tv Washington This Week CSPAN March 17, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT
nonhydro renewables provide only 3% of our energy in the u.s. and the world. so how can we possibly phase down carbon emissions? my next chart shows the two things that we can do. we can reduce our energy intensity, and we can reduce the carbon intensity of the energy. we have been reducing the energy intensity, the amount of energy per g.d.p., improving efficiency, and appropriate policies can further improve that.
however the principal requirement is to reduce the carbon intensity. over the next few decades, we must drive the carbon intensity down near zero. there is one country that has done a good job, sweden. sweden has decarbonized its electricity, which is provided by nuclear power and hydropower. they have one more big step to make, to make liquid fuels from electricity. that's actually not difficult, but they are a small country and have not developed that industry. why is the rest of the world not driving carbon intensity down? it is because fossil fuels appear to the consumer to be the cheapest energy. fossil fuels are not really the cheapest energy. they are not required to pay for the human health costs of air pollution and water pollution or for the costs of climate change. the public picks up the tab.
so the required policy is to put a gradually rising fee on carbon, collected from fossil fuel companies at the first domestic sale, at the mine or port of entry, and 100% of the money should be distributed to the public, equal amounts to all legal residents. so the person who does better than average in limiting his carbon footprint will make money. this will provide a huge incentive for individuals and a huge incentive for entrepreneurs and business people. it will spur our economy, make it more efficient, and it will modernize our infrastructure and create hundreds of times more jobs than building a pipeline to transport the dirtiest fuel on earth. with a fee of $10 per ton of co-2, rising $10 each year, after 10 years it will reduce our fossil fuel use almost 30%.
according to a simulation, economic simulations by the carbon tax center. it will reduce our oil use in 10 years three times more than the volume of the keystone pipeline. george shultz and conservative economist -- in fact most economists agree that a rising revenue neutral carbon fee is the way to solve the climate and the energy problems. in fact, it's an opportunity to make our economy more efficient. an important point is that such legislation, i think, needs to be introduced by conservatives because i'm afraid liberals will try to take part of the money to make the government bigger. not one dime should go to the government. 100% should go to the public. now, i would like to enter in the record a specific one-page
description of this fee and dividend which is written by jim milner, a boston businessman, he gave me a copy yesterday. i think it's a nice, simple summary of the dividend system. one final comment that i would like to make, it is crucial we begin to work with china. to solve both their air pollution problem and their carbon emission problem. china is now contemplating and making plans for a massive coal gasification operation. hundreds of times bigger, copied some degree on the coal gasification plan on the midwest that jimmy carter started, but on a massive scale. we can't -- if that happens, it will be very difficult if not impossible for our children to
control climate change. we need to work with them. and work with them on clean energies, including nuclear power. where we still have the best capabilities. with our university system and our free enterprise system, we should work with them and help them get clean energy, because it's in our benefit as well as theirs. >> thank you. ms. harper. >> chairman menendez and ranking member corker and all the members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. my 2040 global energy command will grow by over 50%, by 90% will be in the developing world and we'll be well on our way to adding two billion people to this planet. china, india, after carks and the middle east will be growing in their energy command and traditional suppliers will be looking to sell to them and not us. our own government has concluded
by 2040, 80% of the world's energy demand will be met by fossil fuels. that means we have to do more here at home to meet our energy demands. the unrest in the ukraine has shown that energy vulnerability equals geopolitical vulnerability. despite and crease in supply here coupled with modulating demand, we'll still import 40% of our oil by 2020. we can choose the status quo by relying on oil from venezuela which has people today protesting in their streets or from places far away that don't share our values or democratic principles. in 2002, north america has 35% of the world's reserves, 18% the following year when oil sands from canada were added, and we believe that could even be tripled. however the global share of production of oil from those countries that are considered not free or partly free by freedom house has jumped from 65% in 1985 to 77% in 2012.
so we have a choice. we can choose to embellish the legacy of hugo chavez or ignore the geopolitical implication of energy, or we can choose to have a secure and stable supply from can in a dean develop our own vast resources here. let's not forget that k.x.l. will transport u.s. crude. canada is our most important energy supplier already and one of our most stalwart allies. they were there for us right after hurricanes katrina and rita, they accompanied us into war against terrorism. they have made a choice to develop their oil sands. it is in their national interest and they will do it one way or another. increasing our existing deep relationship with our long-standing ally canada, coupled with reforms in mexico and production here at home, we could shift the gravity of the oil market to north america. jobs, the keystone pipeline will create 42,000 jobs, and for those who say those are temporary, they don't understand the construction industry, or they are simply against the $2 billion that will be put in labor's pockets. or they are against the $3.4
billion in additional g.d.p. for our economy that is sputtering. or they are against the pipeline being one of the largest property taxpayers in montana, south dakota, nebraska which will support schools, fire, police services, and infrastructure. today the u.s. and canada enjoy a very robust trading relationship and peaceful border. i don't think we have the fear of the canadian mounties coming in and circling our bases, but equally that trade relationship pays off. for every dollar we spend buying a canadian good, 89 cents return to the united states. that's money that stays here for the benefit of our economy. that is not like our other oil suppliers. only 27 cents comes back here from oil we buy from venezuela. on the environment. i would suggest that every one of us here in this room is an environmentalist. we enjoy and like and support clean air, water, and land. and the state department has concluded some very important things in its review. number one, the keystone
pipeline will have a negligible impact on the environment. today the oil sands production accounts for only .1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. and their carbon footprint is going down. and in 2011 it is now equal to the venezuelan crude that it seeks to displace. number two, the oil sands will be developed with or without the keystone pipeline. our government has concluded that. the canadian government has concluded that. and they are now looking east, west, and south for options, and produces are investing to make that a reality. and third, alternatives to the keystone pipeline would have a higher emissions profile than the pipeline itself. so put plainly given our practical energy reality, if you are in support of the environment, you are in support of the pipeline. so in conclusion, the five-year review process has been exhaustive, hearing from people and organizations across this country. it has included field hearings and cabinet agencies' input.
