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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 8, 2014 12:30am-2:31am EST

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guest: i do not know where they are building the other components. ler: over 80% are being made in japan. you need to be aware of that. comment about ford. any ford are of manufacturing plant in tennessee. guest: i didn't say tennessee. the $6 billion in loans that helped them retool 13 different factories so they efficient more fall cars like the ford focus, ford and even the sion f-150 trucks are all being made be hese factories and will made more fuel efficient which thousands he drivers f dollars and reduce car been
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pollution and create 33,000 jobs. host: his point about where the spent, what is eing done to ensure this money stays in the united states and doesn't fund jobs overseas? note it is important to that the american recovery and reinvestment act which provided the resources had a "buy america" clause in it make sure was built inssible the u.s. i will give you an example from the wind industry. years ago only one-quarter a wind omponents for turbine were made in the u.s. hanks to investments under the recovery act three-quarters of the components in turbines are made in the u.s. last month the siemens company which is a fortune company to have it was going the largest order ever to build $2 turbines, almost billion, to build at their plant mason, iowa.
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i believe that will create about 1,000 jobs. sorry, fort madison, iowa. hat is an example of where you sort of jump started the industry in 2009 when the credit markets were frozen after the horrible financial crash of 2008 capital ovided some through loan guarantees and tax breaks it companies. able to keep investing. get jobs.e able to another good example the first scale solar lity power plants were built with guarantees.oan the next 10 under construction now are solely private money. able to jump start the industry where we had none and where art manufacturing there was little. this has been a win for the why some ich is republicans don't like it. every republican in the united tates house including
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mrs. black burn voted against providing these resources. no wonder why they don't want to talk about the success. mama southern frosted writes throwing the tax dollar black holeeen energy most stuff. to roger waiting in on the south carolina democrat liable. caller: i have two things i would like it talk about. the solar insurancenergy. i understand congress passed a imports of thelate solar panels. of the reasons that the company field. the other is nuclear. nuclear loan guarantees.
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they are building two plants in south carolina and two in tennessee. hese were loan guarantees by this same program that is mention mentioned. that, please?about guest: sure, thanks, roger. first talk about the ing which is that one reason silindra failed is it didn't solar ate very cheap panels being dumped in the united states by china. people know dumping means when a country will underprice a to kill its domestic the titors and take over market. the commerce department and trade rep is working with china to try to alleviate that. nonetheless, that was the compensation that proves the rule. and a couple other companies ailed but 97% of the
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investments paid off under the program. remember, in the "60 minutes" in private venture capital their investments have about a 10% success rate. it comes it loan guarantee for nuclear power plants under we started the first new nuclear reactors in through loan guarantees that have been as recovery package. in that sense president obama is of the ursuing all before energy strategy and wall street investors are going crazy investing in solar energy. there was a story friday. that long on nuclear energy because of great ost concerns and overruns and what you do with spent waste and meltdown fukushima there's great concern about safety. in all street is investing solar and not nuclear. host: john is in chicago on the republicans.
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good morning, john. a e you are staying warm in very cold chicago. caller: yes, i am. or wind. to solar that was my kquestion. what percentage of all our power both for heat and electricity, is provided by wind or solar? lesl made it sound real bad. facts buts giving the so as that same color now that it sounds much been it is. first i would note that the "60 minutes" report included very few actual facts. lesley stahl said she had not any the hing that
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programs had created jobs but ll she had to do is go to the department of energy website to see that the loan guarantee rogram she was criticizing has created 55,000 jobs. you can go to that website and each project t of they funded and how many jobs are there. hen it comes to total overall electricity generation from would be gy, that about, i believe, 12% or so. been ount that has discriminated from wind, solar nd geothermal has doubled the past four years and it will continue to increase. nother big change in electricity generation has been the decline in use of coal from electricity it around 40% and rise of natural 22% to the low 30%. hat is a big change that occurred the last four years. host: john smith's question on why try to veil lanize
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representil when they american jobs? a billion ou invest solar you wind or will create three times more jobs than in oil production. that was based on a study from the university of massachusetts oil production is capital intensive. second of all, the problem with coal is that it is very expensive. thecosts aren't paid for by .eople who mine the coal the national academy of sciences
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, a most eminent body, estimates that using coal for electricity least $60 billion per year in health care costs -- premature deaths, more hospitalizations, lost productivity. coal has a huge cost to it. need to do is we need to internalize the costs so that people who are using coal for electricity are actually paying the full cost of the damage of coal, which includes health impacts. host: new regulations on coal. what is on tap for 2014? june president obama gave a speech about a comprehensive climate plan.
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the first part was to reduce carbon pollution responsible from power plants. invest in would be to clean alternatives, such as wind or solar. the second is to make our communities more resilient from a extreme weather and climate change, like the drought we have had the southwest or the .orrible flooding let's help communities build ups of their more resistant to extreme weather. the third pieces to work with other nations to get them to reduce their pollution as well. thehe first part, president, last fall, proposed frommit carbon pollutions power plants. it is coal power plants that will be built in the future will have to be as clean as natural gas plants. they are also working on a rule that will be proposed this june
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that would limit carbon pollutions from existing power plants. meetings around the country to talk to citizens about this. they're drafting the rule, they will make the proposal in june. undoubtedly they will have another series of hearings all around the country about whether or not this is the most cost- effective way to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. they will finalize the rule in mid-2015. host: let's go to deal from new jersey on our line for democrats. good morning. thank you for coming on. this is a very tough crowd. i am happy you are sticking with us and giving us the real facts. i am a huge clean energy, solar guy. i'm an advocate of clean energy. i went solar about 3 years ago. i'm in south jersey and it has
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been an amazing difference fo roufor our electricity bills. why aren't more businesses like big malls having hundreds of panels on the roof? they are soaking in the sun every day. about hydrogennk fuel cells? is that considered clean energy? there has been a company that is doing a lot of small fuel cell different thigns ings such as transportation. question,your first the conversion to solar has been slow for two reasons. eight -- 2008 there
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was the huge financial crash that froze markets. committees that wanted to invest in solar panels had a difficult time raising the capital necessary to do that. that is where some of the loan guarantee programs have come and. in addition, there are some new , solar runcompanies -- you can go look at the "new york times" paper from january 3. you don't have to invest in the hardware to generate solar energy. you just pay the companies for the solar electricity and you pay a rate that is lower than you what -- then you would have been paying for conventional electricity. cell,it comes to a fuel- i'm not familiar with the
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technology. from what i understand, it is a green energy source depending on how you produce the hydrogen. if you use electricity from a clean source, yes. if you use a lot of coal-fired electricity to produce the it is a, then i think much closer call. i think the fuel source technology is not ready for commercialization yet. this is not my area of expertise. i don't want to speak anymore about it. we talk about the department of energy loan guarantee program, the one that funded several other programs. ron wrightson on e-mail -- e-ron writes in on mail -- guest: three percent of the defaulted on.n
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i don't know how much has been paid back. for advancedn toomobiles -- they got close $500 million and they paid back nine years ahead of time. let's go to brian in louisiana on our line for republicans. you're on with daniel weiss. caller: can you hear me? [indiscernible] you'reyou hear me? host: on the air, go ahead. don't care about people putting solar panels on the houses. i used to live offshore breed we cannot live -- offshore. -- we cannot live in the united states with all the gas.
