tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN April 22, 2015 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT
aemergency alerts, working with states to make sure they have those systems ready to go to warn and evacuate populations and support the states if they need additional personnel to do search and rescue and communications equipment to support those responses. but looking at the grant program, that's really where most of the resources will be utilized in this. although the intent of the homeland security grants are to build capability for terrorism, it's also understood the same type of capabilities you have to build would be the type you would have to respond to a train derailment. we don't preclude it. we make sure that as we identify new threats that we look at our grand language if there are things that can be used for that. we don't want to subtract from the preparation such as terrorism, but other hazards
that have capabilityies, we want to address that life safety immediate response, communications evacuation and sheltering. that's pretty much something you're going to need to do in a lot of different events. this is our idea that grant dollars have build a lot of capability are looking at where do we need to put more emphasis. our first work with dot is looking at training capabilities, we want to make sure senior executives in the fire service have the latest. but also looking into the grant programs and again as we see these threats emerging, because this is dual use, we do have capability, we always go to the consequences, what are the things we need to do if that happens. from a lot of emergency management preparedness grants which i again support this administration's recommendation and committee has done a lot of work there, those preparedness grants, those are some of the dollars they can be using to develop this community plans. there are other programs that are not part of fema that have
supported this before under the super fund reauthorization act that epa administers or local emergency planning committees there's a lot of different pieces out there to apply to this. looking at the sequences and grant programs and gaps that this is exposing across the nation. >> if i can follow-up on the training aspect of that you talk about training and reaching out to senior executives, i'm hearing from rank and file emergency management personnel who feel they are under prepared were an event like this to happen specifically they feel lack of resources to first responders to require training or provide them the specialized foam that would be needed to put out burning crude oil fire and they don't they are getting
adequate information to respond quickly to an incident should one occur while a train is passing through their jurisdiction. i'm curious to know how much fema has engaged with the railroads themselves and do you believe that more action would be necessary from the railroads and oil producers in order to properly protect the citizens who live along the rail lines. >> we're not directly working with the railroads, we're working with federal partners with oversight which is u.s. department of transportation. we continue to work in the inner agency with this. this is part of the reason why it is being designed to train the trainer and independent study as we are sitting down going what are the training needs and what can we already have that we can utilize and what can we adapt? we are still examining what other training needs are out
there. we're working back through the department of transportation with the industry itself over types of training and also tie into the training available to visibility what industry has out there for training in addition to a lot of state fire academies and our center for domestic fairness in making sure that we have consistent training part of this is dealing what's the best information, how do you deal with this? are we getting that ready to go? looking at all of the delivery systems to get that out to the local level. >> one of the things i mentioned in my opening statement was making sure as you work with flood mapping and remapping and flood insurance and planning by efforts by local communities to build permanent flood protection. can you tell me what you're doing so you're making sure
those two things work together in tandem? it's important in terms of the cost of flood insurance for people who live in those communities. >> yes senator again all the way back to when you were governor we often had this challenged that our regulations would not recognize future products in calculating risk as we were updating maps. what we would tell community is when you get it change the maps. then we have the issue of having to change rates several times and knew it was funding authorized to come in also and i think you saw we're taking a more pragmatic approach. if we know the commitment is there and promgs are coming on in a timely manner, does it make a lot of sense in the interim to change rates several times and not recognize that. as we're going through this what we do want to make sure is there is a commitment they have funding and moving forward with
that, i think from roy's perspective, it's pragmatic to work with that community and not issue a map until we know that's online. but again, we also make sure that communities are going to be moving forward. we don't want to delay that if there's risk out there that people aren't aware of that the map would show. we know if there's permanent corrective actions, things falling outside of the map cycle and if we delay it for a year we have best data and recognize that. i think roy is working to be more pragmatic about that so we're not unfairly penalizing communities and waiting to identify risk indeterminate periods of time. >> in other words if that can be coordinated, your process could be coordinated with building the permanent protection which is done in phases, i think it makes a big difference. >> second next question i have for you goes to administrative
costs, ga oext did a study and analyzed your add min costs over 650 disasters between 2004 and 2013. their ratio was 13% they compare that to the states that had about a 3% ratio i think it was. can you tell me why your add min cost is at 13% and state at 3% and first why and then what do you do to try to make sure it is as cost effective as possible? >> those costs include a lot of capabilities to respond to disasters rolled into that. it also means that the state is usually benefitting from the jfo we're releasing and overhead costs we build in our budgets. but you point out something that i've often times challenged my
staff, how much does it cost me to administer one grant dollar and disaster. it's a range because it depends upon how many people you got what's the complexity and that's not a good answer. i'm trying to look at this as you are, why do i have to establish all of these tools if i don't need them in every disaster. one of the things we've done is why are we establishing a physical presence, it's just going to be public assistance and work out of hotel rooms and i don't need a facility and security and it hookup, we're doing what we call virtual jfos with the state. many of them appreciate it because they can stay in the workplace and get work done without having to relocate to another location. we are looking at what is it costing us are there different ways of doing it? we're more inclined to do virtual field offices and looking to drive down that cost. we also do things that are reporting requirements that states don't have the oversight that we have. if you look at the post katrina
reform, we have a lot of oversight to ensure that we are delivering programs and eliminating frautd and waste. as we go through that how do we do a better job with the oversight, they are not that efficient but they were the initial response to how do you provide that oversight. we're looking at both maintaining physical accountable and delivering programs and looking at the mechanisms there has to be a less extensive way. as a state person i was floored by the number of people fema would bring in for something like external affairs. we had a joint field office for hurricanes that had over 5,000 people in it and i can assure you half of that was in the state of florida. i'm also sensitive to how much of a workforce do we need to bring in to support a state. how much is -- they've always done it that way and that's why we really push back on the
number of people deploying setting up physical locations and really focusing on outcome of executing the disaster not just going in and throwing in systems that had always been in place in a level that wasn't sustainable or required in all disasters. >> do you have any type of statistics that show what you've been able to save or benchmarks what you feel you sh achieve? >> we are benchmarking -- the challenge i keep running into, there's such a range. i can show you what it cost for a virtual field office and to set up a facility. we have to lease a facility for so many months and everything associated with that. we may only need it for a month to do what we need to do. so i can give you -- those type of disasters and if we can do this versus what we traditionally spent.