it's received input from the people on this panel. and the conclusion is clear, keystone is in our national interest as was its predecessor, the keystone pipeline. keystone is good for the economy, jobs, tax revenue, property revenue, investment, and trade. it is good for our energy security, adding a more stable and secure source of energy. and the state department has concluded that the keystone pipeline will have a negligible impact on the environment, their words. and that oil sands will be developed one way or another. k.x.l. and more broadly developing the resources here in america will have a significant effect on improving our national security and adding more democratic molecules to our mix. 55% of the american people support this pipeline. we live in a dangerous and precarious time. approving the pipeline will strengthen our economy, decrease our energy risk, respect our
commitment to the environment, while also furthering our trade and bilateral relationship with our democratic ally to the north. the keystone x.l. pipe lin is in our national interest and in the words of canada's prime minister, is a, quote, no-brainer. thank you very much. >> thank you all for your testimony. several witnesses have asked for documents to be entered into the record. and without objection, they shall be included. let me start off. mr. brune, i understand the seriousness of climate change. i have seen its effects with superstorm sandy, devastated our home state of new jersey. i personally believe in acting on climate by putting a price on carbon. and i support the president's plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. however, it seems strange to
regulate carbon by means of transportation, which is what denying the keystone pipeline would amount to. why do we not limit the amount of carbon on roads leading to power plants -- we don't limit the amount of carbon roads leading to power plants, so why should we regulate carbon through this pipeline? you reach put your microphone on. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the reasons to oppose this pipeline are as varied as the reasons to promote fuel efficiency in our cars and trucks. for the pipeline, again, we'll be -- we would be taking oil from the most carbon intensive fuel source on the planet, taking it all the way through the country, most to be exported. this is a fuel source that has been documented to be much more carbon intensive than conventional oil. but it's also a fuel source that has through experience we have seen polluted american waterways, and pose add significant risk to air quality across the country. when we have policy decisions before us where we have a choice between putting $7 billion into this pipeline or investing instead in clean energy and fuel source that is would create more jobs, it's incumbent upon us to think both for what would strengthen our economy today, but would also protect and strengthen our economy long into
the future. so from my perspective this is not a step to regulate carbon, it's a step that could be taken -- rejecting this pipeline is a step that could be taken to promote clean energy and energy efficiency. >> what about does this continue on the mode of transportation versus the other issues which i generally agree with you, the state department's final e.i.s. with the pipeline expansion concluded if the pipeline expansion is blocked, producers are forced to ship the oil by rail or truck instead, overall transportation emissions could be greater than that of the pipeline by 20% to 42%, and would likely result in additional accidents. is approving the pipeline actually more environmentally sound and safer than the alternatives? >> that is what the state department concluded. >> i'm sorry, i wasn't asking you. i know you said that. referring to mr. brune, you made that comment. i expounded upon it.
>> we believe it's a false choice. what has been proven is that shipping tar sands oil by rail is not safe. we have seen more accidents by rail in the last year than we have in the past previous decades. what's also been proven is shipping tar sands oil through pipelines is not safe. the first tar sands pipeline leaked 12 times, spilled 12 times in the first 12 months. the choice is not whether to accept the increased risk through rail or to accept increased risk through pipeline, but whether to take this oil out of the ground to begin with. the ipcc, world's top climate scientists have said that in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees celsius, or 3.6 degrees fahrenheit, we have to keep 2/3 of our fossil fuel reserves around the world in the ground. a way to do it that and that is
a tall order for the american economy, the best way is to start with the most carbon intensive fuel sources such as the tar sands up in canada. testimony, wer have heard a lot of testimony about the jobs. i have heard a great variety of figures around the jobs it will create. willcanada has said it create 20,000 jobs in construction and manufacturing at almost 500,000 jobs throughout the u.s. economy. s, lowerede, your bos the number two $250,000 -- 250,000 jobs. a you lowered the indirect jobs to 116,00. the state department said it will create about 2000 short-term construction jobs and only 50 ongoing jobs for
maintenance. justify the wide spread within your organization own numbers? eisif one is looking to the for approval, as it relates to the jobs, how is it you are so disparate from where they are? >> that is a very good question. >> we only ask a good questions here. we areourse, that is why here. the large numbers was the entire span from canada to the gulf of mexico. half of the pipeline are the lower third is under construction right now. the numbers of what we are looking at now is a smaller. >> the state department numbers are what you would say are under consideration? >> will take the state department at its word that it is the numbers. we will like to see the 42,000 jobs that they cited.
the final impact statement. would like to see those bickers. our friends are hoping they are bigger. -- we would like to see those bigger. we will do what the government put out. those are good a jobs for construction workers and we should not be against them. i would say about mr. brune's testimony of whether we should take these out of the ground? i do not think that is united states decision, that is canada's decision to make, not ours. >> let me ask you since i listen to your testimony with interest. it suggests the chamber of commerce is an environmental organization. ist?nvironmental >> am struggling with a cold here. the chamber agrees with climate change israel and is caused --
is real and caused by -- question there's a long record on climate. we want to address our environment. we look today at what is happening in the u.s. and emissions are coming down and why? we had a recession and we are increasing efficiency and we are to what europe is doing. their images are going up and they have a hard and difficult system that is not working. want to be in favor of things that work. technology. that puts americans back to work. protecting -- >> i asked a very simple question. does of the chamber believe that climate change israel and cost -- is real and caused by humans? >> with a we should do everything to address the question. >> is climate change, is it real? is it rail?
>> it warm and without a doubt. >> is it caused by humans? >> is it warming as some of my colleagues have predicted in the past? and the answer is no. that soon.et to you have to give me your answer. is it caused by humans? >> it is caused by lots of things. humans.not only say the science is what you are pointing to. debate going on in this country as we should those would say that everything is said undercut the integrity of science. it is ongoing discussions. >> does the chamber believe a price on carbon is needed? >> one could argue re: have a price on carbon and we are pushing efficiency into our in vehicles. when indirect price already.
>> is that your argument. >> and that is a fact, not an argument. the economic fact. i am quoting. >> if it is a fact that there is a price of by greater efficiency than the arduous the remainder earlier that there is a price that is paid was dr. hansen who said there is a price to be paid that collectively we as a society pay for the emissions and the consequence of health and agricultural problems and other elements would be fair to include. prices on both sides. >> i am not sure that logically flows through. canet's try and see if we follow the logic. you stated there is a price as a result of greater efficiency and that efficiency creates greater cost. and you said therefore, would
could argue in your words not mine, there's already a tax. >> if you're to be building a residency or building that is more energy efficient materials are more expensive, there is a price associated. if you are buying something that is more access -- more expensive, you're paying a cost. i do not agree with the fact that you did the chamber's lacks a compass on the environment. web been a proponent all research and development on advanced technology. the big supporter of efficiency legislation. >> you made the comment. i do not said the chamber lacks a compass. i asked specific questions as it related to climate change. the question simply is should we not include a cost of what we allow any person or industry in our country or to ultimately operate in a way in
which it creates a collective consequence on our health and well-being? that is subsidized by the government through health care, medicare, medicaid, a whole host of things. it is good for the goose, good for the gander is my point. senator corker? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thought it would be contingent on our side. it is been a good hearing. i appreciate all of the witnesses. dr. hansen, i have to say that, i actually found some like mindedness in your testimony and i appreciate you being here. it seems to me that you are a very strong proponent of nuclear energy. i know you used to as an example and most of their energy comes from nuclear energy. find us to be very like-minded in that regard. >> i am a strong proponent of clean energy, carbon free
energy. chooseting the market the energy. thatould not be specifying electricity has to come from her normal energies. we should say it has to be clean and carbon free energy and let the alternative compete. likely that the nuclear would compete well. it is not going to be easy and of the united states because it has been made so difficult and takes so long. we needed to work with china. towe do, they will build scale and can drive down the unit cost full stop it can circle back to the united states . in fact, if we want to have more nuclear and we shut. >> i found your comments if our nation was ever to get into a point where it is going to put a price on carbon.
