tv [untitled] CSPAN June 25, 2009 7:30am-8:00am EDT
>> conservation in the beginning of the 20 century was a battle. there were two sides of it just like there are in land issues. >> historian douglas brinkley on and teddy roosevelt and his leading role in the early days of the conservation movement. >> he was not what you would call by modern terms a kind of holistic -- he believed in hunting, but he wanted -- he did not believe in hunting so you make a species extinct.
so, yes, he cared about snell daughters, -- snail darters, butterflies. at a sunday on -- >> sunday on q & a on c-span. or listen on c-span satellite radio. download the c-span podcast and what part one of our interview with douglas brinkley on c- span.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to recommend -- we want to welcome representative rick boucher. the issue of captain trade is in the news, but briefly explain what that is about -- the issue of cat and trade is in the news, but be fully explain what that is about .
guest: they would receive emission allowances, they could trade those on the market. they could purchase offsets for entities where the emissions could be reduced at perhaps a lower price, and it relies on the market to achieve maximum flexibility. host: will this result in higher taxes? guest: no. it is not a tax. it is purely a regulatory program, and the market will be relied upon to drive investment to the place where the emission reduction can be taken the most economically. host: so who pays for it? guest: well, inevitably, a control program, if it is effective, will carry some increase in energy prices. the goal that we have had in drafting this program has been to make that price must end to make the program economically
digestible. our goal was not to dislocate any economic sector. i think the negotiations that we have conducted at the extensive discussions and consultations we have had with stakeholders and other interested parties over the course of almost three years, that we have achieved the goal of economic digest ability -- of economic digestaility, and there will be a modest increase of energy prices. i note in a poll released this morning that 3/4 of the public fully supports a control on greenhouse gas emissions. this control will come with what is a truly modest cost. as a matter of fact, the estimate we received this week from the environmental protection agency is that the typical american home would have an increase in costs associated with this program, and these are
all cost somewhere between $77.100 $11 on an annual basis. -- between $77 and $111 on an annual basis. i think we realize the goal announced in the poll where 3/4 of americans say they support a control program, and we do so anyway that -- in a way that the cost is truly -- host: the editorial it is called "the cap and texas fiction. house speaker nancy pelosi has put cap and trade legislation on a forced march through the house, in the bill may get a full vote as early as friday. and looks as if the democrats will have to destroy the
discipline of economics to get it done. on that point, is it a forced to vote -- is it a forced vote? guest: it is not a forced to vote. obviously members will have some difference of opinion about that, but this is not a matter where arms are being twisted. we have been conducting informational sessions over the course of the last month since the bill has been approved by the house, energy, and commerce committee. as a matter of fact, i am spending most of my day is now meeting with various groups of interested members in the house, but also, interestingly, in the senate as the senate begins its preparatory work in order to adopt a regulatory program, and these are purely informational sessions where we answer sessions and provide information -- where we answer questions and provide information.
