tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 8, 2013 8:30am-10:31am EST
all because they live around coal. i am sure there are residents living near coal-fired power plants who can tell similar horror stories. there are those in the coal industry in congress who constantly rebuke and cast doubt on the science while men, women and children die of this pollution. they simply do not care about my people. they only care about their profits and campaign donations. politicians, especially the west virginia delegation, will contend that jobs are at risk by the regular rations the epa -- regular rations the epa sets forth. this is not true. and even if it were true, to be clear, no one has a job that's more important than someone else's life. contrary to what the politicians in industry say, we know there are safer and cleaner ways to produce be electricity. >> time to wrap up. >> we must come together and end coal's cycle of death. this starts with meaningful regulation. no one should have to live with respiratory issues, birth
defects, cancers and other human health issues that coal is responsible for. for the sake of our planet, the sake of public health and the sake of future generations, let's stop talking. epa, do your job. thank you. >> thank you. and thank you for picking the drive here. for making the drive here. next on the panel we have senator mcconnell. and ryan patton. >> thank you very much for the opportunity to be here. appreciate the chance to come here on behalf of my state. it's my understanding these sessions are intended to gather stakeholder input on what people think about future carbon regulations on existing power plants. however, i couldn't help but
notice these sessions are scheduled only, only for states where coal does not have a large presence. like california and massachusetts. other regions of the country have or are well aware that coal provides nearly 40% of our nation's electricity. as such, i ask all of you folks to hold a hearing in kentucky to hear the concerns of coal country. but since epa refuses to come to kentucky, i decided on behalf of kentucky's coal miners and their families that i would bring their concerns to you myself. if the epa won't come to listen to us, we'll come here to the epa. by now it is clear that this administration and your agency have declared a war on coal. for kentucky this means a war on jobs and on our state's economy. the president has outright stated his intentions for the coal industry, and this is what he had to say: if somebody wants to build a coal power plant,
they can. it's just that it will bankrupt them. because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that's being emitted. that's a direct quote from the president of the united states. one of the first things president obama did upon taking office in 2009 was to push through congress' cap and trade bill, to try to push it through, i might add, designed to hike utility rates and bankrupt the coal industry. back in 2009 his party, the democratic party, controlled both houses of congress, they held a supermajority in the senate of 60 votes. they could actually pass anything they wanted to. but the bill only narrowly passed the house and could never pass the senate. it idled away and, ultimately, did not pass in the senate. that's how extreme this president's agenda is. he proposed setting unheard of caps on greenhouse gas emissions, and his own party in control of both houses of congress said, no.
so what this president could not get enacted boo law is try -- into law he is trying to now enact through the bureaucracy. he has unleashed the epa to fulfill the same extreme mandates that were in his cap and trade bill. but before you do, you're going to hear from us. coal employs more than 13,000 people in kentucky, and i think it's important to note that at the beginning of this administration it employed 18,000. we've gone from 18,000 coal miners down to 13,000. we have a depression in eastern kentucky. of not a recession, a depression. because for every coal job, there are three or four additional jobs. so this administration's declared war on coal. as far as my state is concerned, since 90% of our electricity comes from coal-fired generation, we can anticipate higher utility rates. this has been one of the great ways that we've been able to attract new industry the commonwealth. so we're ear to remind you --
here to remind you that coal keeps the lights on for kentucky and for the nation. i want to introduce you to a man who will speak for kentucky coal miners today. as a fifth generation coleman, he truly understands the central role coal plays in kentucky's industry and in our economy. in our history and, yes, in our future. brian patton's great, great grandfather was a coal miner in ireland. his father managed large coal mines in kentucky. and today brian is the president of service at the james river coal service company. he knows full well how kentucky coal miners work 14-hour days to bring affordable energy to the state and the country. he knows because he works just as hard himself. be you're truly interested in listening to the people whose way of life you will affect the most, you need to listen to brian's voice of wisdom and experience.
so i'd like now to call on brian for his observations. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. again, to introduce myself, i am brian patton, president of james river coal service and very much appreciate the invitation today from senate mcconnell to come and speak with you. senate mcconnell very much outlined to you the impacts that these regulations and draft regulations going forward are going to have op our local economy, our state economy and then, also, on the economy of the nation. as he said before, we have a depression in eastern kentucky. when i left eastern kentucky yesterday after a 48-hour workday over two days, we furloughed and/or laid off over 200 employees. our company as a whole over the last six months has had to do that with over 725 employees. understand these are communities of just a thousand, 2,000 people, 3,000 people.
and when you have that type of an economic impact due to regulations, many of which that are regulations that come from washington, d.c. that have very little understanding of what the outcome is for local folks, for folks that get up and go to work every day and that impact will be for their families in the future, and that's wrong. and, obviously, we're having hearings today in d.c. i find myself again here at the epa having to come to washington, d.c. to discuss issues. this is not my first visit here. i've been here on numerous occasions. but i would very much wish and invite you to coal country. i think there is a side -- and you've heard people speak previously saying they are from coal country, and some of those folks are, some of those folks maybe visit. but there are thousands of folks right now that would love the opportunity to sit and discuss with you the issues that they have at hand. those issues are basic. they want a job. they want to go to work. they want to provide for their
families. they want to provide college educations for their kids. they want to have a decent retirement. it's as simple as they want to buy a bass boat, you know? just the american dream. it's all that simple. and in appalachia without coal and without the industry that provides jobs, we have very little left for these people to remain employed. now, in may be alternative fuel measures, there may be all the other things that can pop out of the woodwork, but at this point there is no they were. no alternative. so i ask that you consider the real people of appalachia, the real people of coal country, the people that really matter in this argument. because if you take away our livelihood, then i don't know what we have left. and so, again, i invite you to coal country. thank you. >> thank you very much. we're going to go ahead and take a ten minute break.
ten minutes. and then we'll reconvene in about ten. [inaudible conversations] >> several live events to tell you about today. the atlantic council focuses on iran's relations with afghanistan and other countries in south asia. that's here on c-span2 at 9:30 a.m. eastern. later on c-span president obama will be in new orleans for a speech on jobs and the economy. and a little after 1 p.m. eastern. at 3 p.m. the stimson center hosts a panel of senior u.s. officials and other experts on efforts to keep weapons of mass destruction away from terrorists. >> i think regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, we all feel very fortunate and grateful that we live in the united states of america. it's a very unique place.