the carbon tax would be a much better way than the goldberg mechanism that senator look at. i want to tell you while that is not where we are, if that was ever too, about, i would agree about, i-- to come would agree with you. what was contemplated in the past? >> i agree with that was that it should, about soon or will not solve the problem. it is the only way you can do it. as long as you allow the fossil fuels to get back -- to get by scot-free, you are basically burning the dirt. the comments about what people might to do with the money. let me ask you. the transportation issue. the chairman mentioned it. what i do not get about the keystone pipeline and the thestance is that
transportation, that what was mentioned, it is very expensive. hugely carbon intensive. i would ask you this question. the canadians are going to weelop these rather -- what transported them south or not. i have met with them directly as certainly they are going to build a pipeline to the west that will go to china if we do not do this. i do not understand how somebody like you who has such credentials environmentally would oppose a more efficient way of that oil, fossil fuel making it to market? much thetion of how tar sand will be taken out of the ground. if we build that pipeline, it will facilitate the actuation of of ah more -- x traction much more. as put a price on carbon that is exhibited a rising, one of the
first things that fall off the table is tar sand. canada knows that. that is why they are so desperate to get the united states to approve the this. if we do not approve it, a lot of the tar sand will never be developed. the world is going to realize pretty soon that we have got to limit the amount of carbon we put in the atmosphere and how to do that via a price on carbon and that will cause the most carbon intensive things to get a left and the ground and that includes tar sands. you this me ask pipeline has been beyond belief and generated this much opposition. -- let me ask you this, the pipeline has been beyond belief in a generated this much opposition. we have 19 pop lines -- pipelines that cross between canada and the u.s. is your group opposed to all of them like this one?
>> i appreciate your earlier comment about a carbon tax should there be an moment when there is an opportune to move it forward and the sierra club will look to do that. >> i was not suggesting. >> i understand. as if it were going to be addressed, it is more transparent to make it revenue neutral. what to consider was utterly ridiculous but go ahead. >> you are not preparing to introduce legislation when the moment comes. i amding your question, not sure the sierra club has taken up a position against all 19. to be clear, we are opposed to expansion and the tar sands. topix and this oil would come through the united states, we are opposed. part of the reason that i think these to be shared here is we do not agree with the assumption that it will come out of the ground anyway.
as you know, i'll burden is lancelot. producing 2 million barrels per day. -- as you know, alberta is landlocked. -- producing 2 million barrels per day. the prime minister wants 6 million barrels per day. pipelines have been proposed through british columbia and to the east. there's a keystone xl pipeline to the south and another project that is being considered. each of those a face resistance. the two pipelines to the west are dead in the water, not moving forward. it is opposition from the for -- from the provincial government and the natives in a d.c. who have legal standing. for once to the east are facing significant difficulties. believe theay not veracity of what the sierra club is saying. if you look the oil is in canada and what oil district analyst
from rbc and other banks in canada are saying, this oil will not come out of the ground if the tar sands is not built. >> thank you, everyone. general, and thank you for your service was up i want to ask -- for your service. -- i want to ask one specific question. in 2009, the administration determined the pipeline was in the national interest. it was designed for large quantities of crude oil from alberta, canada to all markets in the midwestern u.s. in particular, the national interest factor cited and the determination that it would be in the national interest including increasing the diversity of available supplies all my the united states crude oil sources and a time of considerable political tension and other major oil-producing
countries and shortening the transportation a pathway and increasing crude oil supply to a major non-opec producer. just asking this one question. would these factors have led to successful interest determination for alberta case?r applied to the >> absolutely. the only thing that has changed is the demand around the world has gone up and we must make sure with the supply more. >> thank you all for your testimony. >> senator boxer? >> thank you. supplemental statement on keystone from state department showing the 50 permit jobs. i will like to put that in record. >> without objection. say, you areke to
a great advocate. you do not speak for environmentalists. when you say if you are an environmentalist, you are in support of the pipeline. let me say, that is ludicrous on its face. please do not speak for me and lots of folks who do not see it in that way. i appreciate some people saying it is a no-brainer. maybe and sunburns it is. i respected that. in my brain, it is not. -- maybe in some brains, it is. the national nurses united ,000 nurses have joined me and calling for a thorough health and study on our people, the people of america. when you look at the immediate 40% impartation of tar sands, threads are percent of it will be dirty -- 300% of it will be dirty oil. some of them are here in the
audience and i want to thank them. 85% of the people's give them an approval rating. next to eight percent in congress. what i sitting next to them, i hope it will rub off. i want to thank them. they understood the impact of the health of our families. i want to show two pictures. this is petcoke. europe to take a look. lots will be stored around our nation. we have seen it coming. this is an example of what america is going to look like when you see the tar sand dirty oil. this is what remains of it after .t is refrained -- and refined we had testimony from people in chicago who said children were having a picnic in chicago and do stuff blue around there were and had tosoot
leave. i want to show you port arthur, texas when of stuff is refined. here it is. this was in the people -- are right by a playground. this what is going on. when my friend the general talks about our national interest, i personally believe we have to weigh in on the health impact study. personally, our national interest should include if our children will suffer more asthma, cancer. -- are youould ask familiar and i would ask my friend from the chamber, are you familiar with the fact that doctors serving the community in canada where the tar sands is continue to be disproportionately burdened with blood and rare cancers that delete to chemicals -- that have been linked to chemicals? are you familiar?
>> we agree with you. we should protect our air. >> if you can stick to this. >> if there's a particular study you like us to review. >> i'll burden cancers -- alberta cancer study. as a 2010 article. it contributes to toxic at the low concentrations to the river up there. is it in our national interest to promote an industry that has increased the carcinogens? hydrocarbons and nervous system toxins such as mercury and in the river and into our lakes. is it in the national interest? >> absolutely not. it must include protecting the american families. >> ok. is ind say, mr. brune,
the national interest to expose communities such as port arthur toxinso higher levels of and cancer-causing pollutants? is that in the national interest? >> absolutely not especially will we have clean energy alternatives. >> absolutely. i think we need to be fair and look at everything. and i think we have to weigh everything. taking an oath to protect the people, it includes their health. and the nurses testified today from these areas where they are already seeing. let's put up the refinery picture. they see who is coming in to the emergency room and what is happening. these are the forgotten voice in the debate.
i ask you to place in the record, the letter from the nurses in which they call on secretary to look at a health impact study before there's any decision made. >> without objection. >> i wanted to say this and i will stop before my time is up. if you have ever met a child with a breathing problem and i'm sure that you all agree with this, you just want to do everything you can to help them. it comes to this project we are told it is a no-brainer, if you're an environmentalist, just to do it. no. let's look at what is happening in canada. i will tell you i stood shoulder to shoulder with the doctors from canada who have seen a 30% increases in a rare cancer. i think that issue has been swept under the rug. i am just one senator. just one voice.