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i lost my job because what went offshore and everything. you can keep your electric car if you want to. [indiscernible] it took us almost two days to get to dallas with an electric car. all this is bogus with climate change. people like you come up with all this garbage. a heck of ag winter. i don't see climate change. am sorry you are out of
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work. i hope that congress will follow president obama's lead by extending long-term uninsurance insuranceunemployment for people in your circumstances. it is important to know that under president obama we are producing more domestic oil than we have in the last 20 years and we are in -- we are importing less. office, when bush left we were importing almost 60% of our oil. now we are importing only 40%. second of all, we are producing about 12% of our electricity from her new energy sources now. remember that electric cars is a technology that is just starting out. one of the most important things we need to do is extend the range vehicles can travel. people are starting to get more interested in this.
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in the first half of last year, twice as many people ought to plug-in hybrid vehicles than the year before. plug-in hybrid vehicles than the year before. those people are saving thousands of dollars per year in lower gas purchases. >> do you want to address the comments about global warming? of an the subject editorial in today's "washington times" -- guest: there is a technical term for what is happening right now. some records are going to be broken, it is important to know that at the same time we are having record colds here
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they are having record heat in australia. november, it was the warmest november on record. be the fourth to warmest year on record. i would like to show this graph that shows you the average temperature for the last 50 years. as you can see it is steadily rising. sure there are tweaks of up-and- down. every decade has been warmer than the decade before. the zeros were warmer than the 90s and the 90s were warmer than the 80s. there's no question the earth's temperature is rising. >> where's this chart from? , theat is data from nasa people who put a man on the moon and run the space station. it is one of america's premier
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scientific agencies. host: let's go to david waiting in -- waiting in anchorage alaska. -- anchorage, alaska. caller: thank you for c-span. it is my favorite program. the problem is a philosophical problem. we have the government picking winners and losers versus the free market. when you talk about venture capital and return on their investment, i don't know how your return is captured in dollars. venture capitalists capital -- venture capitalists gamble with their money. the government gambles with my money. if you look at the ethanol , they are farming roads to road.
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there's no habitat anymore for the wild beings. they are using herbicides, pesticides, endangering the ground and water in doha -- in iowa. let's get to the wind farm in anchorage, alaska. worth was given to alaska native corporations to buy 10 men -- by 10 windmills manufactured in china. my electricity rates have gone up three percent. what is your question? do you think the cost of clean energy is worth the return? the short answer is absolutely yes. the greatest environmental
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threat posed to us is from climate change. in your state cold villages will because theoved tundra it is built on will follow. -- will thaw. congress of the united states, with his elected representatives, did vote for this program under the , passed into law, and president obama signed into law. that is how democracy works. the corn ethanol industry has had a very huge downside. got rid ofthat we the tax cuts a couple of years ago for foreign-based ethanol. i agree there are a lot of concerns that wind turbines and wind farms have to be built in a
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way that do not kill -- unnecessarily killed thousands of the eagles and other important wildlife. it has to be dealt with. where are the women? we have had all guys so far. an e-mail -- that is an excellent question. we already pick winners and losers. the nuclear energy institute, which represents the nuclear industry, did a study that found over the last 60 years that we have invested 58% of our tax subsidies and other stub cities -- and other subsidies in the oil and gas industry. removable's and 12%
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-- nine percent renewables and 12% in coal and nukes. in fact, big oil and gas companies get $4 billion per year in tax breaks, even though they have made record profits. the five largest oil and gas -- in 2013n the u.s. alone they are going to make -- they already made over $70 billion in profits over the past three quarters. they probably made close to $100 billion over 2013. they need those tax breaks? absolutely not. to do isre trying invest in a new clean energy technology of the future, like china, germany, and what are other economic competitors are doing. that's what our other economic others -- and what our
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economic competitors are doing. host: next caller. tennessee.ive in that is where the plant is building batteries for the nissan leaf. earlier you were talking about a on that would go 50 miles its batteries and then it would run on gasoline. but i trulyengineer --ieve that car could run the electric generator could be run by compressed air instead of gas. that would be h are meant to change in the way -- would be a tremendous change in the way we get around.
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i would like to say one other -- there are a lot of inventions and technologies that are being suppressed by coal and oil in order to keep us buying their products. i was wondering if you have ever heard of a man named joe holden. , heou search him on youtube is the man who invented the afterburner for the jet engines. he was a jet fighter pilot back in the korean war. he was the head engineer for rolls-royce jet engines. he had some inventions you do not hear about. you can see them on youtube, but this stuff is being suppressed. give dan weiss the last minute here in the segment. example of a car
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where you run on that or he first and then gasoline -- by the way, the average person drives 40 miles per day in the u.s.. to -- chevrolet has 30 miles on the battery. of i am not familiar with the air compression technology. problem -- as everyone listening knows we have the best engineers, the most inventive minds in the whole world here in the united states. they're coming up with all kinds of clean energy technology to run electricity longer, to use less, and pollute less. the biggest problem is getting the technology commercialized ago from the lab to the marketplace. there's is basically a market failure. particularly after the economic crash in 2008, investors were not willing to invest in new technology if they were not sure about the payoff.
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invest, you can't develop it for the payoff. loan guarantees helped get technologies from the lab to the marketplace. that is happening now. ,or example, with solar energy the first five utility solar plants were built with federal loan guarantees. the next 10 are being built with private capital. that is how this is working. that is how this will remain with our german and chinese competitors. clean energy technology will be invented here. we also want to make sure they will be used here. dan weiss is the director of climate strategy at the center for american progress. you can follow him on twitter
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>> coming up next, a look at congressional action on the extension of unemployment benefits. democratic leaders after the vote to move the legislation forward. then mitch mcconnell voices opposition to the bill. president obama urges the house of representatives to take up the bill. wednesday morning, tom donohue gives his annual state of american business speech. you can see it live on c-span three. release of a report on states and health care costs by the university of irvine -- university of virginia.
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>> if i were to identify the single most important challenge to overcome, it would be that. the reason why we are here today is because of this inclination. it is anti-historical because it denies centuries of islamic theology and traditions. hundreds of years of diversity and subscribes to the idea that to be muslim, it you have to follow it from the seventh century. abouturney has to be by clerics be told that islam is the seventh century reality.
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whore americans and muslims need an islam of the 21st century. >> sunday night at 9:00, part of book tv this weekend. online, we will be discussing the liberty amendments. read the book and join the conversation. >> chuck schumer describes the votes to advance unemployment insurance benefits as a glimmer of hope. he spoke with reporters after this and it advanced the $6.4 billion plan.
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just a few weeks ago there were colleagues who were talking about unemployment insurance as a disservice to the american worker. today we are talking about the vital nature of this program and the need to extend it and now we are also talking about should it be paid for in the long term? are there other changes that could be made? we made several changes in 2012. so we are moving forward.
