
we met with exxon and we will talk with them again this afternoon. scale and moving full scale ahead on the president's directive and we are totally committed to do everything we can to restore the alaskan area around prince william sound and any other areas affected to as close as nature as possible. think secretary cheney and then bill reilly want to speak. >> obviously, our role in this effort is a supporting one. i think it is important people realize we have been actively involved already. we have had a large number of flights into the area to move equipment. there will be a team leaving today to see what additional support we can provide. and all of this will be under the command of general mcinerney
, who is on the scene in alaska on a regular basis as well. the things we think we can be is to establish control and coordinate activities in the area. we will send a control platform to valdez, that is the main community, but there is little housing available to move people into the area, so we will dispatch ships to be used to house and feed and provide comfort for those involved. we will establish a task force you to see what we can do additionally in terms of building up resources. i will do whatever i can to be helpful in support and i will certainly do my best. >> mr. riley? mr. riley: the environment of prince william sound is a rich one in terms of sea life, in seas of bird life and
mammals and commercial fisheries. we want to restore it. it has suffered a serious blow and we have no way of knowing or assessing how enduring the impact will be. the president has directed this so that i coordinate the planning for the restoration of the sound and the national -- the national oceanic and atmospheric administration is undertaking the ecologicalessment. it will probably be some time several months before we have even a preliminary idea of what we're looking at here. the overall assessment will take about three years. that is one of my first jobs. it is going to be to bring to bear on this problem a group of scientists looking around the world for the very best scientific resources that are available. people who have dealt with significant oil spills before and we want to bring that expertise. >> can you clarify something on cost. ?
has exxon agreed to reimburse you, or will you have to go to court? >> exxon is pouring millions of dollars a day into alaska right now in support of the effort coordinated by the coast guard. i met with them this afternoon to discuss the cost related to the initial effort. in addition, at the request of senators and congressmen from alaska, we have begun to explore with exxon, as well as the federal government other , possibilities to make economic loans or smaller or low interest loans available to the people that may be injured as a result of their disaster there. so this effort is a coordinated effort. i can't give you precise answer s on dollars, that is part of the assessment that is ongoing. i think it's important to recognize the president has committed to restoring that area as close as we can to its original condition. and the resources of the united states government been put at my disposal to make sure that
happens. and i plan to use them. >> the last time that you were here, you stated that you found it almost unbelievable that the tanker could have run aground, given the fact it was moving to a 10 mile wide area. are you satisfied that the alleged intoxication of the captain accounts for this accident? >> as you know, almost moments went aground,el and asked the national transportation safety board to investigate. that is something the coast guard would normally have done , but because the coast guard had a vessel traffic service in the area i asked the national , transportation safety board to do that. they are doing a good job. once we get the results, we will
know more than we know now. >> can you give us numbers -- >> let's try to coordinate this. secretary dick cheney, i noticed questions for him. >> can you tell us what the whendent met when -- meant he said that military personnel would be involved in the cleanup? >> they will be providing transportation support, providing housing in terms of trying to move amphibious ships to the area. one of the things we need to do is to improve the operations of the valdez airport. we have the capacity to help solve that problem. it may involve the direct involvement of u.s. military personnel in the cleanup, just as they were involved previously for example in fighting the forest fires in yellowstone last year. i do not know enough yet to say that these are the specific tasks that they will perform. >> which military branch?
>> at this point, nearly everybody is involved. obviously, admiral yost is in effect and on the scene. head of operation will be general mcinerney that i mentioned before. he is chairman of the joint task force in alaska. who will be in the area in the media control the army will be involved and the director of military support here in washington at the pentagon general smith will be involved , in coordinating the response of the department to the extent of support there. >> how many people are you talking about, are you talking about thousands? >> i do not have an answer. >> who is now in control of the cleanup, who is in charge, is it the federal government or exxon? >> i will turn that over to sam
skinner. sec. skinner: as you know, as the president indicated, one of the major objectives was to offload the tanker. that has now been done. operationt of that and conversations we have had in the last two days with the coast guard, they have taken a greater role in the overall cleanup. they will, as a result of the mandate, have a more significant role. yost and robbins will go to alaska in the not here near future to make sure the effort is coordinated. the coast guard is the overall coordinator. the head willead, be overlooking and others will be supporting him in their command structures. >> you are saying the federal government should take over at least part of this and he said federalization beyond prince william sound, are you satisfied now with the president's decisions on that?
