tv Interior Secretary Testifies on Presidents 2023 Budget CSPAN May 19, 2022 9:00pm-11:32pm EDT
jonathan missile watch "washington journal" live at seven eastern friday morning on c-span, on c-span now a free mobile app rejoined the discussions with your phone calls, facebook comments, texan tweets. ♪ c-span is your unfiltered view of government funded by these television companies and more. including buckeye broadband. ♪ : :
review the president's proposed budget for the department of interior. i'd like to welcome secretary haaland and the deputy secretary to the committee as well as the budget director denise flanagan. thank youth all for being here. the 2023 budget proposes just over $18 billion for the department of interior. that's an increase of $1.9 billion or almost 11% over the currentnt appropriated leve. on a positive note of thehe budt the budgetincludes significant g increases for most and almost 8% increase in staffing levelsal which is a much-needed much need restoration for the previous cuts. the budget also includes limitation of an agency deferred maintenance and other funding for the great american outdoors act. we are holding this hearing during trying times, putin's horrific invasion of ukraine, the weaponization of oil and gas, increasing energy and food prices worldwide and the growing challenge of competition with china. given the current situation it
is essential for the united states to step up to the plate as a superpower. that includes the responsible development of the energy and mineral resources. unfortunately even as we see russiaia wage a war in europe,on this administration has made its opposition to domestic oil and gas production crystal clear on and off federal lands andad waters. sec. haaland, before the committee early last year i told you i supported the administration to gain a brief pause to review the oil and gas program lease sales. in july while you were here during last year's hearing i made clear that the time had come and gone but almost a year and a half into the administration and as the world base we stopped no new leases while in the fall because of a court order the sales were subsequently vacated by another court and the administration for some reason declined to appealth or defend them. on the shore they finally have been scheduled for this june
with 20% of the nominated land made available. alongside the increased 18.75%, but again only because of the% court order to comply with requirements of the law that requires quarterly sales and the press secretary quicklyir clarified that the president's policy was to ban additional leasing. i'm sorry to say it's become crystal clear making good on that span a week ago today the department announced it wouldn't be holdingso the three remaining offshore lease sales that could be held under the current program. as you know, senator nana kelly and i wrote to the president urging him to develop and implement the next program without the delay. we pointed out the gulf of mexico producers are among the cleanest in the world andnd woud offset those shipped across oceans. we have no reason to believe auc new five-year offshore leasing program would be completed on time this summer as is required by law. order that if and when it is
completed it will actually provide any lease sales at all. if that's the case this will be the first time in history the replacement planit wasn't published on time. now the administration continues to say there are 9,000 sitting unused and that's why we don't need to do anymore leasing onshore or offshore so let's talk about this magic number, 9,000. first this is the number of onshore drilling permits and i will repeat on the shore drilling permits. that's a distinction that isn't beingrs made and an important oe when you realize it is being used as an argument against the offshore leasing. a second not focusing on onshore they pay to apply for the permit months if not longer in advance due to the arduous review process, and there might be more you need to do once you get the permit before you can drill. third, while it is true the number of joint permits a slightly higher than normal it is not true that they are setting news.
planning, scheduling, finding labor materials, these all take time which is why the permits are valid foror two years and cn be extended for good cause and this makes sense according to the bureau of land management over 7,000 of those permits were extended past the initial two-year term. now thee prices are high and we are quick to forget in april in and during the covid t pandemic so it isn't surprising the companies asked for extensions in the bill. i'm not naïve enough to how business operates. oil and gas companies get the and hold onto them at such a low rate compared to state and private land but it also makes sense to have them on the booster inventory even if it isn't necessary to develop them at all. we make it tooo easy. that's been the problem. that's what we thought we would get something back from you all that would show how we couldsy correct that. let me be clear and i believe it should be competitive in the
state and private markets and we shouldn't be making the public land is a basement deal. i also believe we ought to streamline the permitting process so it's more comparable to state and private land 12% they are willing to pay the 16 because of the time involved. but if administration's argument is industry is to blame for sitting on the leases into permits them, why don't they do something about it, why don't we make the changes? the fact is the department off interior already has authority to adjust the royalties to become competitive and address the spending, fix the rates and raise the rental to encourage production. so, for example if the concern is too many are not being developed in a timely manner the department could increase the rate over time to provide a financial disincentive. a disincentive against holding , leases for speculation alone.v you don't need legislation or authority to do this. you have the ability to do it and we've been looking for the plan. a dollar 50 an acre for the first years and thereafter that
is a sweetheart deal. it doesn't give the needed push to develop. instead, the schedule in june raises it to 18.75, which is a penalty on the shore which is further than i would have gone, and i've said that. it doesn't discourage sitting on the lease with the royalty on its own made of the disincentive pursuing federal leases. the investment in the sector i don't understand why they havest not made these commonsense changes we've talked about so let me throw out one other fact we haven't heard. they percentage of onshore leas and production is the highest it's been in the past 20 years. leasing is part of the cycle of development, and announcements that a new leasing isn't in line in the policy or taking concrete steps to block the limit it has a chilling effect and yes new sales were not new to the production but the administration shortsighted
approach that only focuses on current production puts america's energy security at risk. the fact is the federal leases onshore and offshore or producing domestic oil and gas, payingic more clean than what russia put in the market, aired on put in the market and what venezuela has ever put into the market. my frustration is an all-time high that we are talking to opec, iran and to increase output while at the same time we are blocking increased energy production at home. it makes no sense at all. just yesterday the administration began the process of easing sanctions on venezuela. if you can believe this. using the basic sanctions we've kept at bay by allowing chevron to begin negotiations with the venezuelan state owned oil companies about future activities. i guarantee it won't be clean. io understand it doesn't give e green light yet to go beyond the
talks it is a step in that direction and intent of what they want to do. what does it say to producers when we consider working with the venezuelan government that certainly doesn't share our values instead of supporting the production is this really in oue best interest, is this the best we can do? and in that the best interest of the free world is at stake. ist believe we have two critical goals in addressing climate change and energy security, actions like these don't get closer to either of the goals from the methane emissions standpoint it is the dirtiest anywhere in the role. putin's born in ukraine must serve a permanent wake-up call to the international community that we cannot rely upon communities like russia, venezuela or china for u.s. or allies energy security. the only way we will be able to guarantee energy security is to develop the technology to meet the climate goals and rely on b ourselves and our proven partners around the globe. w along the same lines i look
ahead to the transition and concernn about the nation's supply of critical minerals where the department plays an enormous role for the u.s. geological survey and bureau of land management. unlike oil and gas, the administration has sown interest on the reliance of china and others for key minerals however, these early steps require follow through. earlier this week senator murkowski and myself raised concerns about critical mineralr deadlines from the energy act that multiple agencies including here have not met. these reports are relatively easy compared to permitting the new mining operation. while domestic mining is a personal solution to the challenges, make no mistake we need to increase domestic production and processing where we are going to regret it one day because they are taking note. that's even more important with the administration so focused on electric vehicles that will increase the demand for nickel,
lithium, graphite. the reality is if we are serious about both climate and security, and to some point in the near future, new critical mineral mines will need to open and we will need onshore processing refining, manufacturing and recycling. given my experience in the so-calledl leasing policy and e act deadlines, i must admit i am skeptical of his administration will ultimately support the development of these types of critical minerals, projects in the united states of america. given my experience in the deadlines, i must admit again that i am concerned. i hope for the sake of the countries that i am provenli wrong. now i recognize senator barrasso for his opening statement. >> thanks for your very strong and compelling statement about the needs for affordable energy on the day that gas prices continue to hit highs across the
country. american consumers are suffering significantly. the administration doesn't seem to care very much about what the impact is on american families who are trying to buy gasoline into the same time buy groceries and atad the same time send kids to school and buy clothing and may be considered something they would like to do for the summer but the gasoline prices as a result of the activities specifically the department of interior activities, it is challenging for american families, which is no surprise then that under this administration three out of four think the country is headed in the wrong direction, so i'm very happy that you are holding this hearing today and happy for the strong statement that you've had, mr. chair man, much more reflective to the needs of the american people than the needs and demands of the climate elitist of the country running this administration. i do want to thank the secretary testify today.tomi the department of interior is the steward for 20% of america's land and much of america's waters. most of the land is in the west.