host: two other points from this editorial. could to get the support for his bill, congressman waxman was forced to water down the cap in early years to please rural democrats, and then severely ratchet it up later years to please liberal democrat. is that happening? guest: well, if anyone is an advocate for a modest reduction schedule in the early years, that would be me. i engaged in extensive series of discussions with chairman waxman about that. here is the reason that is necessary. 51% of the electricity in the united states is generated through coal combustion. that is the fuel that we have. it is the lowest cost fuel used for electricity generation, and we really do not have adequate supplies for fuel alternatives. we are working now to develop carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies. these are a sweep of
technologies that will enable us to remove the carbon dioxide from the coal combustion process and store it permanently in the ground. the early research, and in the case of the separation technologies committee early demonstrations, are highly encouraging, and i think we are on a path to developing the technologies by the year 2020, assuming that adequate funding flows to continue research and development would be provided. our legislation does provide the adequate funding flows for research dollars. but in the time between the effective date, which we anticipate being about 2012, and that year 2020, where we expect to have carbon dioxide separation and storage technology available, we need to prevent broad economic disruption. that economic disruption would occur if we had a reduction schedule for greenhouse gas emissions. that failed to realize that the coal, fire, electric utilities would not be able to reduce
their emissions at the plant site. we enable them to reduce those emissions other than at the plant site through a series of offsets in credits. they can purchase credits from agriculture, from forestry, and they can obtain their reductions by investing in those carbon sinks from farmers and farm owners. they will be certified and carefully scrutinize to make sure that they in fact have integrity and that these will be permanent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. but this will enable the coal fired utilities to continue using coal. the key to that was to continue to make sure that we had a modest enough reduction schedule in the early years prior to 2020, prior to the time that we will have carbon dioxide capture and storage technology available, to enable the routine i have just described to take
place, where the reductions are not at the plant site themselves, but are taken in other ways through the offsets the bill makes available. if the coal-fired utilities were forced away from using coal, they would fall to natural gas. then natural gas prices would soar, and that would cause deep economic pain across the country. 58% of all americans heat their homes with natural gas, and much of our industrial base is natural gas dependent. the chemical industry, agriculture, aluminum smelting, other sectors of the economy that are held the lead -- that are heavily dependent upon natural gas, jobs would be lost. we wanted to make sure that does not happen, so one of the goals was to establish a modest reduction schedule in the early years. then when we have carbon dioxide capture and storage technology available in 2020, the reductions can become much more onerous.
we can get to the goal by the year 2050 of reducing overall emissions by 80%. so this was not something that was done faultlessly or done without proper consideration. it was the result of a carefully negotiated process where we consulted broadly with a wide range of interested stakeholders, and we have support for this approach from industry and also from the environmental community. host: i want to come back to the editorial in a moment. our conversation is with congressman rick boucher of virginia. nancy is on the phone, a democrat line. caller: actually, i am an independent. i am trying to be calmed because i'm watching the congressman's been masterfully no new taxes. -- i am watching the congressman spin masterfully no
new taxes. unemployment is going to reach double digits. the president did something about the economy, it is reaching double digits. we know that cap and trade is going to increase cost for business. host: stay on the line. this again, congressman, is from "the new york times," or from "to washington journal." "americans should know that those members who vote for this time the bill are voting for was likely to be the biggest tax increase in history." nancy, your comment, and then we will go to the congressman. caller: we have seen examples of this in the last six months with this administration, where it is not technically attacked, but it will affect people who -- unlike
guest: there is not a single new tax in this legislation. i do not know where those who are concerned about this being a tax increase get this information. there are no taxes in this measure at all. as i previously described, there will be a modest price increase for energy. a control program that regulate greenhouse gases cannot be provided totally for free, but we have work to the provisions of this measure in such a way that the cost increases are truly montas. let me repeat these numbers again. the environmental protection agency says that for the typical american family, the average cost of this legislation per year on an annual basis is between $77 and $111. that is an annual cost that takes into account all aspects of the legislation. the answer to the editorial that
you pointed to this morning is that these are the real costs, and i would hope that the american public would focus on that, just as we are asking our colleagues and the congress to focus on it as we approach the vote on this measure on the floor friday. host: we appreciate you being here to talk about this issue. we go to jim, joining us from bay city, michigan. republican line, with congressman rick boucher. caller: i worked in a power plant for 33 years, cold-fired. -- coal-fire. it was dirty. when technology can through, when i retired at 84, all the available -- that is not enough for you people. you have to keep throwing this stuff at us. it is going to cost early, sir, for the power plants to have the
cap and trade, and it is going to go right on the people. now, people in your -- al gore claimed that the climate change, man-made, so-called, it is nothing but a theory, sir. it has not been proven. it has not been proven that it is man-made. guest: first, let me say that we have consulted, over 2.5 years now, with the electric utility industry, and primarily with those electric utilities that are using coal in order to generate electricity. let me just note one in particular. the largest coal-fired utility in the united states is american electric power, and chief executive officer of american electric power, michael morris, has been a frequent participant with us in hearings before the
house energy and commerce committee as we have structured our climate change control legislation. he supports the legislation that we have bought from the committee. he is encouraging that that measure passed the floor. he is well aware of what costs will be entailed in how the costs can be met. and american electric power has taken a real lead among utilities across this nation and in fact around the world in demonstrating the state of the art technology for carbon dioxide removal from the combustion process. in fact, on one of its facilities in west virginia, american electric power is on the verge of installing a new technology known as controlled ammonia. this application can remove the carbon dioxide and prepare it for storage underground. at that facility, they also have an underground storage cavity. at the same time that the co2 is removed, it will be permanently sequestered. this utility is leading the way,
the largest coal user in the united states, showing that this can be done. it will be done in a way that is very affordable for the american public. let me stress again that the environmental protection agency says through its independent analysis that the cost of this measure, with all factors taken into account, will be somewhere between $77 and $111 for the typical american family. host: and a vote could happen as early as tomorrow. "the new york times" read about yesterday, including a photograph of henry waxman, who will be on "washington journal" on monday, july 6, to talk about his new book. it will limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat- trapping gases. kevin is on the phone.