,000 nursesave 185 behind me. i am staying i will do every and my power to protect the health and safety of the people. i want energy security desperately for the if you look at california, we are moving energy andard clean it's exciting. the jobs are growing exponentially. but we cannot do something in the name of national interests where it winds up costing us the health of our families. i will keep her present on this and i thank you for the time. >> dr. hansen, do you off had no the average price of electricity per kilowatt hour? i did not have it. i do not have a specific number. quickly do have a concept of it? >> certainly.
>> let me throw a number if you know where it is at. know?une, do you >> it is important to know the relative cost of one source versus another. quickly do know the price? >> it depends greatly on the region. >> about $.10 per kilowatt hour. senator obama when he was a candidate said because of his proposal is that electricity would skyrocket. dr. hansen, do basically concur with that? , i would notade advocate it. it would cause an increase in cost. what we need is economically sensible approach. to put a simple the on carbon. -- fee on carbon.
it, a feeked about and dividend system. is that going to -- onit will impose costs carbon-based fuels, yes. fuels -- theose cost is there but they are borne by the public. >> president obama's energy secretary made the comment that somehow we got to figure how to get our gasoline prices up to level. he made the comment what our rises were below two dollars. i might be wrong. let me finish my question. and gasoline prices were eight dollars per gallon. these were the stated goals. dr. hansen, please let me finish. these are the stated goals of president obama and his energy secretary to get rates to
skyrocket or gasoline prices to quadruple. do you disagree with those policies? saidrtainly -- what i have -- there are health costs, there are climate costs. you are dumping all of those. >> i understand. this is my question. i understand. i am talking about what families would feel and wisconsin in terms of their energy prices, their modeling energy bill would necessarily skyrocket -- monthly energy bill would necessarily skyrocket. . agree we're all environmentalist. i did my water out of a well. i love to fish. i love the outdoors. >> what you are saying is blatantly false. what you can easily show it if you put an honest flat fee on
carbon, 65% of the people will get more money than they pay in increased electricity. model shows that very clearly. only the high-end people will pay more. >> i come from manufacturing background. is it the true b want to manufacture goods, you get is it true that if you want to made thatcher goods, you need power? >> if you look at germany, the four times as high. we have affordable energy and electricity and natural gas. we are seeing investment in europe because of higher prices. we do not have to look far for a model that is not working. their images are going up, not down. -- >> will put a
hamper on being competitive in the world and will be due to the number of jobs being created and available? >> it would hamper jobs. must not forget that is regressive. it would hurt the lowest part of the people with the least amount of disposable income they would pay for more. >> dr. hansen, are you familiar with the renewable laboratory? you were mentioning the job that will be created. the government spent $9 billion over the past few years on green jobs and cratered 900 jobs -- and created 900 jobs. are you aware of those types's -- i've seen three or four different studies and is the midpoint. >> i strongly disagree with such policies. i say put a simple, honest fee on carbon.
do not say by bernoulli bulls. buyver agreed -- do not renewables. -- i never agreed -- jobs thatlking about have not been created. they have hampered creating new jobs. >> and that is why i'm asking you to stop and think and think the what is a conservative solution to this? >> mr. obama said at temperatures around the globe, the temperature is increasing faster than predicted 10 years ago. economist in oakland saidd "the economist," figures have not really risen. there has been a unexplained standstill in the atmosphere. that is largely correct, isn't it? stooges have been flat. put the rate of increase has been lower. it is -- they have been flat.
-- >> the rate of increase has been a lower. it is not want during that period. >> let me ask a final question. are you both familiar with patrick moore? the founder of greenpeace, right? three years about ago. >> he said he left the group ensnared inecame politics. he said we don't know if what to do to ensure will remain or if it will go up are done in the near future. what we know is the climate was changing. of predictingable which way it will go next. i live in wisconsin. were 200 for the glaciers in wisconsin. how do you explain -- before a man had a carbon footprint --
>> of the statement you made is blatantly false. >> how do you explain it? [laughter] variations in the earth's orbital elements. the time and the season closest to the sun. as the variation and and they are all a man-made -- was the variation end and they are all man-made? >> the man-made effect is dominant. we can measure that and the energy balance of the planet of the planet we see there is more energy coming in than going out. the plant is going to continue to get a warmer. year willt mean each get warmer. there are natural fluctuations. the debt that will be warmer than the previous. >> i agree the science is far
from settled. >> thank you. approval orof disapproval is not allowed in the committee. -- good to ask senator kaine going to ask senator kaine to proceed while i vote. i have other questions. i intend to come back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here today. i made it a 10-15 minutes which is fantastic. i will put myself in the camp that does not believe it is a no-brainer. i do not think that is the case. while the testimony was a divergent, you put it to interest. andmultiple ramifications the important science of climate and the damage we may be doing
to a planet which our kids and grandkids will have to figure it all out if we do not take the appropriate leadership role and those are two compelling interest. this project in and of itself i do not believe the support of is game over for the planet. i do not really opposition for z or putin.ing chave it requires careful thought. i do not pertained to expertise on this. you have to start with the science. i will be blunt. people i care about some in this the are all both sides of issue. you have to start with the science. in virginia, i feel comforted. thomas jefferson was the preeminent scientist of his day. size andpple with the ask the basic questions. i did -- i think the scientific -- ance is overwhelmingly overwhelming consensus that the
climate is changing in ways that negatively impact the planet and humans have a significant defect. not the only effect. there are plenty of others. we'll continue. human effect is significant. when i hear from witnesses or anybody who contacts me about this when not grapple with the signs who denies it or pretense have as -- pretends, i hard time taking deposition. -- taking that position. i think any organization should only yes or no. you can acknowledge some continued debate. i think people should take a position on the science and all willingness to take a position troubles me. i think those of us making decisions about we have to started their and take a position. i think the science is clear. i have lived and i am seeing it. sea levels are rising.