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we have to collaborate. we have to be constructive. but today i think we have given a bit of hope to millions of americans who are struggling in a difficult economy to find jobs, who are struggling to provide sustenance to their families, to pay their heat bill, put some gas in the car, and to keep looking for work. we also understand that this is just providing sort of the immediate assistance people need. the longer term is to create the jobs. to build the economy where this these programs are not as necessary as they are today. i certainly -- this was a work of great effort that was collaborative and i'm pleased to be with my colleagues who paid such a critical role, senator
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schumer, senator a even. without them this would not have happened. let me call on senator shaheen from new hampshire. >> thank you, senator reed, and thank you for your leadership on this. you and senator heller made this a bipartisan vote. it was very good news to see 60 votes to move forward. it's good not just for the 1.3 million families who will benefit, but it's also going to be good for the economy of the united states. the congressional budget office and numerous economists, including mark zandi, have indicated this is one of the best things we have can do to help keep the money in the economy, keep it stimulated. it's a good way to spend public dollars to encourage private sector response. this is good for families, but it's also going to be good for our economy as we know that people who get unemployment insurance are going to spend
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those dollars. they are not going to put them in the bank. as senator reed said, how do we create jobs? this is one of the challenges we have. making sure that people can still go out and look for work, those dollars can be used to buy gasoline, pay for groceries, pay people's rent is important because it keeps a lot of other people working in the economy. it's very good news. serious negotiation vs. to start as we think -- negotiations have to start as we think about how we get this bill passed. >> before i introduce senator brown, i have to personally thank senator dean heller of nevada. he stood up, responding to his constituents and to what he was seeing in his home state, but across the country, and he provided great leadership. he did it with thoughtful persistent advocacy, and we are here today because in large part of his efforts and all of my colleagues on my democratic colleagues, but also my
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republican colleagues who stepped forward and said let's put it the rhetoric aside for a moment and try to help people. then do it in a constructive, cooperative way. with that let me recognize sherrod brown. >> it's 8 degrees below zero in cleveland today. it seems like it's almost that cold here and i think this vote today, this bipartisan vote, particularly thanks to senator reed and senator heller, on this bipartisan vote will help those people who have lost jobs. will heat their homes, help them go to the grocery store and buy food. will help them fix their car at the local -- with the local car mechanic so they can drive and look for work. this is all about social insurance. it's unemployment insurance. people pay into this when they are working and when they have lost their jobs.
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it's important they get those benefits. and no one gets these benefits without looking for jobs day after day after day. that's why this is so important. it's also important that we got a strong bipartisan vote out of the senate. i think that means good news for a minimum wage increase down the road. sooner rather than later. the last time we did minimum wage was 2007. strong bipartisan vote in both houses. signed by president bush. signed by the president of the united states. we hope to replicate that effort in 2014. it's also good news on manufacturing job growth issues we are working on bipartisanly. just came from a meeting with the manufacturing caucus, a group of members of the senate from both parties who care about job creation and care about manufacturing. last point i'd like to briefly make is senator shaheen just mentioned about how this is good for the economy. 100 years ago this week henry ford announced that he was going
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to pay his workers $5 a day. that was the person sweeping the floor and building the model t. what henry ford understood is what 60 members of the senate understood today and that is when you put money in people's pockets, they spend it and it grows the economy. maybe to buy a model t in his day, 100 years ago, but today in means they spend that money locally in grocery stores and car mechanic at the hardware store, buying clothes for their kids. keeping them going, keeping them alive. when it means for the 52,000 people in ohio that saw their unemployment expire at the end of last year and means to our economy as a whole. >> on december 28, 18,000 families in oregon got a lump of coal in their stockings when we failed to re-authorize the emergency unemployment program. of course this coming year we are going to see another 58,000 oregon families affected. then we have the broader economy in oregon, that's the thought this action would eliminate about 4,000 jobs.
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i can tell you that the citizens in oregon want to see us create jobs not destroy jobs. and so in this case we have a win-win for the families themselves, a stronger foundation, or a stronger bridge to the next job in areas of high unemployment and something that is helping the broader economy at the same time. this was a bipartisan program developed under president bush. today, this morning, we had a bipartisan vote to debate the bill. and now we have to make sure we have a bipartisan support to actually re-authorize this program and take those lumps of coal out of the stockings. this weekend i was doing town halls in oregon, and four were in rural areas. there's higher unemployment in rural areas across america. the average unemployment in oregon is now about 7.3%. but in three counties it's
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almost 12%. so the time it takes to get another job is much longer. that's true in high unemployment states and that's true across the country. so huge logic and huge impact on families. but let's understand there's a fundamental viewpoint here. when families are down, are they going to get a helping hand in the bridge to the next job? are they going to get kicked while they are down? i think the helping hand, bipartisan helping hand is what we have to develop and get re- authorized with due speed. thank you. >> thank you. i want to thank my colleagues, senator reed and senator heller for their leadership, and my colleague, senator shaheen brown and merkley, for working so hard on this issue. today brought us a glimmer of
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hope. it's good news in two ways. the first is it doesn't close the door on actually getting this bill passed. it allows us to sit down and negotiate. i'll talk more about that in a sec. the second is it shows that the big plates, tech tonic plates in our politics are moving. the issues that dominated the first five years of the president's term, the deficit and obamacare, are becoming less important than helping the average american people get by as job growth isn't as robust as we'd like it, and as middle class incomes this decade have declined for the first time in american history. our republican colleagues realize that. that's why they didn't shut the door on things because they saw as this chart shows the kind of
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unemployment we face, much higher now. much higher. and had they -- if our colleagues -- second point. we hope that this is a good faith negotiation. the offer that senator mcconnell made to the senate is obviously a nonstarter. i hope, we hope, some of us fear, that our republican colleagues, while they know the power of this issue, do not want to pass it and will put some obstacles in the way that will prevent the bill from passing. clearly the amendment posed by senator mcconnell was not going to -- was not going to pass. we don't want a mexican standoff, or we put in our pay- for and they put in their pay- for. coy think of one that makes more sense and more relevant than senator mcconnell's. take away the tax break for companies that ship jobs overseas. that would reduce unemployment and eventually lower the cost of unemployment insurance. i think we would have every democrat vote for that. but i suppose that would be a nonstarter for republican colleagues in the senate and house. the fundamental question is, are
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they going through a charade to show they really, really want a bill but they just can't come to an agreement and there are two different versions? or can we have serious negotiations and get something done? and we hope it's the latter. we hope it's the latter. if our republican colleagues continue to play games with this, they'll show how far out of the mainstream they are. as was mentioned by senator merkley, the original framework here was passed by george bush, a conservative republican president, when unemployment was 5.6%. it's now 7%. are republicans so far out of the mainstream that they reject even that? even unemployment benefits for people who have worked 10, 20, 30 years at one job, lost their job, and then they are spending every day going online or knocking on doors and trying to find a job and they can't?
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certainly we didn't hear the theory of the hard right or what rand paul said that unemployment benefits are a disservice to our workers. this idea people don't want to work. is fundamentally misleading the american character. americans do want to work. and there's satisfaction in job well-done for c.e.o.'s and people who make sure the floors are really spotlessly clean late at night in the hospital. so we hope that the vote today indicates that your republican colleagues will negotiate in good faith. we are open to such negotiations. we believe it would be, i believe, i think most of my colleagues believe it would be better to pass unpaid for, if we can't come to an agreement or even if we could because it stimulates the economy. we want to get this bill passed. it's too important, too important for the average american family not to. questions? >> the negotiate that these negotiations are going to be offsetting --
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>> i would prefer to pass this 90-day extension so that we could assure millions of americans they are going to get their benefits without disruption. my preference, frankly, and i think senator schumer said the same thing, because we want to also grow jobs as well as take care of unemployed that typically this is emergency spending which is not offset. last year, the beginning of 2013, we passed with overwhelming republican support a one-year extension of unemployment benefits that were not paid for. this notion of selectively saying the key issues must be paid for, must be paid for, that's not the case. most times we have paid for these benefits. i think we are going through these negotiations saying, you know, our reference is clearly
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we want to get this thing done quickly. this 90-day extension. for a year-long extension, if you have thoughtful ways to deal with it, and senator schumer suggested one, there are many others, we understand. we have to have a -- another bipartisan effort to get this measure finally passed. but from strictly the economic sense, strictly from history, the last number of times we have done this, in fact most recently in 2013, january, 2013, these benefits weren't paid for. best choice, pass it, no strings attached, get it done, get it done quickly. second best choice, finding a reasonable pay-for that can work on both sides of the aisle.
