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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 20, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT

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in the coming weeks, we'll take public comment on a proposal to give the flexibility to adjust royalty rates on the oil and gas resources that belong to all of us. this is important, especially given the dramatic growth of oil production on public and tribal lands. production has increased in each of the past six years, and overall combined production from public and tribal land was up 81% in 2014 compared to 2008. not just about royalty rates. need smarter management too. in 2015, incredibly, we're still processing a majority of our oil and gas permits by paper. and we got about 150 inspectors out in the blm who are responsible for inspecting 100,000 oil and gas wells spread across millions of acres of public and tribal lands. that's a lot of territory and it means we're not able to do our job effectively. to carry out our mission, and to be a better partner to industry, we need resources.
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repeated budget cuts have tested blm's ability to keep up with industry demand for new permits and to enforce safety and environmental standards. that's why the president's budget calls on congress to support a strong on shore inspection program, partly funded through fees. this proposal takes a page from the offshore energy industry where industry pays fees for permits and inspections. which means we can keep pace with the work load, and we don't have to divert funds from other programs to support permitting, leasing or inspection activities. coupled with the transition to a new automated permitting system, which is under way, that eliminates paper applications, these budget resources will strengthen the capacity to do
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its job well. that's a perfect example in the budget where congress needs to move beyond mindless austerity, brought about by sequestration and i can tell you, my first year in this job was 2013. i thought i left the private sector for this? crazy budget. but this enables us to move beyond that sequestration, make a smart investment in the future, in infrastructure and innovation. that means investing in safe and responsible energy production, but also in our ability to protect our critical landscapes, our wildlife, and their habitats. so when it comes to good government, we're also working to provide predictability to industry, by identifying on a landscape level where does it make sense for them to develop, and where does it make sense for them not to develop? so to that end, we're taking a targeted leasing approach in offshore frontier areas, we're also completing comprehensive oil and gas leasing plans on shore in places like moab, utah, to open up access to resources in the right places but recognize there is some places that we don't want to develop. we already have done that in the
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national petroleum reserve in alaska where we made nearly 12 million acres available for oil and gas development, while protecting sensitive habitat that is critical for species like the caribou. they're valuable oil and gas resources that companies can explore and bring to market and we're facilitating that. but to be clear, predictability also means identifying places that are too special to drill. talking about places with rich cultural resources or key wildlife habitat, or awesome outdoor recreation opportunities, like you talked about, charlie. that all matters to our economy, and to our future. i'm also talking about places at the doorstep of utah's national parks, north dakota's theodore roosevelt national park, or the coastal plain or the arctic national wildlife refuge. not only should we -- thank you. not only should we actively
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avoid damaging special or sensitive places, like the ones i mentioned, but we should permanently protect some areas for their conservation values. future generations of americans deserve to enjoy those incredible places, just like we do. so we're using this comprehensive landscape level approach for renewable energy too. because all energy development has its consequences. we have to be thoughtful about it. so on shore we mapped out nearly 20 zones across the west, where solar potential is high and other conflicts are low. because of this early planning work, companies will see faster permitting times, for example, three solar projects in the pipeline in a solar zone in nevada were reviewed by the blm in a third of the time, nine months, where previous project by project approvals often took two years to compete. offshore, we're identifying energy areas that will allow our nation to capture the huge potential of wind along the atlantic. it is windy along the atlantic. i've been there.
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didn't used to. we can do that without compromising fishing, recreation, national security, the environment, when we're smart about planning up-front. we already held four successful auctions where industry has competitively bid to develop offshore wind storms. we now have over 800,000 acres offshore under commercial lease and looking forward to seeing steel in the water in the coming years. the third and last reform, i'll talk about today, is making sure that our country is positioned to encourage innovation and be competitive in a global economy. america is both blessed with diverse natural resources and more importantly the human capital to develop new and better ways to harness them. just as the united states is a leader in unconventional oil extraction, it is now the
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world's top producer of natural gas. there is no reason why we shouldn't also be the top producer of solar power and wind power. why not? let's do it. the government has a role to play here. for example, a department of energy has for decades been a key player in research and development, things like directional drilling and tools to assess oil and gas potential. technologies that help spur our nation's recent energy boom. today, the doe is investing in innovative technologies that make our energy production cleaner, more efficient, and finding ways to make solar more cost effective. the government is also supported the development of a strong and profitable oil and gas industry through many tax credits and incentives that lower the cost of doing business. i worked with those incentives
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when i was a banker, banking oil and gas companies and i was surprised to find out they're still in place, 35 years later. so the credits may have made sense at the time, but i'm not sure they make sense for as mature as this industry has become. i think we need to look at that. instead, today, we should be investing in incentives for industries that are still getting a foot hold in our nation's sector, like wind and solar energy. we need congress to make tax credits for renewable energy long-term and predictable. instead of allowing sunsets and stutter steps that create so much uncertainty for businesses and manufacturers. many enlightened states have spurred the growth of clean energy through renewable energy standards and incentives. when you talk about creating jobs, and growing the economy, this is the kind of action that congress can take, that will move billions of dollars of capital investments into the clean energy economy. our nation's policies should accelerate american innovation and entrepreneurialism, not blunt them. renewable energy tax credits, energy efficiency targets, carbon reduction targets, and thoughtful regulations, thoughtful regulations, that incentivize clean technology are a few ways that we can get there. i've talked about our reform agenda, responsible for representing the interests of all of us, taxpayers, on their
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public lands. but i'm also a grandmother. my responsibility to my grandchildren's generation is at the top of my mind with every decision we make. it is why i'm determined to help make energy development safer and more environmentally sound in the next two years. it is why i believe that new energy development should be matched with new protections for lands and waters. that's why we must, we must do more to cut greenhouse gas pollution that is warming our planet. i see the cost of a changing climate everywhere i go. recently i was in alaska, coastal erosion there threatens to wipe out an entire native village. and it is one of several that is in danger. in the marshall islands, they have to sandbag the airport runway to keep the rising ocean from washing it away. i got an e-mail last night from assistant secretary for insular
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affairs who said that just king tides in some areas of the marshall islands are making parts of inhabited areas now uninhabitable. one storm and it could wipe out 15,000 people who share 80 acres with average elevation that is just a few feet. right here at home, across this country, communities are facing more extreme wildfires. we saw some of them in the news last night. bigger storms. devastating droughts like california's experiencing. disappearing wildlife. and rising economic damages. these are not free. so for us at interior we're already adjusting our land management strategies for the impacts of climate change. but we also need to do more and we can to address the causes of climate change. helping our nation cut carbon pollution should inform our decisions about where we develop, how we develop, and what we develop.