there are people i know who live in homes that they cannot sell them now. they were built 100 years ago and unable to be sold. many times, they cannot sell them because they are in floodplains and they were not earlier. we see the extreme weather events. well an obligation to do something. i believe consistent with promoting the security goals. i agree with the general jones. the disapproval of this particular project if it were just as project might have an incremental effect on climate. i also believe the disapproval of this project is put on incremental effect on the global energy security status. you testify it is correct. it'll be number one over russia whether or not because we do not sand oil. what a lot of energy we are
producing here and will continue to produce that i strongly support. i do strongly believe that you have to grapple with the science and answer the yes or no question and make policy decisions. loved before i voted on this matter, i've already voted. i can change my mind. we had to have the vote and the grapple with it. my staff and i dug deeply into the science question. my review of the signs leads me to conclude that we have a pie chart of the way we produce energy and in this country and this world. there are elements of the pie chart that is heavy carbon and others that is lighter carbon at elements that are small but growing that are no carbon. the right strategy is to make it cleaner tomorrow than today. to grow the piece of the pie chart the pieces that are no carbon and take the pieces of the pie chart that are heavy carbon and reduce them in a size
progressively over time not immediately. and reduce the carbon intensity of those portions. oil is a portion. tar sands by all accounts is significantly dirtier. could it be made cleaner? sure. it is dirtier but only carbon emissions and other types of emissions. in other types of petroleum. i grapple with this question. when we have so many other alternatives, low-carb or no carbon, but also fossil fuels like natural gas that have enabled us to switch. we have been improving every emissions in this country without congressional action because of innovation in the natural gas area. that moves us down the density scale. not as fast as some would like. showing through
american innovation that included a cleaner tomorrow today and move down the carbon density scale, why would be backslide? back to tar sense? i acknowledge your point and it is correct if it is a decision for canada to make, they will make it. the u.s. sends a very powerful want toabout whether we lead on this issue in a delaware climate change or not by whether we embrace or if we say, want to be cleaner tomorrow and not to dirtier tomorrow. we'll focus on clean alternatives. labors acknowledge the have a great point of view, our scientists, our military have a great point of the of -- i am struck by the need of this body to take leadership of an issue. i think will waited too long to take leadership. when one of my predecessors, near the end of his 30 year career, decorated combat veteran
, the navy and marines, secretary of the navy and on the armed services committee, he concluded the biggest security challenge we face as a nation is energy dependence but climate. because of the destructive nature for pushing anti-sibling countries -- and a destabilizing countries. he reaches that point at the end of his career. and a crown championship. i think it would be very hard for us to be a leader and tackling climate if we embrace tar sand oil and think it is fine. that is not a question, obviously. it is an explanation. there are people in the room that care about this issue. you have seen the way i voted but probably not my full explanation. i do not think it is a good idea. it is funny. with talk about it like a pipeline.
pipelines are fine. awas a mayor of a city with gas utility that we build pipelines. it's about tar sand oil and where it is and the continuum of energy sources from low carbon to no carbon to heavy carbon to dirty carbon. that is the challenge. it confuses everybody about to be real issue. it is carbon. i've taken my time with a statement. senator, you are up. >> thank you very much. we're taught about the dirtiest oil in the world. coming to the united states using us as a straw. pouring down to texas and transporting around the world. states withinted a restriction of it. go.ers to show where it can they say, with the do whatever incan to help energy depend
a north america. how about a restriction and make sure it stays in america? oh, no they say. they support explanation of natural gas. do that, too, they say. we are sending young men to the middle east. is feeling the revolution over there. we import and the united states million barrels of oil a day. that makes us weak. what does this proposal site? take the dirtiest and feel of the pipeline at the u.s. take the environmentalist and bring it to texas and export it. big debate we had a yesterday about exporting natural gas. it can use to move our vehicles from gas which event more greenhouse gases -- emit more
ground -- more greenhouse gases. what to do the people of the committee say? we should export our natural gas. we estimate our young men and women to the middle east to protect imports. we do not have the self-sufficiency and a natural gas and the united states, we import it. this is a national security issue, economic issue, manufacturing issue, climate change issue. i heard the senator from tennessee say earlier that, talking to mr. brune, a bill he supported that was utterly ridiculous. i assume he is talking about the -- a. i do not take a personal. i like the copy i am with. -- company i am with. with the nuclear energy dupontte, dow chemical,
national steel's workers, utility workers, all down the line. we have industry on our side. chamber of commerce was not with us. no question. i like who we have. wasy the edison electric utterly ridiculous -- i do not think the edison electric was utterly ridiculous. they understood. this a further extension of what is going on. the oil industry is trying to reverse off for decades of law prohibiting crude oil so our crude oil could be shipped to china. crude oil banner right now. i want to lift it. naturalbated yesterday, gas industry is pushing for the crisis in ukraine as a basis for exports to china. that is where it is going. $15 in china they pay and a $10
and europe. hold you the exxon will send it to? china. the mantra five years ago, drill here, tro now, pay less. -- drill now, pay less. we ask for our own natural resources. .hat is what it is and we're supposed to accept it. 1984we are in orwellian where you can change the language. now it is better to export. now the keystone pipeline to port arthur, texas. we take on the environmental risk while the planet takes the risk. that's utterly ridiculous. it just is. and so, ladies and just went, we have a heated debate here. i think everybody who is here at participating and i apologize for the roll call what is on the floor right now.
you know, the center for wisconsin to raise a question earlier about higher energy prices and what it would do to our manufacturing sector. .his natural gas export issue the energy information, if allow for an export just one more term , it would lead to a $62 billion increase at a cost for american consumers per year and that would devastate the return of manufacturing from china to our own shores. jen devastate our revolution. only 2 major cause. labor and energy. we are here debated these issues as if they are unrelated to the real economy which we live and and the responsibility that he has his has to to be the leader and climate change issues. the world is looking at us. they are seen cannot preach conference from a barstool.
subcommittee chairman senator claire mccaskill is holding a roundtable discussion. this is live coverage on c-span3. >> -- welcoming all of you to this discussion. i'm really pleased that you are able to be here today. i know you've come a long way. i appreciate that. this discussion represents the intersection of the subcommittee's ongoing oversight of whistle-blower protections, and the department of energy's contract management. both areas that i have done, and this subcommittee, has done a significant amount of work around both of those issues. after the conclusion of this discussion, we'll proceed to the
third subcommittee hearing on these topics that we have actually had in this subcommittee. the focus of today's discussion is the safety culture at hanford, and the allegations of whistle-blower retaliation that resulted when safety and technical concerns were brought to the attention of the department of energy and contractor management. hanford has been in the news again lately because yet another contractor employee at the waste treatment plant, who raised safety concerns, was fired. these actions contribute to a strong perception, both within hanford, and outside of it, that the contractors and the department of energy are failing to put an adequate emphasis on creating a strong safety culture in hanford. today, i wanted to give fellow members of congress and the public an opportunity to hear from some of those individuals familiar with this situation at hanford. donna bushy. >> yes, ma'am. >> is the former environmental and nuclear safety manager at the waste treatment plant. she has over 20 years of experience in nuclear safety, she was fired by urs in february of this year.
dr. walter tamacidis is the former research and technology manager and assistant chief process engineer for the waste treatment plant. he has over 40 years of experience in the chemical and nuclear industries. he was fired by urs in december of 2013. and tom carpenter is the executive director of the advocacy group hanford challenge. mr. carpenter has decades of experience in policy oversight of the nuclear field and whistle-blower advocacy. he helped establish and is a member of the hanford concerns council. let me turn it over to senator johnson, if you would like to say a few words, and then we would love to ask each of you to give a brief statement and then we'll have some questions. >> okay, thank you. well certainly, madam chair i certainly appreciate your efforts, trying to get to the bottom of what this government needs to do, what the u.s. has to do in terms of cleaning up these nuclear sites. i'm relatively new to the issue.
