tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 17, 2015 10:30pm-12:31am EDT
deal should not come at the sacrifice of what i was thinking and that is the ability to deal with currency manipulation. >> congressman, i think that we do agree as a country that engages in unfair practices gaining unfair advantages needs to be pushed back and we do that through the multilateral channels that we have, the g-7 and the g20, we do it aggressively on a bilateral basis. and i think that if you look at it and whether it should be enforceable discipline in a the trade agreement, there is a different question. and there are legitimate monetary policies in the united states and other countries, this has been a legitimate domestic purpose for there to be the kind of economic activity that could promote a recovery. i don't think those policies should be subject to trade review the way that other issues are.
>> i don't think that you believe that this is part of the way we have seen other countries do this in order to do the same thing. >> i know that there are other countries that believe this. there are others that believe they have an unfair advantage. >> somebody might? , i guess that my point is that -- >> you do not get the right standards on your own. in the world where there are standards. >> we would not sign an agreement that didn't have standards that we felt protected as. >> paterno recognizes the gentleman from indiana. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's good to see you again we appreciate you being here. you said that the imf is indispensable to achieving economic and national security
interests. you talk about the way that this works to help prevent extremism and this has been a reoccurring theme that the terrorists had jobs they would drop their weapons. fortunately what we have seen on the news is that parents are actually highly educated young men and women from some of the world's most advanced agents in the world. and so i do agree with your former undersecretary when he told the committee last year that your goal was to financially isolate the islamic state. in your opinion have we been successful? >> i think that we have made a lot of progress. the challenges we have sources
of funding that are substantial. we are getting a lot of cooperation from the allies in europe and the region. we have more work to do. and there are sources of funding within the areas that they control it appeared the moment to be able to meet one of the needs and we would like. we need to continue to try to find ways to isolate them. but also cut off the funding that they need. [inaudible question] >> i would have to check. that's not really the measure but it's a question of whether we have the transactions between parties that are doing business with them. >> i know that if you look at the sources of funding available external funding is not one of the more significant
sources over the last year and that is why i'm focusing on the fact. we have tried to cut down the revenue from oil to a combination of working with countries that have the ability to stop transactions and also through military action that has disrupted a lot of the activity. they obviously have the resources to continue. if you look at that, they go in and they lose this. do we have any assets that have been frozen or seized? >> i would have to get back to you. >> if you could get that information i would be all for it. and i understand. what of your new strategies has been most successful two.
>> i think if you look at the sources of funding, the external sources of funding have not grown when we are getting this going. there is still more work to do. i think if you look at where they have been it is a less significant resource and it was. and i think the challenge is that they control large swaths of territory. >> do we have any metrics to measure how we are doing? because they need money to fight this. >> we had a sense of what they have a budgetary situation.
>> how high of a priority? >> obviously the ability for them to function is a question of do they have the resources. and i think we have to be realistic. as long as they are controlling the ground there we have to make it as hard as possible for them to get external support and that is what we are doing. to the extent that they are controlling internal resources and some of them are self liquidating if they don't gain new territory they don't gain a new bulb. the part that is potentially a continuing source of support is money from people who live in the area usually at the potential of force and that is something that is we do have a concern about.
>> thank you. >> the time of the gentleman has expired and we now recognize the gentle lady from ohio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. among the left over here. thank you for coming today. the good and bad about being at the end of the line is that many of the questions havarti been asked and answered. but if i was listening to you he said protect national security and that reminded me a couple of weeks ago i had several bankers in my district coming in from small and middle sized and large companies to talk about many of the broad range questions that have been here today. one of the most common themes that they have talked about was to empower cybersecurity and data breach protection efforts. they wanted to make sure that
congress and members of congress adopt a national standard for protecting consumer data and i support this. when you were here before you also talked about the imf being a promoter of national security. so when you think about what we're going through in the 21st century, cybersecurity is closely linked with national security and i don't think that we will get an argument from anyone on that. can you tell me what effort for things you're opposite is doing in conjunction with the imf and others? >> welcome we have a lot to do first on our own in the u.s. both public and private coordination.
we are putting in a substantial effort into working in the financial services ector where we have the lead on cybersecurity and i think that there are best practices. what we have found is that there is a need to collect and share information and we have done as much as we can administratively to promote that information sharing. there is legislation pending that we think would be beneficial to getting us to the next level of being equipped to deal with what i believe is a very profound threat in the area of cybersecurity. i do not know if the ceo has spent a part of everyday learning about it. but i think it is a reality going forward that we put the effort in both into doing what we can individually do and then collectively sharing information
so that we can find and remediate problems and prevent others. on an international basis i think that we look forward to sharing best practices and it is something that is a bit challenging and each of us could talk about this in real-time. i've had conversations with some of my international colleagues and they are doing in their systems in one way or another ours. i think that we could collect a more international thing that would be good. >> we also touched on the export industry from the great state of ohio and we have the ninth largest export industry in 2014. in the previous year that industry allowed us to employ
some 259,000 employees. my district also has about 10% of $5.7 billion of the $52 billion worth of goods in the state of ohio. you stated that when foreign economics faulted they were investing less in the united states can you give me some idea of the delay on having export and import and what it would do and how would affect the imf? >> when it comes to the questions, there have been a lot of questions that have suggested this with europe's economy in a state of the situation. if europe doesn't recover and they don't buy u.s. goods we have a direct interest in making
sure that the people have a functioning economy to maintain demand. so i think that we benefit directly from it. it's whether we can compete on the level playing field. u.s. companies should be asked unilaterally disarm. >> the time of the gentlelady has expired. we now recognize the gentlelady from south carolina. >> good to follow up on a question. he said that on a day goes by when you don't worry about cybersecurity. >> yes or no. did you worry about this? >> i wasn't until i was part of
the treasury. >> so you're worried about cyber -- >> i didn't say that i don't worry about cybersecurity. >> moving on. the question i want to ask you today because you've talked about this last week about the debt ceiling. and you said you were beginning to use extraordinary measures and that you close letter by saying that this is not a bargaining chip and i urge congress to address this matter without controversy and i happen to share that sentiment. so i would like to give you the opportunity now to walk back and take this opportunity to assure the financial market that the interest will be paid on the sovereign debt of the united states. tell people that we have enough money to pay the interest and that you have a technical ability that makes that part of it.
and, financial market by concern over nonpayment of debt. >> i hope that we are not going to have another debate like we have in the past the world is hanging -- i'm hoping the same thing. you have the opportunity to say that we have the ability to pay the debt. the only thing that prevents us from paying the interest on our debt is whether or not the president chooses to do so. >> what i said many times and remains the case is that if we had the debt limit and congress does not spend it is only congress can do we do not have the ability it would be the first time in history that we couldn't pay the bill. >> we do not know the consequences of trying to make some payments. >> you and i have discussed this before. i had an opportunity to ask about this a question.
previously didn't have the technical ability to prioritize the payments and then he wrote a letter to us last before the hearing and that you did have the technical ability to do that. i said when did you know the banks were technologically capable of making the payment. and you said i'm not asking that, when did you know that payments could be made and you said i would have to check. have you done that? >> have you done that? >> he said he would check. have you done that? >> you told me that you check to find out when that information was made available to you. >> i had done it but if you asked me today, i cannot tell you the date. >> you didn't know the last time you were here and now you don't know again. he met my question is that we do not have the ability to go
through all of the bills united states pays. the technical question of can we pay interest, yes we can. but what about benefits of social security and veterans what about this. >> we have had that conversation. what about the money for giving swedish massages to bunny rabbits and for studying whether or not things synchronize when they swim. >> i believe that the united states makes a commitment and pays its bills. >> that's not the issue. >> why won't you take steps to satisfy and calm the financial markets to let everybody know who holds the u.s. debt.