as we build better analytics we're trying to get to the number of how much is part of the disaster response versus overhead to maintain the capability response and in looking at that on a case by case basis are we showing savings. some disasters like sandy will have a higher end and cause a lot more people and facilities and very expensive area to put people up in hotel rooms. other disasters would be less expensive and others we're looking at are we driving trends down and seeing overall that we're containing overtime costs and are we not doing things just because people always done it that way to drive down the cost of each we administer. i think we can give you some of the things we're working towards and case studies of disasters versus what we would have spent before and start showing you those trends. >> some metrics an outcomes. >> thank you, i agree, i look forward to seeing those. i want to go back to your conversation with senator baldwin because you talked about
the importance of grant programs to prepareness and working with local first responders and local local -- i can tell you what a difference security grants have made in new hampshire to our preparedness. that's why i was concerned when i saw in the budget that you were proposing an 18% cut to preparedness grants 28% cut to training and 1.5% cut to firefighter grants. the recent fema preparedness report found eight areas where communities are still in need of improvement. and i know that one of the proposals is to consolidate many of these grant programs and while i appreciate that there are places that there can be efficiencies, i can tell you that those grants as i said have
made huge difference in new hampshire. and the firefighter grants and other preparedness grants have really been critical. can you explain why the proposed reductions and -- i know that they won't take up the consolidation issue and that's not going to be an option in this budget. as i said i probably wouldn't support it if it were. obviously, i would like to provide the maximum amount of funding that we could provide in the grants programs but you have to make hard choices and you have to submit upon administration and this is a continuation of the president's
request. although congress has been able to find more money, we have been pretty consistent in what we've asked for. as far as consolidation of grants, this actually went back to since the ability to leverage dollars across the state some states do a better job than others, but it came back to as governor if you have emergency powers and constitution establishes authorities, the consolidation of grants between the governor and state in the position to help direct more resources across the state, you know your states better. give you more flexibility across the grants to make those decisions. we also understand a lot of stake holders don't have the same trust there, there's concerns about not all states may be as equitiable in distributing funds as i've said in each of my testimonies the reason we're doing this is recognizing the roll the states have and what state constitutions and power the
emergency authorities and creation of the political subdivisions are unique to each state of the by consolidating grants at the level of the governor, it gives govern oers for floexibility. i was execute the budget congress provides us with the direction you give us and that will be not up for debate. >> thank you, i appreciate that. one of the national preparedness goal that is out for review says that fire management and suppression was added as a core capability, which makes total sense to me. and the request for grants for fire departments was a reduction and so can you talk about what a reduction in fire demgts would
have on the distribution of funds to rural communities and volunteer departments and how we can on the one hand talk about a goal of fire management and suppression and talk about grants to fire departments and folks who need to make sure we're prepared for those fires. >> i think the structural firefighters goes back to the original framework while in fire fighting. and on a national level fires had been the one failure response most often but i had come out of the fire service so i have to be bias here as a structural firefighter. we do a lot of firefightering but in disaster we do the bulk of the search and rescue and emergency capabilities at the local level we felt it was important they be recognized as the framework of the emergency
support function that exclusively on wildfires. as far as the grants the reduction will mean fewer smoke detectors and fewer breathing apparatus but it's a reality that when we have to force into a budget everything and all priorities, these are numbers we were able to get and represent to you what we think is the administration we can fund. it doesn't mean there's not more demand or need this is based upon all of the parties the administration has to look at funding everything from health and human services and ebola response and a lot of things i find myself dealing with, this is where we came out and we're able to make the recommendation. we also understand this is where we start the discussion. >> i'm glad to hear you acknowledge that it will have an impact if we don't have that additional funding. i want to go back to the
discussion about how you put together your -- several things that you include as new shouldn't say they are new initiatives but to upgrade the management structure focus on i.t. on business management grant management and i cyber security can you talk about why it's important to do those now and have those initiatives rose to the top of what you were looking at in order to be more efficient? >> we had started this before being -- part of homeland security we found ourselves with grant modernization being wrapped in the initiative that did not later occur. we have systems that are ancient. we pay so many in supporting and
maintaining old systems that we think we can do a better job by modernizing the systems and reduce costs. in many cases we think we can have substantial reductions by upgrading to newer systems and pay legacy costs. this becomes a cyber security concern as well. when you have systems running on old, old systems, including the fact that microsoft is no longer supporting server 2003, but your systems are built on that if you're not upgrading them, you increase cyber vulnerabilities xgt we've looked at our vulnerabilities on that end not a poster child at all for that. we've been documenting our systems and eliminating redun tant systems no longer needed but we have reached a point where if we do not start upgrading these systems, not only will they become more expensive to maintain but not achieve the purpose of being able to be transparent and share information with stake holders and quite honestly spend more time responding to your request
by creating a spread she'll in excel to take the data to cannot produce to make your decisions. >> do you have estimates on how much -- how much you're going to save or how much the spending will balance out in the long term because of the efficiencies you'll be able to achieve? >> yes, senator, we've taken -- we're back and what we said is we're going to take small incremental steps and build on common operating systems and use government owned systems and move forward in the grant consolidation and modernization. we can show you from our time line if we appropriate funds for this what our milestones are and projected savings and what it's costing you right now to maintain the current systems and how we'll see those costs go away as new systems come on and replace them. >> that's great if that's something you have not shared
with the committee, will you do that please? >> yes. >> we would very much like to see that. thank you. >> as a result of sandy you received both authority to provide upfront fundings for public assistance projects so that entities could get funding up front and to give them -- both to expedite the process and give them more flexibility to get it done. and then also, given authority to examine ways in which you could reduce disaster costs nationally. both of those seem like really good ideas and like you to respond in both areas. why aren't more of the -- why isn't more of the funding where it can be provided from, why isn't it being utilized more frequently? and then second talk about your strategy as far as implement being the national strategy?
>> yes, senator, as with anything new there was a lot of concern that by doing a cost estimate what would happen if they discover something later on that wasn't anticipated they would miss out. they would be stuck with a bill. our first success actually came out of a case that was still pending from irene in the state of vermont and once they understood the flexibility to solve problems we have not been able to resolve, they moved forward with it and had the first success project. we've seen a digsally a lot of resistance because of unknowns. as that success spreads, people are starting to understand this is giving them flexibility and ability to move forward with certainty on these projects and we are increasingly seeing more projects come in that will go this route. the amount that we've already approved and dollars going out are in the billions. i am still working with the
mayor of new orleans to finalize the projects till outstanding from katrina ten years later. i do not foresee that with sandy. where we are with the complex hospital using this charity we were five years and went to arbitration before we got an answer. we're already moving forward on funding in the construction and rebuilding and prepare of hospitals. so i think this is still the concern that what if they find things later. >> we don't need to rush that i want to make sure it's a good solid number, once we have that nb and we can agree to it do i really need to be there every time you change an order or you need to do something different to get a review? and i have do dole out money each quarter and do the inspections? that's where the administer costs goes up. if wefl we have a good product
and good agreement and have fiscal tools in place and accounted for what was eligible and make that determination, then we should be able to move forward. i think as applicants become more familiar with that and see the benefits of it we're going to see increasingly in particularly in large complex projects communities turning to this to speed up the process. >> what the is flexibility mechanism, the concerns are covered if they take the money up front and find out there is additional cost, what is the flexibility? >> part of that is, what we have done in many cases we'll write a small grant to bring in an engineering firm and you've been through state bid process where you bid out a building and the person bidding on it made a mistake, they own the mistake. we basically take this up to where you got somebody ready to bid on that project that's the number we want so we've done everything, they've done the studies and done engineering sean done the due diligence.
at that point you should be ready to issue the contract. if the person didn't do due diligence that's going to be their responsibility. we've tried to make this as seamless as we can with the best understanding of what it is when all of the eligibility is. if it takes us a year to get to that or something complex like a hospital, we'll take a year. once we get to that number we want to be able to pay you allow you to move forward and i allow you to do things we have historically not from the standpoint of other federal dollars making decisions about increasing size with your own dollars, we were so con strained -- we can only do what was damaged. and if you need to do things that were going to prove that, we may not be able to fund it but shouldn't be an i am pediment to you, or utilizing community dollars to enhance something. our process was always so restrictive that that was very
difficult. >> this is much better. we build the mitigation on the front end. as you point out a lot of times we'll build back based upon the past tatedata, we have been back to that facility more than once because it got wiped out. we need to move beyond that. we have to loong at not just building back to what we always looked at cost benefit analysis and make investments. this gives us the ability to move beyond just looking at one set of criteria. >> it seems that your mitigation effort has to be focused on the actual hazard. in this budget you're looking at additional funds for hazard mitigation but i would certainly want to know that is based on the actual hazard itself and mitigate both the hazard and long-term cost for the federal government and the locality.