and so i really don't come to this issue with any biases or any assumptions. i think my assumption would be that nobody at the table here companies, not the current government employees, caused the problem. that was done decades ago and it is a huge problem. it's an incredibly complex problem. i'm not an engineer. i'm not a nuclear engineer. my guess is because of the complexity, because of the difficult nature of this problem, there's going to be certainly differences of opinion in terms of how to approach it. i really, you know, i would like to think, whether it's the government employees, whether it's the contractors that are basically agreeing to take on this task and try to grapple with this very difficult situation, my guess is everybody's trying to solve this problem but it's incredibly enormous, complex and difficult issue. so i certainly want to get all the information. i appreciate you coming here today. and with that just want to hear what you have to say. >> why don't we begin with you,
miss bushy and take a few minutes to say whatever you'd like to say in terms of where you find yourself and what you think is relevant knowing that our concern is whistleblower protections and contract management. those are basically the two cornerstones that this hearing that we're going to have in another hour or so are really about. so why don't you each take a few minutes and then i've got some questions and i'm sure senator johnson may have some questions. >> i'll keep my remarks pretty brief so that we can actually, i think, afford you the opportunity with questions so that we might be able to help your investigation. so i think everyone knows me. my name is donna busche he was the former manager of environmental and nuclear safety at the waste treatment plants. my responsibilities included making sure that the dangerous waste permit that is actually one of the governing documents for the environmental cleanup mission, that we provided and complied with the terms and conditions of that dangerous waste permits, and the more controversial side was the
nuclear safety side. where, i would summarize my job as making sure that we adequately implement the department of energy's requirements to integrate safety into the design. so, most people resonate with fukushima, right? i'm not advocating that we're going to have a fukushima. we're not going to have an earthquake and a tsunami. but the parallels from the department of energy's regulations are very similar to the nuclear regulatory commission. so we analyze hazards and then we must make sure that there's controls adequate to handle the hazards 6 the highly radioactive and toxic waste in the waste tanks. my journey i believe started at the waste treatment plant in 2009 and i was on good rapport with the company, urs, bechtel, the department of energy, until a fortuitous meeting with the doctor where we identified some key issues, at that time a highly controversial technical issue of mixing and i think that was the subtd of one of your previous hearings. in that meeting it was not
received well. it being the 56 comments and questions that dr. tamacitis raised. when i reviewed that list i identified, these are my words, holy moley, there's quite a few of these that have not been adequately analyzed to understands hazards and what needs to go into the design. from that point forward i was requested to attend a public meeting from the defense nuclear facility safety board, where i provided testimony in three panels that were quite controversial, where i took positions technically that made them differing opinions, as you put it. senator johnson. but, in the nuclear business we must have unwavering commitment to making sure that we comply with the regulations, and execute the public trust that has been endeared to us. so i took a conservative stance. the defense nuclear facility safety board supported that stance and so did many other in the technical community.
after that i was requested to be deposed. i was subpoenaed for a closed testimony for the nuclear safety board and miraculously after that i now have performance issues. and i would characterize, if you disagree with urs or bechtel in making sure that we build the waste treatment plant, not design it safely, build the waste treatment plant, that you're labeled with performance issues, attitude issues, don't get along with colleagues. so, i stayed until i was terminated from my employment on february 18th. >> i'm going to interrupt if you don't mind and give my colleague ron wyden who i know has been interested and acted on this issue and give him a few moments to make comments. we've just donna busche just finished explaining her situation. and then the other two witnesses, we're going to give an informal presentation and we're just going to have informal questioning between --
>> chairman mccaskill, thank you first of all for doing this. this is extraordinarily important. because if we're going to have the kind of safety agenda that we need in this country, we've got to get the truth out. that's the bottom line and i'm particularly pleased that you have three individuals that i've had a chance to talk to in the case of mr. carpenter for practically two decades now, and dr. tamacitis and mrs. busche as well. getting the real story at the department of energy's hanford site is tujly important for our part of the world. as some of you know, hanford essentially adjoins the columbia river. which is our life blood. for our quality of life, and recreation, and business, and a whole host of needs. and the reality is, hanford is
is a lasting and dangerous legacy of the federal government's nuclear weapons production activitieactivities,g millions of gallons of high level radioactive waste. and for decades secrecy was a way of life at hanford. first because it was necessary to protect nuclear weapons secrets, but later, it became a way of hiding the true environmental impacts of decades of plutonium production. and what you're going to hear from these three today, and hopefully a number of times in the days ahead, because working with my colleagues, i'm glad to see senator johnson here, as well, we really need to gig in and get the truth out of the problems at the site. we're talking about contamination of groundwater, the safety problems at the waste treatment plant, and the reality is, and i say this to our chair and our colleague senator johnson, the only way these
serious matters have become public knowledge is because courageous, committed employees like these two individuals, have come forward to tell us and to tell the american people. and i'll close up senator mccaskill with just two last points. first independent reviews essentially corroborate their point of view. both the defense nuclear facility safety board and the department's own safety inspector inspectors found that hanford maintained a culture that at best thwarted the ability of employees to come forward, and at worst has threatened their careers, and livelihoods. the fact that with respect to dr. tamosaitis and miss busche that they were fired after this issue has gotten so much attention by the independent observers, by you, as our chair, senator mccaskill, and myself
when i was chair of the energy committee, in my view, underscores the fact that nothing has really changed at hanford. and that's what we've got to turn around and i will just say to the chair and my staff wrote these really long address, i think i can maybe spare you the fulfill buster and just thank you very much for what -- what you're doing. this is important for our part of the world, but it is important because all over the country at other sites this is being followed and employees are saying what are the consequences of coming forward and speaking the truth, influential policymakers. i thank you very much for your work. if you as chair senator mccaskill have any questions, softdball questions are especially welcome but i better get back pretty quick to finance committee deliberations, and i just thank you very much. >> absolutely.