>> did i ask you about that? did this come out of my mouth? why won't you do that? i have 30 seconds. >> congressman -- >> you need a brinksmanship in this web of financial turmoil to accomplish what you have. what i'm asking you to do is do your job and say -- >> my job is to make sure that we can pay the bills of the united states. >> do we have enough money to pay the interest? >> i cannot believe -- of the secretary of the treasury of the united states as the opportunity to satisfy this, that we will pay our debt and he refuses to do so. it is a dereliction of duty. >> paterno recognizes the gentleman from illinois. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
policymakers from across the political spectrum should be able to work constructively together to find some parts of dodd-frank especially those coming you have heard it from both sides of the aisle especially community banks and others as well. unfortunately during the state of the and an address on jittery 21st 2015, the president threatened to veto any legislation passed by congress that he viewed as unraveling the new rules on wall street. the committee has passed a number of bills over the past two years. many of them with bipartisan support to address unintended consequences and this is opposed to efforts and be personally signed a letter expressing opposition making it largely
technical. including a vote of 411 or 12. another related to the sharing of this clarifying the treatment of derivatives with affiliated entities. the administration's unwillingness to support these modest changes, each of which commands the unanimous support of from republicans and democrats who just said nothing will be deemed fit for his signature. the administration's insistence on defending the dodd-frank brand at all costs is made mystifying by the fact that the primary author of the law has identified a number of things that he believes that he has
talked about. this includes multiple bipartisan reforms and policymakers unite around to improve our financial regulatory system. they recognize that a lot of runs 2300 pages and imposes the least 400 mandates cannot possibly be perfect and changes are therefore warranted. we shouldn't treat this as the 10 commandments handed down and demanding a complete devotion. so what could we pursue that you would not label as unraveling dodd-frank. for example in an appearance before the committee last july, it was labeled as arbitrary, the 50 billion-dollar threshold for automatically designated banks and systemic importance. will they consider this or no? >> as i said earlier we treat
50 billion-dollar institutions different than those in the law and regulations and it should be used to address the different circumstances and i'm not sure that we know that there is something that is inadequate. in the rules implementing this law were still being drafted. i don't disagree that complicated piece of law is not holy writ. on the other hand i think if we look back over the last years there have been serious efforts to appeal dodd-frank and undermanned some of it corporate situations. >> with those passages some of them were unanimous. so i think that that majority of
people here on capitol hill disagree with you and i also think financial markets disagree with you that this is necessary. the same testimony, chairman frank talked about accepting this from the volcker rule, several including the comptroller of the currency have expressed similar sentiments. i wondered what the administration consider a small exception from the volcker rule louisiana. >> is to be credited only small bank that is affected as those that engage in proprietary trade. so the standard for the compliance reflects the differences between small and large firms and the challenges that make sure all of this is safe and sound. >> i see that we should we should pass this commonsense
reform, any of this can be improved and it would join with us trying to make these improvements. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. >> i do want to talk about something. we came back with some regulations with regards to important financial institutions. while i think it is a step in the right direction and i'm concerned that this didn't go far enough. they did not address concerns about how to mitigate systemic risks like not creating a process and for example today's law, a non-bank financial institution that is being considered doesn't really have
any guidance to be made aware and they don't have any mechanisms are to help them get out of bed. my concern is that while transparency is important we have to make sure that our ultimate goal is to move them from the designation and they have the opportunity by weight of notice and guidance. i have proposed legislation that has bipartisan support and it addresses the method and manner by which they would deal with this. we do not agree that you would be able to identify this and addressed rather than delivering a non-bank entity to the federal reserve we have another
undefined regulation. >> i think that if you look at the procedures that we adopted they were very much designed to engage with this earlier and would you not agree that this is codifying these rules? >> your successor may take a different position and honestly this is to be a step in the right direction. >> there was a lot of communication going on even before. >> i don't think that there is anything going back to my think of these things moved forward. and we will continue to talk
saving it until retirement or college funds and this has a significant impact on mom and dad and grandma and grandpa who are trying to be a part of this for the future. does it take into consideration the impact it has on the bottom line? >> this goes through determining whether or not a firm presents this by going through an analysis. >> they should take that as a consideration. >> as we went through the process and came to realize that there were more concerns about specific activity than the firms that were being looked at and we shifted the focus to look primarily at activities that may need attention. that shows the openness.