caller: thank you for having me on i want to know how the congressman can sit there with a straight face and talk about how our power is not going to go up. it will, and it will go up substantially. all these congressman in congress, they're full of hot air. but the cap and trade on that. we would make a lot more money off of them. host: "here we go with nancy pelosi, where citizens will pay the price." guest: i do not like being a one-trick pony, but since the gentleman came back to price, i point out again that these are not my numbers. these are the numbers that have been derived from an independent analysis conducted by the environmental protection agency, and i did not say that it would be no cost. i think i was very clear that you cannot have an effective
control program without some element of cost. but the cost for the typical american family will be on an annual basis somewhere between $77 and $111. that is an annual cost. host: another twitter comment. do you tweaeet at all? guest: my wife does. i do not. and i am an avid blackberry user. these for me are essential to my work. i have email on the go all the time, and utilize it throughout the day and well into the evening. but i simply have not begun to adopt twitter yet. my wife is so passionate about it that if i do not start using it, i may find i am not able to communicate effectively with
her. host: she has this to say. "i do not get the opposition. pollution is pollution. what is the problem trying to clean things, cleaner that we found them? guest: i think she's absolutely right that we do have a problem. the scientific consensus globally is tthat the reason tht we are experiencing rises in temperature, that it is being caused by human activity, and it will worsen to the point that we have clearly unacceptable consequences for the plant unless actions are taken. for those who are not persuaded -- for the planet unless actions are taken. for those who are not persuaded, there are practical reasons. a year and a half ago, the a united states supreme court declared that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.
under the ruling, the environmental protection agency is not only in power but effectively required to regulate that pollutant, the carbon dioxide pollutants, under the clean air act. so the choice no longer is shall we have a regulatory program or not. it is now inevitable that we are going to have a regulatory program. the only question is whether it will be one that congress adopts based on the balancing of a wide range of concerns and interests and targets economic sustainability as we do so, or whether the environmental protection agency, using what is by all accounts a blunt instrument, the old clean air act, when accomplish that regulation on its own. virtually all of the stakeholders, whether on the industry side or with organized labor or the environment the community, would prefer that congress adopt the regulation rather than the epa. host: some background on our guest. the congressman's ninth district of virginia includes towns like
bristol. he is in his 14th term, a graduate of roanoke college and you be a law school. carl on the phone from kansas city, good morning. caller: good morning to get a pen ready because i have a lot of short questions. host: how about if we take them one at a time? caller: commodities. this idea of having this being traded on the market. what is going to stop speculation artificially raising this light crude oil? guest: i think that we are going to adopt very shortly in the congress a comprehensive reform of our regulatory structure with regard to financial markets generally. that is long overdue. there is no reason to believe that we are going to have excess speculation or market manipulation with regard to the emission allowances trading that would come through this measure
to any greater extent than we had with traditional commodities. and so i am not concerned about that. we have a 4 runner that i think gives us a great deal of confidence. in 1990, the congress adopted controls on sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, and we use the cash-and- trade concept, developing a trading market out of that, and it operates with great efficiency. so much so, that the european union, on the strength of the american success, decided to use captain and trade as its formula for controlling greenhouse gases pursuant to its kyodo treaty obligations. now we are prepared to simply scale up a proven concept of cal and trade -- of cap and trade. by having a trading market, we