in wyoming half of the land is owned by the federal government. this includes indian reservations, wildlife refugees, national parks, national recreation areas andnd the bureu of land management holdings. in wyoming we are proud of our natural parks. each year we host millions of visitors that come to enjoy the spectacular views and iconic wildlife of the national parks. this year is a landmark for wyoming in the park service as we celebrateta the 150th anniversary of yellowstone. the department also manages water and fights wildfires, overseas grazing and facilitates outdoor recreation. the west is confronting a historic drought with reservoirs drying up it concerns me that they bureau of reclamation waswe the only bureau at the interior department that was actually cut in the budget request this year. the department needs to prioritize the ranching and farming communities without water to grow the crops and raise the cattle, these
communities wouldur not exist ad the food needs of the american people would be even more dire and expensive.cr the department also oversees much of america's energy reserves. no department plays a more critical role in either enabling or undermining either or, enabling o or undermining amerin energy production. it seems todayep this department iscr undermining american energy production. with inflation at a 40 year high and energy prices skyrocketing, the job of the secretary of interior is pivotal. during the last year gas prices have repeatedly hit new records forcing american families to spend more on filling their tanks. every day i hear from wyoming family is worried about making ends meett because of skyrocketing energy costs and i don't know if you solis this morning the prediction they are talking now six dollars a gallon of gasoline this summer later in the summer all across the united states. there's no place you can gomi
whereta it's less than four dollars a gallon. during this energy crisis when the department could be opening up abundant oil and gas reserves, the department of interior has done everything possible to shut them down. the president says he wants his administration to encourage more american energy. instead, e the department, madam secretary, stole, postpones and kills oil and natural gas resales. the department is undermining domestic energy production, not expediting it. the results are apparent. since president biden took office, and americans have become much more dependent on foreign sources of energy. meanwhile the same administration spent much of its time begging the adversaries to produceon more oil. the administration and the president directly was either begging russia for more oil,
they needed to put it on the white house website. it's natural gas, coal. we have plentiful minerals in this country. we need to find ways to increase, not to decrease the most abundant natural resources. it wasn't long ago the revolution helped make the nation's energy not just independent but dominate. america was uniquely positioned to help our allies free themselves from the yoke of russian energy. sadly this administration has brought us to a counter resolution complete with higher prices and a weakened economy. not what a president should be proud of and the american people's polling shows that the american people are very disturbed by what this administration is doing. now is the time to reverse course. i hope we can begin to identify areas we can work together to make american energy dominant
again by working to restore american energy dominance, this department of interior could play a vital role in reducing the economic distress that has been caused by this administration and millions of americans. i hope that you and the administration will seize the moment and reverse your destructive course,mi and it is self-destructive. members of the committee are also concerned with the failure to respect the senate oversight responsibilities. you promised this wouldn'tti happen, but it has. it was only two weeks ago that we finally received responses to questions for the record from last year's budget hearings. last year's hearings we received answers to two weeks ago. the pattern hasfr become very clear in this administration and the department specifically after delaying and obstructing and outright ignoring the kennedy the responses failed to provide answers to the questions that were posed.
madam secretary this needs to thchange so i look forward to yr testimony and thank you for joining us today.s >> thank you, senator. now sec. haaland for her openinn statement. >> chair man manchin, ranking member of ernesto and members of the committee it is an honor and a privilegege to be here on the homelands of the anna coston people to speak with you today on behalf of theo, president's 2023 budget for the department of the interior. i've had the honor of being the secretary of the interior for over a year now and i recognize the importance of this moment. for the future of the department and our country through my travels and working here in washington, d.c. i have seen firsthand how every day andiz every corner of the country our employees go to work with a focus on results. they work with their local communities, states, tribal nations and other partners to conserve the nation'ss natural
resources and cultural heritage for the benefit of everyone. the programs are helping generate jobs, grow the economy and build resilience to the challenges of the changing climate. i'm grateful that over the past year i've been able to visit many of your states and to meet the great people that you represent and it's my hope these visits will continue in the future. the work wet do wouldn't we bepossible without your leadersp and support and i look forward to continuing collaboration on so w many of these important issues. before we turn our attention to the budget, i've gotten a lot of questions about the outer continental shelf five-year planning process so i want to talk about that upfront. the previous administration has stopped work in 2018 on the new five-year plan so there has been a lot to do to catch up on this. very conflicting litigation has also been a factor but of course as i stated previously, we are
moving forward expeditiously and at the department will release the proposed program which is the next step in the five-year planning process by june 30th which is the expiration of the current program. as we take the next step, we will follow the science and the law as we always do. this requires a robust and transparent review process that includes input from the public, states and tribes to inform the decision-making. we take this responsibility seriously and are prejudging an outcome. i welcome your continued interest in inquiries and my team will follow up next month with details of a proposed plan. working together, we have the ability to make tangible differences in the lives of families across the country. i am proud we have made great progress in the last year. we took steps to accelerate the development of renewable energy on public lands and waters and
launched a federal boarding school initiative to address the intergenerational impact of indian boarding school policies, deployed resources to build resilience to address the drought crisis, pursuit of justice for missing or murdered indigenous people and worked to keep tribal communities safe, and we helped communities prepare against the threat of fire by strengthening the federal firefighting workforce and the resilience of our land. we also began implementing the bipartisan infrastructure law. once in a generation investments that will help communities tackle the climate crisis while creating jobs, advancing environmental justice and boosting local economies. this funding is already at work and interior, kickstartingju ongoing efforts to address intensifying drought, wild fire, flooding and legacy pollution. the president's 2023 budget complements this with the request of 18.1 billion for the
interior department. our total request is a 12% increase from the 2022 enacted appropriation. specifically, the president's budget invests in the country with an unprecedented total of 4.5 billion for indian affairs programs focused on tribal sovereignty and stronger tribal communities. up to 1.5 billion for wild fire management to increase firefighting capacity to continue the transformation to a more permanent and professional workforce and edge were federal firefighters are paid at least $15 an hour complementing the transformative investment of the bipartisan infrastructure law, the 2023 budget includes 1.4 billion for reclamation programs and projects. a total of 4.9 billion across the interior to strengthen the natural resource management and improve the resilience of tribal and interior management lamps,
125 million to advance the president's ambitious clean energy goal by increasing offshore wind energy power generation andnd permitting ofe onshore renewable energy technologies. more than $1.4 billion for the research and development programs across the department to ensure science continues to underpin interior's core mission activities and implementation of the department wide diversity, equity inclusion and accessibility initiative to proactively advance equity, civil rights, racial justice and equal opportunities. i have great ambitions for the department of the interiord and what we can accomplish on behalf of the american people. working together, we can do more to create good paying union jobs, increase the resilience of our land, expanded the ability to fight fires and mitigate drought, strengthen nations, improve the lives of americans everywhere. in conclusion, we are doing our part to advance priorities that
build a better america. thank you again for having me. my colleague, deputy secretary and our budget director denise flanagin. we are happy to be here and answer any questions that you have. >> thank you madam secretary and i'm going to turn now [inaudible] not a hearing but it's hectic. thank you for the courtesy and just a word on this energy debate and then i'm going to go to for the street and a number of colleagues have heard this. i think that there is a path out of the traditional gridlock with respect to energy policy. a number of you know about this because it was actually first here in the energy committee ani
its promise on technological neutrality, market oriented, private sector incentives for reducing carbon and i would note this morning the chamber of commerce wrote everybody to say they like technological neutrality. environmental folks like technological neutrality and i just wanted to spend a quick minute andik appreciate the courtesy ofen the chair to say t seems to me all of the committees, and i see my friend senator murkowski because she was around when we first, this idea of technological neutrality with respect to energy andes getting government out of the business, so i just wanted to say a quick word as we work together on this issue. madam secretary, great to see you. as you know, the west right now and i see my friend here we are consumed by the prospect of
another very difficult summer being hammered by fire. we know thesee fires today they are not your grandfather's fires. they are bigger, hotter, more powerful, we are getting whole towns. what i would like to start with as you know wet were able to secure a significant amount of funding for wild fire management in the infrastructure bill, $5 billion. the rural communities are looking at this as a lifeline and i think that it would be very helpful if you could start in and talk for example how this money can be used and when it can be used for targeted settings are prescribed fire, fuel, treatment. if you could walk through the plans to use that money to help the west because i tell you everything we are seeing it's
another very ominous fire season. >> thank you, senator., i understand what you're saying. new mexico is facing already a terrible fire year it's devastating and heartbreaking. friends of ours having to evacuate. we understand that completely and i am sorry.. there is a terrible drought as you know in the west. we are very grateful for the overall investments, for the bipartisan infrastructure law close to 1.5 billion over five years that will work on the management and rehabilitation. i also want to say upfront very proud to have a strong working relationship with sec. vilsack and the team on the forest service to make sure we are working together to do all we
can. we need to make sure we have the boots on the ground in those areas so one of the things we are addressing, and i mentioned in my opening remarks were working to make sure firefighters make at least $15 an hour moving seasonal jobs into full-time jobs. so, all of those things. of the equipment, the people, the fuel management in those areas, it's all important to us and we are working together to make sure. >> one other question if i might, andnd i especially appreciate the extra pay for firefighters. this has been so outrageous to see folks not getting paid even anything resembling the federal wage. i've been at town hall meetings and i'm still hearing from a lot of folks on the ground, local
agency is that they haven't rogotten the information they nd with respect to how the federal government is going to work with them for the wild fire response. do you have plans you could give us?? do you have plans you could get us so we could get them out to the local agencies because i'm still getting a lot of questions on that and maybe you could describe. i'm almost out of time.ou >> we are more than happy to give as many details as you would like. our staff will absolutely reach out to your staff and if there are specific questions about specific numbers of acreages and funding and so forth, we can put all those things together to make sure you have the answers. >> whatever you have in writing would be great. you've always been responsive. i remember working with you in the house.