in general there is cooperation with law enforcement entities but obviously within boundaries to protect the fact that we have access to information that should not be shared broadly. i would have to check in a specific documentation. >> these are two government agencies dealing with terrorism and trying to avert that. you have that. you have been the head of operations of the state department and understand the importance of agencies working together. has it occurred to you to sit down with secretary johnson to hammer out an agreement? >> i sit down with sec. johnson on issues brought to my attention requiring us to meet. i would have to look into this question. >> can you suggest me a reservation that any reservation that you have had a why we would not have an agreement between --
>> congressman i start out with a strong bias that we ought to work as one government, cooperate and collaborate. i have spent most of my career trying to take the boundaries and barriers down. i start of sympathetic. >> you said earlier that we are very aggressive and effective loss for banks systems in place for the banks. this seems to be a prudent system to have in place to be able to identify important data for tracking terrorism financing. >> i am happy to get back to you. it has not been brought to my attention that there has been an issue between treasury and cpb. >> would you agree with me that there should be an agreement plan information sharing agreement? >> i agree there should be cooperation to the maximum extent that we can to do our jobs. obviously i can't tell
you without looking into it. >> of course, as you know, terrorists are seeking other ways for financing. cyber crime is a major growth industry. we continue to defy the hackers. however, they live in jurisdictions that the former soviet states from with we have no extradition treaty. i think of ukraine in particular, but i would like a a precise discussion on how we can proceed with cyber crime extradition. >> well, obviously, we have taken actions some of which have limits because of extradition. we cannot compel extradition whether or not extradition treaties. what we what we can do is look at what other tools we have where we see evidence of cyber crimes and are looking to see what other
tools we have available. >> regarding the current concerns we have today, is it on your agenda to try to work out these extradition agreements? >> obviously it is not my -- >> but as you see the problem, is it something that should be? >> it is on my agenda to look at what we can do. >> the time of the joe and has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. sec., for being here your patience and evenhanded focus on international organizations and obligations. i want to ask a related but tangential question related to international policy specifically with respect to
the upcoming potential trade agreements. agreements. we are having a vibrant discussion on our side of the aisle about these trade agreements. one of the concerns and criticisms leveled at tpp in particular would be that the investor dispute resolution mechanism could open an and extrajudicial path to the alteration of our financial regulatory structure resulting in elements of dodd frank being changed or eliminated. that is probably greeted with joy on the other side of the room but concerns us quite substantially. should we be concerned that an investor dispute resolution could you wrote some of the protections many of us fight hard for? first, if you look at the history and investor state dispute settlement, the united states i don't
believe has ever lost the case. our case. our track record is strong. we have a system of law and evenhanded way of administering law. our system i think will continue to be durable even if there were challenges. when when you look at why it is an important issue when american businesses are doing business abroad there are concerns about things that could amount to ask appropriation or blocking the ability to take allow. the history of investor state disputes has been to give companies the ability individual investors the ability to defend their interest. is not meant to undermine organic laws that are legitimately in place. to the extent there have been concerns that there has
been some overly aggressive use of investor dispute i no that is something negotiators are looking at dealing with in the context of this negotiation. >> the facts as i have heard them is that the united states has been subject to 16 actions and investor dispute areas all of which we have one. let me push you a little bit don frank and other statutes will be durable. i'm not durable. i'm not sure that would be good enough for some of us. not meant to undermine our regulatory structure. obviously we would be quite concerned if all of a sudden after the work of this body being amended. >> i don't think we face the risk. if we look at one of the issues, foreign banks there is not a risk of being reversed and investor state
dispute. it's meant to deal with the kind of legal foundation that the law like that. >> so based on what you know more than most of us you don't believe that there is a meaningful risk that a trade agreement would essentially undo? >> looking from ttp to tt ip, we have resisted bringing regulation into the scope of the trade agreement because we agree 100 percent that prudential regulatory standards are not something that should be overturned by some trigger view. i don't believe it gives you the ability to do that. we have resisted doing it through the front door.
i agree that we ought not to put our provincial regulations up for review and trade context. >> i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> thank you. in 2014 the so-called bricks countries agreed to establish a knew development bank. trying to contribute $50 billion in initial capitol and it is expected the bank will start financing projects. a direct challenge. perhaps because they are more recent memories and they continue to build out the grid. a very different view on fossil energy and the imf
world bank and president of the united states. we pursue policies. they continue to give strong support to their industries and leverage them. experts agree the knew development blank will -- development bank will play bank will play a significant role of particularly in developing countries that are desperate. while this is good news it negates the policies of this administration, the imf, and the world bank. given what the knew development bank is doing, why does the administration continued to pursue its misguided anti- coal policies? >> congressman our objective is to promote sustainable energy resources to be developed. >> won't that result in just following developing countries to the doorsteps of russia and china?
>> to the extent that you were talking about very poor countries a very poor countries that don't have an alternative, policies provide assuming that appropriate technologies used for projects. >> consistent with the knew development bank? >> none of us no the policies. >> the policies is to fund these projects. on this do more harm to the environment? it would result in more core projects being built using technology that is not as advanced and clean is ours. >> frankly the challenges for the us to continue to show leadership. one of the reasons imf reform ratification is so important. our ability to keep action at a high standard is critical.
it is not an accident. frankly the united states has stalled a modest and reasonable set of reforms. >> i would suggest they go to the knew development bank because they know they can get the project financed. >> i no that there are other countries joining those institutions who are concerned about environmental standards. those issues will have to be worked out as the knew banks develop their rules. they are responsible for what we do directly and through the institutions we are appointed a leadership role in. >> i want to ask you a question. when it comes to global challenges food insecurity and gender imbalances, the world continues to rely on
developing countries make concrete investments to meet challenges. tangential, but there is a huge balance in asia. the course of one child policy. the disproportionate effect it has had on little girls. can you.to anything that this administration has done to address that gender imbalance? >> i think that there are a lot of things in china that they need to take a hard look at. i hope that they have a change. >> a suggestion might be helpful. tell me something, when you are deputy secretary did you ever send an email, did you ever send an email from a non-state department email account to account to secretary clinton or any other state employee?
>> that was quite a while ago, congressman. >> you saying it is possible? >> congressman, i use my official e-mails -- >> did you ever receive an e-mail from secretary clinton through a non- state department e-mail account? >> i would have i would have to go back. >> what about when you were white house chief of staff? >> it was a long time ago congressman. >> the time of the dillman has expired. >> congressman. >> the time of the dillman has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary thank you for taking the time to be here. i no that she did not speak to the.that we have the lowest labor participation rate in 30 years. knew business startups in this country.
one of the important issues we have particularly in rural areas is access to from community banks. recently senator warren stated that the financial performance shows that congress and the regulators have done a good job of tailoring roles to protect community banks. >> i have said i think both the law and regulations take into account the differences between small, medium, and large size institutions. i generally agree there has been a lot of attention paid >> let me give you an example in my district. they said that burdensome capitol requirements and excessive regulations required money being spent
on this complying with regulations as opposed to going the bank and have access and availability of capitol for loans for the local community bank. the bottom line is they feel that they no longer run their bank but it is being run by the federal government and regulations. >> i no there are a lot of pressures on the financial institutions of all sizes. we have designed rules and the regulators are designed rules in terms of the level of reporting. >> you have spent a fair amount of time concerned about community banks. >> yes. >> interesting because we did a review of the minutes.
it yielded not a single reference to community banks or the affected regulatory burdens are having on there viability. >> many of. >> many of these issues are not f sock issues at large. >> under section 112 of the the dodd frank act that is your responsibility. >> over the last two years since i have been chairman i have taken have taken seriously the coordination responsibility particularly in areas that involve some of the housing issues. there have been conversations but not in the context of an f sock meeting. there is no mention of dealing with small banks. >> we have not ruled out doing a more formal review of the we have been in the implementation stage were agencies have had the 1st round of implementing dodd
frank on their plates. >> i would like i would like to go back to the chairman's 1st line of questioning. i am not sure i heard his answer to that question. when the fsb tells members that they expect full, full, consistent command prompt implementation on agree reforms on the international finance systems is the assuming that you will obey? >> i think it is well-known that the decisions on decision-making in each country are made by the national authorities in this country. we have been clear that we retain control -- >> when did the fsb determined that they were going to be? >> i would have to go back and check the date. >> how long after? >> the fsb review and the f sock review or entirely separate.