and that has been the criteria for determining hazard mitigation. >> i can show you example where we have had predisaster mitigation. states have taken that like in oklahoma to do grants to families to build safe roads for tornadoes. our goal is to reduce risk. there's a lot of driving factors of that and changing environment but when weigh want to look at what are things as taxpayers if we can spend money on the front end and reduce future costs and potential disruptions to disaster. this is very much in our predisaster mitigation looking at it from outcomes that are based upon buying down risk, reducing risk or building more resiliency in the infrastructure that is hazard based. there's a lot of things out there driving change. i have to look at the
consequences of impact. that's where we focus mitigation dollars. >> again, i go back to the measure and show whether it's providing funding up front and flexibility, whether it's making sure that you're mitigating -- you've got to have a system to come back and have measurable -- >> how about lives saved? >> lives saved, obviously huge priority there. >> i've got to give you a little good news story. talked about in d.c., but few give you a concrete example. our fire administration collects fire information from fire departments, national fire reporting data base. we never had a good program of opening that data up and finally got the data we're providing it but what are we going to do with it? we've been working with red cross and red cross decided to focus on smoke detector installs and areas that have had the highest risk to loss of life. they were able to take our data,
match up the communities that use fire grant dollars and got volunteers and we installed smoke detectors and now have using data to drive where we met the installs 13 documented cases of lived saved where smoke detectors went off and people got out of the building. so we're using big data to leverage our limited funds partnering with organizations like the red cross and getting outcomes we can document that those reports that people used to follow -- i always wonder what are you doing with that? we're making the data available so people can use analysts and drive where's the most need and greatest risk? where can we make the biggest difference with our limited resources, i was talking to red cross this morning, they now have 13 cases where they had installed the smoke detector. it went off and people got out. and the data says that was a high risk area without the smoke detector we would have probably had loss of life.
>> where are you measuring that so we can track it. thank you. >> as you pointed out, what you're always looking to do is figure out where to spend money to mitigate potential risk and how you can be more effective in doing that. and one of the places where i think there's real potential is working with the private sector because as you know, government doesn't respond to disasters alone. it often has the benefit of using the private sector and fema's industry liaison program is one point of entry for those who want to do business with fema. but i've got to tell you i've heard from businesses in new hampshire that have not had a
good experience with that program. and one of those in particular, i won't name because i haven't gotten clearance to use their name, but they have worked with marine corps, in haiti responding in new orleans responding to katrina and they really wanted to try to market technology to fema. over the course of beginning in 2009, 2011, 2012 they presented to fema at three industry liaison vendor outreach sessions appropriate policy and program staff attended only two of those meetings. although initially officials appeared enthusiastic, the procurement staff limited the agency employees from sharing business cards and regularly failed to respond to the
follow-up phone calls and e-mails and when we try to inquire about the process and how to ensure they were getting a fair hearing, we were told they have to go through the normal procurement process. that's what they tried to do. can you talk about how you can do more to ensure when companies have good technology that can be a benefit to fema, that there is ab opportunity for them to be heard and you to take advantage of some of that technology where it exists? >> senator, given the time frames, we have changed leadership of the chief procurement officer it addresses some of this. sometimes we're overly concerned about not obtaining potential
bid processes and there are certain things we need to be careful about that we don't give favoritism to. they bring in industry and did this with i.t. and said here's where we're going, not giving anybody any one on one sitdowns because this is going out to bid. we brought everybody in and they were looking at looking at our i.t. as a potential vendor and we laid out what we are thinking about doing and what our time frames are and what the we'll work this but sometimes we overcorrect and not trying to get into procurement issues that may exclude companies from being able to present. and finding a better playing field so we don't mess somebody up. as you know, if it's seen as giving favoritism and disputed
bid, you have a bid protest. we have a new procurement officer, making it as transparent as possible and part of the tools are we want to do the meeting and try to set them up so we don't end up contaminateing and industry days bringing groups around our mission and challenges and go here's what we're looking at and this is what we're thinking, we're going to be putting bids at this but have all of the presentation and they ask, less jaded than what we have. i think what you're probably running into, procurement office that was not where we needed to be but also to overcompensate and not always provide level of service without jeopardizing future procurement.
>> that's encouraging there's hopefully a new process that is more transparent and an opportunity to be heard. thank you, i look forward to hearing how that works. there's one issue around the flood mapping that the senator has not touched on that i wanted to raise. and i think it's the final issue i would like to raise and that is around the new position of the flood insurance advocate, because one of the things that again we've heard, i think chairman said he heard in north dakota, there's a lot of uncertainty and not a clear understanding about how the new flood maps are done and what kind of community input is available and how decisions are made. can you talk about the new flood insurance advocate and what that office will be doing and how they can help communities better
understand the process of the flood mapping? >> i have to thank you for the funding and budget to stand the office up. we're approaching this from two ways, we think in servicing maps we need to look at building staff capabilities as advocates in the regional offices to be closer to attend meetings knowing when maps are coming out. there's a whole process the community is involved in but having the advocate in the region not part of that mapping process but there to go out and meet with groups get issues and bring them back and dealing with claims issue we think claims have to be made because we pay essentially essentially. we dbt want to wait and now building the office out, we started to take form we still have detailed staff but going to the job descriptions to be
posting permanent positions to start the program on a more permanent footing. they are going to be housed as part of the flood insurance program but they don't report to the administrator, they report to the administrator fema. we put them in the office so all of the connections and logistical support and proximity would be there. their reporting chain other than signing off on time sheets and travel, everything else comes to the administrator. so as we move forward and establish that we looked at specifically in maps the best place to coordinate but what we're still looking at workload do we need full-time or specific map revisions coming up some map revisions are not contested and they are small we may be looking at deployable staff as we know we have a large project coming in or large community or a lot of concerns about it we
have staff to go in and detail for the duration of that update. >> i think this is sort of like an ombudsman to deal with flood issues within the office and i think this is a really positive develop the and look forward to hearing how it's working and to be helpful if we can. thank you very much, chairman. >> just a couple more questions and we'll wrap up. first is the talking about the preparedness grants return on investment and really what you feel a level of preparedness is across the nation and how we measure this and how effective they are in helping improve that preparedness across the country. >> part of or report that we again struggled with early on was i can do a better job at telling you how much money had
been spent and not telling what capabilities had been built. we're seeing through the threat hazard reduction and other surveys and state preparedness report that over time we're seeing the change and i can give you specific examples. the state of mississippi identified early in some of this they needed more funding for operation direction and control communications and manage disasters. with the grant funding that's matured and on the state preparedness report showing that they are more into maintenance mode and not building as much capacity. they are switching to other things like cyber but still see they need to make improvements in. between the state preparedness reports, we're seeing trends where people are shifting to other areas in maintenance or still identifying areas they've got to make investments in. part of this comes back to looking again at the tops of threats and disasters and are we
seeing capabilities being built out there. when you look at cyber it's been consistent, one of the areas most states are identifying that they have a lot of work to do but it's going from we're just starting to we're seeing things come back on what they are doing. we can show you where the money has started that process of where we have bill capability and what that looks like and how it's being used you about how they are not shifting to other priorities within those areas. and what they do there. but then how do you turn that into some type of ongoing analysis where we can say okay these grants are very effective and we kind are moving up the chain and what the impact is nationwide. how do you develop some system to track that and have a good understanding of where we are how much progress we're making? >> again our national preparedness report we try to
use analytics and double data to show here's what the data trends are doing and specific case studies where people have done that. the question we get a lot of times, high do we know when we're done? the answer is we're never done. one of the reality that's hard to explain, because we built teams and capabilities. people retire and move on you have to train new team members and equipment has to be updated and technology changes and needs to be replaced. all of the laptops bought in first go arounds, that's ten years ago, you've had to replace those at least twice. maybe we need -- as we go through this and funding going through increasing every year to reduction and being stable, which i also appreciate, we're
seeing communities make decisions what capacities they need to maintain. some things they are making a decision no longer feasible or the change how we do business no longer requires it. but maintaining that capability and again what you're seeing is starting in 2011, i can point to very specific disasters where previously had had a much greater response because of capability to build funding and federal role was to support recovery. for a lot of disasters, that's probably our best indicator we're seeing preparedness take place. as i tell people, sandy, when i look at what state and local governments did and what they were able to manage all the way from the carolinas getting ready for the storm a lot was grant dollars built paid for and administered through all of the homeland security grants that was the capability responded and the federal role is more a support to that versus a primary agency which had been what we had had to do in previous large