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president obama has rightly described climate change as the single most pressing energy and environmental challenge of our time. but he's also right that we're in a moment of remarkable opportunity and promise, and the state of the union, he said we have risen from the recession, freer to write our own future than any other nation on earth. it is now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years and for decades to come. i share the president's belief that the u.s. should lead the world on energy, climate, and conservation. and to accomplish this we need to encourage innovation, we need to provide clear rules of the road and make balanced decisions. every day i think about this phrase. we don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. we don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. my job is to take the long view.
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it is what the american public expects of us. and that's what we all owe the next generation. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, secretary jewell. excellent presentation. let me allay some of your fears. i'm frank verrastro, senior vice president at the center and i have the schlesinger chair. the gas leak was at 17th and elm, no panic. for our safety, in the event we need to evacuate, the unlikely event, since we're on the second floor, down the stairway, out the front, across the street to the park. for those of you in front, out the back, where the signs are, takes you to an alley way, dumps you on elm street, okay? >> should have said that in advance.
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>> we can get the crowd warmed up. madam secretary, i got my start in the federal government at the age of 4 in the interior department so i have an affinity for the oil and gas office there. you and charlie both talked about the trade-offs, especially at interior where you're charged with resource development in a prudent way and environmental stewardship. but then as you expand that throughout the government to national security, foreign policy interests, labor and economic interests, how do you reconcile, what are the trade-offs and the balances because i'm not sure the public has a full appreciation for the deliberations that go on to get to a policy decision. >> i'd say that the american public has an amazing capacity for the truth. and when you explain the trade-offs, when you engage communities in the process, you actually end up with some pretty smart thinking about where we need to go.
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so as i was talking about, we have done a fair amount of engaging with communities on landscape level planning. what are the areas they think make sense to develop, what are the areas too special to develop, the -- for the industry, what are the areas that has the greatest potential and how can we help steer development to the right places and avoid the wrong places? the worst thing i think we can do for industry as well as for the country is to make hasty decisions that aren't well thought through, that just end up in court. slows everything down. and there was a fair amount of that that we inherited. in fact, my husband is not happy that all the lawsuits in the department of interior bear my last name. most of them. our last name. because a lot of those are formed when you don't have the right kind of up-front discussion about what is the right balance and what is at stake? i think that we have made some
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really important progress in that area of engaging the public so that we're really -- they trust the decisions made more than before and recognize that there is balance and trade-offs. i think that enabled us to avoid some conflict, but also, you know, building understanding for the very real conflicts that do exist out there. >> and you talked about in addition to the outreach, the technology moves, it is an extraordinary time we have seen over the last five years, but as with budget, i'm sure you are keenly aware of, the restrictions on budget availability, the notion that is there a better way to collaborate with industry and the private sector on research and technology and regulatory proposals so that the regulations are lined up with the best thinking of the day and best practices as they are put in place? >> yeah, i think that's -- we are doing that. i think it is very important. i mentioned that a lot of the regulations we're looking at upgrading now were created in the '80s.
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that's when i was in the early '80s is when i was in the oil and gas industry directly and they haven't changed. the technology has gone miles. it isn't easy to change regulation and maybe it shouldn't be easy, but you want regulations that can adapt with new technologies and that's what we're doing in a lot of the -- the regulatory work that we're doing now to update these things. so i used the quick example of statoil and the skid mounted unit to capture natural gas and natural gas liquids right at the well head in the balkan when the pressures are really high right after they complete a well. and, you know, we're listening to technologies like that, as we formulate the methane capture strategies. for capturing methane, what you need is a gathering system, and gas processing cleanse. takes time to put those in place and you have pressure issues very complicated for an industry to deal with early on in that well's production life. this is innovation by industry. we want to learn from that.
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want to figure out what is practical, when it might apply, you know, how practical is it to apply across the network, likewise in offshore, tremendous amount of work has been done post deep water horizon. that accident really hurt the oil and gas industry. it hurt every producer out there. it certainly hurt the gulf coast states. and i think it horrified the nation. but it inspired a lot of soul searching on what went wrong. a lot of human error involved. a lot of not paying attention to the technologies that were there, and that had to do to a certain extent with a safety culture. we can work with industry on enhancing that. we were not structured to provide the kind of support and focus on safety as distinct from leasing as distinct from revenue. we have now split that into three parts. that's not technology. that's human capital, and focus. and clarity of mission. so all of those things are factoring into how we are updating our regulations and when you look at the well control work we have done around blowout preventers, that's embracing industry technology
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and innovations at industries done in the gulf of mexico to say we need better well containment than we had. so they got two different organizations, both consortiums of oil and gas companies that pulled their resources to build new technologies, to address well control. and those are the kinds of ways that we're working closely with industry so that regulations march what they're able to do and so they're able to progress over time. >> well, and since we're coming up on the fifth year anniversary of macondo, the opportunity that presents for the united states in terms of leadership position, and also in the arctic. >> that's exactly right. and my colleague, mike conner, deputy secretary, is in new mexico now, working on water but also working on energy. we have got for the first time ever a transboundary hydro carbon agreement which will take
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into account the oil and gas resources that know no international boundaries, but both countries want an opportunity to develop. we're working closely with them, sharing our practices and listening to theirs and making sure that the gulf writ large is protected in the future. learned a lot of painful lessons since the gulf oil spill and in the arctic and a lot more to learn because russia is developing, canada will be developing, china is poking around. we need to know what we're doing. >> the arctic, there is an mpc study coming out about the arctic. this whole other notion that if other arctic nations develop their resource as well, does that put us at a disadvantage? sometimes more is more in terms of capability, shore line, backup systems and staging areas, coast guard, defense capability as well.
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it is a bigger geopolitical issue as well as resource issue. >> i think that's exactly right. the u.s. will be chairing the arctic council coming up later on this year, the transition occurs. my colleague brian salerno, brian came from the coast guard. we need to make sure that our arctic response capabilities, search and rescue capabilities, safety, environment, all of those things are solid and in place. i think as has been well documented, through the challenges they had in the 2012 drilling season, we are talking about harsh conditions. we're not talking about the gulf of mexico. we wanted to know how to do it right. i will also say that many of the companies that may be interested in developing the u.s. arctic are also the same companies that are developing in other parts of the arctic. exxonmobil i believe is doing
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work with russia. so we need to know what we're doing. to the extent there is development there and we believe there is strong potential, we want to make sure we do it right. we want to make sure the resources are there to drill a relief well, to contain a spill if there is a spill. and, you know, it is not a problem as much in the gulf, even though it was with deep water horizon. you have a lot of assets there. that's not true in the arctic. you have a much shorter season because of -- lots to learn and i think that we -- it is important that as companies show interest, as they have with the lease sales that have occurred, that we do it right. >> talked a lot about climate change and the focus within the administration as well as in the interior department. so when you look out on conventional or unconventional energy production or renewables, how do you weigh the average to
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decide where there are areas that should lease or you talked about primary spots where you think would be good for wind energy offshore? what is the process within the interior? >> first it starts with science. where are the areas that are consistently windy? and then where it is consistently windy, what other attributes might that area have? is it part of a critical bird fly way or bat fly way? is it close to transmission? is it right in somebody's view? we have to think about all of those things. offshore wind, 800,000 acres now under lease. and we deconflicted that before we put the acres up for lease, so we said, where is the -- where is the navy and coast guard activities where is the merchant marine on the fishing activities, what are the critical recreation areas? can you see these -- these future wind turbines and is that going to bother anybody?