>> our are decisions made by the fsb binding on treasury? >> i believe the fsb process permits us as a country with the highest standards to drive the global standards to a higher level which makes it a safer financial system and level playing field. in each case countries ultimately retained their own national authority over regulatory activity. >> again, again, i am sorry. i am just not hearing the answer. once the fsb once the fsb makes it to you view that has been binding? >> i don't think there is anything about participation that relieves national authority from the ultimate responsibility. >> the time of the gentleman is expired. >> thank you. i we will be brief. i i am a small business owner, a main street guy.
i employ a lot of people. a job creator and auto dealer. i would say this quickly. i heard you say earlier that before we could address the $50 billion or under banks we need to get dodd frank complete. i would ask you don't wait that long. it is the worst legislation i think we have seen in a long time. if you wait that long you will lose small businesses and banks. i humbly ask you to think about addressing that. from a bankers standpoint people are actually hiring more regulatory officers that loan officers. that being said, let me say this you said the us economy looks like a well oiled machine. i would just say that is
not a well oiled machine. the long-term outlook for the us economy is not that great. it could be considered bleak. president obama's budget would add new $6 trillion to the deficit. let. let me repeat that $6 trillion added. debt held by the american public projected to grow rapidly as the share of economy. the rising cost of debt will have a significant consequence on the economy and the federal budget. you you stated that every week we roll over approximately 100 billion in us bills. if you as bondholders decide they wanted to be repaid rather than continue to roll over investment we could unexpectedly dissipate our entire balance.
with that being said, do you think it is healthy for the treasury to be forced to rely on read issuing securities to make principal payments on securities coming do? and how is that taking out -- how is that a different taking out cash advances on a credit card to pay another credit card? >> we have the deepest treasury market and the world. if you look at the progress on fiscal policy in the last seven years it has been enormous. the deficit that was just about 10 percent of gdp. the budget window, we stay that way. if you look at the challenges in the near term we do the things we need to to keep our economy growing. investing in infrastructure and frankly defense. one of the problems i have is it short funds critical things we need to defend our country and the build a
strong foundation for the future. we need a bipartisan conversation about maintaining irresponsible fiscal path. with all respect, the fiscal situation has vastly improved. >> you and i have discussed you have never really been in the private sector. the economy is not that good high. high unemployment, people on food stamps. you did not answer my question when you said that if the bondholders decided they wanted to be repaid could we do it? >> the challenge that we have is making sure that we remain able to fund all of our needs. funding new debt, rolling over old that. if you look at the way our trajectory looks, you are going to 2039 the budget for the next ten years, we stay in a sustainable level of deficit and debt.
there is a lot of work left to do going forward but we have made enormous progress. >> let me ask you one other question. interest on the national debt will make up 90 percent of the deficit in 2023. how can we expect to see balanced budgets of future interest payments continue to force deficit spending for decades? >> congressman the goal of reaching what is called primary balances do not have anything but debt payments as the reason for deficit. that is what that statistic reflects. the statistic reflects. if you look at the international standard primary balances the goal. >> i yield back. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. there are votes pending on the floor. apologies.
the chair intends to clear one more member of the meant to have the german from arkansas to accommodate the four schedule and the secretaries schedule and then we will adjourn. the german from arkansas is recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman, mr. secretary. a pleasure to have four years working at the treasury. following up i want to talk a little bit about this community bank approach as well. resolving regulatory conflicts and looking at burdensome regulation really does give a lot of power. i i think that is the purpose. i agree with mr. williams. i encourage you to take that you can do more than one thing at a time.
management responsibility in addition to trying to implement dodd frank. >> as i indicated earlier we have not ruled out using it and i am happy to take a look. >> i would like i would like you to consider the use of cost-benefit analysis and looking across the regulatory system. >> the cost benefit analysis has many different meanings. if you look at the broad cost to the us economy the financial crisis and 2008 it is enormous and would not have shown up in any cost-benefit analysis that was done before the crisis itself. we have to find a way of looking at the impact on a firm and affirming you ask the question of cost-benefit analysis and the entire economy. balancing those considerations as part of what the whole dodd frank lawmaking and rulemaking process has been about, to try to make it more costly
to do things that are risky to internalize those costs and to protect the economy and the public. >> you have two positions that have prudential responsibility. these are important places to look out for the economy generally. there are regulations that have costs that exceed benefit. just this week i got a letter from a banker that looking at the ability to repay rules of a a look back and have an 85 percent approval ratio. we're looking at residential and income all the rules not just dodd frank qualified mortgage the effective appraisal rates. >> i encourage you to put on
the agenda the burden of regulatory institutions. copy of the fannie mae and freddie mac conservative agreements. could that be put on the list? i have a preferred stock arrangement with those two companies. have you on this e-mail issue american people are frustrated command i urge everyone to be focused on this. the irs example on losing e-mails and the private sector we would be excoriated by regulators. have you changed the policy of the treasury? >> well, the treasury policy is that we do our business on official e-mail.
the rifle summer fired today is the one bill specifically for the jackson and was cast at the naval works in completed in state kerry. but to be directly connected to the fact there are only four in - - four ironclads that we can study right now and the jackson is right here that is why the facility is here. first and foremost to tell the story of this particular ironclad to show people there are more than just one or two.
>> let's hope for the lack of the irish. with the questions you have not been able to answer to this point about former secretary clinton and she signed the separation form or not. >> we have reviewed her official personnel file and administrative file and do not have been eight record of her sight needy of109 also looking closer in the of her predecessors did not cited the former fed is not part at the state department standard but we're looking into that. >> when you say you do not have any record does that
the there is no such document with her signature? train wreck do we have access to e yes. >> you were not sure if she did or did not? >> every peyser she did not we do not have record. >> even as you well suited to this that they're required to sign the this document subject required is not the term but house standard is across the government and the state department but there is no penalty for not siding at. >> at the state department it is common practice is it not for at least to employees below the rate of secretary of state to sign
such a document when they leave. is it not? >> i don't want to characterize how common practice it is. we have answered the question she cited the formless if there are more statistics about how common it is. >> to understand it is not a violation of any rule or regulation? >> no. >> when you said you found no record of her two immediate predecessors that would be secretary by san secretary powell edward certain? >> these are the records we have that the state party you could pose these questions and the former secretary as well. >> you are saying so it is
that unusual for the secretary of state not to have completed these forms? >> correct announcer: "washington journal" continues. host: joining us now is stand metcalf. -- dan metcalf. he is the former founding director of the information and privacy. good morning. as far as her former job, can you tell us about this office and what it does? guest: it is something that we established in 1981 to do for primary things. one is to handle litigation. two is adjudicated administrative appeals taken from the freedom information act.