and if america was considered to be a product -- and we do try to sell our product overseas -- what's our brand? and i think our brand is the constitution, the rule of law and our values system. and under that brand and under that value system there is that notion of equal under the eyes of the law. under that brand and value system is the ada and trying to elevate the rights of americans with disabilities. >> this is a treaty, a treaty is a law. the emotional and political arguments that are in favor of the treaty no one can disagree with these arguments. but the question is, will the treaty actually have the legal effect that's being proffered by the proponents of the treaty? we don't hear citations to articles of the treaty. of we don't hear consideration of the reports, the concluding observations like the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities. we don't hear the kind of legal
able sis that would be -- analysis that would be appropriate for analyzing the legal impact of this treaty. >> more than 130 cups have ratified the u.s.-inspired united nations disabilities treaty which failed to win senate approval in 2012. this week the foreign relations committee took up the treaty as well. watch saturday morning at 10 eastern on booktv, malcolm gladwell explains how underdogs can use that status to their advantage, also the upside to being a big fish in a small pond. saturday night at 11. and on c-span3's american history tv, on a crowded sacramento street, lynette fromm pulled the trigger. more sunday at 5:30 p.m.. >> now, former new hampshire senator judd gregg for what he calls a properly-regulated free market economy. we'll show you as much of his national press club speech as we can before our live coverage of the atlantic council at 9:30
eastern. [applause] >> good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. my name is angela greiling keane, i'm a reporter for bloomberg fuse and the 106th president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists, committed to our profession's future by hosting events such as this while fostering a free press worldwide with. for more information about the national press club, please visit our web site at www.press.org. to donate to programs offered to the public through the national press club journalism institute, please visit press.org/institute. on behalf of our members worldwide, i'd like to welcome our speaker and those of you in the audience today. there are our head table includes guests of our speaker as well as working journalists who are club members. and if you hear applause from our audience, i'd note that members of the general public are also attending, so it's not
necessarily evidence of a lack of journalistic objectivity. [laughter] i'd also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. you can follow the action today on twitter using the hash tag npc lunch. after our guest's speech concludes, i'll have a question and answer period. i will ask as many questions as time permits. now it's time to introduce our head table guest. i'd ask each of you to stand briefly as your name is announced. from your right, mike, the senior editor of kiplinger.com. james mcteague, washington editor of barron's magazine. mark shuff, staff writer at cranes investment news. michael lindenberger, washington correspondent for the "dallas morning news". paul mirren, washington bureau chief for crane chicago business. chet helk, sis ma chair and ceo of global private client group for raymond james financial. allison fitzgerald, finance and
investigative reporter at the center for public integrity and the chairwoman of the national press club speaker's committee. skipping over our speaker for just a minute, a u.s. economy and treasury reporter for bloomberg news. kenneth e. benson jr., president of sifma. molly mccluskey, a freelance journalist and the vice chair of the national press club freelance committee. and cheyenne hopkins, a reporter for bloomberg news covering banking and legislation. [applause] our guest today is a longtime member of the republican establishment in washington, a former leader on capitol hill and a respected voice in the movement to rein in federal spending and reduce the u.s. debt. so it came as a bit of a surprise earlier this fall when former u.s. senator judd gregg
began a commentary in the hill newspaper with these words. most americans these days are simply ignoring republicans, and they should. [laughter] gregg was lamenting the threat of some in his own party in their effort to kill president obama's health care reform law. he later called the 16-day government shutdown a, quote, tactical fiasco. judd gregg came to washington for the first time in 1981 representing new hampshire in the u.s. house for nine years. he then went back to the granite state, and as governor he was champion of environment lal conservation and helped preserve more than 337,000 acres of sensitive land. ..
the bailout wall street and commercial banks. just four months later, however, he withdrew his name from consideration to be, president obama's first commerce secretary saying he was opposed to the president's economic stimulus plan because he's a budget hawk. senator gregg left the senate in 2010 and joined with former senator alan simpson, new york mayor -- and new york mayor michael bloomberg to become part of our person critical fix the debt. they are urging elected officials to cut the federal deficit. he has not been shy about criticizing republicans and democrats alike. his columns have touched on everything from tax policies to immigration to health care.
today, senator gregg is here as the ceo of the securities industry and financial markets association, a trade group that represents the interests of the investment industry. its members include the securities arms of j.p. morgan, citigroup and fidelity. they spent 10 million lobbying congress last year. senator gregg is here today discuss and initiative to ensure and vested interests are protected. please help me get a warm national press club welcome to the com only as senator judd gregg. [applause] thank you very much, angela. and members of the press club, thank you for the opportunity to have this forum. very much appreciated by myself. it's about to be joined by so many of sifma teen and family, especially by our chairman, and by our president ken benson, and
by my wife kathy. and have a chance to talk to you a little bit today. kathy said i should begin by telling you one of our new hampshire stories. i hesitate to do this in washington because the punchlines are very subtle. but i notice we have these flags here that our new hampshire flags and hope no one has bitten into the flight because they'll be a violation of protocol by the way. speaking as a former governor. but can of course is from texas and he was a congressman from texas, and actually member of congress and is a very distinct career and, of course, his family is uniquely distinguish. whenever talk to ken, i'm reminded of a story from our town in new hampshire. we lived in greenfield, a town of 600 here and it was a beautiful town up in the foothills. and in the fall a lot of people used to drive through the town. down the road from us was
development auster. he was in his late 70s. he had a little dairy farm. he was out working on it since one and this great big huge black suv pulls up with texas plates. this fella gets out. he's got this huge have, this big cowboy hat. and he walks up to oscar, who wasn't a big, and he says, sir, yes, this your farm? yes, oscar says. he says, have you lived all your life? oscar says, not yet. [laughter] he says to them, welcome how big is your farm? oscar says, well, that's a good question. he takes his pipe out of his mouth. if you go down the road your you will see a birch tree. when you see that go up to the ridge and you'll find a stone wall. go across the stone wall to a
bunch of oak trees, come down there and get to the road and come up here. that's my farm. the guy says, well, i'm from texas, and i can get in my car and i can drive all day, all day, and only be halfway across my farm. oscar says, yep, used to have a car like that myself. [laughter] >> is applause from the press allowed? i am amazed. since kathy told me to tell that story, i will tell one more. that way i can use up all of your questioning done. mildred perkins and maple had lived in town all the lies that mildred and maple had falling out of sorts with each other after about 35 years. had gone to church and social and maple had made a pie that mildred thought was arrested and so forth and so on.
they didn't speak to each other for like 40 years. mildred dies. apple goes down to the town store and oscars down there and oscar goes to her, apple, did you that mildred died? yep, heard that. well, ethel, are you going to mildred's funeral? no. she's not coming to mind, i'm not going to hurt. [laughter] i can go all day like this. [laughter] i'm making a lot more progress in addressing some of the issues before us. i did want to talk today about the role of financial markets, specifically a role in helping americans succeed in main street prosper. we take this very seriously as an industry. and i think to understand where we are unique actually go back to the last century.
a lot was decided in the last century and is carried into the second decade of the century, of course, because life is a continuum. but two things are clearly decided in the last century. the first was this, that democracy wins out over totalitarianism. democracy defeat fascism, defeated totalitarianism communism. and by the end of the last century most of the western world were democratic, and people moved to democracy as a way to govern. the second thing that was decided was that free markets create a great deal more prosperity for the people than collectivist markets. and as result, again, free markets have become the way, especially in the western world. and america is uniquely positioned as the representative of democracy, being the world's oldest democracy after switzerland, and as the
representative of the free market and most prosperous nation in the world. and the financial markets play a critical role in the success of those financial markets. this point i think was made uniquely by joseph schiller, who is an economist at yale who just recently won the nobel prize for economics when he said this in his book, finance is a good society. the essential challenge for leaders to contemplate and coming to terms with the future of finance is to understand it can be used to help broaden the prosperity across an increasingly wide range of social classes. imagine the development of a new laboratory, the funding of a new medical research center, the building of a new university, or the construction of a new subway system. finance provides the structure
to these and other enterprises and institutions throughout society. if finance succeed for all of us, it will help build a good society. but we are not sure it will succeed, market economy. there are issues which make it a challenge. and, in fact, interestingly enough, it was out of smith who over 200 years ago developed the concept of market society, free market society, who caught this issue and he said -- i'm paraphrasing here -- he said essentially, great nations are not impoverished by their people. great nations are impoverished by their government acting badly. used -- basically means governments acting in a public, wastefully mismanaging.
milton friedman, a more recent economist said it another way. he said if you put the federal government in charge of the syrian desert, it would be a shortage of sand in five years. [laughter] the simple fact is that there are forces which negatively impact a free market economy and democracy. i would like to mention three of them that i think are really of concern today. the first of course is our federal debt and deficit. you simply cannot run a country if you run up a deficit and the debt that you can't sustain. we have doubled our debt in the last five years. we will tripled it by 2020. we are on a pathway which basically puts us in a debt situation where our debt to our gross national product will equal or exceed other nations who have had extraordinary
problems such as greece, italy, ireland, iceland, friends. we have the advantage of course being the world's strongest economy and the world's currency and, therefore, we have more running room. but the simple fact is if we continue on our present plan at some point there's going to be a challenge to our currency. and its viability. and when the challenge occurs it will lead to either significant inflation or some other financial event which will inevitably lead to a diminution in the standard of living of the american people. and it will impact our democracy and our markets. we need to address it. and hopefully we will see our congress come together. to try to get some part of this over the next few months. the second issue that we have, in my opinion, is the piling on of federal regulation.