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yes. usually. >> short answer. >> so we need to deconflict and say these are the areas that have the lowest conflict and the highest potential. these may be areas with high potential but very high conflict. there are places, there are national parks with oil and gas resources. that's not the places we should be developing them. i don't believe we should develop oil and gas in the arctic national wildlife refuge. the president agrees. he made that point and that is a recommendation we make to congress. this is through applying science, understanding other uses of the land, the impact of the energy development, and trying to chart a course forward that says let's go to the areas where there is limited or no conflict. so we're doing that in moab, utah, with our master leasing plans, and we're engaging local communities and they're part of
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the effort, we're -- we have done it in the national petroleum reserve, doing it in the california desert, all kinds of areas off the coast of the atlantic and it is really working and the community is engaged. >> those are good solutions. when i was in the private sector, we were developing off the coast of california, there was one proposal to encase the offshore rigs with mirrors so they wouldn't be a visual pollutant. we thought that was a bad idea. let me just suggest, one of the reasons we invite you all is to participate and the secretary agreed to take some questions from the floor. we have a couple of simple rules, one is to wait for the microphone, number two is to -- to the extent you can pose your question in the form of a question, so that's a little voice inflexion at the end, and identify yourself and your affiliation if that's okay, please. so, any questions? wow. you're good. okay. all the way in the back. >> my name is andrew.
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i'm with the biomass thermal energy council. i'm an intern there. i have a question about the department's initiatives in forest restoration and kind of energy opportunities. so lesser known energy opportunities and innovation at the forest edge. thank you. >> thank you very much for your question. so there is a lot of work going on in usda and u.s. forest service, not a part of the department of the interior but important potential. for example, because of climate change, a few degrees difference have caused a proliferation of the mountain pine beetle. many of you are aware of this. if you're a westerner, as i am, you fly over or drive through the landscapes, it is astounding how much standing dead timber there is. there is fuel potential in that timber. this is something this tom vilsack has been working on with his team. it is a matter of economics. how do you make it economic, to harvest that for energy
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development or for manufacturing wood products or otherwise. it is a very important part of the equation. i'll also say i visited the national renewable energy lab and -- which is a doe facility and there is incredible research going on in biomass energy development. more of that is with materials like switch grass, but it also includes wood products. so there is potential of doing that and i think the research absolutely is critical to continue. it is not yet being done on an economic scale, but, you know, it is only a matter of time. it is a good illustration of where a little bit of incentive, the right kinds of tax incentives, as oil and gas industry, continues to enjoy and has for over 30 years. just the 30 year, 30-plus years since i've been in industry. we could take a few of those incentives and move them to areas that are just getting their start, so that technology can bring the price down and we can learn a lot from the science and that's a big part of where i think we have an opportunity to
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go. >> so if i can just pull back on that a second, on the economic side, put yourself -- your rei hat back on and your government hat, in times of low prices, and as fees or structures or economics change, for companies that are struggling, but where you still want to get development, can you be flexible in how you encourage or disincentivize people from doing certain things in certain places? >> i got a great rei example for you. >> okay. >> i hope it answers your question directly. so rei was very concerned about, you know, being a company that supported human powered, active outdoor recreation and yet having a carbon footprint ourselves. we wanted to go about understanding that carbon footprint and figuring out where is the low hanging fruit to reduce it? and one of the areas was energy consumption. so we went about figuring out what were our dirtiest markets? in other words, where was high carbon producing sources of energy?
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so we took that, and then we married that with the potential that local utilities had for green power and we locked in green power supply contracts to give those utilities certainty that they had a market for that green power. we signed up for long-term contracts. those contracts were more expensive than buying conventional energy, but it was something we were committed to doing. but that was in 2007 when oil prices ran up. at the end of the day, the contracts ended up being much better for us economically because we locked in several years at a time when oil and gas prices were high and associated electricity rates went up if you were tied into fossil fuels. that's an illustration where we as a business could help support renewable energy. now, the states typically that had those renewable facilities
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were states where there was some kind of renewable energy standard. it wasn't a tax credit necessarily. it was an expectation that utilities have a certain percentage. it is a requirement they developed it. if you marry that incentive, if you will, or expectation from a state, with a willing buyer and there are lots of willing buyers out there that want to reduce the carbon footprint, you have a situation that drives a cost down for those technologies because more people get into it. i got other examples actually with the company on where we put solar panels, distributed solar on our roofs and which ones we use and which ones they went to and has everything to do with national and state incentives to support energy development. and we accelerated. we did 11 stores one year because the tax credits would be expiring at end of the year, which is a crazy way to do
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things, very difficult to plan that way, but that's how these stutter steps i talked about have worked with tax incentives around renewables. >> uncertainty doesn't help with planning. >> does not. >> i won't put you on the spot to say when a carbon tax gets put in place. we have a question here in the front row. >> hi. my name is todd tussy with advocates for the west in boise and washington, d.c. i'm intrigued by your presentation, madam secretary, regarding deconflicting energy development and conservation. i'm just wondering if you had a chance to review a recent letter from 11 sage grass scientists to you noting that it appears that the agency is abandoning science based conservation measures for sage grass and developing other levels. >> anybody in the audience have any idea what a sage grass is? we've got two of our three grasskateers over here. for those that didn't raise their hands, let me bring you up to speed.
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there is a species that is under consideration for listing under endangered species act called the greater sage grass. that's a minor part i want to talk about. the marriage part is we have ecosystems across the american west that are at risk. we we think about the olympic peninsula, the old growth trees as really incredible habitats, but we have old growth sage brush ecosystems throughout the great basin that are equally important to 350 species. greater sage grass is one of them. but mule deer and prong horn antelope and hundreds of other species call these places home. and so, when we have a wildfire that burns through range land, we can wipe out in the space of a day or two hundreds of
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thousands of acres. hundreds of square miles just like that. and we don't think about it as being old growth in the way we do when you've got crowning fires running up through yosemite but it is very, very important from a habitat standpoint so we have 11 states working together to say how do we strike the right balance between conservation and development. and in a state like wyoming, development, oil and gas resources typically, some coal resource development, is -- can be the biggest potential disruptive to sage grass habitat. in the great basin wild land fire and invasive species like cheat grass is the biggest threat so we're coming to come up with comprehensive strategies across the landscape to understand the critical areas for these species and to protect those areas with the highest level of protection.