third was to handle classified information appeals on behalf of the attorney general. we staff that. but primarily, we gave government wide policy advice and guidance for the administration or implementation of the freedom of information act. that involves writing a lot of guidance memoranda, conducting training, employing a hotline that was available to all federal employees. we were the ones that had to tell everyone responding to the freedom of information act request that all 100 federal agencies what was the right thing to do and what was the wrong thing to do. host: you are responsible for making sure that information can get out does get out for those request that comes in? guest: yes. things were handled properly and procedurally. they were done in a substantive way and for sensitive information. host: is a bit of text on the
freedom of information act. it provides that any person has the right to obtain access to federal agency records, except to be said that such records are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions. what are some instances with a get information from one of these request? guest: your audience might imagine national security classified information. information that would include a violation of privacy -- law enforcement files are not want fortune files. business that comes into the federal government and has commercial sensitivity. also, internal decision-making documents. there is a large privilege called pre-decisional privilege. pre-decisional information whereby a recommendation is made -- that person does not have to worry about appearing on the front page of "the washington
post" next week and there's far more pander in the process. host: we are taking a look at the issue of the former secretary of state e-mail. the headline says that when it comes to the e-mail that former secretary of state put out there , her defense was called "laughable." guest: the full formulation of that quote is that person just in that she properly had the wherewithal to happen exclusively private e-mail account in the way that she did on her private e-mail server and that that would suffice under federal records act and the freedom of information act. that indeed is laughable. i call that a prescription for circumvention of the freedom of information act. host: what do you mean by that? guest: if someone were to avoid a foia, short for freedom of
information act request, if someone were to request e-mails to or from her, the first step in the process of handling that request is to search for records. if there were no such records within the state department because they resided entirely outside of the state department, that would insulate those e-mail records from even the possibility of foia exposure. one of the things that i've said without much fear of contradiction is that based upon my first-hand involvement and a number of things in the clinton administration, i have absolutely no doubt that secretary clinton well knows the operation of the freedom of information act and knows what she was doing. host: we will continue this topic of transparency in the federal government.
for republicans 202-748-8002. we will take those calls in just a moment. expand on that last point -- that she noted. guest: there were two dozen scandals that are rented -- corrupted during the clinton administration. when there is scandal or controversy, there are always records pertaining to that subject matter. there are invariably issues about disclosure of those records or not. it could be in response to the freedom of information act request. it could be in response to congressional inquiry or subpoena or a whole host of things. there will sever such -- several such record issues that developed and came to a head during the clinton administration, including two scandals that had never ever
enter the public domain amazingly. after all these years. i know that, and i've no doubt secretary clinton was involved in of and some of those that she well knew how the freedom of information act work. host: the problem was that she used her own e-mail service exclusively? guest: exclusively is the exact right word to use in purposes of this analysis. yes. it is not permissible for a federal employee, a high-level federal employee in this case, to use a personal e-mail account occasionally. you can imagine that you have a very busy secretary of state responded the crisis around the world around the clock and at three clock in the morning reaching for device and maybe she might not have her official government e-mail account device
handy, or that aspect or that part of it in haiti. there are instances in which the personal e-mail account can be used and then there has to be follow-up under the the policies adopted by the national archives and records administration which implements the federal records act whereby probably thereafter those personal account e-mails are forwarded it to the federal system, where they then can be maintained and preserved and available for potential public access. so the key ingredient here is what you say -- exclusively. host: is this a system where if she said of a personal account and sent it to somebody at the state department, there would be a record of that account and their impacts -- in their inbox, but not a record that it went out to it? guest: in other words, the recipient as a state department employee would be there. that would be part of the state department system. but for the latter, there would be no record of an outbox
because the outbox was purely private. even the record of the state department employee is problematic because you can't have a consolidated response to a freedom of information act request if someone is seeking all of her e-mails and they are scattered about at all these different state department employees. then, there is the fact that there were other government employees, according to her press conference statement, say the department of defense, and those e-mails would not be in the same agency. and then there is the other category -- the mystery category so to speak of e-mails that went neither to state department employees or federal government employees. she was very careful to use the phrase "vast majority" of for e-mails in category one or two. state department or other federal. one has to wonder about the un-vast minority so to speak because that is not really
covered in any way whatsoever at the recipient level. host: we have callers for you and our first is george in washington dc. george, go ahead. caller: professor metcalf, i want to give you the opportunity to burnish your centrist credentials. i'm a moderate democrat. it sounds that you are like a hillary clinton critic. didn't you also criticize the justice department? guest: i criticize the installs justice department openly after i departed. this would be in the spring of 2007. yes, i felt that i had to speak out because, quite frankly things under alberto gonzales were extremely embarrassing. as a matter of fact, subsequently to that in 2008, i agreed to bring a lawsuit on behalf of young applicants for legal positions called the attorney general's arms program
there, where there was a scheme by which people were screened out on political or ideological grounds. to make a long story short, i wound up hunting alberto gonzales down like the dog he was an imposing him for almost seven hours. we prevailed as a matter of law and establish new law under the federal records act as well as the privacy act of -- and the government settled that case for more than a half-million dollars. i tip my hat to people being critical of conservative republican administrations. that is for sure. host: st. petersburg, florida. republican line. caller: i think that public officials have more discretionary authority so that they can protect their political participation. guest: well, i'm not entirely
sure about discretionary authority. i can tell you that under the federal records that, first and foremost, the only discretion that secretary clinton properly had was to, as i say occasionally use a private e-mail account where it was necessary if she then followed up in the way that i described. if you talk to anyone at the national archives and records administration, where they have the responsibility of the federal records asked -- act like i had, they would tell you exactly that. host: our guest this data metcalf. he is also the director of the justice department privacy bill. hawaii on the independence line. go ahead. caller: i want to ask mr. metcalf a couple of questions. if they decide they need to get
-- host: go ahead. you are on. caller: if they physically need to get that server and the secret service whoever is protecting that property, do they not become accomplices in some way and how would mr. metcalf get that server if you wanted to get it? the other thing is -- i just want to say that i am independent, but after seeing mrs. clinton in that news conference, i indeed laughed until i fell off my chair. guest: well. let's put the laughter aside for just a moment and focus on that server. what i should say right at the outset is that i am not an attorney with criminal law background. i do not mean to imply that there's criminal law involved here. when it comes to the process of physically obtaining something that is admittedly be on my expertise. i would imagine it would have to
be a serious matter and the serious enterprise that would lead to anyone properly and authoritatively attempted to take a step to obtain that server. i cannot tell you that secretary clinton could not have 10 more clear at her press conference where she said that the information on that server will remain private. that is our position and it remains to be seen if that will change in any way. host: 202-748-8000 four democrats. 202-748-8001 for republicans bit with a have to get permission to set up the server? guest: permission is a word you have to be careful about. so not to my knowledge for certain things would have to be allowed or permitted. it would be one thing for something to be permitted in the sense that no one tackled her in the hallway before she did something and another thing for
it to be allowed in the sense that it was properly or proper under the law. she, to my knowledge, there was nothing that legally prevented her from having her own server. she had it already. the key thing was that upon entering office in 2009, she then proceeded to use only a personal e-mail account that was tied to that server. so it is a personal you motown that is the key and that -- it is the personal e-mail account that is key in that sense. host: lettuce tossed it to tauscher. -- let us listen to tauscher. caller: what about the pages that she has already submitted? i really find it quite offensive that people in washington spend more time having 59 hearings on benghazi. this, i'm sure, is going just throughout that whole suppose it
controversy -- supposed controversy. i can understand mrs. clinton wanting to have privacy because i am sure that there is no expense and no number of people for example, on the fox channel that would be willing to spend 50 hours a day looking up any miniscule amount of something that they could blow up into a huge controversy. this is what is wrong with our government. instead of paying attention to the things that need to be done, we search around, digging around, lifting things, and rocks and stuff, to see what little tiny thing we can blow up. i've offer transparency -- i am offer transparency, but my heavenly days, this is not one of those areas. guest: i can say, in turn, i am offer privacy.