we in the financial markets business totally support appropriate regulatory activity, embrace it, want to work with regulatory agencies to great constructive regulatory activity. but we're getting a few more regulations than i think anybody expected. entry to point a days the new regulation comes out. every to point a days on average. we have received now 15 million words under dodd-frank. that represents 22 volumes of war and peace which would be about this site if they placed on this table. we are only 39% of the way through dodd-frank. we've got another 20 million words to come. this type of access is driven in large part by an attitude which essentially says to folks, listen, we the regulators know better how to deal with your
life than you do. we want to take risks out of her life. you should not risk in your life. we are basically going to be in charge of your life through regulations. it's a bureaucratic access in many ways. there is no question that an appropriate regulation is needed in a market economy. but that at some point, if you go too far, you end up constraining that economy because the energy, instead of going to create an economic activity, goes to respond to basically the issues raised by the regulators. area -- the third area, again, at its core our folks who generally don't believe in market economies, free market economies especially. it's a belief again that doesn't
trust the ability of individuals to make decisions on their own for their own betterment, but rather says a collective group of folks should do it in the name of a better society. it has become reflected in statements like those made by michael moore who, i'm sure, would not turn down the title of spokesman for the progressive left. i think he probably would be attracted to that title. where he said, i don't own a single share of stock. he's made the statement outside the new york stock exchange during some sort of an event there that he was sponsoring. and i have never owned a single share of stock. i don't support this -- and you wouldn't have any of stock exchange -- this rig casino. i don't know the why anybody would put their hard earned
money into this new york stock exchange. i would refer those folks to twitter. today, twitter company issued -- i think it was 70 million shares of stock, and the interest in purchasing those stocks by people from all walks of life was extraordinary. so extraordinary, of course that the valley of the stock went up dramatically from its original issue. what does that reflect? that it reflects the core element of a free market society, that people want to have the right to go out and participate with other people who are trying to create economic activity in businesses which they deem if you would be successful. that is the way this economy works. and to reject that is a mistake.
i think to reject that also reflects a certain discomfort that you see on most populism with the concept of free markets. i think milton friedman got this right, again, milton friedman, a great economist, said a major source of the objection to a free economy is precisely that. it gives people what they want. instead of what the particular group thinks they ought to want, underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. and who is harmed by that? by this -- who is going to be harmed by a government that's not fiscally responsible? by people just going way too far in the area of dampening down economic activity through an attempt to address risk and
regulation? or by a helping populism the basically rejects it. i had to do is not going to be the folks on wall street. it's going to be the folks on main street. it's main street where the jobs are not created or the opportunity doesn't exist if you don't have a vibrant economic engine driving this country. and if you have these retarding events. that's what is our intention, in the financial markets industry, through sifma, to make the case for a free market economy that is properly regulated, that has as its most basic elements, individual initiatives supported by readily available capital and reasonably priced credit. to promote the importance of the role of a private capital
market, vibrant capital markets and the financial system in the everyday lives of americans and their ability to pass on to their children a more prosperous life. we intend to reconnect with the american people by reinforcing the fact that the financial markets basic purpose is to help america succeed, and to allow main street to prosper. we intend to do this by basically concentrating on four major areas. the effort will be primarily an attempt to make it clear to folks in a very personal way how important it is to their day-to-day life that the financial markets participate in our economy in an aggressive and positive way. the job they go to probably is a function of somebody having
invested capital in the business. when a person sends their kids to school, it's probably being supported by market activities which allow alone to be made. when a person goes to an emergency room, the emergency room was probably built with bonds that came from the financial markets. somebody in the financial markets taking a risk on building the hospital and supporting it with bonds. and you drive down the road, or even a badly for that matter, it was probably built by bonds were somebody took a risk in order to create that. last year, in the last five years, business has access over $6.3 trillion in capital through the financial markets. bonds have been issued which have built 8 million miles of road, 1.5 million bridges and
500,000 miles of water ways. all for the benefit of making it a stronger and more prosperous society. over 3.3 many people have received small business loans representing $178 billion of investment. these are real folks. folks like carmine and marcus who started in the garage a food distribution business, but working with her financial adviser were able to expand that into a major business in southern california. or jill brown when her husband died, was helped by her advisor to get back, financial budget to get back on your feet. she began a small business of home furnishings, which then built into the brown home goods stores in houston, texas. stories that created jobs,
stories about real people whose lives were improved by investments made. is a very practical matter, we've done a lot of great things as a capital market in this country. we even brought back the twinkie. i guess the twinkie never went anywhere because it's not biodegradable, but had gone somewhere, we brought it back. the second thing we're going to concentrate on is the lessons we've learned. we know that too big to fail should not have existed but as an industry we are committed to in the it. we have done this to basically having living wills, by having stress test, having resolution authority. furthermore, the capital of the banking industry and investment industry has been increased dramatically, dramatically in the last five years, from
$400 billion over $800 billion. and that gives it much more safety and soundness. and given the taxpayers have benefited a fair amount from the financial industries distress. all the money that was paid out under a tarp on the financial side of the ledger has been paid back and there's a $20 billion profit to taxpayers that can be used for other things. going forward, we intend to work for strong and effective regulations that will create transparency and will make for safer and sounder system. the third thing we're going to focus on his education. because we believe firmly that a well-educated population about the importance of finance and their daily life is going to be a population which can more effectively succeed and prosper. talk about the importance of capitalism, markets, entrepreneurship, and yes, even profit and how our system works and how it creates prosperity.
we're going to talk about financial letters and that people should invest and how they can't invest to make and prepare for their future. how they deal with their retirement savings over their investments that are coming through their pension. in a way that communicates and touches folks in their day-to-day life. not going to do this in washington or from new york. we are going to do it in the local rotary clubs, the local boys and girls club's, the local school systems. where we basically, one on one, talk about the importance of the financial industry in the day-to-day lives of people and how we work with them to try to help them succeed. and that's the fourth and most important initiative, which is our commitment to put our customers first. our commitment to protect our customers rights of choice, our
commitment to protect our customers rights to get information they need to make good choices. our commitment to protect our customers savings and whether they being used for investment or whether they're being used for planning for their retirement. and in that role and as part of that effort, a lot of energy has been put into this. we have triggered a document called our partnership with you. and essentially this is a statement of rights that our customers have, should have come and we are committed to do as an industry. this is not written by one or two folks sitting down one afternoon. jon and his group over at sifma, worked with thousands of members of the industry to try to make this work and come together with this partnership with you so that people are committed to it and bought into it in a way that made it clear that we deploy our
customers first. let me just read a few points of this. i have to put m on my glasses to do this, assuming i brought them. kathy has an extra pair of glasses. i'm all set. i buy these at reagan airport, by the way to its the best place to buy your glasses, 12 for five bucks. [laughter] let me just read from this. as an investor you have important point. we are committed to providing you with educational resources, forms, tools to better understand the products and services you are investing in and how they work to help you achieve your objectives. it's about the consumer. our industry continues to embrace the implementation of high standards for an acting whether individual clients, including putting the client's best interest first, when we provide personalized investment
advice about securities. our customers have the right to work with an investment professional of their choosing who will help them clarify their investment goals and risk tolerance, and help them achieve their stated goals objective. they have the right to receive personalized investment advice, to be informed of material conflicts of interest, to receive reliable information from their financial assistant. and to be present, presented with a reasonable investment alternatives. have the right to receive clear and accurate descriptions of all other transactions and that the right to be informed about the fees associated with their accounts. typically informed about the risks associated with individual investments, to receive accurate and timely and periodic statements, and to receive clear descriptions of their financial services firms policies and
practices, as they would relate to the individual. further have the right to be treated in fair and ethical ways at all time in the treated in a respectful manner and receive competent and courtesy service advice at reasonable prices. and to choose products that are suitable for their investment goals in line with their stated risks. and to be able to move their accounts if they wish to do so. and to receive prompt responses from their assistant and the investment community. and have clearly defined process for resolving any issues that might arise. this is a commitment that we are making to our customers because we put our customers first. joseph schiller, again, makes the point that the better of mind the society financial
institutions are with its goals and ideals, the stronger and more successful that society will be. if it's mechanisms fail, finance has the power to subvert such goals. as it did in the subprime mortgage market of the past decade. but it's the functioning -- but if it is functioning properly it has the unique potential to promote weight level, greater levels of prosperity. this is the direction we're going to go. we are going to align our efforts with the purposes of the people who we serve, and of a good society. we know that main street is the engine of the american economy. but is the financial markets and the resources they bring the main street that is the fuel of
that engine. this is the american advantage. that people who are willing to go out and take a risk and put their sweat equity into pursuing their dreams are able to find other people who are willing to support them with capital and credit at a reasonable price. we have this advantage as a nation, and we as an industry are totally committed to it. the financial industry is going to work to the extraordinarily strong and positive force for helping our customers pursue their dreams. we are going to work to make sure that we can help americans succeed and main street prosper. thank you very much. [applause]
>> ask my question first, angela. >> that will be last. will tell, why should consumers, individual consumers trust the industry for advice on their protection? >> well, first, they should go and meet their advisor, and people like chad who came up through the system, and get to know them, get comfortable with them. so that they develop a rapport because the advisor is there to be that system, as much as you would go to a doctor or dentist. your financial advisor is there to help you out in an area where you may not have the expertise to do the job. and so that's the opportunity that exists for a person, go to someone who is a true professional and do is committed to a standards which i just outlined to be on the side of the customer, as the customer has questions about how they're going to invest their money and
save for their retirement. >> were there any consumer advocates that helped design the program? >> yes. we had a lot of consumer input on this proposal, and we basically rely on our customers to tell us what they wanted as we tried to develop this proposal. >> as part of the effort, do you have any plans to make sifma any more of a consumer organization? the questioner says there's no consumer affairs office our hotline. spent actually it's our members who do that, and it really should be with our members. we are very obviously sensitive to any issues that are raised, and if anyone wants to call me out, they can call me out. but as a practical matter if a consumer has an issue that deals with how they should invest or whether investments are being handled properly, the first
opportunity is to talk to their financial advisor. >> you talked about there being what you consider to much regulation of the financial services industry but we all lived through 2008, and at that time there was a concern there was too much regulation back then. what is the right answer if we saw the failures of banks and many mortgages then? with that level of regulation, why should there be less now and what is appropriate? >> we are not talking about less. we're 50 million words in a we've got another 20 million words coming so we not talking about less. we're talking a rational. regulation that accomplishes the purpose. first, we totally embrace the idea of a strong rate of tort environment. it's very important for transparency, for integrity, for having confidence in the system.