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i would caution people that's a lot easier said than done. again as i said i'm worried that we may be being somewhat walked into cul de sac by our colleagues who don't have an intention of doing that. that's a possibility. worst choice, you just have competing pay-fors and we don't get this done. it hurts our economy and workers. it >> can you give us the an example of what's a reasonable pay-for? >> senator schumer suggested some of these tax provisions that actually not only deprive the government of revenue, but also help deploy jobs overseas when we need jobs here. but there are a whole list of tax loopholes, and other things we could consider.
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i want to foreclose discussions. i think at this point, particularly, having secured a very positive bipartisan vote, getting us on to the measure, that we want to go forward in good faith and good spirit. and not include, exclude, etc., but just simply say we are willing to listen. as senator schumer cautioned, we have to have something that makes sense for the economy, makes sense for the people. and something that we can generally support. i hope my republican colleagues approach it the same way. anyone else? >> surprised by the vote today? >> it was in the balance until the very last moment. i was hopeful, but i guess being irish i'm always expecting the worst.
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yeah, i was surprised. that might be more a cultural than political. >> i think we are all -- not being irish, i think we all are a bit surprised. i think pope francis exorted his parish priests to go out and smell like the flock. i think that on a vote like this i think members of the senate are increasingly hearing from their constituents. a number of our colleagues did events during the holidays in the last two weeks, and if they were out in public, they were hearing from people whose unemployment benefits expired. there's 50,000 in my state, a large state, not the largest. it was thousands everywhere in this country. i think that not only is that good news for the unemployment insurance vote, i think that's good news for engage, good news for manufacturing, for really focusing on jobs. i think more and more of my
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colleagues are hearing that. >> thank you. >> how did the senate managed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward with the bill? a little bit of a surprise. democrats were worried they would be a vote or two short. did vote along with all of the democrats to advance this. it still has a long way to go. at least two more senate votes. some of the republicans said they would need offsetting spending cuts to pay for the extension. before they would vote for final
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passage. >> in terms of this bipartisan where will his allegiances fault when the vote -- allegiances fall when the vote comes later this week? senator heller? bill is unpaid he was the first republican to get on board on a three-month .xtension the unemployment rate in nevada is still very high. to get through the senate and the house, speaker boehner has said that it needs to be paid for. bey are probably going to entering into negotiations over what kind of cuts to make elsewhere that would pay for this bill.
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the democrats want to extend it for a full year. the three-month extension was meant to buy time. stays in thef it window or if they try to broaden it out. >> is it possible this bill could be attached to something bigger? >> it is possible. in the past, unemployment insurance extensions have been attached to other bills. they are working to finish up the farm bill. there has been some talk of using the savings from the farm for the unemployment benefits. that money matches up pretty well. that is a possibility.
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the other bill that you mentioned is a vehicle that will move forward is in the next few weeks is the omni bus spending bill. it could be attached to one or the other. >> the article that you helped write, you wrote about the democrats hoping to change the conversation and 2014 away from discussion on the health care reform law. how might they try to do that? to focus on the topic of the moment, which is income inequality. the president has been talking about this since his reelection in various forms. liberal democrats have been focusing on this. the push to extend unemployment
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insurance and to raise the minimum wage is all part of that. you can expect to see the president talking about other issues, a push to increase the minimum wage, which is an uphill battle with republicans controlling the house. they have long been opposed to raising the minimum wage, saying that it would hurt job creation. it is going to be a tough battle for democrats. everything has a political and electoral connotation. read more at the thank you for the update. came to theonnell floor to discuss the unemployment benefits extension bill. he indicated that since the white house is willing to look at ways to pay for the
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legislation, there may be a way to move the deal forward . his remarks are 10 minutes. past over the past several days we've seen a number of stories about how democrats plan to spend the year gearing up for november elections by making an issue out of economic hardships faced by americans. in other words, instead of working on reforms that would actually help people overcome the challenges so many of them face they were trying to exploit those folks for political gain. it is amazing when you think about it. we're now in the sixth year -- sixth year of the obama administration. we all know the stock market's been doing great, so the richest among us are doing just fine. but what about the poor? what about working class folks? what about folks that work in
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industries that liberals don't approve of, like coal? how many of these americans have been doing well during the obama economy? record numbers of them are having a perfectly terrible time. one indicator is the growth of the food stamp program. consider this. since the president took office, the number of americans who signed up for food stamp -ps has literally skyrocketed. corroboratinged. it is up -- skyrocketed. it is up almost half. nearly four out of ten americans are literally trapped in long term unemployment. what's worse, the poorest americans are the ones who have had a hard time recovering in this economy. yes, the president took office in the midst of an economic crisis. no one disputes that. but for many americans, a terrible situation seems to have only gotten worse over the
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course of this administration. so for the president to turn around and try to blame his political opponents for the suffering we've seen out there, that takes a pretty good amount of nerve. it also sends a collective case of national amnesia. it would take a collective case of national amnesia to reach those conclusions. because remember, these are the same folks who gave us the stimulus, who gave us tax increases, who gave us obamacare. all of it was done in the name of helping the little guy. in the name of greater equality. so what they've given us, it's given us this mess that we have in our country? record numbers of long-term unemployed. record numbers on food stamp -ps, people losing their health care plans, others seeing premiums shoot up when they can
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least afford it. and now another call, one more call for a government fix. washington democrats have shown almost no interest for five years in working together on ways to create the kind of good, stable, high-paying jobs that people really want and need. this is a real disservice. first and foremost to those who are struggling the most out there, from the college graduate who suddenly finds herself wondering why she's got huge student loan debts but no prospects of work to the 50-year-old dad who's worked his whole adult life and suddenly can't find a job that meets either his needs or his potential. and yet, this administration's proposed solution is just to slap another band-aid from washington on it and call it a day. yes, we should work on solutions to support those who are out of work through no fault of their own. but there's literally no excuse to pass unemployment insurance
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legislation without also finding ways to create good, stable, high-paying jobs and also trying to find the money to pay for it. what i'm saying is let's support meaningful job creation measures and let's find a way to pay for these u.i. benefits so we're not adding to an already completely unsustainable debt. unfortunately, the administration seems almost totally disinterested in solutions that don't put government in the lead, and it seems nearly incapable of working with those who don't share that belief. and that in many ways is precisely why we're in the situation we're in. because it's only when you believe government is the answer to all of your problems that you talk about unemployment insurance instead of job creation. and the minimum wage instead of helping people reach their maximum potential. so it's time to get away from -- quote -- "temporary government programs" and give the american people the tools they need to drive an economy that truly
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works for them and for their families. we could start with one of the real bright spots in our economy, and that's energy. a field that's poised to help our economy create literally millions of jobs if only the if only the administration would only get out of the way. another area where we should be able to work together is health care. any metric, affordability, accessibility, and even the ratio of cancellations to enrollment, this law has imposed more pain and more distress than many had ever thought possible. --trist, modernist moderates, conservatives, any sensible person outside of democratic leadership here in washington has understood this. even the left is starting to come to grips with the obvious at phelan -- law in love with cannot work. last week, one of the great blue
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balls -- i don't agree with this man on much else including his broader ideas on health care but it is good to hear the someone admit this is not working. hadpresident's amen chorus ample opportunity to speak the truth when it mattered. most chose to remain solid. apologists have let the american people pay the price. fromg review in letter jennifer bell, a constituent of mine in hopkinsville. i have less coverage than i did before. i did not get to keep my policy that i was happy with. every dollar i have to pay more is a dollar taken from my family .