it is very easy to imagine that there's wrong privacy interest involved in much of what was on her personal and still personal perhaps, e-mail server. i do not think anyone questions that. the difficultly is that you mentioned the 55,000 number as to pages of what she printed out. she went through a step or take a step last year in 2014, in which in response to a special request from the state department, she delineated between what she viewed as personal and what she viewed as not personal. that is what led to her producing 55,000 pages of e-mails. i believe that is an accurate number. that is to the state department to be reviewed for possible public disclosure and paper form. indeed mrs. clinton has spoken of that rather pointedly. the difficulty is that is only
part of what was there and then there is a question about the remainder. just as when she uses the phrase "vast majority", that is only part. it could be a large majority. it overlooks completely what the remainder of that might be. one has to be very careful at exactly what she says and how she says it in the context of what she speaks because, if you look at the transcript of her prance -- press conference carefully, as i was asked to do for media outlets, there are a number of pronouns like "that" or "it" have shifting meanings from one point to another. a friend of mine even joked that it might determine what the meaning of "it" is -- which sounds somewhat reminiscent of the clinton administration. host: bill on the democrats line.
caller: good morning mr. metcalf. i like to ask you -- was she in violation of the law she was ending -- sending e-mails? the log require her to put them on a government server -- did the law of require her to put them on a government server? thank you. guest: we should be very careful of the phrase violation of law. to the average person on the street, that something someone has done something illegal, of violating a criminal law and having criminal sanctions. i do not know if that is really part of the landscape. all. when i talk about law and what she said she did, i talk about whether it is contrary to law and contrary to a legal requirement. i'm certain that what she did
at least this she and others has described it, is contrary to the federal records act. it is as i say a blatant circumvention of the freedom of information act. host: jolie from texas. republican line. you are on with our guest. caller: good morning, mr. metcalf. how are you doing today? guest: i'm doing fine. i am sitting at a location where i lived in was 45 years ago did. caller: but you don't live there any longer? guest: no. i was a teenage intern at the justice department. caller: you have been expense for a long time. this is dealing with a lady who says that republicans are looking under rocks for skittles bid you mentioned to scandals involving the clintons that have not come to the public light. i knock on to ask but they are
because that is up to you. my question to you is -- are they important enough to where it would affect hillary's presidential run as far as her credibility and hurting -- her integrity go? guest: certainly for one of them, the answer is definitely not. as for the second one, very probably not. in both instances, although i did continue to be amazed that they have never made it to the public domain, we are talking about the circumstances in which i had an ethical obligation as an attorney, having given legal involves that involves in the legal analysis of affect pattern to protect the confidentiality of what i learned and what i did , despite the passage of time. there is no sunset provision on an ethical prohibition that protects my secrets. i'm on able to say -- i am unable to say much about either of those two except to give you that limited assurance that i've
given you. host: that was julie from texas. wisconsin -- can you speak of bleakley to them at all or no? -- obliquely to them or no? guest: let me speak slowly. i'm not really surprised that one of them never enter the public domain, because although it was a high level potential controversy or difficulty, very few people knew about it and it did not, in fact, involved a member of the executive branch. the federal government maintains information on a lot of people in the a lot of positions. that one, for good reason, will never see the light of day. i'm pretty sure. the second one -- it involves clinton administration folks in a more general way.
i know firsthand knowledge as to whether secretary clinton was aware of what was going on. i can tell you that i undertook an extensive legal analysis of the fact pattern at the request of the assistant attorney general of the office of legal counsel. a brilliant man by the name of walter dillinger. that fact pattern was handled in a way that was consistent with my legal analysis. i felt gratified that the hard work that i put in on short notice made a difference. host: . . happy st. patrick's day to you people. i'm calling about the transparency thing. i am for transparency. i do believe it is a good thing. what i do not understand is transparency should be through out our whole system. they want transparency with hillary clinton and they want transparency with benghazi.
come to find out a few years later after everything was said and done with iraq and president bush, then leading us to believe that it was over weapons of mass destruction. one come to find out that it was basically over oil. there was no transparency about that. there was also some assumptions that the government kind of knew what was going to happen before 9/11 happened and nobody really take any serious precautions about it. i believe transparency should be throughout everything, including money that is donated for cpacs and everything because it is getting where big corporations with billions of dollars are actually running our country and not the people who vote people in. host: thanks, caller. guest: transparency is a good
thing, but one has to remember that on the other hand there are important interests that are entitled to protection like privacy and national security and government decision-making and business interest rate that is what the foia are all about. you do not want to get me going on president george w. bush, for whom i've zero respect frankly. you do not have enough time on th program host: have to wonder is a front-page story on "usa today", the white house is removing of federal regulation that subject's office the subject's office of information to the freedom of information act making official policy to reject requests for records to that office. consistent with court rulings holding the office is not subjected to transparency law handling e-mail archiving. can you expand on that? >> guest: that is news to me, but unfortunately not shocking.