thank you. senator barrasso. >> first i did note the people of oregon gave a 90% victory inn the primary so clearly you are turning around the state and people are listening to you and you are listening to them. madam secretary, the president has repeatedly claimed to be doing, quote,, everything he could do to lower the record high gasoline and energy prices. april 15th your department announced it was complying with a federal court order to hold onshore oil and gas leases and you then reduced those offered by ed percent. then you increased the royalty by 50%. so you get less, you pay more. it seems like it's sec. haaland's price hike not to putin. please explain how your price hike on american energy production is going to help lower gasoline at home energy prices. >> senator, ranking member thank
you for the questions. with respectct to current energ, drilling has been up. they began nearly 1900 in 2021 alone. we've issued and approved more than 4700 drilling permits since january 2021. 112022 alone. we have worked to do our job. we are following the science and following the law with respect to some of the reforms that we made i feel very -- i take my job very seriously. it's my job to manage and conserve all of our public land for every single american. those of course are the things that are all taken into consideration, considering the climate crisis that we are in.
we felt implementing several reforms such as issuing leases where the current infrastructure exists, for example would move the country forward with respect to making sure we are conserving the land and also doing our job to produce energy. >> thank youth madam secretary. you and i both know taxpayers get absolutely zero return when we keep american energy in the ground and turned to venezuela or iran or others. madam secretary, close review of the parcels that were offered in my home state of wyoming shows that you're only offering parcels that are likely to have little interest. for examplet they are not merer existing infrastructure. why aren't we offering and you offering the most attractive parcels? >> senator, i would be happy to
look into that. we speak to people on the ground. we have an idea of where the leases should happen. it is i mean there is a science behind it. i -- if you would like we would be happy to follow-up with you on any specific parcels that you are referring to. >> thank you. that would be very helpful, because the producers and wyoming are telling me that the best parcels have been taken off the table. and if you actually want to produce more american energy, you wanted to take the best leasing options off the table. i wanted to move on to this morning you announced the department would release a proposed five-year plan on offshore oil and gas leases. you were way behind schedule, not providing any details on the plan.. two weeks ago the senate voted a to support my motion to finalize new five-year plan by june of
2022. that's coming up in about six weeks. my emotion requires the new plan to include robust leasing with at least ten sales off of alaska in the gulf of mexico with a minimum of two sales perer calendar year. a large majority of this committee, both sides of the oil voted for it and it passed the senate. will you finalize a new five-year plan by this date the senate in a bipartisan way he is recommending that includes at least ten regional wide sales offf of alaska and the gulf of mexico with at least two sales per year? >> as i mentioned in my opening remarks, we are working on the process and w we have been workg on that process. there was, you know, the process was stopped in 2018 as i mentioned so there was a lot to catch up on. i will be happy to run a transparent process ands we wil doon what's required through the
law and we are happy to keep you updated as to the progress that we are making on the five-year plan. >> of the administration can't have it both ways. theas administration can't pretd to support oil and gas production while doing everything in their power to slow down and block expanded production on public land. thank you mr. chairman.on >> thank you, mr. senator and i will defer my questions if youxp don't mind. i would like to ask the same thing and follow-up with onshore and offshore. can you commit to doing the policing. i know you are going to doowo te plan and are committed to because there's no guarantee that's goingg to happen on eitr onshore or offshore. if you can't answer, iin understand where i have to get the answer from. if you can is your intent to lease?un >> thank you, chairman. our intent is to follow the law.
we know that this five-year plan is in the works right now. i couldn't tell you if i tried what is in it at the moment. >> i am so sorry to interrupt you, but never before has there not been at least as i know in the plan was put forward as close with the intent to lease it was followed up with leasing. you seem to be hesitant and i understand. i am not trying to put you in a tough spot.as i just want to know is the administration, your top people with you right now, is your intent to lease unless you are stopped from leasing? >> mr. chair man, we have continued to lease and in fact i won't mention the permits because i know that isn't something you want to hear but truthh be told, right now currently onshore there's more than 12 million acres under lease and offshore more than
8 million. it's clear that we are leasing. >> those have been previous to the bottom line is you have the ability to make some of the changes as we recommended. there's practical changes that should have been made by now. you don't need us. you can review it and if we think we you are out of bounds we will pull you back in but we think basically there needs to be adjustments. private sector understands it.ne they will hold if they are as cheap as they are so there's a lot of adjustments that could be made. i'm not going to belabor this anymore. but i am going to do is my good friend here from mexico, senator heinrich has shown me the fires they are dealing with the new mexico and all over the west. those of us on the east coast don't really understand so i started asking questions to the people who do, the timber industry and i found out that on private lands, local citizens
can act as good samaritans and put it out before it gets out of control. if it happens on a federal land, they are not able to do this. it doesn't make any sense to me. i talked to people who basically had contracts. they couldn't act quick enough to put it out before. they had to call the federal government and by the time you get there you have a raging out of control fire. i never knew this and this is something new to me and it doesn't make any sense. i'm sure they didn't intend for that to happen but they are telling me they cannot go in is a good samaritant' on federal land. is that what you understand? >> i'm happy to look into this for you. i appreciate your concern.
>> i'm sure my senators here -- you want to say something to that? >> i'm just walking in but i would say my community is after severe fire several years ago we found them every year but after the loss of for firefighters i think people do believe the community can be involved in hasty response and it's ano integrated system of officials and people working together to jump on the changes in the climate driving much warmer temperatures. he has the incident respond command and they will tell you and show you the mapping with dry conditions fire starts are so much more easily to happen so we have to create a system that
responds to that because the escalation if everything is drier and you have the ability to have more fire starts having hasty response we've done some work on this -- >> let me say if i may i was talking to one of the larger companies that do timbering onf federal lands and there's no quick response and he told me they saw the lightning strike and fire started and had to call it in and that didn't make sense tod me. is there a prohibition is all i'm going to say? if there is not, they misled me. if there is, we've got to change that because these are professional timber people it's in their best interest to stop the fire before it grows out of control so i'm just asking that question. i know we are taking a long time and i have another question to ask. >> if i could say very quickly
we work consistently with n states, tribes, local communities to make sure that this is a coordinated effort and we know how important and dire the situation is. >> i have one more question on that note and i will turn to my fellow colleagues. i've heard so much about the flaring that goes on on public land. i know on private lands they do everything because it is a valued asset. it's a valued product. so why in the world what are are theydoing this? and i'm told they cannot get a permit to take the flaring where the methane off so my question has the department taken any steps to reduce on the public land by expediting through the process of getting a pipeline to take that off into the market that needs it?
>> chair man, thank you so much. yes we all need to reduce the methane. it causes a lot of health problems as well so i understand that. we are continuing to issue permits for gathering lines andh congress has provided additional authority. we will move that forward as we can and i appreciate that being an priority. >> we've had some horrific -- a firefighter took a life. we took additional funding and infrastructure bipartisan bill. have you started using that funding to try to address the
mental health illness problems we have with these brave firefighters? >> we are working on that and agree that is something that absolutely is a priority for the department. >> senator daynes. >> the chair, thank you. mr. secretary, i want to thank you for beginning the process and releasing the initial investigative report of the tragic history of the federal boarding schoolnn policies. it's extremely important to me and the tribes and i look forward to working with you on this issue going forward, so i want to thank you. under the endangered species act, the secretary of interior has 900 days to respond to list or d list the species. it's been nearly 150 days since the montana governor filed a
petition to delist the northern continental divide population and 130 days since the governor of wyoming filed a petition for the greater yellowstone system. during the confirmation hearing last year, you agreed the two populations had met the recovery criteria. why is the department delayed in responding too these petitions. >> thank you for the question. while they are working to complete the review of the petitions that you mentioned to delist, the implementation guided by science and of the law i would be happy when i returned this afternoon to my office to inquire a timeline and make
sure. >> they did respond to some activists who look to relist the wolf populations on may 206th and june 209thto so that's 114 days respectively. there's far more data supporting the recovery available free listing and after the petitions in part based on existing established data, not politics. >> i will find out where that is and make sure that they are responding appropriately. >> the state of montana responded to agency feedback regarding the conservation plan. could you have for not moving forward favorably?