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we're using sound science. we're using the best available science we have. i haven't read specifically the letter that you referenced, but i will say that it is very complicated and there are states have done a lot of science. there's independent work. the work that we do scientifically is available and open to the public. some of the private science that's done by others or by states is not open to the public. we will take at the fish and wildlife service all of the science into account and we must do that because if we don't do that and we come out with a decision on whether a listing is warranted or not. will it be defensive? we have to have our ducks in a row. but i will say that. that it is unprecedented to have 11 states, 11 governors, really the core, probably 7 governors where they have most of the
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habitat working so hard along the fish and wildlife service and land management and private landowners to protect the lands that help define the american west and the species that call it home. so, i am very, very proud of the collaborative work that's happened with states, blm, fish and wildlife service and others. i'm confident we'll reach the right conclusion whether all the science is in. >> excellent. tommy's working on the answer right now. question, charlie? >> charles from brookings institution. madame secretary, i was wondering if you believe that with the taps pipeline in alaska and such serious jeopardy as to its flow levels whether any criteria when you have lease sales in alaska ought to take
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into consideration those that might be nearest taps of something was found and hence keep the pipeline alive. >> well, thank you for that question. you know, i actually worked on the alaska pipeline when i was a college student. solving little engineering problems like hot oil in a cold pipe and pipe moves and how do you keep insulation on it. it's a tricky place to do business and what's interesting is that, i mean, when alaska achieved statehood, alaska chose lands. federal government chose lands, tribes up there, native corporations chose land, alaska chose widely. they developed that very thoughtfully and it peaked in production in the '80s. so it's no surprise production's been going down and i will say that state of alaska is really hurting right now because of oil prices and sympathetic the situation that governor walker finds himself in and the whole state. we certainly support development
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in the national petroleum reserve in alaska. conoco phillips developed the cd-5 and the area around alpine. i have been out there personally myself. janet schneider for land and minerals has been out there. tommy's out there and a number of others. that's already hooked up to the pipeline. the network, the greatest unit which is the record of decision that we just reached on development with conoco phillips of that will tie in to the alpine facility and will be able to go straight into tap so it's our expectation that as a national petroleum reserve is developed that that will help keep oil flowing through taps. the other thing i would say as we did all of the work to look at the national petroleum reserve and what are the areas that are critical habitat to not develop which is really critical
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habitat for caribou, birds and other species, we thought about if there is exploration and ultimately production in the chukchu sea is there a way to move out the the reserve to the transalaska pipeline and if you look at the areas that we set aside for conservation and the areas we set aside for development you will see that it facilitates the ability to ultimately have a pipeline corridor that runs through there. taps is a national resource, very important to the state of oklahoma. it is certainly important to us and so we have every expectation that we will facilitate making public lands available for oil and gas development. obviously, it will be up to industry to develop those resources and that's going to depend on a whole bunch of factors including economics but we will be supportive but doing it in the right ways and right
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places. >> excellent. one of the reasons we get folks like secretary jewel to join us is adhering to the time constraints because they have an active day outside of csis as hard as that is to believe. madame secretary, you have been candid, informative. it's great to have you here. i hope you do come back. we'll look for the proposals a eni think you are the right person at the right time so if you'll join me in thanking secretary jewel.
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the hill newspaper tweeting out that house speaker john boehner is going to lead a group of republican members of congress on a visit to israel. they're going meet with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. that meeting scheduled for march 31st, which is the deadline for the iranian nuclear deal. as part of our road to the white house coverage, we'll head to iowa to hear from martin o'malley. he's speaking at the scott county democratic party dinner. both the house and senate have
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wrapped up legislative business for the week. they return to capitol hill monday. both expected to take up their different federal budget plans next week. the senate bill contains an $89 billion special war funding account. the house bill does not include that war funding but it could be added as an amendment. you can see live house coverage on cspan, the senate on cspan 2. now, isis rears their ugly head and this army is very shaky. we shouldn't be surprised by that. you can't undo decades of soviet era and saddam era stuff with eight years. especially when you've taught them on a model where they're going to have u.s. advisers and partners with them. afghanistan, according to the president's announcements we've got about 10,000 troops there, but we're going to draw down to 5,000 next year, then down to almost zero the year after that. i would warn we would probably
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see a similar result to what we saw in iraq when isis ak taed. that afghan army is going to be very shaky without u.s. help. >> this sunday daniel boulanger on the failed u.s. strategies in iraq and afghanistan and what we should have done differently. sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific. china's foreign minister held a news conference in beijing during the 12th annual national people's conference and answered a range of questions on u.s. china relations, the ukraine russia conflict and iran nuclear negotiations. this 50-minute portion is courtesy of china's central television. mandarin chinese is heard followed by english translation. >> good morning. today is the international women's day at the outset i wish to extend sincere greetings to all chinese women who show
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understanding and support china's diplomacy. on this day a year ago, the mh 370 flight went missing. the plane has not been located, but the search effort will continue. today must be a tough day for the next of kin for those on board mh 370. our hearts are with you. malaysia airlines has started its work and help you uphold your legitimate and lawful interests. now, i'd like to open the floor to questions. [speaking foreign language]
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>> the minister you once said the 2014 was the year of harvest and all around progress in china's diplomacy. could you elaborate on that and what can we expect from china's diplomacy in 2015? what are the keywords we need to watch? >>. [speaking foreign language]
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[speaking foreign language] [speaking foreign language]
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>> indeed 2014 was the year of harvest for china's diplomacy. it was also a year of forging ahead and breaking new ground. under the leadership of the cpc central committee headed by general secretary pin was successfully hosted the summit in shanghai and the aipac meeting in beijing and left a deep imprint of our own on their history. which took an active part in the resolution of global hot spots issues and played china's role in international and regional affairs. we made energetic efforts to expand external corporation and our initiative to establish an economic belt and a 21st century
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maritime silk road won support from a lot of countries. it is worth mentioning that in 2014 we focused on building a new type of international relations featuring win win corporation and we are taking a new path of its relations characterized by partnership rather than alliance. by the end of last year we have established different forms of partnerships with over 70 countries and the number of regional organizations and basically established a global network of partnerships. so, one can say that china's circle of friends and partners has widened and will continue to expand. [speaking foreign language]
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>> in 2015, we will continue to forge ahead and continue to expand all around diplomacy while steadfastly safeguarding our national interests, we'll work to expand the interests that we have in common with other countries in the world. the keywords of china's diplomacy in 2015 will be one focus and two main themes. [speaking foreign language]
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[speaking foreign language] >> our key focus in 2015 will be making all around progress in the belt and road initiative. we will further enhance policy communication with other countries, expand the convergence of our shared interests and explore our interests of win win corporation. the emphasis will be on promoting infrastructural
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connectivity and building overland economic corridors and pillars of maritime corporation. we will also promote people to people and cultural exchanges and corporation and speed up relevant fta negotiations. we're confident that the road initiative will win even more support and deliver even more early harvests. so, as to catalyze the revitalization of the you are asian continent as a whole. [ [speaking foreign language] [speaking foreign language]