but that are a variety of regulations that have already come down which are little more than confusing and son, and our opinion, counterproductive to the basic goals of what the regulation was supposedly going to pursue. and i think that we are in an atmosphere now where so much energy is being put into responding to the regulatory regime that resources that should be going out to try to help the person must the idea, the dream that they're trying to succeed in are not being used because they are being used for the regulatory regime. we will get through this as a government, but as we move towards resolving all the issues raised out of 2008, and some very legitimate and serious ones, we have to be sensitive we don't want the pendulum to swing so far that we undermine the basic strength of the american economy, which is that it's a free market where people do take risks in order for it to succeed, and we basically bought the financial sector to be
properly regulated, and were it is willing to be constructed in the regulation, we are overwhelmed the ability of the financial sector to be an effective player and an aggressive in promoting the opportunities for prosperity that individuals find and want to pursue. >> pointing the finger in a different direction, this questioner asked how can protection -- increase in demand high risk high return investment products in this low interest rate environment? >> well, i'm not speaking as the head of sifma. i don't think it's our job to tell people what risks they take and what risks they don't take. the financial industry as a whole must participate in the effort of the government and our regulators to make sure that systemic risks are muted to the fullest extent possible. individuals in our society
invest. and when they invest, they take risk. and if somebody wants to invest any more risky way to get a higher return, that's their right. if you want to invest in a more conservative white in order to protect the resources and not have any potential downside to my come from a risk, that's their right. that's an individual choice. >> can you give us some specifics of regulations that you think of gone too far, and what is sifma doing? what are you looking to change, precisely? >> the original proposal from dol on the issue of fiduciary would have basically forced out of business of giving advice a lot of the industry, and the loser in that would've been a consumer because the consumer, especially the consumer who does not have a huge ira or huge 401(k), people who have iras or 401(k)s, let's say in the
under $100,000 level would not have been able to use advisors in order to determine how they wanted to invest their retirement fund. that's counterproductive. that would have undermined and harmed, in my opinion, a lot of folks ability to get ready for retirement. that would be an example of one area where we think regulation simply was misdirected and would have produced the opposite result of what we expected and what we want as a society. >> on that, are you supportive of a house bill to delay the labor department's rules until the sec ask? >> yes, that's the proper approach. dodd-frank made it clear that the sec should take the primary responsibility in this area of establishing fiduciary rules. we totally support the concept of the fiduciary role. put forward, which should be put forward by the sec, and clearly
the dol rolled your should have been secondary to the sec moving forward but serving not move before the sec moved which under dodd-frank has primary responsibility. >> what is the relationship of financial advisors to the consumer not consistently a fiduciary relationship? >> because fiduciary relationships have all sorts of legal implications which would limit in many ways the ability of people to give advice in a constructive way, or maybe even not allow it at all. depending on how the term fiduciary is interpreted under the advice being given. for example, in the dol case, the dol fiduciary language would have essentially barred able from giving effective advice to folks who wanted to use it in had smaller accounts. we've got another situation like this in the area of municipal
bonds we're advisors are subjected to a fiduciary role that basically bars them from giving the type of advice that the community might want or the bond issuer might want, whether it's a college or hospital, will find themselves unable to give advice which would allow that issuer the most and best opportunity to get the return they want and to pursue the course they want because of limitations that are arbitrari arbitrarily, follow the fiduciary language. >> a prominent blogger this week opined that derivatives business is dead due to increasing regulation. you think that's an overstatement or our derivatives disproportionately overburdened by regulations now given their role in the financial crisis? >> know. i don't agree with that statement. there's obviously a very vibrant derivatives market. what you're seeing is the derivatives market is moving too
much more clarity, transparency. moving much more into an open arena, and that's the way it should evolve. there are some derivatives that don't naturally lend themselves to that type of approach, but as a practical matter i think the derivatives market is adjusting to the regulations. we weren't all that comfortable with some of them but the adjustments are occurring. >> you use the example of the twitter ipo as a way of showing benefits of a free market. but, of course, most of us individuals couldn't buy the twitter stopped at the ipo price. how do you reconcile that disparity? >> you'll have to ask the folks at twitter because they are the ones who chose the amount of stock they were going to put out and it was a very narrow amount of stock that they decided to issue compared to the valley of the company. and that was a legitimate business decision, that they did
not want to put the entire company into the marketplace. you can understand why. however, if you want to buy twitter stock, you can go right now and buy some twitter stock. the price will be a lot higher than what the original offering price was, but that's called a market economy. >> you talk about capitalization of thanks to alan greenspan was here at the national press club last night and talked about this topic saying banks need even more capitalization to do you think the progress that's been made so far is enough? >> no. i think you need to turn to this question constantly and the regulators have responsible in this area are -- the issue of what is the proper capital is a very legitimate question because there's a certain level if you require too much capital you basically contract dramatically economic activity because the money that's been used for capital can't be put out through
investment or lending. but there's no question the issue of capital is at the core of a sound banking system so it should be constantly looked at. but there's been huge progress in the issue of capital, huge progress. the american banking system especially is very well-capitalized relative to the rest of the world right now. >> you talk about the importance of confidence in our public markets. this question is as the growing threats of cyberattacks could undermine that companies but is there a role for the financial industry to address cybersecurity and information privacy? >> it's a great question. this continues to be one of the big things we confront as an interest. cyberattacks are going to be for the purposes of gaining propriety information which can then be used in criminal activity or it could be for the purposes of shutting down the
industry, in disrupting the commerce of the country. the industry fully recognize the seriousness of this and is moving in all sorts of fronts to try to address. let me tell you about one. basically we set up what amounted -- we have done it twice now. a test case of a variety of attacks on the investment community and on the exchanges. that was called quantum gong won nl is called quantum gone too. it was very successful, highly intensive exercise to get involved a tremendous number of business entities and banks and investment houses but it involved the entire relevant part of the federal government including the treasury and homeland security and the fed and other agencies, and the attacks were structured by
independent groups which we hired basically to forget what would be the most vulnerable places and where the attacks would come from, without -- without us doing about them. it was basically a process of replicating what might happen in an attack. and we learned a great deal from it. the quantum gone exercise occurred last july. we expect to do it again. but i will say this. the systems that were replaced -- that were in place to try respond held up to the windows our problems but on balance we're reasonably comfortable with the fact that the industry is doing a good job of trying to get ready for these type of a threat which we consider to be an extraordinary set a trend threat. is anything you think regular should do on the cybersecurity front? >> i think congress should do something. congress have a responsibility to come up with decent cyber language which creates proper sharing of information across
the agency. this was a problem when i was there. i tried to correct it with barbara mikulski and i spent a fair amount of time on this when we chaired a committee together. i was chairman, she was ranking. those are the good old days. that's the way it should be today. i'm kidding. i didn't say that, barbara. she's a good member of the senate. she's very aggressive on this issue. but breaking down the stovepipes is hard. and getting the cross-fertilization is difficult but we all know it needs to occur and we need to know it has to be proper sharing and congress has had a couple good bills that have made it all the way through, and we need to get something done. >> this is a good weapons segue into the political questions. you've called senator ted cruz incredibly self-destructive for the gop. what can and should the gop leadership due to the medicine let's give it does have a powerful base of support outside of the senate? >> well, obviously i'm not speaking here as ceo of sifma but speaking as republican.