thanks for coming. >> thank you. o >> dr. tamosaitis? >> the retaliation against me started after i raised technical issues that had nuclear safety implications. my concerns centered around the buildup of hydrogen gas, which could cause a hydrogen explosion, the buildup of plu tone upat the bottom of the tanks which could cause a criticality and the plugging of pipelines which could render the plant inoperable for years. the issues i raised not only had nuclear safety implications, but could have major impacts on the plant design. and i believe that is the root of the problem. the issues stood in the way of bechtel and urs earning their award fees, and more importance, getting additional funding from congress. the problem of the wtp, i would offer, is not the complexity of the process, or actually how the
process should operate. there are many good people at hanford that are working very hard on it. the problem is, the mismanagement. the management's objective, the contractor's objective is to keep the project moving, and get their funding, regardless of whether they're moving behind, moving backwards, moving forwards, or standing still. as long as they're there, they get their funds. the concerns i raised led to my firing from the wtp by bechtel. i want to say that this issue is much bigger than me. and i don't want the issue to be judged solely by my input. by firing me, putting me in the basement, and then releasing me, urs firing me, both bekting and urs are sending a clear message to all employees, don't do what walt did. and from what i hear, from people calling me, talking to people, they're doing a dog gone
good job of getting that message out. urs claims they laid me off for downsizing reasons. i can tell you that i see no difference in how i was handled when i was fired from the wtp by bechtel versus being, quote, laid off by urs. and urs held my severance pay hostage for me to give them legal immunity, and we are talking a significant amount of money. i did not sign the agreement to give the legal immunity so i foregoed my severance pay. i consider the withholding of my severance pay by urs to be akin to extortion. with the contractor's focus on profits, the employees received punitive treatment, and retaliation if they raised safety issues. because, it could impact the plant. the contractors then, if they cannot blame doe, bear the cost of the repairs. their performance decreases cost
and schedule performance. and there's nothing wrong with making money. the companies need to make money. but when the focus on profits trumps safety, quality, and building -- doing the right thing, you have a problem. and i would submit that you have a major problem in the wtp when the cost goes from an initial estimate by bekting of $4.6 billion and today the estimate would be over $25 billion for hire. the start-up was going to be in seven years, '01 to '08. and now the start-up is talking about being in the late 2020s. i mean the plant would have been further ahead, closer to start-up, if they'd have done nothing. they'd be only seven years from start-up with the '01 to '08. but nothing gets done with the contractors despite that abuse. because they continue to get the funding, lobby congress for
additional money, and they continue to get their funding and stay there. their objective is to keep the funding coming. the contractors, especially bechtel, will use intimidation and pressure to get the answer they want. this is evidenced by the information we found in their dealings with the savannah river national lab. they also put tremendous pressure on bechtel and the pacific northwest national lab. their ceo -- mr. ogleby, of bechtel corporate, leaned on dr. wadsworth the ceo of betle in order to get betle to give the answer they wanted. betle's ethics prevented them from doing that. to make matters worse, the government is fuelling funding and supporting these contractor actions. now is the time, in my mind, for congress to make changes. all the companies in the doe
system are watching to see what happens. with the visibility of my case, donna's case, the cost growth, the schedule overrun, it will be katie bar the door if no action is taken to rein the contractors in. as an example, of how congress is funding the contractor performance, all legal expenses incurred by bechtel and urs to fight employee legal actions are reimbursed on an ongoing basis via taxpayer money. then if the company is found guilty, they may be asked to pay back. well, what do they do? they settle before they pay back. they're not found guilty, no payment. all their attorneys and the people that are here today will be reimbursed for their expenses to come here. and that comes from taxpayer money. so what do they do? they -- they have no incentive, the companies have no incentive
to do the right thing. let the employee file a concern. we'll drag the thing out. the government's paying us to fight them. they hire outside attorneys. the outside attorneys are paid by the hour. they have no incentive to settle quicker. so the system provokes, supports, the contractors doing what they do, and continuing to get paid. there's no incentive to do the right thing or to settle quicker. and guess who pays for the cost of us, for our legal expenses? us. another problem in the wtp is that the bechtel is the design agent and the design authority. that means they decide what they need to do, and how they need to do it. and then they're rewarded for cost and schedule performance. that's akin to giving the fox the henhouse. i would even say it's worse. it's a license to steal.
to keep the project going. to keep that funding stream going. and if somebody raises a technical issue, and it could stand in the way of their funding, they're going to retaliate. they're going to take punitive action. and that's what happened with m-3, the mixing issue, back in 2010, when not only was there a $5 million award fee on the line, but behind the scenes they were lobbying congress for an extra $50 million in funding, of which they got because they quote closed m-3. but today, as senator wyden said, the department of energy's conducted surveys, they supported and found the negative culture. the defense board, in an in-depth study, and found -- and found issues and issued two recommendations, outside groups have identified issues, and if you don't believe all that, and say you know, that's all kind of
hoo-doo, we don't believe old walter, sector of energy, former secretary chu, shut the place down. so the problems are well-known. but the contractors continue to get their funding because they misrepresent and mislabel the information. my termination occurred on the heels of secretary mennees issuing a statement for harassment free workplace. he issued that statement about the third week of september. i was fired by or laid off by urs, quote, laid off, on october 2nd. less than two weeks after he issued that statement. now, with the visibility of my case, several lawsuits and mennees issuing that statement, if urs would blatantly just lay me off, dismiss me, get rid of me, right after the secretary issued such a cultural statement, what does it say about what they would do if
there was no statement. i mean, they will, if you stand in the way of their progress to keep the funding going, there are problems. and with that i'll say, in my mind, the wtp and the doe culture are at a tipping point. now is the time to make a change. if no change is made, i feel real bad for the future generation of workers. because i don't want anybody to go through what i've gone through. it's tough. >> thank you, doctor. mr. carpenter. >> thank you for inviting me. my comments today, thank both of you, senators, for supporting whistle-blower rights. i know you're strong advocates and we really appreciate that and this hearing is -- is very welcome oversight on what's happening. my name is tom carpenter. i'm the executive director of hanford challenge.
our mission is the safe and effective cleanup of the hanford site. for both present and future generations. we work with insiders, we hope they don't become whistle-blowers, unless they need to tell the truth. but we don't want employees to become whistle-blowers. these folks didn't want to become whistle-blowers. they simply were doing their jobs. and that's the case for most people out there and then suddenly they're finding themselves on the wrong side of their company. we'd like to change that culture so that concerns are welcomed. addressed. and we move on and we have a better plant because of that. it's the third anniversary of the fukushima accident today. and i think it's fitting and appropriate that we're here talking about protecting nuclear whistle-blowers, and talking about nuclear safety. at the fukushima plant, engineers there wanted to build and recommended the building of a higher tsunami wall.