scale catastrophic disasters. >> done right, i think it can make a huge difference. between continuing to spend a disaster recovery money repeatedly year after year building the infrastructure through the preparedness grants, you spend lots and may spend more in one year but you're not -- you get out of this repetitive spending for recovery. >> part of the center too we made decisions that we were funding each jurisdiction hoping it added up to being prepared and the reality is this through mutual aid to consolidate a lot of resources we as a nation built. we began changing language to recognize these are building national capabilities that you use at the local level and may use at the local level exclusively until there's a large disaster somewhere else
and every state that receives these they have to certificate that that state remembers a member of the emergency management system compact and when you look at the resources as national assets. that change began then leveraging do we need to have the same equipment in every jurisdiction side by side or could we start moving towards identifying hey, we've got a lot of search and rescue teams here. what we don't have are mortuary services or specialized communications to support that or as the case of the trains and other things may have an emerging threat we need hazmat teams for. do we do everything or certain teams to start that process. but that to your point is really looking at we're building capabilities and capacity that is housed at the local level ugsed day to day at the local level but in a catastrophic terrorist event, there are natural resources to be mobilized across state lines. we saw that in sandy where a
lot of assistance from outside of the area those funded with these dollars and built capabilities but shared governor to state, in mutual aid. we talk about a national framework, national capabilities and national preparedness, not federal or fema. the grant dollars are building a national system. >> that's working you have the coordination you need so people feel those resources are available when and where they need them? >> again, senator the ability for governors to share resources whether it's national guard or state resources is the foundation of that. we still work as some states do a better job internally of being able to acty vat local resources as part of that and others need more work. we continue looking at tieing back grants to that capability and getting communities, including urban security areas to recognize they are a national asset. we're never going to strip
resources where we need them but also seen time and time again some of the fastest most effective responses have come neighbors helping neighbors and governors helping governors and making it clear we need to build the capability around what governors do best in dealing with disasters. >> all right, i've got one more question then senator sheehan has one more and we'll wrap. can you comment your sense of solvency of the flood insurance program in terms of how we're going right now and how we're managing the national flood insurance program and all of these other steps that you're taking to both mitigate risk hazard mitigation preparedness, all of these steps where does that put us in terms of creating
long term solvency for the flood insurance fund? >> well, the challenge you have if you have average levels of flood events, the fund does find that the programs actually fairly well adapted to recurring flood risk. but it's not designed to handle well are large flood events particularly coastal areas where you're dealing with such large responses like a katrina or sandy and there are numerous communities, including in my old state of florida that have significant exposure to tropical systems. the program does not handle that well. if we see a normal level of localized flooding and events we typically experience outside of a coastal storm, the program has done well and paying back interest and debt. but we also want to make sure we're looking at some of the practices that i think we're finding as we look at what happened with sandy, we're paying a lot of money to run this program. i want to start driving down
cost like we're trying to drive down costs in our other programs, i want to look at these cost analysis because does it make sense to spend this money to get this product? are there better ways to get a better outcome at lower cost? as we get into this, this is my third phase of the flood insurance. i have to deal with what happened in sandy and take the steps of making sure that doesn't happen again then my third step to go back in and fundamentally relook how we administer the programs through the direct service policy and service claims and going what are we spending to do that? what makes sense? how do we ensure we have a good product that stable available gets written timely and gets serviced timely and pays out what is owed at the least amount of administrative overhead? >> thank you. >> senator? >> based on something you said, i had a couple of other questions. when you were talking to senator
hov en about where the risks are and how effective we've been at preparedness across the country, can you map where those potential high threat areas are. where there are areas that need more coverage and where communication systems are inoperable and where we have teams that can address chemical or biological threats? so is there a map like that that exists for the entire country? >> it is in elements in the fields of visualization we've got to get data to do things like that. we can do some things already. we can take all of the major fault areas in the country and lay that down. then we can take the known locations where we have our
federal urban search and rescue teams which you fund as well as the urban search and rescue teams that states have identified and overlay that and show what that looks like. so we have been doing that as so we have been doing that as we look at where threats are. we do the catastrophic planning one example is the abduction zone, which will result -- >> where is that? >> it's off the northwest coast involving all the way down to british columbia. we have to look at areas vulnerable to that type of event and look at where the resources come from. we do the same thing in the u.s. for the earthquake. it is not that we don't look at all states but we look at where are specific hazards we know that are geographical, whether it is storm-based or tsunami risks. we have to look at the resources because you figure if you're in
the area you may be as much a part of that disaster and not be in the resource capability. so where are the funds coming from? we actually look through the list of what the state and locals have, how the gaps are. we actually work all of this through our ultimate partners and dod with north com so that both the locals the state and resources. part of that is looking at capability across the nation. one thing we don't want to do we saw the unit respond, almost exclusive east of the mississippi. we asked a question well, what happen happens if we have another event? now you're going to have to pull resources all the way from the west coast. maybe it would make sense to start to distribute some of the resources. we were working with frank grass at the national burrowy bureau looking
at the capabilities. we look at where we have known threats and plan deliberately for that. we have the ability to then use that if we have it then occur if it was not in an area that we then planned for or had not been identified. we have the same tools we have been building as far as resource resources and capabilities. again, we go through the disasters and go what are the consequences and what type of support you even need to deal with that. so a lot of times we focus less on what caused it if you go to search and rescue what do you do against search and rescue and you have to treat patients. if you're going to shelter people, how many people do you need to shelter? how much of duration. we can now apply the resources versus waiting until it happens and going well, how do we deal with this? we deal with these things all over the place, it's really coming back and taking a step
back and going collectively in the nation, there are some events so big that if we're not bringing in all the capabilities of a nation, we'll end up with a shortfall. a lot of things happened with katrina. but one thing i saw it was not that the nation didn't have the resources to respond. we didn't have an effective way. clearly, we have people we can send, who do we call? so we don't want to have that happen again. and this means that you have to take a step back and go look, there are disasters bigger than the federal government. they are going to be so big that they will require that we engage the states and local governments that are not impacted as part of that response. and that goes back to the grant funding. the building capacity capability that we have had before, by using tools the responsive frame work i have never known a government that was not willing to give everything they got
including sometimes how much they should send to help a government out in time of need. so when people say are we better prepared? yes, do we have a mechanism to administer it? yes, do we have the work? yes, we're not longer telling you how much we have as a measure of preparedness. >> sure, one is as we point out the way we're most effective is when everybody mobilizes because that provides more volunteers, more resources to the effort. i just want to close with a final issue that you raise. you talked about hearing from states and localities about the threats from two cyber -- the cyber security threat. and i wonder if you can talk about what fema is doing with respect to grants to address cyber security threats. what percentage of the funds are actually awarded for those kinds of grants. and do you work with the cyber center at homeland security at the nddk on how those grants are
distributed. or the technology that they're developing there. explain a little bit how that process works? should should -- >> most of what we look at are state enhancement cyber centers i would have to go back and look at that we have the ability to expand, but within the cyber world there is still a lot to be determined how much with the practices and how much is an i.t. investment. our role in the grant process is really funding states with the consequences. i spoke with the management, this was at the top of their list, they talked about what do we do? i said guys, what would happen if the communications went out? they said oh that is our
earthquake plan. we expect communications to go out, we get our units to go out they know they're supposed to get out, start to patrol, get on the radios, and they will actually go truck to truck. when we get the cyber emergency, it is about protection and dealing with that as much as what happens if it effects or disrupts critical infrastructure. and then you're back to we respond to power outages and communication outages. and what cyber does is it's rarely going to be just geographically specific. it may not be available. but it is a reference point for emergency managers to get their heads wrapped around it. that our primary responsibilities if the disruptions occur while we work with the hs and others over the
threat, the intrusion, the detection, to make sure our systems are infallible, and understanding that it could degrade communications and other tools that we would assume would be available. what happens if they're not. so we do some pretty extreme planning of what if you cannot use the public switch network to communicate. how do we communicate with the 50 states? so we push the extreme in the cyber event because we're not going to be dealing with the event itself, we're going to deal with the consequences as other people deal with the actual event itself. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> this will conclude our hearing today, thank you, administrator for being here, we look forward to continuing to work with you. the hearing record will remain open for two weeks from today. senators may submit written questions for the record, and we ask that fema respond in a timely manner.