>> senator, i want you to know we continuously work with states and tribes. i know martha especially being from wyoming is a contact with folks with the state government. i would be happy to look at their timeline. >> my opinion, martha is from montana. you had a material devoid of any facts or substance but nonetheless threatening montana with emergency listings. have the wolf populations in the northern rockies managed the unit fallen below 150?on >> i couldn't tell you the exact number but i would be happy to get that information. >> there's an estimated 1,176
alone this year. the target is 150 for that unit. so that's the number. sec. haaland, has the wolf population in either state fallen below 100 for three consecutive years in a row? >> what i could say is that i know they are doing well in certain parts of the country and not doing so well in other parts of the country. >> are they doing well in montana? >> senator, if i could say the work that we are doing with respect to wolves guided by the science and law's working within those parameters. >> i couldn't agree more with science and the law. you realize the gray wolf populations in montana have remained above a thousand wolves
for over ten consecutive years? >> senator, i don't know the exact number. i beg your pardon. i would be happy to get that number for you and make sure you have the information that you require. >> as you said, the science is important and the numbers are important, so i hope to get up to speed. it's not that hard to get the data. i would expect to have that in the hearing with all due respect. it shows montana's laws thatlawn montana. >> senator, i know they've made a remarkable comeback from when they were first listed. that is thanks to the partnerships that we have made. i know your state has done a remarkable job in ensuring that the ecosystems support the
animals better there. they will make a 12 month finding at the end of the review and we can update you further the data shows the wolf population are way over the target assh well as the grizzly bear population so it's time to delist and return the management of that wonderful species that is recovered back to the states of montana, idaho and wyoming. thank you. >> senator heinrich. >> thank you. and thank you for your interest in the fires. we are seeing really different behavior these days. we are in a drought that hasn't been this bad for 1200 years and we are seeing wind of this that we've never seen before. so, we have almost 2,000 people
on one fire and it's simply impossible for them to hold lines when we've had times there's been sevenpo or 89 in a row. if you 45 miles per hour you can't put the tankers up in the air. it's dangerous. you can't put the helicopters up inil the area and sometimes you can't put firefighters in fronti of these spotting fires and so it's just very, very difficult. we have to reevaluate how we fight fires and do prescriptions. i very much appreciate your interest because we are going to have to work together on it. secretary, i wanted to ask because you have been around for a couple of differentt administrations. oil and gas production at least in my state of new mexico onshore and offshore is at record levels actually and so a lot of the conversation has been
focused on leasing and then oallegations of the administration of anti-production. >> are we producing more oil and gas in new mexico -- >> according to the eia the production is up over 400% in the last decade it's hard to square away with some of the rhetoric that we hear on the hill. in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, congress finally authorized the dedicated abandoned reclamation program, something we needed for decades and decades and i was pleased to see in the president's budget request for the cleanup. but it's funded through the community revitalization program that is kind of designed to deal
with abandoned oilpr and gas wells. why not simply take that $85 million and fund the hard rock reclamation program that we authorized in the infrastructure bill? >> thank you for recognizing the need for us to clean up that legacy pollution across the country. we are grateful to have the opportunity to change people's lives in that way not only by not creating jobs but cleaning up their environment so the pollution doesn't cause health problems and so forth. i appreciate that comment and we are happy to speak with you we are happy to speak with you about this issue and follow the
lead the department is requesting 65 million to address these lines. >> i think it makes sense to stand up to a standalone program that focuses on this. i look forward to working with you on that. can you talk a little bit about how your tracking conservation progress? i know the president articulated some goals, the 30 by 30 goals out there but how are you actually tracking, you know, wetlands the interior have protected. >> thank you, senator. and thank you for mentioning the
america the beautiful initiative which is a very unifying opportunity for the country to conserve for the future. there is an atlas that is coming out. we are happy to keep you updated when we are rolling that out and i think it will be a great opportunity. >> i'm sorry. iby the end of the year. >> look forward to having the chance to review that when it comes out. >> the proposed program is and to issue specific leases were
authorized development. this is from your office, so it looks like you shut everything down. >> i'm sorry. i'm sitting in this hearing -- >> it shows what your intent is providing updates on offshore leasing program during the senate testimony. onat the energy and natural resources to daily and secretary of the interior confirmed despite the, delays and implementation from the previous administration the interior department will release the proposed program the next step in the planning process by june 30th, 2022 which is the expiration of the program. the proposed program is not a decision to issue specific
leases or drilling or development. so we are going to do the proposal, but it doesn't guarantee that it's going to do any leasing at all. >> you have a plan but went further to say that doesn't mean that you're issuing any specific leases. if you have a plan, we've never done this. for the history we've never done that before, not issue leases. the plan has always been a long-term five-year plan to lease. >> i don't believe that is saying that we are not going to do any of those things. >> may be i'm reading it wrong. we will get copies.
>> it is a three-step process. the trump administration did the first step in 2018 and then they dropped the process largely because the rhetoric caused a lot of alarm and pushback so it's appropriate to take a step and deliver it as we think about we will take a step number two in the three-step process. no decisions will be made until stepnu number three.
>> it's a lot longer than the deadline to evaluate where you were going. it would send the signal that you aread looking at that's goig to basically provide the uncertainty we can provide for ourselves in america the clean energy coming from the gulf. but we are getting this at the last possible day and the last possible minute. i hear you, chairman. as the secretary said we have a lot put into our lap that we have to sort through. when the american people put out a plan that caused panic in republican states like florida up and down the atlantic coast, we have to unpack all of that. >> we understand we are in challenging times right now but we can take care of ourselves in the united states.
withat that, senator cantwell. >> senator langford. >> let me finish up this conversation. june 30th, there's a release proposal there's going to be a comment period and everything else on offshore. when is the earliest we could actually start leasing? i have a lot of other questions i want to get into but when is the earliest business proposal we could start leasing because the plan is set to be done by that point. it's a proposal so when is c the earliest we could start leasing? >> ..
another 150 days after that. >> you are saying by the end of this year, i december 31 at that point with that calendar you will be able to start lacing at that point. >> i will absolutely keep you abreast of the progress we are ulmaking. hand make sure this committee knows. what's what is the dead light on it to begin start leasing to get to this point and have this process done? >> i don't think there is an
actual deadline. >> that is the concern actually all of us have there is no deadline. the proposal to talk about it is coming at the date it should be done and this is going to stretch out for the next two or three years of talking about it. and so we are trying to figure out what is the deadline to actually start leasing? >> will absolutely keep you informed. >> there is no deadline on it? >> not at this moment. >> only read a couple things by you part of a military base in oklahoma that is a large energy natural gas. natural priority for dod and others to make their basis more independent for energy at that point. retry to it technical assistance office for theio last five monts to try to get the details on this. can you commit to me we'llto be able to get some technical assistance? this is a priority of duty and obviously our state. but we are waiting on yourr team's about to finish this out. >> i am so sorryas if you been waiting on us. willou absolutely make sure settlement reaches out to your staff this afternoon for. >> be veryy helpful.
this is tried in oklahoma, veryt dependent and making decisions they're part of multiple decisions that are been delayed for a long time for this also deals with irradiation plugging in all kinds of things there. the council's been very interested in his delay, delay. the latest we just got back was sometimes in june were trying to fight will be going to get a decision on that. >> just want you to know assistant secretary brian newlin has been in touch with the tribe recently. he will continue to work with them. >> that was the letter that says will get back to in june producing that letter as well from brian. they're just looking what are they going to get answers? right now the getting will give you an answer to future date try to get resolution on it. the southwest them you may have heard about this week trying to get an update to your team are going to ask about this, the administration talks a lot about critical minerals development. in the southwest there is a company that is a trying to go
to the leasing process to do policing since 2017. and now there's a pretty dramatic change there is been a withholding the core of that lithium will expire there now saying you can do all of your development but not here in the core of action the project self. all they are looking for is the information and what they can get public about the actual mineral process itself. all they want isor engagement. they are not getting engagement at this point this is lithium deposit which i understand were trying to go after. so again engagement to get be able to do this. you talk before but some of the leasing onshore. you said you're trying to work with the different entities on trying get the best possible leases out there. ranking member had mentioned before in wyoming they are doing with the frustration of the best possible lease issue once not being allowed it's the ones that are far away from the
infrastructure. i'm interacting with companies that are saying there's a checkerboard of leases and they asked they are producing. they have got a lease and they cannot get the leases around it. they're not going to develop that lease until they know they can lease around it. this checkerboard is not being of made available to them. they are saying just on what yoh have got in there saying were not going to really do long-term intensivede development there ad bring additional employees and additional supplies until we know we can actually connect these leases and do development. that's not being allowed by your team for they have reached out multiple times to the team to say will you talk to us about these leases being made available? the answer they are getting a zero. they're not getting a response at all audit. the frustration here is making the right leases available that's where the actual infrastructure is.
we don't want more development in this area will make it more expensive and harder to get to those leases rather than get to the expensive where where we have reserves being made available. >> thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. i will absolutely make sure my staff reaches out to you and reaches out to them. i apologize for that. for that noncommunication. >> thank you we all want to be able to get more energy put our prices depend on at this point to get access t to that. >> thank you's editor. enter cantwell. >> thank you, mr. chairman madam secretary good to see you. i wanted to get three things covered if ipo could. but first is the fire season we have gotten from the incident predictive services what fire season will look like significant fire threat above normal for august. sorry i do not have a larger chart there.