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>> in 2015 we will do a lot under the two theme of peace and development. we will work with international committee to kem rate the 70th anniversary of the end of the world's antifascist war to draw lessons from history look to the future and make china a staunch force for peace. the 70th anniversary of the founding of the united nations this year will be a good opportunity in the u.n.'s
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development summit and international cooperation on climate change. we will play a constructive role in helping to secure a post 2015 development agenda and a a new international regime for addressing climate change that are in the interests of the developing countries. thank you. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> in recent years more and more chinese citizens made outbound visits an we see a good example of that in the just passed chinese year. what will the chinese foreign ministry do for the outbound visits and protect the legitimate chinese interest overseas? [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: this is a very good question and i think many journalists may be interested in knowing the answer. last year for the first time chinese citizens made more than 100 million visits abroad, making them the largest floating population in the world. there are also more than 20,000 chinese enterprises who have established a presence abroad and millions of our compatriots are working and living in different parts of the world. so the task and responsibility of protecting their rights is
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heavier than ever. we're always concerned with the safety and well-being of every one of our come patriots and we'll do everything in our power to protect and assist them. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: last year the chinese foreign ministry coalition for the protection set the 12308 hotline. the hotline is a 24/7 all time zone hotline for those back in china. no matter what part of the country you are in you can run into trouble and you can dial this number and get help from our ministry and counselor
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missions abroad. in the half of the year since the launch of the hotline we have received over 30,000 phone calls. and many of our kpat rots say the hotline is very reassuring for them because they can feel that the mother land is always by their side. we hope more of our come patriots can know about the hotline and make use of it. when you are in trouble. please call 12308.
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[ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: in 2014 we also made important progress in visa facilitation. we signed visa exemption or simplification agreements with another 24 countries equal to the total of the previous four years. and nowadays chinese citizens can visit more than 50 countries or territories without a visa or by obtaining visa upon arrival. you may all remember the
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reciprocal visa arrangements announced by china and the united states last year. it means that if a chinese or american person has a visa, then for up to five or even ten years he or she can travel easily between the two shores of the pacific ocean with just a passport and an air ticket. and let me tell you that china and canada have just reached agreement on issuing visa to each other's citizens with a validity period of up to ten years. that agreement will go into effect tomorrow. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: the effort to protect chinese overseas is always a progress and it is never a mission accomplishes. wherever there is a chinese surface the consulate must step up to work and we must step up the process so that chinese can feel the dignity of being a chinese and will find it easier to travel abroad. we hope more and more of our countrymen can go abroad at any
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time they wish and that they can have smooth safe and worry-free troubles. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: in singapore, some people have compared china's road initiative to the
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martial plan and they say china is tieing a bond with neighboring countries to ensure milt and economic interests. what is your comment? [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: china's road initiative is much older and much younger to the malaysia plan. comparing one to the other would be like comparing apples and oranges. the road plan is older because it embodied the ancient silk road which has a history of over 2,000 years and used by the people of many countries for friendly exchange of commerce. we must renew that spirit and bring it up to date. the beltran road initiative is younger because it is spawned in the age of globalization and a product of globalization and not gio globalization and not in
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political integrity. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: in advancing the belgian road initiative we'll act according to the principal
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of wide consultation joint contribution and shared benefits. we will carry out equal-footed consultation and respect the independent choice of other countries and ensure transparency and openness align the initiative with the development strategies of other participants and create synergy with the existing regional cooperation mechanisms. the vision of this initiative is common development and the goal is win-win progress through cooperation. if i may use a musical metaphor it is not just china's solo but a symphony performed by all relevant occurrences.
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[ speaking in a foreign language ]]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]. [ speaking in a foreign language ]c. [ speaking in a foreign language ]o. [ speaking in a foreign language ]u. [ speaking in a foreign language ]n. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: russia today and iia and against the western sanctions on russia and the ruble, how will china carry out cooperation with russia, especially in energy and the financial sectors and what will china and russia do to further strengthen their coordination and cooperation in international
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affairs? [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: the china hitch russia relationship is not dictated by international advicity tudes and does not target any third parties. thanks to the strong strategic trust the two sides have established our relationship is becoming more mature and stable. as comprehensive strategic partners china and russia have a good tradition of supporting each other and the friendship between our two peoples provides
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a strong foundation for strengthening strategic cooperation between the two sides. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> the practical cooperation between china and russia is based on mutual need. it has win-win results and has room for expansion. this year our practical cooperation is expected to deliver a series of new results. for example, we'll work hard to lift two-way trade to $100 billion u.s. dollars. we'll assign an agreement to work on the silk road economic belt and begin our cooperation on that score. we will start construction of the eastern route of the natural gas pipeline and sign an agreement on the western route of the gas project.
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we will accelerate joint development and research of long distance wide body passenger jets. we will start strategic cooperation on the development of russia's far eastern region and strengthen our cooperation on high-speed railways. at the same time we'll continue to intensify our cooperation in the financial oil and gas and nuclear power sectors. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: china and russia are both members of the u.n. security counsel and we'll continue strategic cooperation to maintain peace and security. this year both countries will hold a series of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the world's anti-fascist war and jointly uphold peace and the outcome of the second world war. thank you.
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>> translator: this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the united nations. it is a important historic moment for the international community to reflect on the past and look to the future. some people say that china wants to challenge and even over-turn the current international order and replace it with a new one dominated with china yourself. what is your comment? [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: i want to make it very clear that china has been a constructive force in building the international order. if we can compare the international order built around the united nations to a big boat then 70 years ago china was ipt mattly involved in designing and building that boat and china was the first country to put its signature on the charter of the united nations.
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today we are in this boat together with more than 190 other countries so of course we don't want to upset the boat, rather we want to work with the other passengers to make sure that this boat will sail forward steadily and in the right direction. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: 70 years has passed. the international situation and landscape has changed dramatically and naturally the international order needs to be updated. china supports reforming the international order and system. but such reform is not about overturning the current system or starting all over again, rather it is about seeking new ideas to improve it. the general direction is to promote democracy and international relations and the rule of law in global governments, in particular it is very important to safeguard the legitimate rise and interest of developing countries which are in the majority so that we can make the world a more equal,
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harmonious, and safe place. >> thank you. i am with nbc news, u.s. television network. last month state counselor and national security adviser susan rice declared both sides have declared coordination on challenges and with jinping visiting later this year how can this strengthen the public relation and solve the cyber security or the maritime conflicts in the asia-pacific region? thank you.