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first ladies with carl anthony of the national first ladies library, carl canon of rule clear politics department of history chair, and washington post reporter thompson national archive, starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern. coming up saturday, the annual white house correspondence dinner, our live coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. eastern saturday on c-span. the center for strategic and national studies held a discussion on the u.s. agenda, focusing on climate change pollution, maritime safety next remarks by senate chair lisa murckowski. this is 50 minutes.
>> i'm doing well. good morning everyone. >> -- everyone welcome to the center for strategic and international studies. my name is heather conley, senior vice president for europe, eurasia and the arctic. i'm extremely proud that the arctic is in my formal title. we here at csis in our program have a tradition. we host a public conversation just a few days before an arctic council ministerial. so we have had in 2011 the road to nuke. in 2013, the road to karuna. today, we have the road to iqaluit. senator murkowski says it is
also said iqaluit. so iqaluit or iqaluit, but we're off to nunavit next week. and i could think of no more perfect speaker to offer some reflections just eight days before the united states assumes the arctic council chairmanship than a person who has been in nuke and karuna participating as part of the u.s. delegation to speak with us and that is senator lisa murkowski. chairwoman of the senate committee on energy and natural resources. she serves as a member of the senate health education, labor and pensions committee as well as the senate indian affairs committee. so, senator murkowski, you could not be better placed to help give us these insights. senator murkowski, i think of one of you as one of the key leaders, people seek you out to hear your thoughts on u.s. policy toward the arctic. you fearlessly hold hearings when the u.s. government shuts down, keeping that focus on the arctic. you are someone who encourages
the administration to do more and applause them when they do, yet you are very clear in your analysis when you -- and criticism when you think the u.s. administration has not quite made the mark. but clearly you are tirelessly working with your other senate colleagues to tell them why the arctic matters to them. we're so delighted the senate now has an arctic working group with you and senator king from maine providing that leadership. you often talk about the arctic opportunity, economics, scientific, environmental, and national security opportunity. and clearly next week the united states has an extraordinary opportunity to show leadership in the arctic. so with your applause, will you please join me in welcoming senator murkowski to the podium. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you. heather, thank you. and good morning to you all. it is always a good morning when we can gather together to talk about places of great opportunity.
and i can think of no other place on planet earth where we have more opportunity than the arctic. as was mentioned, and as we all know, those that are focused on the area of opportunity, next week, a week from today, the united states will assume the chair of the arctic council for the next two years now. this is truly an exciting opportunity for us. for those of us who have been pushing for some time now to really place the arctic in a space of greater national priority. certainly heather, those of you here at csis have embraced that position. and i really thank you for your continued interest, the advocacy on the arctic issues. not only today, but in the years
leading up. but your presence today, those of you who have joined us, those who are joining by the internet, you're showing your interest again in a topic that is really quite keen right now. i don't -- i probably don't need to impress upon you why the arctic matters to the united states. i would suggest to you that perhaps the biggest challenge that we face right now on arctic policy is not with other members of the arctic council, including russia. it is not with the rest of the international community, which is taking a very interested focus on the far north. it is not with the permanent participant groups, representing the indigenous peoples of the arctic, who are truly impacted more so than anyone else by the decisions of the arctic nations.
but i would suggest to you that the biggest challenge for the united states is the united states itself. we face hurdles both at a public interest level and a government policy level. from the public interest perspective, i think it is a fair question to ask why should -- why should somebody from alabama or from arizona care about the arctic? and i suppose there could be those that would say, well, why should alaskans care about policies that relate to using corn for ethanol or the security of our southwest border. i would argue back these are all national priorities, national impacts. well, we know, we repeat it all the time, we are an arctic nation, because of alaska. but every state, every state in
our union has some kind of a stake in the arctic. whether it is from trade, nearly 20% of the u.s. exports go to the seven other arctic nations, that's significant. we have the research activity, the national science foundation has provided arctic research grants to entities based in 44 different states, plus the district of columbia. i remember having a conversation with my colleague from iowa, some years ago, and it was kind of a trick question to him, about arctic and arctic policy. i was able to remind him that in one of his iowa state institutions they host an arctic research program there, kind of caught him by surprise. but that's important that they recognize their connection. but there is also the national security matters, the arctic touches every corner.
the arctic touches every corner of our nation. and we must remind everybody of this. from a security perspective, the arctic is centrally located for multiple areas of operation, from the asia pacific and north american to europe and to russia. our ability to reach each area via the arctic significantly reduces response times with increased activity in the arctic in both commercial and military levels, our ability to project power and have rapid response capability in the region is of even greater importance. of course, from an economic standpoint, we talk about the shipping routes and the advantages of shorter shipping routes between europe and asia or the west coast, with the potential to cut seemingly 12 to 15 days off of transit schedules, allowing for quicker delivery of goods, lower costs
to consumers for all americans. so, again, a benefit regardless of where you come from in the country. our natural resource potential, we talked about it a lot in alaska. but we recognize that the -- that the resource potential in the arctic is very, very high. usgs estimates roughly 412 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent natural gas lies there in the arctic. the dredge hauls we have seen suggest high concentration of critical and strategic elements and metals like rare earth elements. our neighbors, russia to the west, canada to the east, they continue with very, very purposeful national plans, combined with state interests to develop arctic resources and really pushing to advance commerce in the north. and their plans are helping to create jobs.
we're seeing economic growth in areas that have historically faced extraordinary challenges. even the nonarctic nations are embracing the opportunities that come with diminished polar sea ice. i think this is one area that grabs the attention of folks here at home because they're looking at these nonarctic nations and saying, well what interest does india have here? and they should be scratching their heads about that. they should be asking that question. because if there is an interest, from nonarctic nations, why here in this country are we not looking with greater interest? but when you think about the nonarctic nations, they're reaping the transit benefits. they are looking to possibly move forward with resource extraction or exploration and
development activities. and so when you think about the u.s. position and whether we engage or whether we don't engage, we need to appreciate that this level of activity is going to continue whether the united states engages or not. increased access in the arctic also means enhanced scientific opportunities to better understand the region, its environment, its ecosystem, and how the arctic might impact other areas of a nation and the world. we talk about maintaining the arctic as a zone of peace to allow for greater international cooperation and coordination in a harsh environment that requires specialized skill and equipment. so areas that we can be collaborating and working together are important. so, really, regardless of where you live in this country or what your interests may be, there is a nexus. there is a connection out there to the arctic that explains why
our arctic priorities should matter to the entire country. but our challenge here is enabling this nonalaska portion of the arctic to recognize that nexus. so heather mentioned that senator king and i have joined together. we're kind of book ending the country between alaska and maine. we formed a senate arctic caucus, not only to look at our national arctic policies and priorities, but really to place a greater focus on each individual state and how it is connected to the arctic. we think this is something that other colleagues can take home and use to highlight our arctic opportunities with individuals and communities. so when we sent letters of invitation to the other members, it was not just let's focus on
arctic together, it was accompanied with a white paper that was put together by a great arctic intern, i'm going to do a shoutout to kyle who has done great work for us, but reminding the senators from alabama for instance that 25% of alabama's total exports go to the seven other arctic nations. to my colleague john mccain who has joined the arctic caucus because he saw that in his state of arizona 16% of total exports go to the seven other arctic nations. and so, again, making -- making that connection there so the arctic is not so remote, so far away. now we all recognize the role
that admiral pap assumed as the united states special representative for the arctic. i think senator kerry selected an individual who's obviously very knowledgeable about the region and someone who can bring that knowledge to the rest of the country. but he can't do it alone. so how we can work to not only support his role, but ways to develop interest in and greater awareness in the arctic is something that i challenge each of us to do. one suggestion i have this morning and i'll suggest next week in iqaluit is to make the -- or allow the arctic economic council a greater opportunity for some visibility. take the aic on a road tour.