obviously my eye goes to washington right away. the central part of our state which is where we are always concerned. although that red area goes all the over too. spokane. i wanted to ask you about rick weather predictor 73% of the fires that were started in our state were started from lightning strikes. the weather and weather predictive issues that's matter. senator sullivan and i introduced a bill to upgrade the noaa weather forecasting capabilities to give us more accurate data. this is helpful not only in caching services in advance, when we know where fires are going to be but also protection of our firefighting personnel. we had an incident or problem if you would have been listening to the forecasting in seattle we would not have sent people out just like my colleague was saying high winds for the forecast on the ground did notn think the winds were going to be thatwe high. obviously we ended up with
fatalities that day. so,ds what will interior do to work with noah to better integrate forecasting capabilities in the operations and management? >> thank you very much senator. your absolutely write better forecasting cannot fire managers and planning in the firefighting efforts on the ground. we work with noah all of the time. we work with our colleagues across the federal government for issues such as this. for sure we are reaching out to noah specifically on this issue and doing all we can be. >> if we not need an mou or something whatever we need in the government to help we do that it's important. the second map is on drought conditions. again, you think rainy seattle what you're talking about? the central part of our state the big agricultural basin. i really start worrying about
wheat we talk about what's going on in ukraine the wheat production washington and idaho is quite significant. we are hearing from our wheat growers. we are still in drought conditions. that is why we fought for funding and technologies to look at aquifer recharge. do you believe getting this up and running as soon as possible first i just want to say our team, our assistant secretary for water and science her team is in such close contact with every state and focus on the ground and respect with this terrible drought on the west they work on that every single day. and certainly reclamation eligible projects for funding capabilities and needs.is
so thank you every tool in the toolbox is what we need to use in respect to this drought. it's the worst it's been in 1200 years. so i just want you to know we are doing everything that we possibly can and appreciate you bringing that. >> i think the recharge idea is a great idea. might need to get on and got on it quickly. the chairman had a meeting is unable to attend on canadian cooperation and issues related to mining. to me it showcases how canada has been successful and has eight royalties system. i do want us to work on critical minerals these are essential to key technologies from cobalt to lithium mineral magnets used in wind and electric vehicles proven to focus on making sure
the u.s. is included in cycling materials. do you think this royalty issue should be addressed here? both critical minerals appropriate places what you think about issue? >> thank you, senator. very proud to lead the united states geological survey there's a team of scientists they are there work on this issue every single day. they understand the present leadership with critical minerals and technology we are moving toward. also the interagency working group i was at their first
meeting working to make recommendations to all of us on how the mining law is 150 years old and is not had any changes since then. it is pretty clear our country has changed i am happy they have a chance to work on that we will take all of those recommendations to hearts. this anybody want to make a comment on the royalty issue? >> one of the changes that needs to be made is to provide us with royalty mechanism. no question for. >> thank you, mr. chairman. quick senator cassidy. >> thank you all. let's imagine someone is watching on c-span right now they are hearing to decide if you will from the chairman all the way over speaking about how this administration appears to have had a concerted effort to
block oil and gas development and you deny it. but the fact that you deny it if you had more production help lower the price att the pump ad lower the fuel price prices the air conditioning, heating prices for the folks at home. the mom who is watching on c-span is wondering how she's going to pay for her gasoline is wondering who to believe it is critical we apparently all agree if we increase production there might be some positive on the prices she's paying at the pump enter fuel bill. it's put action of this administration. but it out there. the first bigs present buying committee canceledat the pipeli, shipping oil from our closest allies down to the gulf coast to be processed in environmentally
sensitive way. halted all new oil and gas leasing the five-year offshore leasingd program that's a populr people who hate fossil fuel. did not appeal pressured financial markets into abandoning financing full fossil fuel projects i can keep going. now i have ten up could probably have 20. soso when i hear ono we are doig everything possible but what am i going to believe my lying eyes or this is just not making senso to me. when you say you could not get resells because rated cleanup all the uncertainty that are being carried by the previous administration along the atlantic, long florida et cetera we are talk about gulf coast lease sales not the eastern gulf but the central and western golf
i have a letter hear from the governor's includes the governor of alaska but mississippi, louisiana, alabama and texas. they want those lease sales there's no mess to clean up their it employs tens of thousands of americans. i would like to submit this for the record i assume it is even though my chair stepped out for a second the powers that be nodding their head yes. soso the idea there'd be some st of objection in the gulf coast to a lease sale is certainly not held up by the governors. i think the chairman's point you've waited until the last possible moment to put in the first stage when normally everything else would've been done by the date you are releasing the first stage is again telling. so for the person who is
watching, madam secretary you have mentioned climate several times pregnant for the administration the concern about missionsda is tough here comes fossil fuel develop her comes lowering the price of gas and climate. as a priority we can accept that priority. is it more environmentally friendly to develop and produce oil and gas resources of the coast of louisiana is more environmentally friendly to develop those resources in venezuela or another country abroad in terms of omissions in terms of climate? >> underwater can say is i think here in our country we care about our workers.
>> with american companies and american regulations over venezuelan standards and t crud. quick center i'm not an economist on engineer or a scientist. wes i'm almost out of time i get a sense this question is not going to be answered straightforwardly, no offense. there is a national lab is determined the admissions profile developing oil and gas off the coast of louisiana is the lowest in the world for that oil which is processed in louisiana, hold up the second one please. these are the countries we are asking to produce oil and gas as opposed to us with our workers in our lowest standards. now this is the crazy thing is you are concerned about climate should be producing ins. louisiana. lastly, you mention production is now higher that's not true in the gulf of mexico. in the gulf of mexico relative to when this demonstration took office we are down about 300,00a
literature from february. now that is a pretty significant decrease through thousand barrels a day or it may be have something later than is on e on my with eia. all points the salt on american oil and gas production is hurting a person is watching on c-span at home a job is being hurting the international environment. and with that i yield. >> chairman can i address? in the matter of statistics, calendar year 2020 they were 614 about 615 million barrels ande produce the gulf of mexico in
calendar year 21 they were 628 million barrels. are from blocking production we have seen production both onshore and offshore increase on public lands. >> can i just respond to that? that'sof been a little disingenuous and typical of this conversation. there's a huge decrease when covid hit. you are factoring in those the lowest amounts when covid hit and production fell all over. and now you're saying but the next year we did better. we had an artificial low if you want to look a month to month in january of 2020 there's 1,000,990 barrels of oil produced per month in the gulf. in the now company's february the latest numbers i have is 1,000,615. now that takes out the covid low
mind sees a more accurate analysis. >> it is the hypothesis is the administration is doing everything it can to block and prevent production. the data does not bear thatysyst are correct i disagree with that and i can show my first post or we have to agree to disagree. >> editor kelly pay. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as an engineer and somebody looked atwe the data the amountf carbon reduction offshore from louisiana is a lot less than what comes from venezuela. so secretary hollen, i want to thank you for today's announcement thean department wl produce a draft plan for the offshore gas and leasing program. well above the national average for hard-working families that commute to work and take their kids to school and struggled to biomedicine andnd groceries.
as chairman manchin mentioned in his opening remarks, the two of us center at manchin and i wrote a letter to the president urging him to develop the next five-year plan for offshore oil development in gulf of mexico those five-year programs as you know madam secretary are important they designate which areas are open for developments. they send a signal to the market as well future projects.go you will produce a draft of five-year offshore plan next month is helpful. assume that we get a finalize plan for the department of interior? >> thank you for the question senator. and as i mentioned earlier we are working expeditiously to move this forward. i know my team i won't growth all through all of the steps we
essentially have to start from scratch on this issue several other steps besides 90 day public comment. followed by another that could be adopted 60 days later. we are happy to keep you updated on our progress on this issue. will be happy to keep you updated big. >> 90 days plus the 60 days it all looks like november 30. is there any way to accelerate that? >> as i mentioned we are working expeditiously. >> rate. thank you madam secretary pretty want to transition a little bit to drought and water in the
west. worst drought in 1200 years it is been going on for two decades. the supply of the colorado river water is tightening faster than experts predicted. we have already, and arizona curtailed about one third of our share voluntarily of the colorado river water. lake powell is so low the glen canyon dam is getting close to not being able to generate power anymore. that energy -- renewable energy goes to 5 billion people in six states. the department of interior budget request for drought contingency5 operations in the basin totals $18.7 million. that funding would be used for water conservation and following plan to stabilize water levels
in lake powell, in lake bead. the president's request for drought contingency operationsls is simply not enough. $18.7 million is not enough money for this. senator, i am always, always happy to work with you. i do want to -- yes recognize how terrible this drought is. i am from new mexico. you see the fires that are happening because of it. f so yes, we are always more than happy to work with you. >> we are on the verge of another horrible fire season as well. in new mexico we have the first or second worst fire in the states history here that was just burning a couple weeks ago. at the time that fire was burning with three major fires in the state of arizona. this is related to how dry our states are.
