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tv   Energy Secretary Rick Perry Interview at Atlantic Festival  CSPAN  October 8, 2018 1:35pm-1:56pm EDT

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along the i. 40 corridor, which stretches from orlando over to tamp the end it dissects the state. and if you want to win the white house come and then you have to win florida. and if you want to win florida, then you have to in the i. 40 corridor. this is a famous, it's a farm stand, but they're also famous for making these incredible strawberry shortcake's. i'm trying to remember the name. park still farms. bread on the side of the highway. every presidential candidate, if they want to win the white house, they stop here and they order a giant pile of strawberry shortcake's in the eve done. >> next, energy secretary rick perry, patagonia is rick
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ridgeway and former supreme court justice stephen breyer. they spoke at the atlantic festival in washington d.c. last week. altogether this runs about an hour and 25 minutes. [applause] >> everybody -- >> i'm going to get in big trouble. >> i've been wanting to get on that side of the couch this whole conference. he is always to my right. mr. secretary, thank you for joining us today. this is the anchor session, we will have other stuff going on. >> you could do better. >> let me start off. you know, i went through probably nine months of the presidents tweets last night. he doesn't tweet very much about you. are you disappointed? >> guest: that's a good thing. keeping a low profile, you
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know -- >> host: you didn't even make fear? >> guest: that's good. 40 years of public service so i've kind of been through the gambit of all the exposure and what have you. as i was sharing with you, the greatest job i ever had in my life was being made the governor of texas and i retired from that and had made the decision that i was done with public service and totally failed at retirement. so this is an opportunity to come back, serve the country. >> host: does this job compared to being governor of texas? >> guest: this is the coolest job i've ever had. one of the things i wanted to do is hopefully for your audience here in the folks watching online and other places as you have in your mind's eye what the department of energy is all about and yes it is a department that has the fossil fuels, renewables, all the different types of energy.
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but there's so much beyond that. listen, the world is so changed. think about the geopolitics of the world that's occurred in the last decade from the standpoint of the united states. it was expensive to produce and now we are the number one oil and gas producing country in the world. our friends in the european union, you know, whether it's china and in vienna. the markets of the future for lng completely change the world geopolitically from that standpoint. yes, the department of energy. we have a roll of whether it directional drilling, technology, some of that came from the department of energy last. but this agency and the 17 national labs, that's what makes it so cool. when you were backstage and we were talking about these
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fascinating places involved in so many different areas. >> host: which of the seven teen is your favorite. >> guest: that's like picking which of my kids is my favorite. it depends what you're looking for. oak ridge is the home to the fastest supercomputer in the world. three of the fastest -- six of the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world you long to the united states and they belong to the department of energy. summit computer is oak ridge, tennessee. but i will suggest is one of the most fascinating things about that and they have a manufactured materials lab. it is stunning. at this moment, the rover curiosity is traveling around the surface of mars. with an engine that was developed. post the white even call
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yourselves the department of energy? it's so bland. >> guest: i reminded him in texas we have this agency called the railroad commission. would it have anything to do with railroad? no. all the oil and gas underneath his. the department of energy, and at least we got closer than the railroad conditions. no offense. the point is, this is an extraordinary time in america. with what is going on, we've seen the united states driving the lowering of emissions. >> guest: i tell people the state of texas 12th largest economy in the world and we grew between 2001 for 2014 by the substantial amount. we added 7 million people to the population rose in texas during the period of time.
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you know 7 million people means in texas. that's a lot of pickup trucks. think about it. you know, the non-point source pollution had to be going through the roof. we've got all that refining capacity in the gold coast, the ozone. >> host: you can call president trump and say hey we got missions up? because we didn't. >> guest: the reality was 50% reduction, total carbon dioxide footprint down by almost 20%. the reason was this. number one, we also the nation in the production of wind energy. we produce more winded texas than all five countries. we also had some other things that gave incentives to change out from old inefficient engines. and we had this massive switchover from older inefficient power plants to natural gas plant and that really drove the emissions down.
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we had a 14% reduction of our emissions in the united states since 2007. >> host: why'd i just merged the epa in with you? >> guest: why don't you mind your own business. last month >> you're doing so well. >> the point is there some great stories out there about what the department of energy is involved with that is really outside of the historic concept of fossil fuels are renewables or nuclear power and we are trying to make nuclear power cool again. when i was a kid starting school at texas a&m in the late 1960s, almost markets further going into nuclear engineering or aeronautical engineering because it was cool. the idea of this ability to create power with nuclear materials. and we think it is really
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possible again to do small modular there is more fascinating in their ability to not have the waste problem that we see with the big plans today. you can basically just hope them on each other how much do you need. we can do that. looking out into the future, fusion energy. some of the things we are doing at our national labs working on fusion energy. i know that is a grand children's, that's their future. it is here, happening. we will have a prototype ready by about 2026, 2027 on fusion. >> host: we have the privilege in the past not to compare the two, when i had secretary mo needs here a few years ago and talking about all of these things come in the investment that the d.o.e. can make in science, the ecosystem, getting all these various pieces, the climate, supercomputing and what it can do and how good an
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incredible array of things in your purview. i asked them, are you getting the support from congress? i'm raising this in the sense that there seems to be this wobbliness and appreciation for science and i'm wondering how you were able to maintain the direction you're going, which is robust as you said in a world where you've got folks in congress that now climate science, dow climate change. >> yeah, here's what i found by and large, for instance, bomar alexander is a great supporter of what we are doing at d.o.e., science of that. if you look at the budget and i try not to get too distracted by the noise that we hear them look at the results. the results have been congress has funded this agency and done it and i think it's awful way that is really promoted science and technology, the concepts
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that are important to the future. you mentioned something that i want to share again. one of the things that i hope you leave here today with is a new understanding in their respect for what the department of energy is involved with. i became a decade ago very intrigued with another previous speaker was talking about nfl and the issues facing the national folk alley, traumatic rain injury. i got involved with it three different source and malice through veterans at a young man came and lived with us when i was the governor for a couple years who had some really devastating posttraumatic stress, dramatic brain injuries, some other issues. and i discovered the federal government was really failing these young people. and so, i found some nontraditional ways to help him. unfortunately, there's tens of thousands like him today.