>> i am satisfy the president has given us a considerable portion of a request that we made to him and his staff and the cabinet people who are here. i still have great concern over the prince william sound oil still coming out of going toward -- still coming out of prince william sound and going toward kodiak. we have never asked for federalization. we have asked for federal control of the further actions that must be taken to try to deal -- we feel like there is 2 million gallons still going out of the sound toward kodiak and we must do something about that, but i do not know if you know the extent to which secretary cheney has already been involved. he has 100 naval officers working up there for mr. yost now, they have 22 skimmers there, i imagine that is three fourths of the fleet up ther en
e. we have had an increase in effort in the last three days, and we are pleased to see the effort. we still have a request that there be an emergency declared. the department of justice has reservations about that, but we are pursuing that. and we still have the question, the overall question of who is going to be in control of the review of these contingency plans. we are discussing that with mr. riley and i believe it will be worked out. yesterday to today is the difference of night and day, as far as the federal presence in regard to dealing with this continuing disaster. the earthquake lasted four minutes. this is going to last for years. everybody should realize is going to last years in terms of recovery. >> alan and then back to you. >> a week ago, you said that exxon was doing a good job, all
speed ahead, did they blow it? >> we have now offloaded the vessel and we have had the flow and we have seen the flow of fuel and oil further than we've anticipated, not that we anticipated, but it has moved down further. so this effort has to change. we now are beginning however to address the long range cleanup of the islands and land that has been damaged. this is something that senator stevens has pointed out will go on for months. this effort is now beginning. it was inappropriate to begin it at that time because all the resources were dedicated towards containing and getting the oil off the tanker. we're now moving to a new phase . that new phase is to begin the cleanup of the islands that have been affected. the department of defense is going to help support that effort, along with the coast guard. and for the citizens of alaska and other people, the president -- he personally
indicated he wants civilian involvement. maybe a youth involvement. these efforts are going on. that is what has changed. the mission has changed. because we've gotten through one phase we're moving into another phase. >> why do you resist saying this effort has been federalized, it clearly has? >> it has been an increase, the word federalization is a word that may have statutory connotations. the important thing to recognize is there is an increase in federal effort and we avoid the use of the word federalized because of legal connotations. i might add on that issue i , spoke with governor cooper last night. governor cooper indicated to me that he is for more coordination and more support along the lines that we have indicated. he did not ask for federalization. his letter was was great in that -- was inaccurate in that
request. if you have been reporting he asked for federalization. he has not been asking for federalization. >> what is your position on liability? is xl liable for returning the environment in your pristine condition and will exxon be asked to foot the bill for the federal efforts? >> yes, they have already been spending millions of dollars a day. we are talking about additional support from exxon, and mr. riley has been discussing the efforts that need to be done to restore the environment. number one, they are liable. they acknowledged liability and they are working to put funds available to restore, recover and repair. and all of that is going on on a concerted basis with the coast guard. >> when you were here last week, mr. riley mentioned to exxon that they should take on the responsibility of cleaning the beaches and doing extra work to get to a more natural state,
and as i recall the response was, that is an interesting idea. >> no, what i said just did that is that theyted provide money for future ecological restoration efforts. that is a different matter from the cleanup itself, in which they have invested something like 350 people who are currently working on a beach cleanup, that are working for exxon. we feel that is not enough. we feel the size of this disaster, the very large scale in which we're operating in prince william sound is going to require more people, and that is what we intend to say happened. >> mr. riley, i am confused. let me ask you specifically what steps you are taking to review the plan, and in a broader
context the review underway looking at what is happening off the coast, what specific >> those are two different issues. the response team is looking at contingency steps. i think that given what we have learned here with the obvious inadequacy of the plan, that is proof of urgently needed steps. the task force which includes myself,y lujan, secretary watkins, is looking at the feasibility and ensuring we can go forward with these off the coast of california, and we will do that. >> that you are going to take to the review of -- >> i think that effort already