former republican office holder from new hampshire. you can do anything about a member of the senate to say things and you shouldn't be able to. i think it was dick lugar he used to describe this in as 100 carrier task force moving around the halls of congress. everybody is the own power center in the senate. and senator cruz has decided that he has these issues he's going to pursue. but, unfortunately, the manner in which he pursued them, especially the attempt to shut down, make the condition of passing the debt ceiling, conditioned on full repeal of obamacare or the affordable care act had no chance. it had no chance from the beginning. and, therefore, there was never an opportunity that it was going to -- with the american people want today and what the republican party has to do in the future is governed. and have to participate in the
governance of this country. it has to work across the aisles to solve our deficit problem, solve our immigration problems, and move forward as a nation that is actually addressing the issues that are critical to the everyday lives of americans. and you just can't stand in a corner and shout out phrases. got to be willing to come up with ideas to go across the aisle and work. that doesn't mean you have to give up her philosophy anyway, or your commitment to your basic goals. there are a lot of places where you can cross the aisle and still maintain your basis of philosophies and there's a lot of good folks on the other side of the aisle, at least i found, who are willing to work with you. and were willing to try to balance it. that's what i think if the republican party wants to do something, reestablish its credibility with the american people i think you should start governing. >> will sifma support modern public and in its in 2014 primaries if they find himself
running against tea party backed candidates? >> i don't think we're going to get involved in that issue. >> why not? [laughter] >> i just don't think that's the role for us as an entity. we'll support people who support the free market, who understand the importance of the financial markets to improve lifestyle of americans in their everyday life. and we will be there to help americans have a more prosperous lifestyle. >> does the u.s. deserved to have a lower debt rating now that many members of congress have shown themselves willing to default? >> of course not. of course, not. you know, we are not a government that moves gingerly. we move back and forth, all over the place. we are not a parliamentary
system. where the government can do whatever it wants for the period that the party that has control, we are a madisonian critic constitutional government built off of checks and balances where both parties have to be consulted to move forward, and best be some consensus and almost all major issues have to be addressed in a bipartisan way. it takes a much longer time to accomplish that than if you're running a parliamentary system. what i think the more sophisticated rating agencies he is that we are making progress on this road. and, in fact, there has been progress made on issue of getting the debt and deficit under control. 2011 budget agreement was a $900 billion down payment on the discretionary site. the fiscal cliff was a $600 billion down payment on the tax side and now have the sequestered in place which is technically a $1.2 trillion payment again on the discretion decide to not the right way to
approach it but that's enforcing mechanism to hopefully cause the congress and the president to return to the table and reach an agreement on the entitlement accounts which is where the real problems are. the process is going on now with the budget committee negotiations, chaired by senator murray and congressman ryan, is an opportunity to move the ball further down the field. continue the process of resolving our fiscal issues and i think most rating agencies are sophisticated enough to understand that this isn't going to happen overnight but that there is progress and we're hopefully moving in the right direction. and, in fact, i think we are. >> talk about the importance of both sides of the aisle working together, yet you're here speaking to us here today as sifma ceo and not commerce secretary. why did you turn down the invitation from president obama? >> well, i've explained this before. kathy and i thought about it a lot.
we were -- i like president obama. he was a friend in the senate. not a close friend but certainly somebody i don't with. he was on the committee i was ranking on, chairman. account member which at the time. -- >> we will leave the last few minutes of this program to bring you live programming now, a quick reminder you can see this program or any c-span program online anytime at c-span.org. live now at the atlantic council. this event will look at the impact of u.s. and iran relations, how their -- stability in afghanistan the rest of the region. live coverage here on c-span2. >> was launched in 2010, and originally it was co-chaired by ambassador stuart eizenstat and then senator chuck hagel. and then senator hagel got a better offer and moved on. so it is now chaired solely by
ambassador eizenstat. and the purpose was to help us perform a comprehensive analysis of iran's internal political landscape as well as israel in the region in the world and to answer the question as to whether there were elements within the country and the region that could build the basis for an improved relationship with the west and how these elements, if it exists, could be used by u.s. policymakers in the dialogue with iran. that dialogue is progressing, even today we are waiting for, as my colleague, barbara slavin, said earlier this morning, the white smoke from the top of the chimney stack in geneva as to whether there's a deal or no deal. i also want to acknowledge the
generous support for the work on iran that our center has been doing for the past three years, from the ploughshares fund. they have been consistently behind us and have encouraged us to do more and more common and we indeed do plan to expand our activities the on the task force into dealing with the iranian youth diaspora as well as also and hopefully setting up some kind of mechanism for exchange is of people involved in science and cultural a given these and sports, between the united states and iran. so more on that later, but today, just wanted to give you a few facts about what we've done to date. this is our 37th iran task force event. so we've managed to do a lot, largely because of the work of barbara slavin was been
masterminding this effort force. so you'll get to see her and hear from her. this year alone, this is our 12th iran task force event. and these include public events as well as private events, including background meetings, including one recently with the iranian foreign minister and the representative to the united nations in new york. so this issue brief is looking at iran and eastern neighbors and an error that the south asian center is very involved in for many good reasons and its co-authored by fatemeh aman and barbara, but we also want to the college this is a special occasion because we have barney rubin joining us and this is his first or his debut as a private citizen after having left the corridors of power in the u.s.