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i never thought that in america we would be forced to purchase something we cannot afford. we worked hard to get where we are. now we are being forced to pay more in order to pay for somebody else's insurance. how is that fair? i hear you, jennifer. everyone on the side of the aisle hears those concerns. here's something else -- many kentuckians are finding that obama cares more about the and higher premiums. it is also about a lack of access to doctors and hospitals. left-wing papers in my state recently ran a big story about how many obamacare networks excluded so many of the hospitals my constituents want to use. a few weeks ago, the majority of -- amounted to jokes. you might to think this is all some sort of joke where did the constituency has been writing me about the consequences of this
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failed law do not see it that way. heavily on must wait our democratic colleagues. i know they cannot see so many americans hurting because of decisions they made and feel absolutely nothing. the me say this to our colleagues on the other side of the aisle -- it is a new year and a time for new beginnings. get ready to work with us. we are here. together, we can start over on health care. together we can give the american people the health reform they really reserved. --ormed and lower costs in and improve the quality of care. dislike with solving the problems of joblessness and unemployment -- just like solving the problems of joblessness and unemployment is something we can only do together. >> president obama urged congress to keep moving forward on the bills that would extend unemployment benefits. the president called today's
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senate vote a very important and called on lawmakers to pass it without obstruction and delay. his remark should 20 minutes. -- remarks are 20 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by ms. catherine hackett. [applause] >> thank you. good morning. my name is catherine hackett and i'm from connecticut. i'm very grateful that president obama invited me here today in response to a letter i wrote to
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him about the discontinuation of federal unemployment insurance. i am unemployed and i will be significantly affected by the decision. job loss is devastating and i'm working very hard every day to look for a position. in the interim, unemployment benefits have been absolutely essential to cover my bare necessities. i have cut expenses everywhere possible and i'm not just sitting home enjoying the good life. my cuts include heating my house to 58 degrees, wearing a hat and a coat to stay warm because oil is expensive, i have lost weight is food is expensive. as a single mother, i have worked many different jobs and never asked for a handout while i raise two wonderful boys. both of my sons are serving in
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the u.s. military. it was very hard for me to let one of my boys serve a year in afghanistan, but i did and he \was proud to serve his country. i hope our leaders in washington can find a solution to help families like mine. at this time, it is my great honor to introduce the president of the united states, president barack obama. [applause] >> everybody, have a seat. happy new year, everybody. i hope you are keeping warm. a few weeks ago, i said 2014 could be a breakthrough year for america.
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think about it. five years ago, this month, our economy was shedding 800,000 jobs in one month. as americans buckled down and sacrificed, we began to come back. our businesses have created 8 million new jobs. our auto industry has gone from bust to boom, the stock markets are restoring retirement accounts. the promise of energy independence is in sight. health care costs eat up less of our economy. costs have grown at the slowest rate on record. we have cut our deficits by more than half since i took office. america is getting stronger and we have made progress trade the -- and the economy is growing and we have to do more to make sure all americans share in that.
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we have to help as this is create more jobs and make sure those jobs offer the wages and benefits that let families rebuild a little security. in other words, we had to make sure this recovery leaves nobody behind. we have a lot of work to do on that front. the good news is i am optimistic we can do it if we do it together. before the holidays, both parties compromised on a budget that lists some of the drags that has been on the economy from these indiscriminate cuts we call sequester. , we may seeence more stability when it comes to economic growth. i'm not alone in saying we are all grateful in the new year that we won't have another paritsan shutdown hopefully going forward. [applause] that was a good sign.
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we should build on that progress with what i said should be the first order of business in 2014. that was extending uninsured -- extending insurance for the unemployed. [applause] the good news is this morning, the senate took a very important step in the right direction. millions like them who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance has been a vital economic lifeline. for a lot of people, the support while they look for a new job, these are not folks who are not just sitting back waiting for things to happen, they are out
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there actively looking for work. they desperately want work. although the economy has been growing and we have been adding new jobs, the truth of the matter is the financial crisis was so devastating that there is still a lot of people who are struggling. if we don't provide unemployment insurance, it makes it harder to find a job. you heard catherine's story. she's far more eloquent than i could ever be. she wrote me last month to say please let those who think i'm sitting at home enjoying being unemployed knows i would much rather be working and i had a chance to talk to catherine and i think it's pretty clear that is the case. catherine went on to say i have applied to everything for which i am possibly qualified to no avail. i work hard all my life, paid taxes, voted, engaged in political discussion, and made
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the ultimate sacrifice -- my two sons serve in the u.s. military. job loss is devastating and if i could fix it myself, i would. i challenge any lawmaker to live without an income. that's what she says. [applause] it's hard. so, when we've got the mom of two of our troops who is working hard out there but is having to wear a coat inside the house, we have a problem. and it's one that can be fixed. catherine is not alone. devlin smith, watching from california, wrote me about her hunt for a new job. since she was laid off 13 months ago, she sent out hundreds of
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resumes, she's volunteered, seasonal work. she doesn't want to be sitting around the house. she's taking online courses to learn new skills. without unemployment insurance, she won't be able to pay for her car or cell phone, which makes the job hunt that much harder. and she wrote to me and said, i've wanted nothing more than to find a new full-time job and i dedicated every day to that mission. i'm asking you to advocate for me and the millions like me who need our extended unemployment benefits to make ends meet. i just want everybody to understand, this is not an abstraction, these are not statistics. these are your neighbors, friends, family members. it could at some point be any of us. that's why we set up a system of unemployment insurance. the notion was everybody is
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making a contribution because you don't know when the business cycle or an economic crisis might make any of us vulnerable. and this insurance helps keep food on the table while dad is sending out resumes. it helps mom pay the rent while she's learning new skills to earn that new job. that provides that extra set of security so that losing your job doesn't mean you have to lose your house. where everybody you worked so hard to build for years. we make this promise to our fellow americans who are working hard to get back on their feet because when times get tough, we are not a people who say you're on your own. we are people who believe that we are all in it together. we know there but the grace of god go i. [applause]
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so that's the values case for this. that's the moral case for this. but, there's an economic case for it as well. independent economists have shown extending emergency unemployment insurance actually helps the economy. actually creates new jobs. when folks like catherine have a little more to spend, to turn up the heat in her house or buy a few extra groceries, that means more spending at businesses in their local community, which in turn may inspire that business to hire one more person. maybe kathy. that's why in the past both parties have repeatedly put partisanship and ideology aside to offer some security for job seekers with no strings attached. it's been done regardless whether democrats or republicans
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were in the white house. it's been done regardless of whether democrats or republicans controlled congress. and by the way, it's done -- it's been done multiple times when the unemployment rate was significantly lower than it is today. what's important to keep in mind also is that the recovery in a big country like the united states is going to be somewhat uneven. so there are some states that have a 2.5 unemployment rate, and there are some places that may still have a 7%, 8%, 9% unemployment rate. people living in those respective states may be working equally hard to find a job, but it's going to be harder in some places than others. now, two weeks ago congress went home for the holidays and let this lifeline expire for 1.3 million americans. if this doesn't get fixed it will hurt about 14 million americans over the course of this year. five million workers, along with nine million of their family
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members, their spouses, their kids. now, i have heard the argument that says extending unemployment insurance will somehow hurt the unemployed because it zaps their motivation to get a new job. i really want to -- i want to go at this for a second. [applause] that really sells the american people short. i meet a lot of people as president of the united states and as candidate for president of the united states and as a u.s. senator and state senator. i meet a lot of people. and i can't name a time or met an american who would rather have an unemployment check than
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the pride of having a job. [applause] the long-term unemployed are not lazy. they are not lacking in motivation. they are coping with the aftermath of the worst economic crisis in generations. in some cases they may have a skills mismatch. they may have been doing a certain job for 20 years, suddenly they lose that job, they may be an older worker, may have to get retrained. it's hard. sometimes employers will discriminate if you have been out of work for a while. they decide, well, we are not sure we want to hire you. we would rather hire somebody who is still working right now.
