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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 23, 2009 1:00am-1:30am EDT

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its next steps. but bottom line, without you, chairman baucus, we certainly would not be here today, and we offer all of our thanks for that. when the president issued his call for all parties to come together to address the issues of health care reform, aarp, representing over 40 million members, was proud to be one of the first to step forward. today's announcement means that struggling americans who have been looking for help in their pinkosky either books just to stay healthy, who say that one of the single largest drivers of their health care cost is prescription drugs. well, today americans and medicare in the dougnut hole, that gap in coverage, will have their brand name drug costs cut in half. . .
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they all know that health care reform can simply not wait. this is a major step forward, this is a signal that the process is working and will be working. aarp's work is not done.
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we will continue to work with you, mr. president, and the house and senate and the people who rely on medicare and further lower drug costs, to have guaranteed access for coverage for all americans. together we will complete the mission of comprehensive health care reform and we want to thank you, for your leadership on this issue. thank you. i have the opportunity to introduce the leader of the free world. president barack obama. >> thank you. first of all, i want to thank barry for the introduction and the aarp organization that he is representing on this critical issue.
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in the last week, in my address to the american medical association, i spoke about the need for health-care reform and what will be needed. i said that everyone in the health-care community is going to have to come together. in recent days, chairman baucus who has been doing an outstanding job, as well as the members of my administration, have been in discussions with the pharmaceutical industry's to look at how to bring down the costs for america's seniors. over the weekend we reached an understanding that will close the award -- the victorious donut hole -- notorious -- notorious donut hole in the proposition.
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i know that many of you are familiar with this issue, this is a gap in prescription drug coverage, that makes it harder for the beneficiaries to pay for the medication that they need. this program covers $2,700 in prescription costs, and then it stops and the coverage comes back when this is over 6100. between 2760100, people are out of luck. this has been placing a burden on many older americans who cannot afford thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expense. christopher dodd has been an outstanding leader on many issues throughout his career, and he is going to lead the committee while sen. kennedy is
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undergoing treatment for his illness. he will tell you that as we are travelling around the country, the seniors will constantly be coming up to us, asking how we deal with this extraordinary burden. we have people who will be taking half of their medication, this is not going to be as affective. they are putting their life at risk. i hope that congress will enact part of this. the spending falls within the gatt, they will now receive a discount on prescription drugs of at least 50% from the price that the planned phase. this will make prescription drugs more affordable for millions of seniors and restore fairness to medicare part d. this is a reflection of the importance of this step, that
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this has the support of aarp. they have been working to address this on behalf of the older americans. they are committed to achieving health-care reform by the end of the year and i am committed to continuing to work with them to make certain that any reforms that we pursue are carried out to protect america's senior citizens to understand what is wrong with the health care system and why this is in need of reform. the imperative is to reduce the health care costs as we improve patient care. we will have to work together to root out the inefficiencies, that had nothing to the health of the nation. to that end, the pharmaceutical industry has withdrawn by $80 billion in the health-care industry as part of the health care reform.
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health care reform reduces the cost of health services and extends quality coverage to all americans. this will require these kinds of assistance. when tens of millions more americans have coverage, they will benefit. we are asking for them to make concessions to reform the system and reduce costs. this is only fair. today is a major step forward but this will only be meaningful if we complete the journey. i want to commend the house for coming together to produce a health care reform bill, i will continue to work closely with the chairs in the house and senate, sen. dodd and baucus and members of both parties who will
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commit themselves to this task. we must act and act now. i am grateful for all the people who helped to make this possible, and for those of us who are accustomed to the certainty that we cannot get this done, i have to repeat, an old saying that we have from the campaign, is we can. we will do this. thank you very much. >> is there anything to say about iran today? [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> president obama will have a news conference tomorrow afternoon and is expected to take questions on health care
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and the elections in iran and north korea. the coverage begins at 12:30. >> on the weekend of july 4, discover the unfamiliar side of the first president at mt. vernon with john ferling. join us for the conversation live, on in depth, on book tv. >> republicans look at the economic effects of the democrat's energy proposals. they also talk about the need for new power plants. this is about 90 minutes.