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driving here, we past the washington monument. just to the east of the monument before the mall, there are 5000 plus small american flags put on not to commemorate the 5000 veterans died by suicide over the course of this war on terror. and so, this is a really personal issue with me. as they showed up as the secretary of energy and started looking around other places in becoming a street as you were, pacific northwest national laboratory. i promise no acronyms. >> i have found that because of our supercomputing capacity, our ability to deal with artificial intelligence and big data, that
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we have the ability to work with in this case university of california same with cisco in the neuroscience program, dr. jeffrey manley to come up with some very nontraditional ways of dealing with dramatic rain injury, posttraumatic stress, making some massive improvements. dr. manley said next month we've made more progress on this issue than they've had in the last 10 years. that is what i think americans want to see their tax dollars doing is making a difference in people's lives. here is one called artificial intelligence they doubted that we created at the department of energy. we went to congress. they are funding it. it is going forward and we are going to be able to affect some young people's lives. give them their lives back. i am totally convinced we have the ability to save lives,
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changed lives because of the department of energy. that is so different than what most people would think about. d.o.e., what does that. you've got to change her name. >> i suggested changing his name in news that is a good idea and he said please, please do not. the folks out in the audience may not know that this is both energy awareness about the cybersecurity awareness month. you also play a very big role in protect king's national energy, the national energy strategy, electricity security. how much do you worry about the russians and chinese? >> the sect or specific agency for great resiliency, protect integrated so that no matter what when you go home, the power
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is there and the lights come on is that the department of energy. now, we have other agencies at work. we have a little label d.o.e. inside? [laughter] >> i mean, you know a lot more about what's going on. are you worried about now where? are you worried about penetrations of our system by foreign actors. >> healthy concern is always good in this business. we have some incredibly bright men and women working in our labs that are hand in glove with the private sector. this is truly one of those for the private sector is very, very important to our ability to be successful, to defend against the nefarious activities of nation states, terrorist groups. some kid sitting in a basement somewhere trying to hack into a
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system, maybe not necessarily with bad things in mind but it could cause bad things. one of my great concerns is to make sure the grid is resilient and it's reliable. and i worry about not just the chinese or the russians or the iranian hacking in. you can read the newspaper and know that they are actively involved in not, becoming more and more sophisticated. it is why our effort to maintain the lead on supercomputing is so important. congress understands the reason they are funding at the levels they are our ability to stay in the lead and not rate is imperative because whoever gets to quantum computing first wins. >> how far are we away from winning? >> we've got the most powerful at the moment. the chinese are working
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diligently to reclaim not place because they did have it prior to eight months ago. it is an area of concern as it should be. it is tantamount to the national security of this country. so, we know what is at stake here, but i'm also very confident of the capabilities in our national labs, in our private sector to maintain the safety and security of the american people. >> one of the other parts of the department of energy that i particularly enjoyed working with is the advance research team and working on battery storage and innovations that are really climate directed, but also efficiencies. i'm wondering if you've had a chance to meet or look at that environment and tell us how the system is. >> i try to give people a little
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background. while i was governor of texas, we created a program called the emerging technology fund, taking taxpayer dollars with a scientific oversight group that tested all the people who came forward and applied for these grants. it was incredibly successful. and so, when i got here, i was already wired to support that type of concept. >> host: scientific oversight groups. that's good. [laughter] >> i like scientific oversight groups. it's a rare thing to talk about. >> anyway, long story short, it has its place, it has its role. i'm certainly a proponent of it. congress is very supportive of that. it is continuing to be funded.
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it is continuing to go forward to look at the innovative progress and they come through and get proper oversight. here's what i always liked to tell people as well. there is not a bank in america. i've got friends who say that's not government's role. you're not supposed to be involved in that. the money is being put into something the private sector ought to be doing. i tell them, and i say i totally disagree with that. and i disagree with that because darpa, the defense advanced research agents be, it was created because in 1941, america got surprised because we hadn't kept up with what was going on in the world. darpa basically was created so america never would be surprised again by what was going on. i have been to make it thinks -- think it makes an abundant good sense. we are going to throw things at the wall and some of it's not going to stick. we will make some investments that don't show a return on
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investments. but there's some debate in america that's got a 1000% on the buzz they make. duo piously, have the right type of oversight and what have you because i want america on the cutting edge. i don't want it to be just swell, and economically it's working. >> what's my excuse when the lights don't come on? and i have done everything reasonably to put those types of programs, science and place. i happen to think that is being totally immoral. >> thank you for that page is wrapping up is covered so much in there so much more want to cover with you. it would be a such a. i know that your dream in round
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top texas is that your future or do you have what john kerry may be thinking -- >> let me give you the background and not. when i left texas a&m in 1972 is headed to the air force. my two best friends were headed to the marine corps. we made a pac that when we finished up we were going to live in close proximity to each other. that was our aspiration for 22 years old. one of them one often spent or to seven years in the report, lieutenant general. the other one was a successful stop rocher after he finished his time in the marine corps. i did my time and came back and did the things that i did. today we live within 250, 350 yards of each other on the south side of the little town called round top, population 90 half way between houston and austin.


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