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it's hard out there. there are a lot of friends, a lot of our neighbors who have lost their jobs and they are working their tails off every single day trying to find a new job. as the job market keeps getting better, more and more of these folks will find work. but in the meantime, the insurance keeps them from falling off a cliff. it makes sure they can pay their car note to go to that interview. it makes sure they can pay their cell phone bills so that if somebody calls back for an interview they can answer it. and catherine explained this. catherine in the letter she wrote to me said, that the folks really think that cutting this benefit will make someone hire me? that's not how employers are thinking.
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so letting unemployment insurance expire for millions of americans is wrong. congress should make things right. i'm very appreciative they are on their way to doing just that thanks to the bipartisan work of two senators. a democrat from rhode island, senator reid, and conservative republican from nevada, senator heller. despite their political differences they worked together on a plan fix. unemployment insurance for at least three months temporarily while we figure out a longer term solution. this morning a bipartisan majority of senators agreed to allow this commonsense provision to at least move forward in the process. the senate's a complicated place so just because they agreed on this vote, all they have agreed to so far is we are going to be able to have a vote on it. they haven't actually passed it. so we've got to get this across the finish line without obstruction or delay, and we
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need the house of representatives to be able to vote for it as well. [applause] that's the bottom line. voting for unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs. and voting against it does not. congress should pass this bipartisan plan right away and i will sign it right away. and more than one million americans throughout the country will feel a little hope right away. and hope is contagious. [applause] when catherine has a bit more confidence about her situation, when she finds a job, she's going to be able to help somebody down the line, maybe who is also down on their luck. when congress passes a
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bipartisan effort starting here, right at the beginning of the new year, who knows, we might actually get some things done this year. after all the hard work and sacrifice of the past five years to recover and rebuild from the crisis, i think the american people are really looking forward to 2014 as just a little bit of stability. let's just do the commonsense thing, let's do what's right. we are going to have to see action on the part of congress. and i'll be willing to work with them every step of the way. action to help our businesses create more of the good jobs that a growing middle class requires. action to restore economic mobility, action to open more doors of opportunity for everybody who is willing to work hard and walk through those doors. when i was listening to catherine i was just so struck
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by her strength and dignity and i think people when they bump into some tough times like catherine, they are not looking for pity, they just want a shot. and they just want to feel as if -- [applause] they just want to feel as if, you know what, as a part of this country, as a part of their communities, when misfortune shows, all the things that they have done in the past, all the hard work they have done raising children and paying taxes and working hard, that counts for something. that folks aren't suddenly just going to dismiss their concerns, but they are going to rally behind them. that's not too much to ask.
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that's who we are as americans. that's what built this country. [applause] that's what i want the most. thank you very much, everybody. let's get to work. let's get this done. i appreciate it. [applause] on c-span, senator lisa murkowski called for an end to the decades-old ban on domestic crude oil exports.
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later, a look at federal investments in green energy technology. >> coming up on the next washington journal, representative barbara lee from california ways to reduce inequality. after that, luke messer of indiana with the republican take on the issue. the spotlight on magazines features the christian science monitor on her piece about democrats' plan to highlight income inequality in 2014. "washington journal" is live every morning it c-span. >> wednesday morning, thomas donohue gives his annual state of american business speech. you can see it live starting at 9:30 a.m. on c-span three. later, the receipt -- release of
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university ofe virginia. that is also on c-span three. >> if i were to identify -- identify the single most important challenge to overcome muslims, it would be the notion that -- is just as available. i read somewhere that it is no -- not only a historical but anti-historical. hundreds of years of diversity. it subscribes to be i give it to be a muslim you just have to first its edicts from the , seventh century and the very lifted short. of time. i think our journey as american muslims has to be about refusing
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being told by clerics who speak and itshat islam, ideals, is a seventh century reality. muslims whocans and need an islam of the 21st century. >> being muslim in america. onday night at 9:00 "afterwards." we will be discussing "the liberty amendment." read the book and join the conversation. go to book and click on book club to enter the chat room. >> senate energy and natural committee resources member lisa murkowski called for an end to the decades-old ban on domestic crude oil exports. senator murkowski spoke at the brookings institution about domestic energy policy. this is just under one hour.
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>> welcome to brookings. i am the managing director here. we are delighted that we are joined today by senator murkowski. one of my favorite johnny cash songs growing up was called springtime in alaska. the chorus he sings, when it's springtime in alaska, it's 40 below. by that standard, it is downright balmy in washington dc. we are delighted that senator murkowski is here today. we dialed up some summer weather for her. i'm sure she is wondering what the big deal is all about. the senator is the top republican on the senate energy committee. from the largest state in the nation, nearly as big a territory west of the mississippi, she thinks an large terms about issues like energy. and she has a big track record on this issue. we are here to discuss the implications on the domestic economy on our national security and energy security.
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and with the polar vortex being all the rage, we almost forgot about the polarization that chills washington. in that sense, senator murkowski is a particularly important voice because of her ability to walk across party lines. she is a republican senator from a west coast state and one of the three senators elected to a write-in ballot. she speaks to a groundswell of support for pragmatism. she has exhibited the presence of mind that we hope makes her feel warm at brookings today on a cold day. she has been a consistent supporter of pragmatic energy policy. that means taking a stand on subsidies for oil and also the right kind of investment and infrastructure policies that connect us to the wider world. she understands the wider world of energy and economy.