and we need more help from the administration. thank you madam secretary.we click senator lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman, secretary i understand you will be in utah next week for the signing of the navajo water rights agreement i want to thank you for your work on that issue in your collaboration on these and many other issues.r madam secretary general of 2021 shortly after he took office president biden told there american public he was placing this oratory them on gas and oil leases.af he informed them be contingent upon a report to be produced by your department the department of the interior regarding the oil and gas leasing program.yo a couple things have happened since then. what is the report has been produced and released by your department. the other is there's been a
court order concluding the president lacks the authority to issue this moratorium to begin with. and your department chose not to appeal that court ruling. in light of this is the president want to continue the oil and glatt gas leasing moratorium? >> senator, there is not ahe moratorium. x you are saying he does not want to continue one. the leasing is resumed, number one offshore leasing has not resumed. you have cut onshore leasing by 80%. at the same time impose a 50% royalty hike which will be passed on an energy crisis in
which they are tired of paying $5 soon to be $6 gas. so would you advise the president to reinstate the oil and gasoline moratorium yes or no? >> no. there was a pause there is not a moratorium there's not a moratorium now. >> there is a pause there is not a moratorium now but seems like there is a defective moratorium no leasing going on offshore and onshore is been restricted by 80% with further discouragement provided by 50% royalty issue passed on to consumers who are tired of paying $5 soon to be six telegram gas. we have seen this pattern of attacks on the oil and gas industry. and just last week the department canceled three scheduled auctions that would have opened up space in the inlets in the gulf of mexico for
energy production. a couple of interesting things about this for the white house claimant advisor told the reporter that offshore lease sale had been canceled. she did so before the cancellation was even made public. you authorize her to make that statement, that announcement? >> i don't believe i spoke with ms. mccarthy. >> you did not authorize it? just last month she also told msnbc that quote president biden remain aptly committed to not moving forward with additional drilling on public land to do a group ms. mccarthy is that statement yes or no? >> senator i am working to leave the department of the interior. >> i get that big cube group their statement or not? >> i don't know. i did not speak with ms. mccarthy i don't speak with
them about any statements that they make big. >> i didn't asked that i ask if he agreed that your answers you don't know, it's perfectly legitimate answer i suppose but troubling in some ways. now, with respect to the cook inlet lease which was canceled your department the department of interior said too quote "blak of industry -- in that lease. it seems to me industry interest cannot reason be gauged or gauged at all to the extent or value of the actual bids are made clear. does this mean you're going to force companies to tip their hand, show their cards every time they want to pursue a leasing opportunity? i think we need it's our job we need to reach out to companies gauging their interest by speaking with them does not make interest to move forward.
>> was a relatively low producing lease, correct? next i grew up on the cook inlet i would just say. >> more responsive to my question, the relatively small one. interestingly enough the department of the interior determines concluded by not offering even this relatively small lease in the cook inlet oil prices would rise by 1% this is your department concluding this. oil prices would rise by about 1 cent per gallon per barrel. it withheld those leases anywayo in the midst of an energy crisis tired of paying $5 a gallon gas
soon to be $6 a gallon gas. it will keep up with the charges of $10 or more a gallon gas. those aren't much much larger, they arere huge. they conducted an analysis of those goals leases madam secretary yes or no cracks at be happy to get to that answer senator i could not you atas the moment. the mutantca invalidated if it
chose not to appeal that some ofrt those leases will be awarded or drilled an appellate lawyer i would suspect is likely one of two explanations for this either you are happy with the result you like the result or alternatively new the environmental worker department had donesp, on this was sloppy. so which wasl it? >> what i could say about that is our solicitors, they consult with the department of justice on these issues. they make the determination whether a pill should take place. >> we have a department that is not allowed oil and gas leasing. they have hiked loyalties they have taken things out of eligibilityy for leasing.
paying dearly in the american deserve better precooked center thank you senator hickam looper? can only imagine the state of mexico and for this to be on the receivingo end of such pointed questions it's a difficult to how to interpret what the white house and others are saying. i feel remarkable empathy for the process. it does not make me want us talk about the geological survey the 23% is what is is not enough of an increase, i'm just kidding. i think it's a long overdue increase. i things we go through this transition senator lee and so many people to make sure have a
balanced approach. into cleanrn energy economy boue that on the backs of working people we cannot afford to spend $100 or even $80 to fill up their cars. we call critical minerals they are hard to find here. we are heavily reliant onn imports as you know. somehow we need to decrease and figure out how to improve our domestic supply chain. for supply chain literature critical minerals. i realize you not going to build to give all of the details and
you might help in on this. i am curious what that looks like how can the department of interior help bolster our domestic critical minerals supply chain? >> thank you for asking that senator. first i just want to say that i recognize how difficult times are for people. i was a single mom and so i understand what everyone is talking about. thank you for letting me say that. as a infrastructure law made a major investment in the u.s. geologicalg survey first mri program. and that would be spending of $320 million over five years. the bipartisan infrastructure law also set a tenure initial goal for that program. we expect to have a map of the majority of errors believed to
have sub surface critical mineral potential. if during that time or within that time we will develop first generation inventory. i also mentioned earlier, the interagency workgroup that wants to move the efficiency of that forward. i don't feel like say anything? >> i agree it is as directed by the president. one of the primary goals of the interagency working group is to move forward on domestic sourcing. including mining but also through new technology development as well as recycling. it is also, i know you know this better than anyone senator hickam looper, part of the challenges in the 1872 mining laws. with renewable energy we can have a leasing program and d
conflicts resource, potential resource from tribal conflicts, wildlife conflicts we are not able to do that and of the 1872. one of the things we will be working with congress on is to modernize the law. not every century may be other century we should take a look. >> i think is an eager participant's here. can chime in. the expanded leadership the westernn headquarters. we want to make sure there's an adequate presence how is that
going to be able to offer concrete information not just the number of employees but the leadershipto positions as we go forward? >> if talked about the same number of times in a voice been so happy to visit colorado when i've had those opportunities. i had a meeting with the employees there. over the internet were still encoded. but you probably know the blm started an employee advisory group. they are working right now to make those recommendations for all of the potential positions for the western headquarters, will obsolete be reviewing those recommendations soon and expect to be able to announce those roles and possibly the number sometime in thewe near future.
you want to reach out to us any time will happy to give you an update on where we are on that. i think we are in pretty close contact with your staff in your office. >> think your staff is probably tired of our phone calls. two visits to colorado werero warmly received by republicans and democrats her willingness to go out toe grand junction their own town and on home spoke volumes this time most that we appreciate it. you'll back to the chair. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here today and being the senator from mississippi i to want to talk about the gulf of mexico. i am in very, very close contact with the producers down there. and the companies that are concerned about these leases. offshore oil and gas production
in the gulf of mexico has proven so many times that it is the cleanest on the planet due toho the stringent environmental s safety standards that we have to meet down there. it provides a 15% of the u.s. production and it is a critical source of reliable and affordable energy. so, despite these benefits, the lease is required by law or cancel at a time when our nation is set a record high gasoline and diesel gasoline prices. at the same time president biden claims administration policy and back domestic energy productionn you know, we have charts of the decline of the gulf of mexico, 5% since january of 2021. so my question to you madam secretary is, what does your department have against
utilizing the gulf of mexico production for domestic energy? this makes no sense whatsoever. so can you just explained to me what your department has against utilizing this? ask senator, we are perfectly moving forward in all of the work that we have too. we don't prioritize one lease over the other or one area over the other. i'm not exactly sure. we don't have anything against free. >> the lease was canceled week before last those two leases canceled? ask the same time the alaskan lease was canceled vo2 from the gulf of mexico one from alaska where the two from the gulf of mexico canceled?
>> thank you, senator. it was likely because of the conflicting litigation that isd? happening i believe that is what you could be talking about in the case of the two sales of conflicting litigation made it extremely difficult to move forward given the legalin parameters we were trying to deal with the timelines and so forth.ga >> so are you willing to work to improve this or this decline of 5% since 2021? do you expect to increase those leases in the gulf of mexico? >> i know that we are working hard as i mentioned many times even when i was before this committee during my confirmation hearing we are working very hard to balance the use of public
lands knowing they are public and they belong to every single american. also we know we are working hard with the fossil fuel program to take climate change into account. i appreciate all of the information from you and senator cassidy about the durability and the cleanness of the gulf of mexico oil. i am more than happy to make sure we continue to work with your office moving forward for. >> i'm going to get onto my next question then. the piece that was passed along, we got hold of that earlier this morning, christopher got a hole of that. your department and for my staff this morning it would release the draft proposal on june the 30th. iis suppose that should be good
news i am just as interested whether or not is this an omission your department will fail to meet the the timeline for the final? >> the fact we essentially had to start from scratch on this program, as mentioned in previous administration stopped in 2018 and did not do any more work on it. so we picked that up and we got into office. >> i mean is this an omission you are not going to meet that final draft deadline of june the 30th yes or no. >> yes the final draft will not be out by june 30. x okay i have one minute. the white house recently stated the president's policy is to ban additional leasing. that is from an april 19
statement from the white house press secretary at that time for it is not a mind of the president's policy which is to ban additional leasing. we have seen the misguided cause is having on all american families is the interior department agree with such a policy? >> senator what i could say is i am guided by the law. >> it is a clear violation of your department's requirement to prepare and maintain a five-year program for the offshore leasing and development. so if you agree withh the law ae you saying you are in compliance with this now? >> we are working on it given the fact of the conflicting litigation we have of the fact the process was stopped in 2018 for three years. and we had pick it back up again. >> my time is up thank you, mr. chairman for. >> thank you and senator king.