had a very strong expression of presidential concern. the administration is forgoing almost half a million dollars in revenue from the sale of those leases this year. we already were giving all of the attention we could to make sure the environment, those sensitive areas were protected. >> let's take some final questions. no idea how many people it will take, how long it will take, how much it will cost? the group met yesterday and is meeting today with the coast guard. we are going to assess what realistic support is necessary. we have a pledge from the president and the secretary of defense. no, we do not have -- well, clearly there will be a significant increase in the
effort to quantify it at this point. the coast guard assessment team has been on the scene and has come back to us would be, in my opinion, ill advised. making that assessment, putting the program together. within days, we will be back to you. recognizeant thing to -- first of all, the team is on its way today. we will have a complete program put together early next week. we will then begin to deploy it as it makes sense. we are not going to put people up there until we are equipped and trained. what the federal statute is, but in times of war, the coast guard goes under dod. is this such a national emergency that -- >> this is a major civilian disaster. it is being treated as such by
the president. it is not such that it would call for federalization of the coast guard. >> remembering president george w. bush and the inventor of the world wide web, this weekend on american history tv. eastern, 8:00 p.m. former secretary of state james baker remembers his longtime friend, president george. >> i was privileged to serve as his secretary of state for four years. fortunateaordinarily to serve a wonderful friend and an extraordinary human being, as we all know. tounderstood that he had defend me, protect me even when i was wrong. >> at 9:00, on the 30th anniversary of the world wide
web, a conversation with its inventor, computer scientist tim berners-lee. >> solving climate change or solving cancer, pieces of the problem are in different people's brains. but they connect on the internet. the goal for the web should .e a collaborative place as i wander around the states looking at other people's ideas, i can pick them up and take them together. wellre thinking of that, i've been thinking of this. >> watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. >> once, tv was just three giant networks and eight government supported service called pbs. then, in 1979, a small network
with an unusual name rolled out a different idea. let viewers decide what was important to them. content you unfiltered from congress and beyond. this was true people power. in the years since, the landscape has changed. broadcasting has given way to narrowcasting, youtube stars are a thing. ideas are as relevant today as ever. no government money supports c-span. washington is funded as a public service by your cable and satellite provider. c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. on american history tv, investigative journalist jerry his 30 yearks about jackson--- the
jackson, mississippi ledger. here's a preview. >> i didn't know if he was alive, if he was dead. most of the internet sites, i knew you had to have a city and a state, but i didn't know that. there was one site i knew where you didn't have to have that, you just kind of typed in his name and up it popped. i called him. first 20 minutes of the conversation went like this. how did you find me, how did you find me? i'm like, it's on the internet. said, i have an unlisted telephone number.
they issued a warrant for his arrest. he didn't like that. in fact, he ran. while he was on the run, he sent me this audio cassette. this was at the end. jerry, i thought i would let you know, you've ruined my life. but i promised i would talk to you, so here's this tape. he proceeds to tell me about his involvement in all this klan violence, the murder. shortly after this, he turns himself in to authorities and this leads to the arrest of sam baller's. -- sam bowers. whoddition to sam bowers, was arrested with his right hand guy, devers nicks. when they brought devers nicks in, it was like the most pitiful site. they wheeled him in with the
wheelchair, the green oxygen tank. they wheeled him up in front of the judge and he's like, i can't take more than a couple steps without leaving -- without needing oxygen. the judges like, i normally don't do this, going to let you out without bond. a dozen days later, this is like a reporters dream. this is where we caught him. [laughter] so he got arrested. he loved me. >> find out how investigative journalist jerry mitchell helped put four klansmen in jail. you are watching american history tv only on c-span3. >> princeton university professor kevin kruse talks about the role of -- the role of
historians on social media. he discusses how media consumption has changed since the 1970's. this 13 minute interview was recorded in chicago at the american historical association meeting. is a professor at princeton university and he's out with a new book this month, "faultlines: the history of america since 1974." that we taught was developed on the idea that this period was really a distinct period, something that should be treated as a distinct thing. it is a discrete entity that we need to dig into on its own terms. >> you have the resignation of nixon in 1974. the first of and only appointed
president in gerald ford, and the cold war at its peak. kevin: it goes into detente at that period but it is in a state of flux. you got the end of the vietnam 1973 tong place over 1975, the opec oil crisis. there was a great deal of chaos. it seemed to be a moment that theripe for making post-cold war order and think about new trends that came about. steve: what did you learn? kevin: i learned a lot. for us, it was a real adventure because we were really writing about the history of our own lives. ofwas a process rediscovering things we thought we knew as teachers and people who had grown up in these