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increasingly natural gas and renewable production across the country. she has been a supporter of oil production in alaska and also the outer continental gas leasing. she understands it borders canada to the east and as sarah palin reminded us, russia to the west. she is focused on the role exports can play on economic benefits and the impact on energy prices, reduction, and production,n, -- and the broader economy back at home. these issues are all worth re- examining. we are really delighted that senator murkowski is here to have a conversation with us about these topics today. as americans consume less oil
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but produce more of it, it is a good time to revisit energy policy. it is also about what happens when we use it and the environmental consequences. in that sense, senator murkowski is a terrific guest for us. on a day when many of us are wishing for a little bit more climate change and warming around here, we also look ahead to a coming january weekend where temperatures are predicted to be back in the 60s. understanding the science is real but also emerging and evolving, the senator has supported energy efficiency legislation and a greater understanding of the need to adapt to a warmer world. talking about the fact that one of her favorite ski resorts near anchorage is starting to lose its base at the bottom.
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at the same time, she is focused on making sure it does not burden middle-class families unduly. she has been firm asking other countries to take a similar stand when dealing with carbon emissions. we look forward to hearing from senator murkowski on how our country will answer these important questions about the changing global energy landscape. with that, we are delighted to have senator murkowski. [applause] >> thank you for the introduction. those of you that might be standing in the back, these are seats up front. it is not like church. i am pleased to see so many of you here this morning, very grateful for the brookings institution for the opportunity to be here today on a good brisk
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washington morning. i'm not going to comment on the weather other to say we will take that polar vortex back. we like it cold and we want to keep it that way. if you don't like it, send it back north where it belongs. i would like to go straight to the heart of the matter that i wish to discuss with you today. and this is where we are as a nation when it comes to our energy production. according to the energy information administration, last july saw energy production reach over seven quadrillion btu. this is the highest monthly total on record. let me repeat that. we are producing more energy today than ever before in this country.
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and this dramatic increase in production from all sources of energy has resulted in a dramatic sea change in our nation's energy trade. in the process, we are creating jobs and lowering prices. think about where we are right now. we are selling coal to the netherlands, morocco, and germany. fuel to france, chile, and argentina. gasoline to columbia, brazil, and panama. jet fuel to britain, israel, and nigeria. natural gas to canada and mexico. and natural gas liquids to honduras and aruba. i know that you probably know these facts well and i did not come here today to simply recite facts.
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as good as this story is, these developments have transpired in spite of the federal government, not because of it as the president seems to imply. the rules of engagement on energy trade were written long ago for a now bygone world in which scarcity, not abundance, where the prevailing mindset. a hodgepodge of regulations has accumulated over the better part of a century. kind of like barnacles on the hull of the ship. let me briefly sketch out the maze we are dealing with here. the state department reviews cross-border oil pipelines such as keystone xl, but petroleum products like crude oil and the energy department grants export licenses.
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but the commerce department permits exports of natural gas liquid. and the federal energy regulatory commission regulates cross-border natural gas pipelines. coal and renewable energy products flow with ease while nuclear exports are tightly regulated as they should be. even many professionals and the energy sector are unaware the role that agencies play in this area. the export bank that overseas private investment corporation and the trade and development agency, other entities all advance the u.s. energy trade. in legal terms, what we are talking about are laws such as the natural gas act of 1938. the atomic energy act of 1954. the energy policy and conservation act of 1975 and
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executive orders that stretch all the way back to the eisenhower administration. at a recent workshop at the center for strategic international studies, they encouraged participants to think about the regulation of energy exports in terms of the underlying chemistry. the chemical formulation for methane is ch four. you have one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. this natural gas can be sold to canada and mexico through pipelines without much of a regulatory hurdle. but if you want to build a facility that liquefies gas for seaborne transport to japan, then you need a license from the energy department to export it and another approval to build your facility. that process can take years. if you are determined to build a
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facility, you are in luck. go to australia and get involved with one of the liquefaction projects that our government is helping finance over there. on the other hand, if you take a methane molecule and you attach four more hydrogen atoms, giving you c3h8, known as propane, they will grant you a next or license license without much of a delay at all. but don't fiddle with the formula too much or you might end up with a barrel of crude oil, the export of which is generally prohibited unless you can process it through a refinery, in which case you can export it as diesel. you can also ship the crude to canada where apparently the laws of chemistry don't apply. the regulatory edifice that
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governs the export of american - made energy is antiquated and at times, i would suggest even absurd. while there is no perfection under the sun, we surely can do better than this. today, i am releasing a white paper. this is the second i have released, a signal to the world. renovating the architecture of u.s. energy exports. it follows on the energy 2020 blueprint and the paper i released last year that was about this time last year that i had the opportunity to release energy 2020. we have since done one white paper. it there will be a third coming out soon. i have two goals with this particular paper. the first is to highlight the facts. consensus about the fax is the basis for productive dialogue.
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my second goal is to help frame a conversation about the state of u.s. energy exports. the architecture of the energy trade. and although certain aspects of the energy export stories have been in the public eye for quite some time now, i am not aware of another report that shows the full picture through a single lens. and i am releasing reports from the nonpartisan congressional research service, some of which is not generally available about various aspects of the u.s. energy trade. the facts tell me that we must modernize the regulations that govern energy exports, demonstrating to the world that we are committed to leading on issues of energy, the
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environment, and trade. i am not proposing comprehensive energy export legislation. i believe the executive branch has the statutory authority to implement most of these ideas on its own. and if the president does need help from the legislative branch, the targeted bills to move the ball forward as needed. i wanted to address several key principles here. assessing the architecture that we are talking about here, particularly where we have seen exports banned. the second principle is really to do no harm where the regulations that we have in place are working.
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and the third principle is to look to efficiencies within our regulatory framework and see if we can't work to do better. first, there are parts of this antiquated architecture where exports are effectively banned. i think we should think carefully about the conditions in which those bands were put into effect and consider whether or not they still serve the public interest, if they ever did. two energy sources in this area come to mind. that is crude oil and condensate. i raised the prospect of crude oil exports this past summer at the annual conference. and at the time, i said that the debate could come sooner than expected. here we are today. the basics are pretty simple. the shale plays in the balkans
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are yielding l.t.o., light tight oil. a refining capacity is concentrated in the gulf coast and is geared primarily toward heavier grades of crude. at ihs global and elsewhere, various mechanisms exist for moving it out into the market. it can be shipped to lighter- grade refineries on the east coast or blend with heavier grades, it can be shipped to canada. refineries can also be modified to accommodate lighter grays. -- lighter grades. with minimal exceptions. the export of crude oil is prohibited by law. it is my understanding that we are exporting about 65,000 barrels a day to canada. that is essentially it. there will come a time, however, when we will have an
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unsustainable glut of light crude. it may be next year. it might be sooner than that. the free market works wonders, but it can't work magic here. condensate is a byproduct of oil and gas production. these hydrocarbons come out of plays like the eagle furred. they can be refined and exported as natural gas liquids, but otherwise, trade is prohibited. most commentators assume that congress and the administration will be slow to address this issue. opponents of oil exports will raise the specter of rising gasoline prices, i think to scare off elected officials. as many of you here in this room, i have spent at least a good several months thinking about this export issue.
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the point of deliberation is eventually to arrive at an answer. hung juries may be the default in washington but they don't sell well in alaska. i am calling for ending the prohibition on crude oil and condensate exports. the current system is inefficient and may lead to supply disruptions that we can ill afford. lifting the ban will send a strong signal to the energy markets that as a nation, we are serious. we are serious of the emerging role as an emerging hydrocarbon producer. i believe the administration retains enough statutory authority to help lift the ban on its own. the president has the authority to declare it in the national
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interest to lift the ban, and another path is for the department of commerce to approve an application for crude oil or condensate under a provision in the law permitting the application. if it can be demonstrated that those fuels cannot reasonably be marketed here in the united states. a mismatch in our nation's refining capacity has already emerged and common sense suggests that the mismatch should meet these qualifications. if the administration is unwilling to act on its own or if that statutory authority needs further modification, i am prepared to introduce legislation to modernize the laws. opponents of trade will be quick to assert too often without citing evidence that exports of crude oil will raise gasoline prices for american consumers.