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>> the hour having arrived, we will come to order. i am sen. bennett, joined by sen. alexander and bunning. we are planning to run until 3:30. this is a hearing to investigate the effect of the national ene rgy tax on job growth. this will help keep the economy competitive as we protect the
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environment. obviously going to talk about climate change. people ask me about climate change and it should we pay attention to it. i always say yes, we should pay attention to it. climate change has affected the human condition for millennia. the one major challenge we have that our ancestors did not have is that there are now 7 billion of us on the planet. if jacob should take his family to israel to escape the drought, he would find 900 million people already living there and therefore the adjustments you might have been able to make to deal with climate change in the past centuries are perhaps not available to us. we have an outstanding panel of experts and witnesses available to us. i will withhold any kind of opening statement beyond that until we have heard from our
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witnesses, but recognize the senators in the order in which they have come. senator alexander from tennessee, for whatever comments you might have. >> thank you senator -- thank you, senator bennett. this is a hearing of the republican conference. we unanimously agree we want clean air. in a sense, the way to deal with that is through 100 new nuclear power plants. we hope a growing number of democratic colleagues will agree with us and the president will pick up the challenges as well. the best way to build 100 new nuclear power plants is presidential leadership, is to ask the nuclear regulatory commission and the department of energy to give him a plan, the president, and say what would it take to do it? it is encouraging that secretary chu says something the other day about moving ahead and asking
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for four new nuclear power plants. i will be interested in what the panelists have to say about that. that is just the beginning. one of the purposes of our hearing is to remind the american people that if we want pollution-free, carbon-free electricity, we know how to do that. 70% of our pollution-free, carbon-free electricity is produced by nuclear power. only 6% of our pollution-free, carbon-free electricity is produced by the sun, wind, and earth. from really want to deal with clean air and do it -- if you really want to deal with clean- air into with in a way that provides a low-cost, reliable electricity, nuclear power is the proven way to do it. france produces 86% of their energy that would. we are helping india, china produced clean electricity that way. the president himself has said
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that iran has a right to make electricity from nuclear plants, so why should we not, and united states, pickup this technology that we ourselves invented? the only thing i would like to say is that i attended an exciting announcement a week ago by a major american supplier which plans to build 125 megawatts small reactors. this is by a company that has built most of the small reactors in the world. they are perfectly capable of doing it. that puts a whole new thrust to is. that means that these reactors, if everything works out as proposed, could be made in an american plant, shipped to an american site, and they would produce the amount of electricity that is needed and all the supplies and products would be made in the united states.
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that is a very exciting development. we are here as members of the republican conference to say we have our real clean energy policy. it includes electric cars. it inc@@@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ this begins with the idea of 100 new nuclear power plants in the next 30 years. >> thank you. thank you for your protest petition and i would also like to thank the witnesses for coming today. achab and trade program would have a detrimental effect on the economy. i support the efforts to reduce carbon emissions and i understand that the future event -- energy is clean energy, including as he has said,
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building at least 100 new nuclear power plants. years to 25 years. i also believe we can meet our growing needs of energy while fulfilling our obligations to the environment. whether or not you believe in global warming, this should not be an excuse to enact a cab in trade system until we have an international agreement on co2 emissions. advocates of cap in trade argue that to implement the system, american take a global leadership position on climate change. i agree with that. they have argued other nations will voluntarily adopt emissions standards in the future. well, what good is it if you are leading if you are not assured that others will follow? i do not believe we should
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impose mandatory requirements on co2 emissions until we have an assurance from china, russia, india, and other nations that they will work with us on this issue. a proposed cap in trade system would produce small effect on global warming while imposing substantial costs on all american households. it will affect the price we pay to fill up our gas tanks. the price we pay to heat and cool our homes, and use electricity, as well as the cost of practically all goods and services. estimates show that if we have the cap in trade system, we would only lower global co2 output by less than 4%. using the small reduction in global co2 to justify a tax of
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$1,600 + per family is reckless and irresponsible. i believe instead we should sets voluntary goals for industry to meet while providing incentives for the growth of new emission reduction serve -- sources of energy including nuclear and clean coal. these types of pro-growth energy policies are what we should be debating in congress instead of back door, regressive taxes on the american consumer. i look for to questioning our witnesses today and hearing their thoughts on this issue. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. we have an outstanding panel of witnesses today. i will introduce each one of you. i will shamelessly truncate or biographies in the interest of time.
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we have been the lieberman from the heritage foundation, ted rockwell from the american nuclear society, chris -- is that? from the chamber of commerce. mr. lieberman is a specialist in energy and environmental issues. he is a senior policy analyst at the heritage foundation. he is trained as a lawyer and an accountant, and he has testified before congress as well as appeared on programs on nbc, cbs, fox, cnbc, and msnbc, commentaries have been published in a major newspaper including the "washington times," "beat san diego tribune," the american
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-- "the american standard." mr. rockwell has been involved directly with nuclear power for 20 years. he started in 1943. he was in the elite task force at the atomic bomb project in tennessee. he became head of the radiation shield engineering group. then a navy captain hired him to work on the naval nuclear propulsion program, and he has a long list of accomplishments there. he is a fellow of the american nuclear society, recipient of the first lifetime contribution award, now known as the rockwell award, distinguished medals from the navy and u.s. atomic energy commission and a member of the national academy
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of engineers. he has written numerous books on technical papers, including the widely-used design manual -- how one man made a difference and created the new world. stories and images from the dawn of the atomic age. we are very glad to have you, sir. now, from the chamber of commerce -- vice president of the 21st and she -- 21st century development institute. he has served as deputy assented -- deputy assistant secretary at the apartment energy where he developed the nuclear energy policy and coordinated directions with congress, stakeholders, and the media. early in his career, he served on the house side of staffers.