now, we know in this room that the arctic economic council is a forum formed by the arctic council to bring businesses together with arctic communities, to promote greater economic investment. but i think it would be important for the aic to visit throughout the country, go to the different states, go to the city chamber of commerce, promote investment in arctic communities for economic development and at the same time what you're doing is raising the collective knowledge awareness and interest in the arctic. so this suggestion of bringing this to a higher level by utilizing the aec brings me to the second hurdle, that's the federal government's arctic policy goals and agenda for the arctic council chairmanship in the next couple of years.
i would suggest the effort at this point in time by our government in terms of where we are in assuming this chairmanship position is incomplete. and heather noted i have been quick to applaud the administration when i think things are moving as they should. but i'm here to offer what i hope is constructive criticism when i think we have -- we have not yet done what we need to do in these arenas. and i would hope if you get nothing else from my remarks this morning that you will take away, that you will remember the people who live in the arctic. this must be a priority for us as an arctic nation. now, for many who have never
seen the arctic, many nonarctic residents, they view the arctic as this pristine untouched environment. i described it as something akin to a snow globe that sits on the shelf and it is pretty and it is contained and it always looks the same. and please don't touch it. please don't shake it up. but our arctic is an area that is home to nearly 4 million people. humans have been living and hunting and working there for thousands of years. they have been harvesting the natural resources of the region. they have been developing the land. they live and work and raise their families there. just yesterday i had an opportunity to see a series of advertisements, the corporation that sits up in the north slope area.
stunning commercials about i am a -- and the one that is probably most powerful is a series of pictures of a whaling captain who also happens to be the ceo of this native corporation, moving from shots of him out on the ice looking as traditional and ancient as any inupiat might and the next shot of him in his office looking just like those of you in suits and ties and leather shoes. and it speaks -- it speaks to the reality of the people of the arctic today. and so we must always remember the people. a focus on climate change, its impact on the arctic and how to adapt to a changing environment
is absolutely warranted. i don't have concern with that. but it cannot be our sole and singular focus. and it cannot be held over or held against the people of the arctic. it should not be used as an excuse to prevent those who live in the arctic from developing the resources available to them in order to create a better standard of living. my objection and the objection of many who live in alaska, is that this administration has placed climate change policy goals above everything else, including the welfare of those who live in the arctic. it was just about a month ago, a little over a month ago, we had a hearing before the senate energy and natural resources committee, it was a hearing specific to the arctic, the first one we had in the senate, some members of the committee commented on what they perceived
to be the irony of alaska's strong support for oil and gas development, while noting the impact -- the true impact climate changes, our states, our communities and our people. they suggested that alaskans should be leaders in moving our country away from fossil fuels. well, one of the witnesses we had at that hearing was charlotte brower, an eskimo, she is the mayor of the north slope bureau. she's the wife of a whaling captain, she's got six kids. and as the mayor testified, oil development on alaska's north slope brought 200 years worth of economic development and advancement in a period of roughly 30 years. let me repeat that. 200 years worth of advancement in 30 years' time.
pretty remarkable. also very challenging. but as a result of responsible resource development, more people on the north slope of alaska now have access to medical clinics that could provide care for themselves, their loved ones. they have improved telecommunications. and search and rescue equipment for hunting parties that previously would have simply disappeared on the ice, never to be heard from again. ]b they have access to other modern amenities that we certainly take for granted, like a simple flush toilet. so those who oppose resource development, you've got to look at what -- what the situation is for those again who have lived and worked and raised their families in this area for thousands of years.
those who would oppose resource development would prefer the inupiat eskimo using whale oil for heat instead of using the resources of the region to advance their quality of life. and the mayor reminded us that it was just a few decades ago where there was no natural gas to heat their home. where truly it was a time when you collected the drift wood that would come down the river for heat, for your home. there is some pretty powerful stories from some people who are still in leadership positions today who describe that the reason that they wanted to go to school in the morning was not eager for the education
necessarily, but because the school was the only place where there was heat. when you're from barrow, alaska, you're going to go to school. there is no irony in the people in the arctic benefiting from the economic opportunities available in their region. but there is an irony in deliberating limiting their economic future, as well claiming that somehow it's for their own good and somehow in their best interest. now, administration officials have said that the united states arctic council agenda found the sweet spot between national security and environmental goals. what is missing, i believe, from the equation, are the views of those who actually live in the arctic like mayor brower. what is missing are the economic development opportunities that would actually benefit those who
live and work and raise their families in the arctic. and a prime example of the disconnect that occurs when policy is being driven from thousands of miles away here in washington, d.c., we saw it play out at an event last september entitled passing the arctic council torch, also sponsored by csis, but every speaker who came from an arctic location, whether it was from alaska or the uconn territory, the northwest territory, the nunavit they praised the development for the people of the north. all of them spoke about the need for economic opportunities as the priorities for those that live in the arctic. those who came from outside of the arctic whether it be from
government agencies or universities or elsewhere, they focused their remarks on the need to have a bold, aggressive agenda on climate change. what we saw there was, i believe, an intent to use the arctic council as a bully pulpit to promote climate change policy goals as if economic activity in the arctic is driving climate change. the contrast was pretty significant. at least for those of us from the arctic here. arctic policy is a difficult balance to achieve as the vision in the arctic varies, depending on who you speak with. but, we must find a better place if the u.s. chairmanship of the arctic council is going to be viewed as a net positive here. the obama administration will be this charge as we assume the chair of the arctic council next week. but it will not be this
administration that then hands the gavel to finland in 2017. we will have a new administration. and given -- given what is coming up and these presidential elections, we're going to see new administration, new cabinet, and potentially different priorities for the arctic. but, really, the only way to have a lasting arctic policy, a policy that goes beyond just the two-year period that we have in front of us, we have to institutionalize this. we have to -- we have to make it a policy that is supported across the aisle and supported across the nation. that's what will make it enduring. and so i am challenging not only this administration, but i'm challenging people around the country.