i no a great deal about that because i used to spend no small amount of time advising that office, the office of administration. handling of the requests back when it was subject. what changes one day vice president cheney woke up and decided that it was not part of the outer white house so to speak but rather part of the inner white house to which it does not apply. coincidentally apply. coincidentally that was the office that was in charge of white house e-mails that were set up through a blackberry system that involved the republican national committee and the rest is history they're. when president obama took office amidst high expectations, exceedingly high expectations about how he would change things very much for greater openness as compared to what they were under the george w. bush administration one of the things that i am on record
-- i think i included this in an article i published what was expected his he would reverse vice president cheney's decision and make oa an entity subject to four year as it has been during the clinton administration. it has been one of the disappointments, one of the many disappointments my frankly, about the obama administration transparency activities or lack of same in some respects, especially under the freedom of information act. and i no they had taken that position as a practical matter recently. i did not know that they took the formal step. if they did as you read from that report i would suggest that there timing is pretty poor. >> host: richard, republican line. good morning. >> caller: probably good
reason to be. >> guest: i am not after secretary clinton. i am just calling it as i see it. >> caller: i appreciate i appreciate it because you sound intelligent. my.is, 37 senators. i don't care if you want for republican, democrat, or mars. forty-seven people in the dodds act work against our government. they should be prosecuted under trees and. why is it something being done? i i mean the republican party has been a damn good party. since the tea since the tea party nuts got in there they have let them run their party. legitimate people i'm 72 years old. so i've seen most of it. let's go after this bunch for treason and get
back to some real republicans. >> guest: i have an informed opinion a deeply informed opinion on a lot of things both pertaining to what we have been talking about today, but i do not have an informed opinion about that in particular. i would dare say that whether something is treason or not is a matter for other folks to consider rather than myself, especially not on a program like this. >> host: to members of congress have to follow the same freedom of information act rules? >> no. in fact, it has never applied to congress. in other nations in the world, mexico, for example it applies to that congress there. the way i teach that to my class, i say, listen, if you were a member of congress and were about to enact this admittedly onerous law and have the power to apply it
to yourself or not what would you choose? that is exactly the choice that congress made. in fairness,. in fairness, it is not just this end of pennsylvania avenue but the other end at the white house. there house. there is something called the inner outhouse and the outer white house. the president's direct advisers and such is likewise not subject. the presidential record act. we are one -- where one ends the other begins. >> host: you are on. go ahead. >> caller: good morning to everyone. an observation and comment. we understand that this issue is being debated. do do you believe the inspector general's office of the state department will look into this matter?
and do you think they will determine whether or not administrative violations have occurred or potentially criminal? again i again, i want to stress the fact that this is not a debate of whether something was done correctly or incorrectly. we have a system in place that i believe could easily address this and protect privacy if required. your thoughts? >> guest: my 1st thought front to back, i have no basis whatsoever speaking to anything that might be criminal. we put that entirely aside. those would be applicable only to an existing federal employee, not a former federal employee. your question about inspector general investigation is interesting, quite frankly something i had not considered as a possibility and tell you mentioned in a minute ago.
i no that historically the office of inspector general department of state is more active than most, let's put it that way a strong tradition of aggressive activity in that office no matter which presidential administration is empower at the time. it is not inconceivable to me that there might be such an investigation. i don't know i don't know that i would go so far as to say it is likely but if there were to be 1 i think it would focus on what happened during the 1st week or so of secretary clinton's tenure. sometime early 2009 she must've at what i call the meeting. a new cabinet officer comes in there's a meeting at which ordinarily the top career administrative personnel the agency, a particular person and location things there's an
ounce and is and ounce of federal ethics standards of the federal records act. act. the freedom of information act, the privacy act. the procurement requirement. nowadays in the electronic age there would be a discussion of how the new secretary would be acting conducting business,, conducting business, not just speaking to people preparing old-fashioned memorandum and i can only imagine that at that meeting somehow someway it anywhere sec. secretary clinton going out and doing what she did. she is used for personal e-mail account exclusively and connected it to her private e-mail it could be
some pressure the inspector general of the florida state one of the questions that will be asked whether they're have been content between the administrative folks at the state department and the people who have the government wide responsibilities oversee the proper implementation of the federal records act, specifically those votes of the national archives and record administration. i have the occasionally this morning to receive a communication from some old friends, shall i say who are very familiar with the federal records act in general and the circumstances in particular.
although i'm out of government now i should not be given official information. i we will go i we will go so far as to say that if you were to think that no one was properly contacted him i would have no specific basis upon which to disagree with you. >> host: next up. >> three things one computers helping with records, make it quicker. why is the why is the peace of paper that hillary clinton is supposed to sign the day that she leaves taking so long to find? i have a feeling that the government is trying to figure out which way is going to hurt less. the third, they have that pressure put on them to
bring any charges or do anything. he won't do anything until he has so much pressure that he has to. and could you tell me about that please? >> guest: i know i am repeating myself, but i think it is important. let's take the word charges and put that aside. i have no basis for even imagining that as part of the landscape. your question brings up an important.or aspect of things. there are four-time juncture is that matter. the 2nd was the time of her departure in 2013. 2013. the 3rd was in 2014 when she responded to the special request from the state department had created those 55,000 pages we spoke of earlier. you logically focus on time
juncture number two which is the time of her departure. yes, you are right that there is -- there are obligations upon both her and the administrative people at her agency to make sure that she leaves under proper circumstances in the right way. with respect to records that means that things that are federal records that should be maintained and preserved, part of the history of the state department are maintained and preserved as such. indeed, there is something that the parting official sign. one of the things i mentioned to some journalists is that at the department of justice we had a formal process that we develop coincidentally during the clinton administration to govern that departure process
especially with respect to high-level employees. under that process which was established in regulation and memorandum required form , each departing official we go through a process with those administrative folks, the ones who set things up from the get-go and determine together not unilaterally just on the part of the employee and determine together what can be taken and what cannot. we even had a community at the justice department i was a part of developing guidelines for for that particular purpose. we then disseminated that to other agencies who said, this works great for us. which makes the most sense. the 1st person who went through that process at the justice department was former attorney general janet reno. she wanted to be the one to make the.that she would go through a very careful process. she would take she would take what she would probably
take and not take or she could not. to this all off with respect to the issue does your i i wonder exactly what the process was with secretary clinton when someone presumably paid attention to the fact she had all these e-mails, much of which were official government e-mails created on her private account and her private server in lieu of the federal account and the federal system. i have to wonder what happened. how did that get to carry on beyond 2013? 2013? i have zero knowledge about that and would not speculate upon that more than i have i have done except to say that it raises a serious question >> host: just a few more minutes with our guest. go ahead. >> caller: yes. hello. it just seems too bad that present historians or future historians may not have
access to her e-mails ever and other folks that are doing the same things in government. it just seems that the historians or if someone someone wanted to write a book, it would be hard for them because they could not cross check the information with other e-mails because they would not have that information. >> guest: collar, i will disagree with you slightly in one respect and more than slightly in another. the 1st respect has to do with other people. i'm unaware of other officials in the federal government doing this sort of thing. there have been discussions people who are not federal government officials, people who are elsewhere, such as an estate who might have done something comparable to this.