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this claim is wrong and must be dealt with immediately and head on. i have said repeatedly and i firmly mean it that the goal must be to make energy more affordable. if we want to bring down gasoline prices, then we should be opening up federal land to energy production, not closing them off. i can think of a few places in alaska that could be opened up immediately for new oil production that would help to lower gasoline prices. small but rising amounts of crude are already being exported to canada. it is permitted by statute. but we have seen no crisis in gasoline prices here at home as a consequence of that. modernizing the export architecture would reduce volatility by making them more
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efficient. we don't see a looming run on the crude oil bank out there. lifting the prohibition on crude oil exports will serve to increase to mastic oil -- domestic oil production, and the entry of this oil onto the global markets will put downward pressure on international prices. all things equal, this combination will help the american consumer. i want to be abundantly clear this morning. the status quo, in my view, is not beneficial to the american people. i believe that we need to act before the crude oil export ban causes problems in the u.s. oil production which will raise prices and therefore hurt american jobs. the second principle that i mentioned is doing no harm. it is important that we do no harm.
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these are the areas where regulatory review is already effectively streamlined. exports appear to be keeping pace in world markets and although efforts to forestall this expansion must be opposed, i also see no problem with the regulatory structures surrounding renewables. the commerce department already covers those and i believe is doing a commendable job. the third principle is we should be looking for efficiencies in areas where existing regulation could be more effectively implemented. so whether the state department is the appropriate agency in which to vest authority for cross-border oil pipelines is certainly a fair question to ask. the course of the review of the
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keystone xl has been counterproductive and i think it is unduly straining our relationship with canada. the department of energy's slow walking is another area that i think is worthy of examination. the secretary appears to have quickened the pace of approvals which i appreciate, but the queue is still quite full. licenses still take far too long to review, especially when, as appropriate, the project still must go through a rigorous safety review. the u.s. has long been a leader in the nuclear technology trade. i am particularly excited about modular reactors that have received a great deal of attention in terms of research and development. current designs will provide strong nuclear safeguards and
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maintain our commitment to international security. renovating our export architecture, it will strengthen our global posture and send a strong signal to the world that must be heard. already, you have policymakers. in tokyo and new delhi, they watch. in budapest and moscow, they wonder about the potential. it is hard to put a price on that. inaction also has a cost. failing to renovate the crude oil export architecture could very well lead to disruptions in supply and production.
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ultimately, we can only have this conversation because of our energy research and an opportunity born of technological prowess and true american grit. american-made energy is the safest and most environmentally responsible energy on earth. and if any nation is exporting energy to the world, wringing -- bringing electricity to those without power, heat to those in the cold, the united states should be that leader. with that, i thank you for the opportunity to present our thoughts with you and share my new white paper on the energy architecture. i am happy to take questions about where we may go from here. [applause] >> that was a terrific and provocative set of questions and comments.
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the white paper is quite an important piece of work that covers a wide range of sectors, as did your remarks. i want to introduce charles, the senior fellow at brookings and head of our energy security initiative. charlie will ask a question and i will give one myself. then we will turn it over to the audience. >> thank you for one of the most important speeches i have heard in washington in a long time. the complex regulatory process you outlined is probably not known to everyone in this room and certainly not to all your fellow members on capitol hill. i think you have done a great service by doing this and i would like to recognize your staff members that coordinated with my own staff putting this event together.
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a lot of hard work went into making this happen. let me begin by asking an unfair question. each energy source is different and probably requires different regulatory processes. would you see any merit in the gambit of federal regulations governing the approval of various export projects for putting a reasonable timeframe on the regulatory process by which the federal agencies would have to come up with a yes or no answer rather than this great limbo we sometimes see? >> i think it is one of those areas that we can look to for a possible solution to the delay, the impasse, the lack of certainty that you have within the industry. one of the things that we
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recognize in washington dc is when we don't have certainty within our policies. it costs dollars, jobs, and it costs us when it comes to competitiveness. and we think about ways we can improve the regulatory process, a reasonable timeline to me is one area we can and should be looking to. you have to recognize that there may be situations where you have to extend it out. that you have to do a bypass, if you will. for instance, within the approval process for the export license, there is no certainty whatsoever out there. it could be one month, two months, two years. it could be never.
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and in the meantime, you have investors that are waiting. you have those seeking these jobs, those that are looking for the products to purchase, but no certainty within our process. i think it is one of those areas we should look to to provide a little bit more certainty. >> i was struck in your remarks that you took a step back from calling for comprehensive legislation, and really calling for executive action in some of these regards. it makes me wonder how you see the broader political landscape, a sense of caution and not high expectations for what can get accomplished 18 blocks east of here. >> let me remind you that on tuesday, the first workday back in january of 2014, shall i tell you, let the races begin.
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we are already in the full campaign season in terms of the 113th congress. and when that happened, it is just more difficult to advance legislation. and not only move it through one body, but through both and get it signed by the president. i am trying to be practical about where we are. and as we have looked at this issue, i have suggested in my comments that we are prepared to introduce legislation if necessary. i am not certain it is absolutely necessary. i do believe that the authority currently resides with the executive branch, that they can make these actions and the national best interest and within the department of commerce. it takes initiative by the
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executive to do just that. if they need encouragement, i am happy to provide that. i think it is also fair to recognize some of the acts have been around since the 30s, the 50s, the mid 70's. in fairness, it is appropriate to review these to see if they are as current as they need to be. my suggestion is that they are not. maybe we approach on two fronts. maybe we advance legislation that will allow for modernization while encouraging the administration to act on its own with the authority that they currently have. >> ladies and gentlemen, the floor is open and we ask that you identify yourself when you ask a question and please ask a question. we will go here.
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and please speak up because this room has terrible acoustics. >> in the natural gas export discussion, there has been a balance between natural gas and the benefits of using more natural gas. i am wondering, what are your views exporting more crude and perhaps increasing fighting in united states, taking more advantage of capacity to -- >> i think we can do more to increase the refining capacity. we have seen those adjustments, if you will, the reconfiguration within many of our refineries to accommodate that light type of oil.
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i think we get to a point where it is this mismatch i have talked about where we are not able to gain alignment because we cannot continue with the retrofit of those refineries. we've got to be honest in terms of our ability to bring new refineries online. last time we had a refinery built in this country was decades ago. i think we've got to be cognizant of that. in terms of doing more to build out the value added products for export, we have certainly seen that in this country. and it got the attention of many in this country who did not understand how much we actually export in terms of those value added products.
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>> so when i'm talking about the ability to export our crude, i think it's important to recognize when we are talking about an all of the above energy policy, i would like to see it relate to all forms of our energy products, whether it comes from crude oil, from natural gas, from renewables, the are fined products that we are able to do. let's allow for a level of trade that is full and across the board. can we be doing more to create jobs here in this country capacity r refining and advancing value added products? yes. but will we be able to do even more as we increase production domestically, increase the opportunity for jobs, work to addresou


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