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[ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: president jinping will pay a visit to the united states this fall at the invitation of his u.s. counter part. we expect the two presidents of our countries, that following their meeting will have another productive discussion and inject new momentum into our efforts to build a new model of major country relations between china and the united states. the under-taking to build a new model of relations is a pioneering effort. it will not be smooth sailing but it is a logical development
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because it accords with the common interests of both sides and the trend of our times. there is a chinese saying sincerity can work wonders. as long as the two sides show sincerity, buttress the bottom line of no confrontation, cement the foundation of mutual respect, then we can explore the immense respect of a win-win relationship between the united states and japan. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: china and the united states are two large countries. it is impossible for there not to be disagreements between us. and these disagreements will not disappear the moment we commit
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to build a new model of communications. but we shouldn't magnify the problems through a microscope, but rather we should use the telescope to look ahead to the future and mike sure we'll -- and make sure we'll move forward in the right direction. at the a-pec moving jinping called for moving forward through the asia-pacific partnership. many countries responded ebb thuz -- enthusiastically through his initiative. chinese and the united states interact mostly through the asia-pacific international coalition and the building of this relationship should begin with the asia-pacific region. in our view if both sides can work to establish and deepen strategic trust and have positive interactions, then we can surely jointly contribute to
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peace, stability and prosperity in the region. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> both china and the united states are major users of the internet. we have common interests in upholding cyber security. we hope cyber space will become a new frontier of our cooperation rather than a new source of friction. thank you.
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[ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: in recent months major terrorist attacks have frequently hit many parts of the world, from paris to sydney to western western asia to western africa, what is china's position on fighting terrorism and carrying out international counter-terrorism cooperation.
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[ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: terrorism is a common scourge to mankind and fighting it is common to every country. china has been a participant in international counter-terrorism cooperation. at the same time we believe that to uproot terrorism we must
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remove its breeding ground and to deny any haven to the spector of terrorism we have to promote economic and social development appropriately handle regional conflicts and advocate equal-footed dialogue between different civilizations and religiouses and ethnic groups. china has suffered at terrorism and the eastern turkish islamic group is a equal and present danger to our community. we would like to work with other countries with equal-footed cooperation to jointly address the new threats and new challenges brought by terrorism. thank you.
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[ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: the top leader of the dprk has decided to attend the activities held in russia in may to mark the victory of the great patriotic war but the dprk leader has not yet made a visit to china. will the leader of the dprk and china have a meeting this year and is it possible that the six-party talks can still be
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resumed? [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: china and the dprk value good faith and cherish our friendship with the dprk and we seek the normal development of our relations. the china dprk has a strong relationship and it should not and will not be effected by
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temporary events. as to when our leaders will meet, it will have to suit the schedule of both sides. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: the situation on the korean peninsula is stable and china has played a constructive role in bringing that about. it is in the common interest of
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all relative parties to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and achieve the denuclearization on the peninsula and the moment the situation there has entered into another delicate period we call on the relevant countries to exercise calm and restraint and say and do things that will have a positive effect as to continue to foster the atmosphere and conditions for resuming the six-party talks. thank you.
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[ speaking in a foreign language ] >> translator: china radio international, the negotiation of the kpeensive agreement on the nuclear agreement has been twice extended and the june deadline is not fair away. can you talk about the progs pects -- prospects of the negotiation and what kind of role will the chinese government play in the negotiations and what steps is the government going to take to push forward the negotiations? [ speaking in a foreign language ]
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>> translator: a comprehensive settlement of the iranian nuclear issue can help against nuclear proliferation and promote peace and tranquillity in the middle east and provide useful experience for resolving nuclear issues through negotiation so we believe the parties should keep at it and finish the negotiation. the possible ramifications of the iranian nuclear negotiations will go far beyond the negotiation itself and it is not surprising that there might be some ups and downs on the way. at the moment, although there is still some uncertainty about the prospect of the negotiation we can already see light at the end of the tunnel. the negotiation has reached a critical point and the relevant
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parties, especially the main protagonists should make a political decision as soon as possible. china is an important party to the negotiation and we have made a positive contribution to resolving the difficult issues and the sticking points in the negotiation. we're prepared to work with other relevant parties to finish the marathon negotiation on the iranian nuclear issues at an early date. thank you. the first senate confirmed director for alcohol tobacco and firearms is leaving the post after less than two years. they say his last day is march 31st and the hill newspaper reporting that mr. jones is departing shortly -- deporting shortly after they dropped
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banning armor piercing bullets. and we'll hear from martin o'malley speaking at the scott county democratic party dinner. we'll have coverage tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. and the house and senate have wrapped up for the week. they return to capitol hill on monday to take up the budget next week. the senate takes up a war funding bill and the house could add that as an amendment. the senate is on c-span 2. the budget deep in the senate would postpone the loretta lynch nominee decision. we learn more about that from a capitol hill reporting. >> good morning. >> good morning. how are you? >> good. we want to start with the latest on the timing and the current vote count for loretta lynch
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possible confirmation. >> yeah. so it is going to be pretty close but she does have support from four republicans, that is jeff slate of arizona, orrin hatch of utah suzanne collins from maine, and also lindsey graham from south carolina. but as we get closer, there is always a chance that support can lessen. it seems like they are devoted to voting on her but they also agree with mcconnell but they need to bring up the trafficking bill before they continue to vote on loretta lynch. >> and with this vote on a confirmation possibly delayed until april after a two-week recess, after next week in the senate, how much pressure is there going to be during that time to try to pick off a plaque or a hatch or a graham or a collins to -- to try to pick off that republican support over the next couple of weeks? >> well i'm sure there will be
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some movement to do so. we're already seeing some of the gun advocacy groups are putting pressure on republicans. that can have a big influence on capitol hill. we saw that in a story reported on the hill. it is difficult to say exactly how much pressure the lawmakers will get but they will get some, especially from outside groups that would not like to see her be the nominee. but for every day she isn't confirmed, eric holder, that republicans have a -- that he doesn't step down and continues to serve as the attorney general. >> and is part of the efforts by republicans right now a specific strategy to try to buy time for that pressure to build? here is one republican rand paul who is obviously come out with his statement against the confirmation of loretta lynch his tweet over the past 24 hours, president obama's