let's view this opportunity to chair the arctic council, to lead on a vision for the arctic that is enduring and it is truly for the benefit of all in this country. those who recognize that we are an arctic nation, and those who are just beginning to discover the excitement and the opportunity that we hold as an arctic nation. with that, i thank you for the opportunity to be with you. i look forward to some questions in a bit. [ applause ] >> over here? thank you. >> perfect. >> senator murkowski, thank you so much. that was a wonderful address. and i love that national
prioritization. as we heard make the arctic council a national imperative. i want to give you a warmup, ask you one or two questions that are on my mind and as i look across this room, there is so much incredible arctic experience, knowledge, expertise, i'll unleash the audience on you for the remaining minutes that we have with you. my first question deals with u.s. preparedness for arctic development. so earlier this week i believe the comment out of the coast guard had made a statement that the united states is a -- is a bystander in the arctic. you and representative don young had really tough hearings with coast guard officials saying where is the plan, where is the readiness? i think there has been discussion of you and legislation on infrastructure, some infrastructure legislation. it is not just icebreakers which we tend to fixate on but deep water ports, aviation assets it
-- it's maritime domain awareness. even if we, the united states, decides not to develop, others are, will have increased shipping, will have increased human activity. what is your sense of where the -- where we need to be and the budget? that's the hard part. how are we going to pay for this? >> well, i have expressed concerns and i will continue to express concerns about our readiness. now, i don't fault the coast guard. the coast guard gets it. they know that we are lacking in deep water ports. they know that we have not sufficiently charted our arctic waters. they know that we need more navigational aids. they know that the communication gaps that exist up there must be addressed. and i think that they are internally -- they're quite concerned because they know where their budget is. we talk about an icebreaker. if coast guard were to take that out of their budget, they would
have literally nothing for anything else. so when we look at the infrastructure and the infrastructure needs in the arctic, this is not just the responsibility of the coast guard who is tasked with ensuring that the safety in our arctic areas. this is, again, a national priority. this needs to involve multiagencies. it needs to involve everybody within the department of defense. it needs to involve the agencies within the department of interior. it needs to involve homeland security, obviously, but, again, we have got to kind of get out of this little silo that the arctic is your responsibility. part of what we have been dealing with to this point in time is this mind set that anything that has to do with the arctic is an alaskan earmark.
it is not going to happen if it is viewed that way. alaskans don't view it that way. and neither should anyone else in the country. and certainly not those in the administration. so i have been pressing cabinet members, when they come before the committees, whether it is my appropriations subcommittee that i'm on, or energy or wherever, where, in this budget, are we demonstrating that there is a priority? because all of the agencies have been tasked to come up with your strategic plan. they probably spent more money coming up with strategic plans that go sit on a shelf than coming together to collaborate in defining how we're going to accomplish these things. we have known for years now that
we were going to be assuming the chair next week. putting together strategic plan is one thing. but making sure that we have demonstrated that priority by placing it within the budget, initiatives within the budget, that's where you demonstrate your commitment. and we haven't seen that yet. >> so we hosted dr. john holdron here in january, early february, to talk about the creation of the new -- the executive order that the white house released on creating this arctic executive steering committee, which he chairs. and i asked a very similar question, where is the budget? show me the money. lots of strategies, but in the small print, each agency has to use within its existing re sources, which means -- >> take it from a pot that you're already struggling to address the needs within your department. so tell me who is going to say, okay, we're going to put all these other things, all these other responsibilities we had and we'll move the arctic to the top. >> you think this new steering
group, the deputy cabinet level, subcabinet level, do you think that could provide that rigor to say, you know what, omb, we're going to fund this or you're in a wait and see mood. >> i'm from missouri on this one, show me. show me, definitely. don't tell alaskans i said i'm from missouri. let's move out to the geopolitical, geo-strategic environment. this week we heard from nordic ministers that characterized russia as the greatest threat to europe's security, particularly northern europe security. at the same time -- >> we heard that from some of our own military leaders as well. >> absolutely. >> general hodges, others. at the same time we had the senior state department official that is very engaged on the arctic saying russia is a partner. i am struggling with the concept of partner, yet i'm seeing extraordinary aggressive actions, missing civilian airliners, a lot of military
exercises in the arctic. i'm getting repeated calls. maybe you can help me how you answer this question by reporters saying is this a new cold war, what are we seeing, what do we understand? i'm growing increasingly concerned. i'm concerned that the u.s. government is not focusing enough attention on this. the foreign minister will not be at the iqaluit ministerial. they're sending a natural resources and environment minister. what signals is moscow sending us right now on the arctic? >> well, i, for one, perhaps take the signal of aircraft in areas that are unexpected and unwelcomed and very aggressive. i take that as a pretty strong signal that causes me great concern. there is a -- there is a pushing of the envelope here with russia.
that if it is not getting the attention of our leadership here in this country, i'm not quite sure what else we need to do. now, you heard me say today and as i go around the country, that the arctic should be this zone of peace. i absolutely believe that, adhere to it, but i also recognize that within a zone of peace, there is respect that you show for one another. and what we are seeing right now is a -- an aggression in a way that, you know, we're not -- we're not going to make the front page of the news, but we're certainly on a-2 with the aggressive behavior that we're seeing out of russia right now
and it causes me to wonder if they are not taking advantage of the fact that we have said, we want to be your friend. we want to be your partner in all of this. if you want to be a partner, then you behave like one. and you show that level of respect. and that's what we're not seeing right now. so i think that we need to ensure that our signals are equally strong. and we say that's not acceptable. it's not acceptable. and as much as we want to be working together, we want to collaborate on scientific opportunities, we want to collaborate on areas of the environment, let's not say one thing on the one hand and then our actions take us in a different direction. we need to call russia out when russia needs to be called out.
>> very strong message. all right, i know the audience is waiting. we don't have that much time. i would like to collect a few questions if i may and ask our audience to keep them short. if you can introduce yourself, we'll be good. introduce your affiliation, please. brooks, sometimes speak very directly into that microphone, so thank you, please. >> senator brooks yeager with wwf and the state department and interior with bruce babbitt. i wanted to compliment you. first of all, and ask one question. i come from the conservation side of the debate, probably, as far as that goes. on the other hand, i spent a lot of time up north and agree with 90% of what you said about the benefits that oil development has provided to towns like barrow and wainwright and the need that they have of continued money to enter into the commercial world economy and be part of something while
protecting their subsistence and their traditional ways of life. so grant -- and i wanted to congratulate you also on talking about the realities of the budget. because honestly, having been in government, it's time for conferences where the agencies come forward and say pretty things to end and for omb to be at the table saying how much money they're going to pony up for what is a white house priority. it is or it isn't. you can't just add it on top of the debt that the agency is already struggling with. that won't work. i agree with you entirely. question is the following. the thrust of your remarks and substance is there is the debate between those who are concerned mostly with climate change and with the natural resource health of the arctic, and those concerned with the development of the people of the arctic. i wonder if it there isn't a space somewhere in between where one can be concerned with both.
specifically that development can occur in some places and not in others and in a discriminating way rather than an overwhelming way. then the question is, if you're mostly concerned about the human development of the arctic communities, how do you make sure that the money from development doesn't shoot straight to houston? and actually some of it stays in the arctic? it is nice to benefit from royalties. but that is not enough honestly. how about jobs for the people up there. what do you do -- what is your program about that? >> thank you. i think i saw -- we have caitlin right there. >> caitlin anterim, rule of law committee for the ocean. i don't have a -- the arctic nations, russia by far has the most integrated development plan.
they have gone through their budgets for different sec electoral plans, pulled out the arctic onces and created an arctic commission. the development of basis up there will serve as the nucleus for development, as well. is that something we should be trying to work with on economic development -- building a regional arctic economic growth. if we don't do it, i assume some of the port production -- port operation facilities in southeast asia will be in there, so it is not something we can stop by not participating, but it seems like that region is an area that could be separated from the normal moscow/washington tensions we had forever. and have something that focuses more on the back channel for building a partnership in that region of the arctic where we want to see reasonable economic development. the russians want to see economic development and reasonable environmental protection. seems like there is an opportunity to work together there.