i am unaware of it ever happening -- when i i say it my pronoun means exactly what she did and all of its respects. i am not aware of it ever happening with respect to any other federal official. secondly, i think you don't have to be quite as pessimistic as you are about history because if you remember the fact pattern here she created this email corpus, so to speak, this, this body of e-mails whatever number of pages it was on her private system and has now gone through a process to my she says of delineating out personal things and providing that information to the department of state. put aside the fact that it is on paper and not electronic form which is an issue but as to the content of the e-mails themselves not the metadata or server
logs, but the content of the emails themselves, if she did indeed do it accurately and properly that content is not lost. it it is entirely possible as to the content of e-mails themselves putting surrounding things aside, nothing has been lost. >> host: our guest for the morning, daniel metcalf. teaches teaches american university, secrecy law. thank you for your time. >> guest: glad to be here. >> fcc chair tom wheeler took questions from house members today on whether the white house instructed the fcc to change direction on the recent open internet vote. here is a look.
we heard from 750 750 different expertise, over 140 members of congress the administration both in the form of pres. obama's very public statement on november the 10th and in the form of an tiaa formal submission. here i would like to be clear, there were no secret instructions from the white house. i did not as ceo of an independent agency feel obligated to follow the president's recommendation. but i did feel obligated to treated with the respect that it deserves, just as i have treated with similar respects the input both pro and con from 140 senators and representatives. most significantly, as has been pointed out, we heard from 4 million americans listened and learned throughout this entire process and made our decision based on a tremendous public record.
>> see fcc chair tom wheeler again tomorrow when he testifies on the knew open internet rules before the senate commerce committee. this time he will appear with fellow republican and democratic commissioners. live live coverage at 2:30 p.m. eastern on our companion network. >> you can't undo decades of soviet era and saddam era stuff with eight years, especially when you taught them on a model where they will have us advisors and partners with them. we will draw down to 5000 next year and almost zero the year after that. i would want we will probably see a similar result. that army will be shaky without us help.
>> this sunday on the failed us strategy what we should have done differently sunday night at 8:00 o'clock eastern and pacific on c-span q&a. >> coming up, interior up, interior secretary talks about energy priorities and protecting the environment. then then senators hear testimony on the improper social security payments to deceased individuals. after that the chinese premier talks about environment of protection. us china relations, and the ukraine russia conflict. the state of the international financial system.
[applause] >> thank you, charlie. thank you very much. bennett, where. bennett, where are you out there? we worked together and command it was a wonderful experience. great to see you here. thank you for that introduction, and thanks to the center for strategic and international studies for inviting me to be here today i appreciate i appreciate everything this organization does to advance bipartisan dialogue around some of the most pressing issues of our time.
thanks to those in the audience for being here. great to see that there is no better way than to celebrate st. patrick's day and talk about energy policy. welcome to the best party this afternoon. we have had a breakthrough year for the united states economy. as president obama reminded us, companies are creating jobs faster than at any time since 1999 wages are climbing deficits are shrinking, graduation rates are at record low. our economy has emerged my session with a stronger, more stable foundation. it is no coincidence that our economic recovery has been accompanied by the biggest energy transformation of our lifetime. the energy revolution we experienced helps spur the recovery but has also been accelerated by policies our country but in place. since 2008 american oil production has surged from 5 million to
9 million barrels a day and our dependence upon foreign oil has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years. the amount of solar energy has increased tenfold. wind energy has tripled since 2008. that has been helped by more than $340 billion of private-sector investment and a tax policy that helps helped move these investments off the sideline. families are driving farther than ever our tank of gas. i would lower gas prices the average household will have an extra $750 in their pockets in 2015. these shifts in the us energy markets are not marginal or temporary. they are tectonic shifts, and from a business perspective these changes will present both challenges, risks, and opportunities for industry. i can promise you that every
ceo of an energy business out there is reassessing the plans they have on the books a year ago. they are asking, especially today how falling oil and gas prices affect us. do we have the right projects in the pipeline, or do we need to diversify cuemack, capitalize on consumers growing demand for smarter homes and tender cars? the tectonic shifts are forcing governments at every level to face questions of the same magnitude. can can we adapt in this fast-changing environment? not the fastest places, government coming from the private sector. how do we modernize our energy programs to anticipate the new energy future? are we doing what is needed for the us to lead the world in energy? this is a speech about energy but you cannot talk about energy without talking about climate change, and that is good. it it is one of the reasons
i left the private sector for this job not just to talk about climate change and do what you could within the bounds of the country, but to do something about it on a much bigger scale. i am proud to work for a president who is taking historic, meaningful steps to cut dangerous carbon pollutions. and so as a person with america's biggest land management portfolio i have to ask myself questions like what are we doing to achieve a low carbon future? how we striking the right balance between conservation and development? what measures do we need in place for our land, water, climate today to protect the families of tomorrow? so as ceo i ceo of rei -- and it is not a public company. elon the company. there you go. i need you to pay attention to the current year's earnings and make a
long-term decisions to make sure our business would be relevant and profitable ten 20, 30 years down the line. i was chatting about how my colleagues at rei and i did a study about what is impacted us long-term. you'd have to think long term. that is the that is the same balance i have to have a secretary of the interior. managing resources to drive the nation's economy without taking our high off the americans we want to hand our children. the fact is, i no that we all share a a desire for a cleaner and more secure energy future. getting there is a complex task. i want to talk about the path your forging.
i tasked by the into this administration is to put in place commonsense reforms that promotes good government and help define the rules of the road for america's energy future on a public plan. these should help businesses produce energy more safely and with more certainty encourage technological innovation and sure american taxpayers are getting maximum benefit from the resources. better protect and sustain our planet for future generations. after all, it is my colleague sec. kerry secretary kerry who said last week, there is no planet b. that was clever. good. over the past six years the obama administration has launched the most ambitious reform agenda in the department of interior's history. we sought an inherited how a drill everywhere plan does not work well if nearly half
the lease sales are challenged or later overturned in court. we put in place onshore leasing reforms to frontload engaging with the public about where does or does not make sense. through smarter planning we are seeing reduced conflict in litigation. in 2009 the renewable energy industry was knocking on our door. there was no clear path forward. my predecessor set up a strike team to get the most promising projects across the finish line and to establish an enduring renewable energy program at the department command he did a great job. that legacy is the gift that keeps on giving. we have approved 52 commercial scale projects on public lands across the west together that is 14,000 megawatts of renewable energy.
let me put that in perspective. 14,000 megawatts is roughly equivalent to a clean hydropower a clean hydropower the bureau of reclamation produces through 53 facilities built over the course of 100 years including hoover dam and the other 50 that we have. we have made sweeping reforms were safe and responsible development in the wake of the devastating deepwater horizon oil spill. new standards through well-designed production systems and well-controlled equipment. we have overhaul the federal oversight by restructuring ourselves to provide independent regulatory
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