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our last panelist began his career as a legislative aide in the oil and gas industry, and his previous work experience includes running one of the nation's most heralded information technology groups as the senior director of technology. he led telamon -- tele- communications teams and growth strategy for the advisory board. he, too, has appeared on television ads cnbc, bloomberg tv, and other media outlets. he has trained as a lawyer. he was previously senior adviser for energy policy at fbr capital markets. he left there to form a clearer view energy -- clearview energy
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partners with partners from nasa. the work on projections of what is next in washington, an analysis of how government policy affects energy fundamentals. we have a wide spectrum of age and experience. we are delighted to have you all here. now, senator wicker has joined us. we will see what opening statements you have for us. >> i understand, mr. chairman, that you're being magnanimous and forgoing an opening statement? even so, i think if you'll give me a couple of minutes -- let me say about how pleased i am that we are doing best. we all remember this time last year. we were in the midst of an
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energy crisis, paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline. of course, americans were seeing their utility bills skyrocket. we have not made any policy changes since then. the energy problems have not gone away. the prices may have subsided, but undoubtably, unless we come to grips with this problem we're going to see those problems arise again. we need to develop alternative energy, certainly. the cornerstone of any real solution to the american energy problem needs to involve offshore resources in nuclear power. environmental groups and the administration focus solely on the alternative energy, or green energy. again, i am willing to have any
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conversation with anybody about wind, solar. these sources can provide for only a fraction of our energy needs. that is why we cannot focus exclusively on developing alternative energy. we must have a balanced approach that expands our existing resources which have proven to be successful in the past. the first step is to build more nuclear power plants for our country. nuclear energy generates electricity without reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has a minimal impact on the environment. you would think that all americans could come together on a plan like that. additionally, construction of nuclear power plants would provide tremendous economic stimulus. do not take my word for it. the nuclear energy institute estimates that building 45 new plants in america would generate up to 128,000 construction jobs and 22,000 permanent jobs once they are built.
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this would amount to an economic impact which would indeed move as a further along in getting out of this slump. i fully support the call for 100 nuclear reactors by the year 2013. the united states has not build a nuclear plant in 30 years. this seems a progressive goal. we need to join with the rest of the world. japan is constructing one nuclear plant per year. of course, we know that china now has 24 nuclear plants under way. on the other hand, we are being asked to invest in a very risky tack in trade tax scheme which would increase taxes in a trickle-down way on every american. if implemented, this plan would raise energy prices for everyone, not hurt america's
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economic competitiveness, and hurt our economy for decades to come. for some people, this may seem like a reasonable plan. just make traditional energy sources more expensive and alternative plans would then look better. the reality is that cap in trade would be the most volatile to the 95% of taxpayers that president obama has promised would not have their taxes increased. to quote the "wall street journal," putting a price on carbon is aggressive by definition because poor and middle income households spend more of their paychecks on things like gas to drive to work, groceries at home. we, as americans, should seriously consider whether an annual tax is justified, given the small resulting decline in global co2 which would result. perhaps our witnesses to talk about -- could talk about this.
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even if everything the administration says and even of the advocates of cap in trade and tax our correctional their assumptions, co2 output would be lowered by less than 4%, and almost unnoticeable amount, even if all of their assumptions are correct. in conclusion, if the administration continues to halt expansion of our energy supply or they are successful in their tax proposal, every american will see the impact of these proposals. secondly, as we continue to debate this issue, it is my hope that any energy legislation will expand our nuclear plant -- nuclear power plants and our own domestic energy resources for all americans. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> thank you very much. mr. lieberman, we will start with you and come across the table. if you could summarize in five or seven minutes? >> thank you. i am a senior policy analyst at the rowe institute at the heritage foundation. i would like to think the senate republican conference -- >> move the microphone a little closer to you. >> i would like to thank -- >> not move you. move the microphone. there you go. >> is this alright? -- i would like to thank the senate republican counsel for inviting me. i would like to speak to our analysis of the american clean energy insecurity -- security act of 2009. this is similar


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