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executive amnesty is illegal. but loretta lunch is removeableremovable. is there try to stop to get those to vote for her to come back. >> they are trying to buy time or get leverage to pass the trafficking bill. they want to prove they can govern and i think there is frustration because this is a bipartisan that is stuck and they can't seem to unstick it. and that is part of the trick here. they are trying to use lynch as a way to move forward. >> and can you bring us the latest on the trafficking bill and what will happen next week before the senate goes on the two-week recess? >> yes. certainly. so basically the trafficking bill is stuck until after the budget. mitch mcconnell moved it -- reversed the order and moved in until after the trafficking bill. we have to remember that there is bipartisan compromise coming up. heidi high camp and suzan
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collins announced it and the democrats don't seem willing to bite on that. so the trafficking bill continues to be stuck here as well. >> lauren fox, thank you for joining us on the washington journal this morning. >> thank you. i appreciate it. have a good day. here are some featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on the c-span 2 book tv on saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on afterwards. eric foner on the efforts of free blacks and white abolitionists and the underground railroad. and hassan hassan on the rise of isis in the middle east. and on saturday and throughout the day on c-span3 american tv joins authors at the abraham lincoln symposium live from ford
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theater. and on sunday evening at 6:00 on american artifacts, a visit of the civil war medical history including artifacts and find us on or call us at 202-626-3400 e-mail us at comments at or send us a tweet at c-span #comments and like us on facebook or follow us on twitter. fcc chair tom wheeler faced tough questions at a house oversight committee on the open internet vote. designed to prohibit internet providers to block illegal content moving through the networks. here is that nearly three-hour
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hearing. >> good morning. the committee on oversight and government reform come to order. the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. we're here to examine the fcc rule making process and the agency's commitment to transparency. three weeks ago the fcc approves new rules for regulation the internet. the problem is the americans only got a chance to read them last week. last month chairman wheeler said that releasing the draft ran contrary to regulation, and in reality, making changes to internet rules is far less transparent than what occurred with the equally controversial media ownership rules in 2007. then senator obama strongly requested the fcc, quote put
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out any changes they intend to vote on in any new notice of proposed rules end quote. the senator obama believed to do otherwise would be quote, irresponsible. then chairman kevin martin responded to these concerns by releasing the draft text of the rule changes and inviting a four-week public comment period. in making the text public chairman martin explained quote, because of the intensely controversial nature of the proceeding and my desire for an open and transparence process, i want to ensure that members of congress and the public had the opportunity to review my proposal prior to any commission action. that didn't happen in this case. so to suggest there is no precedent for this. that is not true. and chairman martin went further and testified before congress, more than once about the rule changes and yet we invited commissioner wheeler to come before us and he refused. didn't have any problem meeting
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at the white house. but did have a problem coming before congress. and in today's case chairman wheeler did quite the opposite. failed to provide this type of transparency. chairman wheeler did not make the rule public, did not invite public comment and declined to appear before this committee. we find that wholly unacceptable. further it appears the fcc has been concealing certain communication from the public without legal basis. i want to put up a slide. we'll refer to this later. but there are several redactions to comments made -- or to requests made for freedom of information act experiences. we have that slide -- i guess no. i'm going to keep going. organizations that hold our government accountable depend on the process to gain insight into agency decision making. the fcc's track in responding to requests is weak at best. at the outset the fcc denies
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more than 40% of all foi requests and the documents do contain redactions including some that blackout entire pages of text. this committee has received 1600 pages of unredacted paperworks through foi requests through various organizations including today we'll compare the communications to understand what legal justification mr. wheeler's agency used to prevent this information from becoming public n. addition we'll examine the series of events resulting in the highly controversial vote to use title 2 to regulate internet like a public utility. in may of 2014 the fccirued a notice a proposed rule making for internet making that indicated broadband and mobile uses classified by title one and this demonstrates that this was the chairman 's intent during
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the time period. in october 2014 and after the fcc public comment period ended, media reports that chairman wheel erin tended to finalize a hybrid approach to that -- that continued to title broadband under title one. days later president obama appeared on you tube calling for a title two reclassification similar to a utility or a telephone company. e-mails provided this is a major surprise to the fcc staff including mr. wheeler. on january 7th chairman wheeler announced they would reclassify broadband under title two. i'm sure much will be made about the 4 million comments made but they were not made in the context of changing this to title two. the fcc adopted the rule change on february 26th in a 3-2 vote. the lack of transparency
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surrounding the open rule-making process leaves us with a lot of questions. this is a fact-finding hearing. this committee commits to fact-finding across government. and i look forward to hearing from mr. wheeler. and with that i recognize the ranking member mr. cummings for five minutes. >> we're here today to discuss net routeality, the rule adopted last month by the fcc. there are strong opinions on all sides of this issue. no doubt about it. on one hand, internet service providers including comcast, at&t, verizon and time warner oppose the rule wand lobbied against it. they argued that it would increase fees reduce investments, slow network upgrades and reduce competition
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and innovation. on the other hand, supporters of this new rule contend asp's should not be allowed to discriminate based on content. they believe isp's should be required to act like phone companies, controlling the pipes that make up the internet but not what flows through them. consumers, social media entities and companies like facebook netflix and google favor open internet policy because they do not want to be charged higher prices to provide their services. the question before the committee is not which policy we may prefer. but whether the process used by the fcc to adopt the rule was appropriate. republicans who oppose the new rule allege that president obama exerted undue influence on the
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process but we have seen no evidence to support -- this allegation. instead, the evidence before the committee indicates that the process was thorough followed the appropriate guidelines, and benefited from a record number of public comments. i welcome chairman wheeler here today to discuss the process used by the fcc. i would like to make several points for the record. first, the fcc received more comments on this rule than any other rule in its history. that is indeed very significant. as i understand it the fcc received about 4 million comments. this grassroots movement was highlighted when john olivier a popular late-night talk show host encouraged viewers to go on
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the fcc website to comment on the proposed rule. the number of comments was also extremely high because the fcc established a 60-day comment period twice -- twice as long as required by the administrative procedures act. in addition, the president has a right to express his position on proposed rules. and he did so forcefully in this case. in november, he made remarks in support of an open internet rule arguing that it is -- and i quote -- essential to the american economy, end of quote. he said the fcc, and i quote, should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gate keeper restricting what you can do or see online, end of quote.