>> i want to return to the budget. [laughter] as i recall it's the point of this hearing. started off. [laughter] okay .1 is quite deferring maintenance in the national parks. the budget you proposed its $2.8 billion for $400 billion worth ofnc assets. that is less than 1% to general industry standard is to -- 4%e f value for maintenance. we went through a lot of effort, time, struggle to pass the bipartisan great american outdoors action. a big part of which was to tackle deferred maintenance. but let's stop digging the hole, okay? i hope what you can do is come back with a revised request or work with us to increase the maintenance budget because it is not adequate 2.8 billion on $40 billion worth of assets is not adequate and it's pretty
frustrating as someone who really weree charred and americn outdoors active see thebi administration continuing a pattern and i'm not blaming this administration this goes back 3r years or 40 years. but continue a pattern of underfunding maintenance for therefore were going to have to do this again at some point in the future. i do not want to do that. let's do our maintenance as we should right now. >> thank you. second point, national park service staffing. there is increases in the budget. again they are not adequate for it senator daines and i have make it a recommendation should be 23000 full-time equivalents that is based on visitation rights and historical visitation rates. the problem is visitation keeps going up staffing the staying the same. that is not fair to the visitors. it's not fair to the park service staff that are being stressed and overworked. i had a chart i did not bring it today but at yellowstone for example staffing is pretty much the same as it was in 2011.
attendance and thus is true at acadia it's y true at yosemite, it's true across thehe country. so that is the second point i would like to work with you on increasing staffing numbers because again it's not fair to the visitors and to the staff to put them in that position. i hope you will work with me on that. >> absolutely yes. we absently agree i've traveled to a number of national parks across the country it is a similar story in many places. so thank you i am happy people are getting out to our national parks. >> i am too but we've got to maintain them and have them adequately staffed in order to maintain the experience. finall point following the leadership of my colleagues on the department of the budget for a minute, offshore wind is an enormously important potential energy source.
virtually all if not all of the offshore wind proposals that are out there have one thing in common, they are not really offshore wind. their onshore wind in the water. in other words they go to the ground. the towers go into thewi seabed. university of maine is been working for 14 years to develop a proposal for a floating offshore wind capacity which could be an enormous breakthrough because it opens up a much bigger area for potential offshore wind development. they have a proposal in they have been working with the department of energy on for many years the department of energy is made significant investment. this is a technical matter perhaps we need to talk to your counsel. senator collins and i wrote you a about this project. the response was we are working on it but we have to issue a request for other proposals because under the statute we
have to look for competition. the question is what is the meaning of the word competition? we believe it's competition for research which is what this project is not a commercial rate a research arete.we and we hope that can ber expedited. this is what i believe is one of the most important energy independence, clean energy projects in the country or in the world because offshore wind that is on a floating platform would be an enormous breakthrough.. so i hope you will go back and talk to people and the bureau of ocean energy management about expediting this process following the statute to be sure but not opening up to a lengthy competitive project for commercial use which is not what this project is. >> understand, thank you, senator. i will absolutely take that message back. >> i just when you know senator collins and i are actually committed to this project because we want to do the
research. maine has the highest percentage of fisheries related income of any country in the statete wantd things to want to know is what is the impact on fisheries? our fishing community is concerned about that. the only way we are goingo to know this is if we can do the research necessary. and again that's one of the reasons we want to move forward with this. i appreciate your commitment. i'm going to hold you to it. >> yes thank you and we are committed to offshore wind. in fact we have been working extremely hard and have had some tremendous success and offshore wind products moving forward. i was in california they were also talking about floating wind turbines they would toe out to the middle of the ocean. so i am happy to see that technology and research moving forward in appreciate your interest in it. i will make sure that i speak with amanda about this issue.
>> thank you we are ready to do it. we would really like to see an acceleration of the process within the constraints of the statute. thank you. click senator murkowski. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary i think it is important that i am here as the last member of this committee to ask my questions because so much of what my colleagues have hit on, unfortunately it comes back to my home state of alaska. the front peg of the anchorage daily news this morning talks about high fuel costs, theal village of no attack is paying $15.99 for fuel. their stove oil is now $16.47 throughout alaska we are above $5 a gallon. this is not just alaska ours are just more extreme. and as you know and has an impact on the mostt vulnerable. unfortunately this headline policy headline earlier this
past week with the announcement of the cancellation of the cook inlet leases. and again if you are concerned about your energy prices and yu are one of the 400,000 people, that live in the south central area that rely on natural gas coming out of cook inlet and now we are seeing the articles following about how the producers are going to be able to fulfill the contracts for natural gas for people there in that region, they are wondering what is going to happen on that front. but they know this news follows what we have seen with the actions from the biden administration with regards to the npr a basically taking half of npr a off-line. of course this follows the news from the very early days of the biden administration when the animal releases we work so hard to help facilitate were polled. this follows the news with
regards and limiting any opportunity for -- limiting the opportunity for economic development in the southeastern part of the state. just yesterday in the anchorage daily news is an article the feds are suing the state of alaska unprecedented to have federal legislation against the state of alaska. it just it is kind of cumulative where again you have to understand where the average alaskan is looking at the news. they are seeing what they are paying and they are saying this makes no sense whatsoever. we can understand if there is an administration that has a keen focus onis climate. and we appreciate the issues related to climate and what we need to be doing to address
matters of admission. but what is happening in the state of alaska is people are being driven out of their homes. driven out of their communities and driven out of the states because of these policies that clearly appear to shut down energy production in a resource rich state. i want to ask the cook inlet leases and the amber project. you have cited the cook inlet leases were canceled because a lack of interest from the industry during the scoping and draft eis. and yet your department told myk office this decision was based off of lack of industry comment during the scoping. which took place in september of 2020 when we were in the middle of a pandemic. when oil was $40 a barrel, natural gas was a buck 92.
the commentary that we have received since this announcement from the state oil and gas association the resource development council, the state of alaska and the most significant producer in the inlet is they submitted their comments. they submitted their interest and it appears that those were not considered. can you share with me what kind of a reach out the department actually did to determine a level of interest in cook inlet? >> thank you for the question senator. it is my understanding that no specific companies expressed interest in this sale. both over 2020 and 2021 when oil prices had essentially recovered from the covid impact.
and while those associations did comments only specific companies did on the leases that is a key indication to the team of the interest in the area. >> and again i think this would follow think it was senator lee you might have mentioned the point, if there is not an opportunity to know whether these are even going to materialize it makes it difficult to provide for comment. i am close on time i know we have votes that have already started. i want to ask you about the ambler road. because this is something we had several members of the committee speak to the issue of critical minerals. senator cantwell, senator huey uber have raised it for the administration has been very open embracing the fact this country needs to be producing more of her critical minerals. could not agree more.
but on the same day the president lays down his executive order on minerals, your department push to reopen the record of decision for the ambler project this is not a mind this would provide access to a mining district shortly there after he spends the project right away agreement that was granted back in 2021 and now this week the courts of rented your department's request to go back and do more analysis. amber. for the road by 2015 the analysis spanned two administrations, nearly six decades out there. and now it feels that we are even further behind. rehearing doi is considering further actions now to cancel the right-of-way and to stall out this project.
we are in a situation where there is no amount of assurance i seem to be able to gain to tell alaskan the blm is not dragging their feet on this project. i wouldo like your commitment i will stop being a roadblock ensure this project can moveat forward. again this is helping to not only address the nation's needse for minerals but the president himself is stated this is a goal of his administration. i need to know you will work with us aggressively. you will stick to the timelines that will allow for this important road to continue. and, as the court has indicated they want to require a status report every 60 days.
continuing out i need your commitment you are going to keep us informed with the same briefings at the same intervals. quick senator, we are always happy to reach out and be in touch with your office. i know that we are consistently in touch with the staff in your > office and we are more than happy to continue that. : : no disturbance that i
would hope the department would be working with those to help facilitate that. >> welcome, madam secretary. thank you for your work. during your time in congress and now as the secretary of the interior you have repeatedly worked to appropriate and federal policies, regulations and law including in the recent report on federal indian boarding schools that shows some light on the abuse inflicted. your work demonstrates thee importance of honoring the federal government's trust responsibilities owed to all native americans. ofua course that includes the american ideas and the native
i appreciate the funding that thee administration is requestig in the fiscal year 23 budget to pay for the obligations under the free association. as you know, showed negotiations should negotiationsnot concludel assistance positions. thus there is a sense of urgency to completing these negotiations in a timely manner. the committee recently held a hearing t to discuss the nominations of ambassadors to serve as the assistant secretary of international affairs. could you talk briefly.
the president nominated a candidate and we are doing all we can to support her confirmation process. i also recognize the priority for national security and economic reasons. t it's positive he can move forward with it in an expeditiousis manner. it'sue a priority and i want to assure you that we are treating it as such. >> r.these contacts are critical aspects of the national security and to those issues come before the armed services committee but it's come to you and the state department so it's important to work together to make sure they
are negotiated fairly and we live up to the obligations. it also is trance locating and breeding the remaining as in so many of these kind of situations. can you would discuss how the budgets complement those infrastructure funds to ensure that the department can carry out these efforts and also can you discuss the various bureaus
and the geological survey? we know how important they are to the ecosystem and very happy to have partners to work to create. finding new ground for the birds and places for them to thrive and developing the next generation tools to eradicate. we appreciate the cultural importance and we are working on the ground with folks there that
know the ecosystem so that begin do the best job possible. >> it's wonderful to have the understanding of issues and environmental protections that are part of making sure we pay appropriate attention to these issues. thank you for your commitment. >> now we will go to senatorme barrasso. >> do you believe gas prices are too high? >> i understand what so many americans going through right now. i've been driving since i was about 18, so i know that we have had other -- i remember back when they were lined up at the gas stationst and that kind of
thing. i think that americans are still recovering from this terrible pandemic and there's a lot of other world events that are making things difficult for all of us. >> i wonder what your department has done specifically to lessen this terrible pain americans are suffering a 9% increase from 2019. the production is also up at an all-time high. more than a billion barrels.