government. so we're delighted that you have chosen to share his thoughts with us on this occasion. with that i'm going to hand over to barbara who will manage things, and we will then hope to participate actively in this discussion. thank you for coming. >> thank you, shuja. thank you all for coming. we don't want to break the microphone. it's a nice, cold, clear day in washington and i think it's the same in geneva, and i had trouble tearing myself away from twitter this once i hope that there is news from their you will, someone who is on twitter here in the audience will let us know. clearly there is a connection, however, between what is going on in geneva and what is happening here. if there is a nuclear agreement, if there's an improvement in relations between the united states and iran, between iran
and the western community in general, that is going to have an impact on iran's role in the region. and we are focusing today on iran and its eastern neighbors, specifically afghanistan, pakistan and india. while iran is often considered a middle eastern country, in fact, it's historically its cultural ties are as strong if not stronger with its eastern neighbors, with afghanistan and south asia. and, of course, iran will be a pivotal player as it has been all along in afghanistan, especially next year as the united states and nato began to withdraw all its, some if not all of their forces. we are launching a new issue brief this year that have some recommendations for u.s. policy. including a bigger role helping afghanistan manage its water resources, which is a key issue for iran as a downstream neighbor. and the united states can contribute to resolving other
regional problems such as energy shortages, ethnic conflict, and drug trafficking. this would have enormous benefit not just for iran but for afghanistan, pakistan, india. indeed, the united states indirectly because of the drug trafficking. the principle author of this report is my good friend, fatemeh aman, is an expert on iran and south asia. she's worked as a journalist, media and political analyst and has written widely in english and persian. she's a frequent contributor to jane's publication and is currently president of global media trail, a virginia-based company specializing in analyzing and monitoring for me. i've known and one for five years and i've always been impressed by the depth of her knowledge and her passion for the subject. next we have a new speaker here, laura jean palmer-moloney, who's a senior research geographer for the u.s. army corps of enginee engineers. she joined government service in 2000 when she began a study of the helmand river which will
hear a lot more about, and she studied the helmand river watershed and its tournament which is the sistan basin. she served in afghanistan in 2001-2012 and senior advisor on watershed management to the commanding general of regional command southwest, and she has a ba in anthropology, an m.a. in geography and two ph.d's. is the author and co-author of numerous publications related to water security but it doesn't mention this is a key issue for iran and its neighbors. then our final speaker is barnett rubin, better known as barney and is now director of the center on international cooperation of new york university. we are pleased as shuja just said, debut as an ex-u.s. official. from 2009 until last month, he was senior advisor to the special representative for afghanistan and pakistan at the state department.
he's a longtime expert on afghanistan. he's directed the center for preventive action at the council on foreign relations. he's taught political science at columbia and yale, and in the aftermath of 9/11 he was special adviser to the u.n. special representative of the secretary-general for afghanistan, during the period that produced the course the bonn agreement and the first post-taliban government for afghanistan. so with that brief introduction i'm going to ask each of our speakers to make brief remarks and then we will go to questions. fatemeh. >> thank you very much, barbara rowe said come and thank you, shuja. i would like to thank atlantic
council for providing us this opportunity to discuss an issue that we really think is amazing importance to the peace and stability of the whole region. and i was just very quickly, the role of the report that barbara wrote is to attract attention to the issue that we think is not just as barbara mentioned, is not just important for the sustainability and stability of afghanistan, that also the entire south asia and central asia, and would also be of interest to the u.s., you know, fight against terrorism, insurgency and drug trafficking as barbara also said. so let me just make, you know,
differences over iran. pakistan and iran's relation has always been cordial and friend friendly. with full military and financial support for pakistan during its wars with india, and in fact you're on was the first country to recognize pakistan in 1947 and pakistan was created. they have been very close and very friendly with full support in pakistan against india. one major reason was the fact that india and pakistan beyond two different camps on socialism and pakistan is a us ally and
air on -- iran was a close ally of the united states in the region. so, after 1979's revolution, iran -- every day friendships still continued and the exporting of islamic ideas and revolution that air iran band and was promoting does not apply to pakistan for several important reasons i believe. one is the shiite community are very integrated into the pakistan society. if you can go back to the founder of pakistan who was a shiite. or the other reason includes the fact that pakistan shiite
community is very divided, but more importantly perhaps is the fact the islamic model that existed in iran said they have stayed away from interfering in the pakistan matters. there have been several ups and downs in the iran pakistan relations and it has never -- during one of the downsides in the '90s is when it turned out that pakistani nuclear technology was transferred to air iran even if they believed the pakistan government responsible official did not know of the deal. with india, iran closed in the
early 70s even in the late 60s and early 70s and the fact that pakistan lost the war mac to india and lost a big chunk of its territory. saudi arabia coming into play in the us presence in the middle east. i think it's made the shah of iran evaluate the relationship and concluded that -- you could see from the visit of the shah agreeing to india and the relationship started getting warm and somehow close, not completely analyzed (-left-par .
that was a good reason to get iran joined on the movement. india was the creator of the starter of the movement. that brought the two countries together. in the '90s i would describe them even cooperating in the military and security areas. iran provided olio and gas -- oil and gas that was the ideologically things in the way
of getting the two countries closer. so the pipeline will discuss in detail that was an area that india and iran was very close and you will hear the story how india has to pull back in 2009. iran and india are very close friends and that was like three times that india voted at the board of governors against iran, which deters iran to the un security council and that was the ground for imposing more sanctions on iran.
with -- let me know if i can -- very quickly about afghanistan. iran has always been present in afghanistan, even during the soviet occupation and the communist regime. the only kind of iran's presence in afghanistan was during the taliban regime that even though iran was hosting the warlords, iran was hosting millions of afghans, and it made in export growth in to expand its self power in afghanistan and also this fits heavily in the conception of afghanistan after the fall of the taliban regime. so in time it has also fought and disrupted the political process in fighting us over the
foreign military in afghanistan perhaps to make sure that afghanistan cannot be the ground base for the us to attack iran. and in time they have managed to do that. in conclusion, as barbara lynn chen, we believe there are issues in south asia that does not have a solution. there is no such thing as solving afghanistan's border issue without the fact that there is also an issue in the eairan. any solution needs to be reachable should also involve other parties and other countries that definitely we believe would contribute to the peace and stability in afghanistan in 2014 after us troops have left afghanistan. thank you so much.
>> thank you. i'm hoping that i can click through it. it is a pleasure to be here this morning. and quite an honor to represent many of the folks behind the search effort that we've been doing about the regional border security issues that are tied not only to afghanistan but to its neighbors. let me clarify one more point that barbara made. i feel i could have been afghanistan from 2001 to 2012. it was just 2011 to 2012. i have a lot of gray hair as a result of that. i was deployed to afghanistan not as an army corps of engineers representative but as something called an aztech hand reporting to the commanding general in the region command southwest and was expected to be
away from my base outside of a lawyer working with people and issues dealing with water. it have to be engaged with a love of the provincial leadership in afghanistan as well as going up to ministries in kabul. i couldn't understand the situation as it is now without that field experience. i noticed the preacher lisa picture they chose for the bio is me and my chemical fatigue. although i was deployed or often than not i was in the city that i trampled around the helmand river quite a bit and when one of the marines do you think there is any of those soviet mine in here, i said there could be. that is what they would do with the dogtags downstream. we were hot and sweaty and we had an absolutely incredible experience. monitoring the water that is involved in any of the systems is probably the fundamental challenge to understand water
security in the region. there has been no true monitoring on a consistent basis in afghanistan since the late 1970s. and that is something that fundamentally has to change. that is something that some of the isaf forces were working on and finds the problem with the afghan government is trying to work with as well as the local and regional groups. that's where i want to take you in this period prior going in the government service i was a college geography professor so it's important for me to meet sure you have a sense of place and that's why i brought some of these slides. if you don't have and have a cognitive map of afghanistan running through your head right now, try to get where you can be. afghanistan's issues of life and livelihood are tied to water. it's a landlocked country. it also happens to be the headwater to five system to move into central asia, into iran, into pakistan, and important to
note, water flows downstream except when exposed to words money. that was the saying when i taught school in colorado. that was our comment about the colorado river. you can redirect rivers, you can use it to death without ever monitoring it. but unless you know the cost benefits, what's coming in and what's going out, you don't know that what you're doing is sustainable. now, i do want to let you know that one of the topic that i am working on right now as a research scientist for the army corps of engineers has to do with water security and sovereign state stability. because to stabilize the population's movement to support agriculture, to generate energy and to start to sustain public health, you need water. and it underpins the essential services that a country is citizens expect of an established government takes afghanistan citizens expect that comedy iran citizens expect that, but it's a challenge and
it can't be guaranteed. countries around the world peace profound water security challenges and ties to food, energy, climate variability and population dynamics which can exacerbate ethnic and political tensions, negatively affect the social well-being and increase the likelihood of a sovereign state and stability. now, i'm going to click over to the next slide, god willing. if this isn't working i'm going to -- okay. thanks. the stability and economic development in afghanistan hinge on the improved management of its water resources. given the dominance of agriculture in the afghan community, the relatively low fraction of the aerial lay hand and the poor condition of the waters of the country's water infrastructure and the inadequate coordination and planning of water related civil projects. now, this map has afghanistan space as if it is not tied to
any of the countries around it. and also, doesn't show that those watersheds extend into the countries around it so please keep that in mind. that presents a huge balance we make over and over again if we look at countries in isolation but not watersheds regionally. this water is critical. one of the things that has happened since 2002, as we've had civil and military project is developed to ensure progress and stability in afghanistan, water has been considered something called an essential service. it has been bundled into things called the sector working groups. and it's been about infrastructure and it's been about the acquisition of water for a family. for a village but not tied to the scale. this is something that's critically important if we bring down air on downstream. please bear that in mind. as a member of the army corps of engineers i can tell you engineers want to have a mathematical solution to a
problem. what is the diameter to the pipe we need. how much water flows needs to be in place. how do we solve this? that is the algorithm that we use? but this is a human problem and the dynamics are as in critically important as the watersheds because the different types of people who live in the area, the past two and elements in central helmand and the northern part of the helmand watershed compared to the populations downstream and compared to the population helping with some of the construction, all of those factors are critically important so you need a geo- narrative of this area to really understand it and it needs the physical as well as the human components. so, that is what our watersheds look like. since the 1950s when the united states was involved in putting in dams in this area, the kajaki may be familiar to some of you.