to protect the plant against that event. and they also recommended that the emergency diesel generators be moved from the flood plain to on the hill behind the plant. engineers tell us that the earthquake itself did not cause the fukushima accident. it was the tsunami. and so, because the utility that runs fukushima didn't listen to, and suppressed the testimony of these engineers about the tsunami effects, we have one of the worst nuclear accidents, still raging out of control. we still have three meltdowns in process there. two spent fuel pools have had hydrogen gas explosions, and there's 300,000 gallons a day of radioactive water pouring into the ocean. we can prevent that kind of thing happening in our own country, at the hanford site. but only if we listen to our experts. it's not just donna dushy and walt tamosaitis who are both
acknowledged experts with good degrees, the top in their country. it's why they were recruited for these positions. donna the manager of safety. walt the manager of research and technology. but you sls on record the chi engineer of the facility a guy named gary bronson who recommended the shutdown of the waste treatment plant until the safety issues are resolved. that did not happen. he resigned in protest. you also have don alexander the chief scientist for the facility raising safety concerns, going to "usa today" and trying to find some avenue, and eventually these folks did get through to secretary chu, the former energy secretary. he listened to their concerns, and that resulted in the suspension of all nuclear work at the plant. and that's been that way for a year and a half and it remains that way. we're grateful that that's happening. however, it could have been
earlier. it could have been years ago, when these folks were listened to, and right now, our major concern is that the treatment of these folks and others like them have sent a message throughout the safety culture that it's not safe to raise an issue. that's a message that cannot be allowed to stand. and it's really up to the department of energy to make sure that that message is countered. because right now we see that bechtel and urs are winning the battle to silence employees out there. and people who are younger in their careers, who see a safety issue, they need to be encouraged to raise those concerns and the system does not tolerate that right now. so, we're asking that congress take some action to subject -- do some independent oversight for nuclear safety. we've been doing this now for 25 years trying to get the
department of energy to take steps to protect whistle-blowers and to have a better nuclear safety culture out there. it's not working. they're not going to. there needs to be independent oversight for nuclear safety, and for the safety culture at the site. so we'd like to ask congress to consider taking some steps in that direction. in the practice of reimbursing attorney's fees. the public shouldn't be reimbursing what amounts to a legal retaliation against whistle-blowers out there. it's not in their interest. it's in the interest of the public to hear the safety concerns, not suppress and silence them. so i'm hoping this committee also takes on that challenge. and, we're also looking for meaningful remedies and protections for whistle-blowers. right now there's really not much there to avail for these folks to avail themselves of protection. thank you very much for considering my statement today, and i'm happy to answer any questions you might have. >> let me start with asking, was there ever any issue documented
issue on your job performance? either one of you, prior to you saying things out loud and publicly that raised safety concerns concerning hanford. >> you want me to start off? i received three letters. the first one was titled corrective action letter, where, in summary it told me to be nicer to people. there was -- it wasn't written as a written warning from a standard human resource perspective. it was just titled, corrective action letter. that was in 2011. i received nothing until 2013. so there was a silence between 2011 and 2013. i received another letter that said i was basically late on assignments. and it listed four of those. and then the final letter was i sent inappropriate e-mails when i requested human resources, had they done an investigation to -- because an e-mail by itself, without the context of the
conversation, is just an e-mail by itself, and my supervisor and the manager of human resources admitted oh, this was just based on the e-mails. and those were the three letters i received. >> and those occurred before you -- i'm trying to figure out where the performance issues with you, if they -- if there were any that were documented prior to you giving testimony in a public way that they didn't like. >> no. no prior to that i would say i received above average raises. very good bonuses from the executive compensation pool. had received numerous letters of, you know, thank yous from my supervisors. >> so it wasn't until you gave answers that made the companies uncomfortable, that was when you first started receiving some kind of documentation about your job performance? >> yes, ma'am. >> and what about you, doctor, was there anything prior to you raising concerns about technical issues of safety at hanford, had
you gotten any performance issues brought to your attention prior to that? >> no, ma'am. not at all. >> okay. how long did you work there prior to you raising concerns publicly that -- that the contractors disagreed with? >> i would say probably 14, 15 months. i started in march 2009. the fortuitous meeting was july of 2010. or the latter part of june 2010. up before that i received, you know, really no negative -- lots of accolades that i was doing great work at the waste treatment plant. >> when you -- was there ever a time that you felt pressure to change anything you had written or testified to by the companies? >> yes, ma'am. >> and would you delineate what those were and when?
>> in the public meeting convened by the defense nuclear facility safety board i think it was october 7th and 8th of 2010, i was requested to sit on the panel. during the second panel discussion, which was the first day was really the controversial, where i took positions technically. immediately after that, i was admonished by, at that time, em-1 and dr. triea -- >> explain what em-1. >> environmental management. so in the department of energy environmental management is really the government part, that flowdown of who is overseeing the cleanup of hanford. and so after that particular meeting when i walked in to the debrief room, you know you're shuttled back and forth, i made a comment that i was out looking for a gentleman, because i figured i was off his christmas card list so i was trying to relieve tension, and i was admonished that if my intent was to piss people off, i did a mighty fine job that day. so i left the room. the next morning i chose not to
go back there because it was quite, you know, 40 people not being kind. i was met outside by frank russo, leo sang and bill gay requesting me so frank russo was bechtel. leo sane and bill gay were urs requesting me to change my testimony. and i told them i could not. and i went and, you know, basically went inside. during the actual third panel session, shirley owinger from the department of energy was actually passing cards to lee yo sane with handwritten notes to change the testimony that i had given. so -- >> so, it was bechtel, urs and the department of energy that were putting pressure on you to change what you were saying publicly? >> yes, ma'am. >> and what about you? >> there are -- there are several very distinct cases. i started raising issues when i got there in 2003, because that was my job responsibility. in 2006, i chaired a -- led a
very intensive technical review chartered by secretary bodman at that time, secretary of energy bodman. upon issuing that report, a bechtel manager craig albert called me and said he wanted to edit the report. and i said, no, as you know, those were the ground rules, those were included in the ground rules, that there be no editing by management of the report. he said to me, who do you work for? and i said, well, you know, i think i know who i work for. he then went on to say, well i talked to jim at doe and jim said it's okay. and i said, well, if it's okay, i'll call him and confirm it. and he then recanted his story. and the pressure then began retaliation on me from '06. in 2010, there were many times when my urs manager bill gay took me aside and said quit raising issues. don't raise the issues. leo sane, the vice president
aiken, south carolina, told me walt, bring the issues to me. and i'll take them up the line. and i said, leo, you're in aiken, i'm 3,000 miles away. my job is to do that. no, no, you bring the issues to me and i'll handle them. then at the end of june 2010 i tasked pacific northwest national lab to issue a report and my immediate two urs bosses bill gay and richard edwards both tried to have that report squashed because they knew that that report would conflict with bechtel's approach to the technical resolution of the problem. so i've had many -- >> of the mixing problem. >> yes, senator. >> okay. finally, i want senator johnson to have an opportunity to ask you some questions and i may have a couple more. in your -- you've already said that they wouldn't give you your severance pay unless you signed documents resolving -- on
solving them of any legal liability surrounding the way that you were treated. on your nondisclosure agreements, was it clear in your nondisclosure agreements that they had no legal authority to keep you from doing what you're doing today, making reports to either inspector generals, or to congress, as a whistle-blower? was that clear in the nondisclosure agreements that you retained those rights? >> you mean when we signed on with the company? >> right. >> wow. i would say i do not remember any such verbal or written statement, and since the time i filed suit in the past over the past, almost four years, i have never heard that referred to. >> okay. >> so i don't know anything about it. >> i would say the nondisclosure, because i've read it numerous times, i would say, is not -- would not supersede some of the department's