in spite of the strategic issues that have gone on even after the cold war. do you think there is an opportunity there to build that regional partnership between alaska and the russian far east in spite of the tensions that we have in our more strategic level dialogue? >> we'll take one more. right there, right beside you and we'll let you -- >> you'll remember all the questions. >> i'll do my best. >> following up on mr. yeager's question about where the money is going to come from, to address these challenges, would public private partnerships be an option to consider and how would they be developed? >> wonderful. okay, so we had that -- getting the revenues in, and where is the money and how to keep the administration focused on that, budget, russia, how to find the opportunities. the state of alaska has done an
extraordinary work on the collaboration and resources and where do they go? >> let me speak to brooks' question first. it is a key one. we want to ensure that the benefits of development flow to the people that are in the arctic. and i mentioned in my comments the benefit that the -- that barrow that nuixit, that wainwright have seen with the value of natural gas coming to their community. now, that was a very direct agreement between the producers and the people of those native villages that resource would be made available to you, to them. that was transformative. you talk to the people in barrow, that was transformative. you know. you've been there. one of the things i believe very strongly, we must incorporate is our ability for increased
revenue sharing. i have a revenue sharing measure that directs a portion of the revenues derived from offshore development, for instance, directly to the governmental structures within the north slope that would receive -- that would host the development, but also then return benefit directly to them. i think that has to be a significant and a key piece in ensuring that they receive that financial benefit. you speak very clearly to the reality of the people of the north. they want to ensure that they can be a participant in the cash economy. they want to ensure that they have certain amenities, whether it is clean water, sewers or a
level of energy coming to them. but they also want and require that access to the subsistence life-style that has sustained them. so how do we find that balance to ensure that there is a level of development that allows for that benefit but still provides for a level of management of those resources? this has got to be key. and you suggest that there are -- you know, perhaps there are certain areas that would not be subject to development. i think in fact, that there has been that discussion and that there is that direction, that when the caribou are migrating or when the bow head are coming up with michelle's plan, for
instance, they are out of the bow head for migrating that allows for the captains and their crews to be out to have a successful hunt. it's pretty serious, to ahe accommodations that go on to provide that assistance and that must be key. and to her comment, the alliance with russia, i do believe there are opportunities that we can be working together, whether it is search and rescue capacity. or kind of establishing these maritime -- i don't know that i want to go so far as to describe them as maritime commercial hub, but effectively, servicing points, if you will. and having the opportunity to build on -- on the strength that russia will put in place and
that we can partner with. i don't think that we should assume that if russia moves forward that we don't have to, again, this notion that we can just sit back while everybody else engages and -- somehow that we would -- would reap those benefits. i don't know that that is realistic. while i express my skepticism with what we're seeing with russia right now, i do recognize that we have built relationships. we certainly have between alaska and the russians directly as our neighbor there. we can build on it but i am also very cautious in recognizing that the political tensions that we are experiencing with russia right now, perhaps erode a little bit
of the desire for greater reliance on cooperation. and i'm just very cognizant of this. i ham very cognizant of this. i would like to see a greater collaborative effort but i think we know from a research perspective, russia has been perhaps a little more closed about sharing their data. so we can talk about cooperation. but again, it's got to be a two-way street here. and our final point on -- >> funding, again, how does that development go back? >> public-private partnerships. >> and i do believe this is so much of our answer is public-private partnerships. we -- last year in the omnibus
or -- no it was in the bill we advanced a measure that would allow for not necessarily public-private but utilizing our state institutions in the state of alaska we have aida, which is the alaska industrial development authority which would allow for partnerships that could help build out, whether it is a deep water port or other infrastructure there that i think is an important step. we did not advance the public-private partnership concept because there were some that a little anxious about well what happens if you have an oil company that would come in and want to do that private partnership. i'm looking at it and saying if we are building out an
infrastructure project that is going to benefit the region, let's talk about this. so i think this is an opportunity for us, particularly as we face the reality of budgets that do not allow for the level of commitment to the arctic region that i think we need to address. so i think that that is a positive avenue to explore and i think we should with doing more in that area. >> thank you so much. this was so timely. we wish you safe travels next week as part of the delegation. we look forward to seeing the outcome of the canadian chairmanship and the arctic economic counsel and then the torch is passed to us. and we look forward to the hearings and leadership and
guidance you will provide. please join me in thanking you for being here with us. >> thank you. >> because we have more to come just one quick please go out and refresh your coffee we're going to do a scene change-up here and we have an incredible conversation about the petroleum council arctic study. >> can i put in one final plug before people stand. you can see i get energized and animated about the arctic opportunities but what i'm finding exciting is what is happening with young people and their interest in the arctic. in my senate office the enthusiasm for these issues is almost infectious. and what i have seen i've got a couple young people here in the audience today that have gone off to law school to focus
specifically on the arctic. one who is a student at georgetown who is helping me in his spare time because he is so focused on the arctic. i feel when our young people view this as their future, they're going to drag the rest of us along. so to the young people out there who are aiming high aiming north, thank you for your enthusiasm because this is what's going to make the difference. >> that's a better way to end this conversation. thank you so much. thank you all. [ applause ]
thursday the senate is set to vote on the nomination of loretta lynch to be the next attorney general. >> she was considered modern for her time and outspoken about her views on slavery and women's rights. she provides a unique window into colonial america and her personal life. abigail adams, sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series, "first ladies: influence and image." from martha washington to nischelle obama sundays at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. and c-span's new book is now
available. "first ladies." providing lively stories of these fascinating women, creating an illuminating, entertaining and inspiring read. it's available as a hard cover or ebook. tune in on thursday evening for more on the first ladies. and washington post reporter karissa thompson. live coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. former house majority leader eric cantor and kathleen sebelius outline the current
health care landscape in the u.s. they focus on the health care law and hospital care reforms. this event was hosted by new york university in washington. >> good evening, everyone. i'm michael orr, director of nyu washington d.c. and i'm very happy to welcome you to the abramson family auditorium. tonight we are honored to host the third annual weisberg forum for the discourse in the public square. this is for thoughtful and respectful discussion of controversial contemporary topics and issues. special things to nina wiseburg around the wiseburg foundation for their generous support of this program. we're greatful for the support institute of public health. the institute is working to arm the next generation of global public health pioneers with the critical thinking skills, acumen and entrepreneurial approaches necessary to help solve the world's most pressings public
health problems. please join me to welcome dr. cheryl hilton, dean of global public health and director of the nyu institute of public health who will introduce our topic and special guests. [applause] >> thank you, michael, for that kind introduction. good evening, everyone. i am delighted to welcome you to this installment our wiseburg forum on discourse in the public square cosponsored by nyu-d.c. and nyu global institute of public health. thank you, nina for the support of the wiseburg family for this important event. if the goal of our forum is to explore elements of a law which americans sharply disagree, the affordable care act, it is a true case in point of the last month the kaiser family foundation reported the narrowest margin of difference yet with 43% unfavorable towards aca and 14% in support of it. one thing about which we can all agree is the situation that
prevailed before the passage of the aca was not a good one. over 70 million americans lacked health care coverage and millions more were underinsured and had little access to prevention services. tonight's discussion will help us all better understand the nuances of this intensely debated act but first, this complicated law deserves a very brief reform one owe one. i turn to my long-time friend, joseph a. califano, former secretary of health, education and welfare under president carter and previously president johnson's chief domestics advisor. joe tells illuminating story which i recount here, one can be told in four distinct chapters, cliff notes short version of a winding tale about health care access to all americans. chapter one, the years before world war ii. during which health insurance itself was actually quite rare. following the second world war unions and some large employers began covering health insurance for union members and employers. chapter, two, president truman
was the first president to make a truly concerted effort to pass coverage for the older americans and for the poor but it was swiftly defeated as socialized medicine. he had to settle for a few amendments to the social security act. the mills act in 1960 covered poor people and older people but while it was meant for the rural poor, the dollars allocated with consumed by high population states like california, massachusetts, new york, leaving its sponsors quite disenchanted. from the time of president truman's first effort forward, medicaid and medicare was part of the platform. but it yielded nothing in terms of legislation. then chapter three, when president johnson was elected or appointed soon after the death of president kennedy he told mr. califano, we will fight for medicare for as long as we have breath in our bodies. using failure of the mills act and other issues surrounding the lack of coverage for americans, they were able to pass medicare and medicaid linked to welfare system.