have a market-based solution. based on our success with sulfur dioxide emissions, we know that this mechanism drives investments to the place where is the most economically made. so you can get reductions of greenhouse gases at the least cost. the dollars spent go the furthest. to use a common phrase, you get the most bang for the buck in terms of the dollars spent. host: back to carl. caller: my second question is, does this delay things that could be done -- for example, 06 the minutes" had something not long ago where they forced florida power companies to make needed changes. they interviewed the guys that read the company and they said they were glad that somebody put their arm in it and it worked on their behalf. my other question is, why don't they just outlaw the fourth of
july? i cannot breathe for three days after the fourth of july, even though fireworks are illegal in this state. guest: the fact of the matter is, we have had substantial delays already. a lot of utilities and non utility industrial in matters have delayed making their investments in new technology until they know what the rules are. as soon as we write these rules and placed a price on carbon dioxide emissions, that pent up investment that has not been made now for many years, awaiting clearer definition of rules, is going to be unleashed. that is going to create jobs. that will create a spurt of economic activity in the short term. i will take this opportunity to say that in the longer-term, i think we have yet a second wave of investment as venture capital funds have dollars flow into the next generation of low carbon dioxide in bidding technologies.
this is where president obama says that we're going to have been net creation of millions of jobs and this will be the next technological innovation and technology boom in our u.s. economy. i think that is largely true. the united states is known for innovation. we are the best in the world when it comes to developing new technology. we use it here, we exported abroad. that is exactly what will happen with low carbon dioxide in meetinemitting technology. i think this really will take off, and we will have a tremendous economic wave that follows this. host: three different sets of numbers from "the washinton post." $3,120. that is the yearly amount that house republican leader john boehner says the legislation would cost each household by 2015.
between $98.100 $40 and -- we will hear from fred, on the phone from carleton, texas -- carrollton, texas. caller: good morning, steve, and thanks for c-span. i am not a believer in co2 being a global warming gas. it does hold some heat energy, but i read a book by james p. hogan one time, and in their he described basically there are 33 degrees celsius of greenhouse gas effect on the planet. 32 degrees celsius comes from water vapor, and one degree comes from all other gases. that includes co2. so i did a little bit of
checking myself, and when i ran the numbers for heat energy -- i mean, it seems to be exactly right. i would like to request from the congressman and congress, for that matter, can you guys just published a breakdown of the heat energy in the atmosphere contained by the gases? i mean, nitrogen is going to be first because it is the most abundant gas. oxygen is going to be second because it is the second most abundant gas. water vapor is going to be third. host: thank you, fred. guest: without a doubt, the principal ingredient in the greenhouse effect, where the global warmers because of the presence of substances in the atmosphere, it is -- where the globe warms because of the presence of substances in the atmosphere. we conducted during that time 27 days of hearings on global
warming and on various regulatory solutions that we might be able to put into place. we focused on the science and we had panels of experts from the united nations independence -- looking at various greenhouse gases and we focused on the question the gentleman is raising to the analysis that many people made as this. the caller is quite right when he says that water vapor is a more effective greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide, and it is much more plentiful. but the global climate system is very similar to the human body. if our body temperature raises by as much as two or three degrees out of an average of about 98 degrees, for normal, then we are in a crisis. it only takes a very small
change in that concentration of temperature within the body to make us very sick or suggest that we are very sick. the same is true with the global climate. the current system is in equilibrium, and that equilibrium is being unbalanced by the contribution of carbon dioxide to the overall qua ntity of greenhouse gases. while water vapor is the main gas, the system is being thrown out of balance and it is causing the effects we are seeing. host: one comment from might listening from marisyland. "they will pass the higher cost to consumers." jay has a less call from charlotte, north carolina. caller: mr. congressman, the figures that washington uses is really not