they were put in in the 1950s and they were countering activities in the north that was more tied to the soviet union. so in many ways come afghanistan was kind of seeing a proxy war if you will between who can have the influence. in the south it was the right dates through usaid and a number of plans. many of them as with any project that relies on irrigation has to have water. we've built these projects, we've put in things assuming water will be there and that is probably a rather erroneous assumption because many times the water that is there is not in a quantity that is needed and in many times the water that is there is not th a quality that s needed. the romans kne do that in carth, right clicks if you sow the fields will tell the crops. cross. if you water the field that is so high that it retards the growth of the crop you haven't really solved the problem. you can't put in the wells and assume that is going to bring
water to a city or a population of the water from the well is not plausible. in many places in iran unexcused become is probably downstream in the basin. we don't have the hydrogeology studies that are needed to understand if the wells are putting will they solve the problem. this area has been undergoing an enormous amount of drought conditions. as a geography professor, please let me help you understand drought means an anomaly. it's a reduction in water that is anticipated. this area is a desert. there's been less water coming to the river from the central helmand is no pass. water is unpredictable. the water that is contained varies. we have members of challenges in this area. if you can either slide, the upper left-hand flight is a picture of the river in october. the amount of filth in that
river is incredible. you can almost walk on bathwater. it's not something that you can grab a bucket and take him to drink but people do. on the path you will see a floodefloodof cornfield. we have many projects we are growing corn to tell back under to create more organics for the soil and human consumption. there's an enormous amount of transportation where you lose water to the atmosphere from the system so you're losing water that way. it's drought tolerant and salt tolerant and everything that works in this area. and as we try to train the crops and do things differently, those need to be considered. down on the lower left-hand side there is an image of someone with their sheep or out of near the water every thing and every
one loses water from the system, yet it is unreliable. on the right-hand side i was shot down in the area of helmand province which is a semipermanent settlement and they are not getting their water straight from the helmand syst system. this is the agriculture. if you're near an irrigation pal and have water you can have green. if you do not have water it is a desert. unless you are nomadic and move around. i have to catch right on the marines back to get across. you have to look at a number of scales. the area that is highlighted on the map of th, the most northerd
box is around the kajaki reservoir and the boxed area is showing kandahar. you need to consider the water food nexus with all of this because we have a river system with a limited amount of water. that water is being used for the repeated agriculture. the water is being used to produce electricity. kandahar is a consumer of electricity. as we have tried a number of projects represented. to increase the amount of electricity you have to hold water behind the dam to have enough hydraulic head. you have to have enough water behind the dam to generate power releasing it for agriculture further downstream. we have people down there, human come sunshine of water that is absolutely necessary and this is where it backs up again.
these are just a few shots if you've never had the privilege to be out to the reservoir it is quite an engineering project. as i said it was built in the 1950s and the hydropower was added in 1975. period energy and lives have been put into that. we, the united states not only the international forces military but through the usaid and implementing partners have done a lot of work on irrigation, canal rehabilitation that affects the amount of water in its system. we have put in. everything that you move and capture the water upstream you are keeping it from going downstream. remind yourself what is downstream, iran. the boundary agreement in place.
the river accord signed in 1973 determined the specific central amount of water 22 cubic meters per second with an additional 4 cubic meters per second and normal water years. however, this agreement was never fully implement it due to the afghan two. the soviet invasion of afghanistan is like a revolution in iran and the tensions between the taliban and and the tehran government. they have been inconclusive to date. so we're you have usaid projects being funded at ten of water into the new canals the that ise sum of iran is critical. we have the mountain of thailand's leading down to the
low end of desert, draining its two the basin. it was k. mico taken off the kajaki and the release of water. 77 cubic meters per second. this was in october of 2011. i traveled 280 kilometers downstream to the area. it's by an order of magnitude from 77 cubic meters per second to seven. there was no water system. we can use the imagery to determine that is the way that it's been over time the water floods and retreats in the system. we've documented that. and thanks to the satellites, this is something that could be discussed and shared with our
international partners. on a number of slides to have gone in and over the past few years it's been moving actively to conserve water to redirect water for irrigation and its growing population in the regi region. these pictures are right on the border of afghanistan. it is a bustling city. and since 2,009 when the indian government helped fund the road that connects from the border up to the ring road if you are familiar with the jargon that is the road that is on afghanistan and can bring the trade and commerce to the central asia. this is huge. now there's another way to get there. the trucking traffic between iran in afghanistan at the border crossing, the amount of money that could be tied to the trade and transportation.
because otherwise it was not as important. and that's it. thank you. i would say this is a picture down to the port. this is critically important and it's also the port being funded by the indian government to be increased as the trade and traffic could improve with water development strategy and the iranians are noting that as well. thank you for your time and attention. [applause] i should also mention in iran there is a decent it's not just irrigation for drinking and agriculture but there's a
tremendous wildlife refuge. it's a pleasure to speak to you as a powerless person, because i found in my time in government but the fact that my interlocutors found i had the special forces standing behind me to win the argument. that inhibited them from actually hearing what i was saying. so i'm hoping i won't have that problem anymore. we can have more engaging them in -- more of a genuine exchange. i would note that while i won't have time to make any of this explicit, the water issues actually are closely related to these political security ethnic
issues and so on. it's not a coincidence that the river basins coincide with the territories of the leaders that emerge from the civil war. it's not a coincidence that of the borders that cut the water basins in half, and of course nomadism is an adaptation -- nomadism and irrigation are complementary. irrigation brings the water to the people and nomadism brings the people into the animals to the water into both have implications for political authority with military mobilization and so on. the backbone of the caliban and helmand especially from the tribe who were moved to the north where there was more irrigated land by the monarchy and who were expelled from that area by the generals troops in
2,002 and there have been displaced people in helmand andd where there's an increasing shortage of water. so, reselling them as part of a political settlement but also reply you're dealing with those water issues. now, iran. this administration came into office with the idea of taking among other things a regional approach to afghanistan. the emphasis has been on afghanistan's relationship with pakistan. that is appropriate. that is a very complicated one to understand one that is difficult for the us government. i will tell you a anecdote about this. a few years ago i was at one of these supersecret international meetings off the record so will have to remain supersecret because if people found out what went on there and they realize how unimportant these meetings actually are and they realize
how little goes on there but there is a panel about iran. the question i asked as to the united states of any other enemies with whom it has so many common interests. afterwards, henry kissinger came up to me and said we have more with iran not our other enemies but with most of our allies. the paradox difficulty of the relations in afghanistan. roughly speaking, the us and iranian interests in afghanistan are quite consistent, except insofar as they require a u.s. presence there because the relations overall or antagonistic. overall the us presence to realize goals that are otherwise in the interest are seen as a threat by iran. so, this creates a vote of confusion. now, as many of you know, i see
craig here because i'm about to pull the story that he was part of at the bond talks where craig was part of the u.s. delegation in 2001, the us and iran worked together to reach agreement on the successor government to the caliban. the iranians actually came up to craig and said that they wanted to use this as an opening to discuss and proving relationships with the united states and as i recall he said there are other issues we have to discuss that are in the way of that and he said let's discuss them. they were put in the axis of evil, so move forward. iran nonetheless during the per period managed this contradiction by making them stabilization of afghanistan a de facto cooperating with the united states, higher priority than its antagonism in the united states and iraq.