>> let me switch to the drought and it's a major issue in the west. the bureau announced 500,000 would be released in the reservoir that's going to lead to a 9-foot drop in the water level. the actionle invokes the contingency authority agreed upon by the states to maintain the water surface elevations of lake powell. alll the others in the west need water. my constituents depend on water for growing crops, raising cattle, they depend on it for tourism. this is the lifeblood of the communities in the west. they are no small communities. they are just as important. please answer yes or no in making decisions regarding water in the west and new mexico. can you commit today that you will prioritize?
>> we will prioritize in every way possible, senator. if i could say very quickly we are in contact with those in rural communities that tribal governments, local governments we know we have to make the best decisions possible. there isn't enough water. >> i don't have the time to do it but thanks. i look forward to hearing back in writing. in previous testimony, use it clean energy is a rarity for president biden. american energy is clean energy. is this chart the world bank data thatio shows how much flarg takes place in a country for each barrel of oil it produces and that's been a big issue of president biden. as you can see america is one of the most environmentally responsible producerss in the world.is
but he wants to go to venezuela. let's take a look. the intensity of the flaring that you and the administration and democrats on the panel hate to say is bad, 18 times as much done in venezuela as is done in the united states. the flaring rate in air on is seven times higher than it is in the united states. so why is president biden begging for more dirty oil while you lament the production for cleaner american oil on land in america? >> certainly the decision of such is left to president biden and secretary of state to clarify his understanding because you are the sec. of interior. you made statements about
wanting to produce clean energy, and it seems we do a much better job in the united states for many of the nations president biden seems to be begging to help supply the country. >> thank you, senator. senator barrasso has to go vote. we have senator hoven coming back and we will close out the hearing. let me say on behalf, thank you. i know it's been tough but i think you are feeling the frustration we all have. we have to show that we can do better than anybody else but also we can walk andnt chew gum. we can continue to go down to
paths investing in the clean energy we needed to make sure what we are producing is more reliability and also technologiesin and innovation. i want to thank you wally and appreciate you being here and response. we've always had a good relationship and i want to keep that going forward. >> thank you, senator marshall. >> i want to thank the chairman of the committee, senator manchin for his leadership and the ranking member bart also. it sounds like they've been talking to my friends and family back in kansas who agree with everything they said so hard about the issue. madam secretary, welcome. when you are sitting down with yourwe advisors, is that the goo make it as hard as possible to drill new oil wells and gas leases on federal land, and if
that is in the case, when different policies are presented to you, does anyone say this will make it harder, this will make it easier for an american oil should be drilled on federal land? >> it never enters the conversation. to make sure we have a balanced approach to that energy. >> so you're telling me when we have these discussions we don't know when it's going to make it harder to do new leases? >> no. >> and is it your goal or hope there's less drilling while you are the secretary of the interior? as i mentioned it is to have a balanced approach toha the publc land to make sure that we are doing the best job possible for
the american people,, considerig the public lands belong to them. >> does the affordability of energy, the cost of gas at theam gas pump ever figure into any of the decision-making process? >> senator, i know exactly what it's like to be poor, quite frankly. >> undersecretary mentioned panic a little bit ago. t panic is five dollars a gallon gasoline when you are a single mom with two children and you don't have the gas money to get to your appointment and they call and say i can't make it today. can we visit over the phone? panic is when two children under the age of 15 months and he says my utility bill doubled this month. is there a problem out there. that is what the panic is. we didn't hear it in kansas.
i thinka the left liberal media was digging up panic but most of the country wasn't panic then. today is panic. that's what's going on across this nation. i want to share with you what is creating the high price of oil right now. it takes a year or two for investment to returning to oil that is going to go to the refinery.tw folks are not going to invest in the business. ifgo i was going to write a book about business the first chapter would be about certainty. you offer a lease and pull it back. it looks to me like you are purposely picking and choosing. then do wee want to bid on that
and the next uncertainty can we get the permits to drill and if we get a permit to drill can we get the permit to get the pipelines out of there. so all of this leads to the uncertainty andrt that is what s driving up the price. the price of oil this reflecting what is going to be happening a year from now, not yesterday. that's why we have a decreased supply of the companies because youra policies are creating uncertainty. do you understand how they are creating uncertainty for the american businesses? >> senator, thank you very much for letting us know the frustration that you're feeling. i want to assure you that i am absolutely following the law. >> we visited about this before
and the department is considering lifting the lesser prairie. it's never been better protected between the government as well as the private sector. what do you think the financial impact will be on the cost of utilities in kansas. to follow on any listing questions we recognize, and i want to say that we really recognize the value of the voluntary efforts to this conservation effort and -- >> would you agree that it would drive up the utilities in kansas? >> senator, as i mentioned before, i am not an economist so i can't answer truthfully a question like that. >> bei will yield back.
madam secretary thank you for joining us today. this administration when it came into office put a moratorium on leasing all federal land both onshore and offshore. now in april the administration said that it would resume leasing that would be on 20% of the available. only 20% of the available acreage and at the same time it's increased by 50%. right now the price of gasoline average in the country is over $4.50 a gallon. there's not a single state in the country where it is lessel than four dollars and some of the forecasts are that it goes
higher than six dollars across the country this summer. think of the impact that has on everybody and its low income people the hardest. and it isn't just a cost they pay at the pump. it's every single product that they buy every day. so, my question is why are you not allowing more leasing on federal land to help? >> senator, thank you so much for the question. and of course i've talked a few hearing abouthe how much i understand with the majority of americans are going through. so, thank you for that. we are working towards a balance on the public land. the reforms that we implemented within the last 80% that you
referred to was the fact that during climate change that enters the picture. we don't want leasing in fragile ecosystems and so forth but it can take place near where infrastructure already exists and where is the potential. a lot of the lease is currently don't havein the potential to produce, so we workedal very had to make sure we were offering the land that we felt would be most used to the industry. >> where is the balance when you are not allowing any going offshore and where onshore it is only 20% that you are even allowing before we even talk about how the regulation is holding up the ability to get
permits. how is that? >> if i could just say there's more than 20.6 billion federal acres of land the oil companies have on which to request permits, we've approved more than 4700 drilling permits since president biden came into office. 1100 and this year alone. >> in many cases the wherepe thy have those leases, either you haven't approved the permits or cases where you have they are being held up in court which is why you need to continue to make them availableer and permit them so that they can move them.
there's 600 acres available in north dakota. doesn't that disenfranchise us and to continue to put people under strain at the pump and for all the other products that they buy? how is that remotely balanced and how can you continue to say that they are available when they are not for the reasons i just --ba >> i recognize that the country is going through an era where we are barely coming out of the covid pandemic. there is turmoil around the world. we are doing our best to -- >> are you willing to change what you are doing and make some of these leases available?
>> i am more than happy to follow the law to do the work that we need to do, and we have been doing it. i want to assure you we have been doing this work. >> senator, we will continue to do our work just like we have when we came into this office. >> which means you are not making the leases available. >> with respect to specific leases i'm happy to have my staffe? reach out to you. >> i would submit it's important at this time to produce more energy in the country, this
inflation come all this is impacting americans in a veryfl harsh way and i would ask that you consider that going forward. the administration has gone to places like venezuela. that makes no sense. we need to do it here at home and we need your help to do that on the federal land. >> thank you, senator. >> blaming for high oil prices acknowledges the fact there's putin,n, ukraine, covid. on energy security in march we discussed the 9,000 leases. by oil and gas companies and what they feel from wall street to focus on the stock buybacks rather than investing in more
production. it hasn't changed since march and the first year they produced more from federal land onshore and offshore more than any other year mastery. the fact is as noted by madam secretary, companies have more than 20.6 million. let's talk aboutut the focus on the stock buybacks rather than investing in morega production. so let's be clear. putin has a lot to do with the gas price hike and it is hurting families across the country and while putin is to blame i would say we've been dealing with the volatility for a long time and as long as we are reliant on oil
after months of closed-door investigations the house januaro public. starting june 9th 2 in and as committee members question key witnesses about what transpired and why during the assault on the u.s. capitol. watch live coverage beginning thursday. c-span malcolm of the free app or any time online on c-span.org. your unfiltered view of