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when he gave this speech, the president also ensured that his office submitted the appropriate ex parte filing. he did this through the national communications -- telecommunications and information agency which is tasked with providing the fcc with information about the administration's position on policy matters. presidents routinely make their positions known to independent agencies regarding pending rules. presidents reagan george h.w. bush clinton and george w. bush all expressed opinions on fcc regulations during their presidency. in fact for this net neutrality rule there were more than 750 ex parte filings from individuals, public interest groups lobbyists, corporations and elected officials, all of whom had an opportunity to make
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their views known. finally, the committee is going to actions of chairman wheeler and supporters of the rule, then we must also examine the actions of others who oppose the rule. multiple press accounts indicate that they've been working closely with republicans on and off -- on and off capitol hill to affect fcc's work and we should review their actions with the same level of scrutiny. chairman thank you -- mr. wheeler thank you for appearing today and with that mr. chairman i yield back. >> i will hold the record open for five days for any statements and i recognize the witness. tom wheeler the chair of the
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federal commissioner. all witnesses will be sworn before they testify. if you will please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. thank you. we appreciate it. in order to allow time for discussion, we normally ask for your testimony to be limited for five minutes and we are very for giving on this. we appreciate your verbal comments and your entire written statement will be made part of the record mr. wheeler. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman ranking member, members of the committee. i will take that hint as well as your forgive bs and try to skip through early paragraphs here. i'm proud of the process the commission ran for the open internet order it. was one of the most open and
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transparent in commission history and the public's participation was unprecedented. last april i circulated a draft in the of proposed rule making that included a set of open internet protections way to achieve an open internet. the open internet nprm adopted in may proposed a solution to the telecommunications act of 1996. it also specifically asked extensive questions as to whether title 2 of the communications act of 1934 would be a better solution. a quick point. while historically some nprms just ask questions, during my chairmanship i've made it a policy to present draft nprms to my colleagues as specific proposals as a means to flag key concepts or comments or attention.
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i believe this is an important part in transparent rule making process. but let's be clear, the proposal is tentative, not a final conclusion and the purpose is to fully test that concept. in this instance as in others it worked in the desired way to focus the debate. the process of open internet rule making was one of the most open and expansive processes the fcc has ever run. we heard from start-up, isps, a series of round tables. mr. cummings mentioned we heard from 140 different ex partes. 140 members of congress. we heard from president obama's administration. and in the formal submissions. but here i would like to be really clear. there were no secret instructions from the white house. i did not, as ceo of an
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independent agency feel obligated to follow the president's recommendation. but i did feel obligated to treat it with the respect that it deserves, just as i have treated with similar respect the input both pro and con from 140 senators and representatives. and most significantly has been pointed out we heard from 4 million americans. we listened and learned throughout this entire process. and we made our decision based on a tremendous public record. my initial proposal was to reinstate the 2010 rules. the tentative conclusion put forth in the nprm suggested that the fcc could assure internet openness by applying a commercial reasonableness test. under section 706 to determine appropriate behavior of isps. as the process continued i listened to countless consumers
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innovators and investors and others around the country. i became concerned that the relatively untested, commercially reasonable standard might be subsequently interpreted to mean that what was reasonable for isps commercial arrangements, not what was reasonable for consumers. that of course would be the wrong conclusion. and it was an outcome that was unacceptable. so that is why over the summer i began exploring how to utilize title 2 and its well-established just and reasonable standard. as previously indicated this is an approach on which we had sought comment in the nprm and about which i had specifically spoken saying all approaches including title 2 were very much on the table for consideration. you have asked whether there were secret instructions from the white house. again, i repeat, the answer is no. now the question becomes whether the president's announcement on
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november 10th had an impact on the open internet debate, including at the fcc. of course it did. the push for title 2 had been hard and continuous from democratic members of congress. the president's weighing in to whole title 2 issue new prominence. of course we had been working on approaches to title 2 including combined title two section 706 solution for some time. the president's focus on title 2 put wind in the sails of everyone looking for strong open internet protection. it also encouraged those opposing any government involvement to for the first time support legislation with bright line rules. and as i considered title 2, it became apparent that rather than being a monolith, it was a very fluid concept. the record contained multiple approaches to the use of title 2.
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one was the title 2 section 706 hybrid approach that bifurcated internet service. another, the approach we ultimately chose used title 2 and section 706 but without bifurcation. and another, the one the president supported was only title 2 without section 706. all of these were on the table prior to the president's statement. but let me be specific. we were exploring the viability of a bifurcated approach. i was also considering using title 2 in a matter patterned after its application in the wireless voice industry. and i had from the out set indicated a straight title 2 was being considered. key consideration throughout the deliberation was the potential impact of any regulation on the capital formation necessary for the construction of broadband infrastructure.
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an interesting result of the president's statement was the absence of a reaction from the capital markets. when you talk about the impact of the president's statement, this was an important data point. resulting i believe from the president's position against rate regulation. it was, of course, the same goal that i had been looking to achieve from the outset. as we move to a conclusion, i was reminded how it was not necessary to revoke all 48 sections of title 2. after it was deemed pursuant to section 32 of the communications act. in applying title 2 but limiting the applicable provisions, the congress and the commission in that act enabled a wireless voice business with hundreds of billions of dollars in investment and a record of innovation that makes it the best in the world.
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this is the model for the ultimate recommendation that i put forward to my colleagues. there were other industry data points that informed my thinking in the condition's analysis. one was the recognition of interconnection as an important issue. a topic not addressed by the president. and then my letter to verizon wireless about the announcement to limit unlimited data customers of the subscriber over a certain amount of data. a policy it ultimately reversed. and particularity bidding and the overwhelming success of the spectrum auction at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015 which show that investment in networks, even in the face of the potential classification of internet access under title two continued to flourish. other data points were wall street analysts and statements of the isps themselves.
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sprint, t-mobile, frontier and hundreds of small rural carriers said that they would continue to invest under this title two framework that we were developing. findings of the public record influenced the evolution of my thinking. and the final conclusion that modern, light touch title two reclassification, accompanied by section 706 provides the strongest foundation for open internet rules. using this authority we adopted as strong as and balanced protections that assure the rights of internet users to go where they want. when they want. protecting the field is a level playing field for innovators and entrepreneurs and preserve those to invest in fast and competitive broadband networks. i stand ready to answer your questions. >> thank you. and i'll recognize myself for five minutes. chairman, did you or the fcc
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ever provide the white house the proposed rule prior to the final vote? >> no, sir. >> the comment period was open may 15th. how many times did you meet either at the white house or did the white house officials come meet with you? during that time. >> in total? >> yes. >> about any issue. i think we have shown you my calendar that has something like ten. >> june 11th with jason furman, correct? >> you have the list, sir. >> june 18th with jeffrey zeinst. caroline atkinson, july 17th. september 11th, jeffrey zeinst. september 30th. october 15th. october 28th. and then mr. zinaz visiting with you on november 9th at the fcc. does that sound accurate? >> if that's the list that we provided, sir. >> and you only provided an ex parte for one of those meetings. why is that?
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>> first of all the rules are quite clear on what constitutes an ex parte. and that is an attempt to file specifically in a specific docket and to influence the outcome of that docket -- >> did you discuss this -- >> just -- and. >> did you discuss this matter during those meetings. >> and there are provisions long established going back to the bush administration also legislative council. >> i have five minutes. i need to ask very specific. >> you are asking about ex partes. and there is no requirement that there be an ex parte file. there was no need either. i want to make sure -- >> i don't understand that. you met with them. you're telling me this proposed rule did not come up in any of


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