even as the tensions increased, and to talk about as you may remember in the bush administration the regime change and now they are sitting around the table at least with everything still on it. and despite that, iran still have the position, as i was told being out of the government by iranian officials, that even if the united states attacks iran, iran will not respond in afghanistan or iraq. that was their position. now, the position changed in 2007. when the iranian government decided that the u.s. presence in afghanistan was a bigger threat to iran than instability of afghanistan. it wasn't a black-and-white decision. that was the period in which iran started getting selected targeted aid to the taliban commanders especially in western
afghanistan in order to send a message to the united states. and it was also -- it helped organize demonstrations against the us afghan strategic partnership, which went further than iran wanted some of the dead beat the demonstrators in sharif killed a member of the guards. so i ran i hope learned from that but once you start organizing violence in afghanistan or anywhere you may not be able to control it. and i have been involved in my official capacity in a number of multilateral meetings, the official in a semi- official, where i've come to understand better the iranian position of the stabilization in afghanistan. let me explain what it is and how it relates to the position. first of all, the us from the beginning of the obama administration, the u.s. want td a direct dialogue with
afghanistan about iran. and we never got to that, excuse me a direct dialogue about the afghanistan and we never got to it because obstacles on our side and their side. i want to go into it right now. currently i have the opportunity during the visit to new york to have a few private discussions with iranian officials who might know from all these interactions over the years. their view was that if there's significant progress on the nuclear file that will then create the political space for the u.s.-iran engagement. what are the issues? both u.s. have a common interest in the stabilization of afghanistan, and more than that both the u.s. and iran are trying to the political dispensation in afghanistan acceptable to them. which is not the case for pakistan which was pushing for certain changes in the political dispensation. however, they have different
models of how to move from where we are to a more stable situation. the united states bottle has -- the u.s. government model -- and i don't want to exacerbate the model that i will present it as if it were coherent -- it has one track, which is as we withdraw our combat forces, build up the afghan national security forces, of course support the afghan political process and in particular the presidential elections which are essential for afghanistan's future because strong security forces with no government or not -- strong armed forces without government or not security forces. and at the same time, recognizing that there's a political base as well as other bases for the insurgency to seek a political settlement, television or other groups on the condition that as part of
the agreement they separate from al qaeda and other international terrorist groups and accept the constitutional framework and afghanistan. as the backbone of that, the united states sees a small but important long-term us military presence as well as long-term financial assistance to the afghan security forces as essential to provide a stable force in the course of the transition. of course if it's really successful, we will transition out of that eventually and everyone agrees that the goal should be in afghanistan with no foreign troops. but if we succeed in negotiating the terms of the bilateral security agreement and the us and the afghan security will agree on a long-term presence for as long as it is needed.
now air on's position is that of long-term military presence is in fact a major cause of destabilization in afghanistan. they threat to them. they say it's a threat to other neighbors and even if mr. obama who wants peace if they succeed him and they have a colorful picture of the american scene in whicwhich they want to present e of they said their three groups, powerful in the congress, the neoconservatives, the military companies and the christian extremists who believe that the end of days are coming and that there is no point in seeking peace. so they are not sure who is going to be in the -- in control of the military forces in the future area that is what they say at any rate. and therefore, they say yes we accept the need for a political settlement. that is to say they would be prepared to support some kind of a negotiated settlement that modifies in some respect to the
political dispensation in a way that was not a threat to them or a threat to their allies and friends in afghanistan. but that's impossible as long as there are us troops. in recent years other countries that opposed us presence in particular russia and china have very much modified their position. they still oppose the president basis but still russia and china advised the president of the highest levels. if he's sure to sign a bilateral agreement remarkable for russia in particular which has been quite vocal about this. iran has not yet changed its position about that. the president what he was in new york reiterated a previous positiothe previousposition at d leave afghanistan. we don't know if the dialogue will lead to a modification of that. but let me briefly see why that would be so important.
to the extent that iran has been supporting some television commanders, that shouldn't be misconstrued as support for the taliban. they support armed groups in order to send messages to the united states, perhaps the afghan government from time to time but that of course is destructive besides the fact i might mention this, it kills people, which is undesirable. and they might be prepared to stop that in that case. perhaps more important is that iran has a great deal of influence, softcover as it has been referred to in afghanistan. there are many afghan political leaders who they have close ties and it's known that they give cash to the presidency as the united aids. they give cash to other political leaders in afghanistan. they have members of the talib taliban, they have contact with them. of course the price is often
money which means that in the future, whether there is a full-scale insurgency war or not, every political move will continue to be negotiated in a very tense and unstable situation. in particular, the outcome of the next year's presidential election will very likely be negotiated. i don't mean the voting is irrelevant. but it's not an probable that the vote and the vote counting will not be decisive. there will be uncertainty about who got how many legitimate votes. we don't know yet if the country is capable of holding a second round. even if it is, forming a new government will require a huge amount of negotiation among various powerholders you u.s. and iran are still not speaking to each other at that point, or the fear each of his influence in afghanistan, that would have a very negative influence on those investigations.
if they are engaged and they can communicate, they as well as other powers will play a very positive role in enabling the afghan political actors to reach agreement on the successor regime and the same goes for a political settlement. because the fear about political settlement which would involve changing the political dispensation. i should mention in those discussions between the taliban and the united dates haven't said anything about that. they are concerned about the presence in iran and the prisoners in guantánamo. nonetheless, again that would be also a very tense and a difficult political negotiation. if iran feels excluded or that such a political settlement would be at its expense than it could be very disruptive whereas if it were included it could help find solutions to some of the very difficult problems, some of which involve water inside afghanistan. so, what happens today is quite
crucial because it may open the door for the us dialogue about afghanistan which could be very helpful to the security and political outcomes and to the american efforts. >> i want to start with fatemeh. you talked a little bit about iran and pakistan. but one of the issues that has also been at th that the dispute between the united states and iran to export natural gas to the region for the so-called peace pipeline iran has constructed its portion of the pipeline. it is to go to pakistan and eventually india but the policy has kept us from happening.
do you foresee any possible change on the front and if you could also say something about sharif, iran had to deal with a relatively benign government for the last few years in their point of view, but sharif is close to the societies and there have been more instances in baluchistan were both pakistan and iran face in true debate to -- insurgencies and the 14 iranians and the border guards were killed recently and the rumor is that, you know, the saudis gave the money and they gave them a green light to support the groups. so the peace pipeline is better. is there a better chance now? what do you think that is going to do for the pakistan relations? >> let me say something to answer your question.
there is an exhibition -- expression meaning something started very big and what you have from the peace pipeline is a synthesized model. the peace pipeline has involved several prime ministers and at least including rhouanni in iraq. so it would continue and would be go beyond. but there's also a good chance that that is what iran thinks at this point from all of the stories that come from pakistan. on the pakistan -based institute to describe the disaster is or
just to, you know, discuss the pricing but if you know the deal is not going to go anywhere and pakistan will have money. and then they start talking about pulling the deal and the pipeline from pakistan. so i think pakistan is waiting to see how it goes with the negotiations. that could have an impact -- on any different aspect.
the prisons in afghanistan and the peace pipeline. and if the sanctions on iran oil and gas is removed, there's a chance they could invite india to join the project again. it's not in conflict that was promoted that was supported to get into afghanistan who india and pakistan and afghanistan. but the security of both pipelines we have to compare one tribal area that is a relatively unsafe area on the peace pipeline that goes through the relatively safe area in pakistan and iran. asked to baluchistan, by the